[Bell Historians] Castlethorpe

David Cawley dave at d...
Wed Mar 26 22:45:20 GMT 2003

Content-Transfer-Encoding: quoted-printable

Quote from George Elphick's Sussex Bells & Belfries pp 43-5:

'Johanna Hille, Richard's (d 1440) wife, was a most remarkable woman. She =
not only became a bellfounder and carried on her husband's business, but ag=
ain occupied the position during her second widowhood, as well as being mot=
her-in-law to another founder. Two deeds are preserved at Faversham Church=
, Kent, which mention her as Johanna Hille of London, widow in 1441 when sh=
e made them five new bells; and as Johanna Sturdy of London, widow in 1459,=
when she supplied them with a new tenor weighing 35-cwt. The fact that we=
have two widows bearing the same Christian name eighteen years apart, and =
two groups of bells bearing the same lozenge, indicative of womanhood, give=
s strong evidence for assigning these bells to the same person....=20=20

'She used her husband's (i.e. Richard Hille's) cross, letter moulds and her=
own lozenge, which, by its varying grounds, was cast in wax. (He gives se=
ven remaining bells from her first widowhood). Assuming that her bells bea=
r the same relationship in bells per year as her late husband's, she probab=
ly married John Sturdy about 1443.

'Johanna Sturdy (as she now was) must have been very active during her seco=
nd widowhood, for, if we accept the date of 1458 for her husband's (John St=
urdy's) death, it only leaves her a few years to cast her second group of 1=
4 bells that have been traced. We know that she must have been dead by 146=
5, for her son-in-law, Henry Jordan (also a bellfounder) makes mention of h=
er in his will of 1468 as being buried with her first husband. Her bells a=
re exacctly the same as John Sturdy's with the addition of her lozenge'.

You can read 19th-century accounts by Tyssen and Stahlschmidt in CB Sussex,=
Surrey Bells & London Bellfounders and CB Kent. Whatever they say, you ca=
n be pretty certain that George Elphick's summary is accurate.


----- Original Message -----=20
From: ME=20
To: bellhistorians at yahoogroups.com=20
Sent: Wednesday, March 26, 2003 10:03 PM
Subject: [Bell Historians] Castlethorpe

Hello all!

Just got back from ringing....joy of joy's!!!!!!

I have just rcvd a phone call from a chap who is a church warden @=20
Castlethorpe. He has been contacted by a chap names Adrian Hughes.=20=20
He is a TV producer, and wants to visit, film crew in tow, tomorrow.=20=20
Time to plan in the diary then.

Castlethorpe has one bell cast by a lady named Joan Hill/Sterdy, with=20
a resonably mordern Whitechapel frame tucked in the corner of a tower.

I know very little about the bell and our Joan.

My problem is this.........

I need to give this chap as much info as I can, and any other bells=20
cast by here in the local area. This is were it gets hard work. I=20
acnnot log on tomorrow, so I need all the info tonight. I have no=20
idea were to look.=20=20

Please help.

If you read this in the morning and may have some info reasonably=20
early in the day, please could you forward to=20
scott.ayres at v... I think......or was it com?????

Many thanks all, and sorry to intrude like this after a long period=20
of silence.


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