[Bell Historians] Request for info: women in bellfounding

Peter Rivet peter at plrivet.plus.com
Sun Apr 4 22:36:02 BST 2021

I have found what appears to be another example of a woman carrying on her husband’s bellfounding business, this time in Scotland.  Isobel Meikle is recorded as casting the bell for Burntisland parish church, Fife in 1708 (see the Wikipedia entry).  This will be of interest to the Michigan project as John Meikle, her husband cast the first carillon in the British Isles, for Edinburgh St Giles in 1698.


The church at Burntisland was built in 1592 (though the tower in its present form is later).  It is of special interest as the first major post Reformation church in Scotland.  It has an unusual square plan designed to suit the needs of the reformed religion.  Also the General Assembly of the Church of Scotland met there in 1601 and put forward a proposal to King James VI that there should be a new translation of the Bible.  After he became King James I of England, this led to the Authorised Version we now know.


Peter Rivet


From: Scott Allan Orr 

Sent: Saturday, April 3, 2021 11:05 AM

To: Bell Historians Mailing List 

Subject: [Bell Historians] Request for info: women in bellfounding


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,




+44(0)7541 486816


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