Christopher Townsend, Jr., 1738–1809


Occupation

watchmaker

Location

Newport, Rhode Island

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Biography

Christopher Townsend, Jr. was born in 1738 to cabinetmaker Christopher Townsend (1701-1787) and Patience Easton (1703-1789) of Newport. His siblings would include cabinetmakers John Townsend (1733-1809) and Jonathan Townsend (1745-1773).

He received a large bequest in his father's will, including his Newport "Dwelling House," "Joiners Shop," and a large quantity of furniture and silver.(1) Despite his ownership of this "Joiners Shop," it remains unclear as to whether or not he was ever an active woodworker. Rather, it appears that he was a watchmaker for most of his adult life. As early as July, 1775, he was called a Newport watchmaker in the records of the Kent County Court of Common Pleas.(2)

When Christopher died in 1809 in Newport, he was once again identified as a watchmaker. His cousin Edmund Townsend was appointed administrator of his estate.(3)

BWC and PEK


1. Morrison Hecksher, John Townsend: Newport Cabinetmaker (New York: Metropolitan Museum of Art, 2005.), 199-200.

2. Christopher Townsend, Jr., July, 1775. Kent County Court of Common Pleas vol. 4, 895. Rhode Island Judicial Record Center, Pawtucket, Rhode Island.

3. Christopher Townsend, will. June 5, 1809. Newport Probate vol. 4, 611-612. Newport City Hall, Newport, Rhode Island.