Obituary for Edward Carlyon




The ringers at many Cornish towers were saddened to learn the news in late August of the
death of Edward Carlyon, a loyal member of the Kenwyn band and a regular supporter of
many local practices, Guild meetings and other ringing events.

Edward was born in Truro and lived in the city for the great majority of his 84 years. He
followed his father and grandfather not only in their profession as a solicitor, but was also,
like them, HM Coroner for the Truro District, a position in which he was followed by one of
his children, Emma. There can be few if any modern examples of four generations of the
same family successively occupying a responsible public office in this way. Outside his
legal and coronial duties Edward also took a keen interest in public affairs, serving as Mayor
of Truro in 1970 and as an early Chairman of the then Carrick District Council upon its
formation following local government reorganisation in 1974. He also owned a smallholding
and was an enthusiastic beekeeper, being on one notable occasion summoned to the Truro
Cricket Ground to restore the position when a swarm of bees, rather than bad light, had
stopped play!

Upon his daughter Catherine learning to ring in the early 1990s Edward decided that he too
would like to have a go, and once he had mastered basic bell-handling he became a loyal
and very dependable member of the Kenwyn tower, attending for service ringing twice each
Sunday and enthusiastically broadening his skills at our Thursday practices. Eventually he
mastered basic methods up to simple surprise major and was always keen to learn new
ones. He began to visit other towers and helped them to maintain their practices. The
extent to which he influenced ringers elsewhere is shown by the number of messages of
sympathy which were received after news of his death became known.

Edward rang a small number of peals, including five with the writer, as well as many
quarters. But his main interest lay in supporting his home tower and in making visitors to
Kenwyn feel welcome. Despite his high-profile public office he was a modest, very self-
effacing man who could talk to anyone at their own level and make them feel immediately

Eventually age took its toll, and Edward announced at the end of 2019 that he was stepping
down from active ringing. In early March 2020, just before the lockdown, the Kenwyn band
rang a quarter of Single Oxford Bob Triples, just about Edward’s favourite method, as a
tribute to his long service and the friendship which he had extended to so many of us. His
health then failed, and he died peacefully in the city where he had been born and to which
he had contributed so much. Covid restrictions meant that only thirty mourners could attend
his funeral, but there is no doubt that had he died in other circumstances Kenwyn Church,
which he had served faithfully as a worshipper and eventually churchwarden, would have
been completely full. Those whom he has left behind will miss him very much.


Robert Perry