[r-t] Bobs only peal of Plain Bob Triples

Simon Humphrey sh53246 at gmail.com
Sun Jun 17 18:04:14 UTC 2012

> I wrote:
> > Didn't Annable produce a bobs-only composition in the 18th century?
> > In fact, wasn't bobs-only PB7 the first peal ever rung?

I was confusing Annable with Holt:  Annable's composition used 2 singles.

> I assume you're referring to the 1715 peal at Mancroft, rather than the
> possible 1690 peal at Seps.  I'd be interested to see the 1715
> composition, if anyone has it.
> I know that some of John Garthon's compositions have survived, but I've
> not seen that specific one.

I was hoping someone might have known something about the composition used,
but evidently not.
In the absence of any information, here's a guess as to what it might have

The 1715 peal was of "Grandsire Bob Triples".  In the 17th century Grandsire
Bob was the name of a specific calling for a 360 of what we now call Plain
Bob Minor, composed by Robert Roan, which could be doubled to a true 720 by
ringing two singles 360 changes apart. 1256 singles were just as acceptable
as the 1234 we use today.
According to Tintinnalogia Grandsire Bob was rung by a set of rules, as

Three bells were assigned the duties of Whole Hunt, Half Hunt, and Quarter
Hunt respectively.  In the 17th century it did not matter which bells these
were, indeed it seems the ringers then obtained variety and interest from
ringing by deliberately choosing different combinations and permutations of
bells for the three roles.
The Whole Hunt simply plain hunted throughout: nowadays we universally have
the treble do this.
The Half Hunt just rang plain courses, thus coming home every course end,
and is what we now call the observation bell.
The Quarter Hunt (sub-observation bell) was affected by bobs but came home
every two courses, and also indicated when bobs were to be rung.
Tintinnalogia says

"there is a Rule to observed, whereby the person that does Ring the quarter
hunt, may give notice of the bobs before they come to be made, without which
it were impossible to Ring it; the Rule is this:
In the dodge which is made between the four hindmost bells every time the
whole hunt leads, if the half hunt and quarter hunt do dodge in fifth and
tenors place then the next time the whole hunt leads there's a single bob
[i.e. one bob, not a single]; if they dodge in fourths and thirds places,
then there's a double bob, that is two bob-changes, one of which is made the
next time the whole hunt leads after the dodge, and the other is made the
next time the whole hunt leads after the former is made; He that does Ring
the quarter hunt, may give notice of every bob-change, by saying (Bob) when
the whole hunt is going to lead" 

If any extent of Plain Bob Minor is written out using bells 2-7 rather than
1-6, and prefixed by the treble, these 720 rows form the lead-ends and
lead-heads of a true extent of Plain Bob Triples.  (The calls would be
pretty bizarre by modern standards, though.)  
The theory is, because the Norwich ringers named the method they rang in the
1715 peal "Grandsire Bob Triples", Garthon must have done exactly this with
the extent of Grandsire Bob on six bells to come up with a true 5040 of
Plain Bob Triples.  Which seems plausible, though I haven't seen any
explicit evidence to support it.  But to know what Garthon actually called
we would have to know exactly which bells he assigned to the various roles,
and it hardly seems likely this will ever be discovered.

However, it's possible to make a guess.  To start with, I imagine the
treble, which Garthon rang, would be the Whole Hunt, just hunting
What would be the Whole, Half, and Quarter Hunts on 6 bells would become the
Half, Quarter, and Eighth Hunts respectively on 7.
Suppose Garthon had the 2 as Half Hunt, the 3 as Quarter Hunt, and 4 as
Eighth Hunt.  From the treble it would then be easier to see the 2 coming
home every course end, the 3 every 5th course end, and the 4 every 10th
course end, than it would be if bells further round the circle were used. 

With Grandsire Bob on 6 the singles used to double the 360 to 720 could be
made in 1234 or 1256.  Quoting from Tintinnalogia again, "the first single
change in any Peal is commonly made as near the end of Eighteen-score
changes (from the beginning) as may be, and 'tis the best way and most

So for the Grandsire Bob Triples, calling a single right at the end of the
half peal and again at the end of the peal would be a relatively familiar
thing to do, and if it were made in 12367 (the equivalent of 1256 in
Grandsire Bob on 6) the roles of the Half, Quarter and Eighth Hunt bells
would not be disrupted.

With this arrangement the peal composition would be

5040 Grandsire Bob Triples
R. Roan, arr. J. Garthon

E,B,B,E,E 237654
E,B,E,E,E 234675

6-part. Call S for last E half way and end
E = 123
B = 125
S = 12367
All calls made when 2 is Before.

The peal could be rung by a simple set of rules analogous to those used for
Grandsire Bob on 6:

Whenever the Half Hunt lies in seconds place, there is an extream.
When the extream causes the Eighth Hunt to lie in thirds place, there is a
double bob when the Whole Hunt next leads.
When the Half Hunt dodges on its way to lead in thirds and fourths with the
Eighth Hunt, there is a single bob when the Whole Hunt next leads.
A single change is made in fourths and fifths place at the end of each half


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