We have a family story that the Hedderlys were somehow involved with the original Liberty Bell. We know that John Hedderly was a bell founder, and was living in Whitechapel, London when the bell was originally cast , and possibly worked with Lester and Pack in the 1750s. We also know that his brother, Phillips Hedderly, a bell hanger, possibly a founder, arrived in the Americas in the 1750s.
He appears on a South Carolina muster roll for 1756 and by 1761 was resident in St. Helena parish. He was sued for debt (as Philip Hederly) by John Gordon and Gray Elliott, Beaufort merchants, in that year. He married a widow, Mary Williams, in St. Helena in 1768 and they had at least one child, Sarah and a stepson, Charles. His nephew George Hedderly, bell founder, migrated from England to Philadelphia in 1792. A Charles Hedderly, bellfounder, appears in a Philadelphia directory for that year, subsequent entries are for George Hedderly. George Hedderly together with Sarah Hedderly (not his wife, his family were abandoned in England) were sued for unknown reasons in a New York court . The implication is that George took over an existing foundry but there is a distinct lack of evidence for Hedderly presence in the Americas between 1768 and 1792. Any evidence would be welcome, particularly if it ties down Phillips’ arrival.