Welcome to the ABA! Bell Talk Forums Large Bells BELL from 1700s help finding history

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    • #11292
      Thundar
      Participant

      I just bought a Bell and would like to know the history on it .also a approximate value because I’m also selling it.
      the Bell has this written on the top ring.
      DAME FRANCIS STAPLETON 1730
      THE measurements are Diameter 18.5 ” HT. 18.75″ AND Weigh is 141lbs
      any help is appreciated

    • #15016
      lucky13
      Member

      Dame Francis Stapleton was probably a British ship. If so, this bell is a museum piece. Contact the Merseyside Maritime Museum in Liverpool England via their website. They might have a record of this ship. Value is probably fifty thousand plus. This is a rare bell. Don’t be in a rush to sell. I’d like to see the interior if you can post another photo.

    • #15017
      lucky13
      Member

      Thanks for the interior photo. Congrats, you have a super-rare ship bell. The National Maritime Museum in Greenwich England only has 2 18th century bells. Photos of them are on the website. Really old ones with the name of the vessel and year are some of the most scarce of bell collectibles. Most were scrapped when ships were taken out of service or are on the bottom of the sea. Keep it in a safe place.

    • #15014
      hjlong3
      Participant

      This bell is definitely British in design. I am chagrined by the hole in the shoulder of the bell. This bell has seen considerable use/abuse based on the dents in the skirt and irregular gouges in the lip. I agree that it probably came from a ship named the Dame Francis Stapleton, but it should have also had the letters RMS or HMS preceding the name. Googling Dame Frances Stapleton brings a publication recognizing letters of condolence at the death of Dame Frances Stapleton in the 1730s. She was obviously a woman of influence during the 1700s. The bell could have been a plantation bell.
      Harry Long, MD

    • #15015

      The owner of this bell has also inquired of the Bell Historians mail-list, whose correspondents are mostly English. They have concluded that the person named on the bell was probably the widow of Sir William Stapleton (3rd Baronet) who would have been known as Dame Frances Stapleton from 1699 until her death in 1746. But it remains an open question as to whether or not the bell was cast for the family seat, which was Greys Court at Rotherfield Greys. I very much doubt that it was a ship’s bell or a plantation bell; more likely it was made for a school or chapel sponsored by Dame Frances.

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