Ministers Dispatch Boxes
|Ministers Dispatch Box Locks|
Dispatch Box Lock - Foreign Office|
Outer case inscription: "Foreign Office Downing Street"
Inner case inscription: "If any one apply for a Key inform a Secretary of State & you shall receive £50."
Case Size: 94mm x 44mm. WR c1830 -1837. Made by: Wright & Groom.
Dispatch Box Lock - Colonial Office|
Outer case inscription: "Colonial Office Downing Street"
Inner case inscription: "Any one applying for a Key inform this office & you will be rewarded."
Case Size: 76mm x 41mm. Early Victorian. Made by: Wright & Groom London.
Cut Cabinet Lock|
Case Size: 52mm x 91mm. marked VR. Early Victorian.
George Davis of Windsor
Davis invented and patented, in 1799, a double chambered lock which was used on government dispatch boxes and other ministerial uses of the time.
George came from a long line of skilled Davis's looking after, repairing and replacing, the clocks, locks and other metalwork in and around Windsor. In fact for several generations held the royal warrant to look after the locks in Windsor Castle.
The patent, No. 2306 dated 11th April1799, describes it as "a double chambered lock with cylinders, to which pins are attached in different directions instead of wards."
It also goes on to explain that the outer keyhole configuration would give no indication of the inner or second chamber keyhole.
In fact it seems likely that these locks were only used for government purposes, no examples have been so far found that were in general use.
| Page 1 of 1 Page for the George Davis Gallery |
If you would like to know more about the artefacts in the collection you are welcome to ask questions or join in with the discussions on the History of Locks Forum.
Simply email requesting a password.
We are keen to extend the artefacts in this collection, donít hesitate to contact our Curator if you can help in any way.
We especially would like to hear from you if you, or your ancestors, were involved with locks and keys.