Latin Inscription

Philip Denton philip_denton at
Sun May 8 13:19:38 BST 2011

I would be interested to discover the earliest known uses of the Latin inscription 
(which translates approximately as "Untouched I am silent, when struck I sweetly sing.")
It appears on the tenor at Hornchurch (my home tower), which is by William Mears 1779. I am aware of it appearing on bells by various other C18 founders, but I'm not sure whether it first came into use at that time, or was reused by these founders from older bells which had been recast. Was it used on pre-Reformation bells? I have had a quick look through the relevant parts of various county surveys, but haven't spotted it as a medieval inscription.
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