Bells ascribed hitherto to John Walgrave

Dickon Love dickon at
Sun Dec 11 22:36:29 GMT 2011

Dear Bell Historians,

I received a note from Dovemaster, John Baldwin, last month that I think
will be of wider interested to the bell historian community.  It concerns
some research made by David Sloman casting doubt on bells normally ascribed
to John Walgrave.  The resolution in this correspondence was to rather
denote these bells as "Balcombe Shield".  I wonder if anyone has any


-----Original Message-----

JB to DS

David - I cannot say whether 'it is accepted' or not: all that I can do is
record what people tell me from their position of knowledge.  What I CAN do
(and already have done) is to try to make sure there are enough comments and
warnings in the pNBR database for me to be alerted should anyone try to
indicate that a bell should henceforth be assigned to John Walgrave. .....
I'll now alert the contributors for the other 'Walgrave' ascriptions that
the date shown (early C15th) is now amended to late C15th and that they are
now being shown as Balcombe shield bells.


-----Original Message-----
DS to JB


Thank you for your email. I hope that it is now accepted that all these 
bells are Balcombe Shield.  It will certainly erase the anomaly that we have
at the moment, i.e all the bells recorded as Balcombe Shield and John 
Walgrave are undoubtedly by the same founder. I promise to field any 
complaints that arise from the changes made.

Best wishes,


----- Original Message ----- 

JB to DS

> David - I do not pretend to be a bell historian but merely am trying 
> to record and make available more readily via the pNBR what others 
> have documented, in this case the tower itself and Deedes & Walters, 
> the latter clearly stating (in my copy) the bell being the work of 
> John Walgrave.
> I take it that YOU are contending that the founder should now be 
> amended to
> London ('Balcombe shield') in this case, as should also the founder of 
> all other bells so shown within the pNBR, namely: 3/6 and 4/6 at 
> Ightham, Kent;
> 6/6 at Angersleigh, Som; 3/4 at Donhead St Andrew, Wilts; 4/4 at 
> Adisham, Kent and I will so amend them - but, if there is any comeback 
> from people who 'think they know better' I will not keep amending them 
> while other theories are put forward and/or knocked down, but rather 
> leave them simply as London ('Balcombe shield') UFN.  (Details of all 
> such changes are kept on
> file, as I am sure you are aware.)  I am fully aware that this 
> question of founder ascription is not an exact science but, in order 
> to make progress here, SOMEONE (in this case I sense YOU have made it 
> 'your issue' now that GPE is no longer with us to do so) has to 'take 
> ownership' of it, otherwise
> the concept of showing a founder for a bell of that age is effectively 
> meaningless.  I will make a database note to myself therefore to refer 
> any questioner to you.
> Hope that meets (even exceeds!) what you had intended in the sending 
> of your e-mail.
> So:
> ------------------
> 5: founder amended
> (and similarly for the other bells mentioned above)
> ------------------
> John
> -----Original Message-----

DS to JB

> John,
> Philip Denton mentioned to me today, the tenor bell at Margaretting, 
> being ascribed to John Walgrave. John Walgrave is mentioned in records 
> as being a
> servant of William Dawe and being active c1408. Bell historians 
> ascribed bells with the I.W shield to Walgrave. However George Elphick 
> disputes this
> on the basis of date and chronology of other founders in same line and
> a date for I.W shield bells as 1487-1500 and called these bells 
> Balcombe Shield Bells. Hence all bells ascribed to John Walgrave are 
> Balcombe Shield
> Bells. There is no evidence to suggest that John Walgrave as a servant 
> of William Dawe was a founder at all.
> Regards,
> David.


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