The Oxford English Dictionary dates 'clockwise' and its opposite, 'counter-clockwise', to approximately 1888. Before that time, other words were used to describe the movement of the hands of a clock, and before that, the movement of the sun itself - which varies based on where you stand on the earth. Northern hemisphere and the further north you go, the sun appears to move clockwise (it's the earth that is moving around the sun), and it's the opposite in the Southern hemisphere.
These concepts didn't seem to be all that important to the English. The were more important to the Celts and the Scots, who had the earlier words for the concept. According to OED, 'anti-clockwise' came along ten years later, and caught on in England over 'counter-clockwise', though the usage is about even between the two today.