Registrum Statutorum et Consuetudinum Ecclesiae Cathedralis Sancti Pauli Londiniensis. Originally published by Nichols and Sons, London, 1873.
This free content was digitised by double rekeying. All rights reserved.
The Cathedrals of the Old Foundation in England, originally Churches of Secular Canons, are nine in number: these are Chichester, Exeter, Hereford, Lichfield, Lincoln, London, Salisbury, Wells, and York. (fn. 1) Much has been done of late years to make the Records of the English Cathedrals accessible, and so to supply most valuable materials for the Ecclesiastical History of England. (fn. 2) To trace out their history would be to trace the history of the country of which they are the pride. (fn. 3) In every crisis of the religious history of the land they have borne their part. But I am not aware that any attempt has yet been made to gather together into one volume the whole of the Statutes of a Cathedral, from the earliest days to the present time. That labour, so far as S. Paul's is concerned, I have here attempted. With so large a mass of materials, and with the limited space at my disposal, it would obviously be a hopeless task to endeavour to take a complete survey of the multifarious contents of the volume. I have thought it best to give a slight sketch of the constitution of the Cathedral as it stood four centuries ago, and to group together, so far as I was able, some of the more curious details.
The foundation of the Church is traced back, in the opening book of the Statutes, (fn. 4) to the earliest times, and the old story is repeated that Pope Eleutherus, at the instance of King Lucius, sent two learned doctors, Faganus and Dumanus (Phaganus and Deruvianus in William of Malmesbury) to Britain in the year 185, who founded three metropolitical sees to the praise and honour of the Triune God: the first of these sees was that of London. So also says Radulphus de Diceto. (fn. 5) The other sees were at York and Caerleon. Unfortunately this pleasant narrative will scarcely bear the test of modern criticism. The evidence alleged for the existence of a Christian Church in Britain during the second century is carefully examined by Professor Stubbs and Mr. Haddan in the Introduction to their valuable edition of Councils and Ecclesiastical Documents relating to Great Britain and Ireland, and is pronounced to be altogether unhistorical. The story of King Lucius (fn. 6) is shown to rest "solely upon the later form of the Catalogus Pontificum Romanorum which was written c. a.d. 530, and which adds to the Vita Eleutheri (a.d. 171–186 or 179–194) in the earlier Catalogue, among other things, that 'Hic (Eleutherus) accepit epistolam a Lucio Britanniæ Rege ut Christianus efficeretur per ejus mandatum.' " But these words are not in the original catalogue, and the earliest British testimony to the story is that of Nennius in the ninth century. Upon the whole Mr. Haddan concludes (fn. 7) "that the bare story of the conversion of a British prince temp. Eleutheri originated in Rome during the fifth or sixth centuries, almost three hundred or more years after the date assigned to the story itself; that Bede in the eighth century introduced it into England, and that by the ninth century it had grown into the conversion of the whole of Britain; while the full-fledged fiction, connecting it specially with Wales and Glastonbury, and entering into details, grew up between centuries nine and twelve." Thus, as Dean Milman expresses it. (fn. 8) "King Lucius and the missionaries of his court have quietly withdrawn into the dim region of Christian mythology."
Happily the next sentence of the Statutes rests on a sounder basis, and without attempting to decide the interesting question as to whether a Christian church stood upon the summit of Paul's Hill in earlier days, there is no reason to doubt the statement that Augustine, during his visit to England, consecrated Mellitus, who became Bishop of the Cathedral founded by King Ethelbert himself.
It is not, however, our purpose to attempt to trace the early history of the Cathedral; those who would read its story may peruse the dry and laboured History of Sir William Dugdale, or the lucid and scholar-like pages of Dean Milman's Annals of S. Paul's. Let us rather endeavour to form a definite picture of the organization of the Cathedral at some fixed point in its history. For this purpose I will select the year 1450, and I do so for this reason: it is the date of that great compilation of the Statutes made by Dean Lisieux which forms the Corpus Statutorum comprised in Book I. of the present work. Dean Baldock's labours in that compilation appear to have ended with Part V.; Parts VI. and VII. grew up by degrees, and were finally preserved for us by Dean Lisieux. Although, however, we take the year 1450 as our stand-point, it must be remembered that the great majority of the Statutes under discussion were gathered together by Dean Baldock before the year 1305, and that many of these belong to a period far antecedent even to his own.
In 1450, then, the Cathedral body consisted of the following persons:—the Bishop, the Dean, the four Archdeacons, the Treasurer, the Precentor, and the Chancellor. To these we must add a body of thirty Greater Canons, twelve Lesser Canons, a considerable number of Chaplains, and thirty Vicars. A large body of official persons, such as the Subdean, the Sacrist, the Succentor, the Almoner, and many others, chiefly taken from the classes just enumerated, will be mentioned more in detail by and by in their due order.
Even in Cathedrals of the Old Foundation the numbers of these different classes varied very greatly, as did also their status and dignity. The exceptional precedence given at S. Paul's to the Archdeacons, and the unusual position and privileges of the Minor Canons, will be spoken of hereafter.
The Bishop held the most honourable place in the Cathedral, both in Chapter and in Choir. (fn. 9) At his first visit to the Church after his consecration he was received with becoming dignity by the Dean and the Choir wearing their silken copes; the Responsory Sancte Paule was chanted and suitable prayers were offered. On the occasions of ordinary visits the bells were rung, but there was no procession. It was the Bishop's duty to be present (debet esse presens) in the Cathedral on the greater feasts, on Christmas Day, Easter Day, Ascension Day, Whitsunday, the festivals of S. Paul and S. Erkenwald, and on Maundy Thursday and Ash Wednesday. On these greater feasts, when the Bishop said Mass, the Dean and the Sublimior Persona present assisted; in the absence of the latter, two of the Majores Personœ attended in their stead. He was preceded by two boys, bearing tapers, when he officiated in pontificalibus at vespers or at matins. To him the Book of the Gospels was first to be offered that it should be kissed, as were also the Pax and the Aspersorium. By whomsoever the Mass was said, the Bishop, being present, gave the Benediction, and said Confiteor. The Chancellor when present held before him the book from which the Chapter or the Collect was to be read. (fn. 10) When sitting in his own stall, or in that of the Dean, the Dean himself, as well as all the other members of the Church, reverently bowed to him. In his gift were all the Prebends, and the greater dignities, except the Deanery; in presenting to these offices the episcopal letters conferring the particular preferment were placed over the stall in Choir, and the seat in Chapter assigned to that officer. He also appointed the Penitentiary, the Custos of the Old Fabric, the Chaplain of his own Chapel, and the Priest of the Chantry of Eustace de Fauconberge, and he assigned their allowance of bread and beer to the Scriptor et Ligator Librorum Ecclesiæ.
After the Bishop in dignity were the Dean and the Majores Personæ: the four Archdeacons of London, Essex, Middlesex, and Colchester; together with the Treasurer, the Precentor, and the Chancellor. Of these more will be said as we proceed.
The Dean was thus appointed. Whenever the deanery became vacant the Chapter announced the vacancy to the Bishop; then, without seeking any licence from him, the Chapter met together and elected one of their own number to be the new Dean, whose election, if there were no canonical impediment, the Bishop confirmed. (fn. 11) At the installation of the Dean, he was received at the western door by the Ministers of the Church, with the same honours as those accorded to the Bishop, and duly installed by the Bishop, if he were present, but, in his absence, by a deputy of his appointment. The installation in Choir and the Divine Office ended, the Dean was led into the Chapter House, where he was placed in his proper seat, and the Oath of fidelity to the Church was then administered to him; after which he received from all his brethren, the greater and the lesser, a promise of canonical obedience to him as Dean. (fn. 12) Homage was then to be paid for the manor of Shadwell, and the necessary steps taken to secure the Dean's induction to the Church of Lambourne, in Berkshire, which belonged to him in right of his deanery.
Thus duly admitted, the Dean's authority is paramount over all the Canons, Priests, Vicars, and all other Ministers of the Church, in morum correctione et jurisdictione. He invests the Prebendaries; he corrects offenders; leaving, however, the Clerks of the lower grade to the authority of the Chancellor. All rise as he passes through the Choir or Chapter. He nominates those who are to be ordained; if he himself is to be ordained, the Chancellor calls him ad titulum S. Pauli: those who are to pass from the lower to the higher grades of Holy Orders are selected by the Dean and Chapter jointly. (fn. 13) On the greater days the Dean intones the solemn Antiphons. Benefices are to be conferred by the Dean and Chapter jointly; but, in case there were urgent reasons why a Benefice should be at once conferred, lest the King or some powerful person should ask that it might be bestowed upon some nominee of his own, it was competent to the Residentiaries, with the Dean, or even in the Dean's absence, to fill up the vacancy. On the more solemn feasts, in the absence of the Bishop, the Dean officiated; in the Dean's absence, the Sublimior Persona: the same honours were rendered to him as would have been offered to the Bishop. For minor offences the Vicars are to be corrected each by his own master, the Canon, whose deputy he is; but if their faults are such as to need dismissal from the Choir, then by the Dean; the Canon whose Vicar is dismissed nominating a new Vicar, or, if the Canon be abroad, his Proctor is to nominate in his stead. The Dean can correct the Minor Canons, and may, si excessus eorum hoc requirat, forbid them entrance for a season into the Choir. He can grant them leave of absence for eight days, but not for a longer time without the consent of the Chapter: for an absence of two days no permission is required. He may also modestly correct the Greater Canons, but he cannot expel them from the Choir, nor punish them, nor compel them to take Holy Orders, suo proprio motu, but must herein obtain the assent of the Chapter. The Canons were, however, to be compelled to take Holy Orders in due time, for they had no right to the name of Canon, nor to any voice in elections, unless they were ordained. A weekly Saturday Chapter was to be held, at which all the Ministers of the Church, the Greater Canons excepted, were to attend, and at which the shortcomings of the week were to be reported and corrected. In the Dean's gift were three Chantries, and the offices of Keeper of the Brewery, and Common Servant. (fn. 14)
Once in every three years the Dean, accompanied by one of the Canons, and by a Clerk appointed by the Bishop, made a visitation of the manors of the Chapter, and of the houses of the Canons in the City of London, carefully reporting upon their condition to the Chapter on his return, and estimating the outlay required for repairs and dilapidations. (fn. 15) Thus the recent legislation as to the appointment of diocesan surveyors was anticipated four centuries ago: and the visitation was already made, not when a vacancy had occurred, and when (as painful experience shows us) it might not be possible to obtain the means for executing the required repairs, but at regular and defined intervals. The manors belonging to the Dean were, in like manner, visited triennially by two Canons appointed by the Chapter for that purpose.
During the vacancy of the See of London, the Dean and Chapter became guardians of the temporalities, and administered its affairs. (fn. 16)
Unless the Dean were also Capellanus Prebendarius he had no share in the Obits, nor in the Pitances, nor in the Communa. (fn. 17)
The Sub-dean, who is always one of the Minor Canons, in the absence of the Dean fulfils his duties in Choir, and corrects the errors of the Minor Canons, Chaplains, Vicars, and other Ministers. He does not however occupy the Dean's stall. For his labours he receives, besides the payments due to him as Minor Canon, a loaf of white bread daily, such as was distributed to the Canons, and a gallon of ale of a better quality. The Church of S. Giles, Cripplegate, was also granted to him, in 1295, an annual pension being reserved to the Dean and Chapter. (fn. 18)
Next in dignity to the Dean were the four Archdeacons, of whom the Archdeacon of London took precedence, the Archdeacons of Essex, (fn. 19) Middlesex, and Colchester taking rank in the order of their names. The Archdeacon of S. Alban's was not added till the time of Henry VIII, nor had he any stall or place in the Chapter. (fn. 20) The Archdeacon of London sat in the first stall on the north side of the Choir, opposite to the Dean's stall. An interesting account of the office of the Archdeacon of London, taken from an early manuscript, will be found in Book II. (fn. 21) According to a very ancient Register, no one, save one of the Canons, was eligible to be appointed an Archdeacon, or to be made a Major Persona. (fn. 22)
To the Treasurer belonged the custody of all the valuables of the Church, such as the relics, books, sacred vessels, vestments, altar cloths or hangings, (fn. 23) and the like: and, inasmuch as the charge of these would have been far too onerous for one man, he appointed as his deputy the Sacrist; and, under the Sacrist, three Servientes, Virgiferi, or Virgers. The office of Treasurer of S. Paul's was founded by Bishop Richard de Belmeis (the second of that name), in 1160, and was endowed with the Churches of Southminster, Aldbury, and the two Pelhams; which endowments, however, were subject to certain charges for the maintenance of lights in the Cathedral, and for other minor expenses.
The Sacrist was the deputy of the Treasurer, by whom he was presented to the Dean and Chapter. (fn. 24) Upon his admission he took oath that he would faithfully guard the treasures under his care, and duly expend the ten marks which he received annually from the Treasurer for his own stipend and that of the three Virgers, and for other small expenses, so far as the money would suffice. It was his duty to see that the linen and vestments required in the Divine offices were pure, sound, and clean; (fn. 25) that the copes taken out for use in choir were not enormiter fractas; that the service books were well bound, with competent clasps; that the vestments were kept in good repair; that the door of the vestibule was opened at the first toll at matins, so that the rulers of the choir might enter in due time; that no one practised singing in the vestibule; that the Virgers, who were under his control, duly cleansed the lavatory; that fitting seats were prepared for the greater Canons. His duties having greatly increased, on account of the growing number of priests in the Church, it was necessary in 1314 to pay him an additional half-mark for the elements for the Eucharist, which were to be supplied by him.
The Precentor, whose office was endowed in the fifth year of King John (1203,) (fn. 26) with the Church of Shoreditch, was the director of the music of the Cathedral. He appointed the Succentor who was his deputy, and the Master of the Singing School. The Church of Stortford in Hertfordshire was annexed to this office. The Church of Shoreditch, however, was subsequently alienated from the office of Precentor, and annexed to the Archdeaconry of London. The Master of the Singing School inserted in the Table the names of the Canons ad cantariam faciendam. (fn. 27)
The Succentor was, as his name implies, the deputy of the Cantor or Precentor, whose duties he regularly fulfilled. If there were more persons on one side of the Choir than on the other, he reduced the numbers on the one side, till both sides were equal. (fn. 28)
The Chancellor, or Magister Scholarum, (fn. 29) was the person from whom the schoolmasters of the metropolis received their licence to teach. (fn. 30) He composed the letters and deeds of the Chapter, and whatever was read in Chapter was read by him. (fn. 31) The seal was in his custody, and he received one pound of pepper as his fee for sealing any deed. He made an inventory of the books in the Cathedral School, founded by Bishop Richard de Belmeis (the first of that name) in the reign of Henry I., and appointed a master for that school, which was called the Grammar School, whom he presented to the Dean and Chapter. He repaired the house belonging to the school at his own charge. When the Bishop was present and read the Collect or Chapter the Chancellor held the book before him. The punishment of Clerks of the lower grade was committed to him. He himself read the sixth lesson on every Double Feast. He prepared the Table in which were set down the names of the Priest, Deacon, and Subdeacon who were to celebrate the High Mass, and of the other Clergy in their turns of duty. He corrected the lesser faults, reserving those of persons who were contumacious or incorrigible for the Dean and Chapter, to be by them corrected. The Ceroferarii or Taper-bearers were under the discipline of the Magister Cantus. (fn. 32)
The Canons or Prebendaries of the Cathedral were thirty in number, and, with the Bishop as their head, constituted the Chapter. The Canons elected both the Bishop and the Dean. Each Canon, besides his share of the communa, had an endowment or corps attached to his stall. The manors forming the communa of the Chapter were Caddington, Kensworth, Sandon, Luffenhale, and Ardleigh, in Hertfordshire; Beauchamp, Wickham, Thorpe and Kirkby and Walton (fn. 33) (called at this day with reference to the ancient manorial jurisdiction of the Chapter, the Sokens), Tidwolditun, Tillingham, Barling, Runwell, Norton, Navestock, and Chingford, in Essex; Sutton and Drayton, in Middlesex; and Barnes in Surrey. (fn. 34) "It is remarkable that though the Statutes of the Cathedral describe the thirty Prebendaries as forming with the Bishop unum corpus, there is no evidence of his sharing with them any part of the revenue, or of his living in intercourse with them. (fn. 35) " Of the Prebendal Estates eight only were at some distance from the Cathedral. "Two were in Bedfordshire, Caddington Major and Minor, adjoining the manors of the Chapter; five in Essex, Sneating and Consumpta per Mare, (fn. 36) within the Chapter manor of Adulvesnasa; Ealdland, Weldland, and Reculverland at Tillingham (said to have been the first grant of King Ethelbert), and Chiswick, in Middlesex. The other twenty-two bordered on London, nine in Willesden, a fertile tract of heath and arable and woodland, stretching from Hampstead and the borders of the Westminster estate at Paddington, nearly to the foot of Harrow Hill, the Archbishop's Peculiar, Willesden, Bromsbury, Brownswood, Chamberlain's Wood, Mapesbury, Neasdon, Harlesden, Oxgate, Twyford. The rest formed a broad belt, extending from the walls of the City of London, from the Bishop's manor of Stepney to S. Pancras, S. Pancras, Rugmere, Totenhall, Kentish Town, Isledon (Islington), Newington, Holborn, Portpool, Finsbury, Hoxton, Wenlock's Barn, Mora, Ealdstreet. Thus these prebendal estates comprehended a large part of the present suburbs of London, and of the crowded parishes to the north of London. (fn. 37) "
The order of the Stalls of the Thirty Canons, an order preserved to the present day, is set out in the Statutes. (fn. 38) It was the duty of each Canon to recite daily a portion of the Psalter: (fn. 39) and thus, the whole Psalter being divided among the thirty Canons, each had to recite daily about five Psalms. (fn. 40) The first words of the section to be recited by each still stand, as of old they stood, over the stall of each of the Prebendaries.
In Dr. Donne's Sermons (fn. 41) will be found five "Prebend Sermons preached at S. Paul's;" (fn. 42) to the first of which the following note is prefixed, "The first of the Prebend of Cheswick's five Psalmes, which five are appointed for that Prebend, as there are five other for every other of our Thirty Prebendaries." In the first sermon of this course he says, "In this Church by ancient Constitution it is ordained that the whole booke of Psalmes should every day, day by day, bee rehearsed by us, who make the body of this Church, in the eares of Almighty God. And therefore every Prebendary of this Church is by those constitutions bound every day to praise God in those five Psalms which are appointed for his Prebend. And of those five Psalmes which belong to mee, this out of which I have read you this text (Ps. lxii. 9) is the first. And, by God's grace, (upon like occasions) I shall here handle some part of every one of the other foure Psalmes for some testimony that those my five Psalmes returne often into my meditation, which I also assure myself of the rest of my brethren who are under the same obligation in this Church." In the second Prebend Sermon, he says, "The Psalmes are the Manna of the Church . . . . As the whole Book is Manna, so these Five Psalmes are my Gomer, (fn. 43) which I am to fill and empty every day of this Manna." From the third Sermon it seems clear that the Psalms appointed to each Prebend were recited by the Prebendaries whether present in the Church or absent: for the eloquent Dean says, "Every day God receives from us [the Prebendaries], howsoever we be divided from one another in place, the Sacrifice of Praise in the whole Booke of Psalmes. And though we may be absent from this Quire, yet, wheresoever dispersed, we make up a Quire in this service, of saying over all the Psalmes every day." In the fourth Sermon, after speaking of the five loaves in the miracle, he says, "This Psalme is one of my five loaves which I bring; one of those five Psalms which, by the institution of our ancestors in this Church, are made mine, appropriated especially to my daily meditation, as there are five other Psalmes to every other Person of our Church."
The Second Part of the Statutes deals with the Canons mainly, their election by the Bishop, their Collation and Installation, the Oath upon admission, and many points relating to the internal government of the body. (fn. 44)
With the Third Part commences the long series of Statutes relating to the vexed question of Residence. (fn. 45) The ancient rule, set forth in Part III. chap. 2, is easily to be understood. When a Prebendary desired to become a Residentiary he attended the Chapter on the vigil of one of the four feasts following: Michaelmas Day, Christmas Day, Easter Day, or the Nativity of S. John Baptist, and there in the presence of the Dean and Chapter, or of the Dean alone, he protested his willingness to reside. (fn. 46) Subsequently, having with him two clerks who had no benefice or office in the Church, both in Holy Orders, or, at least, one in Orders and the other aptus ad Sacros, he enters upon his duties in Choir. He takes his share in the daily offices, as may be appointed to him in the Table. He supplies three refections daily to two Minor Canons, two Chaplains, four Vicars, the Virgers, and the bell-ringers who arouse him each night that he may be in time for matins. He preaches si ad hoc doctus est. During his first quarter's residence he may only be absent for six days; if he exceed that term of absence he must commence his residence anew in the succeeding quarter. His first quarter duly fulfilled, he may be absent in other quarters for three weeks and six days, licence from the Dean being duly obtained: if he exceed this term, he will lose his share of the dividend. These Canons thus residing were called Stationarii, Stagiarii, or Residentiarii. (fn. 47)
At the first canonical hour daily, when he is on duty in Choir, he feeds all the lesser ministers of the Church who wish to go to his house; he invites also the Esquires of the Canons Residentiary. In every quarter he entertains the Residentiaries at a special feast, not indeed all at the same time, but successively in their turns of duty. He also prepares two banquets to which all the Greater Canons Residentiary are invited, and the whole Choir, and those of the Canons who, though not Residentiaries, live near to the Church. The Bishop himself, and the Lord Mayor, Sheriffs, and Aldermen, together with the Justices, are to be invited; for it is desirable to maintain kindly relations between the Cathedral and the City. And further (not to delay too long over these curious arrangements,) he must by no means live far from the Church, lest the Minor Canons, Vicars, and others should find the distance irksome and laborious. A house known as Domus Comitis Hereford in Oldenes Lane, now called Warwick Lane, and another house called Domus Dianœ vel Rosamundœ on Paul's Wharf Hill, were considered too remote for the residence of a Canon in his first year; though either of these house would have been within four minutes' leisurely walk of the Cathedral. He might not even be bled during his first quarter's residence, although that privilege might be allowed in the remaining quarters of his first year. (fn. 48) He must be present at all the Canonical hours; and even should urgent cause arise for him to leave the Choir for a brief space, he must ask the licence of the Greater Person present, and return as speedily as may be. No wonder it is added that a Canon about to enter on his first residence must be in sound health.
The new Residentiary was not to be allowed to chant the verses which fell to his share until he had learned how to sing, ne derisio a populo de Canonicis fiat, ne propter discordiam scandalum Ecclesiæ oriatur. It was his duty intonare suum O contra Natale, and on this occasion to entertain the greater Canons: for those who did not sup, ale and wines were prepared, with a good fire in the midst of the house. No house of residence would be allotted to him until his first year was complete, and then the testimony of the Minor Canons, Vicars, and Priests would be required as to his punctual performance of his duties, nor was the Novus Residentiarius admitted to Chapters unless specially invited by the Dean and Chapter. Besides the two Clerks before referred to, his Vicar dwelt in his house during his first year of residence; and not only must he daily entertain the Minor Canons and others at his table at breakfast (prandium), but also any of the Canons living in the city. (fn. 49)
It is scarcely to be wondered at that Bishop Braybrooke felt it necessary to take this onerous affair of first residence in hand, and to publish the very important Injunction, (fn. 50) deserving of careful perusal, in which a great portion of this heavy burden was taken from the shoulders of the New Residentiary, and his expenses in his first year of residence were limited to three hundred marks. This Injunction was followed up by the letters of Bishop FitzHugh and Bishop Gilbert, (fn. 51) which prepared the way for the larger measures of Bishop Warham, Dean Colet, and Cardinal Wolsey.
It is scarcely possible to give a better summary of the numerous Statutes relating to Residence in the Cathedral than that which may be gathered from the words of Dean Milman. He is speaking of the reforms introduced by Bishop Braybrooke. "The Residentiaryship had formerly been a burden. The Canons thought it more pleasant to reside each on his separate estate, leaving to others the irksome duty of attending the long and wearisome services of the Church, for which each had his ill-paid deputy. (fn. 52) Gradually, however, from the great increase of the common fund (the domus), by oblations, obits, and other sources shared out to the Residentiaries, this burden became an enviable privilege. There was a rush to become Residentiaries. At this time, too, the Residentiaries had an ingenious device to exclude their eager brethren. The Canon who would become a Residentiary was obliged to pay six or seven hundred marks to be spent in feastings, (fn. 53) so the Residentiary Chapter had sunk down to only two. The affair was brought before the King for his arbitration, and he ordered that residence should be determined according to the usage of the Church of Salisbury." And again, treating of the same subject, Dean Milman says, "Some Canons, no doubt, held their stalls as one of many pluralities, for prebends were, in those days, lavishly bestowed throughout the Church with no regard to special duties, and were held by Bishops, dignitaries, and foreigners:" (fn. 54) and, I may add, by children. (fn. 55) "Thus the splendid company shrunk by degrees; the services of the Church devolved on a still diminishing few, who took the name of Residentiaries. The abuse at length became so flagrant that Ecclesiastical authority was compelled to interfere, and to enforce the duties, rather than confer the honours, of residence. Episcopal, Papal, and even Royal decrees were necessary to fix a number sufficient to maintain the majesty of the ceremonial. The number seems to have varied from five down to two. In process of time came a great change. The common fund, from the demesne lands and from other sources, increased to an enormous extent: it fell almost exclusively to the share of the Residentiaries. Residence became an object of cupidity and competition. All the thirty were now as eager to avail themselves of their once-despised rights as they were before to elude the burdensome duties. The same authority was now necessary to limit the number of Residents, as had before been invoked to compel residence. Episcopal and Papal decrees determined the numbers, which nevertheless floated for a long time in uncertainty. So grew up a Chapter within the Chapter, which undertook to discharge, with some other dignitaries, all the offices of the Church; to maintain the services, to administer, and for their own advantage, the common revenues of the Cathedral." (fn. 56)
Hence the numerous Bulls, Statutes, and Ordinances with which this volume abounds; hence the Decrees of Boniface IX., of Martin V., of Leo. X. (fn. 57); hence the Statutes of Bishops Warham and FitzJames (fn. 58); and hence, too, many of the Statutes of Dean Colet and of Cardinal Wolsey. (fn. 59) The Papal Decrees above referred to, which are printed in the present volume, limit the expenses of first residence to three hundred marks. (fn. 60) The variation of the number of Residentiaries is clearly exhibited in the following pages. At the commencement of the thirteenth century there were eleven Residentiaries; in 1417 there were five; in 1520 there were six; Bishop Warham's Statutes, 1502, contemplate the possibility of there being but two, or even one. (fn. 61)
The Canons were bound to keep the Canonical hours; to hasten to the Church when the appointed summons was given, not with pompous gait, but reverently and in the fear of God, all, of whatever degree, wearing their habits by day or by night. The Dean and Canons served successively at the High Altar, each being in his turn Hebdomadarius, and officiating either in person or by his Vicar. The Minor Canons also officiated at the High Altar in the place of the Greater Canons. None save Prebendaries, Major or Minor, might celebrate at the High Altar: a special exception, however, to this rule was made in favour of Bishops. Two Canons were appointed to rule the Choir. (fn. 62)
In the Fourth Part of the Statutes will be found minute rules as to the transfer of the property of each Prebend, on a vacancy, to the next Incumbent. (fn. 63) The executors of the dead Canon appear to have received the profits of the stall for one whole year after the death of the Canon. A Prebendary taking monastic vows retained his privileges in like manner for a similar period. Careful provision is made for the maintenance of the houses, farm buildings, and necessary implements of husbandry. If a Canon fell sick who was living in the Close, or near the Church, the Dean straightway visited him; heard his confession, or, if he desired it, allowed him to have some other Confessor; if the end drew near, the Dean, accompanied by the Canons who were at hand, administered extreme unction, which having been duly solemnized, the dying man received from his brethren a fraternal salutation. The funeral took place speedily, probably even on the day following the death. The body, laid upon a bier, and sprinkled with holy water, was brought into the Choir, where the Psalter was recited. On the morrow the Mass for the Dead was celebrated. The will of the deceased was proved before the Dean and Chapter; if he died intestate the goods which he had from the Church were distributed for pious uses according to the direction of the Dean and Chapter. (fn. 64)
To the new Residentiaries the Statutes were frequently to be read, that they might the better understand their duties. All the Prebends were free from Episcopal or Archidiaconal jurisdiction. (fn. 65)
The Canons on their installation took an oath to observe the approbatas et approbandas ipsius Ecclesiæ Consuetudines; a large and comprehensive sentence, which, in 1330, it was thought should be more accurately defined: a careful definition was accordingly drawn up in Chapter, which will be found in Part VI. Chap. 15. (fn. 66)
The Minor Canons (fn. 67) of S. Paul's, regarded as a Corporation, trace back their origin to the royal charter granted to them by Richard II. in 1394: by which they were incorporated under the name of The College of the Twelve Minor Canons in S. Paul's Cathedral, and received certain privileges: the right to hold property, to have a common seal, (fn. 68) and to elect their own Warden. But although the Minor Canons were not incorporated till the 18th year of King Richard II., their royal benefactor, they had existed as a body of twelve men from the earliest times, in all probability from the foundation of the Cathedral. Book III. contains a series of documents from which their history may be very clearly gathered. (fn. 69)
In 1353 Robert de Kyngeston, Minor Canon and Cardinal, (fn. 70) gave his house near Pardon Church Haugh (fn. 71) (which was on the north side of the Cathedral, eastwards from the Bishop's palace) for the purpose of constructing on its site a new hall for the use of the Minor Canons. (fn. 72) The gift was duly confirmed to the Minor Canons by the Dean and Chapter, and by the Bishop.
In 1364 a statute was issued by the Dean and Chapter, and confirmed by Simon Sudbury, the then Bishop of London, in which it is recited that the Minor Canons excel in honour and dignity all other Chaplains in the Cathedral; that they officiate at the High Altar in the stead of the Greater Canons; and that hence it was desirable that, as they differed from the inferior ministers of the Church in station, so also they should be distinguished by their dress; and that in future they should wear almuces of fur, after the manner of the Greater Canons, instead of almuces of black cloth such as other Chaplains wore. (fn. 73)
In 1378 a Confirmation of the dignity conceded to the Minor Canons was granted by Simon Sudbury, then Archbishop of Canterbury, and by Pope Urban VI., and in this document a brief review of the history of the Minor Canons is given. From very early times (a longis retroactis temporibus) there had been three grades of ecclesiastical persons serving God in the Church of S. Paul: those of the first grade were called Greater Canons, those of the second grade Minor Canons, those of the third grade Vicars Perpetual. The Greater Canons were, the Vicars ought to be, thirty in number; the Minor Canons, who were Priests, were twelve. The mode of election to a Minor Canony is recited. When a vacancy occurred, the eleven Minor Canons intimated the vacancy to the Dean and Chapter, whose licence having been obtained, they assembled together; and, after mature deliberation had amongst themselves, they selected two fit and sufficient persons whom they nominated to the Dean and Chapter: of these two the Dean and Chapter elected one. Their dress consisted of a white surplice, black copes with cowls, and almuces of black fur. The Prebend of the Minor Canon consisted in his receipt of five pence from the Chamber of the Church weekly, and one penny on every double feast. He had besides an allowance of seven white loaves weekly, and three loaves of black bread called Trenchur bred, together with three gallons of ale called Wilkyn, or a money payment in lieu of these. Two of the Minor Canons were called Cardinals, and it was their duty to celebrate the Capitular Mass, to administer the sacraments to the sick, and to solemnise funerals; for which duties they received a double portion, both of money and of the customary allowances. (fn. 74) It will be observed that these privileges belonged to the body before the granting of the royal charter.
In 1394, King Richard the Second gave to the Minor Canons their Charter, (fn. 75) confirming them in their privileges, giving them a common seal, enabling them to hold property, appointing John de Lyntone as the first Custos or Warden of the body, and granting and confirming to them certain tenements and rents in the City of London.
In March, 1396, the Minor Canons met together in their common hall, and drew up the very interesting body of statutes for their own government, which are printed, both in the original Latin, (fn. 76) and in an English translation, as Article VI., Book III. (fn. 77) These statutes are comprised in thirty-five chapters, to which three chapters were subsequently added; two of these, however, are memoranda rather than decrees. From this document a clear insight may be gained into the internal economy of the College, and few, probably, will rise from its perusal without having gathered considerable knowledge as to the inner life of a religious community at the close of the fourteenth century. The College was governed by a Warden, elected by themselves from their own body upon S. Barnabas' Day in every year. The Warden "and the wiser sort of his brethren" elected also, on the same day, one of the Minor Canons to be Pitantiary, (fn. 78) who, as his name implies, was to take good heed to the pittances and other payments due to the body, and to be a help to the Warden in his important duties. Each Minor Canon, in his turn, was Steward, and during his week superintended the arrangement of the commons of the body. At dinner time one lesson of the Holy Bible was to be read distinctly and plainly, because man liveth not by bread only, but by every word that proceedeth out of the mouth of God. A brother might, under proper regulations, introduce strangers to the common table. The gates of the College were to be closed at nine in summer, and at eight in winter, lest the Minor Canons "might be hindered of their natural rest, or become unapt to serve God." The Statutes of the body were to be read in the audience of the brethren at least once in every year.
The rights and privileges of the Minor Canons were still further confirmed in 1395–7, by an Ordinance of Bishop Braybrooke and Archbishop Arundel, duly confirmed by the Dean and Chapter: (fn. 79) followed in succession by a series of Royal Charters and Confirmations granted by Henry V., Edward IV., Henry VII., and Queen Elizabeth. (fn. 80) To these are added the Form of Prayer at the Installation of a Minor Canon, (fn. 81) and a very important statute confirmed by Her Majesty in Council, in which is set out a Schedule of Benefices drawn up with a view of meeting "the just claims of the Minor Canons" to a share in the patronage bestowed by the Dean and Chapter. (fn. 82)
With regard to the peculiar name of Cardinal given to two of the Minor Canons, we read in one of the Harleian MSS. (fn. 83) that, "the Church of S. Paule had, before the time of the Conquerour, two Cardinalls, which office still continues. They are chosen by the Dean and Chapter out of the number of the twelve Petty Canons, and are called Cardinales Chori . . . Not any Cathedral Church in England hath Cardinalls besids this, nor are any beyond seas to be found to be dignified with this title, sauing the Churches of Rome, Rauenna, Aquileia, Millan, Pisa, Beneuent in Italy, and Compostella in Spayn."
The Minor Canons officiated at the altar of the Blessed Virgin, and at the altar of the Apostles in the nave of the Cathedral, as we learn from the following passage: (fn. 84)
In Altari Beate Virginis per ordinem ministrant Minores Canonici singulis diebus in Missa sollempni Beate Virginis, et Clerici Ecclesie eis subministrantes percipiunt per manum Vicarii de Finchingfeud (fn. 85) v. marcas per annum de eadem.
Item supradicti Minores Canonici ministrant inferius in navi Ecclesie in Altari Apostolorum numero ix. per ebdomadas sollempnam Missam de Apostolis, et sibi invicem subserviunt; recipiunt ix. libras annuas de Ecclesia de Suineberi (fn. 86) in quatuor terminis per manum Vicarii ejusdem ecclesie.
Dignities specially reserved to the Minor Canons were the offices of SubDean, Senior Cardinal, Junior Cardinal, and the Chaplaincy of the Chantry of William de S. Mariæ Ecclesia in the Cathedral. (fn. 87)
To the above details may be added a few particulars scattered over the surface of the Statutes. Four of the Minor Canons, two of these being Cardinals, attending the Choir de die et de nocte, wrote down all errors and defects observed in the service, and reported them at the Saturday Chapter. Should the Minor Canons be negligent in their duty, they could be punished by the withholding of a portion of the daily distribution. They must not let their houses, save to a Minor Canon, or to some other minister of the Church. Each should serve, in his turn, in the stead of the Major Canons, at the High Altar, without special payment for the duty. (fn. 88)
John de Chishul, Bishop of London from 1274 to 1279–80, granted out of the profits of the Church of Halstead in Essex, eight pounds yearly to the Minor Canons of the Cathedral, and thirteen pounds to the Vicars. (fn. 89)
From what has been already said it will have been observed that the status of the Minor Canons in S. Paul's Cathedral differs entirely from that of any other body now called by the same name. In the essay already referred to (on the Cathedrals of the Old Foundation), Mr. Freeman (fn. 90) observes that "the only Old Foundation Churches where the title of Minor Canon was used were those of London and Hereford. At S. Paul's the Minor Canons form a College consisting wholly of Clergymen, and distinct from the Vicars, who are laymen. At Hereford the Vicars, who, unless there has been some change lately, are all clergymen, form a College some of whose members are distinguished from the rest as Minor Canons." The latest account of the College of Hereford of which I am aware is that given by the Rev. F.T. Havergal, in his Fasti Herefordenses, (fn. 91) from which I have condensed the following notice. The College of Vicars Choral at Hereford was incorporated by Richard II., who gave them a common seal. (fn. 92) In 1534 there were a Custos and twenty-six Vicars. Queen Elizabeth granted a fresh charter in 1583, when the corporation was reduced to twelve members, "but just before the Civil Wars there were sixteen, all graduates and in holy orders. From the year 1660 to 1840, twelve Priest Vicars were constantly engaged in the daily services of the Cathedral. It was by the unfortunate enactments of 3 and 4 Victoria, c. 113, when the ancient polity of the Church of England was broken up, that this body was reduced to six. Arrangements having been made (1865 to 1868) for the gradual restoration of the full number, there are at present (1869) a Custos, three Vicars Choral, and six assistant Priest-Vicars." It must be remembered that these Vicars Choral are Priests. (fn. 93) Their number was reduced to six, but their emoluments were not otherwise affected. (fn. 94) This body is the only one at all resembling the Minor Canons of S. Paul's, and even this differs from the S. Paul's College in many important particulars, and, especially, in having submitted itself to the operation of the Act referred to.
The Almoner maintained eight boys fit for the service of the Church, instructing them in literatura ac bonis moribus either himself, or by another master. These eight boys stood, two and two, in singulis quarteriis Chori; they lighted and extinguished the tapers at the proper times; if they broke the tapers, they did not receive the ends of the candles at the close of the week, as otherwise they would have done; on their way to and from school they walked sub dncatu alicujus maturi hominis, lest in their boyish levity they should wander about. In the houses of the Canons the boys of the Almonry sat upon the floor, not with the Vicars at the table, lest they should become puffed up with pride, or should exceed in their meat or drink, or when they returned to the house of their master should despise their usual diet. The Almoner, further, as his name implies, distributed the alms of the Church, and rendered a monthly account to the Dean and Chapter of his receipts. Any poor folk, dying within or near the churchyard, were buried by him in the greater cemetery. (fn. 95)
The Chantries founded in the Cathedral were very numerous, and the Chantry Priests formed a body of men amongst whom it seems to have been not a little difficult to maintain due order. They were bound not only to minister at the altars to which they were attached, but also in their canonical habit to frequent the Choir, and to fulfil the functions assigned to them in the Table, unless especially relieved from those duties. Such only as frequented the Choir might share in the distribution of pitances and the like. None might say his office so loudly as to disturb the other Priests who might be officiating near at hand, nor might they permit strangers to celebrate at their altars. The Chantries of the Church were dealt with in the time of Richard II. by the King himself, and by Bishop Braybroke; the foundation of some of them being found far too small for the support of the Chantry Priest, letters patent were issued for the union and incorporation of many of the Chantries, that so, by such union, sufficient funds might be obtained for the maintenance of the incumbents. A house called Prestes House was used as the residence of many of these Chaplains, whilst others had a chamber attached to their Chantry. (fn. 96)
The Vicars were originally thirty in number, each Canon having his own Vicar or deputy. This number, large as it seems, it was thought desirable to increase, rather than to diminish. No one was eligible to be a Vicar unless he were of good character and conversation, a free man, and born in lawful wedlock, having a good voice. Their distinctive dress was a plain almuce of black cloth in winter. Those who were in the lower Orders must, within the year of their probation, proceed to the higher Orders, otherwise they might not remain in the Church. They might not be Proctors or Attorneys in the Ecclesiastical or Civil Courts. Within their year of probation they must know the Psalter by heart. The Vicar of a deceased Canon might not be removed without a cause, even though the new Incumbent of the Stall desired to appoint a Vicar of his own choosing. In 1273 it was ordained that they should eat together in their common hall. On admission they took an oath of obedience to the Dean and Chapter, and of fidelity to the Church. As to the discipline of the body many hints are dropped: those who were inattentive to their duties were fined by the withholding of certain profits which accrued to them from the Steeple Bumpstead estate granted to the Vicars in the time of Henry III. (fn. 97)
When the presence of the Canons was needed at a Chapter, the summons requiring the attendance of each Canon was affixed to his Stall in Choir; and it was the duty of the Vicar immediately to transmit this notice to the Canon whom he served, at the cost of the Canon, which if he failed to do, he was to be suspended from wearing his habit, and from his share of the Communa of the Church for fifteen days. (fn. 98)
Each of the Vicars in his turn rose betimes that he might ring the bell suspended in the house of the Vicars, and arouse his brethren for matins. Two priests, maturi, et bonæ et honestæ conversationis, lived in the house of the Vicars, that they might observe their mode of life, and report thereon to the Dean or to his locum tenens. (fn. 99)
The duties of the Vicars are detailed at some length in Part vi. chap. 22; if they neglected those duties a fine was imposed. The fines, whether in money or in kind, arising from penalties imposed upon the Minor Canons or Vicars, were distributed at the discretion of the Chamberlain and Cardinals amongst the Ministers who were regular in their attendance in Choir. (fn. 100)
A dispute having arisen, about the year 1248, as to the relative positions of some of the Clergy ministering in the Church, it was decided that the Minor Canons took precedence in the first rank, the Chaplains (Capellani) in the second, and the Vicars, although older as regards their foundation than the Chaplains, in the third. (fn. 101)
The Sunday dinners given by the Canon in residence to those Ministers of the Church who were in attendance on Divine Service were discontinued towards the close of 1843. (fn. 102)
We have seen that originally each Canon had his Vicar, and, as there were thirty Canons so also there were thirty Vicars. It was thought desirable that even this large number should be increased, though we do not read that it was, in fact, augmented. On the contrary, by Dean Colet's time, they had dwindled down to six, and some of these were married men. (fn. 103) This small number continues to the present time. "The Foundation of S. Paul's Cathedral," says the Succentor, (fn. 104) in a Report upon the choir recently presented to the Dean and Chapter, "provides as an entire establishment of adult singers, six persons, who are termed Vicars Choral, one of whom, as there is no other provision, must be the organist. The appointments are freehold, and the body possesses estates in common; and though there is no common seal, the seal of the Dean and Chapter being used in their behalf, they enjoy to all intents and purposes the character of a Corporation." Their estates have been lately surrendered to the Ecclesiastical Commissioners. The Choir has recently been largely augmented by the addition of extra voices. The records of the Cathedral do not bridge over that great interval between the thirty Vicars and the six Vicars Choral, though it would not be difficult to guess at some of the causes which led to so great a diminution.
The Treasurer nominated and presented to the Dean and Chapter three Servientes or Virgers, who in successive weeks fulfilled their duties in the Church, observing the canonical hours both by day and night, and taking heed that the bells were duly rung. They received their stipends out of the ten marks disbursed by the Sacrist, and had besides their victuals from the Dean and Chapter. They were probably the custodes ecclesiæ, (fn. 105) whose duty it was to know the various modes of ringing the bells of the church, so that the peals proper for different services might be duly rung; these peals were of great importance, not only because they pointed out to the dwellers in the Close the character of the Divine Service in which they were about to engage, but were also of great use to many in the City, who, earning their bread by the labour of their hands, were accustomed to regulate their hours of toil by the bells from the Cathedral tower. Besides these three Virgers there is also a fourth, called the Dean's Virger, who ranks above the other three: (fn. 106) and who is Ostiarius of the Lower House of Convocation. (fn. 107) The four Virgers appear in a compotus of the year 1286.
It was their duty to guard the church diligently, not leaving the care of it to one Virger only; to open the doors of the church early in the morning, and to close them in the winter when the bell tolled for Compline, in the summer at the ringing of the Curfew, (fn. 108) after which hours the doors must not be opened, save for very urgent causes. When daylight began to fail they lit the lamps. When the doors were closed they made a careful search throughout the church to see that no thieves or evil-doers were secreted there. At matins, after the Gloria Patri of the first Psalm, they were to close the western entrance of the Choir, especially during disturbances of the kingdom or city, so as to avoid various dangers. They must take care that their cowls were not hanging about their necks when they were performing their duties in the Choir or about the altar, nor might they walk with uncovered heads through the Choir in presence of the Canons. When the greater Feasts drew near they must take heed that the pavement was diligently swept, and the dust and cobwebs removed. They must obey the Sacrist and do that which he commanded. Women of ill-fame, porters, beggars, minstrels indevoutly making a noise before the altars of the Virgin and of the Holy Cross, they must drive from the church. They must carry the silken copes and vestments from the vestibule to the Choir, and bear them back again, folding and carefully replacing them. They must cleanse the churchyard when processions were about to pass through it. No other service could excuse them from their duties in the church. If they broke the covers or clasps of the office books they must replace them at their own cost. By them the graves in the churchyard were dug, at fees fixed by statute; and, in general, they were not to allow any who did not wear the habit of the church to be buried in the lesser cemetery. On the Feast of S. Michael they surrendered their staves to the Dean and Chapter, receiving them again if their conduct had been satisfactory; otherwise the Dean and Chapter removed the offenders from their places. They kept the door of the Chapter-house. They were not to suffer carriages to pass through the southern and eastern churchyards, but were to guard the entrance of the churchyard with chains. (fn. 109) (A street on the south side of S. Paul's is still called Paul's Chain.) They should daily vest the Minor Canons, Deacons, and Sub-deacons.
The Virgers had as assistants their Garciones, (fn. 110) who took an oath of fidelity to the Sacrist, and for whom the Virgers were responsible; these Garciones were two in number. I am disposed to think that they answer to the bellringers. When the Virger on duty was absent at meal-times one of the Garciones took his place. (fn. 111)
The Minor Officers of the Cathedral were too numerous to be mentioned with any detail. Such were the Custos Operis or Surveyor of the Cathedral, who had the care of the structure, and who was especially enjoined to examine the roofs of the Church after great rains, as then he could easily ascertain whether they were sound or no, and to take precautions against fire, especially, as too sad experience suggested, when plumbers were at work; (fn. 112) the Master of the Grammar School, who besides other important functions held disputations on S. Bartholomew's Day at the Convent of S. Bartholomew; (fn. 113) the Twelve Scribes or Writers, who sat at certain places in the nave of the Cathedral ad serviendum populo; (fn. 114) the Custos Capellœ Beatæ Mariœ; (fn. 115) the Magister or Custos Novi Operis, (fn. 116) concerning whose duties an Ordinance of the Dean and Chapter was put forth in 1332; (fn. 117) the Ligator Librorum; (fn. 118) the Clerk of the Register, or Registrar; (fn. 119) the Scriptor Librorum; (fn. 120) the Camerarius or Chamberlain, who paid the stipends, pitances, and payments issuing out of the camera of the Church, and took account of the number of candles and lamps burned in the Cathedral; (fn. 121) the Collector Reddituum, who made his quarterly return to the Chamberlain; (fn. 122) the Custos or Magister, or Supervisor Bracini, or Chief of the Brewery, with his servants, whose office certainly was no sinecure; (fn. 123) the Pistor or baker, the Braciator or brewer, and the Tractator Cervisiæ, whom I cannot quite distinguish from the brewer, (fn. 124) unless indeed he may have been the drawer.
Books I. and III. have been so fully discussed in the preceding pages, that the remaining books must be dealt with more briefly. In the limited space now at our disposal, we can do little more than indicate, in the shortest way, the principal matters of which they treat.
The First Article is interesting, not so much because it contains Statutes different (as regards the subjects of which they treat) from those already printed in the compilations of Deans Baldock and Lisieux, but because we have here the earliest extant forms of those Statutes, before much attempt at codification or arrangement had been made. It will have been observed that in the Five Parts of the Statutes which were compiled by Dean Baldock (fn. 125) some endeavour after classification was attempted; indeed, the order observed is distinctly pointed out in the preamble or introduction. (fn. 126) Dean Lisieux's additions, in Parts VI. and VII. or rather, the additions which had grown up by degrees since Dean Baldock's days, are, as Dean Baldock said of the Statutes when he commenced his labours, arranged confusedly and without any certain order; and in this state the selection of Statutes forming Article I. of Book II. will be found. The most interesting items amongst these extracts are these: first, the appointment of Richard de Swinefield, Archdeacon of London, afterwards Bishop of Hereford, in 1281, as Preacher in the Cathedral; (fn. 127) this, it will be seen, is part of the important movement which resulted in the appointment of the Divinity Lecturer by Bishop Richard de Gravesend, and the endowment of that office by Bishop Ralph de Baldock. (fn. 128) Next, the order issued in the year 1623, that Vespers and Compline were to be said without any interval. And thirdly, the Bull of Pope Lucius III. prohibiting the sale by the Canons of their share in the daily distributions of bread and ale to any others save to their brethren, a custom having arisen of selling these portions to any purchaser, even to women and to Jews; in future they may not be disposed of to laymen. (fn. 129)
Article II. supplies a variety of details with regard to the office of the Archdeacon of London, (fn. 130) his power in excommunication, orders with regard to Processions to the Cathedral, the consecration of chrism, the celebration of Masses for the dead, the appointment of the Archdeacon's servant or official, the case of a rebellious parishioner, the solemnization of marriages, the making of wills, the visitation of the sick, and many other important matters.
Articles IV., V., VIII., X., and XVI. contain decrees and statutes of Boniface IX., Martin V., Bishop Warham, Leo X., and Bishop Bonner, all relating to that great controversy as to residence in the Cathedral of which much has already been said. (fn. 131) It is unnecessary to recapitulate the substance of these documents: they are directed against the extravagant and excessive expenses which threw the greatest hindrances in the way of Canons desiring to become Residentiaries, and by limiting these charges must have done much to repress the luxurious living which was fast sapping the religious life of the Church.
Article VII. deserves a few words in passing. (fn. 132) It is a Statute of Bishop Kempe, in 1456–7, Pro capis emendis. The Bishop sets forth that in his Visitation of the Cathedral he had observed that the Copes and Vestments used in the Divine Service were worn and well nigh destroyed with age, so that, instead of being an ornament and a glory to the Church, they were in truth a deformity and a disgrace. He ordains, as a remedy for the defect, that in future every Bishop of the see should, within three years from the time of his consecration, present a silken Cope of not less value than twenty marks sterling, and he himself sets a good example by presenting a Cope of that value. The then Dean, and his successors, were to present each a Cope worth ten marks: and the Major Persons and the Canons were, within a year of their installation, to pay to the Sacrist sums, varying in proportion to the value of their preferment, to be applied to the same purpose.
Probably, however, Articles XI. and XII. together with Articles XIII., XIV. and XV. will be generally considered the most valuable, as they are certainly the most interesting, sections of this Book. The two former contain the attempts of Dean Colet to recast the old Body of Statutes, and to reform them, whilst the three latter (especially Article XIV., for Articles XIII. and XV. are but fragments,) contain the Statutes drawn up by Cardinal Wolsey as the result of Dean Colet's labours.
In the Life of Dr. John Colet by Dr. Knight, (fn. 133) we read, that some time before his death, which took place 16 September 1519, "Dr. Colet, finding himself under a sensible decay, and as it were having received the sentence of death, he took care in the first place to settle the perpetuity of his School, and to direct the government of it by a Book of Statutes, drawn up and written with his own hand, and by him delivered to Master Lilye, (fn. 134) June 18, 1518. In that same year he laboured to leave his Church of Paul's in a better condition than he found it, as to Residence, Discipline, and Distribution of the Revenues; and therefore drew up a Scheme of the Foundation, Statutes, Customs, and Regulations, that had been made in the several visitations of it. And, hoping for no redress from D. Fitzjames, Bishop of London, who had prosecuted him for an Heretick, he laid the case before Cardinal Wolsey, who was then exercising his Legatine Power, superior to all ordinary judges. The Title prefixed to his Matters of Complaint being thus worded: Exhibita a Johanne Collett Decano, Reverendissimo Patri et Domino Cardinali Eboracensi et Apostolico Legato a Latere, pro Reformatione Status Residentiariorum in Ecclesia S. Pauli, primo Septembris, An. Domini 1518. (fn. 135) He began with these Heads: De Decano et ejus Autoritate (ex Antiquo Registro cartaceo Ecclesiæ); De Residentia Decani; De locum tenente Decani; and he went through the several Duties of the Residentiaries, Canons, Ministers, Members, and other Officers. Accordingly Reformations and Provisions were made under those respective heads, and so past into Legatine Constitutions; wherein the Cardinal paid a particular deference to the Dean: for in the Chapter regulating the Residence and double Portion of the Dean it is expressly ordained, that this Ordination concerning the Dean shall not take effect till after the present Dean; who shall fully enjoy all that he now possesseth (granted to him for his merits) peaceably, without any disturbance. They conclude with inhibiting and condemning all manner of Dispensations, as the wounds and stabbs of all Laws and Statutes, without consent of the Pope (by whose Authority the Cardinal now acted as Legate de Latere) and of the King, as Royal Founder, and of the Bishop of London. After which follow other Statutes relating to Residence, that seem to be made as a Decree in Chancery, by consent of the Dean and Chapter, to contract the number of Residentiaries to four, besides the Dean; because the Church had too many other ordinary burdens on it, and was in debt, and had no present stock, or treasure. We should be able to give a better account of his wise and faithful administration of the Affairs, Revenues, and Discipline of his Church, if we could come at those Collections which he left for the use and service of the successive Deans and Chapters; and which were among the Books appertaining to the Cathedral Church of S. Paul in London, delivered by Henry Cole, sometime Dean of the said Church, to Dr. May, succeeding Dean, the 20th day of September, Anno 1559.
A Book written in Parchment of certain Statutes collected by Dean Collet, being bound in Boards, and covered with Black Leather." (fn. 136)
These Exhibita of Dean Colet form Article XII. Book II., (fn. 137) and their importance must be held to justify the lengthy extract just introduced. Article XI. contains what I have ventured to describe as an Epitome of the Statutes of the Cathedral, (fn. 138) and also, from its internal evidence, to ascribe to Colet. (fn. 139) It happens most unfortunately that no ancient copy of these two documents can be discovered: and I have been compelled to reprint them from Dugdale's S. Paul's. (fn. 140) It is greatly to be regretted that no older or more correct transcript could be found. The books just enumerated as existing in the year 1559 have also disappeared, unless indeed the last of these may be identical with the volume, bound not in Black Leather, but in black vellum, containing the Statutes of the Guild of Jesus, from which large extracts will be found in Book V. of the present work. (fn. 141)
Dean Milman says of Colet's labours, that "he drew up a body of statutes for the Church, rigid, but by no means austere or ascetic. But Colet's Statutes were never accepted by the Chapter nor confirmed by the Bishop. Fitz-James was not likely to force on a reluctant Chapter Statutes framed by Colet. They were then, and remained ever after, a dead letter." (fn. 142) We have already heard from Dr. Knight, however, that certain ordinances connected with these Statutes "passed into legatine constitutions," in virtue of the authority exercised by Cardinal Wolsey, to whose hand we must indeed attribute the last chapter (fn. 143) of Dean Colet's Exhibita.
Through the kindness of the Bishop of London, who placed in my hands two important MS. volumes from the Library at Fulham, I am enabled to add to these labours of Dean Colet's the actual Statutes founded upon them by Cardinal Wolsey. (fn. 144) I am not aware that these have ever before been printed, and they seem to have been entirely unknown to Sir William Dugdale, and to his editor Sir Henry Ellis: or the meagre and corrupt fragment which is allowed to appear in the last (as in the earlier) edition of Dugdale's S. Paul's, (fn. 145) would no longer have been allowed to do duty as the Statuta facta per D. Thomam Cardinalem Eboracensem. The reader will now find, for the first time in the same volume, this most interesting group of documents, which supply an additional testimony, if any were needed, to the wisdom and acumen of the liberal and learned Colet. As Colet's Exhibita were presented to Wolsey on the first of September 1518, and as Colet's death occurred almost within a twelvemonth of that date, it is obvious that the Dean could not long have superintended their working.
And, indeed, very clear evidence is supplied by some extracts (fn. 146) from a kind of Common Place Book, written by several hands, apparently by some of the Prebendaries of the Church, in the early part of the seventeenth century, to prove that the Statutes of Warham, Colet, and Wolsey (fn. 147) called out the strongest opposition. The unknown author of certain memoranda contained in the volume enumerates many objections to them. He states that Dean Nowell said to him, on his admission, that Warham's and Wolsey's were no Statutes, and that, in taking his oath to observe the Statutes, he must separate the leaves containing these from the rest of the volume. (fn. 148) Not satisfied with these general statements, the writer puts forth particular arguments. Colet's Exhibita were made, he says, by the Dean alone, "then out with the Chapter," nor were they true, nor fairly collected. (fn. 149) Wolsey's Statutes were made by a stranger, not as the Pope's Legate, but by compromise; the Bishop of London's assent, (fn. 150) and that of the Chapter, was not obtained to them; there was no seal attached, but only the Cardinal's hand; not received by the Chapter till June or July, "when all used to be absent in the great vacacion;" the following year there were six Residentiaries, which would not have been, had the Statute limiting the number to four had legal force; and so on. (fn. 151) Nor does he deal much less hardly with Bishop Warham's Statutes. There would seem therefore to be solid ground for Dean Milman's conclusion that Colet's Statutes "were, at the time, and remained ever after, a dead letter." No one, however, can read them without regarding them as a most important attempt at a reformation from within.
Many details relating to the Visitation of the Cathedral by Bishop Bancroft in 1598, will be found in Article XVII. (fn. 152) taken from the original Presentments made by various members of the Cathedral body, which are still preserved in the Archive Room of the Cathedral. We learn that Prayers were then read in the Jesus Chapel at five o'clock in the morning in the summer time, and at six o'clock in the winter, by the Minor Canons, except the Subdean and the two Cardinals, who were exempt from this duty. The Saturday Chapter was still retained. In term time there was a Divinity lecture, with prayers. The practice of turning to the East at the Gloria Patri was not observed by all, although it was retained in the Queen's Chapel, nor did all kneel on their knees, turning to the East, at confession time. In the upper choir some even walked about with their hats on near the altar, and the choir boys were eager in running to and fro to demand spur money. (fn. 153) During the time of service, porters, butchers, waterbearers, and others carried their burdens through the nave of the church, to the great scandal of honest-minded men. The choir men would not light their candles in service time in the dark evenings, so that whereas there should have been nine lit on each side there were but three or four: possibly the candles were the perquisites of the singers. The Minor Canons sometimes omitted the Prayer for the Church Militant after the Creed had been sung. Some of the chapels were used as vestries, one as a school, in another the Lord Mayor and Aldermen sat on Sunday mornings before sermon, whilst others were filled with cushions, poles, and lumber. Many of the Minor Canons' houses were let to strangers. The vaults under the church were let to carpenters and booksellers. Sermons were still preached at Paul's Cross, and Psalms were sung. The crypt and cloisters under the convocation house were let to trunkmakers, by whose daily knocking and noise the Church was greatly disturbed.
The next Visitation (fn. 154) is that of Archbishop Laud, who corrects a few abuses, and particularly desires that the crypt may be rescued from further profanation. Square caps, as well as surplices and hoods, are to be daily used by all those of the Choir who ought to wear them, a point insisted upon at Canterbury also. (fn. 155) It will be observed that this was an Archiepiscopal, not an Episcopal, Visitation. Additional interest attaches to this visitation from the circumstance that the Dean and Chapter protested strongly against this particular exercise of the Archbishop's jurisdiction. Their petition to the King is printed by Dugdale, (fn. 156) in which they state that "it doth not appear by any records belonging to His Grace or to the Church, that the Dean and Chapter have ever been visited by any Metropolitical power, notwithstanding the rest of the Diocese hath been so visited." But their petition met with very scant favour: the reply was decisive enough.
"His Majesty approves well of the modesty of the petitioners, but withall is resolved, for the settlement of peace and good order in the Church, that no place, without special grounds of privilege, shall be exempt from Archiepiscopal Visita tation, and least of all this Church of S. Paul, in regard it appears by their own suggestions that the rest of the Diocese hath been visited; and de jure ordinario it is known, that the Archbishop or Bishop ought to begin his Visitation at the Cathedral, and they can shew no act in any of their registers that the Archbishops did not visit the Church at the same time when they visited the Diocese; and therefore His Majesty requires submission of the Dean and Chapter to the Visitation of the present Archbishop of Canterbury and of his successors, and wills that this be registered both in the Archbishop's office and in their own accordingly."
This curt reply is dated from Whitehall, 27th April 1636, and refers therefore to the very Visitation of which the Articles are here printed, from the original record at Lambeth. If the results of Archbishop Laud's Visitation are to be measured by these Articles, the Dean and Chapter had small cause to fear from this invasion of their prerogative: but it was somewhat hard that Charles I. should have called upon them to prove a negative. I have thought the subject of the Metropolitical Visitation sufficiently interesting to warrant the insertion of a few notes of Visitations of other Cathedrals by the Archbishop, in Book IV. (fn. 157) The Archbishops seem to have been remarkable for the punctuality with which they visited their own diocese of Canterbury, for in the charge delivered in October last by the present Primate, his Grace is reported to have said, (fn. 158) "It has been customary in this Cathedral from time immemorial that there shall be every four years a Visitation of the Cathedral body. This custom is not generally observed in the other Cathedrals of England, but I think it is a wise and very good custom, as bringing us face to face with one another, and enabling us, me as Visitor, and you as members of this body, to review our several responsibilities, and, if anything is lacking, to apply ourselves at once to its improvement."
Not many years elapse before Bishop Compton's Visitation in 1696: but what eventful years were these! King and Archbishop alike had fallen on the scaffold, the Interregnum had come and gone, the grand Cathedral Church had perished in the flames. On June 21, 1675, the first stone was laid in the new foundation at the south-east angle of the choir; and on the second of December 1697 the choir of the new structure was opened on the Thanksgiving Day for the Peace of Ryswick. The Morning Prayer Chapel was also opened 1 February, 1698–9. (fn. 159)
John Barwick was removed from the Deanery of Durham to that of S. Paul's in October 1661. "It is well known to every one," says his brother and biographer Dr. Peter Barwick, "that if Dr. Barwick had regarded his own private interest and advantage, he would not have accepted this new Deanery, where there was neither house nor furniture but what was either hired or bought, in exchange for that other where neither was wanting." (fn. 160) "His first care at London was what it had also been at Durham, to restore the celebration of Divine Service by the sacred musick of a Choir, which had, I know not for what reason, been hitherto omitted." He found the College of the Twelve Minor Canons greatly reduced in numbers: "after the Civil War there was only one left who had been fully and absolutely admitted into the right of a Canon." Besides this one lawfully admitted Minor Canon there were two Probationers who had never been fully admitted into the Society. (fn. 161) There were grave doubts whether even this one Minor Canon, "who had taken upon him to sustain the whole College in his own person," and who had contrived to lay hold upon its property, had ever been admitted to Priest's Orders at all, "which yet, by the Statutes, all the Canons of this Church are obliged to be." "It was certain that for thirty years he had very seldom or never been seen to perform Divine Service in S. Paul's Cathedral," into so disordered a state had the affairs of religion fallen during the Great Rebellion. It was also the Dean's special care "that the Holy Communion should be oftener administered in that famous Church committed to his charge than it had ever used to be hitherto," and that at the least the weekly celebration should be restored. He died, however, 22 October, 1664, after a long illness of nearly two years' duration. (fn. 162)
In 1696 the Cathedral was visited by Bishop Compton, when certain Injunctions or Ordinances relating to the conduct of the Divine Service were drawn up. (fn. 163) The hours of the daily prayers were fixed at ten and three, and on Sundays at nine in the morning. The first lesson was read by a Vicar-Choral. The Litany was sung by two Minor Canons in the midst of the Choir, as it is at the present time. In the absence of the Dean or one of the Residentiaries the Subdean officiated at the Holy Table, the Epistoler and Gospeller being then, as now, Minor Canons. The Cardinals noted the absence both of their brethren and of the Vicars-Choral, those being regarded as absent who entered the Choir in the morning service after the Venite, in the evening after the end of the first Psalm. The fine for absence was two pence, and at the end of each quarter the fines were distributed amongst those who had been present at the services, according to their attendances. If the Vicars-Choral or Choristers were present in Choir without their surplices they were to be considered as absent. The Cardinals were to see that there was no irreverence in Choir, and that all stood or knelt as the rubric prescribed. The Venite and the Psalms for the day were to be sung in alternate verses antiphonally, et harmonice, as often as it seemed good to the Dean or Residentiaries. This would seem to imply that ordinarily the Psalms were sung in unison. Morning Prayer was said at six o'clock from Lady Day to Michaelmas, and at seven from Michaelmas to Lady Day, and Evening Prayer at six o'clock all the year round, by each of the Minor Canons in turn, the Subdean excepted. (fn. 164) No anthems were to be sung unless they were approved by the Dean. The Subdean (fn. 165) made out the anthem bill, and directed by whom the anthems should be sung, the VicarChoral who read the First Lesson giving out the Anthem. The Cardinals are to catechise the Choristers.
The Bishop's next care was to draw up an Order for Preaching on all the Festival Days, which order is in substance the same with that which still obtains. All the Canons, Major or Minor, preaching in the Cathedral were to use the form of prayer prescribed in Canon 55. He who did not preach on his appointed day, either in person or by a deputy approved by the Dean or President of the Chapter, was fined twenty shillings, the fine to be paid to the preacher who supplied the lack of service. Notice was to be given to the Dean or President of the Chapter three weeks before the day of preaching by any person who, having been appointed to preach, was unable to take his turn of duty personally or by deputy, under penalty of forty shillings. On Feasts or Fasts appointed by public authority the Dean or Residentiaries preached or appointed suitable preachers.
The Holy Communion was to be celebrated by the Bishop if he were present, in his absence by the Dean, in whose absence the Subdean celebrated. The Epistoler and Gospeller collected the alms. There was to be a celebration on all Sundays and Feasts, at which all in Holy Orders were to communicate, unless hindered by some lawful cause to be approved by the Dean and Chapter. The Trisagion and Gloria in excelsis were to be chanted by the Choir. The Saturday Chapter was re-enacted.
The next Visitation recorded in this volume is that of Bishop Gibson in 1742, the proceedings at which are here given in extenso. (fn. 166) Wearisome as is the iteration of merely formal and technical business with which this record abounds, it was thought desirable that one such detailed account should be preserved. The objects of this Visitation will be gathered from the Articles of Enquiry (fn. 167) proposed at the commencement of this Primary Visitation, and, more especially, in the Injunctions (fn. 168) given by Bishop Gibson as the results of his inquiries. The Articles of Enquiry contain in substance the matters already treated of in the Injunctions of Bishop Compton, with special inquiries as to leases and terriers of estates. The Vicars-Choral, and all the inferior lay officers of the foundation, were to receive the Holy Communion monthly, or at least four times in the year. The Injunctions of Bishop Gibson add some important details. The old difficulties caused by the noise of persons walking about in the Nave in time of Divine Service were not yet removed, and it is now ordered that the statute I William and Mary, cap. 18, shall be put in force against any who thus disturb the service. The Virgers were no longer to demand money for opening the seats, under a penalty of ten shillings at the least if they transgressed. The hours of service, which had been ten and three on week days, and nine and three on Sundays, are altered to a quarter before ten and a quarter after three on all days. (fn. 169) The fines for absence from Choir were raised from two pence to four pence; and the Cardinals, if they neglected the duty of catechising the Choristers, were to be fined for every such neglect half a crown, unless leave had been given by the Dean or Residentiary for the performance of that duty by some other of the Minor Canons. A Chapter was to be held monthly, (fn. 170) on the last day of every month (unless it should happen to be Sunday, and then on the day before), at which the Members of the Church should attend, the rolls of absence be given in, and the fines duly ordered to be deducted from the payments of the month. A copy of the Statute Book of the Church was to be lodged in the Chapter House, to which all members of the Cathedral were to have free access, with the right of taking copies of any portions of any of the Statutes, so far as they were respectively concerned. Copies of all leases and terriers of property belonging to the Prebendaries in right of their Prebends were to be entered in a book provided by the Registrar.
The long series of Statutes concludes with a Statute ordained by Bishop Blomfield in 1848 for the better order and regulation of the Cathedral Choir, consisting of a short set of rules affecting the Vicars-Choral and their Deputies. (fn. 171)
Of the Collection of documents illustrative of the Statutes (fn. 172) gathered together in Book IV. it is impossible now to speak in detail. A reference to the Table of Contents will serve to show their variety and interest. Commencing with early privileges and grants of the times of Bishop Erkenwald and King Ethelbert, we pass on to some regulations for the custody of the temporalities of the Bishopric, sede vacante. These are followed by Archbishop Peckham's letter to Fulk Lovel, elected to the Episcopate of London, but who shrunk from the grave duties of the see "ob debilitatem corporis et alia conscientiæ dictamina;" excommunications pronounced by Sentences of Archbishops Peckham and Chicheley against certain offenders who had committed murders within the Churchyard of the Cathedral, with great violence, even cutting off the hands of those who clung (as to a sanctuary) to the doors of the Church; a Charter of Edward I. as to the temporalities, sede vacante: a remarkable note of Bishop Simon Sudbury in 1368 as to the Status of the Dean of S. Paul's, from which we learn that the Dean, unless he were also a Prebendary, and resided as a Residentiary, had no seat in Chapter at the election of a Bishop, nor when capitular affairs were being discussed, but was obliged merely to summon the Chapter and then to withdraw; the then Dean, John de Appleby, had obtained the Prebendal Stall of Chamberlain Wood.
The next Article contains letters of Bishop Braybrooke against those traffickers in the nave of the Cathedral whose buying and selling profaned the holy place, and disturbed the Divine service; Paul's Walk being then, as it was for centuries afterwards, a scandal and a disgrace to the Church. It will be remembered that Ben Jonson actually lays the scene of the third act of Every Man out of his Humour in the nave of the Cathedral. (fn. 173) This is followed by a decree of Bishop Braybrooke, relating to the Feasts of S. Paul and of S. Erkenwald, to be observed by the faithful, and granting an indulgence of forty days (fn. 174) to those by whom they were duly kept: the feasts of S. Paul being those of his Conversion and Commemoration, January 25 and June 30; the feasts of S. Erkenwald being those of his Burial on April 30, and Translation on November 14. (fn. 175) A further example of the devotion to S. Erkenwald will be found in the will of Bishop FitzHugh, who presents his Episcopal ring to the shrine, which was then one of the glories of the Cathedral. (fn. 176) Article XV. completes the evidence supplied, in this volume, as to the vexed question of residence; and adds an important ordinance of Bishop FitzJames for the reading of a lecture in theology: (fn. 177) which is followed, aptly enough, by an extract from the will of Archdeacon Watts (fn. 178) in 1570 endowing a sermon in S. Paul's, to be preached every Sunday between five and seven o'clock in the morning, for the citizens of those days were early risers. Articles XVIII. to XX. (fn. 179) contain some details relating to the Archiepiscopal Visitation of Cathedrals by Laud to which reference has been already made, (fn. 180) and which, though not actually relating to S. Paul's Cathedral, will illustrate its history. Book IV. concludes with the official proceedings on the occasion of the Protestation of a Canon who desired to become a Residentiary, showing that the form prescribed in the most ancient Statutes (fn. 181) was observed even as late as 1809; and with the official programmes of the Enthronization of the present Bishop of the Diocese, and of the Installation of the present Dean.
We will bring these notices to a conclusion by gathering together a few desultory notes, which could scarcely be arranged under any previous section of this Introduction, but which may perhaps be thought worthy of preservation.
The most ancient portion of the Statutes, and that which most clearly brings out the deep religious feeling of the Original Foundation, is the Regula Canonica Ecclesiæ S. Pauli which commences at Part III. cap. 14, (fn. 182) and is found in the earliest manuscripts preserved in the Cathedral Archives. Portions of this Rule may be traced, as has already been pointed out in the notes, (fn. 183) to the Regula S. Chrodegangi. (fn. 184) Of S. Chrodegang, the Bishop of Metz, Brockie says, "electus Metensis Episcopus anno 743 vel sequenti, illamque sedem sanctissime rexit usque ad annum 756 vel 767." The Rule, which is contained in thirty-four chapters, was compiled for the Canons of Metz; Mabillon says of the rule "quod maximam partem, ex Regula Benedictina desumpsisse;" and Brockie adds "non enim ante hoc ævum Canonici extiterunt in unam congregationem congregati, atque nomen hoc ignotum fuit extra Cathedrales Ecclesias, quarum soli Clerici ideo sic nominati sunt, quia Canoni seu Matriculæ Ecclesiæ inscripti erant, non quod in commune viverent, sed vitam Canonicorum agerent. Neque Canonicos reperio ante institutionem Chrodegangi Episcopi Metensis." (fn. 185) William of Malmesbury relates that Leofric, Bishop of Exeter, prescribed to his Canons "communem vivendi modum, juxta S. Chrodegangi regulam." I am disposed to trace to S. Chrodegang's Rule the unusual precedence (fn. 186) accorded to the Archdeacon of London (fn. 187) over the Majores Personæ. Large portions of the Rule may be found in the Decretals, (fn. 188) scattered over the vast mass of valuable information contained in those great volumes. It is impossible to read this Rule without being struck with the great familiarity with Holy Scripture which it displays: the quotations are apt and striking, and flowed naturally from the mind of the writer. The exhortations to purity of life, to devotion, to holiness, are as admirable as they are plain and scriptural. (fn. 189)
The directions provided in the Statutes as to Ritual are minute and copious: but a few only can be noted. At the Gloria Patri at the end of every Psalm, all are to turn towards the East, making due reverence. (fn. 190) On the Sundays the first three lessons were read by boys de primo gradu, the two following by boys of the second grade, the sixth by a Canon or Major Person; then the Hebdomadary Canon or his Vicar read the Exposition of the Gospel; the eighth lesson was recited by some Priest; the ninth by a Canon being a Priest, or by a Minor Canon. A careful arrangement of the Festivals of the year into five classes will be found in Part III., the feasts of the Patron Saint, with those of S. Erkenwald, the sainted Bishop whose Shrine was one of the great glories of the Church, and that of S. Ethelbert the earliest benefactor of the Church, are amongst the Festa primæ dignitatis. (fn. 191) On entering or leaving the Choir all make lowly reverence to the Altar, and then to the Bishop, or Dean, if he be present. At appointed places, in the Gloria in Excelsis and at the Gloria Tibi Domine, all turn to the Altar; twice in the Mass, each signs himself with the sign of the cross; thrice also in the Creed the Choir turned to the Altar with a reverence. (fn. 192) The Eucharist was to be received with due care, and with the observance of certain necessary cautions. (fn. 193) The Mass of the Holy Spirit, the Mass of the Blessed Virgin, and the Capitular Mass were to be duly celebrated. (fn. 194) The Whitsuntide processions of the Clergy and Laity of the City Parishes to the Cathedral, and the rites pertaining to the processions to the various Altars within the Cathedral, are detailed at considerable length. (fn. 195) Henry Wharton states, (fn. 196) that on October 15, 1414, Richard Clifford, Bishop of London, with the consent of the Chapter, decreed that from the first day of December following, the Divine offices should be celebrated at S. Paul's according to the use of Sarum; the old use, called the use of S. Paul's, being laid aside. (fn. 197)
The peculiar office of Holy Innocents' Day, with the rules (drawn up in the year 1263) for the appointment of the Boy Bishop, will be found in Part VI. (fn. 198) Care was to be taken lest the liberty of that day should degenerate into licence. The Boy Bishop was not, for the future, to select any of the Canons, Major or Minor, to bear the tapers or the censer, but he was to select his Ministers from those who sat on the second or third form. (fn. 199) The Dean was to provide a horse on which the Boy Bishop might ride forth to give his benediction to the people, and each Residentiary supplied a horse for some other person in the procession. (fn. 200)
We do not gather from this volume much information in relation to the Music of the Church. (fn. 201) Organs indeed are mentioned, (fn. 202) but no organist, and it would appear that it was usual for the singers attached to the Choir to take their places at the organ in turn. (fn. 203) As regards the actual music itself then performed we have a few hints and scattered allusions. Erasmus, however (no lover, as it would seem, of church music,) tells us what it was in the next century. I am indebted to my friend the Rev. J. H. Lupton, (fn. 204) Surmaster of S. Paul's School, for the following very apposite references. The first is taken from Erasmus' Christiani Matrimonii Institutum (fn. 205) :—
"Quid quod hoc musices genus a choreis et comessationibus inveximus in templa ? Et, quod est absurdius, magno conducuntur qui sacrorum majestatem ineptis garritibus contaminent. Non excludo musicam a sacris, sed harmonias requiro sacris dignas. Nunc sonis nequissimis aptantur verba sacra, nihilo magis decore, quàm si Thaidis ornatum addas Catoni. Interdum nec verba silentur impudica cantorum licentia. Hæc si leges negligunt, tamen oportebat advigilare sacerdotes et episcopos."
And again, in his Annotationes, (fn. 206) the same writer says:—
"Nec his contenti, operosam quandam ac theatricam musicam in sacras ædes induximus, tumultuosum diversarum vocum garritum, qualem non opinor in Græcorum aut Romanorum theatris unquam auditum fuisse. Omnia tubis, lituis, fistulis, ac sambucis perstrepunt, cumque his certant hominum voces. Audiuntur amatoriæ fœdæque cantilenæ, ad quas scorta mimique saltitant. In sacram ædem velut in theatrum concurritur, ad deliniendas aures. Et in hunc usum magnis salariis aluntur organorum opifices, puerorum greges, quorum omnis ætas in perdiscendis hujusmodi gannitibus consumitur, nihil interim bonæ rei discentium. . . . . . . . . . Hæc adeo placent, ut monachi nihil aliud agant, præsertim apud Britannos; et quorum cantus debuit esse luctus, hi lascivis hinnitibus et mobili gutture Deum placari credunt."
And once more, in his De sarcienda Ecclesiæ concordia: (fn. 207)
"Jam et illud non recte fit in quibusdam ecclesiis, ut ob musicorum aut organorum concentum omittantur aut decurtentur ea quæ sunt præcipua. Hora prope consumitur in prosa, ac decurtatur symbolum fidei, et omittitur precatio dominica. Nec minimum temporis absumunt illæ vocum caudæ, ad singulos versus in longum productæ. Atqui præstabat cultum solennem nullis supervacaneis verti in tædium."
Thomas Langley, (fn. 208) too, the author of an abridgment of Polidore Vergil, speaks in no measured terms:—
"But our syngyng is far from their maner [i.e. "thold sinagog"]. For our syngers cry out so loude, that we heare nothing saue a noyse, and those that be present cañot be edified with the word. It wer great furtheraunce to the Religion, yf those singers, not far unlike to Jayes, wer ether banished out of the te[m]ples, or els their singing wer so modified wyth more sobernesse, that the wordes might be understande, to thedifying of the layitie, which is sore blinded with singing and sounde of instrumentes, that be not fit to edifie but to delight ye eares."
In singing care was to be taken that due time and order should be observed, all commencing, pausing, and ending together. No one should by undue haste outstrip his brethren, nor by his tardiness should lag behind. The sound rule (fn. 209) should be observed in singing, which might well be inscribed over the door of every Choir School,
The Dress of the Clergy is carefully prescribed. The Canons wore, in choir, copes open from the breast to the feet, and under these a linen tunic or surplice. The tonsure was carefully cut, after the manner of a wheel, without angles, that is, with even edges. By no means must the hair be allowed to grow long, for the tonsure had its mystic meaning; the cutting off of the hair was a figure of the cutting away the vices of the body: longitudo enim capillorum multitudinem significat peccatorum. From the morrow of S. Michael to Compline on Easter Eve black copes were to be worn, and thence to S. Michael's Day inclusive, on festal days and Sundays, white copes. (fn. 210)
A selection from the Royal Charters granted to the Cathedral will be found in this volume. (fn. 211) In particular an Inspeximus (fn. 212) of Edward III. is here printed in extenso, (fn. 213) chiefly for its own interest and value, though partly from the prominent place which it occupies in MS. B. and MS. C: indeed no Registrum Consuetudinum Ecclesiæ would have any pretensions to completeness unless it included such a document. (fn. 214) The particular Charter just indicated contains a series of grants from several monarchs, some in their Anglo-Saxon form, though not a little corrupted in passing through the hands of a Scribe who only understood Latin. I have not aimed at giving the most accurate version of these early Charters, but have preferred exhibiting them in the form in which they stand in the Statute Books of the Church: it is hoped that the notes will make clear many of the difficulties presented in the text. Of the interest of these documents to any future historian of the Cathedral nothing need be said in this place.
The management of the Manors belonging to the several Canons is very fully treated of in Archdeacon Hale's Introduction to the Domesday of S. Paul's; in the present volume many Statutes will be found bearing upon the subject, and referring especially to the Firmarii, by whom, in many cases, the Prebendal Estates were farmed. As some of the manors were upon the sea-shore, the maintenance of sea-walls is strongly insisted upon, lest, quod Deus avertat, other manors should be lost, as Consumpta per Mare had been. (fn. 215)
One of the Statutes, Part III. Chap. 13, refers to the custom of blood-letting at stated times. A curious illustration of the practice will be found in the Old Cheque Book, or Book of Remembrance of the Chapel Royal, (fn. 216) from 1561 to 1744, from which we learn that the Clerks of the Chapel had special allowances on the occasion of these bleedings. "And if any of thes be let bloode in courte, he taketh daily ij loaves, one messe of great meate, one messe of roste, one galone of ale; and when the Chappele synge mattenes over nighte, called Blacke Mattynes, then they have allowed spice and wine." (fn. 217) In the Bodleian Library is preserved an English Almanac of Brass, 1534—1579, which exhibits tidal tables for English sea ports, and also shows the times when it was best to "let blud." (fn. 218) It was necessary in order to secure the attendance of a sufficient number of persons for the due performance of the services of the Church, that the times of these bleedings should be carefully regulated, and duly intimated to the person by whom the Table was prepared; for which purpose the license of the superiors for these bloodlettings was required. The Minor Canons and Vicars were allowed to be bled once in every solar month. (fn. 219)
Even to the present day the streets and courts in the vicinity of the Cathedral carry the impress of the old religious associations. Ave Maria Lane, Creed Lane, Amen Corner, Sermon Lane, and Paternoster Row (fn. 220) point to the religious services of the Cathedral; Dean's Court, Canon Alley or Petit Canons Alley, London House Yard (where the Bishop's Palace anciently stood), and Dean's Court and Bishop's Court in the Old Bailey, to the persons of the Cathedral; (fn. 221) Paul's BakeHouse Yard, to the domestic life of the Church; Paul's Chain, to the right of closing the south side of the Churchyard, referred to in the Statutes; Pilgrim Street, as I suppose, to the pilgrims coming from the Thames or from the Fleet River to visit the shrine of S. Erkenwald, or some other famous sanctuary in the Cathedral; whilst Paul's Alley, and Paul's Wharf, near at hand, still call to mind the old days when the Cathedral Close was a reality. (fn. 222) The names above enumerated are to be found in the Post Office Directory for the present year. To these we may add, from Seymour's Survey, the following names which have, I think, dropped out of memory: Paul's Wharf Hill, Paul's Brew House, S. Paul's College, S. Peter's College (where the Minor Canons dwelt), Erkenwald's Tenements, and Duke Humphrey's Square, named from Humphrey Duke of Gloucester, whose monument stood in the middle aisle of the nave (the loiterers around which, waiting about in hope of meeting with some one who would invite them to dinner, gave rise to the phrase, dining with Duke Humphrey). (fn. 223)
There were many Fraternities or Guilds (fn. 224) within the Cathedral. Of these the earliest of which the Statutes make mention is that instituted by Dean Ralph de Diceto, the historian, in the year 1197. (fn. 225) It consisted of persons who were bound together by a solemn pledge to pray for the good estate of one another whilst living, and for the souls of those that were dead. The special name of this fraternity has not been preserved: but its members meet four times in the year to celebrate the Missa de Spiritu Sancto. Other details may be seen loco citato.
In Seymour's Survey of London we read of the Guild of S. Catherine, in the Chapel dedicated to that saint; of the Guild of the Annunciation of the Blessed Virgin; and of the Fraternity of All Souls in the Chapel over the Charnel House. (fn. 226) But that fraternity which seems to be of the highest interest, and of which I have been able to collect the fullest particulars, is the Guild of the Holy Name of Jesus in the Crypt (Shrowds, or Crowds, as the Crypt was anciently called) of the Cathedral. (fn. 227) In Book V. will be found the Grant of Henry VI. for the foundation and incorporation of the Guild; the Confirmation of that Grant by Henry VII.: and a very curious series of Acts and Ordinances drawn up for the government of the Fraternity by Dean Colet the Rector, and by the Wardens and Brethren of the Guild. (fn. 228) The religious observances of the fraternity are detailed with great minuteness; the services, and the persons by whom those services were to be celebrated, accurately set forth. The Guild consisted of a Rector, who was always to be the Dean of the Cathedral, two Wardens, who were temporal men (that is, laymen), twelve Assistants, honest and discreet persons, and as many Brethren and Sisters as were duly enrolled. Alms for the Guild appear to have been collected far and wide, not only in London but in the remote Dioceses of Bangor, S. Asaph, and S. David's, and even in the province of York itself. The right to collect such alms was let out to certain persons for a prescribed term. In 1506, for example, the Fraternity leased for seven years "all the devocions of England belongyng to the seid ffraternitie" for the sum of £28 per annum to "Maister Smyth, Doctor of Phesyk." (fn. 229) For the year 1533–4 the receipts of the fraternity amounted to no less a sum than £385 3s. 3d. including arrears. From Christmas 1534 to Christmas 1535 (fn. 230) the "summa totalis of all the charges and receyts" was £406 0s. 11½d. In the year 1514–5 the receipts had been £144 6s. 8d., the payments £62 11s. 10½d., the balance £71 14s. 9½d. (fn. 231) This rapid increase in the funds of the fraternity rendered it necessary to pass special regulations for the leasing out of the devotions, as they were called; and it was determined that no such lease should be given for a longer period than one year. Letters Patent were granted by Henry VIII. authorising the Fraternity to collect Alms, and special letters of protection were granted to their Collectors. (fn. 232)
If the income of one fraternity were so large, we need hardly be surprised to read what Dean Milman writes in his History of Latin Christianity:—"We have an account of the money found in the box under the Great Cross on the entrance of the Cathedral: Recepta de Pixide Crucis Borealis. In one month (May, A.D. 1344) it yielded no less than £50 'præter argentum fractum.' This was more than an average profit, but, taken as an average, it gives £600 per annum. Multiply this by 15 to bring it to the present value of money, £9000. This, by an order of the Pope's Commissary, A.D. 1410 (Dugdale, p. 20), was divided among the Dean and Canons Residentiary. But this was by no means the only box of offerings,—perhaps not the richest. There was one at the magnificent Shrine of S. Erkenwald; another at that of the Virgin, before which the offerings of wax tapers alone were so valuable that the Dean and Chapter would no longer leave them to the Virgers and servants of the Church. They were extinguished, carried to a room behind the Chapter House, and melted for the use of the said Dean and Canons. Archbishop Arundel assigned to the same Dean and Canons, and to their successors for ever, the whole profits of the oblation box. Dugdale recounts gifts by King John of France, especially to the Shrine of S. Erkenwald. The Shrine of S. Thomas at Canterbury received in one year £832 11s. 3d.; in another, £954 6s. 3d. From the basins of gold, or the bright florins of the King, to the mite of the beggar, all fell into the deep insatiable box, which unlocked its treasures to the Clergy." (fn. 233)
The Subdean, if the Dean were absent, officiated on the greater days; one of the Cardinals, (fn. 234) in his habit, sang the Jesus Mass on Fridays; on which day also one of the Minor Canons sang the Mass of Requiem. The Minor Canons, Vicars, and the ten Choristers, assisted at the various Offices of the Guild, the former receiving fees, and the Choristers gowns of woollen cloth to be worn on festival days. Before the Feasts of the Transfiguration and of the Name of Jesus, six Waits with their instruments playing went through the streets of London to give warning to the people of the said Feasts; and on the Vigil of the latter feast, a bonfire was lighted in the Cathedral yard, on the north side, before the door of the Crowds. The Preachers at S. Paul's Cross and S. Mary Spital received four pence at every Sermon, that "in their bedes" they might specially remember the brethren and sisters of the fraternity. It is scarcely necessary to add that the Guild was suppressed in the reign of Edward VI.; it appears to have been restored in the reign of Mary, (fn. 235) only, however, to be finally removed by her successor.
Of that deplorable attempt at legislation, the Act 3 & 4 Victoria, cap. 113, (fn. 236) what can be said that is not too lenient? "It was drawn up," says Mr. Freeman at the close of the able essay already quoted, "by men who had no sympathy with our ancient Cathedral foundations, and who had no knowledge of their nature and history;" to say this, is to say enough in its condemnation. Clumsy, illogical, incapable of being worked, inconsistent with itself as well as with all Church history, destructive of all old associations, so carelessly drawn "that it is utterly unintelligible and contradictory, and that, when questions arise as to the construction of any part of it, one court of justice understands it one way, and one another," the Act stands upon the Statute Book a monument of hasty and ill-considered legislation. At S. Paul's, at one fell swoop, by its operation the thirty Prebendaries were swept away, and the constitution of the Cathedral entirely changed: they remain as Honorary Prebendaries only, Prebendaries without a Prebend, unless indeed, as Mr. Freeman suggests, the Stall which each retains in the Choir may be considered as a Prebend. Instead of this great body of the thirty Canons, an entirely new body of four Canons is created by the Act, and yet there are no provisions in the Act to define the relation of the new body to the old, and no formal clause conferring upon them the privileges of the ancient Chapter. A fragment, at least, of the old constitution might have been retained, had this new body of four Canons taken the place of four of the Majores Personæ of old time, the Archdeacon of London, the Treasurer, the Precentor, and the Chancellor; but even such a deference to antiquity was too great an effort for the framers of the Act.
Happily in the renewed spiritual life of the last quarter of a century; in the vast congregations gathered, not on some great festival only, but once, or twice, or even thrice, on every Sunday, under the grand canopy of the dome; in the increased, and increasing, love for the Cathedral service displayed by the numbers who daily worship there; in the increased, and increasing, devotion of the congregation gathered within the walls of the Church; it seems likely that, in GOD'S good providence, the Cathedral of S. Paul shall be more loved in her poverty than she was in the days of her wealth, and that thus the glory of this latter House shall be greater than of the former. May GOD of His infinite merey grant it!