To which there was a passage from the door of the north transept,
marked (N) in the plan, which was arched over with stone like the
cloister, till the late troublesome times, when it was totally demolished;
an account of which building you have in Pt. I. p. 530.
This entered the palace at the great or common-Hall, on part of
the site of which, the present chapel is built; the old chapel, now
totally demolished, standing on the right hand between the church
and it, from which it is not far distant.
The present palace, though it stands upon the same spot, was
not built by the founder, that being wholly pulled down by Bishop
Salmon, who not only entirely rebuilt it, but obtained license from the
King to enlarge the site: the works of this prelate were truly grand,
not only the present palace as we now see it being of his building, but
the demolished great hall, which was 110 feet long, and 60 feet wide,
extending from the southern wall of the present chapel, to the now
decayed kitchen, buttery, and other offices, which almost reached the
great gate built by Bishop Alnwyk (as you may see in Pt. I. p. 531,)
which opens on St. Martin's Plain, and the grand gate or entrance
into the said hall, which is now standing, (the chamber over it being
the repository for the Bishop's evidences,) also the old chapel, now
demolished, and the charnel chapel and its offices, were of his foundation; all which, by length of time, and too much negligence, were
fallen into decay, till Bishop Totington substantially repaired them;
the whole being afterwards much adorned by Bishop Hart, in 1449,
against the King's coming to lodge there, and afterwards by Bishop
Goldwell, and Bishop Parkhurst, (see Pt. I. p. 555,) whose arms, with
those of divers other Bishops, as Freke, Redman, Corbet, &c. were to
be seen in the windows.
In 1535, Bishop Nix, just before his death, with the consent of the
prior and chapter, granted a lease to the mayor, sheriffs, and citizens,
for 89 years to come, that for the honour of God and St. George,
they might hold the gild and feast of St. George in the palace, and use
the buttery, pantry, and kitchen at its north end, for 14 days together
at the gild time, unless the King, Queen, or other nobles, were at the
palace with the Bishop at that time. This hall was demolished in the
Rebellion, and the lead sold, and that after the year 1656, for then it
was a publick meeting-house; for at the court of mayoralty held June
13, that year, Henry Sedgwick informed upon oath, that the last
Monday, "At a publique meeting in the place which formerly was the
Bishops-hall, one Will. Wayneford a comber, did there in his prayer
which he did openly make, use these words following, that the
Lord would be pleased to throw down all earthly power, and rule, and
authority, and that he would consume them that they might be no
more alive upon the earth, and that he would set up the Kingdom of
his Son, that they might be all taught of God."
A sad example of the doctrine, as well as folly, of those pernicious
There is a room in the palace, wainscotted with carved wainscot
brought from the demolished abbey of St. Bennet in the Holm, on
which I saw the arms of that abbey, of the Veres, Ingloses, and others,
and particularly those of Sir John Fastolff, their great benefactor,
handsomely carved; which shows that it was done at the expense of
that great man, and the others, whose arms are thereon, and that it
was made in the time of Henry V. or Henry VI.; there are also busts
of divers heroes, and remarkable persons both men and women, with
their names carved by them; it was brought hither by Bishop Rugg.
Bishop Reynolds had enough to do at the Restoration, to make the
palace fit to be inhabited, it being then divided, and let out into so
many tenements, that it was almost quite ruinated, since which time,
little had been done, unless by Dr. Trimnel; so that its neatness and
convenience is entirely owing to the generosity of our present diocesan.
OF THE BISHOP'S CHAPEL.
At first, Jesus chapel in the cathedral was the Bishop's private
chapel, but that being inconvenient by reason of its distance, Bishop
Salmon, at his coming to the see, about the year 1300, having agreed
with the prior and chapter for a peice of land lying between the church
and the palace, on the east side of the way leading from the church to
the palace, for an annual pension of 4l. built a chapel thereon, and
dedicated it to the honour of the Virgin Mary.
It stood near the place (fn. 1) where the present chapel stands, about 10
or 12 yards more south, and was 30 feet broad, and 130 long; there
were many plain monuments, under which it was thought some of
the Bishops were buried, and Bishop Salmon, its founder, is said to be
interred in the midst of it, before the high altar.
In this chapel was a chantry of three priests, founded by Will. de
Ayreminne, Bishop here in 1331, who purchased the advowson of
Thurveton or Thurlton, (fn. 2) and appropriated it to the hospital of St. Giles,
the master of which house was to pay out of the annual profits of that
rectory, stipends of 6 marks a year to each officiating chaplain; all
which were to be in the Bishop's collation, and dwell and have apartments in the palace, and be found with meat; drink, and lodging, at
the Bishop's cost; they were to pray daily for the souls of their founder
and his family, for the King and his progenitors, and for the welfare
of the present bishop of the see, and the souls of all his predecessors:
and King Edward III. not only confirmed the foundation, but also
granted, that during the vacancy of the see, they should not be molested by any one, but should continue in the palace, and be provided
for as usual: they were all sworn at their admission, to serve duly
according to their foundation, which was not settled till the latter
1342, when Peter de Bardelby and Robert de Berningham were
collated; and in 1343, Tho. de Plumstede; who were the three first
chaplains in this chantry.
1351, Will. de Blickling.
In 1368, The Master of St. Giles's hospital certified to Bishop Percy,
that the profits of Thurveton rectory were so reduced by the late
plague, that they did not amount to above 10l. per annum, so that he
could not pay the three stipends without damage to himself and house;
upon which the Bishop agreed he should drop one of the three chaplains, paying the other two, 7 marks, 3s. 4d. per annum, on giving
security, that if the rectory advanced again hereafter to the old value
of 20l. per annum, that he would then pay a third stipend, whenever
the Bishop collated a 3d chaplain; and thus they were reduced to
1374, Roger de Couteshale. 1377, William Halle, priest. 1385,
Roger, son of John atte Welle of Couteshalle. 1409, William Bacon.
1418, Sir Thomas Rodeland, priest.
In 1448, Jan. 4, Walter Hart Bishop of Norwich discharged the
master and brethren of St. Giles's hospital from finding the other two
chaplains in this chapel, and so the chantry ceased: the master and
brethren indeed obliged themselves to find a priest to sing for the
founder in their own house; and certified that the profits of Thurveton
were so reduced, that they would only find a parochial chaplain to
serve the church; but this was a mere pretence only: the truth is, the
Bishop, who was to maintain them in the palace, and find them
apartments there, was glad to get rid of them, and not to have such
chaplains as he was forced to keep, after he had once collated them;
but liked others better that he could discharge at his pleasure, and so
make them wholly dependent.
In 1619, the Bishop licensed the Walloon congregation to use his
chapel during his pleasure.
The 4l. per annum pension before mentioned was always paid till
Bishop Goldwell subtracted it all his time, but his executors were
forced to pay it by Bishop Nix's arbitration in 1508, and it was constantly paid till Michaelmas 1642; and then the Bishop came to the
dean and prebends assembled in chapter, and said, That he conceived
the chapel of the palace, which ought anciently to pay 4l. per annum,
was the dean and chapter's, and that they might take it into their
hands, for he would pay it no longer; upon which they declared, that
though the pension was due for it, yet it was not theirs, but the chapel
of the Lord Bishop of Norwich, and hath been so reputed, taken, and
used, time out of mind: but from this time it quite ceased. For the
same year, Bishop Hall, in his Hard Measure, informs us, at p. 15,
whose own words I shall use, "Sheriff Tofts and Alderman Lindsey, (fn. 3)
attended with many zealous followers, came into my chapel to look
for superstitious pictures, and reliques of idolatry, and sent for me,
to let me know, they found those windows full of images, which were
very offensive, and must be demolished: I told them they were
the pictures of some ancient and worthy Bishops, as St. Ambrose,
St. Austin, &c. it was answered me, that they were so many Popes;
and one younger man among the rest (Townsend, as I perceived
afterwards) would take upon him to defend, that every diocesan
Bishop was a Pope: I answered him with some scorn, and obtained
leave, that I might with the least loss and defacing of the windows,
give order for taking off that offence, which I did, by causing the
heads of the pictures to be taken off, (fn. 4) since I knew the bodies could
not offend." But the good Bishop needed not to have been so
exact, if he could have thought of the consequence; for soon after,
the windows were not only quite broken in pieces, but the lead pulled
off the roof and sold; so that at the Restoration it was so decayed,
that Bishop Reynolds was forced to pull it down entirely; upon which,
he built the present chapel, somewhat more north than the former,
in which he and his successour, Bishop Sparrow, lie interred; as may
be seen in Pt. I. p. 584, 587.
Besides the inscriptions for Dr. Tanner's two wives, already mentioned in Pt. I. p. 590, 636, under the account of that prelate, who was
chancellor here, there are the following ones on brass plates, viz.
Antonius Filius Petri Parham M. D. & Susannæ Filiæ Rev.
Patris Antonij, Episcopi Norvic: natus 7 Mens: obijt Martij 21
Anno Dni: 1680.
Rebecca Filia Petri Parham M. D. et Susannæ Uxoris, nat.
10 Mens: obijt Oct. 2do. 1682.
Thomas Filius tertius P. Parham M. D. et Susannæ Uxoris,
natus 6 Hebdom: Obijt Aug: 16, An°. 1684.
Jana Webster obijt Aprilis 24, 1685.
The ancient garden belonging to the palace, is on the east part
of it, and the stables, &c. join, as they always did, to the great
And now having finished the description of the cloister, and buildings belonging to the Bishop and Convent, I shall proceed to the
other places to be treated of, which are within the Close or Precinct;
and first of the church of