Graphical version

London Metropolitan Archives



Reference code(s): GB 0074 CLC/016

Held at: London Metropolitan Archives


Date(s): 1747-1999

Level of description: Collection

Extent: 16 production units.

Name of creator(s): Society of Royal Cumberland Youths | bell-ringing society


Administrative/Biographical 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.


Scope and content/abstract:

Records of the Society of Royal Cumberland Youths, bell-ringing society, comprising: name books, 1747-1999 (Ms 21658, 33995); peal books, 1748-1989 (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. The originals of Ms 21658 and Ms 21569/1 were deposited on 21 July 2003 (USE OF MICROFILM COMPULSORY), but the Society retains the original manuscript of Ms 21659/2. 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).


Language/scripts of material: English

System of arrangement:

The records have been arranged in order reflecting the record function, e.g. administration, financial and so on.

Conditions governing access:

Available for general access.

Conditions governing reproduction:

Copyright to these records rests with the depositor.

Finding aids:

Please see online catalogues at:


Archival history:

Immediate source of acquisition:

Deposited in the Guildhall Library Manuscripts Section, which merged with the London Metropolitan Archives in 2009.


Related material:

See also CLC/001: Ancient Society of College Youths, bell-ringing society.

Publication note:

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.

DESCRIPTION NOTES Rules or conventions: Compiled in compliance with General International Standard Archival Description, ISAD(G), second edition, 2000; National Council on Archives Rules for the Construction of Personal, Place and Corporate Names, 1997.

Date(s) of descriptions: June to August 2010, with update in October 2012 and February 2013.

Bell ringing | Musical performances | Music | Performing arts
Church bells | Bells | Percussion instruments | Musical instruments | Music | Performing arts
Societies | Associations | Organizations

Personal names

Corporate names
Society of Royal Cumberland Youths | bell-ringing society

London | England | UK | Western Europe | Europe