[Bell Historians] Royal

Richard Offen richard at 4HjvICrMAAg4BhSbRLQMozaamxZD-0ukwNy3saWnObQ-M_s97OIj7LTtNcx4wyc2ahqOR8IE.yahoo.invalid
Wed Aug 23 06:17:46 BST 2006

> Hello (timidly)
> I was going to go away quietly but several years ago I did some 
> into the origin of "Queens" and "Whittingtons". Initially, I was 
prepared to
> accept as the legend has it, that possibly Gloriana heard the 6 
bells of
> (wherever) stopped in her tracks, proclaimed "I like it" and from 
then on
> the change that she heard & liked -  135246 has been known as the 
> change. Well, its plausible - not likely but plausible. But, as for 
> "Turn again Whittington". as heard by Dick Whittington, no, I don't 
> so. As I've said, I know nothing of belfry archaeology (not even 
sure how to
> spell it) but I would have thought that in his day (he died in 
1423) he is
> not likely to have heard 6 bells playing 531246.
> I won't bore you with trying to recall the results of my findings 
> ANOTHER article for the Ringing World?) but these, together with 
the origin
> of bob and sally and why Treble & Tenor? might form a series of 
articles in
> the RW from the pen of
> Yours respectfully
> Eddie Martin
> PS any comments, suggestions help in preparing these articles would 
> gratefully accepted (off list)
> mew

Don't be timid Ed, it's great to have you with us!

Do we actually know when the changes for Queen's and Whittingtons 
started to be known by those names?

Ruth Niblett from Canterbury once pointed out to me the remarkable 
resemblance between the older technical terms used in lace making and 
those of bell ringing ...all the more interesting when one considers 
that several of the pioneering bands of the seventeenth and 
eighteenth centuries resided in towns famous for their lace: 
Nottingham and Norwich to name but two. 

As to the derivation of 'Royal, does the OED definition help?

"Of a qulity or size suitable for a king or queen."

I know of many ringers who find ringing on ten amongst the most 
satisfying number on which to ring changes.   Could it be that early 
change ringers felt that ringing on ten bells was fit for royalty?



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