[r-t] Triples and below (was 'Rules', and before that 'A date to pencil into your calendar')

Mark Davies mark at snowtiger.net
Sun Sep 13 13:18:36 UTC 2015

Frederick writes,

> My understanding is that there are old historical precedents for peals of
> 720, or of pretty much any number. The word 'peal' only became a technical
> term after years and years in which people used it more freely.

That's not quite right. As far as I understand it, in the 17th Century 
the term 'peal' was used to describe what we'd now call an extent. So a 
peal of Grandsire Doubles meant a 120, no more, no less.

The use of 'peal' in its modern form only arose when Major and 
higher-numbers ringing started to become popular, later in the 18th 
Century. It was impractical to ring extents, so a length of somewhere 
over 5000 changes was gradually adopted as the standard for a 
peal-length on numbers greater than seven. It's instructive to note that 
of the first peals of Plain Bob, Grandsire and Stedman on Major or 
higher, none were shorter than 5040 changes (although a 5000 of Oxford 
TB was rung in 1741).

The old use of peal to denote extents on five and six persisted for a 
while longer, likely only dying out in the early 20th Century in some 
rural areas.

I like this history, built as it is from the sweat and toil of 
pioneering bands in centuries past, and I like the conventions that it 
has left us with.


More information about the ringing-theory mailing list