In our parish church we have a clock with an engraving on it that says 'The Gift of the Hon. Edward Trelawny the Bond Major 1737'. Does anybody know what a Bond Major was/is?

Unfortunately I have no picture and the question was originally posed in the 1930s by Looe Old Cornwall Society, a scrap book of which I am working my way through. I am not even sure which of the two church's that serve East and West Looe the clock is in, and as access is very limited at this time, I am not able to find out, or get a picture.

  • Potential resources Cornwall Museum Greenwich
    – MCW
    Aug 17 '20 at 17:04
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    A picture would help as well. Aug 17 '20 at 17:06
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    That one may be the correct Wikipedia page, which is consistent with his office in East Looe listed in the Cornwall Museum page. The History of Parliament page lists him as "Commr. of victualling" until 1732, no mention of a Bond Major.
    – Alexlok
    Aug 18 '20 at 1:38
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    I'm going to suggest an engraving error intended to be "Band Major". The complete absence of the phrase anywhere else is strong evidence that the phrase never actually existed. Engraving errors simply cannot be corrected without remaking the entire piece - making an unholy mess. I won a medal in High School where the engraver initially misspelled my first name (omitting the "i") and attempted to correct the error - resulting in a complete mess. I'd have rather gotten the medal with the one letter missing than what I did receive. Dec 17 '20 at 17:42
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    @PieterGeerkens Or some transcription error? In the 'Cornish Guardian' they wrote "Bond Majory". Not that this would make any much more sense though… We need the pic in hires. Oct 30 at 17:25

Definitely not "band major", Trelawny was local gentry and politically well-connected at a national level (hence governorship of Jamaica); that would have been far beneath his dignity. I would suggest it was more likely to be related to his role as one of the Scottish commissioners of customs, one of the officials of that service being "the Clerk of Port Bonds" (see era.lib.ed.ac.uk). But that's speculation, I can't see any direct evidence.

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    Yep. But he was called in those documents "commr. of customs". This "clerk" position would have been way below him as well. Can you expand this to explain what 'bonds' in this case are? (Scottish E has special usage for that word (ao: mortgage), vs English vs hm Cornish, perhaps?) Nov 3 at 21:37

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