[Bell Historians] John Harrison

Richard Smith richard at _8Nan9GeJDeX5GO8MLyyH6MFQDcJ-t8dG5_IQWqPBpd81lCkwt-RoA2uAjEDdMHBOCSMIPFaXfGUMAEL.yahoo.invalid
Thu Oct 15 10:50:04 BST 2009

Charles Lucy wrote:

> Maybe this second edition will have the information that I 
> have been hoping for the past twenty years would 
> eventually emerge.

I don't know what information you are expecting to emerge. 
If you are hoping to find a bell cast by the John Harrison 
of chronometer fame, you'll almost certainly be 

>From a search of the pNBR and of George Dawson's 
spreadsheets, no bells by this John Harrison seem to exist.

The tenor of three at S. Mary, Kirkburn, E Riding was cast 
in 1781 by a John Harrison, listed as John II Harrison in 
the pNBR; likewise the sixth of eight at S. Andrew, Kirk 
Ella, E Riding, although since recast, is inscribed "John 
Harrison Founder Barrow 1781". Evidently this is not the 
John Harrison of chronometer fame as he had been dead for 
five years in 1781.

I would guess that this John is the great nephew of the 
inventor of the chronometer, born in 1754, and seemingly the 
(much) younger brother of two of the other Harrison founders 
of Barrow-upon-Humber: Henry II and James I.  However, no 
doubt John Ketteringham's book will elucidate further on 
this point.

If you think that some of the Harrisons' bells might have 
been influenced by John Harrison's ideas on tuning, I 
suggest you try to locate some of Henry II's earliest 
surviving bells that haven't subsequently been retuned.  I 
would suggest the second of three at S. Mary, South Kelsey, 
Lincs (1768) would be a good candidate.

But even supposing the Harrison family had been trying to 
use John Harrison's ideas on tuning (and even supposing you 
have correctly interpreted Harrison's ideas on tuning which 
you yourself note are written in very "obscure style"), what 
makes you believe that the Barrow-upon-Humber founders were 
capable of casting and tuning a bell precisely enough to 
capture differences in temperament of ten or so cents?



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