History and Archive Workgroup

The history of bellringers & bellringing - Certificate Collection

Main membership certificateLike many organisations of the time the influx of ringers from lower social classes led to a split in the Society around 1756. For a short while there were two discrete groups - the older ringers formed the Ancient Society of College Youths while the newer influx continued to use the original society name, often being referred to as the Junior Society. At the time a single society emerged around 1788 it was agreed to commission a new annual feast ticket from the eminent designer Francesco Bartolozzi. The engraved plate cost 15 guineas at the time (i.e. £15.75 - a considerable sum in those days) and 300 copies of the ticket were printed at a further cost of £1-19s-0d (i.e. £1.95). The Society still holds the original copper plate used for printing these tickets. The engraved plate was adopted later for use as the membership certificate.Badge photo
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