His Aunt also living in London was married to Bartholomew Sikes, famous for winning favour with The Board of Excise for his hydrometer design in 1802. In 1804, Robert Bate married his cousin, the daughter of his aunt Mary and Bartholomew Sikes, however it was followed quite shortly with the sudden death of Sikes.
Supported by his newly widowed Aunt, Bate took over Sikes business and its Government commission and successfully persuaded the Board of Excise to adopt the improved hydrometer that his Father in Law had been working on before his untimely death. At this time, the company was being run at 17 Poultry where in 1814 he became a member of the Spectacle Makers Company of London, by 1824 his reputation was such that he was further commissioned by the Board of Excise & Ordnance to make the new national standard Imperial measures for weight & capacity created by George IV, this event led Bate to acquire further premises at 20 and 21 Poultry. It was this Governmental relationship that underpinned his entire career, leading to an important commission from the US Mint where his Troy pound standard weight became legal standard for US coinage at the time and his instruments were also known to have been used by The East India Company, The Royal Navy, The Board of Ordnance, The Hydrographic Office and The Bank of England.
His quality of manufacture led him to receive Royal Appointments from George IV, William IV and Queen Victoria where he acted as Optician and he eventually rose to become Master of the Spectacle Makers Guild in 1833. He was also known to have acted for the Admiralty as its main chart agent with numerous sub agents acting below him such as his old apprentice and instrument maker to The Royal yacht Club, George Stebbing. The final two decades of his life (the 1830s and 40s) were riddled with ill health probably due to the amount of work that he was undertaking. He travelled widely across the UK and abroad for health reasons but still maintained lively correspondence with his customers.Bate is listed as a creditor in the bankruptcy proceedings of the famous makers William Harris and also W&T Gilbert. Bates widow continued to run the business until 1850 whereafter the Excise work was taken over by Dring & Fage and the Admiralty Chart side of the business went to Bates former employee, John Dennett Potter. A good honest example of an iconic instrument by a top London maker. Jason Clarke Antiques are happy to discuss carriage, condition or for any other queries, alternatively, you can also message us and we will endeavour to come back to you as soon as possible. The item "GEORGIAN UNIVERSAL EQUINOCTIAL SUNDIAL BY ROBERT BRETTELL BATE LONDON" is in sale since Thursday, June 17, 2021. This item is in the category "Antiques\Science/Medicine\Scientific Instruments". The seller is "jason750_1" and is located in newbury, Berkshire. This item can be shipped to United Kingdom.