The Church Bells of the City of London

ST MICHAEL-UPON-CORNHILL

Photo DrL 5th March 2010

12 bells
Tenor: 32-1-6 in D flat
Frame: 1960 Mears & Stainbank, rebuilt to a new design 2011 John Taylor
Retuned: Never subsequently retuned
Grid Ref. TQ329811
Upstairs Ringing Room
Peals

DETAILS OF THE BELLS

Bell

Weight

Diameter

Note

Cast

Founder

Treble

5-3-1 2615/16" A flat 2011 John Taylor Bellfounders

2

6-0-11 27" G flat 2011 John Taylor Bellfounders

3

6-0-14 28?" F 2011 John Taylor Bellfounders

4

6-0-11 29?" E flat 2011 John Taylor Bellfounders
5 7-0-1 31?" D flat 2011 John Taylor Bellfounders
6 7-0-18 32?" C 2011 John Taylor Bellfounders
7 8-0-26 34?" B flat 2011 John Taylor Bellfounders
8 10-0-22 38⅛" A flat 2011 John Taylor Bellfounders
9 12-3-16 417/16" G flat 2011 John Taylor Bellfounders
10 16-1-19 45" F 2011 John Taylor Bellfounders
11 22-1-12 49⅜" E flat 2011 John Taylor Bellfounders
Tenor 32-1-6 5515/16" D flat 2011 John Taylor Bellfounders
Former 3rd 7-0-11 31?" D sharp 1728 Richard Phelps
Former 4th 8-2-0 33?" C sharp 1728 Richard Phelps
Former 7th 11-1-3 39?" G sharp 1728 Richard Phelps
1.
(vines)

20

11 (vines)

VENITE EXULTEMUS DOMINO

GIVEN BY
DAVID V STIPETIC
OF KINGSTON UPON HULL

2.
(vines)

20

11 (vines)

TE DEUM LAUDAMUS

GIVEN BY
SAMANTHA J HOVEY
OF THIS PARISH

3.
(vines)

20

11 (vines)

BENEDICITE OMNIA OPERA

GIVEN BY
CLAIRE AND IAN ROULSTONE
AND BY THELMA ROULSTONE
IN MEMORY OF HER BROTHER
SGT GEORGE PARKINSON
1ST DERBYSHIRE YEOMANRY
1916-1942

4.
(vines)

20

11 (vines)

DEUS MISEREATUR

GIVEN IN LOVING MEMORY OF
BERYL CAMPBELL 1920-2002 BY HER
SON AND DAUGHTER IAN AND JULIA
AND HUSBAND PETER CAMPBELL

5.
(vines)

20

11 (vines)

NUNC DIMITTIS

GIVEN BY
COLIN G AND PETER A WRIGHT
IN MEMORY OF THEIR
DEARLY BELOVED BROTHER
DAVID A WRIGHT AND
AUNT CONSTANCE A LEWIS

6.
(vines)

20

11 (vines)

EXULTATE IUSTI

GIVEN BY
ANTONY R KENCH
TOWER SECRETARY

7.
(vines)

20

11 (vines)

LAUDATE DOMINO

GIVEN BY
PAUL N MOUNSEY

8.
(vines)

20

11 (vines)

KYRIE ELEISON

GIVEN BY
OFFICERS AND PAST MASTERS
OF THE ANCIENT SOCIETY
OF COLLEGE YOUTHS

9.
(vines)

20

11 (vines)

SANCTUS SANCTUS SANCTUS

GIVEN BY
ANN AND JOHN I WHITE

10.
(vines)

20

11 (vines)

VENI CREATOR SPIRITUS

GIVEN BY
PHILIP AND GWEN ROGERS
IN MEMORY OF
GEORGE AND MAISIE ROGERS

11.
(vines)

20

11 (vines)

AGNUS DEI

GIVEN BY
THE ANCIENT SOCIETY OF
COLLEGE YOUTHS

PHILIP R GOODYER MASTER

12.
(vines)

20

11 (vines)

GLORIA IN EXCELSIS

DR PETER J MULLEN
RECTOR

GIVEN BY
MARTIN C FAULKES
PRINCIPAL BENEFACTOR

For inscriptions of the former 3rd, 4th and 7th, see below.

THE FORMER RING OF 12 BELLS

Bell

Weight

Diameter

Note

Cast

Founder

Treble

5-3-12 29" F sharp

1746

Thomas Lester

2

5-2-7 29?" E

1746

Thomas Lester

3

7-0-11 31?" D sharp 1728 Richard Phelps

4

8-2-0 33?" C sharp 1728 Richard Phelps
5 10-2-15 37⅜" B 1968 Mears & Stainbank
6 10-2-14 37⅞" A sharp 1960 Mears & Stainbank
7 11-1-3 39?" G sharp 1728 Richard Phelps
8 14-1-2 44?" F sharp 1740 Thomas Lester
9 18-2-26 48" E 1960 Mears & Stainbank
10 20-2-20 50?" D sharp 1960 Mears & Stainbank
11 26-0-18 55" C sharp 1910 Mears & Stainbank
Tenor 42-0-6 63" B 1960 Mears & Stainbank
1. THOMAS LESTR MADE J746 (Whitechapel border: 3 loops)
 
2. THOS LESTER MADE ME J746
 
3. MAGNIFICAT ANIMA     R : PHELPS FECIT 1728
 
4. IUBILATE DEO   R : PHELPS FECIT. 1 7 2 8
 
5. CAST 1793 THE REVD THOS ROBT WRENCH M.A. RECTOR. MESSRS LUCAS BIRCH PHILIP GRUBB JOH NORVILLE

CH. WARDENS THOS MEARS OF LONDON

RE-CAST NOVEMBER 1968
NORMAN MOTLEY RECTOR

19

wc1981.jpg (2438 bytes)

68

WHITECHAPEL

6. EXULTATE IUSTI      R PHELPS 1728
RECAST

19

wc1981.jpg (2438 bytes)

60
7. CANTATE DOMINO. R : PHELPS FECIT 1728
 
8. T : LESTER LONDINI FECIT 1740  IOHN SMITH EDMD WAYTE IOHN HUNT CH : WARDENS
   
 
9.
phelps_cross.jpg (8632 bytes)phelps_cross.jpg (8632 bytes)phelps_cross.jpg (8632 bytes)phelps_cross.jpg (8632 bytes)phelps_cross.jpg (8632 bytes) SI DEUS NOBISCUM QUIS CONTRA NOS phelps_cross.jpg (8632 bytes)phelps_fleur.jpg (9188 bytes)phelps_cross.jpg (8632 bytes)phelps_fleur.jpg (9188 bytes)phelps_cross.jpg (8632 bytes)phelps_fleur.jpg (9188 bytes)phelps_cross.jpg (8632 bytes)phelps_fleur.jpg (9188 bytes)phelps_cross.jpg (8632 bytes)phelps_fleur.jpg (9188 bytes)phelps_cross.jpg (8632 bytes)phelps_fleur.jpg (9188 bytes)    R PHELPS FECIT 1728
RECAST

19

wc1981.jpg (2438 bytes)

60
10.
phelps_cross.jpg (8632 bytes)phelps_fleur.jpg (9188 bytes)phelps_cross.jpg (8632 bytes)phelps_fleur.jpg (9188 bytes) TO PRAYERS DO WE CALL v ST : MICHAELS PEOPLE ALL v WE HONOUR TO THE KING v AND IOY TO BRIDES DO SING v
 
phelps_cross.jpg (8632 bytes)phelps_fleur.jpg (9188 bytes)phelps_cross.jpg (8632 bytes)phelps_fleur.jpg (9188 bytes)phelps_cross.jpg (8632 bytes) TRIUMPHS WE LOUDLY TELL v AND RING v THE DEAD MANS KNELL phelps_cross.jpg (8632 bytes)phelps_fleur.jpg (9188 bytes)phelps_cross.jpg (8632 bytes)phelps_fleur.jpg (9188 bytes)phelps_cross.jpg (8632 bytes)phelps_fleur.jpg (9188 bytes) R PHELPS FECIT 1728
RECAST

19

wc1981.jpg (2438 bytes)

60
11. wc1911.jpg (1607 bytes)

TRUSTEES FOR BUYING THESE 12 BELLS
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

ALEXANDER CLEEVE
JOHN WOOD
THOMAS RILEY
JOHN SHIPTON
WILLIAM HIDE
RICHARD ROYCROFT
WILLIAM MARSLAND

R. PHELPS, FECIT. 1728

THIS BELL RECAST, AND THE WHOLE PEAL REHUNG,
BY MEARS & STAINBANK. A.D. 1910.
RECTOR G.C.BELL, M.A.
CHURCHWARDENS.

~~~~~~~~~~

H. A. SUMMER.
E. SIMMONS.

C. E. ATKINS
A. W. KERLY.
R. DAVIES.
E. C. BEEDELL.
P.F.MATHIESON.
12. THIS BELL RECAST ANNO DOMINI 1795 THE REV THOS ROBT WRENCH M.A. RECTOR OF ST MICHAELS CORNHILL (10 loops)
  MESSRS LUCAS BIRCH PHILIP GRUBB JOSEPH NORVILLE CHURCH WARDENS (12 loops) THOS MEARS OF LONDON
RECAST

19

wc1981.jpg (2438 bytes)

60

MEARS LONDON

NORMAN G. S. MOTLEY

SIR EDMUND STOCKDALE
EVELYN RUGGLES-BRISE
EDWARD HOWARD
RONALD COOK
HARRY B. JOHNSON
JOSEPH DOREY
ERIC FALKNER

}

RECTOR

LORD MAYOR

 

CHURCHWARDENS

 

Notes:
The 2nd has a colon under the superscript S.
The inscription on the 5th is not in facsimile. There is a single dot beneath each of the superscript letters with a single dot under the raised "
RS" of "MESSRS".
On the 6th, the "
X" is a very curved letter. The inscription band is in facsimile.
On the 8th, the grey letters are incised into the bell. There is a colon beneath each of the superscript letters. The "
W" of "WAYTE" is formed from two interlocking Vs.
On the 9th and 10th and tenor, the inscription is in facsimile.
The inscription on the 11th is not in facsimile.

EARLIER BELLS

1728 1738 1740 1746 1795 1910 1960 1968
1 Richard Phelps Thos Lester
5-3-12
2 Richard Phelps Thos Lester
5-2-7
3 Richard Phelps
7-0-11
4 Richard Phelps
8-2-0
5 Richard Phelps Thos Mears I
10-0-4
M&S
10-2-15
6 Richard Phelps
10-3-2
M&S
10-2-14
7 Richard Phelps
11-1-3
8 Richard Phelps Thos Lester
14-1-2
9 Richard Phelps
18-1-14
M&S
18-2-26
10 Richard Phelps
20-2-20
M&S
20-2-20
11 Richard Phelps
27-2-14 gross; 26-3-14 net
M&S
26-0-18
12 Richard Phelps
Lester & Pack Thos Mears I
39-1-15
M&S
42-0-6

The weights of the bells given are scrapping weights, apart from those for the present bells (which are current).

5. CAST 1793 THE REVD THOS ROBT WRENCH M.A. RECTOR. MESSRS LUCAS BIRCH PHILIP GRUBB JOH NORVILLE CH. WARDENS
THOS MEARS OF LONDON FECIT
   (arrangement presumed)
 
6. EXULTATE IUSTI      R PHELPS 1728
 
9.
phelps_cross.jpg (8632 bytes)phelps_cross.jpg (8632 bytes)phelps_cross.jpg (8632 bytes)phelps_cross.jpg (8632 bytes)phelps_cross.jpg (8632 bytes) SI DEUS NOBISCUM QUIS CONTRA NOS phelps_cross.jpg (8632 bytes)phelps_fleur.jpg (9188 bytes)phelps_cross.jpg (8632 bytes)phelps_fleur.jpg (9188 bytes)phelps_cross.jpg (8632 bytes)phelps_fleur.jpg (9188 bytes)phelps_cross.jpg (8632 bytes)phelps_fleur.jpg (9188 bytes)phelps_cross.jpg (8632 bytes)phelps_fleur.jpg (9188 bytes)phelps_cross.jpg (8632 bytes)phelps_fleur.jpg (9188 bytes)    R PHELPS FECIT 1728
 
10.
phelps_cross.jpg (8632 bytes)phelps_fleur.jpg (9188 bytes)phelps_cross.jpg (8632 bytes)phelps_fleur.jpg (9188 bytes) TO PRAYERS DO WE CALL v ST : MICHAELS PEOPLE ALL v WE HONOUR TO THE KING v AND IOY TO BRIDES DO SING v
 
phelps_cross.jpg (8632 bytes)phelps_fleur.jpg (9188 bytes)phelps_cross.jpg (8632 bytes)phelps_fleur.jpg (9188 bytes)phelps_cross.jpg (8632 bytes) TRIUMPHS WE LOUDLY TELL v AND RING v THE DEAD MANS KNELL phelps_cross.jpg (8632 bytes)phelps_fleur.jpg (9188 bytes)phelps_cross.jpg (8632 bytes)phelps_fleur.jpg (9188 bytes)phelps_cross.jpg (8632 bytes)phelps_fleur.jpg (9188 bytes) R PHELPS FECIT 1728
 
11.  
MESSEIURES ALLEXANDER CLEEVE, JOHN WOOD, THOMAS RILEY, JOHN SHIPSTON, WILLIAM HIDE, RICHARD ROYCROFT, WILLIAM MARSLANE, TRUSTEES FOR BUYING THESE 12 BELLS. R PHELPS FECIT. 1728
(not known how the inscription was arranged on the bell)
12. THIS BELL RECAST ANNO DOMINI 1795 THE REV THOS ROBT WRENCH M.A. RECTOR OF ST MICHAELS CORNHILL (W Border)
  MESSRS LUCAS BIRCH PHILIP GRUBB JOSEPH NORVILLE CHURCH WARDENS (Whitechapel Border)
 
 

HISTORY

1421

Building of church began. 5 bells were placed in the tower (a minor 5).

c. 1430

Tenor added to make 6, the gift of John Whitwell, his wife Isabel and William Rus (alderman and goldsmith). This bell weighed over 30 cwt and was called Rus.

1474

The Churchwardens accounts mention the "fyveth bell clapper" (i.e. there were probably at least 6 bells).
1521 The Churchwarden accounts refer to the bells, mentioning the Great Bell, called Russe, the bell called Myhill, the Mary bell, the bell called Trinitye "the bell next it downeward", and the least bell.
1552 Record of 6 bells and 2 smaller saunce bells ("vj greate belles and ij saunce belles").
1567 A bell was recast by Robert Doddes.
1585 A broken saunce bell was sold and the broken treble bell was recast.
1587 The tenor (which was cracked) was recast by Lawrence Wright. This was a poor job and the bell was disliked and rejected. The old bell was 30-0-14. Wright included 1-1-14 of new metal.
1588 The tenor was recast by Robert Mot, but this too was a poor bell.
1589 Finally Robert Mot produced an acceptable recast tenor.
1596 Bells rehung in a new frame by John Brissenden, a carpenter reported to be of good skill so that "they shalbe rung with much more ease ... by fewer men ... with 8, 9 or 10 men at the moste" and to "ease the steeple of much shaking". This work cost ?12.  
1599 The tenor became cracked again, and again Mot had to cast more than one bell before an acceptable bell could be produced (weighing 31 cwt). One of the attempts was rejected and was sent to Westminster Abbey where it was used as the tenor there. The inscription referred to it being a gift by William Rus in 1430 and recast in 1599. It is not known when this translation took place.
1652 The first record of 8 bells in addition to the 2 saunce bells - the old 6 had been augmented with 2 trebles.
1666 The church and 10 bells were destroyed in the Great Fire, although the tower was not wholly burned down.
1679 Church rebuilt according to Wren's design.
1715-17 The old tower was demolished and a new tower begun under Wren.
1718-22 Tower completed under Hawksmoor.
1728 12 bells were cast by Richard Phelps and hung in the new tower.
1728 4th Dec. Bells first rung "on account of the arrival in tower, from Holland, of H.R.H. Frederick, Prince of Wales".
1738 Tenor recast by Lester & Phelps.
1740 8th recast by Thomas Lester.
1746 Treble and 2nd recast by Thomas Lester.
1795   5th and Tenor recast by Thomas Mears I (the tenor had cracked through clocking).
1809-10   The bells were rehung by Mears & Sons as part of a major refurbishment.  Mears themselves earned ?439 for the work.  It is probable that the frame was lowered in the tower at this point.
1910   11th recast by Mears & Stainbank, who rehung the remainder.
1958 11th gudgeon broke.
1960 The 6th, 9th, 10th and Tenor were found to be cracked and so were recast, with the remainder being retuned by Mears & Stainbank.
1961 14th Feb. Bells rededicated by the Bishop of Stepney.
1968   The 5th was recast by Whitechapel.
1996 A new timber 2-skin ceiling to the ringing room was built to replace the acoustically terrible horse-hair and tongue & groove ceiling.
1999 The new ceiling was again replaced with a new tongue and groove ceiling at the request of the church architect. Sound control was also installed in the louvres.
2004 Cracks were found in the pinnacles on the tower. All ringing was stopped for a few weeks pending their restoration lest they should fall off the tower on to the pavement.
2010/11   A new ring of 12 bells was cast by John Taylor Bellfounders.  These were provided from a benefaction by Dr M Faulkes six years earlier.  Despite agreement from the PCC, the faculty application proved to be controversial, and the Chancellor of the Diocese took several years to come to a decision.  By the time the permission was granted, the rising costs meant that the benefaction had to be supplemented by donations from other ringers and ringing organisations.  The old bells were removed on 26th Feb with the exception of the 3rd, 4th and 7th dated 1728 (the latter being hung with a chiming hammer as a service bell).  The new bells were consecrated on the floor of the nave on 3rd Apr by the Bishop of London.

GALLERY

Photo DrL 9th July 2002 DLC collection
This is an interesting picture of the two Cornhill towers, taken while the building behind St Peter's had been demolished and prior to rebuilding. Cutting from the Daily Telegraph, June 1960 of the heavy 12 returning to the church.
 
 
    The church in 1912
(from Spitalfields Life)
Photographs of the Bells in 2006 (the earlier 42 cwt ring of 12)
Photo DrL 18th Nov 2006 Photo DrL 18th Nov 2006  
The 9th, on the upper tier. Bells on the upper tier. The 7th is in the foreground.  
Photo DrL 18th Nov 2006 Photo DrL 18th Nov 2006 Photo DrL 18th Nov 2006
The 8th. A chip came out of the lip of the bell in the early 2000s by a flying clapper. The treble.
 
The 3rd and 4th on the upper tier.
 
Photo DrL 18th Nov 2006 Photo DrL 18th Nov 2006 Photo DrL 18th Nov 2006
The tenor. The interesting inscription on the 10th. The tenor.
Photo DrL 18th Nov 2006 Photo DLC 2006 Photo DLC 2006
The 11th with the names of the 1728 trustees reproduced on it. The old frame, situated above the current installation. A view of the belfry from above.

The New Bells of 2011

20th Jan 2011 in Loughborough

The treble. (Photo ADH) The 7th (Photo ADH) The 2nd. (Photo ADH)
The 8th. (Photo ADH) 5th being cast. 
(Photo ARK 20th Jan)
Lynne & Peter Mullen
(Photo ARK 20th Jan)
The mould of the 6th
(Photo ARK 20th Jan)
Cornhill parish visit
(Photo ARK 20th Jan)
Preparing the 11th mould
(Photo ARK 20th Jan)
St Michael parishioners
(Photo ARK 20th Jan)
The furnace glowing
(Photo ARK 20th Jan)
The 4th cooling down
(Photo ARK 20th Jan)
 

3rd Feb 2011 in Loughborough
Photos by Dickon Love:

The 7th on the tuning machine. The 7th The 7th half way through tuning.
Chris Kippin browsing. The 8th. The 8th.
The 8th. The 7th being tuned. 4 of the bells waiting to be drilled and tuned..
The 2nd. The 4th. The 4th.
The 5th. The 3rd. John Jelley, Andrew Wilby and Chris Kippin admiring a bell cast for a Sri Lankan temple.
The 4 new Cornhill bells standing in the foundry. The pits for the 10th and 11th before casting. The spectators.
The furnace is being checked. The molten metal is poured into the ladle. Almost full.
Magnesium is sprinkled into the ladle to keep the top of the molten metal hot. Metal being poured into the 10th mould. The 10th being cast.
The 11th being cast. The 11th. The remaining metal is poured into ingots.
The top of the moulds with the metal cooling down. Moulds being prepared for the 9th. The Master (Phil Goodyer) and the Treasurer (Phil Rogers).

17th Feb 2011 in Loughborough
Photos by Tony Kench (unless otherwise stated):

Bells 5,6,7 and 8 now tuned. The 4th on the tuning machine. Tony Kench (Tower Secretary) and Dill Faulkes (principal donor) (Photo N Smith)
Bells 1,2 and 3 awaiting tuning. The 9th being cast. The tenor being cast.

25th Feb 2011 at the church
Photos by Tony Kench

The 5th was the last bell to be lowered.  Ironically it was the last bell to have been raised into the tower, as it is dated 1968. Paul Mason with the 5th on the ground. A collection of bells on the floor of the church under the tower.

26th Feb 2011 at the church
Photos by Dickon Love (unless otherwise stated)

The bells on the floor of the church. The 5th, under the tower The tenor.
The wheels are piled up in the belfry. The belfry is otherwise empty of bells. No ringing at the moment in the ringing room.
Bells 3, 4 and 7, all cast by Phelps in 1728, are piled up in the room above the belfry, pending hanging dead.
Looking down on the bells under the tower. "Whitechapel Loops" in the inscription band of the treble. The treble being carried out.
The 5th. Detail on the treble. The treble.
The 9th: "SI DEUS NOBISCUM QUIS CONTRA NOS"
The 6th "EXULTATE IUSTI" The 9th. The 11th.
The 11th is stored over the top of the 6th. St Michael watches the 10th being hoisted out of the church.
The 10th. The 10th. The 8th.
The curious thing about the inscription on the 8th is that the names of the Churchwardens were added as an engraving rather than being cast as part of the inscription.  There is also an empty inscription band around the bell. The 2nd, with its headstock still on.
The 2nd. The tenor headstock (all 400kgs of it) loaded onto the lorry. The tenor was the last one left in the church.
The tenor at the door of the church. St Michael watching the tenor leave.
The tenor is lowered on top of the 10th. Rearranging the bells on the back of the lorry.
The tenor standing on the back of the lorry.
The final arrangement of th 9 bells on the lorry. The lorry leaves for Loughborough (photo ARK).

End Mar 2011 final pictures at the Bell Foundry
Photos by Tony Kench

The tenor. The 10th on the tuning machine.  
 
The bells lined up in the tuning shop. Peter Haywood working on the frame.  

2nd Apr - Arrival at the Church
Photos by Tony Kench

  The ASCY Bell.  

3rd Apr - The Dedication Service
Photos by Dickon Love unless otherwise stated.

The 8th. The 5th and 6th. The 3rd and 4th.
The tenor. The 11th and 10th. The 4th and 5th.
The 9th. The Master and Senior Steward at the service. The Bishop of London approaches the tenor to strike it with a hammer, as the Chancellor of the Diocese and the local Alderman look on.
The Bishop strikes the tenor. (Photo ARK) All listen as the church is filled with the sound of the tenor. The Rector and Bishop process back to the front of the church.

27th May - The Try Out
Photos by Tony Kench.

Andrew Ogden, the Taylors' bellhanger
who has been leading the work.
Bristol Max in progress at the tryout
on Friday evening May 27th.
   

STRANGE GOINGS ON...

William Gibbs Rogers wrote a description of the church wood carvings in 1864 in which he quotes from Stow's Survey of London, (1598), concerning a legend that gave inspiration for the carving on the church wardens' pew. He refers to a bell in the bell tower "given by John Whitwell, Isobel his wife, and Wm. Rue or Rous, Alderman and Goldsmith, about the yeere 1430, which bell, named Rus ..."

Rogers continues to quote: "And here note of this steeple as I have oft heard my father report upon St James's night certaine men in the loft next under the bells, ringing of a peale, a tempest of thunder and lightnings did arise, and an ugly shapen sight appeared to them coming in at the south window, and lighted on the north, for feare thereof, they all fell down and lay as dead for the time, letting the bells ring and cease of their own accord. When the ringers came to themselves, they found certaine stones of the north window to be 'razed' and 'scrat' as if they had been so much butter printed with a lion's claw, the same stones were fastened there again, and so remain to this day; I have seen them oft, and have put a feather or small stick into the holes where the claws had entered three or four inches deep." 

W.G. Rogers's son, George Alfred Rogers, wrote his own account of the carvings in 1867. He quotes again from Stow and adds a description of the pew carving: 'The print of the Devil's claw is carved on some stones, and Canterbury Bells are growing behind to show it was in the belfry - above is the "Rus" or "Rous" bell one of the ancient bells of this church. The bell now in place of the "Rus" was given by the father of the present Rector and bears his name. This peal of bells is celebrated throughout the city for their fine tone.'

The pew in question is the first on the left as you enter the nave from the west.

References

1457 CW Accounts: Baldricks for two little bells
1469 CW Accounts: Mention of little bell ?that ringeth afore the sacrament?
1474 CW Accounts: Mention of ?fyveth bell clapper?
1521 CW Accounts: Ordinances for the bells, mentioning the great bell called Russe, the bell called Myhill, the Mary bell, the bell called the Trinitye, ?the bell next it downewarde?, and the least bell;
1548 CW Accounts: Repairs to the ?clapper of Rosse?
1550 CW Accounts: Repairs to the wheel of Russes bell
1551-2 CW Accounts: Mention of lytle bell and sanse bell;
1557 CW Accounts: Repairs to the first bell, Ruses and the iiijth bells
1567 CW Accounts New clapper made for the great bell by ?one Croker a Smythe of St.Katherines?
1585 CW Accounts Sale of broken sawnce bell and recasting of broken trebell bell
1596 Vestry mins Bells to be rehung by John Brissenden, a carpenter reported to be of good skill, so that ?they shalbe rung with much more ease ? by fewer men ? with 8, 9 or 10 men at the moste? and ?to ease the steeple much of the shaking?. New frame to be provided and Brissenden to find all necessary ironwork. To make ?an Ingen that shall rayse upp or take down any of the same bells at pleasure with one or two persons?. Work guaranteed for a year. Cost ?12. Bond to be obtained of Edward Harrys of Stepney, joiner, and Mott to give his word also that the carpenter shall perform as agreed;
  vestry minutes About recasting the great bell Rous, by Mr. Mott and other work
1796 CW Accounts 30 Nov 1796: To Edward Simmons for taking down and rehanging Bells: ?18.16.6

1796

CW Accounts: 13 Jun 1796: To Thomas Mears for recasting Bells: ?86.0.0
1799 CW Accounts To Edward Simmons for repairing Bells: ?2.0.8.
1800 CW Accounts To Edward Simmons for repairing Bells: ?6.13.6
1804 CW Accounts To Edward Simmons for mending Bells: ?20.0.0.;
1806 CW Accounts To Edward Simmons for work at the Bells: ?1.6.6.
1807 Vestry Mins 2 Apr 1807: Resolved ... that the bells be rehung and secured according to an estimate now produced [there is no record of that estimate].
1808 Vestry Mins 23 Aug 1808: A report had been received from the parish surveyor on the state of the bells, and a Bell Committee was appointed to oversee the necessary work.
1809 Vestry Mins 19 Jun 1809: A report from the Bell Committee was read saying that "an Expence of upwards of ?700 has already been necessarily incurred in the repairing and re-hanging of the Bells". The report is appended verbatim in the Vestry Book, and says: "It was found necessary from the very decayed, unsound, and (as to several) nearly rotten state of the large Beams and Timbers, to have the same wholly broken down and removed; and to be replaced by new and sufficiently powerful and strong Timbers, and the whole of the bells re-hung accordingly - a work of great magnitude, and from the ponderous nature of the materials, and the situation of the place itself, of danger. Your Committee have great satisfaction in stating that such a progress has been made in the Work, that the greater part of the Bells have been replaced and hung, and so secured, as we trust to prevent the necessity of any future repairs being wanted for a very considerable period; and that they hope in the space of another month, to have the whole peal of Bells completely re-hung to be used with safety, and which has not been the case for some years". The report goes on to express alarm at what might have happened if the old timbers had failed in place, which would have been much more costly.
1809/10 CW Accounts: 22 Nov 1809: Payment of workmen on repair of Bells: ?191.18.7.
  CW Accounts 23 Nov 1809: Mears on account of rehanging Bells: ?200.0.0.;
  CW Accounts 15 May 1810: Mears and Sons Bell Hangers balance of account: ?239.1.5.;
  CW Accounts: 15 May 1810: Mason, balance for work Church Tower: ?38.6.6
1843 WBF Daybook 30th May 1843: To preparing and fixing 2 Sounding trunks making good floor and fixing lining to conduct the sound, ?4.15.6
1910 WBF Daybook: 30th May 1910: Received old 11th, 27-2-14 gross (26-3-14 nett);
  WBF Daybook: 28 Feb 1910: Rector and Churchwardens per Chas Reilly, architect. 12 new sets of fittings, tightening the frame, quarter turning and rehanging the bells, ?302. Recasting the 11th [weight not given] ?80