Cardiff Records: Volume 2. Originally published by Cardiff Records Committee, Cardiff, 1900.
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South Wales Chantries Certificate, 1548.
DURING the religious changes of the 16th century the royal confiscation of the property of ecclesiastical institutions was rigidly carried out in Wales, as in England. Before the Reformation, every charitable foundation was religious. Whether it was a trade guild, a school for poor children, a hospice for the infirm, or even a stone bridge across a river, the Church was the body which organised and maintained it. When, therefore, in pursuance of an anti-Catholic policy, the State seized for the royal coffers the funds upon which the religious institutions rested, charities which would nowadays be considered in their nature secular were involved in the common ruin. Educational and poverty-relieving organisations suffered as much as those which were purely ecclesiastical, and funds which had been given for the maintenance of schools and hospitals went the same way as moneys left to provide Masses for the dead.
Hence, in the document before us, we see not only the extinction of lights which burned before altars, shrines and images; not only the cessation of dirges, obits and month's minds—but also the closing of the poor-school at Llandaff Cathedral, which David Mathew had founded, and in which the children were taught by the priest who daily said Mass of Requiem for the donor's soul.
The information contained in this document is of such great interest in every respect, that I have included particulars relative to some places outside the Cardiff district. Had the whole not been so long, I should have printed it in full. Very interesting is the information given as to the number of "houseling-people" (i.e., Easter communicants) in each parish. Great as the number is, it had probably fallen off very considerably since the commencement of the religious changes. The two Cardiff parishes together held 1,360 houseling-people. We have also some interesting particulars as to vestments, altar-vessels, organs and church furniture. The whole record constitutes a schedule or inventory of property which, having been given to or acquired by the Church, was now regarded as the possessions of the Sovereign, his father and predecessor having declared himself to be Supreme Head of the Churches of England and Ireland.
It would seem that Saint Mary's had already ceased to rank as the premier parish church of Cardiff—since Saint John's takes precedence in this document. If so, this was perhaps because Saint Mary's had been dependent upon the now suppressed Abbey of Tewkesbury.
The late possessions of the churches, chantries and guilds of Cardiff are referred to also in Vol. I., pp. 208–223, 254–258, 380, 397, 398, 427–429, 452, 472–483, where their gradual disappearance by sale may be traced in Ministers' Accounts and Patent Rolls.
The Guild of the Holy Trinity, established in Saint John's, was a very wealthy and important fraternity. It had an altar and chantry in the church, where Mass was daily celebrated for the members, living and dead, by a priest specially retained for that purpose. At the altar (doubtless before a painting of the Arcus Fæderis, or symbolic representation of the Trinity), a lamp was kept constantly burning. The matrix of the Guild's official seal is reproduced in
From a comparision of this Inventory with that drawn up in 1558 (Vol. I., p. 380), it would seem that, whereas the present (1548) list comprises only the belongings of the guilds, chantries, free chapels, colleges and hospitals, the confiscation of 1552 extended to the vestments, vessels and ornaments of the parish churches themselves. Whatever things of the like nature were restored or given to the Church in the reign of Queen Mary Tudor, were soon taken away again under Elizabeth. The difference in value between the chantry vestments and those of the church, as shewn on a comparison of the same two lists, is so strikingly in favour of the latter as to suggest that the more valuable of the chantry vestments had been confiscated earlier than 1548—especially as we find that Saint Mary's parish church this year was quite devoid of such property.
R.O. Chantries Certificate 74. South Wales.
The certificat of Sir Thomas Johns knyght, Dauid Broke Sargyant at Law, John Bassett, John Rastall and John phillip Morgan gentilmen Auctorised by the kings Ma[jes]tie Com[m]ission Datid the xiiijth of ffebruare in the second yere of the reigne of or said soveryne Lord the King, Edward the Sext by the grace of god of England ffraunce and Ireland King, Defendor of the ffaithe, and in Earth Supreme heid of the Churche of England and also of Irelond, to Surveye all and sing'ler Colleigs Chaunteries ffree Chappells ffratrnytes Brotherheids Guyldes and Salaryes of Stipendarye prests having p'petuytes for ever. Whiche were in esse or had bene wtin v. yeres next before the iiijth of Novembre last past And also all Manors lands ten'ts hereditaments and possessions wt the good and Ornaments plate and Jewells to the same belonging or apperteynyng, being wtin the Circuyt and Surveye of the above named John Bassett p'tic'ler Surveyor ther as here after more planely may appere.
SOWTH WALLS. The Countie of Glamorgan.
There be within the said parishe certyne landes and Tenements wherof the proctors or Churchwardens for the tyme being hathe vsed yerely tyme out of mynde to receyve gather and Collect the yssues Revennewes and proffitts of the same And therw[i]th all hathe founde certeyne stipendarye prestes and Clerkes as hereafter is mencioned. The same prests and Clerks being removable at the Will and pleysure of the said Churchewardens for the tyme being. The yerely valew werof amountith as particlrly apperith in a Rentall exhibetid and delyured to the Court of Thaugmentac'on to the Som[m]e of xxijli xjs. vijd.
The Stipend or Wagis of Salarie prests. In the stipend or wagis of Richard Ooks being of the age of xxxiiijth having none other sp'uall promoc' serving at the alter of or lady by yere vjli xvjs. viijd.
And in the stipend of hew Lame, Clerke, Organ player there, being no prest (fn. 1) of the age of xxviijth having none other lyving by yere vjli xiijs. iiijd.
Plate, Vestmentts w[i]th other Ornamentts. There be also within the said parishe Churche certeyne vestements and other Ornaments, gyven to thentents forsaid, as hereafter followeth. That is to say ij payre of Vestements, one of blewe velvet w[i]th thappurtenances valewed at iiijs. Thoder of Cheker silke w[i]th thappurten'nces valewed at viijs. ij Candelsticks valewed at xijd. Thalter clothes valewed at xvjd. and a Chales of Silver w[i]th a patent of Copper gilte valewed at xxxvjs. all whiche apperteyne to the altre of the Trynytie ls. iiijd. Also one Chales valewed at lijs. ij payre of Vestmentts, one of white Damaske w[i]th thappurten'nces valewed at vs. Thoder of blew velvet w[i]th thappurten'nces valewed at viijs. ij Candelsticks valewed at xijd. a Coffer viijd., and a front of Bridges saten w[i]th iij alter Clothes valewed at iiijs. All whiche apperteyne to the Alter of or Lady lxxs. viijd. Also one payre of vestments of blewe velvet w[i]th thappurten'nces valewed at viijs., an alter Clothe vjd. ij Candelsticks xijd. and a front of Red say and grene vjd. all whiche apperteyne vnto the Altre of saynt kateryne xs. Also ij payre of vestmentts, one of blew saten valewed at iijs. iiijd. Thoder of Bridges saten w[i]th thappurten'nces valewed at vs. ij Alter clothes xijd. A front of grene and Red say valewed at viijd. and ij Candelsticks valewed at xijd. all which apperteyne to the Alter of saynt James xjs.
There be w[i]thin the said parishe certeyne landes and Tents Wherof the proctors or Churchwardens for the tyme being stond seysed, and from tyme to tyme Do Collect and gather the Issues and p'fitts of the same, and therw[i]thall hathe founde certeyne stipendarie prests, as hereafter is mencyoned. Thesame prests being removable at the will and pleasure of the said Churchwardens for the tyme being. The yerely Valew whereof amountith as partic'l'rly apperith by a Rentall exhibetid and delyverid into the Court of Thaugmen' to the Som[m]e of
The Stipends & Wagis of Salarie prests. In the stipend or Wags of John Thomas prest, serving at the Altre of saynt Maris, being of the age of xlij yeres, having none other sp'uall promoc' by yere vjli xiijs. iiijd.
And in the stipend or wags of Thomas Smythe prest serving at thaltre of or lady and keping the Organs w[i]thin the sayd Churche, being of thage of xxxijth yeres, having none other sp'uall promocion by yere viijli iijs. iiijd.
The answer for the Towne of Kardyf. The Towne of kardif afforsaid is the Shyre Towne, being also a market Towne, walled about and sore charged w[i]th a Bridge, being vppon the water of Toof, by reason of the great rage of the streme there, and w[i]th the Repayring aswell of their Walles as also the key adyoyning to the same Towne the whiche is there edified and made for the safeguard of Shippes and other Vessells repayring to the sayd Towne. Toward the whiche Rep'ac. the said proctors by the advice of the Mayre, Bayliffs and Aldermen have vsed as occasion dyd serve to bestow sum yere xli, sum yere xxli, sum yeres more, sum yeres les; and when they wer accustomyd to bestowe any suche Sum[m]es vppon the premysses, then they for that tyme dyscharged certeyne of the sayd stipendarie prests.
There is w[i]thin the parishe afforsaid One howse and one acre of medow adyoynying to a Chappell callid saynt John his Chappell, and one acre of arable lande callid Erow wensan gyven towardes the fynding of ij prests to say Masse in two sundre Chappells. The yerely Valew wherof, as it may appere by a Rentall exhibetid and delyured into the Court of Thaugmen' amountith to the Som[m]e ijs. vjd.
There is w[i]thin the said parishe one acre of arable lande which was gyven to fynde a light before the high altre there. The valew wherof, as it may appere by a Rentall exhibeted as is afforsaid amountith to the Som[m]e of vjd.
There is wihin the said parishe one messuage and one acre di. of lande which was gyven to fynde light before the high altre there. The yerely valew wherof as by the Rentall apperith amountith to the Som[m]e of ijs.—wherof
There is w[i]thin the same parishe iij q2rtrs of an acre of Medowe grounde lying in Lanbethrie More, and a quarter of arable grounde lying in lancarvan gyven towardes the Rep'ac'ons of the body of the Churche there. The yerely Valew wherof as it may appere by a Rentall amountithe to the Som[m]e of ijs.
There is w[i]thin the said parishe one Orchard and one di. acre of Medowe callid Maris Medow, gyven to fynd light before or lady there. The yr[r]ely valew wherof as it may appere by a Rentall amountithe to the Som[m]e of xvjd.
There is w[i]thin the same p'ishe one acre of Meddow callid saynt Barrowgis (fn. 2) acre gyven to fynde light before saynt Barrowg. The yerely Valew wherof as it may appere by the Rentall amountith to the Som[m]e of xvjd.
There is w[i]thin the same parishe one service callid David Mathewes service (fn. 3) Whervnto belongith certeyne landes and Tenths gyven to thentent to haue a prest to celebrat Masse in the Churche there for ever and he to teache Twentie Childre[e] and to be removable at the will and pleasure of the heyres of the said d'd Mathewe. The valew wherof as partic'l'rly it may appere by a Rentall delyverid into the Court of Augmen' amountithe to the yerely Som[m]e of cxvs. xd.—
Lands given to find a priest to celebrate at an altar in the body of the church. The profits are levied by the proctors of the said church time out of mind, and they therewith at their will and pleasure find a priest there. Annual value 42s. 10d.
3 acres of arable ground, whereof 1a. was given to find a light before the image of Mary Magdelyne in the church; and the other 2 to be prayed for in the pulpit. (fn. 4) Yearly value 2s. 6d.
Lands and tenements given to the finding of two priests, whereof the one is a chantry-priest having a "parpetuitie" in the chantry called Our Lady Chantry in the west end, and the other a salaried priest, removable, of the service called Our Lady Service. Annual value of the chantry lands 6l, and of the said service 30s.
Thereout, in the stipend of Edmonde Ragland, (fn. 5) salaried priest of Our Lady Service, of the age of 40 years, having none other living, by year 27s. 5d. And in the perpetuity of John Taylor, the chantrypriest, 5l 18s. 2d.
There be also within the said parish, belonging to the said Chantry and Service, a Chalice weighing 14 ounces, valued at 51s. 4d., and a pair of vestments of old velvet valued at 2s., all which belong to the said Chantry. Item to the said Service nil—in all 53s. 4d.
Lands, tenements and title in the said parish, belonging to the free chapel of Henlles, and the incumbent there George Harbert, gent', of the age of 24 years, having none other promotion. Yearly value 40s. 4d.
Lands and tenements belonging to the service of William Prior, (fn. 6) given to find a priest to say Mass for his soul. Yearly value 11l 15s. 6d.
There be within the said parish certain lands, tenements and tithes belonging to the Hospital or Wardenage of Saint David, in Swansey, with the chapels of Ostermouthe and llanguge appropriate unto the same, founded, as is reported, to the intent to have a Master, a Vicar, two stipendiary priests and ten poor men; and they and every of them to have one of the said revenues for their livings, as hereafter may appear. Yearly value 10l 17s. 9d.—
The County of Pembroke.
Our Lady College founded by Adam Hutton and John Duke of Lancaster and Dame Blanche his wife, for a Master, 7 fellows and 2 choristers. And about 60 years past the same, as is reported, was united to the cathedral, to the intent to have a Master of the same College found and 27 vicars choral, 8 choristers, and other servants. And the same is situate on the north side of the cathedral church there, being covered with lead. That is to say, the church containing in length 24 yards, and in breadth 9 yards; the vestry in length 7 yards, and in breadth 5 yards; one stair covered with lead, containing in length 6 yards di., and in breadth 3 yards di. To the which College appertains property to the yearly value of 95l 17s. Plate &c. Chalice and paten of silver weighing 11oz.
There is within the said parish 2 chantries founded within the cathedral church there, to the intent to find 2 priests for ever to say Mass every day and to keep the choir within the said church every Sunday and holy-day by the year.
Lands given to find 3 stipendiary priests to celebrate at the altars of Jesus, Saint Ann, and the Rood of Grace, for the souls of the donors. Lands given to find a lamp in the church, and to find light and an obit. There is also a Hospital or free chapel of Saint John, founded to find a Master to serve God and Our Lady and Saint John Baptist for ever. There be 900 houseling-people.
The County of Carmarthen.
A free chapel of Our Lady, called the Rood Church, in the town. Lands of the yearly value of 9l 10s. given to find a priest for ever to sing Morrow Mass daily there. Nicholas Byford is the chantry-priest.
The County of Cardigan.
There be within the said parish and in the custody of the churchwardens there for the time being 20 oxen, valued every ox at 13s. 4d.; 60 kine, every cow valued at 10s.; and 100 sheep, valued every sheep at 16d. The which cattle were given by divers of the parishioners there towards the finding of two priests to aid the vicar to minister the Sacraments and the sacramentals, and towards the reparation of the said church.
There is within the said parish one chapel called Spitykenvyn, whereunto is given by divers of the inhabitants, adjoining to the said chapel and being distant from their parish church 8 miles, towards the finding of one priest to sing Mass in the said chapel, 13 kine, every cow valued at 10s.; 7 yearlings at 4s., and 46 sheep at 16d. There is within the said parish of houseling-people to the number of iijl' iijl'
There is wtin the said p'ishe one grist Mill beildid vpon the comon there by the burgags and inhabitaunts of the said Towne, being of the yerely Valew of vli. The proffetts wherof bene yerely bestowid in and vpon the Repa'cions of one pere maid there for the saifegarde of Shippes, and in & vpon the Repa'cions of one bridge adyoininge to the said Towne—vli.
The County of Brecknock.
The County of Radnor.
The County of Monmouth.
"The said Towne of Newport ys a fare Mrket Towne and hathe a fayre Haveyn comyng to the same and adyoining to the same towne ys there one fare bridge, over the Ryvar of Vske being in lenthe iij c l. yardes. Where the water most comenly doithe flowe in heithe frome the low Water marke. Vpe right vij fadome. The Repa'cions of the whiche bridge doith stand thenabitaunts of the said Towne yerely in the som[m]e of xli and above."
"The saide Towne of Chepstow ys both a portt Towne and a mrkett Towne, and well wallid being somewatt in Dekey, the same Towne standyth w[i]tin 2 miles of the Ryver of Seyverne and yonyng upon the Ryver of Wye, wher of late the Inhabitaunts of the said Towne dyd beyld a goodly Bridge of Tymbre over the said Ryver of Wye, where yt doithe floye and ebbe vnder said Bridge frome the lowe water marke vpright ix ffadome by reason wherof the yerely Rep'acc'ons of the said Bridge ys very chargeable to the said Inhabitants."