[Bell Historians] Kilmersdon, Somerset
zen16073 at ofo5h2vdbbjVpKW2OSIeB-o6hptq96HXTXDgT8cnhiNBxEturX6wM-Lnycb5uNnupY_q4kLQLYTqw6Qt.yahoo.invalid
Fri May 11 19:47:56 BST 2007
I liked the inscription on the 3rd - by Thomas Bilbie I, 1733. According to
the tower notice, it includes the following:
YOU RUDDLE & COCKEY COME HITHER AND SEE
WHICH IS THE BEST WORKMAN OF ALL US THREE
The 2nd is by William Cockey, 1727; the 5th by Abraham Rudhall I, 1705!
I'm sure there are similarly provocative inscriptions elsewhere.
You havent included the last line:
Thomas Bilbie cast mee 1733
The Bilbie family excelled in making jibes at other founders and
bellhangers, which seems to have started with Edward Bilbie getting back at
Thomas Wroth when he took a bell of his for extra metal. William Cockey
could fight back though. The old set of clock bells at Warminster St
Lawrence (recast by Rudhall in ?1764 )are said to have had the inscription
God made Cockey and Cockey made mee 1723 a statement which cannot be
denied. Lukis noted that the tenor at Calne had a similar inscription:
'God made Wells and Wells made me 1823'.
Theres another couplet, but I forget where its from:
'Bilbie and Boosh [Bush] can come and see
What Evans and Nott have done by me'
The competition between Bilbie, Cockey and Rudhall was fierce, and it's
interesting to map out the distribution of their bells. William Cockey
retired in 1751 and the Wells of Aldbourne then competed with Bilbie and
Alas no Wiltshire bells bear any such inscriptions from Bilbie and Cockey
(so frowned upon by 19th century clerics) The best is the treble at Great
Somerford which Walters says was cast by Wiseman in 1634:
I am little, yet I am loud
A little shrew is always proud,
Do other parts of the country have such inscriptions?
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