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Rupert Thomas Gould artworks



Rupert Thomas Gould artworks



Archive reference number



This series contains drawings, illustrations and a limited edition printed book written by Rupert T. Gould and presented to Cecil Gould.

Rupert Thomas Gould, Cecil Gould's father, was born in 1890, the son of the composer William Monk Gould. He was intended for the Royal Navy but suffered a serious nervous breakdown at the start of the First World War, and did not see active service. He was transferred to the Hydrographic Office where his talents as a draftsman emerged. He was fascinated by the history of time measurement and began a study of the marine chronometer, publishing 'The Marine Chronometer: its history and development' in 1923 as well as a number of other pamphlets and books. During the research for this book he discovered the timepieces of the 18th century navigator John Harrison, and embarked on a project to restore them, which was to occupy him for the rest of his life and alienate him from his wife and family. He suffered two further nervous breakdowns in 1925 and at the outbreak of the Second World War.

Rupert Gould was a fine graphic artist, a regular contestant on the BBC's Brains Trust during the Second World War, a presenter on Children's Hour (the Stargazer), an author of books on the Loch Ness Monster and other creatures, and an umpire on centre court in Wimbledon during the 1930s. Gould was awarded the British Horological Institute's Gold Medal a year before he died in 1948. He is represented in Dova Sobel's bestselling book 'Longitude' about the clocks of George Harrison, and his character is portrayed by Jeremy Irons in the film based upon the book.

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Related material

1923-48, Papers relating to Naval Chronometers, National Maritime Museum, Manuscripts Section [Ref GOU, NRA 30121] 1921-48, Correspondence and papers, Cambridge University: Scott Polar Research institute [Ref: MS397, see guide 1982]

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