WESTMINSTER
ST MARTIN-IN-THE-FIELDS
TRAFALGAR SQUARE

A ring of 12 bells plus sharp 2nd plus Chiming Bell
Tenor: 29-1-1 in D
Frame: 1988 Whitechapel
Retuning: Never subsequently retuned
Grid Ref: TQ301805
Upstairs Ringing Room
Peals

Bell

Weight

Diameter

Note

Cast

Founder

1

4-3-25 26" A

1988

Whitechapel

2

5-1-23 27" G 1988 Whitechapel

3

5-3-2 28" F sharp 1988 Whitechapel

4

6-0-16 29" E 1988 Whitechapel

5

6-2-11 31" D 1988 Whitechapel

6

6-3-24 31" C sharp 1988 Whitechapel

7

7-1-8 33" B 1988 Whitechapel

8

9-0-5 36" A 1988 Whitechapel

9

12-1-9 40" G 1988 Whitechapel

10

14-2-10 42" F sharp 1988 Whitechapel

11

20-1-23 47" E 1988 Whitechapel

12

29-1-1 54" D 1988 Whitechapel

Sharp 2nd

5-0-15 26⅝" G sharp 1988 Whitechapel

Service bell

5 cwt approx. 28" D sharp 1725 Abraham Rudhall II

INSCRIPTIONS

The inscriptions for the ring of 12 have yet to be noted. The Service bell is as below:

1.

rudhall_border1.jpg (14490 bytes)rudhall_border1.jpg (14490 bytes)

A

rudhall_bell.jpg (12299 bytes)

R 1725 rudhall_border1.jpg (14490 bytes)rudhall_border1.jpg (14490 bytes)
 

 

EARLIER BELLS

The original ring of 12 was as follows:

Bell

Weight
(as supplied)

Weight
(after retuning 1922)

Diameter

Note

Cast

Founder Fate

1

n/k n/a n/k A flat

1727

Abraham Rudhall II Recast 1758

2

n/k n/a n/k G flat 1727 Abraham Rudhall II Transferred to Fulham

3

6-1-27 n/a 29" F 1725 Abraham Rudhall II Recast 1758

4

6-2-26 6-1-11 30" E flat 1725 Abraham Rudhall II Transferred to Perth

5

7-3-15 7-1-27 32⅝" D flat 1725 Abraham Rudhall II Transferred to Perth

6

8-2-22 8-1-4 34" C 1725 Abraham Rudhall II Transferred to Perth

7

10-1-20 9-3-19 36" B flat 1725 Abraham Rudhall II Transferred to Perth

8

12-2-2 11-3-19 39" A flat 1725 Abraham Rudhall II Transferred to Perth

9

15-2-10 14-3-9 42" G flat 1725 Abraham Rudhall II Transferred to Perth

10

17-1-17 16-3-0 45⅝" F 1725 Abraham Rudhall II Transferred to Perth

11

23-2-14 23-0-0 50" E flat 1725 Abraham Rudhall II Transferred to Perth

12

31-2-18 30-1-20 56" D flat 1726 Abraham Rudhall II Transferred to Perth

The front 3 were recast/replaced as follows:

Bell

Weight
(as supplied)

Weight
(after retuning 1922)

Diameter

Note

Cast

Founder Fate

1

n/k n/k 26" A flat

1758

Abel Rudhall Transferred to Perth

2

n/k n/k n/k G flat 1758 Abel Rudhall Recast 1770

3

n/k 5-3-19 29" F 1758 Abel Rudhall Transferred to Perth

The 2nd was again recast:

Bell

Weight
(as supplied)

Weight
(after retuning 1922)

Diameter

Note

Cast

Founder Fate

2

n/k 5-1-5 28" G flat 1770 Thomas Rudhall Transferred to Perth

The inscriptions on the 12 removed from the tower in 1987 (and sent to Perth) were/are as follows:

The former treble weights were taken from the Whitechapel settings book.

1.

rudhall_border1.jpg (14490 bytes)rudhall_border1.jpg (14490 bytes)

RECAST BY A

rudhall_bell.jpg (12299 bytes)

R 1758 rudhall_border1.jpg (14490 bytes)rudhall_border1.jpg (14490 bytes)
 
2.

M : HART & W : CHAPMAN CHURCH WARDENS 1770 3dots.jpg (677 bytes)

rudhall_bell.jpg (12299 bytes)   R 3dots.jpg (677 bytes)
 
3.

rudhall_border1.jpg (14490 bytes)rudhall_border1.jpg (14490 bytes)

RECAST BY A

rudhall_bell.jpg (12299 bytes)

R 1758 rudhall_border1.jpg (14490 bytes)rudhall_border1.jpg (14490 bytes)
 
4.
rudhall_border1.jpg (14490 bytes)

AND IN EARTH PEACE

rudhall_border1.jpg (14490 bytes)

1725

rudhall_border1.jpg (14490 bytes)rudhall_border1.jpg (14490 bytes)
 
5.
rudhall_border1.jpg (14490 bytes)rudhall_border1.jpg (14490 bytes)

  GOOD WILL TOWARDS MEN 1725

rudhall_border1.jpg (14490 bytes)rudhall_border1.jpg (14490 bytes)
 
6.

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ABR : RVDHALL OF GLOVCESTER CAST VS ALL 1725

rudhall_border1.jpg (14490 bytes)
 
7.

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PROSPERITY TO THE CHVRCH OF ENGLAND 1725

rudhall_border1.jpg (14490 bytes)
 
8.

rudhall_border4.jpg (9805 bytes)rudhall_border4.jpg (9805 bytes)rudhall_border4.jpg (9805 bytes)rudhall_border4.jpg (9805 bytes)rudhall_border4.jpg (9805 bytes)

PEACE & GOOD NEIGHBOVRHOOD 1725

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9.

rudhall_border1.jpg (14490 bytes)

PROSPERITY TO THE PARISH OF SNT MARTINS 1725

rudhall_border1.jpg (14490 bytes)
 
10.

rudhall_border4.jpg (9805 bytes)rudhall_border4.jpg (9805 bytes)rudhall_border4.jpg (9805 bytes)rudhall_border4.jpg (9805 bytes)rudhall_border4.jpg (9805 bytes)

FEAR GOD HONOVR THE KING 1725

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11.

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IOHN WALKER & IOHN SAWCER CHVRCHWARDENS 1725

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12.

rudhall_border4.jpg (9805 bytes)rudhall_border4.jpg (9805 bytes)rudhall_border4.jpg (9805 bytes)rudhall_border4.jpg (9805 bytes)rudhall_border4.jpg (9805 bytes)rudhall_border4.jpg (9805 bytes)

ZACHARIAH PEARCE D : D : VICAR 1726

rudhall_border4.jpg (9805 bytes)rudhall_border4.jpg (9805 bytes)rudhall_border4.jpg (9805 bytes)rudhall_border4.jpg (9805 bytes)rudhall_border4.jpg (9805 bytes)rudhall_border4.jpg (9805 bytes)
 

rudhall_border4.jpg (9805 bytes)rudhall_border4.jpg (9805 bytes)rudhall_border4.jpg (9805 bytes)rudhall_border4.jpg (9805 bytes)

WALTER TVRNER & WM : HOVSE CHVRCHWARDENS

rudhall_border4.jpg (9805 bytes)rudhall_border4.jpg (9805 bytes)rudhall_border4.jpg (9805 bytes)rudhall_border4.jpg (9805 bytes)
 

HISTORY

1536-8 The Churchwardens Accounts mention the casting of one of the bells ("Item payde for casting of our belles xiij li") and work on the frame ("Item paid for the frame of our belles to the carpenter Cxiij s iiij d").
1538-40 The Churchwardens Accounts mention the acquisition of 4 bell ropes. In this period a saunce bell was given to the church.
c.1540 The bells were recast into 3, plus sanctus and sacring bells. They were rehung in a new frame.
1542 St Martin's was made a separate parish by letters patent of Henry VIII.
c.1544 Church rebuilt. A new treble was added to the 3 by a founder in Houndsditch ("casting the little bell at Hounsditch, and payment to the founder (xl s. viiij d)").
1572 Tenor (of 4) recast, being made heavier in the process ("iij li ij s. iiij d. for newe casting the for the bell and putting more newe metell to it").
1581 Tenor (of 4) recast by Hugh Walker. His first attempt was unsatisfactory and it had to be recast a second time. ("taking down the great bell and hanging it up again, payment to the bellfounders “the first time” and taking it to the founders and back again “the second time”, payments to Hughe Walker the bellfounder for changing the old bell which weighed 9-1-6 and for 3qrs of extra metal, expenses regarding Walker’s bond to new cast the bell “if any fault should be”).
1584 The whole ring of 4 was recast by Robert Mot, paid for by 67 named subscribers (costing 9 8s.).
1586 Hugh Walker recast the treble and added another bell to increase the number to 5 (“for ye newe Treable Bell & for ye newe casting of ye old fore bell, xiij li. vij s.).
1592 Tenor recast by Laurence Wright (at a cost of 10).
1593 4th recast by Laurence Wright.
1663 Tower rebuilt.

1708

Record of 6 bells in the tower.

1714 Paterson noted "eight bells newly cast and hung up this month of March 1714".
1721 19th Mar. The first stone of the new church was laid. An act of Parliament had been obtained to enable the parishioners to rebuild. It was designed by James Gibbs.
1724 3rd Nov. 8 new bells were ordered to replace the existing bells.
1724 28th Nov. The Norwich Gazette reported "We hear that His Royal Highness the Prince of Wales has signified his Intention to present a ring of Ten Bells to the new Church of St. Martins in the Fields. There is a Talk, That most or all of the Eight Bell Rings in London will be augmented to Ten or Twelve, and those of Six to Eight or Ten."
1724 8th Dec. It was resolved that 2 more bells be added to the number agreed upon.
1724 15th Dec. The St James' Evening Post reported "…The Design was to have had 12 Bells, but the tower being taken in six inches of a side, has rendered it incapable of holding so many … "
1725 It was agreed to go for a full ring of 12 bells. The order went to Abraham Rudhall of Gloucester at a cost of 1264.18.3 (including old and new metal).
1726 24th May The 10 bells were delivered from Gloucester. Rudhall clearly had difficulty with the trebles (of 12) as they were not ready at first. When the College Youths rang the first peal on them 3 days before the consecration of the church, in 1726 it was one of Grandsire Caters (i.e. on 10 bells).
1726 15th Oct. The Norwich Gazette reported "Last Monday a Sett of Ringers, call'd the College Youths, began to ring a Peal of 5000 and odd Changes on St. Martin's Bells: When they had rung 3 Hours incessantly, one of the Bell-Ropes broke; to the great Disappointment of the Gentlemen, and a numerous Audience in the Street, (or one Hour more would have compleated their Purpose".
1726 20th Oct. The new church was consecrated.
1727 15th Apr. The Weekly Journal reported that "The 10 bells lately hung up in St.Martin’s Church Tower, are to be made 12, by the addition of 2 Treble Bells or Leaders, to be cast by the same person who cast the 10, as also those at St. Bride’s. and they are to be ready before the 28th of May, then to be rung for the first time."
1727 Rudhall cast the two trebles to make 12.
1728 23rd Mar. The Norwich Gazette reported that "Monday, 18 March ... At St. Martin's in the Fields last Thursday a Ringing-Match was begun, to be perform'd between a Set of Londoners and a Set of the College Youths. The former began at One a Clock, and continued till half an Hour after Four: The latter began yesterday and held it 5 Hours and a Quarter, and was allowed to be the finest Performance yet known of that Nature."
1728 26th Oct. The Norwich Gazette reported that "London, October 24. ... On Friday Night last as they were ringing the Bells at St. Martin's in the Fields, one of the Gudgins of the Tenor broke, but the Bell fell no further than the Floor; however, it frightned all the Ringers so that they threw up their Bells, and ran to the Sides of the Steeple. The Bell is 3300 Weight."
1737 5th Mar. The Norwich Gazette reported that "London, March 1. On Thursday last the Society of Union Scholars rang, at the Parish Church of St. Martin’s in the Fields, in 3 Hours and 10 Minutes, the first true and compleat Peal of 5040 Grandsire Trebles; which has been thought an Impossibility by the greatest Proficients in that Exercise, but was composed by Mr. John Denmead, a Member of the said Society."
1758 The 3 trebles were replaced by Abraham Rudhall. One of them went to All Saints, Fulham (where it remains). The other two were recast.
1770 The 2nd (of 12) was recast by Thomas Rudhall.
1788 8th Oct. The London General Advertiser reported that "Monday last the Society of College Youths rang on the peal of twelve bells at the church of St. Martin in the Fields, a true and compleat peal of 6,204 Stedman's Principle, in 4 hours and 47 minutes, being the greatest number of changes of that peal ever rung in England. This very curious and intricate composition was invented in the last century, but was, by the connoisseurs of the present day, deemed impracticable to be achieved, until these darling sons of distinguished merit have, by this, in addition to many other meritorious performances, shown to their contempories that industry and resolution, united, will ever get through the most arduous task." This was thus the first ever peal of Stedman Cinques.
1840 The Service Bell was rehung by Thomas Mears.
1922 The bells were retuned and rehung by Mears and Stainbank in a new iron frame.
1987 The 12 bells were removed and sold to Perth in Western Australia as part of the Australian Bicentenary celebrations, with the original intention of being hung in a new tower to be built at the University of Western Australia. This tower was never built and the bells remained in storage for a while.
1988 A new ring of 12 bells (plus sharp 2nd) was cast and hung in a new frame lower in the tower (preserving the old 1922 frame) by Whitechapel. The metal was provided by the Australian Government