Nicholas Oursian
Nicholas Oursian (or Urseau) was a Huguenot immigrant to England who served under four monarchs as a royal clockmaker. He is first recorded in 1532 and was naturalized in 1541, remaining in service until his death in 1590. The astronomical clock executed for Henry VIII at Hampton Court is signed 'N.O. 1540' and is thought to be Oursian's work. By 1568 his responsibilities had expanded to include care of the clocks at three royal palaces, Hampton Court, Oatlands and Westminster. In addition to mechanical timepieces he was also responsible for sundials, including monumental polyhedral stone dials and the earliest horizontal garden dial to survive.

For instruments by Nicholas Oursian, see:
   Horizontal Dial, Attributed to Nicholas Oursian, English, Dated 1542 (Oxford, MHS)


C. Jagger, Royal Clocks: The British Monarchy and its Timekeepers 1300-1900, (London, 1983), pp. 8 and 309.

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