Leonard Wheatcroft

from THE CLERK'S ORDERS, 1683

You noble ringers that at randum run
Observe your orders, and your forfits shun.
If here you enter, and intend to ring
Be sure you do observe here everything.
First doff your gloves, your spurs and hat,
Else twopence due to th' clerke for that.
Next, be you wise, and strive not to excell;
There's twopence due if you throw o'er a bell.
Also in setting, if you miss, then I
Will have one farthing, if I do stand by.
When you ring changes, for each fault you make,
One farthing more you shall unto the stake.
Again I say, he that doth break a rope or wheel
Shall pay his stake, and I will mend it well.
And if he will by force enter my steeple
He shall be lasht in sight of all the people.
And if you leave your ropes upon the ground,
Or wet or dirt on them, you shall be bound.
If in the Church you do Tobacko take,
You shall for every pipe, one penny stake:
It is against the Commons of this nation;
Besides, it is a very ugly fashion.
If any in our company sit down
He shall pay part, or else I'll call him 'clown';
Tis all our mindes to give him one glass
To which he's welcome, and so let him pass.
Each Monday night, I'd have the' old ringers ring,
And every Thursday, the young ones have their swing.
There's one thing more you Ringers must remember
That to our landlord, yes, we must be kinder;
That's when we've money given us for ringing
They may have parts by turns else needs have flinging.
Three, and a shot-pot is our due to have;
He that saith 'no', the rest will call him knave.
Be all agreed; - assent and consent granting,
And on my part, there shall be nothing wanting.
And to conclude. - I wish you strength - And hope
A store of money; but, beware the rope.