Cardiff Records: Volume 5. Originally published by Cardiff Records Committee, Cardiff, 1905.
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Llandaff Chapter Acts.
Vol. II., 1722–1816.
"It was alsoe ye same day Ordred by the Chapter that Noe Corps should for ye future be buried in the Cathedral Church or ye Isles thereof or in ye Lady's Chapel thereto adjoyning wthout paying ye Usual ffees for ye Sepulture."
The Proctor General is to pay unto Mr. John Watkins, clerk, their curate of Langoven and Penclawdd (now a prisoner in Monmouth gaol) any sum of money not exceeding 20l, towards procuring his enlargement out of prison. (fn. 1)
Out of the Chapter stock, the Proctor General shall purchase one ticket in the present State Lottery; the benefit (if any should arise from the same) to be applied in such uses as the Chapter may appoint.
1728 June 28. Lease granted of the rectories of Lantillio Gressenny, Penrose, Lanarth, Bettus, Clitha, Dingestow and Tregare to the Hon. Robert Price, esq., one of the Justices of His Majesty's Court of Common Pleas at Westminster. "And in regard the sd Judge has noe Parke, the sd ArchDeacon and Chapter att his request have Agreed to accept of four Pounds Yearly in lieu of ye Dueties of a Buck & a Doe menc'oned in this Lease."
1729 July 1. "Quo primo die Julij prd' the Chapter takeing Notice of ye Drunkeness & other Irregularities & ill behaviour of Lewis Giles their Virger & Sexton did for ye same Suspend him from ye Execution of ye sd offices & profitts thereof for one Whole Year."
The Chapter having been at a great expence in new flagging the Lady's Chapel, and being desirous the same should be kept level, order that in future, before any grave be opened for the burial of any deceased person, the sum of £1. 1s. be paid into the hands of the Senior Vicar Choral, otherwise no such grave to be opened.
The Bishop and Chapter, taking into consideration the present ruinous condition of their house commonly called the Prebendaries' House, situate in the churchyard, have proposed the granting of a Lease thereof for 21 years to Mr. Thomas Davies, their Chapter Clerk, in consideration of his repairing the same, paying the yearly rent of 1s. and allowing to the members of Chapter the use of the diningroom in the said house, as often as they meet on capitular business.
Lease of a messuage called Ty Hire and 9½a. of lands in Canton, with one cottage or booth called Kaer Castell, and the Green there, to Anthony Maddocks of Kevenydva, gentleman, and Alice Davies, of Ogmore, widow, executors of the Will of Jane Edwards late of Ogmore, widow, deceased; in trust for Jane Broadbear, an infant, to whom they are devised by the said Will.
The order for the Chapter's subscription of £200 to the Cathedral repairs is rescinded, they thinking it more proper and advisable that "every particular Member of this Chapter should prsonally Subscribe for himself" such a sum as he may think fit.
1732 June 28. Mr. Wood, of Bath, is to have twenty guineas for surveying the Cathedral and taking estimates of the repairs thereof, and for journeys made by himself and "some Artifers" from Bath or Bristol on that occasion.
1733 June 28. Payment ordered of £57. 16. 2, the joiner's bill for new pewing the Lady's Chapel, and making a new folding door and frame on the south side of the Cathedral, for the more easy access to the said chapel.
1734 June 29. Payment ordered of two guineas to Mr. Killin, of Crecklade, Wilts, for his journeys and trouble in surveying the Cathedral and making a draught and model, and drawing up an estimate of the expence of such repairs as the church now wants.
Agreement with Mr. John Wood, of Bath, architect, for repairing the Cathedral at a cost of not more than £1,700, including the old materials. The scheme proposed by the Surveyor is first to take off the whole roof and lower it about 6 foot, the walls being so far very defective. In the next place, some of the walls being fallen down, and others much out of perpendicular, he is to draw an estimate of the expence of repairing all the walls upon the old foundation in a decent and substantial manner; as also of putting up a new roof, glazing the windows and new casting the lead.
|"Total of the Disbursemts||292.||04.||00|
|"Soe that there still remains in ye sd Mr Maddock's hands "to ballance this Account||609.||06.||00"|
Whereas, by an Act made the first of July 1729, the Chapter thought fit to suspend Lewis Giles, their Sexton and "Virger," for his drunkenness and ill behaviour, from the execution of the said offices and profits thereof for the space of one year, and afterwards restored him to the same upon his promise of behaving more soberly and orderly for the future; And whereas the said Lewis Giles has, at this present Chapter, been drunk and clamorous in church, and otherwise behaved himself in a very disrespectful manner before the said Lord Bishop and Prebendaries: The said Lord Bishop and Chapter (seeing no hopes of the said Lewis Giles' reformation and amendment) have thought fit, and do by this their Act of Chapter, absolutely remove him, for his said crimes and offences, from the said offices and profits thereof.
1737 June 28. At the same time and place the said Lord Bishop and Chapter, in order to preserve the new floors of this Cathedral Church and (as far as in them lies) prevent their being broken up for graves, thought fit to order and decree that no dead bodies be for the future buried in the choir, aisles thereto adjoining, or nave, or in the Lady Chapel, without first depositing the sum of twenty shillings in the hands of the Proctor General or his agent, before any grave be made there. And as soon as conveniently can be after burial in such grave, to close up the same and to make pillars or proper supporters with brick or stone, to hinder the said floors from falling down or sinking in the place where such graves shall be made. And the said Lord Bishop further ordered that the Churchwardens be forthwith put under admonition to repair the churchyard walls belonging to this church, that such of the inhabitants of this parish as shall not think fit to comply with or submit to this Order may bury their dead in the said churchyard.
1738 June 28. "At w[hi]ch time & place the sd Archdeacon & Chapter Order'd their Proctor General to cause the Great Bell in the Tower of this Cathedral Church w[hi]ch is now crazed to be new cast w[i]th all convenient speed & that it be made into Such a Tenor, as may cover a Peal of 5 or 6 Bells—
"And Lastly to manifest the Premisses the sd William Miles goeing into the Bellfry of the sd Cathedral Church tolled for a Short time one of the Great Bells there in token of his haveing gotten Possession as is Customary upon the Installations of Bishops & ordered it to be tolled for sometime afterwards."
1739 June 28. The Bishop and Chapter admonish Mr. William Morgan, clerk, the Junior Vicar Choral, for having "frequented tipling Houses & been often seen disguised in liquor to ye danger of his Soul & ye Evil Example of all good Christians."
1740 June 28. The remainder of the charge expended last year in repairing Jasper's Tower is to be paid. The windows of the Lady Chapel, now in a tottering and ruinous condition, are to be repaired. The great window at the east end (fn. 2) is to be taken down, a lesser window-frame of good, well-seasoned oak timber put up in the room thereof; a good stone arch made above such window, and the vacant places (both above and on the sides thereof) well walled up. The freestone jambs of the other six windows in the said chapel shall be well repaired, and all those windows new glazed. Further, the deal board partition in the nave, put up as a fence to the new work, shall be new tarred and otherwise secured against the weather.
1747 June 29. Lease to Rees Jenkins of Hensol, gent., assignee of Charles Jones, of a mansion house, barn, outbuildings and garden on the churchyard wall in the parish of Pentirch; also ¼a. called Crofft-y-Ffynnon, 2a. called Erw'r Yscolhaig, and 16a. called Tir-y-Coed.
August 13. William Morgan, the Junior Vicar Choral [vicar of Pentyrch] is a third time summoned before the Chapter for being "concerned in liquor." Mrs. Rachel Rosser testifies to having met the reverend gentleman in that condition, returning on horseback from Cardiffe. The accused is once more admonished, and told "that if this Extraordinary Mildness now Shewn to him will not produce the desir'd Reformation in him, he will most infallibly be turn'd out of the Church at the Chapter to be held in January next." [He died in 1753.]
1750 June 30. A small fine is accepted from John Morgan, of Radir, yeoman, for premises in the parish of Llandaff, because the lessee has been at a considerable expence in rebuilding the Mitre inn, part of the property.
"Ordered that Mr Henry Jones, Vicar of St Hilary in the County of Glamorgan, be prosecuted and articled against in the Ecclesiastical Court of the Diocese for his indecent and scandalous behaviour, various complaints being made to the Chapter of his drunkenness and Immorality, and profane cursing and swearing."
1759 June 28. "Ordered that George Nott Bell-hanger do take down the old Bells, and putt up the largest and small one, to find all Timber Wheels and Stocks that shall be deficient, Iron and Brasses and hang them in a workmanlike manner (ropes excepted) and to have all the old materials, exclusive of Bells & ropes, for fifteen Guineas, and the work to be compleated by Mich'mas agreeable to an Article enter'd into with the said George Nott."
1769 June 28. Ordered, that the state of the Prebendal House be immediately enquired into and surveyed by a skilful workman. And that the Proctor General be desired to enquire into the expence of a decent cloth for the Communion table, and cushions for the Bishop's throne and the pulpit, and also a gown for the verger.
The skilful workman reports that the Prebendal House is in a very decayed and ruinous state, "and that the expence of a new Roof and repairing the Walls will be attended with an expence of Sixty Pounds at least."
"Whereas the said Mr Wells has been frequently admonished by this & former Chapters respecting his scandalous life and Conversation, without any reformation in Mr Wells from such admonitions. And whereas the said Mr Wells after a serious and pious admonition given him by the said Lord Bishop and Prebendaries assembled at their late Chapter at Peterstide 1770, promis'd to quit and give up the place of Senior Vicar Choral of this Church by him then and now held and enjoy'd, at or before May day last past, and the said Mr Wells having been guilty of a breach of promise and still continuing to hold and enjoy the said Vicar Choralship contrary to his promise made as aforesaid, & without any reformation in his life & Conversation, It is therefore hereby Ordered that from this time he is not to be paid or allow'd any preaching money for the several turns of preaching paid & allow'd by the respective Members of this Chapter."
1777 June 28. The Rev. Benjamin Hall (fn. 3), B.D., was appointed Senior Vicar Choral, and is, by virtue of that office, to hold the whole minute tiths of Llandaff and Whitchurch.
1779 June 28. Ordered, that for the future no person whatever be permitted to erect any tomb or monument in the churchyard without the consent of the Proctor General and the payment of a fee of 6s. 8d. Also a fee of 6s. 4d. is to be paid for the interment of every non-parishioner.
1781 June 28. "Very reasonable Proposals having been made by the Reverend Benjamin Hall, B.D., Senior Vicar Choral, to the Inhabitants of the Parish of Landaff, of raising his Tyths, which have been rejected on their part unless he acknowledges the Existance of a Modus which from its Rankness cannot ever have existed; the Chapter taking the same into their Consideration, hereby direct the said Benjamin Hall not to come into any Compromise or Agreement with the said Parishioners of Landaff by the Terms of which he acknowledges the Modus claimed to be valid."
1787 June 28. Agreement with William Edward, of the parish of Eglws Ilan, mason, for repairing the steeple of this church, at a cost of £180; he to find all materials, and to be permitted to wall up the upper south window of the said steeple.
Ordered, that the Chapter Clerk be empowered to employ any proper workman to survey the part of the old tower (fn. 4) which now remains standing, in order to its being taken down, and to repair the cathedral roof.
1799 June 29. Ordered, that £5 be laid out by the Inspector of the Fabric, towards repairing the pavement and forming screens at the entrance of the Welch Chapel, provided the parish will contribute; and that workmen be consulted on the repairs of the east window, which is now in a very decayed state.
1809 June 28. Ordered, that the Chapter Clerk do attend when that part of the Parish of Pentirch is perambulated that adjoins to the Parish of Lantwit Vairdre, in order to ascertain the boundary between the said Parishes.
Besides the Act Books above cited, the Chapter Clerk has in his custody an octavo book of seven folios of vellum, newly bound in calf, lettered "Oratio Episcopi Landavensis Præbendariis in Capitulo congregatis. Consuetudines et Ordinationes Ecclesiæ Landavensis (fn. 5), 1575."
At f° 1 d begins the Latin oration. It is texted in Italian script, and headed thus:—" Oratio reuerendi in Chr'o patris ac Dn'i Willi'mi Blethin permissione diu'na Landauen[sis] Ep'i Prebendariis suis in Cap'lo Landauen[sis] congregatis." (fn. 6) This document has been printed, from a copy, in Arch[ae]logia Cambrensis, July 1854. It will suffice to note, in this place, that the Bishop laments the miserable condition to which the very ancient Church of Llandaff has been reduced, and contrasts it with the Cathedral's former splendour and the wealth with which the See was anciently endowed. While allowing the necessity for purging the Church of her old Popery, he bewails the neglect, destruction and robbery which has deprived her of her magnificent ornaments, vestments, books and choral offices. He points out that even pigs are allowed to roam the sacred precincts. He exhorts the Prebendaries to aid him in restoring to Llandaff Cathedral some portion of her former dignity, and hopes that what she was under Bishop Urban and Pope Honorius, she may again be under Bishop Blethin and Queen Elizabeth.
The Oration is followed by certain Articles taken from the ancient and now lost manuscript known as the "Textus Ecclesiae," or "Textus Capituli." They consist largely of regulations for the Prebendaries, Vicars Choral and Annuellaries; which last term originally meant chantry-priests engaged in the cathedral, for a year at a time, to sing Masses, Obits, Dirges &c for the souls of deceased founders. Bishop Blethin adapted these Articles to the requirements of the Reformation, but was evidently anxious to preserve as much of the flavour of antiquity as was consistent with the new order of things.
Not the least interesting document in this little volume is that which is written on the first page. Though it seems to have been purposely effaced, its meaning can be made out with a magnifyingglass and a good light. The document is in Latin, and dated at Westminster 20 January 1527. It is an Exemplification of a Dispensation granted by Thomas, Archbishop of Canterbury and Primate of England, Chancellor of England and Legate a latere of His Holiness the Pope, and operating by virtue of the Papal delegation, unto Roland ap Moglon and Blanche Vaghan, of the Diocese of Llandaff, to marry nothwithstanding that they were within the prohibited degrees of relationship. The record is signed by "Jo. Hughes" and "W. Clarburg, Datarius," and is certified a true copy. It recites that "our most holy lord the Pope" has granted unto the Archbishop of Canterbury, for the time being, power to dispense in such matrimonial causes, and declares that his Grace, by virtue of the Apostolic authority, consents to the humble prayer of the parties and allows them freely to contract marriage without incurring any penalties.