The oldest bells in North America are at The Old North Church in Boston. The eight change ringing bells were cast by Abell Rudhall in Gloucester, England in 1744. They were hung in 1745. In the ringing room today hangs a copy of a 1750 charter in which the guild agreed upon a democratic organization of the tower. Paul Revere is the second signature on that contract. Perhaps this is why he had a key to the tower on that fateful night…..
The bells were restored in 1894, and then were mostly idle. They were restored (again) in 1975 with the help of Bro. Geoffrey Davies, of Simon W. Robinson Lodge in Lexington, for the Boston Bicentennial celebration. They have been run regularly ever since.
The Eight Bells of Old North
Click on the links to hear the bells!
Bell 1 (Treble) F 5 cwt 2 qrs 4 lbs
Abel Rudhall, of Glocester, cast us all, Anno 1744.
Bell 2 E 5 cwt 2 qrs 6 lbs
Since generosity has opened our mouths, our tongues shall ring aloud its praise. 1744.
Bell 3 D 6 cwt 1 qrs 3 lbs
The subscription for these bells was begun by John Hannmock and Robert Temple, Church Wardens, Anno 1743; completed by Robert Jenkins and John Gould, church Wardens, Anno 1744.
Bell 4 C 7 cwt 1 qrs 3 lbs
William Shirley, Esq., Governor of the Massachusetts Bay, in New England. Anno 1744.
Bell 5 B flat 7 cwt 1 qrs 21 lbs
God preserve the Church of England. 1744.
Bell 6 A 8 cwt 1 qrs 24 lbs
We are the first ring of bells cast for the British Empire in North America. A.R. 1744.
Bell 7 G 10 cwt 2 qrs 24 lbs
This Church was founded in the year 1723. Timothy Cutler, DD, the first Rector, A.R. 1744.
Bell 8 (Tenor) F 13 cwt 3 qrs 5 lbs
This peal of eight bells is the gift of a number of generous persons to Christ Church, in Boston, N.E. Anno 1744. A.R.
Note: One hundredweight (cwt) is 112 lbs. One quarter (qr) is 28 lbs. These are the time-honored measues of the weights of change ringing bells.