from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English
- n. A bell used in fowling at night, to frighten birds, and, with a sudden light, to make them fly into a net.
- n. A bell to be hung on the neck of a sheep.
- transitive v. To frighten, as with a lowbell.
from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia
- To scare with a lowbell, as birds in fowling.
- To serenade with noisy, rough music. See charivari.
- n. A bell used in a certain kind of fowling by night, the birds being made to lie close by the sound of the bell and blinded by a light, so as to be easily taken by a net which is thrown over them.
- n. A bell hung on the necks of sheep or other animals.
Sorry, no etymologies found.
The captaine notwithstanding desirous to bring some token from thence of his being there, was greatly discontented that he had not before apprehended some of them: and therefore to deceiue the deceiuers he wrought a pretty policy; for knowing wel how they greatly delighted in our toyes, and specially in belles, he rang a pretty lowbell, making signes that he would giue him the same that would come and fetch it.
_lowbell_, for a mode of birdcatching by night, by which the birds, being awakened by the bell, are lured by the light into nets held by the fowlers.