[Bell Historians] Request for info: women in bellfounding

Mike Chester mikechester at hotmail.com
Sat Apr 3 16:17:24 BST 2021

We should not forget Nora Johnston, Cyril’s sister, who was a noted carillon player at the time he was installing many of his carillons.


From: Bell-historians <bell-historians-bounces at lists.ringingworld.co.uk> on behalf of Richard Smith <richard at ex-parrot.com>
Sent: Saturday, April 3, 2021 4:14:33 PM
To: Bell Historians Mailing List <bell-historians at lists.ringingworld.co.uk>
Subject: Re: [Bell Historians] Request for info: women in bellfounding

Well outside your period, but there were women founders
right back in the late mediæval period.  Johanna Hill and
Johanna Sturdy were both Londer founders during Henry VI's
reign.  They were respectively the widows of founders
Richard Hill (d c1440) and John Sturdy (d c1458), and
continued to cast bells themselves after their husband's
death.  (They are sometimes assumed to be the same woman,
but Caroline Barron's account of them in in /Medieval London
Widows, 1300–1500/ seems to leave little doubt that they
were separate people.)

A scan through the list of founders of Dove may help you.


Who obvious examples

Scott Allan Orr wrote:

> Hello all,
> Prof Tiffany Ng (University of Michigan) and I are running a small project
> to document and promote early contributions of women to the carillon art
> (early being interpreted primarily as the first part of the 20th century,
> but also more broadly to include notable instances outside of this time
> frame). We welcome any information relevant to women who contributed to
> bellfounding and related activities, but especially with connections to
> firms or installations of carillons.
> For example, we are already familiar with contributions of Gwendoline Taylor
> in Loughborough (although this requires more archive work to fully
> understand), Sidonie and Marie Causard in France (early 20th century), and a
> successor to a branch of the Hemony foundry being taken on for a short time
> by a woman relative of one of the brothers.
> All my best,
> Scott
> +44(0)7541 486816
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