‘All The Bells’, including this one from 1727

All the bells were ringing last week for the start of the Olympic Games, and this unusual bell from our collection joined in with a tinkle of its own.

At the coronation of George II in 1727, a group of barons representing the Cinque Ports (Hastings, Hythe, New Romney, Sandwich and Dover) had the privilege of carrying a canopy over the king’s head.  The canopy was decorated with little silver bells, of which ours was one.

Afterwards the barons were allowed to keep their canopy, and our particular bell ended up in the possession of Sir George Oxenden, MP for Sandwich.  He wasn’t quite sure what to do with it, but around the year 1740 he had the idea of attaching a little handle.  Now he could ring it whenever he wanted a cup of tea to be brought by his servant.

We bought his bell at auction a couple of years ago.  When we rang it last week, it brought back to life one of the minor sounds of the 1727 coronation (the occasion upon which Handel’s anthem ‘Zadok the Priest’ was also heard for the first time).

But sadly Sir George’s bell seems to have lost its power of conjuring up a cup of tea…

One thought on “‘All The Bells’, including this one from 1727

  1. Mark Herwin

    I’ve just stumbled upon this during a search for “1727 and Hythe”…..’I live in a house in Hythe which I’m told was built in 1727, the house is called Dukes Lodge and by all accounts the Duke of Wellington stayed at the house. I personally think the house was once a customs house where riding officers may have logged…….the current foreshore was a harbor at one point……good subject for a TV show?




Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.