Rudhall of Gloucester
The family business was founded by Abraham Rudhall (1657–1736) who developed a method of tuning bells by turning on a lathe rather than the traditional chipping method with a chisel. One of the earliest ring of bells he cast was for St Nicholas' Church, Oddington in 1684. He came to be described as the greatest bell-founder of his age. The business was continued by his eldest son, also called Abraham (1680–1735), his son Abel (1714–60), and three of Abel's sons, Thomas (?1740–83), Charles (1746–1815) and John (1760–1835). In 1815 John Rudhall was declared bankrupt and the bell foundry bought by Mears & Stainbank who owned the Whitechapel Bell Foundry. The business formally closed in 1828 but bells bearing John's name have been found with dates up to 1835.
Eight change ringing bells (tenor: 13 long cwt 3 qr 5 lb (1,545 lb or 701 kg) in F) at Old North Church in Boston were cast by Rudhalls in 1744 and hung in 1745. One bell has the inscription: "We are the first ring of bells cast for the British Empire in North America, A.R. 1744." Five bells cast by Abel Rudhall in 1757 still hang in Wells Cathedral.
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