History of ringtones

Useful information

History of ringtones


The sounds of Westminster


The most famous chimes in the world are those of Westminster. Generally is associated with the chimes of Westminster in the Victoria Tower of the Parliament’s clock, in London. This tune, however, comes from the chime of the clock, installed in 1793, by the Church of the University of Cambridge, St. Mary Great, in England. The Reverend Joseph Jowett, professor of law at Cambridge, was asked to compose a melody for the carillon clock of the church, but it is believed that the real author was his pupil William Crotch (1775-1847). Crotch was a prodigy child who at age 11 years was assistant organist at Kong’s College of Cambridge. The melody is inspired to the “Air of Haendel” I know that my Redeemer liveth” comes from the “Messiah”.
In 1859 Lord Grimthorpe chose the melody of Crotch for the new clock and bells placed in the tower of the new Houses of the Westminster Parliament. The quote is engraved on the largest and oldest bell, known as “Big Ben” that play after the small bells play the four phrases that compose the traditional melody.



Lord through this hour,
Be Thou our guide

So, by Thy power
No foot shall slide.



The sounds of Whittington

The famous chimes of Whittington derived from the Church of St.Mary le Bow of Cheapside in London. The legend, dating from the early seventeenth century, tells us that Dick Whittington, a boy without a penny himself, fled from the house of his master in the sole company of his cat, because he was abused as a vagabond and used for the most miserable work. While fleeing, he seemed to hear the bells say: “Come back, Whittington, Mayor of London for three times”. Dick Whittington in the end decided to stay in London, and, thanks to the skill of his cat as a hunter of mice, was able to make a fortune and was then elected for three terms Mayor of London. In London, he says, that only those who were born where you can hear the sound of St. Mary le Bow’s bells, can be considered a true Londoner.

Turn again,
Dick Whittington
Thrice Lord Mayor
Of Londontown.



The sounds of St. Michael


The history of the chiming of St. Michael is an adventure and it means a lot for the United States, because their history is really part of European history. The bells were cast in London and were installed in the church of St. Michael in Charleston, South Caroline in 1764. When the British took the city during the Civil War, the bells were taken and shipped to England. A Charleston merchant bought them in England and brought them back to America. In 1823 cracks were found in some bells, so they were sent back to London to be recast. In 1862 during the siege of Charleston, the bells were brought to Columbia to preserve, but Sherman’s army set fire to that area. Only a few fragments of the bells were found, to be dispatched to London again, where the original prints were preserved. In February 1867, the bells were placed back in St. Michael’s bell tower and, on March 21, in celebration they joyously rang: “Back home from a foreign land”.

Home again
Home again
From a foreign Land.


go to “the ringtones of the Cuckoo clocks”