Author Topic: Parish accounts for purchase of bells from T. MEARS of Whitechapel Bell Foundry  (Read 1003 times)

Offline clontarf

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This is a stab in the dark query that I expect can only be answered by an act of serendipity.  I am directing this query to anyone who has looked beyond parish registers to other parish documents, such as financial accounts.

I am looking for any document that has a verifiable signature of Thomas MEARS the elder, bell founder at Whitechapel Bell Foundry between 1787 and 1810.  I wish to compare the signature with that on the St Mildreds Canterbury marriage register on 23 Oct 1777 for Thomas Mears and Catherine Lake.

Whitechapel made bells for hundreds of English churches.  Correspondence over the supply and payment for these bells may survive in parish accounts.

Offline Lily M

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Re: Parish accounts for purchase of bells from T. MEARS of Whitechapel Bell Foundry
« Reply #1 on: Friday 19 November 21 08:50 GMT (UK) »
Thereís a will for him, which Iím not able to look at just now.  This just might have his original signature on it.

Offline Lily M

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Re: Parish accounts for purchase of bells from T. MEARS of Whitechapel Bell Foundry
« Reply #2 on: Friday 19 November 21 08:52 GMT (UK) »
Thereís also  will for a Thomas Mears living in Whitechapel in 1851.
Thomas Mears late Bell Founder of Canterbury.

Offline clontarf

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Re: Parish accounts for purchase of bells from T. MEARS of Whitechapel Bell Foundry
« Reply #3 on: Friday 19 November 21 09:37 GMT (UK) »
The 1851 will is of the son of the man I am looking for.  I have the clerk's copies of both their wills from the PCC, but if the original exists for the elder Thomas that would be great.


Offline Lily M

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Re: Parish accounts for purchase of bells from T. MEARS of Whitechapel Bell Foundry
« Reply #4 on: Friday 19 November 21 09:47 GMT (UK) »
The original is on Ancestry UK.  I canít get to see it at the moment.

Offline Bookbox

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Re: Parish accounts for purchase of bells from T. MEARS of Whitechapel Bell Foundry
« Reply #5 on: Friday 19 November 21 19:51 GMT (UK) »
if the original exists for the elder Thomas that would be great.
The original is on Ancestry UK.

The PCC wills on Ancestry are not originals but register copies, held at the National Archives (PROB 11).

The original wills are also held at the National Archives, in a different series (PROB 10). They are not online.

Here is Thomas Mears' signature from his original will, proved in 1810 (TNA, PROB 10/3948).

Offline clontarf

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Re: Parish accounts for purchase of bells from T. MEARS of Whitechapel Bell Foundry
« Reply #6 on: Saturday 20 November 21 00:00 GMT (UK) »
Thank you, thank you Bookbox!  That is the final proof that the 1777 marriage is that of the elder bell founder.  There was already a very strong circumstantial case, involving cross-referenced wills of the Mears and Lake families - but this is direct proof.
That solves my original requirement for a signature, but I would still be interested in any bell accounts if someone happens to have stumbled across any.