Andrew Borden’s Clock

29 Jun

Another clock purported to belong to Andrew Borden has been brought to my attention. This one is different from that claimed some time ago and offered up on eBay, complete with blood splatterings. (Blood never splattered as far west as the fireplace mantle, by the way.)

The following post of June 19th concerning Andrew Borden’s clock is buried in my blog entries so I’m copying here.

Nell Driscoll

“I have a mantle clock that Andrew Borden dropped off at the Fall River Clock repair and when it was not picked up (for obvious reasons) the clock maker gave it to his daughter Betty Chapman who gave it to my father. It still has the repair slip on the back with Andrew Borden’s name and I have a provenance to go with it- i would like to sell it and wanted to give you right of first refusal.. don’t know the worth (after much market research) but am willing to negotiate a fair market value if you are – please let me know if you are interested- Please let me know as soon as possible-you can reach me at (401-348-0700. Thank you for your consideration in this matter.
Nell Driscoll
Watch Hill. RI”

From Book Review: “Did Lizzie Borden Axe for It?” by David Rehak, 2008/06/19 at 8:40 AM


I have my doubts the clock Ms. Driscoll claims to be Andrew Borden’s clock is the same Andrew. I pointed out to her in a follow-up email that there were several other Andrew Borden’s in Fall River in 1892 and it may have been one of those other Andrew’s that was taken in for repair but never claimed. I asked that she send me more information and perhaps images of the clock. I do find it odd that there is no mention anywhere in legal proceedings or books about a missing clock in Andrew & Abby’s bedroom, let alone the fireplace mantle.

Bridget, when testifying as to her activities the morning of the murders, never mentions noting time from a clock on the firepace mantle in the sitting room. Was there one there? Could Bridget really tell time by looking at a clock?

From Fall River Tragedy, Edwin Porter, 1893, pg 181:

“Bridget had nothing to do with the front part of the house and seldom went in those rooms; she could not got go into those rooms unless she got a key, which was kept on the mantel in the sitting room; there was a door bell for upstairs, but she knew nothing about it; nobody else occupied the attic with the witness the night before the murder. She got up at 6:15 by .her bedroom clock. There was a clock in every room.”

One would think the clock in question was the fireplace mantle clock in the Sitting Room. But if there was one that chimed on the hour, Bridget certainly didn’t hear it. If there *was* a clock in every room perhaps it was the clock in Andrew & Abby’s bedroom that was taken in for repair.

From Trial testimony:

“Then I laid down in the bed. I heard the City Hall bell ring and I looked at my clock and it was eleven o’clock. I wasn’t drowsing or sleeping. In my judgment I think I was there three or four minutes. I don’t think I went to sleep at all. I heard no sound; I didn’t hear the opening or closing of the screen door. I can hear that from my room if anyone is careless and slams the door. The next thing was that Miss Lizzie hollered, “Maggie, come down!” I said, “What is the matter?” She says, “Come down quick; Father’s dead; somebody came in and killed him.” This might be ten or fifteen minutes after the clock struck eleven, as far as I can judge.”

I looked up “Chapman” in my Fall River City Directories – found nothing. There were several clock repair businesses in Fall River but none called “Fall River Clock Repair”.

After a week, I’m still awaiting a reply from Ms. Driscoll to my follow-up email and our subsequent phone call. Perhaps some other sleuth would like to follow up and make a cash offer. 😉

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Posted by on June 29, 2008 in Collectibles, The Borden Family


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