1) A person employed to go round the town and make public announcements, attracting attention by ringing a bell.

1358 campanarius civitatis Ebor’, York

1391 le belman portand’ campanam per villam, Scarborough

1435 lego le belman iiijd, Ripon

1497 and the bellman to go about the town after the costom, Hull

1527-8 John Blak, bellman, for a tenement ... iiijs vjd, Hull. The by-name was in use into the mid-fifteenth century at least: 1443 Et Roberto Belman pro proclamacione facta infra civitatem ... 6d, York. Late examples include: 1774 Notification to be given by the bellwoman that unfree persons putting swine in the pastures will be prosecuted, Beverley.

dates 1358 1391 1435 1443 1497 1527-1528 1774

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