ArtsAutosBooksBusinessEducationEntertainmentFamilyFashionFoodGamesGenderHealthHolidaysHomeHubPagesPersonal FinancePetsPoliticsReligionSportsTechnologyTravel

Liberty Bell History: Who Ordered It And Who Paid For It

Updated on March 13, 2012

The Liberty Bell - A Symbol of Freedom

There has been much written about the Philadelphia Liberty Bell, but much of what is accepted as "common knowledge" isn't exactly correct, and there are still questions, like; "Who ordered the Liberty Bell, and who paid for it," that seem to have multiple answers. Even when it's famous crack occurred, which is often thought to have happened when it was rung on July 4th 1776, to celebrate the U.S. Declaration of Independence, is still a hotly debated issue.

There are many other Liberty Bell "facts" that also aren't the real facts. Even the cause that turned it into an icon in American history is not the one most associated with it.

It may have become a symbol of American independence, but it started out as a tribute to a prominent family, not to U.S. liberty, and that famous crack, actually happened 70 years after most people think it did.

Philadelphia Liberty Bell  -  *see composite image component citations
Philadelphia Liberty Bell - *see composite image component citations | Source

The Liberty Bell's Conception

The Liberty Bell was originally intended as a tribute to celebrate the 50th anniversary of the William Penn family's 1701 Charter of Privilege* for the people of the province of Pennsylvania.

And there was not just one Liberty Bell, there were two.

*William Penn was appointed to the position of Governor and Proprietary, (King's representative), of the English colony established as the province of Pennsylvania and Territories by King Charles. To promote the success of the province Penn wrote a Charter of Privilege that granted all "Freemen, Planters and Adventurers therein, divers Liberties, Franchises and Properties" In other words, it was a declaration of liberty and freedom for it's inhabitants.

See the full text of Pennsylvania's Charter of Privilege.

William Penn, the Penn family, and the Charter, all served to grow the province into a thriving self-governing colony with it's own Assembly.

In 1749 the Pennsylvania Assembly ordered a State House to be built, and that it include a suitable place for a bell, and in 1751 it ordered that a bell be purchased. Thus begins the story of the Liberty Bell.

*See composite component image citation
*See composite component image citation | Source

Who ordered the Liberty Bell

  • The Pennsylvania Assembly ordered the procurement of the Liberty Bell
  • Assembly Speaker and the Chairman of the State House Superintendents asked the Assembly's agent in London, Robert Charles, to buy the Liberty Bell
  • Assembly Agent Robert Charles was the person that actually ordered the bell from London's Whitechapel Foundry

Who actually paid for the Liberty Bell?

  • The Pennsylvania Assembly paid for the Liberty Bell - both of them

The Liberty Bell's Journey

Whitechaple Foundry:
Whitechapel, UK

get directions

Philadelphia State House :
Philadelphia, PA, USA

get directions

The story of the two Liberty Bells

Although there were two bells bought from the English foundry, the original is the Liberty Bell of America's history. It is known as the Pass and Stow Bell.

Why two bells? - The Liberty Bell arrived in Pennsylvania in September 1752, but the State House wasn't ready for it until March 1753. It is known from correspondence between Norris and Charles that when the bell was rung to test it's sound - it cracked, and those in attendence of the event were not happy with the sound of its peel. But this was not the iconic crack the bell is recognized for.

It was decided that the bell should be repaired, and two workmen by the names of Pass, and Stow were hired to do the repair. Using a copper and bronze mixture they re-cast the bell, but folks were still dissatisfied with the bell's sound. There were original propositions to send the bell metal back to London for recasting, but the Pass and Stow bell, (as it was now known), remained in the State House, and Agent Robert Charles ordered a second bell from the foundry.

When the second "Liberty Bell" arrived, and was tested, the sound was no better than the first. This second bell was installed in the cupola of the State House and connected to its clock. It is this bell that rang out the time each day for the citizens of Philadelphia, but it was the original Pass and Stow bell, (that was still hung in the State House), that was used for special events and summonses, and became known as The Liberty Bell.

Did you know the "real" history of the Liberty Bell crack?

See results

The Real Liberty Bell Crack...

When even wrong information is wrong...

Many people think the Liberty Bell got its famous crack when it was rung to celebrate the U.S. declaration of independence on July 4th, 1776, but in truth the bell did not ring that day at all. July 4th is the day the Declaration was first printed, it was not until July 8th that it was first read to the public, and that was the day the Liberty bell first rang for the Declaration of Independence, but it was not the day it cracked.

The Liberty Bell's famous crack, and the last time it ever rang, occurred on February 23, 1846, when it was used to announce the celebration of George Washington's birthday.


About the Author

Reporting for the Daily Constitutional, and providing articles for various online publishing sites are my primary work responsibilities, but it is the freelance editorials from the Curmudgeon's desk that provide the most satisfaction. - GAA

See more of my writings at:

*Composite image component source citations: Creative Commons images,,,, and personal art and graphic programs: GreenStreet Clipart, Print Shop, Art Explosion Pro Silver Edition Publishing program - *photo and image source credits: divider and separation images -

*see composite image component citations
*see composite image component citations | Source

Need a soap box for your views?

Want to be your own political pundit? Do you need a soapbox for your political views? Just want a place to rant about all the dummies in the political arena? Do it on Hubpages! Establish your own writing credentials free, and make money doing it. Learn more, and get your free author's account at


This website uses cookies

As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at:

Show Details
HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the or domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)
ClickscoThis is a data management platform studying reader behavior (Privacy Policy)