[Bell Historians] Early handbell ringing

Edward W Martin edwardwmartin at xyjb19YfBy7fCNCdJwAhY7nJBe_RJiKdgTjmEplEtzVO-BJrT0j-uIIP-lYEchh0qRH6v-ipWCW1Hz_IMhkvVR8G.yahoo.invalid
Thu Mar 12 10:44:48 GMT 2009

--- In bellhistorians at yahoogroups.com, Richard Smith <richard at ...> wrote:
> Eddie Martin quoted:
> > "Triples & College Double,
> > Oxford and Court gave us no trouble;
> > And add to these Cambridge Surprise."
> Well, "Triples & Doubles" was a term used for Minor at 
> around that time.  See for example, pg 109 of Tintinnalogia 
> (1668).  It's possible that "Triples & College Double" 
> refers to a single method on six bells.  It's true that the 
> terminology is no longer in use by the time of Monk's 
> Campanalogia Improved (1766), but this is later than the 
> time we're talking about.

I'm afraid I can't agree. If it existed as a  6-bell method, I believe it would have been known as `College Triples & Doubles' but I see no such title in reference to changes on 6 bells in any of the early books. I would think that by 1732, the Tintinnalogia had no influence at all. Terminology had certainly changed over the 60 years or so, and was already quite modern in that specific methods were given specific titles.
In Tintinnalogia  `Trebles & Doubles' referred not to a particular method per se, but to the old style calling of what eventually became Plain Bob Minor.  By 1677, in Stedman's book (page109) it is already given the title "Old Triples & Doubles" and by 1702, in the first (and subsequent) edition of Campanalogia Improved. It isn't mentioned at all. However, among 6-bell methods there is (on page58) "Oxford Single Bob", p.61 :"College Double Bob"p.63: "Oxford Double Bob", & p. 64 has "Court Bob" .
Cambridge Surprise is not in Campanlogia improved. I believe it first appears in Annable's notebook (he was a contemporary of William Laughton).

> Eddie Martin again:
> > Presumably there were six men ringing 6 bells, but the 
> > mention of Triples being rung suggests that either there 
> > were more than 6 men present or possibly a plain course of 
> > Grandsire was rung perhaps with one man on 1-2 and another 
> > on 7-8 with the remaining 4 being rung singly, however I 
> > don't think that this was set down in his notes in any 
> > such detail.
> Do we have any actual evidence that people only (typically) 
> rang one handbell each in the 18th century?  Or are we 
> simply assuming that because there is no evidence of ringing 
> two bells each it didn't happen?  I agree that it's logical 
> to assume only one bell in the absense of evidence to 
> contrary.

Yes, I do assume only one man per bell in early days. At the moment I can't find earliest references for ringing, two – in- hand.

Eddie Martin


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