London Metropolitan Archives - Item Details


Date of Creation:

1747 - 2013

Reference Code:


Scope and Content:
  • Records of the Society of Royal Cumberland Youths, bell-ringing society, comprising: name books, 1747-1999 (Ms 21658, 33995); peal books, 1748 - 1989, 1997 (Ms 21659, 34393); minutes, 1887-1989 (Ms 33996), rules, 1931 (Ms 33997); and notebook of ringing methods, [1924-35?] (Ms 33998). They were catalogued by members of Guildhall Library staff between 1986 and 2006.

    Some of the records were microfilmed in 1985 and Mss 21658-9 are positive copy microfilms deposited in the Library on indefinite loan by the Society which has retained the master negatives. (USE OF MICROFILM COMPULSORY). Permission to take reproductions from the films or to publish extracts from the records should be sought from the Society (enquire at the information desk for contact details).
Extent: 17 production units.
Classification: ASSOCIATIONS
Former Reference: MS 21658- 9, 33995-8, 34393
Site Location: London Metropolitan Archives; some items held offsite
Level of Description:

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Administrative History:
  • The Society of Royal Cumberland Youths is a bell-ringing society, though little is known for certain of its history. It was established in 1747, and is said to have taken its name from the Duke of Cumberland, in honour of his bloody suppression of the Jacobite rising of 1745. It appears to have been based initially in the City of London, and always in the London area, though it rang peals throughout London and the home counties and especially in the church of St Leonard Shoreditch. The Society appears to have drawn its members from the ranks of the aristocracy and well-to-do professional classes. This much is apparent from the "Name books" or registers of members. Surviving records include the "Peal books" or records of peals rung, minute books and rules.
Creator: Society of Royal Cumberland Youths | bell-ringing society
Copyright: Depositor
Source of Acquisition:
  • Deposited in the Guildhall Library Manuscripts Section, which merged with the London Metropolitan Archives in 2009.
  • B12/112
  • B13/001
  • 1985/031
Access Restrictions: These records are available for public inspection, although records containing personal information are subject to access restrictions under the UK Data Protection Act, 2018
Arrangement: The records have been arranged in order reflecting the record function, e.g. administration, financial and so on.
Related Material: See also CLC/001: Ancient Society of College Youths, bell-ringing society.
Publication Notes:

For further information on the Society see : E. Morris, "The History and Art of Change Ringing", 1931 (copy in GL Printed Books, reference GL 789.5) and F.W.M. Draper "The Old London Ringing Companies" in "Trans. London and Middlesex Archaeological Society", new series 11 (1952-4), 27-38.