Matthew Wyldbore

The bells that guided him to safety

Matthew Wyldbore (1722-1787) was captain of the local Peterborough Volunteer Corp when the threat of Prince Charles Stewart or ‘Bonnie Prince Charlie loomed large. He later became M.P for Peterborough in 1768.

One day Matthew went walking on the common which once bordered the Fens when a dense fog descended. He became lost and was afraid to move should he fall into a cross drain or fen dyke. The bells of St John’s church guided him back to safety. He was so grateful for the ringing bells that he left a sum of money in his will to pay for the bells to be rung every year on the anniversary of his death.This tradition continues today on the 15th March.

Photo:Matthew Wyldbore lived at the Mansion House in Westgate. The house was demolished around 1925.

Matthew Wyldbore lived at the Mansion House in Westgate. The house was demolished around 1925.

Copyright of Peterborough Museum and Art Gallery. No distribution or commercial publication of these images is permitted without the express permission of Peterborough Museum and Art Gallery.

Photo:The bell tower of St John's Church, Peterborough.

The bell tower of St John's Church, Peterborough.

Copyright of Peterborough Museum and Art Gallery. No distribution or commercial publication of these images is permitted without the express permission of Peterborough Museum and Art Gallery.

This page was added on 12/03/2010.

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