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History experts, I need your help: is this Vice Admiral Cuthbert Collingwood’s watch? 18 March, 2012

Posted by Molly Joyful in Art, Cuthbert Collingwood, Family, General, Royal Navy.
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Edited on 22th March, new pictures and information added!

Dear Collingwoodites, here’s a puzzle for you to solve!

Bingham Cuthbert (!) Charles Schreiber gave the following watch to his granddaughter Virginia on her 18th birthday. The watch, so the family story goes, was presented to Old Cuddy by the British Government after the Battle of Trafalgar. Mr. Schreiber was estranged from his father at a young age and grew up in Canada.

Needless to say, this is a very exciting find if the watch can really be tracked down to Collingwood. And that’s what I need your help for, dear history buffs and experts! I can’t remember Collingwood mentioning a watch in his journal or letters, which doesn’t have to mean that he didn’t get one. Let’s look at the note coming with the watch first.

“Admiral Collingwood’s watch a gift from the British government after the Battle of Trafalgar 1796”

That’s confusing, as the battle obviously took place in 1805. It’s not very likely it was a different battle, either – the Battle of Cape St. Vincent was a year later. However, that year might not be about the battle, but about the year the watch was manufactured:

“A.R. Keating 1796-1815 Production Strand- Serial #5834”

My knowledge about watches is very, very limited. So I hope there will be readers who can help me out with the following questions, and maybe tell Virginia more about her watch:

  • Can anybody tell me something about the maker of the watch?
  • Was this really Collingwood’s watch?
  • Did he mention it anywhere in his journals or letters?
  • Do you know how it came into the possession of Mr. Schreiber?

Edited on 22th March: new information and pictures!

Virginia’s grandfather was born in Parry Sound,Ontario, Canada, on 8/15/1906. Virginia was born in the mid-sixties.

Virginia has also sent additional pictures:

Thanks so much for your help. Any information will be greatly appreciated.

FOLLOW THE RESEARCH DISCUSSION HERE!

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Comments»

1. Joyful Molly - 18 March, 2012

[…] Is this the watch of Vice Admiral Cuthbert Collingwood? […]

2. Jen - 20 March, 2012

Right, comments in bits :)

a) Nothing in the Newnham-Collingwood letters about a watch from 1796-8 (in case it was meant to be Cape St Vincent and out by a year). There’s a lot more to read for 1805-6, and I haven’t done it yet – nevermind Coll’s complaints about letters that never reached him and the difficulty of answering letters you haven’t received…

b) Google tells me nothing about a watchmaker called Keating in the Strand – but of course google doesn’t know much about 200 years ago. Is the maker’s name actually on the watch? (I was nearly in the Clockmaker’s museum in London yesterday, but ran out of time! (pun not intended))

c) This is getting complicated – although fascinating – so I’ll come back to it!

3. Jen - 20 March, 2012

c) The short answer is that given the plethora of recurring family names, I’m pretty sure we’re dealing with the family of Sir Collingwood Schreiber – but I can’t connect him definitely to Coll, or to Virginia and her grandfather.

The long answer:
Collingwood George Schreiber‘s mother was Sarah Bingham, daughter of Admiral Joseph Bingham whose mother was Sarah Parker, daughter of Admiral Sir William Parker (although given the dates, wikipedia has to be wrong about *which* William Parker!)
So plenty of naval connections (as well as the source of the Bingham name) – but although another two of the Schreiber brothers were Cuthbert and Wilfred, I haven’t found a Collingwood (Newnham, Denny…) connection.

So there we go. Assuming that the watch is actually Coll’s, there could be a family connection (although then it’s a bit odd that the name and watch went to the fourth son and not the first), or the watch could have been bought by Sir CS because of the name (although then the other family names are a bit coincidental), or bought by someone else and presented to him because of the name, or some combination of the above!

Things aren’t really any clearer at the other end. CS only had one son, Charles, who died at the age of 20. I’ve had a quick look at his nephews, but not turned up anything obvious (although not having any idea of dates of birth for Virginia or her grandfather doesn’t help!). A ‘Cuthbert Charles Schreiber’ turns up listed as the father of a Howard Gibbons Scheiber who died in Toronto in 1977 – but if he’s Virginia’s father, she’s a good bit older than I expected…

4. Jen - 20 March, 2012

(Links are all messed up, but I’ll come back to them later!)

5. Jen - 20 March, 2012

(The post with the messed up links was there, but now it isn’t, so I’ll make it again with better ones)

c) The short answer is that given the plethora of recurring family names, I’m pretty sure we’re dealing with the family of Sir Collingwood Schreiber – but I can’t connect him definitely to Coll, or to Virginia and her grandfather.

The long answer:
Collingwood George Schreiber‘s mother was Sarah Bingham, daughter of Admiral Joseph Bingham whose mother was Sarah Parker, daughter of Admiral Sir William Parker (although given the dates, wikipedia has to be wrong about *which* William Parker!)
So plenty of naval connections (as well as the source of the Bingham name) – but although another two of the Schreiber brothers were Cuthbert and Wilfred, I haven’t found a Collingwood (Newnham, Denny…) connection.

So there we go. Assuming that the watch is actually Coll’s, there could be a family connection (although then it’s a bit odd that the name and watch went to the fourth son and not the first), or the watch could have been bought by Sir CS because of the name (although then the other family names are a bit coincidental), or bought by someone else and presented to him because of the name, or some combination of the above!

Things aren’t really any clearer at the other end. CS only had one son, Charles, who died at the age of 20. I’ve had a quick look at his nephews, but not turned up anything obvious (although not having any idea of dates of birth for Virginia or her grandfather doesn’t help!). A ‘Cuthbert Charles Schreiber’ turns up listed as the father of a Howard Gibbons Schreiber who died in Toronto in 1977 (and the list shows that CS’s eldest brother Weymouth also died in Canada) – but if he’s Virginia’s father, she’s a good bit older than I expected…

Molly Joyful - 20 March, 2012

You’re five kinds of awesome! I’ll reply over on LJ, and I guess it’s helpful if I include a link here to the discussion on LJ.

6. Christopher Lennon - 30 May, 2012

Admiral Sir William Parker’s wife was the daughter of Captain Edward Collingwood RN of Greenwich. Not known if he was related to Admiral Cuthbert Collingwood, who came later, of course and was born in Newcastle upon Tyne, but a distinct possibility. Still less clear how the watch would have come to the Schreiber family.

Molly Joyful - 14 June, 2012

Thanks a lot for this information! I’ll try to find out more about Edward Collingwood (I don’t think he’s related, but maybe in for a surprise!) We’re still puzzling about the watch; no news yet how it came into the possession of the Schreibers.

7. Jennifer Schreiber - 29 August, 2012

Hi,
The Collingwood & Schreiber families are connected – I’m Australian & my great grandfather is Sir Collingwood Schreiber’s youngest brother.As stated above by someone their mother Sarah nee Bingham was the daughter of rear Admiral Joseph Bingham & her mother was Jane Parker,Jane’s parents were Admiral Sir William Parker & his wife Jane Collingwood.I have researched & believe Jane Collingwood is either a first or second cousin of Sir Cuthbert Collingwood.
Two of the male children of Sarah & Joseph Bingham were named Collingwood & Cuthbert so seems too much to be just a coincidence.
Hope this helps :)

Molly Joyful - 28 September, 2012

Thanks a lot for the additional information, and hello to Down Under! We haven’t come closer to solving the riddle of the watch yet, but I agree with you that the names are not a coincidence. I believe there’s a connection between Old Cuddy and the watch, but I’m not “on location” and can’t do any research with experts. However, next time I’m in London, I’ll try to track down some evidence. Collingwood Cold Case! :)

ShipRat - 16 October, 2012

My thoroughly amateur 2 cents Cdn: Wouldn’t one expect such a gift to be inscribed?

Don’t mean to throw cold water on anything, just thought I’d mention it.

Molly Joyful - 18 October, 2012

Agreed, one would. But then again… I still hope for some new information to turn up which will shed some light on this matter. If I’m in London next time, I’ll try to find the time to do a bit of research.

ShipRat - 19 October, 2012

Oh, absolutely – maybe it’s connected to him in some other way!

hermitsrest - 10 May, 2013

Hello, I’m a descendant of Edward Collingwood, Master Attendant, Royal Navy, mentioned in Jen Schreiber’s post of 29 Aug 2012. Originally Edward was the son of a mariner, Edward Collingwood and Susannah Wood of Stepney, London, where their son and 3 daughters were born. The mariner died while in the service of the Royal Navy which allowed his son to be educated. With this young Edward was able to rise to the highest NCO rank in the RN at the time, a Master Attendant. As a result of this his sons were able to get commissions in the RN and so become Captains, etc in their turn, their sons, and so on. One of Edward’s grandsons, Francis Edward Collingwood, served on the HMS Victory with Nelson and is one of the people alleged credited with shooting the man who shot Nelson. Because of this and because of contemporary accounts of the battle, these Collingwoods were associated to be relatives of the Admiral Collingwood and by consequence the Northumberland “posh” Collingwoods. To date there is no actual evidence to support this. So Edward’s daughter, Jane Collingwood did indeed marry Admiral Sir William Parker in 1766 and had 7 daughters and 1 son, but this Jane wasn’t related to the Northumberland Collingwoods of which the Admiral is descended. Unfortunately have haven’t much more info on the Parker descendants.

Christopher Lennon - 12 May, 2013

Hello Hermitsrest, I’m not the original enquirer, but your reply is interesting, as I believe my late father-in-law was a descendant of the same Edward Collingwood (b. about 1660 – d. 1721) and his wife Mary Bigge (1663-1721). Their son Captain Edward Collingwood RN (ab. 1694 – 1779), of Greenwich, married, as his second wife, Jane Carlton (ab. 1712 – 1791) and their daughter Jane Collingwood (ab. 1740 – 1815) married in 1776, the future Sir William Parker , First Baronet (1.1.1743 – 31.10.1802). My line then goes through the second daughter, Sarah Parker (b. 1774), who married Rear Admiral Joseph Bingham and their daughter Emma.
I suspected the Greenwich Collingwoods might not be connected, or closely connected, to the Admiral’s family, who, as you state, came from Northumberland. Families did not move around very much in those days and especially long distances (all relative to our American cousins, but Northumberland was a World away from Greenwich in Seventeenth century England), a point often overlooked by researchers. Still, it is worth further research.

8. Judy Snider - 19 November, 2017

Also a descendent of as above (my grandmother was a great granddaughter to Sarah Bingham Schreiber, whose grave I visited just this week in Toronto). Two points: seafaring families might relocate more than non-searing families…for the time? names are often given to ‘suck up’ or in admiration also. (eg the name Weymouth came into the Schreiber family because Thomas Viscount Weymouth, eldest son of the second Marquis of Bath was prevailed upon to be the godfather to Weymouth George Schreiber b. 1826) maybe our ancestors were doing the same.
my research is on Wikitree if anyone wants to see or participate (it’s free, collaborative, one world etc)
Would love to hear the conclusion on the watch! Can we hear more about Victoria Schreiber’s tree to see where she fits? Or her Schreiber parent?

9. Judy Snider - 19 November, 2017

Bingham C.C. Schreiber (born 1907 Washington DC) was the son of Cuthbert Charles b. 1870 Ontario, son of Wilfred Charles 1837 England, son of Rev Thomas 1794 husband of Sarah Maria Bingham etc. https://www.wikitree.com/wiki/Schreiber-478

10. Judy Snider - 19 November, 2017

He married Virginia Elnora Newlin and had three daughters (none named Virginia)

11. Judy Snider - 19 November, 2017

A brother in law of Sarah Bingham Schreiber, William Frederick Schreiber (1784-1860) owned a house called RoundWood in Ipswich previously owned by Nelson. Roundwood House: [http://www.ipswich-lettering.co.uk/roundwoodroad.html], [http://www.archive.org/stream/nelsoninenglandd00meyniala/nelsoninenglandd00meyniala_djvu.txt], [http://www.ipswichstar.co.uk/news/three-swashbuckling-heroes-came-to-town-1-140534]


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