Library Online Publications


The Library makes available below, in chronological order, various publications of interest to ringing historians and collectors of ringing books. Copyright of the images is held by the CCCBR but they may be downloaded for personal use.

Clicking on a reference will open the document in a new browser window or tab.

The Libary Steward would welcome comments on what is available and possible future developments.
The indexes to Campanology and The Bellringer now have a point-and-click facility, thanks to Tony Smith.

John Carr (1799-1873) learned to ring at Waltham Abbey in Essex. He made something of a reputation for himself in London and the eastern counties by performing handbell touches of Oxford Treble Bob and Grandsire Triples four-in-hand, with his brother, William, ringing the other four bells. Though John spent most of his life in Waltham Abbey, he moved to Cambridge in 1843 and lived and rang there for just over four years. During that time he wrote and published a short pamphlet that described both the ringing expeditions he made around East Anglia and notable events from his earlier life. In addition to his bellringing interests, Carr was an enthusiastic and competent cricketer and some of these successes are also described in A Narrative of Various Peals in Change Ringing and Interesting Cricket Matches.

This transcription is the work of Liam Sims, Rare Books Specialist, Cambridge University Library from the unique copy in Cambridge University Library, shelfmark 1871.7.1093[4]. Liam unearthed the pamphlet at the request of John Eisel, who has formatted this version of the transcription to closely match the layout of the original. A bound copy of the transcription is also held in the CCCBR library.

A Narrative of Various Peals in Change Ringing, and Interesting Cricket Matches

Church Bells was a weekly paper for church folk, published towards the end of Victoria’s reign. The first edition appeared on New Year’s Eve, 1870 and it came out regularly until August 25th 1906. The paper began with Reverend John Erskine Clarke (1827 – 1920) as proprietor and editor.

From the very beginning the contents included a column on bells and bell-ringing under the direction of Revd H T Ellacombe. This proved successful and the column was extended to a full page and included contributions by many of the leading ringers of the time. Only one issue out of 1861 did not contain the news of bells and bell-ringing. The section remained under the nominal control of Ellacombe until his death in 1885, but Ellacombe’s remoteness from the main centres of change-ringing led Erskine Clarke, in about 1878, to invite Harvey Reeves to look after it. When Reeves moved on to start The Bell News and Ringers’ Record in February 1881, he was succeeded by James Robert Haworth, who continued to edit the page until about 1895.

In 2014 the John Taylor Bellfoundry Museum (and the Board of Bell Foundry Collections Ltd) kindly lent their almost complete set of Church Bells to the CCCBR Library to allow all the material relating to bells and bell-ringing to be scanned and made available online. Making it possible for the scans to be made while the volumes were disbound greatly assisted the undertaking of the project and helped to ensure the best possible quality of the images.

The assistance of The Bodleian Libraries, The University of Oxford, is acknowledged for the provision of scans of the following pages: Shelfmark: N.1126 c.13.
Vol.22, Issue No.1093 (4th December 1891) pp.16,18; Issue No.1094 (11th December 1891) pp.37,38,40; Issue No.1095 (18th December 1891) p.62; Issue No.1096 (24th December 1891) pp.80,82.
Vol.24, Issue No.1201 (29th December 1893) pp.80,81; Issue No.1224 (8th June 1894) p.518; Issue No.1239 (21st September 1894) p.824.
Vol.25, Issue No.1260 (15th February 1895) pp.225,226.
Vol.30, Issue No.1514 (29th December 1899) pp.122,124.
Vol.31, Issue No.1566 (28th December 1900) pp.99,100.
Vol.35, Issue No.1788 (31st March 1905), p.376.

‘Bells and Bell Ringing’ columns
Vol 1. 31/12/1870 – 25/11/1871
Vol 2. 02/12/1871 – 23/11/1872
Vol 3. 30/11/1872 – 29/11/1873
Vol 4. 06/12/1873 – 28/11/1874
Vol 5. 05/12/1874 – 27/11/1875
Vol 6. 04/12/1875 – 25/11/1876
Vol 7. 02/12/1876 – 01/12/1877
Vol 8. 08/12/1877 – 30/11/1878
Vol 9. 07/12/1878 – 29/11/1879
Vol 10. 06/12/1879 – 27/11/1880
Vol 11. 04/12/1880 – 26/11/1881
Vol 12. 03/12/1881 – 02/12/1882
Vol 13. 09/12/1882 – 01/12/1883
Vol 14. 08/12/1883 – 29/11/1884
Vol 15. 05/12/1884 – 27/11/1885
Vol 16. 04/12/1885 – 26/11/1886
Vol 17. 03/12/1886 – 25/11/1887
Vol 18. 02/12/1887 – 30/11/1888
Vol 19. 07/12/1888 – 29/11/1889
Vol 20. 06/12/1889 – 28/11/1890
Vol 21. 05/12/1890 – 27/11/1891
Vol 22. 04/12/1891 – 25/11/1892
Vol 23. 02/12/1892 – 01/12/1893
Vol 24. 08/12/1893 – 30/11/1894
Vol 25. 07/12/1894 – 30/08/1895
Vol 26. 06/09/1895 – 27/11/1896
Vol 27. 04/12/1896 – 26/11/1897
Vol 28. 03/12/1897 – 25/11/1898
Vol 29. 02/12/1898 – 24/11/1899
Vol 30. 01/12/1899 – 30/11/1900
Vol 31. 07/12/1900 – 29/11/1901
Vol 32. 06/12/1901 – 28/11/1902
Vol 33. 05/12/1902 – 27/11/1903
Vol 34. 04/12/1903 – 25/11/1904
Vol 35. 02/12/1904 – 01/12/1905
Vol 36. 08/12/1905 – 25/08/1906
Other bell and ringing related sections (use bookmarks within documents for navigation)
Book Reviews
Famous Ringers, Biographies and Obituaries
Notes, Queries and Correspondence

Bell News was the first journal solely devoted to ringing. It appeared monthly from February 1881 until April 1882 and then weekly until 25 December 1915. All issues can be accessed below.

Note that when using the index, which uses ‘Year/Page No’ references, some references can occur in two volumes. For example ’83/317′ to ’83/420′ occur in both Volume 1 and Volume 2.

Volume 1 (First Series)pp 1-120 (Feb 1881 – Apr 1882)
Volume 1 (New Series)pp 1-316 (8Apr1882-30Dec1882)pp 317-420 (9Jan1883-31Mar1883)
Volume 2pp 1-468 (7Apr1883-29Dec1883)pp 469-624 (5Jan1884-29Mar1884)
Volume 3pp 1-468 (5Apr1884-27Dec1884)pp 469-632 (3Jan1885-28Mar1885)
Volume 4pp 1-312 (4Apr1885-26Dec1885)pp 313-420 (2Jan1886-27Mar1886)
Volume 5pp 1-320 (3Apr1886-25Dec1886)pp 321-424 (1Jan1887-19Mar1887)
Volume 6pp 1-492 (26Mar1887-31Dec1887)pp 493-620 (7Jan1888-17Mar1888)
Volume 7pp 1-504 (24Mar1888-29Dec1888)pp 505-660 (5Jan1889-30Mar1889)
Volume 8pp 1-404 (6Apr1889-28Dec1889)pp 405-608 (4Jan1890-22Mar1890)
Volume 9pp 1-484 (29Mar1890-27Dec1890)pp 485-628 (3Jan1891-21Mar1891)
Volume 10pp 1-480 (28Mar1891-26Dec1891)pp 481-636 (2Jan1892-26Mar1892)
Volume 11pp 1-484 (2Apr1892-31Dec1892)pp 485-700 (7Jan1893-6May1893)
Volume 12pp 1-408 (13May1893-30Dec1893)pp 409-648 (6Jan1894-19May1894)
Volume 13pp 1-384 (26May1894-29Dec1894)pp 385-644 (5Jan1895-25May1895)
Volume 14pp 1-372 (1Jun1895-28Dec1895)pp 373-596 (4Jan1896-2May1896)
Volume 15pp 1-472 (9May1896-26Dec1896)pp 473-700 (2Jan1897-24Apr1897)
Volume 16pp 1-428 (1May1897-25Dec1897)pp 429-708 (1Jan1898-4Jun1898)
Volume 17pp 1-360 (11Jun1898-31Dec1898)pp 361-600 (7Jan1899-20May1899)
Volume 18pp 1-384 (27May1899-30Dec1899)pp 385-588 (6Jan1900-28Apr1900)
Volume 19pp 1-420 (5May1900-29Dec1900)pp 421-624 (5Jan1901-27Apr1901)
Volume 20pp 1-420 (4May1901-28Dec1901)pp 421-588 (4Jan1902-5Apr1902)
Volume 21pp 1-456 (12Apr1902-27Dec1902)pp 457-600 (3Jan1903-21Mar1903)
Volume 22pp 1-480 (28Mar1903-26Dec1903)pp 481-600 (2Jan1904-5Mar1904)
Volume 23pp 1-516 (12Mar1904-31Dec1904)pp 517-624 (7Jan1905-4Mar1905)
Volume 24pp 1-516 (11Mar1905-30Dec1905)pp 517-672 (6Jan1906-31Mar1906)
Volume 25pp 1-468 (7Apr1906-29Dec1906)pp 469-600 (5Jan1907-16Mar1907)
Volume 26pp 1-492 (23Mar1907-28Dec1907)pp 493-600 (4Jan1908-29Feb1908)
Volume 27pp 1-516 (7Mar1908-26Dec1908)pp 517-600 (2Jan1909-13Feb1909)
Volume 28pp 1-540 (20Feb1909-25Dec1909)pp 541-600 (1Jan1910-29Jan1910)
Volume 29pp 1-576 (5Feb1910-31Dec1910)pp 577-696 (7Jan1911-11Mar1911)
Volume 30pp 1-504 (18Mar1911-30Dec1911)pp 505-624 (6Jan1912-9Mar1912)
Volume 31pp 1-556 (16Mar1912-28Dec1912)pp 557-664 (4Jan1913-1Mar1913)
Volume 32pp 1-516 (8Mar1913-27Dec1913)pp 517-624 (3Jan1914-28Feb1914)
Volume 33pp 1-444 (7Mar1914-26Dec1914)pp 445-716 (2Jan1915-28Aug1915)
Volume 34pp 1-136 (4Sep1915-25Dec1915)

Bell News is also available on DVD on application.

The first paper solely devoted to ringing was The Bell News and Ringer’s Record (usually called Bell News), which appeared between February 1881 and 25 December 1915. This had two short-lived rivals, the first of which was entitled Campanology. The proprietor and editor was William Bedwell and the office was at 221 High Street, Lewisham. Essentially the same as Bell News, it was laid out more as a magazine. In the introductory remarks in the first issue of 16 September 1896 it was stated that “…the necessity of a bright and cheerful journal … has for years past been plainly manifest”. In the pages of Bell News there was no mention of its competitor, but it is evident that this new venture affected its circulation, for a new advertising flyer for Bell News was issued. This is undated, but from internal evidence it dates from February 1897 or soon after, and presumably was issued before the demise of Campanology, the 26th and last issue of which appeared on 10 March 1897. It had paid the penalty of being too similar to Bell News. (John Eisel, September 2000)

The Library is grateful for the permission to use the comprehensive index compiled by the late Cyril Wratten which lists, amongst other subjects, every ringer who rang a peal and every tower mentioned in ringing performances in the journal.

No 1. 16/09/1896, pp 1-12
No 2. 23/09/1896, pp 13-24
No 3. 30/09/1896, pp 25-36
No 4. 07/10/1896, pp 37-48
No 5. 14/10/1896, pp 49-60
No 6. 21/10/1896, pp 61-72
No 7. 28/10/1896, pp 73-84
No 8. 04/11/1896, pp 85-96
No 9. 11/11/1896, pp 97-108
No 10. 18/11/1896, pp 109-120
No 11. 25/11/1896, pp 121-132
No 12. 02/12/1896, pp 133-144
No 13. 09/12/1896, pp 145-156
No 14. 16/12/1896, pp 157-168
No 15. 23/12/1896, pp 169-180
No 16. 30/12/1896, pp 181-192
No 17. 06/01/1897, pp 193-204
No 18. 13/01/1897, pp 205-216
No 19. 20/01/1897, pp 217-228
No 20. 27/01/1897, pp 229-240
No 21. 03/02/1897, pp 241-252
No 22. 10/02/1897, pp 253-264
No 23. 17/02/1897, pp 265-276
No 24. 24/02/1897, pp 277-288
No 25. 03/03/1897, pp 289-300
No 26. 10/03/1897, pp 301-312

The threat of a rival journal changed nothing in the format and content of Bell News, and another attempt was made to start an alternative ringers’ paper ten years after Campanology. A circular was sent out late in 1906 and the first issue of The Bellringer appeared on 5 January 1907, costing 1d (½p). The editor was William C Hunt, and a major contributor was William Willson of Leicester, who wrote under the pen-name ‘Jingle’ and who had previously contributed a regular column to Bell News under the same pen name. The opening editorial, without actually naming Bell News, stated that a paper should be published on time, inferring that Bell News was regularly published late, thus appearing after meetings, notices of which had appeared in its pages. It also said that it stood for progress, and lamented the demise of Campanology from lack of support, through a mistaken sense of sympathy to the old. However, despite its brighter approach The Bellringer evidently also suffered from lack of support. Five weekly issues appeared, and then it was admitted that the money that had been set aside to start the paper was rapidly vanishing. As a result the paper became monthly from 1 March at a cost of 3½d (1½p). The ninth and last issue was dated 1 June 1907 and on the front was an apology for its late appearance. It was announced that it would recommence as a weekly paper on 29 June at a cost of 2d, but no more issues appeared and thus it went the way of Campanology. (John Eisel, September 2000)

As with Campanology, the Library is grateful for the permission to use the index compiled by the late Cyril Wratten.

No 1. 05/01/1907, pp 1-20
No 2. 12/01/1907, pp 21-40
No 3. 19/01/1907, pp 41-60
No 4. 26/02/1907, pp 61-80
No 5. 02/02/1907, pp 81-100
No 6. 01/03/1907, pp 101-144
No 7. 01/04/1907, pp 145-180
No 8. 01/05/1907, pp 181-216
No 9. 01/06/1907, pp 215-246

J A Trollope‘s unpublished history of ringing in London in the 17th and 18th centuries. Written between 1933 and 1939, the 7000 handwritten pages also contain sections on the development of bell fittings, early change ringing, composition, ringing in the provinces and published works on bells and ringing. There are many fine line drawings by the author.

These are large pdf files and, without fast broadband, might be slow to download. However, once download they can be used for personal use. Being a manuscript it is not text searchable, but the contents and index pages within the document and the comprehensive bookmarking (thanks to Alan Glover) are useful.

  • Volume 1
    Chapter 1: The General Condition of the Exercise in the Seventeenth Century
  • Volume 2
    Chapter 2: Ringers and Ringing in the Seventeenth Century before the time of Fabian Stedman
    Chapter 3: Fabian Stedman and his Contemporaries
  • Volume 3
    Chapter 5: The J D and C M Campanalogia
    Chapter 6: Chronology of the Seventeenth Century
    Chapter 7: Ringing Societies in the 17th and 18th Centuries
  • Volume 4
    Chapter 8: London Bells and Bell towers
  • Volume 5
    Chapter 8 (continued): London Bells and Bell towers
  • Volume 6
    Chapter 8 (continued): London Bells and Bell towers
  • Volume 7
    Chapter 9: The Turn of the Centuries
    Chapter 10: Benjamin Annable and his Times
  • Volume 8
    Appendix to Chapter 10
  • Volume 9
    Chapter 11: Composition in the first half of the Eighteenth Century
    Chapter 12: The College Youths and the Cumberlands 1747 – 1788
  • Volume 10
  • Chapter 13: Clavis Campanalogia
    Chapter 14: Composition in the second half of the Eighteenth Century
    Chapter 15: The Close of the Eighteenth Century
  • Bibliographia Campanarum
    Early Printed Books on Change Ringing
  • Appendix
    An Appendix to London Ringers and Ringing
  • Change Ringing in the Provinces

This 412 page manuscript was produced by J A Trollope in 1922 with an introduction by Rev E S Powell. In his Bibliographia Campanarum (1935) he describes the work as ‘an explanation of the abstract cyclical movement which is the fundamental principle on which change-ringing is based’.

The Science of Change Ringing

Essays on bibliographical subjects are issued to the Friends annually, together with a newsletter. The essays listed below, all by Dr John Eisel unless otherwise stated, can be viewed online.

  1. History of the Central Council LibraryMarch 1995
  2. IndexesMarch 1995
    Discusses the various indexes available in the Central Council Library
  3. Hubbard’s Elements of CampanalogiaFebruary 1996
    Identifies all the different editions and variants
  4. Troyte’s Change RingingFebruary 1997
    Brings together information on various editions
    Troyte’s Change Ringing – An UpdateJanuary 1998
    Identifies more variants of the various editions
  5. Ringing PeriodicalsFebruary 1998
    A brief history, including samples of title pages
  6. Snowdon’s RopesightFebruary 1999
    The background and editions of this important text
  7. Reprints of early ringing booksFebruary 2000
    List and discusses all early texts from Tintinnalogia to Shipway’s Campanalogia and their reprints
  8. The Revd H T Ellacombe and his Campanological WorksFebruary 2001
    Discusses when and where his work was published, and the different editions
  9. Ramblings of a CollectorFebruary 2002
    Shares the experience of 40 years of book collecting
  10. Snowdon’s Standard Methods in the Art of Change RingingFebruary 2003
    Discusses the many editions of both the Letterpress and Diagrams
  11. Publications of the College of Campanology (William Butler) February 2005
    Publications of an unusual venture in teaching change ringing
  12. An Exercise in Printing – Beginners’ Grandsire and Beginners’ Plain BobFebruary 2005
    Gives the history of Alex Waddington’s little books, republished by the Central Council
  13. Andrew James Corrigan and his publications on Surprise methodsFebruary 2006
    Discusses the history of Corrigan’s ground-breaking publications
  14. Large Paper Copies of Standard County WorksFebruary 2007
    Discusses the limited numbers of large-paper copies printed, and their significance
  15. Collectors of Ringing BooksFebruary 2008
    Identifies and discusses a number of prominent collectors of ringing books
  16. Change Ringers’ GuidesFebruary 2009
    Over the years many list of rings of bells have been compiled in order to help visiting ringers. This essay traces the history of such lists
  17. Snowdon’s other PublicationsFebruary 2010
    This forms a supplement to Essays Nos 6 and 10, and completes a study of all Snowdon’s works
  18. Publications of the Central Council prior to the First World WarFebruary 2011
    From its inception the Central Council has produced a succession of important texts on all aspects of bells and ringing, and this essay discusses the earliest of these
  19. Two Nineteenth Century Text Books: Thackrah and SottanstallFebruary 2012
    Explores the background to these two very different texts
  20. The Gothic TravellerFebruary 2013
    For the first time the career of John Alfred Parnell is considered in detail, together with his writings, and his inaccurate contributions to the history of change ringing.
  21. Canon Woolmore Wigram, M.A., Belfry Reform and Change-Ringing Disentangled (John Eisel) February 2014
    Discusses the part this nineteenth century clergyman played in the Belfry Reform movement and in ringing in Cambridge and Hertfordshire.
  22. “The Rambling Ringers Club, Nov 29 1733” (William Willans) February 2015
    A look into the activities of the club, it’s founder, William Laughton, and the comments of later historians.