[Bell Historians] Researching a bell ringer

ronald.east@btinternet.com [bellhistorians] bellhistorians at yahoogroups.com
Thu Jun 25 09:41:28 BST 2015

This request for information about a bell ringer came from an internet forum. I would be most grateful if the Bell Historians might be able to help this person who has been searching for the origins of her ancestor for a number of years. She discovered he was a bell ringer who rang at Great Baddow in Essex, where he settled. Clutching at straws she is looking for any snippet of information which might pin him down to any date and place during his lifetime; hint at a place of birth; or prove/disprove that he really was in the Army.
 The name ‘James Rowland’ is quite common throughout the UK but she is sure the bell ringer at Great Baddow is him. He also had a son and grandson who rang. He must have been reasonably accomplished to have rung the tenor to the peals we have found. She wonders where he might have learned to ring.

 James Rowland (c 1765 – 1846)
 Reported (son’s written record) to have been in the Army and fought in the Napoleonic Wars being injured in the hip at the Battle of Salamanca in 1812. 
 Reportedly enlisted in the Army at Newtown, Montgomeryshire in 1787
 Was a tailor by trade.
 Place of birth unknown. Date of birth c 1763 to 1771 (conflicting information)
 Married at Bishops Stortford, Hertfordshire 1795
 First child baptised at Stamford, Lincolnshire 1797
 Subsequent children baptised at Great Baddow, Essex between 1803 and 1827
 First wife died Great Baddow 1813 and he re-married in Great Baddow 1815
 1841 census. In Great Baddow, aged ‘70’, not born in Essex.
 James Rowland died in Great Baddow 17 Jul 1846, aged ‘83’
 Known peals in which James Rowland rang.
 14 Dec 1815; Writtle; 6000 Bob Major; rang tenor
 20 Mar 1817; Writtle; 5040 Bob Major; rang tenor
 7 Mar 1819; Great Baddow; 10,080 Bob Major; rang tenor. “The Quarter Peal”
 31 May 1819; Writtle; 5040 Bob Major; rang tenor


 Ron East
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