A History of the County of Stafford: Volume 3. Originally published by Victoria County History, London, 1970.
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1. THE CATHEDRAL OF LICHFIELD (fn. 1)
St. Wilfrid, who at the request of King Wulfhere performed episcopal duties in Mercia at various times between 666 and 669, received many grants of land from the king. Lichfield was one of these grants, and Wilfrid decided that it should become the seat of the hitherto peripatetic bishops of the Mercians. (fn. 2) St. Chad, Bishop of the Mercians from 669 to 672, was the first to have his seat at Lichfield, and when he died he was buried there 'close to the church of St. Mary'. (fn. 3) This church was probably on the site of the present cathedral; (fn. 4) about half a mile to the northeast, on the site of the present St. Chad's Church next to Stowe Pool, is the spot where Chad is traditionally supposed to have preached to the people. (fn. 5) The first church definitely known to have stood on the site of the present cathedral was that built by Bishop Headda and consecrated in December 700. Chad's bones were transferred to a wooden shrine in the new cathedral and became a popular object of pilgrimage. (fn. 6) The dedication of this cathedral presents some problems. Bede's statement that it was dedicated to St. Peter (fn. 7) appears to be the only early reference to such a dedication. By the time of Domesday Book the cathedral was 'the church of St. Chad', (fn. 8) and this remained its popular name. (fn. 9) The present dedication, to St. Mary and St. Chad, is found from at least the late 1150s. (fn. 10) The dedication to the Virgin may represent a 12th-century accretion. (fn. 11) Alternatively, since Bede states that Chad's cathedral was dedicated to St. Mary, it may have formed part of the dedication of Headda's cathedral and have been overshadowed by the cult of the local saint until the 12th-century revival of the cult of the Virgin. (fn. 12)
Nothing is known of the administration of the cathedral until 822 when, according to the Lichfield Chronicle, (fn. 13) Bishop Æthelweald set up canons in the cathedral for the first time. There were 20 of them, including a provost — 11 priests and 9 deacons. (fn. 14) The date of this event suggests that Æthelweald was introducing the decretulum of Bishop Chrodegang of Metz, a rule of common life drawn up for his cathedral clergy about 755. A characteristic of this rule was the placing of a provost at the head of the body of canons. (fn. 15) A rule similar to that of Chrodegang was introduced at Canterbury in 813, but, apart from Lichfield, there is no evidence that the rule was adopted in other English cathedrals until shortly before the Norman Conquest. (fn. 16)
The history of the cathedral from 822 until the episcopate of Roger de Clinton (1129-48) is obscure — so obscure that Clinton, who reorganized the cathedral, was thought by a 13th-century Prior of Coventry to have been the first to introduce canons at Lichfield. (fn. 17) The tradition was that before Clinton's time there had been only five priests, deservientes quinque capellis, singuli singulis. (fn. 18) This is supported by the entry for Lichfield in Domesday Book which says that there were on the bishop's manor five canons holding three ploughs. (fn. 19) The break-up of common life and the division of great parts of the common estates and goods into separate portions or prebends for the canons were common tendencies in cathedrals during the 10th and 11th centuries; (fn. 20) at Lichfield the Danish invasions of the 9th and 10th centuries and the transference of the bishop's see to Chester in 1075 and thence to Coventry in 1102 (fn. 21) must have contributed to the disintegration of the communal life instituted by Æthelweald.
A late-16th-century history of the cathedral wrongly ascribed to Æthelweald the foundation of prebends to support his canons. (fn. 22) The earliest canons were more probably supported by estates held in common. Traces of these estates may possibly be found in Domesday Book where some of the estates held by the bishop in 1086 are said to have belonged to the cathedral ('the church of St. Chad') before the Conquest. (fn. 23) In one case, that of Tachbrook (Warws.), the bishop was the tenant-inchief, but it was said that the land belonged to (est de) the church of St. Chad. (fn. 24) Portions of several of the manors, such as Baswich, Brewood, and Eccleshall, were said to have been held by the cathedral and are known to have become prebends by the end of the 12th century. It seems likely, however, that an earlier beginning of the prebendal system is to be seen in the tradition, found from the 13th century, that the holders of five prebends had the special duty of ministering at the high altar; (fn. 25) these prebends were named in the 16th century as Freeford, Stotfold, Longdon, Hansacre, and Weeford. (fn. 26) These are all places in or near Lichfield, and it is possible that the prebends were in existence by 1086 and were held by the five canons mentioned in Domesday Book; if so, they would provide a link between the early cathedral organization and the reconstituted chapter of the 12th century.
The date at which a full prebendal system was introduced at Lichfield is obscure. At Lincoln, Salisbury, and York this took place in the 1090s, (fn. 27) but it would be unwise to argue by analogy in the case of Lichfield as it is impossible to know the effects of the transference of the see to Chester and then to Coventry. The most likely theory is that a full prebendal system was created by Roger de Clinton in the 1130s when he reorganized the cathedral. Apart from the five possibly preConquest prebends already mentioned, none of the prebends can be definitely dated to before 1130. (fn. 28) On the other hand the Lichfield Chronicle says that Roger de Clinton increased the number of prebends, (fn. 29) a statement which suggests that the prebendal system was in existence before his time. His eight new prebends, however, all consisted of the churches and tithes of manors in Warwickshire which had been granted to Coventry Priory on its foundation in 1043 and the administration of which had been taken over by Bishop Clinton. (fn. 30) Only one of these new prebends, Ufton, survived; (fn. 31) the remaining churches were presumably recovered by Coventry, probably by 1152. (fn. 32) It seems likely that the other prebends of whose foundation there is no evidence apart from the tradition that they were of Saxon origin were formed from churches and tithes on the bishop's estates in Staffordshire, Warwickshire, and Derbyshire at about the same time. These were Brewood, Bishopshull, Curborough, Eccleshall, Gaia, and Whittington and Berkswich in Staffordshire, Bishop's Itchington and Tachbrook in Warwickshire, and Sawley in Derbyshire. (fn. 33) A few additional prebends were formed during the later 12th century: Harborne was made a prebend about 1165, (fn. 34) and the prebend of Alrewas was presumably formed some time after the royal grant of the church to the cathedral and the bishop in the 1190s. (fn. 35)
Bishop Clinton reconstituted the cathedral chapter in the 1130s, forming a collegium canonicorum along the same lines as those founded at Lincoln, Salisbury, and York some forty years previously. (fn. 36) It has been suggested that his motive in setting up a secular chapter at Lichfield was to obtain support against the monastic chapter at Coventry. (fn. 37) The new chapter was headed by four dignitaries, the usual 'four-square' constitution found in all English secular cathedrals by the late 12th and the 13th centuries. It has been questioned whether any Norman cathedral could have been the precise model for this sort of constitution, at least for those chapters formed in the late 11th century. (fn. 38) The Lichfield chapter, however, was based on that of the cathedral of Rouen, for Bishop Richard Peche (1161-82) ordered that 'the institutions of the church of Rouen, on which this church was originally modelled, so far as they are sound and possible, shall be strictly observed, both in choir and chapter, and in the degrees and dignities of the personae and the canons'. (fn. 39) The Rouen connexion may account for the fact that in the earliest statutes of the cathedral, drawn up in 1191, (fn. 40) the order of precedence of the four dignitaries differs from that of other English cathedrals, the Lichfield order being dean, precentor, treasurer, and chancellor. (fn. 41) By the mid 13th century, however, the order of treasurer and chancellor had been reversed to conform to the usual English practice. (fn. 42)
A dean of Lichfield, William, first appears about 1140 as a witness to the foundation charter of Farewell Priory; a fellow-witness was Odo, the treasurer. (fn. 43) The dignity of precentor is not mentioned by name until about 1177 when Bishop Peche granted the office to his clerk, Matthew; Matthew, however, succeeded Walter Durdent, the clerk and probably the kinsman of Bishop Durdent (1149-59), who in his turn had succeeded William de Vilers, Archdeacon of Chester. (fn. 44) The chancellor is first mentioned by name about 1200 when he was granted a messuage in the Close. (fn. 45) A subdean is found about 1165 when Bishop Peche constituted the prebend of Harborne for him. (fn. 46) The deanery was first endowed with lands and tithes from the bishop's estates, but in or just after 1176 Bishop Peche found that it was necessary to re-endow the deanery which had been 'ruined during the time of war'. He gave to it tithes in Lichfield, including a tithe of the fish from the bishop's ponds, a tithe of the farms of the archdeaconry of Derby, various pieces of land, and also the prebend of Brewood. (fn. 47) In 1192 these widely scattered endowments of land and tithes (with the exception of the prebend of Brewood) were replaced by the church of Adbaston which had previously been attached to the prebend of Eccleshall; in 1291 the deanery was worth £26 13s. 4d. a year. (fn. 48) The precentorship was endowed with the prebend of Bishop's Itchington, formed from property in Warwickshire belonging to Coventry Priory and worth £40 in 1291. (fn. 49) The treasurer had the prebend of Sawley, in 1291 worth £66 13s. 4d. and the richest prebend in the cathedral. (fn. 50) The chancellor first held the prebend of Gaia, but by 1255 he had been given instead the richer prebend of Alrewas, worth £20 in 1291. (fn. 51)
The duties and privileges of the four dignitaries are described in the first statutes of the cathedral, dating from the episcopate of Bishop Nonant (1185-98). These, the earliest surviving statutes of any English cathedral, were probably drawn up by the dean and chapter for the bishop in 1191 when the establishment of a secular cathedral at Coventry necessitated a written statement of the Lichfield organization and customs to supply a model for the new cathedral. (fn. 52) In form the statutes follow closely Bishop Osmund's Institutio of 1091 for Salisbury and are very similar to the constitutional part of Richard le Poore's Tractatus de Officiis — it is possible that an earlier version of part of the Tractatus was lent to Lichfield in the 1190s. (fn. 53) The dean was entrusted with the direction and correction of the canons and vicars and had the right of visitation of the prebends and of the Lichfield city clergy. He was also in charge of the cathedral livings, and new prebendaries received their prebends from him and were assigned a stall by him. (fn. 54) The precentor was the deputy of the dean in choir, being in charge of the cathedral services, with the duty of instructing the rectores chori before every solemn festival. He was also responsible for choosing boys for the choir and for their instructio et disciplina. The duties of the treasurer are described in elaborate detail: he was the custodian of the treasures of the cathedral and responsible for the lighting of the church and for maintaining, through his deputy the sacrist, the supply of candles, bread, wine, incense, water, coals, and rushes. The chancellor was the legal and literary officer of the cathedral; he kept the seals and wrote the letters of the chapter and was also expected to run a school. He was also responsible for the standard of reading in services and had the right to preach as often as he wished in the cathedral, except on the two days a year reserved for the dean. The statutes make no mention of the archdeacons of the diocese, and at Lichfield, as at Hereford, no special place or precedence was ever assigned to the archdeacons in the choir or in the chapter-house unless they held prebends. The prebend of Bolton (Lancs.) was annexed permanently to the office of Archdeacon of Chester in 1253, but the archdeacons never lived within the Close for soon after the annexation took place they were assigned a house in Beacon Street by the dean and chapter. (fn. 55)
The 1191 statutes start with an outline of the daily services in the cathedral with the hours at which they were to be performed and variations in their sequence on different occasions. (fn. 56) There are very few details of the ritual involved, but there is frequent reference for details to the Consuetudinary and the Ordinal; these are in fact the earliest allusions in England to the Ordinal. (fn. 57) The section on services also contains some notes on the 'Representations', spectacular ceremonies which took place under the direction of the subchanter on the great festivals — 'as is contained in the books about these and other things'. The Ordinal of Rouen Cathedral contains full directions for three of these ceremonies: the Shepherds at Christmas, the Pilgrims at Easter (the scene at Emmaus), and the Nebulae at Whitsuntide. This is another indication of the connexion between Lichfield and Rouen. (fn. 58) At the end of the statutes is a long and detailed scheme for the ringing of the various bells which announced the different services; this section is peculiar to the Lichfield statutes. (fn. 59)
It is impossible to estimate how many canons were actually resident at the end of the 12th century; non-residence, however, was evidently becoming such a problem that sometimes there were not enough canons in residence to staff the cathedral properly. The rules of residence laid down at Archbishop Hubert Walter's legatine visitation of Lichfield in 1195 were designed to remedy this situation and are the earliest surviving statutes of residence for any English cathedral. (fn. 60) They laid down that each of the 22 canons should reside for a minimum of 3 months, or a quarter of the year. Each quarter was allotted to one of the 4 dignitaries and the rest of the canons were divided into four groups: 5 resided with the dean during the first stadium or quarter, beginning at Michaelmas; 5 with the precentor during the second quarter; 4 with the treasurer during the third quarter; and 4 with the chancellor during the fourth quarter. In this way at least 5 canons were always in residence. No canon was to be absent except on the business of the church or other necessary affairs, and any canon failing to keep his residence was to pay a fine totalling a fifth of the value of his prebend into the common fund. This elaborate system, very similar to one in force at Salisbury, (fn. 61) seems to have been difficult to put into practice from the first. (fn. 62)
The main reason for the growth of non-residence must have been the smallness of the common fund at Lichfield. The chapter had accumulated very little communal property by the end of the 12th century. Bishop Clinton had endowed it with 'churches, tithes, lands, and other property', its possession of which was confirmed by successive popes; (fn. 63) and in 1149 King Stephen restored to it the church of Gnosall which it had held under Henry I — the sale of Gnosall prebends helped to augment the common fund. (fn. 64) Bishop Richard Peche found that the common fund had been reduced to nothing, and to augment it he ordered that when a prebend fell vacant the dean and chapter should appoint a keeper who would apply its revenues to the common fund for a year. The same bishop confirmed to the chapter a number of endowments which consisted largely of small rent-charges in money or goods on the bishop's property. (fn. 65) Many grants to the chapter during this century were of the same sort, such as the grant of lands by the bishop to his steward in the 1150s in return for an annual payment of 4s. for the lighting of the high altar of the cathedral. (fn. 66) There were also some gifts by individuals, such as the grant of a burgage in Lichfield to the common fund by Peter Giffard in 1176. (fn. 67) The chapter in the 1160s and 1170s also successfully defended its right to part of the revenues of two churches, Bradley and Shenstone, of which it had been deprived by the religious houses of Stone and Osney (Oxon.). (fn. 68) In the 1170s two more churches were appropriated to the common fund: Adam and Sybil de Port gave the chapter their church of Arley (now in Worcs.), and Robert Marmion gave it his church of Thornton (Lincs.). (fn. 69) The most important donations to the common fund, however, did not begin until the 1190s. (fn. 70)
Of the cathedral buildings little definite is known before the rebuilding in the 13th century. The Saxon cathedral, consecrated in 700, (fn. 71) was replaced after the Conquest. Bishop Robert de Limesey (1085-1117) is said to have used money obtained from Coventry for magnas aedificationes at Lichfield; (fn. 72) his successor, Robert Peche (1121-6), is also said to have been magnarum apud Licetfeld edificationum inchoator. (fn. 73) The Norman cathedral was probably completed by Bishop Clinton, qui ecclesiam Lichesfeldensem erexit tam in fabrica quam in honore. (fn. 74) During the 19th-century restoration of the cathedral the foundations of the Norman church were discovered under the choir. (fn. 75) This church originally had an apse with an ambulatory at the east end and probably one or more radiating chapels; a square-ended chapel, 38 feet long and 21 feet wide, was added to the east end of the apse in the mid 12th century, probably in the time of Bishop Clinton. In the course of the 12th-century rebuilding a deep moat was dug on three sides of the Close, and the excavations probably provided stone for the new cathedral. (fn. 76) A further rebuilding of the choir and the tower crossing probably began during the last years of the 12th century. (fn. 77)
The Thirteenth Century
The 1190s marked the end of the period of reconstruction of cathedral life begun by Bishop Clinton, and the 13th century was the time of the most rapid advance in the cathedral's history. The chapter grew in wealth, independence, and influence. The number of prebends was increased, there was a succession of important donations to the common fund, and the chapter acquired several pensions. There were some important developments in the organization of the chapter, which in this period asserted both its right to take part in the election of the bishop and its independence of him. The 13th century also saw the emergence of minor corporations in the cathedral and the beginning of the complete rebuilding of the church.
The prebend of Wolvey was formed about 1200 by Bishop Muschamp. (fn. 78) Bishop Stavensby founded the prebend of Wellington (Salop.) in 1232, (fn. 79) and when he annexed Burton-in-Wirral (Ches.), a prebend ab antiquo, to his new hospital for the shipwrecked at Denhall (Ches.) in the early 1230s, he created in its place a prebend from the church of Tarvin (Ches.). (fn. 80) Prees (Salop.), also known as Pipa Minor, became a prebend soon after 1235. (fn. 81) Bishop Pattishall formed the prebends of Colwich and Meresbury (Ches.) in 1241; the latter apparently had only one holder and then lapsed. (fn. 82) The two Warwickshire prebends of Bobenhull and Ryton were founded in 1248 after the churches had been granted to Bishop Weseham (1245-56) by the Prior of Coventry. (fn. 83) Bolton (Lancs.), the prebend attached to the Archdeaconry of Chester, was formed in 1253 after the church had been given to the bishop by Mattersey Priory (Notts.). (fn. 84) In addition the two small prebends of Dernford and Dasset Parva (Warws.) were in existence by 1255. (fn. 85)
The confirmation in 1255 by Bishop Weseham to the chapter of all its existing prebendal endowments marks the virtual end of the construction of the prebendal system at Lichfield. In 1255 there were 26 prebends with endowments of churches or land, and an additional 3 'bursarial' prebends. (fn. 86) These latter were formed by Bishop Stavensby and were in the nature of retaining fees for suitable canons until a full prebend should fall vacant. (fn. 87) At first the stipends of 3 or 4 marks were paid from the bishop's own purse; under Weseham they were paid from the Peter's pence collected in the Archdeaconry of Derby. (fn. 88) Bishop Meuland (1257-95) replaced the bursarial prebends by the three normal prebends of Sandiacre (Derb.), Flixton (Lancs.), and Pipa Parva. (fn. 89) The chapter was not anxious to accept these additional prebends, fearing that the new canons might become a charge on the common fund; Meuland therefore agreed that the three new prebendaries should not be allowed to go into residence until they had arranged to augment the common fund by £40 a year each. (fn. 90) The chapter was eventually forced to agree to Meuland's request that the holders of the three new prebends should be admitted before the augmentation was carried out, but these were the last new prebends to be constituted. (fn. 91) There were a few changes in the existing prebends; Meresbury lapsed, (fn. 92) and in 1279 Harborne was assigned to the common fund. (fn. 93) Two other prebends were divided: Gaia into Gaia Major and Gaia Minor before 1279, (fn. 94) and Eccleshall into Eccleshall (later sometimes called Johnson) and Offley in 1332. (fn. 95)
After this final division there were 32 prebends in the cathedral. (fn. 96) In 1535 their combined value was under £400, much less than that of other, larger cathedrals; at Salisbury, for example, the deanery alone was worth over £200 in 1535. (fn. 97) The Lichfield prebends then ranged in value from Sawley, worth £56 13s. 4d., to Dasset Parva, worth 3s. 4d. Only three were worth £40 and above, five were worth between £20 and £40, eight between £10 and £20, and the rest under £10. There were two types of prebend. The first, of which there were 24, consisted of appropriated parishes, from which the prebendary received the tithes and other income and where he often had peculiar jurisdiction. The second type consisted solely of property, partly land and partly tithes; of these there were eight, seven of them endowed from land and tithes in Lichfield and carrying with them responsibilities in the city churches.
The members of the 12th-century chapter are shadowy figures who usually occur as mere names in lists of witnesses to charters. With the 13th century, however, it is possible to discover something more about the personnel of the cathedral. Most of the elements which are regarded as typical of medieval secular chapters can be found at Lichfield. (fn. 98) Royal clerks and officials were granted prebends and dignities in the cathedral. Thus in 1214 Ralph Nevill, a royal clerk and later Bishop of Chichester and Chancellor of England, was nominated to the vacant deanery by the king; (fn. 99) in 1223 Luke des Roches, chaplain of Hubert de Burgh, was granted the chancellorship; (fn. 100) Thomas Wymondham, who became Treasurer of England in 1265, was precentor of the cathedral in 1241 and held the post until his death in 1278. (fn. 101) In addition other canons are described as king's clerks — notably John of Derby, an influential royal clerk who was elected dean in 1280 and who in 1282 is found going abroad on the king's business. (fn. 102) Ralph de Hengham, the judge, occurs as a canon in 1286 and gave some vestments to the cathedral; (fn. 103) both Anthony Bek (d. 1311) and his brother Thomas (d. 1293) were canons in 1280. (fn. 104) Some canons acquired places in the chapter through their services to the bishop: among them was Richard of Gloucester, who after being the official of Bishop Stavensby became Archdeacon of Coventry and successively chancellor and treasurer of the cathedral. (fn. 105) Richard was only one of a contingent of secular clerks from Gloucester who held prebends or dignities at Lichfield in the earlier years of the 13th century. This link with Gloucester seems to have been begun by Alexander de Swereford, the notable Exchequer official and a chaplain to Bishop Cornhill, who in 1235 resigned his prebend at Lichfield in favour of his nephew, Simon of Gloucester. (fn. 106) Compared with other cathedrals Lichfield seems to have had few connexions with the schools and universities in the 12th and 13th centuries, though the canonist Simon of Southwell, who became treasurer in 1203, had lectured at Bologna, Paris, and probably Oxford, Dean Sempringham had been Chancellor of Oxford, and Luke of Ely, who became chancellor in 1292, was a distinguished Oxford theologian. Alfredus Anglicus de Sareshel, author of a treatise 'De motu cordis' and translator of at least two works from the Arabic, probably held a prebend at Lichfield in the early 13th century. (fn. 107)
From the sparse records which survive of the activities of the chapter in the 13th century there emerge some figures who played important parts in the development of the cathedral but whose activities were confined to Lichfield. Outstanding among these was William of Mancetter, the first elected dean and one of the most notable men to have held the office. (fn. 108) Others were Ralph of Chaddesden, treasurer (c. 1259-c. 1276) and a great mediator in disputes, who in 1276 bequeathed £100 for the development (promocio) of the cathedral, (fn. 109) and Ralph de Lacok (d. 1257), the last subdean to be found at Lichfield and a man active in the service of the cathedral for over 25 years. (fn. 110)
Information about developments within the chapter during the 13th century comes mainly from two sets of statutes: those of Bishop Pattishall, dated 1241, and those of Bishop Meuland, dated 1294. (fn. 111) In spite of the increase in the number of prebends non-residence continued to be a problem. In 1224 it seems that certain canons were avoiding their terms of residence by a subterfuge (dissimulacione), and Bishop Stavensby reinforced the penalties imposed by Archbishop Walter. (fn. 112) In 1241 Bishop Pattishall repeated the residence regulations in his code of statutes, fitting the prebends created since 1191 into the scheme and setting out the amount of the fine to be levied for non-residence from each prebend. (fn. 113) Each canon was allowed to take up to 30 days' leave during his term of residence, thus reducing each stadium to two months only. The scheme was given flexibility by the provision that any canon could reside for the whole year, or for half the year, if he wished. Hubert Walter's regulations appear for the last time in the statutes of Bishop Meuland; (fn. 114) when the statutes were revised in the 16th century all references to the scheme were removed. In fact the system seems to have been unworkable from the start, and the usual practice was for certain canons to reside the whole year, although occasionally they would be joined by other canons residing only for one quarter or two. (fn. 115) Until the act books begin in the 14th century it is impossible to know how many canons were usually in residence; the number of canons witnessing 13thcentury charters ranges from between three or four to nearly twenty and is probably not a reliable guide to the numbers of canons in residence. (fn. 116)
The most important constitutional development in the 13th century was the establishment by the chapter of its right to elect a dean. The first deans were probably appointed by the bishop, (fn. 117) but when Richard of Dalham died in 1214 the see was vacant. King John claimed the right to nominate and sent his legate to see that his clerk, Ralph Nevill, was appointed. The chapter had already discussed the election of a dean but agreed to accept the king's choice on condition that it did not prejudice the chapter's right of election in the future. (fn. 118) A few years later it obtained from Bishop Cornhill a charter granting it the right to elect its own dean in perpetuity. (fn. 119) In 1222 the chapter exercised its new privilege for the first time when William of Mancetter was elected dean, (fn. 120) and the right of election was exercised without interruption until 1325. (fn. 121)
Under William of Mancetter the office of dean became more powerful. In the statutes of Bishop Pattishall, which were probably drafted by Dean Mancetter himself, the importance of the office was stressed: in the cathedral the dean was second only to the bishop — all were to rise when he entered the church or the chapter. He exercised archidiaconal jurisdiction in the cathedral, the city of Lichfield, the prebendal parishes, and the parishes of the common fund churches. (fn. 122) In the statutes of Bishop Meuland 50 years later it was laid down that the dean had the right to visit prebendal churches every three years with a 'reasonable' train — about ten horsemen. (fn. 123) In both sets of statutes it was laid down that the dean should be in residence for the whole year; the other dignitaries need keep only their quarterly residence. (fn. 124) According to Meuland's statutes the dean was also to receive double commons while he was in residence — the bishop too was to have double commons when in the city. (fn. 125)
At Lichfield daily commons seem to have been paid wholly in money rather than partly in kind from at least the 1240s. (fn. 126) Under Bishop Pattishall the rate of commons was 4d. daily to each residentiary, 6d. on feast days, 12d. on solemn feast days, and 5s. at Christmas, the feast of St. Chad, Easter, and the Assumption. (fn. 127) Fifty years later Bishop Meuland raised the daily commons, which were then 6d., to 12d., with 2s. on solemn feast days and 10s. on the four principal feasts. (fn. 128) The common fund was managed by one or two canons elected by the chapter at Michaelmas. These communars were forbidden to convert the money of the chapter to their own use or to lend it without permission. They had to render a yearly account to the chapter, and any surplus after the payment of commons and other expenses was to be divided among the resident canons according to the number of quarters during which they had been in residence. (fn. 129) The common fund met the expenses of lawsuits dealing with the property of the cathedral, but the expenses of any case involving only a prebend had to be paid by the prebendary concerned. (fn. 130)
From at least the end of the 13th century the resident chapter met every Friday morning. The dean had to give a day's notice of any other meeting of the chapter, unless the business was extremely urgent. (fn. 131) Provision was made in Meuland's statutes for the appointment of a chapter clerk to write the chapter's letters under the supervision of the chancellor and to deal with legal business on behalf of the dean and chapter; he was to be paid a salary from the common fund. (fn. 132) There was also to be a chest for the common seal and the privilegia of the chapter; keys to it were to be held by the four dignitaries. (fn. 133) The statutes of 1241 are concerned more with directing the services of the cathedral than with the workings of the chapter. The ceremony for admitting and installing a new canon is described and the order of stalls in the choir is given. Instructions are also given for movements in the choir during the daily services and for the wearing of the appropriately coloured copes on the various feast days. The saints' days which were to be specially observed at Lichfield are listed and details of services on feast days given. (fn. 134) All this went to make up the Use of Lichfield.
Between 1190 and 1220 the chapter was given several important churches. In 1192 Bishop Nonant granted those of Cannock and Rugeley to the common fund; he had been sold the manors and churches by Richard I three years previously. (fn. 135) In 1535 the two churches were worth £32 a year. (fn. 136) Also in 1192 John, Count of Mortain (later King John), gave the chapter the Derbyshire church of Bakewell, on condition that it should always be served by three priests and that the chapter should appoint a priest-prebendary to say a daily mass for the king's well-being and in due course for the king's soul. (fn. 137) John also gave Bishop Nonant the neighbouring church of Hope with the chapel of Tideswell to be assigned either to the church of Coventry or to that of Lichfield. Bishop Muschamp granted to the Lichfield chapter, 'considering the extreme meagreness of the common fund', 20 marks a year from Hope and its chapelries for the provision of ale. About 1220 Bishop Cornhill granted Hope and Tideswell outright to the chapter 'to provide commons of bread and ale'. (fn. 138) Bakewell, Hope, and Tideswell, known collectively as the Peak parishes, (fn. 139) were the chapter's most valuable possession; in 1535 they and their thirteen chapels (fn. 140) were worth over £200 a year, nearly half the total revenue of the chapter. (fn. 141) In the 1280s Edward I tried to take back the advowson of Bakewell but was finally persuaded that his claim was false — at a cost to the chapter of 1,000 marks. (fn. 142) The common fund acquired another Derbyshire church in 1290 when Bishop Meuland granted it Kniveton, formerly a chapelry of Ashbourne. (fn. 143) A further Staffordshire church, Dilhorne, had been appropriated to the fund by at least 1272. (fn. 144)
Thus most of the chapter's income came from appropriated churches. The usual procedure with the churches of the common fund, and with many of the prebends, was the appointment of a farmer, who might be one of the canons. The farmer collected the chapter's share of the tithes and held the rectory lands in return for an annual rent and the duty of keeping the church and rectory buildings in repair. The chapter ordained a vicarage in many of the prebends and appropriated parishes and gave the vicar an income independent of the farm; (fn. 145) the farmer was, however, often the vicar himself. Where there was no vicar, it was usual for the farmer to appoint a chaplain. Included in the statutes of Bishop Meuland were several regulations about the granting of farms. Whoever held a farm, whether a canon or not, was to have a five-year lease only. This could be renewed by five-year terms to a limit of 20 years, but no lease was to be renewed at a loss. The lease was to be withdrawn if the farmer did not pay his rent promptly, and the farmer was to keep the buildings in proper repair. No farmer was to have jurisdiction of any sort. (fn. 146) These regulations were probably the result of papal action: in about the 1280s the Dean of Salisbury was ordered to investigate allegations that the Lichfield chapter had been leasing its property, under pressure and at serious loss, to various clerks and laymen for life or for long terms, or even in fee farm. (fn. 147)
The Peak parishes provide an example of one of these long leases. In the earlier 13th century the chapter leased to Robert of Lexington, the judge and a prebendary of Southwell (Notts.), the churches of Bakewell and Hope, with all their appurtenances except the chapel of Tideswell, for life at a rent of 125 marks. (fn. 148) Subsequently the lease was transferred to Robert's brother, Henry, who surrendered it when he became Bishop of Lincoln in 1254. (fn. 149) The chapter evidently continued the policy of farming out Bakewell and Hope; (fn. 150) in Tideswell, however, it seems to have employed a proctor to collect its revenues. (fn. 151)
The Peak parishes were the cause of almost continuous litigation during the 13th century. In 1113 William Peverel, an illegitimate son of the Conqueror, had given to the newly founded priory of Lenton (Notts.) two-thirds of the tithes of various lordships including Bakewell and Tideswell, two-thirds of the tithes of pasture in the lordship of the Peak, and various other tithes. Under Henry II the Peverel estates escheated and were given to the Count of Mortain; the churches of Bakewell, Hope, and Tideswell had passed into the hands of the chapter by the early 1220s. (fn. 152) The subsequent disputes centred on three issues: the extent of the lordship of William Peverel, whether he had the right to grant tithes of land not under cultivation in his lifetime, and how far the charters of the Count of Mortain overrode those of William Peverel. (fn. 153) By the 1220s there was already a 'long-standing controversy' between the chapter and the priory about the tithes of Bakewell. A composition was then made by which the priory was to have two-thirds of the tithes from land then or afterwards cultivated within the former demesne of William Peverel and two-thirds of the tithes of lead; the remaining third of both tithes was to go to the dean and chapter. (fn. 154)
There were occasional disagreements after this settlement, (fn. 155) and in 1250 a major dispute broke out again. In that year the chapter complained that the monks of Lenton had seized its tithes of wool and lambs in Tideswell, and the following year it ordered the sheep to be folded in the church for safety. The monks broke into the church and took away some of the lambs by force; during the fight some of the chapter's servants were wounded and the church was polluted with blood. (fn. 156) The chapter appealed to the Pope, and with the help of two papal commissioners an agreement was reached in 1253. The priory was to return what had been wrongly taken and to pay the chapter 100 marks in four halfyearly instalments to cover damages and expenses. The chapter was to have all the tithes in Tideswell, except two-thirds of the tithe on lead and the tithes of the stud-farm and chase in the parish. The former agreement on tithes in Bakewell and Hope was to stand, but the chapter was to give the priory 14 marks of its yearly share of these tithes, and the priory was to receive in future two-thirds of the tithes on newly-cultivated land. (fn. 157)
In the 1270s the chapter was complaining that this agreement was very disadvantageous to it and petitioned the Pope to cancel it. (fn. 158) In 1278 a band of 35 men led by a Lichfield canon, William Wymondham, was accused of seizing the tithes of the priory stored at Bakewell and of raiding the prior's house at Haddon; Wymondham and one of the Bakewell chaplains were seized by the Sheriff of Nottinghamshire and imprisoned for a while. (fn. 159) In 1280 Anthony Bek and his brother Thomas, both canons of Lichfield, negotiated a new agreement. Under the terms of this the arrangement of 1253 was confirmed, the priory was to pay 75 marks owing to the chapter and an additional sum of 280 marks, and was also to give to Lichfield half the advowson of Handsworth church. (fn. 160) This agreement remained in force for the rest of the Middle Ages, although the division of tithes on newly-cultivated land occasionally caused fresh disputes. (fn. 161)
During the 13th century the chapter was also involved in years of litigation with Halesowen Abbey (Worcs.) over the right of presentation to the church of Harborne (fn. 162) and with the collegiate church of Penkridge over the church of Cannock. (fn. 163)
Much of the chapter's income was made up of annual pensions from churches which had been appropriated to religious houses. Before the bishop could allow any church to be appropriated, the permission of the Lichfield and Coventry chapters had to be obtained; the price of this permission was often a pension to both chapters. The earliest example of the acquisition of a pension by the chapter is in the 1170s when the chapter challenged the appropriation of the church of Shenstone to Osney Abbey and was awarded a pension of 10s. a year from the church. (fn. 164) Most of the chapter's pensions, however, were acquired in the 13th century: £10 from Dunchurch (Warws.) in 1229, (fn. 165) £6 13s. 4d. from Abbots Bromley a few years later, (fn. 166) and £10 from Leamington Hastings (Warws.) in 1232. (fn. 167) Three other pensions were to cause much litigation in the 14th century: a grant by the bishop in 1231 of 25s., raised to 24 marks in 1248, from the rich church of Winwick (Lancs.) to supplement the 'inadequate resources' of the common fund; (fn. 168) a pension acquired in 1248 from the church of Southam (Warws.) which was not appropriated but whose rector was under obligation to pay £20 a year; (fn. 169) and 20 marks from Aston (Warws.) granted in 1253. (fn. 170) Three more pensions were acquired in the 13th century: 10 marks from Mayfield by 1255, (fn. 171) 10 marks from Stowe-byChartley in 1278 to augment the common fund, (fn. 172) and £2 from Alspath (Warws.) by 1291. (fn. 173)
The growing power and influence of the Lichfield chapter is shown most clearly by its successful assertion of its right to a share in the election of the bishop. (fn. 174) Its long feud with the Coventry chapter centred on the status of the Lichfield chapter after the see was transferred first to Chester and then to Coventry. Lichfield did not claim the sole right of election but only an equal voice with Coventry; the monks of Coventry denied that the canons had the right to any representation at all. The first evidence of a dispute occurs in 1149, when Walter Durdent became bishop. It continued until 1228 when the canons' persistence was finally rewarded. Gregory IX then decreed that all future elections should be made jointly by Lichfield and Coventry — the first to take place at Coventry with both chapters sitting together, the next at Lichfield, and so on alternately. The Prior of Coventry was to have the first vote in each election. This judgement was a notable victory for Lichfield, since at the beginning of the struggle it seemed to have little chance against the richer and more influential Coventry. A further refinement was added in 1255 when it was agreed that at future elections the two chapters should be reckoned equal in number, even though one might in fact be more numerous than the other.
During most of the 13th century the chapter's relations with the bishop were cordial. No prebend was attached to the bishopric, so that the bishop was not a regular member of the chapter. He had the right, however, of choosing and instituting the canons and of making statutes in conjunction with the chapter. (fn. 175) He was also occasionally called in to settle a dispute: in 1264 he mediated between the chapter and the priory of St. Thomas near Stafford in a controversy over tithes, (fn. 176) and in 1279 he tried to settle a quarrel between the chapter and one of the canons. (fn. 177) The chapter was not, however, prepared to allow the bishop the right of visitation, either of the chapter itself or of its prebends and common fund churches. Coventry Priory finally acknowledged the bishop's right of visitation in 1283 after a dispute lasting 50 years. (fn. 178) There may have been a similar attempt to visit the Lichfield chapter during this period. In the 1240s the chapter was trying to find out whether any of the other secular cathedrals were visited by their bishops, (fn. 179) and the agreement about visitation between the Bishop of Lincoln and his dean and chapter in 1261 was entered in Lichfield's Great Register. (fn. 180) The problem of visitation did not, however, come to a head until the 14th century. No resistance was shown to the occasional visitations of the Archbishop of Canterbury; when Archbishop Pecham fulminated in 1280 against the provision made by the chapter for the spiritual care of Bakewell, the chapter simply ignored his ordinance as illegal. One of the conditions of a compact made with the parishioners of Bakewell in 1315 was that Pecham's ordinance should be declared void. (fn. 181) The only serious dispute between the bishop and the chapter during the 13th century concerned the extent of the bishop's jurisdiction over the canons' tenants in the city of Lichfield, and this was settled amicably by arbitration in 1252. (fn. 182)
The 13th century saw the development of bodies of lesser clergy in the cathedral. Vicars were first mentioned in the statutes of Hugh de Nonant when non-residence of canons was already becoming a problem. (fn. 183) Bishop Meuland's statute in the 1290s that every canon, whether resident or not, was to appoint a vicar merely enforced a consuetudinem diutius usitatam; (fn. 184) in the 1240s it was laid down that any canon who had no vicar was to pay the equivalent of a vicar's salary to the chapter. (fn. 185) The first statutes for the vicars were made in 1241. (fn. 186) All the vicars were to be continuously resident in Lichfield and were not to be absent from services on pain of expulsion; one of them was to be appointed to note the absences and defects of his fellows. Five at least were to be priests; these were the vicars of the five canons who had the traditional duty of ministering at the high altar. (fn. 187) Those with duties at the high altar were to be entered on the weekly table of services and were to receive a fee of 6d. from the hebdomadary. In addition to the vicars who were priests there were a number of secular clerks, known as 'clerk vikars', whose duties were to attend mass sine murmure et chachinno and to sing anthems at services with cantationibus dulcibus, sine organis on feast days. (fn. 188) These vicars were to be paid a salary of at least 20s. a year by their canons and were, according to custom, to be paid quarterly; vicars who were priests were to be paid higher salaries. (fn. 189) In addition the vicars received daily commons, evidently 1d. a day, (fn. 190) from the chapter; their commons were paid twice a day, apparently according to attendance at services. (fn. 191)
Each new vicar was presented to the dean by his canon and tested in reading and singing by the precentor; in 1294 it was necessary to order that new vicars should not be forced to make gifts to the other vicars. (fn. 192) There is little evidence that the vicars led an organized common life before the 14th century; the chapter, however, is said to have assigned them a house in the 1240s, (fn. 193) and under Bishop Meuland a house at Stowe was set apart for old and infirm vicars. (fn. 194) The subchanter, one of the two leading vicars, had a house of his own in the city during the 13th century. (fn. 195) The subchanter and the other leading vicar, the sacrist, are both mentioned in the earliest statutes of the cathedral. The subchanter was the precentor's deputy and in his absence had the task of arranging all cathedral services, as well as the special duty, peculiar to Lichfield among English cathedrals, of arranging the 'Representations' at major feasts. (fn. 196) The sacrist was the treasurer's deputy and was responsible for the physical property of the church and for maintaining the supply of candles, bread, and wine for services; in return he was entitled to some of the candles used in various services. (fn. 197)
From the earlier 13th century the vicars owned and probably managed their own property. In the time of Bishop Stavensby they were given control of the lands attached to the martiloge; (fn. 198) this was the place, probably a small chapel off the south aisle of the choir, (fn. 199) where the relics of St. Chad and other saints were kept. The martiloge had its own property from at least the beginning of the 13th century when many small grants of lands and rents were made to it. (fn. 200) When this property was placed in the charge of the vicars it was kept separate from their other property and managed by vicars called keepers of the martiloge. (fn. 201) Grants of property, mainly burgages in Lichfield, were also made to the vicars, usually with the condition that they should keep the obit of the donor. (fn. 202) The vicars acquired at least one pension: £5 a year was allotted to them from the church of Bolton (Lancs.) as part of the arrangements made in 1253 by Bishop Weseham for the establishment of the new prebend of Bolton. (fn. 203) In addition the sacrist was, by the end of the century, receiving pensions from Berrington (Salop.), Youlgreave (Derb.), and Wigan (Lancs.). (fn. 204) The vicars who ministered at the mass of the Virgin in the cathedral were granted a pension of £2 by Dale Abbey (Derb.) in 1237, (fn. 205) acquired a pension of £1 from the church of Walsall in 1248, (fn. 206) and benefited from a further endowment when the chantry of Peter of Radnor was established in 1277. (fn. 207)
Many bishops and canons left lands in trust to provide payments for the vicars who observed their obits: for example, in 1208 Bishop Muschamp left one mark a year to the vicars who kept his obit, (fn. 208) and in 1249 Dean Mancetter arranged with Coventry Priory that it should pay 40s. to the vicars for his obit from lands bought with money given by him. (fn. 209) In Bishop Pattishall's statutes the keepers of the martiloge were ordered to record the attendances of the vicars at obits so that the money could go to those who had fulfilled their duty. (fn. 210)
During the 13th century at least thirteen chantries were founded in the cathedral, and all but Roger Weseham's chantry at Stowe (fn. 211) were attached to one of the ten lesser altars around the high altar. (fn. 212) These chantries were endowed by their founders either directly with lands and rents or by giving enough money to a religious house to buy lands to produce a yearly sum to support the chantry; the endowment had to be enough to provide a salary for a priest and to buy candles for the altar. Examples of the former sort of endowment were the chantry of Canon Hugh de Sotesby at the altar of St. Radegund, founded in 1242, (fn. 213) and that of Canon Reynold de Cleydon established at the altar of St. Katherine a few years later. (fn. 214) On the other hand the chantry of Bishop Pattishall, founded in 1254 at the altar of St. Stephen, (fn. 215) and that of Dean Mancetter, founded in the same year at the altar of St. Peter, (fn. 216) were both supported by payments from Kenilworth Priory (Warws.). During the 13th century most of the chaplains who ministered at the chantries were vicars; it is only at the end of the century that a separate body of chantry chaplains begins to emerge. (fn. 217) Three vicars had chantries permanently attached to their stalls: the subchanter had that of Bishop Pattishall, (fn. 218) the sacrist that of Canon Ralph of Chaddesden, (fn. 219) and the vicar of the Archdeacon of Chester that of Canon Thomas de Bradford. (fn. 220) There were also two chantries for the souls of the kings of England; they were attached to the altar of St. John and were in the charge of the prebendaries of Dernford and Ufton, though probably held by their vicars. (fn. 221)
Of the other body of cathedral personnel, the choristers, little is known for this period. From 1265 there seem to have been six of them, chosen by the bishop; they were then given a pension of 10 marks from the church of Wigan, to be collected for them by the sacrist. (fn. 222) By statute their musical education was in the hands of the precentor, whose deputy, the subchanter, supervised the song schoolmaster. (fn. 223) A Master Peter occurs in 1272; variously called Rector and Master of the Scholars of Lichfield, (fn. 224) he probably taught the boys grammar under the general direction of the chancellor.
The cathedral itself was much rebuilt during the 13th century, and the work done then and in the following century shaped the plan of the building as it is today. It is, however, difficult to date exactly the different stages of construction. There are no surviving medieval fabric accounts, and the chapter act books, which do not begin until the early 14th century, contain comparatively little information concerning the fabric. Although stylistic evidence supplements what can be gleaned from documentary sources, even this is sometimes difficult to assess. The medieval cathedral was built of a soft sandstone which weathers badly, and the extensive rebuilding and restoration which was necessary in the 17th, 18th, and 19th centuries has also to some extent hampered investigation.
The task of rebuilding the choir and the tower crossing was probably finished by 1208. (fn. 225) There is then no further evidence of work on the cathedral until 1221, when the king gave the chapter 20 oaks from Cannock Forest; these, it was stated, were to be used for rafters and timber for the church, (fn. 226) and the gift may indicate that the rebuilding of the transepts, the next stage of the reconstruction, was already under way. (fn. 227) Building operations must have been almost continuous during the deanery of William of Mancetter (1222-54). The major work was initially on the transepts. The king aided it with gifts of wood and stone from Cannock Forest: in 1231 he gave timber from Ogley Hay for ladders (fn. 228) and in 1235 and 1238 permission to use a quarry in Hopwas Hay which had already provided stone for the cathedral. (fn. 229) At least one of the transepts was evidently completed by the early 1240s: Henry III, who was at Lichfield in 1235, 1237, and 1241, (fn. 230) admired the high wooden roof of 'the new work at Lichfield', carved and painted to resemble stonework, and in 1243 ordered the construction of a similar roof for the royal chapel at Windsor. (fn. 231)
The agreement with Coventry on joint elections made it necessary for Lichfield to have a chapterhouse large enough to accommodate both chapters. A chapter-house is mentioned in the statutes of Bishops Nonant and Pattishall, and it has been suggested that it stood in the angle between the north transept and the nave. (fn. 232) The new chapterhouse, in the angle between the north transept and the choir, was built in the 1240s; (fn. 233) in 1244 the chapter was granted 40 oaks from the bishop's woods ad operationem ecclesie, presumably for this purpose. (fn. 234) It resembles the chapter-house at Lincoln but is of two storeys, of which the lower was used as a chapter-house and the upper as the chapter's treasury and library. The design, an elongated octagon with a ten-celled roof vaulted from a central pillar, is unusual; it is possible that it was originally planned to have the entrance in the north transept but that this scheme was abandoned to avoid interfering with St. Stephen's altar and the grave of Bishop Pattishall. Instead a door was cut through the north wall of the choir aisle, and a vestibule built to the entrance of the chapter-house in the west face of the octagon. (fn. 235) The vestibule, with its row of canopied stalls along the west wall, remains one of the outstanding features of the cathedral.
Another work dating from Mancetter's deanery was the chapel, dedicated to St. Peter, for his chantry; this was said in 1254 to be 'attached to the church on the south side' and has been identified as the room now used as the consistory court. (fn. 236) Above it was a chapel, later known as the Chapel of St. Chad's Head, which was probably used as the martiloge. (fn. 237)
The rebuilding of the nave dates from the episcopate of Roger Meuland (1257-95), and features of the design reflect Henry III's new work at Westminster Abbey. (fn. 238) Building was evidently in progress by 1270, when the king granted the chapter timber from Kinver Forest for the cathedral fabric, and the eight bays were probably finished about 1285. (fn. 239) Work on a new west front began shortly afterwards. It was built in at least three stages, of which only the lowest is 13th-century. This was completed during the 1290s, possibly by about 1295; work on the west front may then have ceased for a few years, for the next stage shows the hand of a new architect. (fn. 240)
Little is known about how these works were carried out or how they were financed. The cathedral's master mason in the 1230s and 1240s was probably Thomas the mason, (fn. 241) who was succeeded in the 1250s and 1260s by his son, William the mason (or William fitz Thomas). (fn. 242) In the 1270s a Thomas Wallace was variously described as 'Mason of the Church of Lichfield' and 'Master of the Work in the Mother Church of Lichfield'. (fn. 243) Building material was obtained locally. In addition to the gifts of timber and quarrying rights already mentioned the chapter had its own sources of supply. Some stone no doubt came from around the cathedral itself. Also, during the deanery of Ralph of Sempringham (1254-80), the chapter bought the right to dig for sand in a piece of ground on the Longdon road; (fn. 244) both this transaction and the purchase at an unknown date of a quarry at 'Hoppelee' (fn. 245) may be connected with the rebuilding of the nave. Money for the cathedral buildings went into a separate fabric fund which had its own keepers, the keepers of the fabric; they first occur in 1272, (fn. 246) and the first mentioned by name are two vicars in 1283. (fn. 247) The only known sources of income for the fabric fund in the 13th century are a pension of £3 paid by Halesowen Abbey from its appropriated church of Walsall (fn. 248) and a few rent-charges. (fn. 249) The congregations of the churches of the diocese contributed to the support of the fabric by the payment of Pentecostals, known as Chad-farthings and levied at the rate of a farthing a year from each household, (fn. 250) and by the alms which were collected annually for the fabric fund by the questores of the brotherhood of St. Chad. (fn. 251) The cost of rebuilding the cathedral could obviously not have been met from these sources alone, and the chapter must have relied largely on unrecorded gifts and legacies.
An undated survey of the Close, (fn. 252) written before it was surrounded by a stone wall, describes it as enclosed by banks and ditches; the moat, which drew its water from the bishop's fish-pool, was probably the work of Roger de Clinton. (fn. 253) In 1299 licence was granted for the building of a crenellated stone wall round the Close. (fn. 254) In the north-west corner of the Close was the site of the bishop's palace, 320 feet long and 160 feet wide. Next to it was the dean's locus exactly half the size, and the canons each had a portion half the size of the dean's. In all there were 26 houses in the Close. (fn. 255) The canonical houses in the Close were assigned by the bishop to canons when they first came into residence, and they were then responsible for keeping them in repair. (fn. 256) Each canon had authority over his own household, and every member of a canonical household was entitled to be buried in the Close cemetery. (fn. 257) At some time before 1280 the Close had been provided with a piped water-supply from Maple Hayes, two miles west of the city: in that year the Archdeacon of Chester, who lived outside the Close, (fn. 258) was given permission to pipe water for his own use from the chapter's 'great conduit' which passed through his land. (fn. 259)
The Fourteenth Century
The systematic compilation of capitular records of various kinds began in the early years of the 14th century. The man chiefly responsible for this seems to have been Walter of Leicester, a former sacrist; he was specially appointed to take charge of the treasury, the treasurership being held at the time by an absentee. (fn. 260) Under him an active scriptorium was built up composed of professional scriveners and vicars with literary and legal ability. (fn. 261) One of these vicars, Alan of Ashbourne, wrote the Lichfield Chronicle; he began work in 1323 and continued until his death in 1334. By 1345 his chronicle was on display in the choir as one of the treasures of the cathedral with the Anglo-Saxon St. Chad's Gospels, which had belonged to the cathedral from at least the 10th century. (fn. 262) Another vicar, John of Aston, also wrote a chronicle, of which only fragments survive in a 16th-century copy. (fn. 263)
Even more important for the history of the cathedral was the compilation, between 1317 and 1328, of the Magnum Registrum Album, an invaluable collection of transcripts of documents bearing on the cathedral's privileges and property. (fn. 264) The Great Register was followed by at least two other minor registers: a Parvum Registrum, which has been lost, and a Registrum Tercium, which is a list of pensions belonging to the cathedral and a cartulary of the Peak parishes. (fn. 265) In addition the chapter acts began to be recorded in a permanent form; the first surviving entry in the earliest act book is dated 22 April 1321. (fn. 266)
Another aspect of this activity was the assembling of a library at Lichfield. When the new chapterhouse was completed it was decided to use the room above it as a library as well as a treasury, and about 1260 the chapter acquired copies of the Burton and Chester Annals for the new library. (fn. 267) Alan of Ashbourne must have been able to draw upon an extensive collection when compiling his chronicle, since he uses not only the records of the cathedral itself but also other historical works, such as the chronicles of William of Malmesbury. (fn. 268)
As with most of the other English secular cathedrals a notable feature of the Lichfield chapter in the 14th century was the non-residence of the dignitaries. (fn. 269) Between 1320 and 1390 the deans spent less than 10 years in Lichfield; it was only with the election of Thomas Stretton in 1390 that the dean became once more permanently resident. The precentor was also non-resident for much of the century; holders of the office included a Frenchman, three Italians, and a clerk of the king's pantry. The 14th-century chancellors were more often resident than other dignitaries, and it was only after 1364 that the office was held by non-residents. Nearly all the treasurers, however, were non-resident; two of them, Cardinal Gaucelin Johannis Deuza (13171348) and Hugh Pelegrini (1348-70), were distinguished papal officials.
The main reason for the non-residence of the dignitaries was the growth of papal provisions, which brought about a great change in the personnel of the chapter as a whole. (fn. 270) Ninety-four, or about a third, of the 14th-century canons were provided by the Pope. The number of provisions reached its height in the middle of the century: of 98 canons installed under Bishop Northburgh (1321-58) 47 were provided, while of 47 installed between 1385 and 1400 only 6 were provided. In the first half of the century most of the provisions were direct, resulting mainly from the Pope's appointment of members of the chapter to other benefices. The first such provision was to the richest prebend in the cathedral, that attached to the treasurership, which became vacant in 1316. Usually provisors had little trouble in obtaining possession of their prebends, but there were two long-drawn-out suits when the king and the Pope both claimed the right to collate to the prebends of Colwich and Tervin; in the former the Pope upheld his right of provision, while the latter case established the important principle that if a canon died at the papal court during a vacancy of the see the king had the right to present to his prebend. In the second half of the century the number of direct provisions decreased and the number of provisions by expectation rose. Under the system of expectations a clerk was granted a canonry in the cathedral and was admitted into the chapter, but without income or rights; he then waited until he was granted a vacant prebend. The records of expectations are incomplete, but it seems that during the century about 50 clerks obtained their Lichfield prebends by expectation, while at least 75 held expectancies but never obtained prebends; few of those obtaining expectations were foreigners. The statutes of 1351 and 1353 had little effect, although they did cause some provisions to be challenged. The 1390 legislation, however, had an instant effect; the last admission by expectation was in 1389 and the last by direct provision in 1391.
As a result of papal provisions the 14th-century non-resident chapter was unusually distinguished. (fn. 271) There were 27 foreign canons, most of them members of the papal court or members of prominent French or Italian families with papal connexions. Among them were eight cardinals, notably John XXII's relative Cardinal Gaucelin Johannis Deuza, a leading cardinal for 30 years, and Cardinal John Gaetani de Urbe who was one of the principal papal agents in the struggle against the Emperor Henry VII and the antipope. In the second half of the century there were the Cardinals Francis de Teobaldeschi and Pileus de Prata, the latter being largely responsible for bringing about the Agreement of Bruges in 1375 between the Pope and Edward III.
The composition of the rest of the non-resident chapter followed the usual pattern. Leading royal servants, such as William of Wykeham, Richard of Bury, and William Ayermine, and great numbers of household and chancery clerks were given prebends by royal presentation. There were also a number of clerks of the nobility, such as John de Kynardessey, the clerk of Thomas, Earl of Lancaster, who tried to hide his master's treasure in Tutbury Priory before Boroughbridge. (fn. 272) There were several clerks whose careers were solely ecclesiastical; most of these were in the service of the bishops of Lichfield. Some of the non-resident canons had successful careers at Oxford or Cambridge, such as Richard Tonworth, Principal of Hart Hall and Black Hall, and William of Gotham, Master of Michaelhouse and Chancellor of Cambridge.
The resident chapter was composed mainly of men who had retired to Lichfield after active careers in the service of the Crown or the Church or at the universities. Hugh of Hopwas had been in the service of the Black Prince before coming to Lichfield where he was a leading member of the chapter for some 30 years until his death in or before 1384. Richard de Birmingham, official of Bishop Stretton, was an effective member of the chapter from 1366 to 1386, and John of Merton, a Fellow of University (later Clare) Hall, Cambridge, and an advocate in the Court of Arches, did much legal business for the chapter in the 1370s. There was also a group of men who spent short periods of their lives as resident canons at Lichfield before being given bishoprics or deaneries; among them were John Sheppey, from a great family of Coventry wool merchants and a noted lawyer and diplomat, Stephen Segrave, a civil servant and leading churchman, and Edmund Stafford, Keeper of the Privy Seal and Chancellor of England. The most famous resident canon during the 14th century was undoubtedly Richard FitzRalph, who was provided to the deanery by the Pope in 1336 and held it until he became Archbishop of Armagh in 1346. One of the most important theological writers of the century, he spent about three years in residence at Lichfield, and there survive twenty sermons which he preached at the cathedral and in the neighbouring parishes. (fn. 273)
The survival of some accounts from the 1290s and the beginning of the act books make it possible to discover the size of the resident chapter for the first time. Some fragments of commons rolls for the 1290s show an average of six canons in residence during each quarter, usually the four dignitaries in continual residence joined by two or three other canons for one or more quarters. (fn. 274) The only communars' account for the 14th century—in fact the only more or less complete medieval account roll of the chapter to survive — is for the year Michaelmas 1325 to Michaelmas 1326 and shows that the size of the resident chapter had increased considerably. (fn. 275) There were then ten or eleven canons resident in each quarter, six of them resident the whole year and the rest resident for one or more quarters. This account shows quite clearly that the attempt to impose quarterly residence had broken down altogether and that more canons wished to reside the whole year. There was already considerable concern about the growing number of residents, and in 1301 measures had been taken to restrict it. (fn. 276) Canons were to give at least 40 days' notice of their intention to take up residence, so that the chapter could discuss their admission. No canon was to be allowed to take up residence unless he was prepared to spend at least £40 a year of his own money at Lichfield, 'lest, like a drone among bees or like a thief entering upon the labours of others, he should seem to eat the honey from which those labouring day and night in the vineyard of the Lord ought to be sustained and should so destroy the apiary'. (fn. 277) This ordinance seems to have resulted in the imposition of a fee of £40 on new canons on their first beginning residence. (fn. 278) In 1396 regulations were made laying down that new canons were to pay 100 marks to the dean for cathedral use on beginning residence and that no canon was to be admitted who was not prepared to spend 100 marks a year. (fn. 279)
The reason for these measures seems to have been the chapter's fear that unless new residentiaries had an adequate private income they would be unable to meet the expenses of the hospitality to which they were obliged by statute without making impossible demands on the common fund. This anxiety may have been caused by the general rise in prices during the century and by the reduction in the size of each canon's share in the yearly surplus caused by the rise in the number of residentiaries. Certainly the surviving communars' account shows that very small sums were being distributed at the annual division of the year's surplus: in 1327 there was a £40 surplus, and a canon residing the whole year received only 73s. (fn. 280) The rising cost of residence was a problem common to all the secular cathedrals at this time and was met by them in different ways; (fn. 281) the entrance qualifications imposed at Lichfield seem to have been successful in halting the increase in the number of residentiaries which remained at an average of 10 for the rest of the century. (fn. 282)
As well as restricting the number of residents the chapter was concerned to collect the statutory fees from non-resident canons. (fn. 283) In 1322 it was decided to levy contributions for non-residence for the last five years and canons in arrears were to have their goods sequestrated. At a general meeting of the chapter in 1325 it was again decided to collect non-residence fees with the further provision that in future the statute about non-residence was to be read to the chapter yearly so that no one could plead ignorance. In the year 1325-6 'contributions' from non-residents amounted to almost £25. (fn. 284) There was a further effort to collect arrears in 1357 when it was decided that those who disregarded sequestration orders should be excommunicated, and in 1368 the chapter ordered that expenses incurred in levying the fees should be met from the common fund. At the same time the vicars were warned that if they did anything to impede the collection of the fees they would be deprived of their dinners in the canons' houses. In 1369 the non-residents petitioned against the fees, and there were no more concerted efforts to levy them, although occasional sequestration orders were still issued by the chapter.
Financial affairs too are illuminated by the beginning of chapter records. In the early part of the century a vicar and the chapter clerk were usually put in charge of the common fund under the supervision of the chancellor, (fn. 285) but later in the century there was only one communar, a canon. (fn. 286) The communars' duties included collecting the revenues of the chapter—tithes, rents, pensions, non-residence fees—and paying the salaries of cathedral officials and the expenses of such people as messengers and proctors employed on chapter business. They also distributed commons to the canons and vicars, noting absences and making small payments to canons who came into residence for only one or two days during general chapters. (fn. 287) They were also responsible for collecting arrears of revenue and arranging for their division among resident canons. (fn. 288) In 1325-6 the total income of the chapter was £429; of this £104 6s. went to pay commons, £98 to pay arrears of commons, and £127 to pay salaries and other expenses. (fn. 289) At some time during the century it was decided to set aside a sum of money in what was called the baga de Whalley, which was put in a cista gratiae with four keys held by four elected vicars. If a communar did not have enough money to pay the commons of the canons and vicars he could borrow from the deposited money, provided he repaid the sum during his term of office; if the money was ever alienated the bishop was given authority to raise £20 for the baga from three churches of the common fund. (fn. 290)
The finances of the chapter must have been embarrassed by certain transactions with Edward II and Edward III. In 1321 Bishop Langton left the chapter 904 marks to complete the Lady Chapel; in July 1322 Edward II seized this money and extorted a further £257 19s. 11d. from the chapter for the expenses of his Scottish campaign. He undertook to repay the full sum of £860 13s. 3d. from the farms of the towns of Shrewsbury, Nottingham, Oxford, and Bridgnorth, (fn. 291) but in 1332 the chapter claimed that £65 was still unpaid. (fn. 292) In addition the chapter made a loan of £100 to Edward III, which it was still trying to recover in 1388. (fn. 293) In 1390 it had to pawn a chalice to the vicars to raise £20 to lend to Sir Walter Bagot who was going on crusade to 'Lettow' (Lithuania) with Henry, Earl of Derby (later Henry IV). (fn. 294) Apart from these financial transactions the chapter was little affected by politics. The disturbances of 1321 and 1322 caused alarm, and the chapter made elaborate plans to guard the Close. (fn. 295) The Close was defended again in 1329 when two prominent local knights, Sir Ralph Bassett and Sir Robert Mauvesyn, moved in. (fn. 296) There were several royal visits to Lichfield: in 1323 the king stayed for one night in the bishop's palace and the queen in the dean's house, while Richard II visited Lichfield in 1386, 1397, and 1398 and as a prisoner in 1399. (fn. 297)
There were few constitutional developments in the chapter during the century. The statutes of Bishop Langton, promulgated in 1300, (fn. 298) were mainly concerned to curb the powers of the dean. (fn. 299) He was to give proper notice of his visitations, and it was emphasized that jurisdiction in the prebends and churches of the common fund belonged to the dean and chapter, not to the dean alone; nor had the dean alone authority to dismiss a vicar. (fn. 300) Only the treasurer was to have a key to the treasury, and the dean was not to meddle in his affairs or those of the other dignitaries. (fn. 301) When the dean was not in residence it was usual for him to appoint one or more locum tenentes; in 1365, however, the chapter decided that it was against the statutes to have such a person and after diversis allegationibus et responsionibus chose instead a president of the chapter. (fn. 302) In 1329 it was ordered that the common seal of the chapter was to be used only if there were two canons present. (fn. 303) In 1393 there was some concern about the secrecy of chapter meetings and the dean, with the authority of the whole chapter, solemnly warned each canon not to reveal the proceedings of the chapter. (fn. 304) Apart from financial business and the regulation of chapter property, meetings were concerned mainly with disciplining vicars and settling disputes between the chapter and individual canons. (fn. 305) In the 1340s there was some concern because the citizens of Lichfield were claiming a right of way through the Close, and the chapter had to obtain letters patent from Edward III restricting transit to members of the church and their servants. (fn. 306) The chapter was also obliged by statute to see that the water supply was properly regulated and the aqueduct inspected. (fn. 307)
One of the chapter's regular concerns was to see that the priests who served the three city churches received weekly instructions from the subchanter about services. (fn. 308) Bishop Langton's statutes contain regulations about the celebration of major feasts, (fn. 309) but there is little new information in the 14th century about the Use of Lichfield. In 1311 the dean and chapter of the collegiate church of Upholland (Lancs.) were ordered by the bishop to follow as far as possible the Lichfield Use in divine service; (fn. 310) but when a chantry was founded in the prebendal church of Colwich in 1341 its breviary was ordered to be that of the Use of Salisbury. (fn. 311) In 1398 the Convocation of Canterbury ordered that the feast of St. Chad should be observed throughout the province and thus it came to be included in the Salisbury Use. According to the Salisbury breviary the canonical hours on that day were to be according to the Use of Lichfield. (fn. 312)
The chapter acquired only two more churches for its common fund during the 14th century. Chebsey, together with the tithes of Slindon, a township in Eccleshall, was in the hands of the chapter by 1321. (fn. 313) The second appropriation, that of Worfield (Salop.), came later in the century. In 1318 Bishop Langton acquired the advowson from Edward II in exchange for the manor of Greenford (Mdx.) which Langton had intended to use to found a chantry for the soul of Edward I. (fn. 314) In 1371, however, Edward III accused Langton's successors of fraudulently retaining the advowson. (fn. 315) In 1394 Bishop Scrope granted the church to the chapter, after founding a chantry from its revenues. (fn. 316) The cost of the appropriation to the chapter was 200 marks, which was found by a levy of one-tenth of the value of every prebend for two years and the assignment of part of a new canon's entrance fee. (fn. 317)
All the churches of the common fund, with the exception of those of the Peak parishes, were farmed out during the century. (fn. 318) There was a great difference in their value: the highest farm was that of Chebsey which reached £40 at the end of the century, and the lowest that of Rugeley, farmed for 10 marks. There was a general tendency for the value of the churches to fall between 1291 and 1535, but the value of the farms fluctuated only very slightly during the 14th century. It is probable that the farming of churches was not very profitable for it was not unusual for farmers to be in arrears. In 1386 the Vicar of Chebsey said that he could no longer pay the same farm; the chapter, wishing to keep up the value of the farm, asked the same rent but agreed to remit him £2 at the end of each year. Sometimes it was difficult to find anyone willing to take on a farm: in 1356 the chapter was trying to find a farmer for Thornton, and in 1382 it was still having to arrange the sale of produce and repair of buildings itself.
Farms were only rarely held by canons, although Cannock was held for many years by John of Melbourne, the president of the chapter. Occasionally farms were given to other ministers of the cathedral: in 1323 two vicars choral were given Kniveton, and in 1359 the tithes of Harborne were farmed to the chapter clerk. Farms were more usually held by the vicar of the church or a local resident: for example, in the 1320s Arley was farmed by Thomas de Arley who had been given the farm at a reduced rate because the chapter thought him well qualified to look after its woodland there. The upkeep of the chancel of the church was supposed to be the responsibility of the farmer, but in many cases the chapter itself had to undertake repairs: for example, in 1382 the Vicar of Dilhorne was warned that the chapter clerk was coming with a carpenter to repair the chancel and the farmer was asked to help meet the cost. The parishioners of the chapter's churches were supposed to provide their own chalice and missal while the chapter supplied books and ornaments, and occasional gifts and loans by the chapter from its own considerable collection of ornaments, service books, and vestments are recorded in the act books. (fn. 319)
Individual canons farmed their prebends in the same way and on the same sort of terms. A roll of receipts and expenses of the deanery which has survived for the year 1333-4 gives some idea of how a canon managed his property. (fn. 320) The dean received £40 from the farmer of his prebend of Brewood and Adbaston and various smaller sums from rents of other property and perquisites such as mortuary dues. There was obviously some difficulty over the farm of this prebend as the dean employed messengers to take letters to the farmer and to the Vicar of Brewood and the Abbot of Lilleshall (Salop.) 'touching the farm of Brewood'; he also sent a representative to Brewood to inspect defects in the houses there.
Unlike the other churches of the common fund those of the Peak parishes were administered directly by the chapter in the 14th century; this was a change from its policy in the previous century when some of the parishes were leased. (fn. 321) The chapter had a proctor to safeguard its rights to the Peak, usually a prominent local knight. In the 1350s the proctor was Sir John Cockayne of Ashbourne; in 1370 he was succeeded by Sir Godfrey Foljambe, steward of the honor of Tutbury, (fn. 322) who was followed in 1376 by Sir Nicholas Stafford, holder of the manor of Tideswell in the right of his wife. As well as a proctor the chapter had an agent to do the routine work and present accounts to it. The mineral tithes were farmed out: in 1358 Robert de Hethcote of Tideswell was granted them at 24 marks a year for ten years. The chapter received a very large income from the Peak parishes. In 1339, for example, the tithes of grain were worth £218, mineral tithes £18 10s., and mortuaries £23; the tithes of wool and lambs, which were accounted for separately, may have been worth at least £200. The chapter kept a close watch on the Peak parishes. In 1376 the chapter clerk, who was taking some vestments to Bakewell, was ordered to inquire into the value of lambs and the prospects for the sale of the autumn harvest; two weeks later two canons were sent to Bakewell to look for buyers of grain, wool, and lambs. In 1382 the chapter clerk was again sent to Bakewell to deal with merchants about the price of wool. Sometimes the chapter had difficulty in disposing of the wool. In 1375 it was decided that the wool unsold by 15 August should be brought to Lichfield and distributed there; in 1382 and 1383 the wool from Bakewell was stored in the chapterhouse.
During the century the chapter acquired at least 20 new pensions, the price of appropriations to religious houses. (fn. 323) They ranged from 5 marks from the church of Condover (Salop.) (fn. 324) to 20d. from the church of Weston-upon-Trent, (fn. 325) but few of them were worth more than a mark. Occasionally the payment of pensions fell into arrears: in 1305 the chapter started a suit to recover arrears of 140 marks from the Priory of St. Thomas near Stafford for the pension from Stowe-by-Chartley, and in 1318 the officers of Pipewell Priory (Northants.) were excommunicated for being in arrears with their pension from Dunchurch. (fn. 326) Three large 13th-century pensions, those of Southam, Winwick, and Aston, caused the chapter endless trouble and continual litigation throughout the 14th century, (fn. 327) and there were also less serious disputes over the pensions from Wigan and Leamington Hastings. (fn. 328)
The relations of the chapter with the bishop during this century were determined more by the personality of the bishops than by any issues of privilege or authority. With Bishop Langton (1296-1321), a benefactor munificentissimus to the cathedral, its relations were very good apart from a protracted dispute over the visitation of certain prebends. (fn. 329) In 1302-3, when Langton was suspended by Boniface VIII for suspected adultery, murder, simony, and pluralism, the chapter wrote to the Pope in his defence, testifying that he was devoted to his ministry and had performed notable services for the cathedral. (fn. 330) After his death the quarrel between Lichfield and Coventry over the right of election flared up once more. The election took place at Coventry, and when the two sides failed to reach agreement, the monks denied that both chapters should be counted as equal in numbers and elected their prior. The canons of Lichfield appealed to the Pope who meanwhile had provided Roger Northburgh to the see; the case dragged on at Avignon for at least twelve years, and the final decision probably only confirmed the arrangement which had been worked out in the 13th century. (fn. 331)
The relations of the chapter with Bishop Northburgh (1321-58) were unhappy in every way. Soon after his consecration he announced his intention of visiting the chapter, a move which led to a protest from the dean. (fn. 332) In 1323 the chapter refused to recognize the bishop's right to excommunicate the Archdeacon of Chester on the ground that the disciplining of the chapter was the duty of the dean. (fn. 333) A few months later the dean publicly abused the bishop's steward, who had earlier been arraigned before the chapter for attempting to test the weights used by some of the canons, 'disgracing him and railing against the bishop'. (fn. 334) After the appointment of Dean Segrave to the archbishopric of Armagh in 1324, Northburgh claimed jurisdiction in the deanery during the vacancy and the chapter hurriedly inquired into the customs of other secular cathedrals during vacancies. (fn. 335) The chapter was united against him, and it was more than once decided that any canon or minister of the church prosecuted by the bishop should be defended from the common fund. In 1329 seven cases were pending in the Court of Arches between the bishop and the chapter, and the question of visitation was later taken to the papal court. (fn. 336) After Northburgh's death the relations between chapter and bishop were peaceful, although the question of visitation was revived in the 1390s. Bishop Scrope attempted to conduct a visitation in 1390 and announced one in 1396; after protests from the chapter he then agreed that he and his successors should visit the chapter only once every ten years and that the rest of the cathedral should be exempt from their jurisdiction. He visited the chapter in 1397, but the question of episcopal visitation was not finally resolved for over thirty years. (fn. 337)
Much of the work of running the cathedral was in the hands of the vicars at this period. With the precentor almost continually non-resident the subchanter was permanently in charge of the cathedral services, while the sacrist replaced the treasurer as custodian of the goods of the cathedral. In addition the vicars supplied the chapter with communars, keepers of the fabric, chapter clerks, and scribes; they served on commissions for the chapter, acted as proctors for absent canons, and even represented the chapter at the papal court. (fn. 338) In 1311 the commons of the vicars were raised from 1d. to 1½d. a day with double payments on 14 feast days; in 1325-6 the commons of 29 vicars cost the chapter £67. (fn. 339) In 1361 the vicars began a campaign to have their commons increased; they complained to the chapter that they did not have enough to live on, what with the price of food, linen, and wool, but the chapter replied that their complaint was minus vera. (fn. 340) In 1374 the commons were doubled to 3d. a day on condition that the vicars gave up their right to dinner with the canons and provided themselves with a suitable dining-hall; (fn. 341) this arrangement was confirmed by the bishop in 1390. (fn. 342)
The vicars continued to accumulate small grants of property in Lichfield and the surrounding area. (fn. 343) In 1348 they acquired their first appropriated church, that of Penn, from Bishop Northburgh. In return they were to say two masses a year for Edward III and one for Ralph, Lord Stafford; those attending these services were to be given special payments, and after pensions for the bishop and the chapter had been deducted from the revenues of the church, the rest was to be distributed among the vicars for their vestments and other clothing. (fn. 344) Little is known about the way in which the vicars managed their property, but they had a common seal by at least 1315 and were accustomed to appoint proctors to act for them by 1324. (fn. 345) They continued to receive gifts of money, such as a share of the 200 marks left to the cathedral by Bishop Stretton, (fn. 346) and pensions, such as £1 from the church of Tibshelf (Derb.) in 1319 and £1 6s. 8d. from the church of Lullington (Derb.) in 1341. (fn. 347)
From the beginning of the century the vicars lived in common. In 1315 Bishop Langton, concerned about the dangers to the vicars of lodging outside the Close in lay people's houses, (fn. 348) gave them a plot of land in the north-west corner of the Close that had formerly belonged to one of the canons. (fn. 349) On this site some houses were evidently built by individual vicars, since in 1330 John of Aston was given permission to finish the house which he had begun and two other vicars received permission to rebuild their house; a condition was made that both houses should revert to the chapter on the death of the vicars. (fn. 350) The chapter allotted rooms to the vicars — usually two vicars shared a room—and there were occasional complaints: in 1326, for example, the vicar of Gaia Minor complained that his room was not suitable to his status. (fn. 351) The vicars had some of their meals together from early in the century, for in 1329 they were ordered to repair their kitchen and hall, but they had their dinners with the canons until later in the century. (fn. 352)
The vicars' behaviour was a constant problem for the chapter. In 1321 the dean gave them a stern lecture in their common hall on the theme de vita et honestate clericorum. (fn. 353) An unruly vicar of that time was Richard of Elmhurst, who in 1324 was indicted before the king's court for attacking royal officers in Gaia Lane; (fn. 354) in 1330 he was accused by the chapter of being a dealer in chickens and cattle and of having a fire in his room to the peril of other vicars. (fn. 355) The most usual offence of the vicars was incontinence, punishable by a fine to the fabric fund. In 1359 seven vicars, including the subchanter, were accused of it; in the case of the subchanter five women were involved. (fn. 356) In 1383 the chapter made regulations for the behaviour of the vicars, forbidding them to go outside the Close after nine in the evening or to have any suspectam mulierem in their rooms; they were to dress properly and follow the canonical hours, day and night. (fn. 357) In 1394 it was decided by the chapter that any vicars who attempted to interfere with punishments imposed by the chapter by calling in lay people should be suspended for three months. (fn. 358)
Little is known about the choristers at this time. They wore surplices and caps, were paid 1d. each for attending certain special services, and received in addition various unspecified payments from the communar of the chapter. (fn. 359) The pensions allotted to them, amounting to 13 marks a year, were collected for them by the sacrist, and one 14thcentury sacrist left them a small legacy. (fn. 360)
The number of chantries in the cathedral decreased during the century: in 1335 there were 20 chantries, including the one at Stowe, but by the beginning of the 15th century only 14 were still being served. (fn. 361) A few new chantries were founded during the century. Bishop Langton established chantries at the altars of St. Mary and St. Nicholas and endowed them both with pensions. (fn. 362) In 1321 the prior and brethren of St. John's Hospital, Lichfield, founded a chantry at the altar of St. Thomas for the soul of Canon Philip de Turvill, to be served by one of their community. (fn. 363) In 1325 the vicars founded a chantry for the soul of the chancellor, William de Bosco, which was served by all the vicars, each taking a week's turn. (fn. 364) By the 1330s the condition of the chantries was causing concern to the chapter. There had already been an inquiry in 1311 into the condition of the chantry at Stowe which the vicars had allowed to become dilapidated, (fn. 365) and in 1335 the chapter ordered a full-scale inquiry into all the chantries; the subchanter and five other vicars were to find out what chantries there were and who officiated at each. (fn. 366) They discovered that only five of the 20 chantries were being properly served. There were many complaints: in one case the chaplain celebrated frequently but did not know for whose soul, in another the chaplain celebrated for someone other than the founder of the chantry, and in one case the holder said he was too infirm to celebrate. The most frequent complaint was that the endowment of the chantry was insufficient to maintain the services laid down in its ordination. A typical example was the chantry of Ralph of Sempringham whose chaplain reported that his salary was not sufficient for a daily celebration and that he was allowed by the chapter to celebrate every other day—it was said that in fact he celebrated only once a year. The chapter could do little to reform the chantries apart from ordering the chaplains to celebrate properly in future under penalty of a fine to the fabric fund.
Some of the smaller chantries seem to have lapsed later in the century, usually because their endowment was insufficient. One poor chantry, that of Reynold de Cleydon, was refounded by its chaplain in 1364, two years after he had been given permission to hold services only three days a week, the revenue being insufficient for daily service modernis temporibus. (fn. 367) In another case, that of Bishop Weseham's chantry at St. John's altar, it was the unusual ordination that the prebendary of Bobenhull should celebrate in person which led to the suspension of the chantry; the prebendaries refused to serve the chantry and the case was taken to the Court of Arches in the 1350s. (fn. 368) During the century vicars came to be displaced as the holders of chantries by special chantry chaplains, and when Bishop Scrope founded a chantry in 1386 one of the conditions was that it should not be served by a vicar. (fn. 369)
At about the same time the chapter made its first regulations for chantry chaplains; they were to dress like other members of the choir and were to attend services on Sundays and feast days. (fn. 370) The chaplains did not yet live in common, and several of the chantries had houses in Lichfield attached to them. The chantry at St. Katherine's altar had a house in Gaia Lane, in which the chaplain was keeping a mistress in 1357. (fn. 371) In the same lane there was a house belonging to Dean Mancetter's chantry, whose chaplain claimed in 1335 to be celebrating the chantry services in hospitio suo. (fn. 372)
The heavy building programme which had been started in the 13th century was continued during much of the fourteenth. It included the completion of the west front with its two stone spires, and the building of the central spire, probably also in stone. It is impossible to date this work precisely: the central spire, possibly the first to be built, was destroyed during the Civil War, while the northwest spire and the upper part of the tower on which it stands are later in date than the rest of the west front and possibly represent a late-14th- or 15thcentury addition or rebuilding. (fn. 373) It is, however, probable that work on the front was taken up again about 1300, and it has been suggested that by the time of Bishop Langton's death building had progressed as far as the string-course below the belfry-stage. (fn. 374) It may have been even further advanced: a brief description of the cathedral by a friar who visited it in 1323 (fn. 375) suggests that one at least of the western spires must by then have been complete or virtually complete. (fn. 376) It is in fact possible that by 1323 the west front, with its spires, window, (fn. 377) and rows of statues, was already finished, and that for some reason the north-west spire had later to be rebuilt.
Meanwhile work on the eastern arm of the church was also in hand. Bishop Langton, whose gifts to the cathedral during his lifetime included a magnificent shrine worth £2,000 for the relics of St. Chad, (fn. 378) had persuaded the chapter to build a Lady Chapel to the east of the choir and had left over £600 in cash and plate to finish it. (fn. 379) From stylistic evidence it has been suggested that work on the chapel may have started about 1310 or, more probably, about 1315. (fn. 380) Its plan, a rectangle of three bays with a three-sided east end, is unique among English cathedrals. In 1322 the architect, William de Eyton, the cathedral's master mason, had seven masons working under him, and an agreement of 1323 for the quarrying of stone for the chapel noviter construenda implies that work was being continued despite the king's confiscation of Langton's bequest. (fn. 381) The chapel had evidently been finished to Eyton's designs by 1336, when two keepers of its fabric were appointed. (fn. 382) Possibly the date of completion was a year or two earlier, since Eyton, who probably died during the winter of 1336-7, was also responsible for the first stages of the construction of a new presbytery running west from the Lady Chapel. The outer walls of this for three bays westwards on the north and four bays on the south are his work; they could have been built outside the existing early-13th-century eastern arm of the cathedral without interfering with it. (fn. 383)
In May 1337 the chapter engaged William of Ramsey, the king's master mason, as consultant architect. (fn. 384) Ramsey's work on the cathedral, which is marked by its distinctive new Perpendicular style, consists of the main arcades and upper levels of the presbytery, the linking bays of the aisle walls to north and south, and the upper levels of the choir. The main arcades of the choir were virtually untouched, though Ramsey remodelled the eastern pillars to match the new work and mask the change of styles. (fn. 385) The Lady Chapel had not been built on the same axis as the choir and the rest of the church, (fn. 386) but Ramsey solved this problem by modifying the axis of the main arcades of the presbytery one bay at a time. (fn. 387) When he died in 1349 no major work remained to be done on the eastern arm of the church. (fn. 388)
Work on the fabric after Ramsey's death can be traced only from incidental references. It was almost certainly interrupted by the Black Death but, according to Bishop Northburgh, had been resumed by 1352. This later work may merely have concerned the embellishment of the choir and the new presbytery; but since something more substantial seems to be implied by the bishop's statement it may have included the revaulting, in stone, of the transepts and tower crossing. (fn. 389) In 1357 a glazier from Lenton (Notts.) was employed to glaze three large and four small windows of 'the new work'. (fn. 390)
There is evidence of what may have been quite extensive work on the fabric in the 1380s. For several years after 1380, when each residentiary was ordered to give the fabric fund 10s. a quarter from his commons for a year, (fn. 391) the expenses involved evidently strained the chapter's resources. Work of some kind was being done on the choir in 1382. In May it was agreed that each existing residentiary and each new residentiary should give £10 ad reparacionem chori, (fn. 392) and in June that each residentiary should contribute 30s. a quarter from his commons ad opus chori perficiendum. (fn. 393) The other two references to the fabric that year also concern the choir. (fn. 394) Three years later work was still in progress, though no mention was then made of the part of the cathedral affected. (fn. 395) In March 1385 Gilbert Mason was appointed for life as the cathedral's master mason, (fn. 396) and in June John Douve of Lichfield was appointed master carpenter. (fn. 397) New residentiaries were now being ordered to pay their entrance fees into the fabric fund. (fn. 398) Despite this, money was running short, and in October the chapter had to borrow in order to pay the masons' wages during the winter. (fn. 399) The work, whatever it was, was probably finished during the next few years, for there is little subsequent reference to the fabric in the act books.
The bulk of the money for building probably came from individual gifts and bequests and from contributions, voluntary or compulsory, by the residentiaries. In addition the keepers of the fabric had a small but steady income from pensions, rents, and fines from cathedral clergy. (fn. 400) There were also the receipts of the Chad-farthings and the alms brought in each year by the questores of the brotherhood of St. Chad. (fn. 401) At times both these sources evidently produced less than they should have done. In 1322, for example, Northburgh warned his archdeacons that questores collecting for other causes had bribed parish priests to let them into their churches during the months reserved for the brotherhood. In 1352 he threatened to excommunicate laymen who were in arrears with their Chadfarthings and archdeacons' officials, rural deans, apparitors, and parish clergy who had embezzled money that had been collected. (fn. 402) During the later 14th century both collections were normally farmed out: thus in 1389 John de Outheby, Archdeacon of Derby, took the farm of the collections in the archdeaconry of Coventry, paying £10 down and £4 a year. (fn. 403)
Langton's building operations were not confined to the cathedral itself. He fortified the Close, constructing a stone perimeter wall (fn. 404) with massive gatehouses at the south and west entrances. (fn. 405) He was responsible for the Bird Street and Dam Street causeways, set up about 1310 across the bishop's fish-pool; the stretch of water between them forms the present Minster Pool, south of the Close. (fn. 406) He also built himself a large new palace in the Close, (fn. 407) in which at the end of the 16th century Sampson Erdeswick found 'a goodly large hall, wherein hath been excellently well painted, but now much decayed, the coronation, marriage, wars, and funeral of Edward I'. (fn. 408)
The Later Middle Ages
The full extent of the destruction of the cathedral's records during the Civil War (fn. 409) becomes apparent when an attempt is made to write the history of the cathedral for the period between 1400 and the Restoration. There are no records of chapter acts between 1439 and 1480 and very few after 1553; nor are there any communars' or fabric accounts for any part of the period, and only a handful of leases have survived.
Such records as have survived, however, seem to show that the 15th and early 16th centuries saw the development of tendencies already apparent in the fourteenth. The resident chapter shrank in size as the revenues of the chapter shrank in value. There were no great issues to be contested or projects to be finished: relations with the bishop were usually cordial, no constitutional innovations were necessary in the chapter, and the cathedral building had already been more or less completed. The chapter confined itself to the task of straightening out anomalies in administration and liturgy and, in the realm of building, to enriching the interior of the church. In addition there was a new concern to see that the lesser bodies of cathedral clergy—the vicars, choristers, and chantry priests—were properly housed and disciplined.
The cessation of papal provisions meant that the 15th-century non-resident chapter was less colourful than that of the previous century. The only papal official was John de Gigliis, papal collector, admitted to the prebend of Bishopshull in 1481. (fn. 410) Otherwise the non-resident chapter was composed of much the same elements as before. A few eminent royal servants and rising churchmen held prebends: for example, Henry Chichele (Archbishop of Canterbury 1414-43) was Prebendary of Wellington from 1400 to 1407, (fn. 411) and Thomas Bourchier (Archbishop of Canterbury 1454-86) held the prebend of Colwich from 1429 to 1435. (fn. 412) Other prebendaries who later became bishops included John Arundel (Bishop of Chichester 1459-77), Lawrence Booth (Bishop of Durham 1457-76), and Richard Sampson, who was dean from 1533 to 1536 and Bishop of Lichfield from 1543 to 1554. (fn. 413) Others, such as Andrew Holes, Chancellor of Salisbury, (fn. 414) and John Nottingham, a Chancellor of the Exchequer and Treasurer of York, (fn. 415) achieved distinction in other cathedral chapters. The resident chapter also included the same mixture of retired royal servants, lawyers, and bishops' and noblemen's clerks. (fn. 416) In the second half of the century an effort was made by Bishop Hales (1459-90) to change the character of the chapter by introducing and promoting scholars. (fn. 417) These included George Strangeways, D.Th., Richard Salter, B.C.L., D.Cn.L., and Thomas Mills (or Milley), who became Hales's registrar. (fn. 418) Of the 15th- and early-16th-century deans none was so distinguished as Richard FitzRalph, although John Yotton (14931512) was a theologian of some note (fn. 419) and James Denton (1522-33) had a distinguished career as a royal chaplain and as almoner and later chancellor of Princess Mary, sister of Henry VIII. (fn. 420) Thomas Heywood, dean from 1457 to 1492, was undoubtedly the most important figure in the history of the 15th-century chapter, but he had no career outside Lichfield. (fn. 421)
There were nine residentiaries present at the installation of Bishop Burghill in 1398, (fn. 422) and the same number were resident in the Close in 1417. (fn. 423) By the 1530s, however, the normal number of residentiaries had dropped to six and earlier in the 16th century had been as low as four. (fn. 424) The reason for this reduction in numbers was undoubtedly the stringent entrance qualifications imposed by the chapter as a result of the drop in value of its revenues. The entrance qualifications imposed at the end of the 14th century (fn. 425) were incorporated in the statutes of Bishop Heyworth in 1428; (fn. 426) further regulations were then added stipulating that the 100 marks paid by new canons on beginning residence were to be used partly for the fabric and partly for ornaments for the church and that the money was to be kept in a special chest with two locks, one key held by the keeper of the fabric and the other by a canon elected by the chapter. (fn. 427) These new rules were necessary as the chapter had been dividing the fees between the canons resident in the Close. (fn. 428) At the time when Bishop Heyworth's statutes were made the chapter was finding it very difficult to manage its finances. In 1428 the communar was forced to ask Dean Stretton's executors to return 19s. 1½d. to the common fund as the dean had died in the middle of a quarter. (fn. 429) The communars had been borrowing heavily from the baga de Whalley, (fn. 430) which had been augmented by many legacies. (fn. 431) When in 1429 it was found that there was still not sufficient money to meet the expenses of the church it was decided that the canons should be allowed an absence of 40 days in each quarter of the following year. (fn. 432) Even with this measure or relief for the common fund the chapter still had to borrow from the newly-established fund of entrance fees to pay the chantry chaplains their salaries. (fn. 433)
By the 1490s, when the number of residentiaries seems to have been reduced to five, (fn. 434) the communar was again borrowing heavily from the baga de Whalley. (fn. 435) In 1528 the chapter decided, after considering the meagreness of the cathedral revenues and the expenses incurred in the last few years, that for the time being no new residentiary should be admitted. (fn. 436) An exception was made in the case of Richard Strete in consideration of his hard work for the cathedral, (fn. 437) but when in April 1530 the chancellor, Ralph Whitehead, announced his intention of coming into residence, the chapter refused to admit him. (fn. 438) It argued that it could not afford to maintain another residentiary: it had recently been forced to pawn jewels to raise a loan of £100 for the king, the Mortuaries Act had meant a reduction of £40 or more in its annual revenues, and then there were the costs of a suit against the bishop, and the high price of provisions. (fn. 439) A few months later Whitehead invited all the canons to an entrance feast, hoping it would persuade them to change their minds, and in September he was admitted at the bishop's request. (fn. 440)
There were few changes in chapter procedure in this period, and the four codes of statutes issued by Bishops Heyworth (1428), Boulers (1454), Hales (1465), and Blythe (1526) were concerned mainly with straightening out existing procedures and removing anomalies. The relations of the dean with his chapter were generally smooth, although the election of John Verney in 1432 was challenged by a non-residentiary whose proctor had not voted for him and the case was taken as far as the papal court. (fn. 441) In 1512, after the death of Dean Yotton, the chapter acted with a certain degree of independence. Having fixed a date for the election of the next dean the residentiaries sequestrated the income of the deanery and made arrangements for a capitular visitation decanatu vacante; the president and two residentiaries then visited the prebends in and around Lichfield. (fn. 442) In 1533, when Dean Sampson appointed a notorious pluralist as his locum tenens, the chapter refused to accept the nomination of such a certain absentee to an irremovable post and instead appointed him president during good behaviour. (fn. 443) The statutes of 1428 and 1454 laid down the procedure for settling disputes between members of the chapter, and the latter laid down severe penalties against canons who involved laymen in their disputes with fellow canons; (fn. 444) the statutes of 1465 forbade any canon to employ a servant dismissed by another canon. (fn. 445)
According to the 1428 statutes canons had been neglectful about attending chapter meetings, and it was ordered that in future all residentiaries were to be present when chapter business was being discussed. (fn. 446) Later statutes and chapter acts emphasized the need for secrecy about chapter business. (fn. 447) The statutes of 1526 ordered that the common seal ad causas should be kept in the custody of three residentiaries and that a communar's seal should be cut. The common seal was not to be used without the permission of the whole chapter. (fn. 448) In 1527 the communar's seal, a new common seal ad causas, and a chest with three locks were shown to the chapter. (fn. 449) There was also concern that the statutes should be readily available for inspection: in 1465 it was ordered that they should be rewritten in a parchment book to which all the canons were to have access. (fn. 450)
Apart from the management of chapter property and the disciplining of the ministers of the cathedral, chapter meetings were concerned with many aspects of cathedral life. Business ranged from the general order in 1483 that all ministers of the church were to 'reform' their tonsures to ensure that their ears were showing, (fn. 451) to the occasional admission of notables, such as Humphrey, Earl of Stafford (1429), and Richard, Earl of Warwick (1434), into confraternity. (fn. 452) There were also officials to be appointed, ranging from proctors and attornies at common law (fn. 453) to keepers of the clock. (fn. 454) In some of the appointments outsiders took an interest; thus in 1483 Thomas Rigley was appointed sergeant, or verger, at the request of the Duke of Buckingham. (fn. 455) Canons had also to nominate to vacant benefices and chantries in the gift of the chapter, and at the beginning of the 16th century an elaborate scheme was worked out by which the residentiaries nominated in rotation, the order being determined by lot. (fn. 456)
The chapter was also much concerned with the regulation of the Close, except for the allotment of canonical houses which was the privilege of the bishop. The statutes of 1465 laid down that all refuse was to be carried out of the Close and that canons were not to put piles of wood outside their houses. (fn. 457) There was a graveyard in the Close, but in the 1530s the chapter had to enforce the rule that only those living in the Close were entitled to be buried there. (fn. 458) The water-supply also caused trouble in the late 15th century when the chapter accused Sir Humphrey Stanley of breaking the conduit and depriving the Close of water; the case was finally taken before the king's council. (fn. 459) The Close was not always popular with the city, and in 1436 a body of citizens attempted to break open the gates and attacked members of the church. (fn. 460) As a result of this and further attacks the dean and chapter were given extensive privileges within the Close in 1441: no royal official was to be allowed beyond the gates, and the dean and chapter were to have the return and execution of all writs and were to be justices of the peace for the Close. (fn. 461) In 1532 the subchanter and sacrist asked a county justice to issue a warrant against one of the canons but withdrew the request on being warned by the chapter that this would infringe the privileges of the Close. (fn. 462) A special guard was employed to keep the gates of the Close, which were not opened before seven in the morning. (fn. 463) In 1532 there occurred what was probably the last case of sanctuary in the Close when a thief took refuge there. (fn. 464)
The statutes of 1428 ordered that services in the cathedral were to follow the Salisbury Use, (fn. 465) but there is no evidence that this order was imposed. During the 15th century there were repeated demands that all ministers of the church should be properly habited for services, (fn. 466) and in 1487 some regulations were made about the administration of sacraments in the cathedral. (fn. 467) There was, however, no consistent attempt to reform the cathedral liturgy until the time of Dean Denton. Bishop Blythe at his visitation of 1523 found that cathedral services still differed in many ways from the Salisbury pattern, and his statutes laid down that in future that Use was to be followed for all services, except for those on the feasts of St. Chad, St. Katherine, and St. Nicholas and on the Monday, Tuesday, and Wednesday of Pentecost, when observances were to be those most convenient. (fn. 468) As a result several chapter orders were issued about particular services: vicars were ordered that whenever they said requiems for the dead according to the Salisbury Use they were to say immediately afterwards the commendaciones animarum in conventu, and that in future the saying of the Confession at compline and prime was to be according to the Use of Salisbury and not according to the Lichfield Use. (fn. 469) In 1532 some of the canons complained that they were being overburdened with duties in the choir, and the chapter agreed that the ancient Use of the cathedral should be followed until the dean found out the practice of Salisbury in this connexion. (fn. 470) In a dispute over ritual the following year both sides cited the Salisbury Use, differing only in their interpretation of it. (fn. 471)
The drive for conformity at Lichfield was not confined to the form of the liturgy. By ancient cathedral custom silk copes were not worn in procession at Candlemas because of the expense of replacing them if they should be spoilt by burns or candle-wax. In 1523 Dean Denton, overriding the protests of at least one of the canons, persuaded the chapter to abolish this custom and bring Lichfield into line with other English cathedrals; he promised to give £40 to cover possible damage. (fn. 472) A levy from the prebends was later ordered to renew the copes. (fn. 473) In 1528 four processionals had to be obtained as the cathedral had no suitable ones. (fn. 474)
Another apparent innovation of these years was the arrangement made for the administration of the sacraments to servants and those lodging temporarily in the Close. In 1523 it was decided that a curate should be appointed to hear their confessions, receiving 2d. from each servant at Easter and the mortuaries of laymen dying within the Close; a chantry chaplain was nominated to the post. (fn. 475) In 1528 this arrangement was confirmed, with the proviso that if any of those in the charge of the curate of the Close fell sick of the plague they were to be visited instead by the curate who ministered to the sick of Lichfield under the Vicar of St. Mary's. (fn. 476) Two years later fear of the plague led to a more complete isolation of the Close. The confessions of all servants and laymen living within the Close were to be heard in one of the chapels in the cathedral by the Vicar of St. Mary's, but no inhabitants of the city were to be admitted to receive viaticum in the cathedral unless they belonged to the household of a canon, were cathedral servants, or had been granted a special licence by the chapter. (fn. 477)
In 1401, following his metropolitical visitation, Archbishop Arundel confirmed the possessions of the cathedral. (fn. 478) There was little change in the property of the chapter during the later Middle Ages. The few churches that were appropriated to the cathedral were given to the vicars or choristers. (fn. 479) The chapter acquired eight new pensions, but their total value was not much over £2. (fn. 480) In the later 15th century Dean Heywood bought some land at Alrewas and King's Bromley and conveyed it to the chapter; (fn. 481) in 1535 this property was the only temporality of the chapter (as opposed to the churches of the common fund which were spiritualities) and was valued at 51s. 5¾d. (fn. 482) According to the Valor Ecclesiasticus Lichfield was the poorest of the secular cathedrals in 1535, (fn. 483) with a common fund worth £436 10s. 3¼d. gross a year, of which £160 17s. 1d. was earmarked for the payment of vicars' commons, chantry priests' salaries, and other fees and expenses. (fn. 484) The Peak parishes and their chapels yielded £215 15s. 9½d. a year, while the rest of the appropriated churches yielded a total of £125 a year; (fn. 485) 37 pensions from churches in six counties brought in a yearly total of £93 3s. (fn. 486) The total annual value of the prebends and dignities was given as £390 1s. 10¾d. (fn. 487) The assessments of the individual prebends, which are generally supposed to give the minimum rental value of the property, (fn. 488) show considerable variations from the values given in 1291. (fn. 489) The deanery had increased in value from £26 13s. 4d. to £40, but the treasurership had dropped from £66 13s. 4d. to £56 13s. 4d. Some of the prebends had nearly doubled in value, such as Flixton which had risen from £4 13s. 4d. to £7; others had fallen considerably, such as Longdon, which was assessed at £20 in 1291 and only £8 in 1535. The variations in value are too erratic to allow any conclusions to be drawn about changes in the value of cathedral property between 1291 and 1535. (fn. 490)
Very little is known about how the chapter managed its property during this period since little more than a dozen leases have survived, all but two of them from the early years of the 16th century. What evidence there is suggests that the 14thcentury policy was continued. It seems likely that the farmers of cathedral property found their leases less profitable; in 1481 the farmer of Worfield asked for a remission of rent because of his great losses during the year. (fn. 491) In the Peak parishes the mineral tithes were leased as before: in 1482 the lead tithes in the Peak were leased for five years at a rent of £11 a year. (fn. 492) In addition the other tithes (with the exception of the wool tithes) and the lands in the Peak were leased, and the chapter appointed an attorney to collect its rents. (fn. 493)
The chapter continued to collect the wool tithes and dispose of the wool directly. The tithes were collected by local men, either by the vicars of the churches or by specially appointed agents, and sold by them; the proceeds, after the expenses of the collectors had been deducted, were given to the communar of the chapter. In 1427 the Vicar of Bakewell accounted for £20, the proceeds of the sale of fleeces at 8d. each. (fn. 494) In 1481 the chapter leased the wool tithes for five years to its subproctor in the Peak, (fn. 495) but by the end of the 1480s the communar was administering the tithes again and in one year the chapter's agents collected 3,365 fleeces. (fn. 496)
In the early 15th century leases were still being made for short periods only, usually 5 years, according to the statutes. (fn. 497) Where a comparison is possible the rents paid seem to have been lower than the annual value of the property given in the Valor; (fn. 498) it would be necessary, however, to know the size of entry fines before an assessment could be made of the efficiency of the chapter's estate management. (fn. 499) At the beginning of 1523 the manner of making leases came under discussion; it was decided that the granting of leases should be a matter for the whole chapter and that a draft of the lease should be available for alteration before a decision was made. (fn. 500) Another matter which was causing concern was the growing practice by which canons procured leases for themselves or their relations on favourable terms and then sublet the property. It was ordered that no canon was to have a lease unless he paid as much rent as an outsider would give and that canons were themselves to occupy the property which they leased. (fn. 501) If, however, a canon wanted a lease he was to be preferred to outsiders. (fn. 502) In 1535 the chapter was paying fees to six officials concerned in the collection of its revenues: a receiver-general, a collector of pensions, an auditor, a steward of courts, glebes, and rectories, and a bailiff and a steward of the Peak. (fn. 503)
In June 1400 there was a metropolitical visitation of the cathedral by Archbishop Arundel at which a levy of one-tenth of the value of all the prebends for three years was ordered; the proceeds were to be used to provide new vestments and to make stalls in the choir. (fn. 504) The chapter was reluctant to take any action; several general chapter meetings were called to discuss the matter, but no non-residentiaries attended and the levy was not agreed to until nearly two years after the visitation. Even then it does not seem to have been collected. (fn. 505) A few years later the question of the bishop's right of visitation was reopened. The chapter seems to have resisted Bishop Burghill's attempt to visit it in 1407, (fn. 506) and in 1423 it obtained an inhibition from the court of Canterbury against Bishop Heyworth who had announced his intended visitation. (fn. 507) Heyworth complained to the Pope who restored him to 'the office of visitation and reformation which his predecessors have neglected to exercise'. (fn. 508) In 1427 two vicars were appointed to note the defects of the residentiary canons according to new arrangements for visitation by the bishops, (fn. 509) and these arrangements were sealed by the bishop and the chapter during a visitation in October 1428. (fn. 510) Visitations were to take place only at seven-year intervals and were to be of the chapter only; the other cathedral clergy and the churches of the common fund and the prebends were, except in cases of scandalous neglect, to be exempt. Any money arising from the visitation was to go to the fabric or the ornaments of the church. Apart from Hereford, which resisted visitation until after the Reformation, Lichfield was the last of the English secular cathedrals to submit to episcopal visitation. (fn. 511)
After the settlement of the visitation dispute the relations between bishop and chapter appear to have been good, although occasionally storms blew up. The last years of Bishop Blythe's episcopate were marked by unsuccessful attempts by both parties to encroach on each other's privileges. The first, in 1529-30, was over the bishop's claim to the patronage of St. Mary's, Lichfield; the case was hotly contested, and Blythe showed his displeasure by ostentatiously snubbing the chapter when he passed through Lichfield on his way to London in June 1530. (fn. 512) The matter was settled by arbitration later that year, (fn. 513) only to be succeeded by a fresh dispute arising out of an attempt by the chapter to prevent Blythe from visiting St. John's Hospital, Lichfield. (fn. 514)
By the beginning of the 15th century the subchanter had emerged as the ex officio president of the vicars. (fn. 515) The statutes of 1428 ordered the subchanter and the vicars of the three other dignitaries to wear special amices trimmed with calabar fur; they were to have 6s. 8d. above their usual salaries to pay for them. (fn. 516) The same statutes laid down regulations for ensuring that a vicar's stall was filled within a few months of a vacancy but also stipulated that all new vicars were to be examined to make sure that they could chant to an organ. (fn. 517) By the end of the century the chapter was imposing a year's probation on new vicars, (fn. 518) and in 1530 a probationer was dismissed because he was old and had lost his voice. (fn. 519) The following year some of the vicars claimed that they were being impoverished as a result of the custom whereby a vicar fully admitted after his probationary year had to provide a feast, called 'ly seynyfest'. (fn. 520) The chapter ordered an investigation and found that for many years the vicars had been illegally demanding an entrance fee, or 'interest money', of 20s. from new vicars and two further payments of 26s. 8d.; these sums were said to impoverish newcomers and sometimes discouraged those with musical ability from taking vicarships. (fn. 521) The chapter decided that the entrance fee should remain but gave the vicars £20 to buy lands to provide 10s. towards each vicar's 'interest money'. (fn. 522) Ten years earlier the vicars had been told that they must give the dean and chapter a quarter's notice if they intended to give up their stalls. (fn. 523)
The vicars' behaviour was a constant problem to the chapter. Absenteeism was a continually recurring offence. The statutes of 1465 imposed a fine of 2d. to the fabric fund on unlicensed absentees, (fn. 524) and in January 1496 the fine for being outside the Close after the gates were shut in the evening was fixed at 12d. (fn. 525) The latter order apparently led to fears for the safety of the porter and his assistant, and in February a scale of fines was drawn up for various types of attack on them. (fn. 526) Another common offence was incontinence, and in 1496 a vicar accused of fornication was forbidden to leave the Close except to practise archery with his fellow-vicars outside the city. (fn. 527) Some vicars were sportsmen who bred dogs in the Close and went out hunting at night, and in 1512 the chapter was forced to order the removal of all dogs from the Close and to forbid vicars to go hunting. (fn. 528) There were also the usual minor misdemeanours — vicars dealing with their own private affairs during services and roaming around the Close and city improperly dressed. (fn. 529) An unusual case was that of Robert Bendbow who was summoned before the chapter in 1523 for dicing and card-playing instead of attending services; he was stated to have obtained his stall on the petition of his father, in spite of the fact that he was so young that a tutor had to be appointed to look after him. (fn. 530) The vicars were subject to visitation by the dean and chapter, (fn. 531) who appointed one of them as intitulator to report on the absences and other offences of his fellows; (fn. 532) this post was an unpopular one. (fn. 533)
In 1513 the chapter's attempts to control and discipline the vicars led to a short-lived strike. The vicars refused to take part in services until the chapter agreed to accept their traditional usage as to rest days and to reinstate one of their number who had been excommunicated. After two or three days the chapter succeeded in breaking down their resistance and the ringleaders were punished. (fn. 534) Another dispute arose between the two bodies in 1526 when the vicars drew up several articles of complaint against the chapter. (fn. 535) They alleged that they were not being paid commons during reasonable absences; that the chapter made statutes for them without their consent; that they were summoned before the chapter for trifling offences in spite of the fact that they could be expelled after only three admonitions; that the chapter had reduced the number of vicars from 27 to 21 or less and was pocketing the stipends of vacant stalls; (fn. 536) and that vicars were having to perform the duties of hebdomadaries without receiving any extra salary. (fn. 537) They carried their complaints to the bishop, and at the beginning of 1527 Wolsey appointed a legatine commission to investigate the dispute; in April, after the statutes had been revised, the vicars agreed to a settlement. (fn. 538)
In 1528 the vicars made a bid for greater independence by applying for a royal licence of incorporation. This step was taken without the knowledge of the chapter, although the vicars claimed afterwards that the suggestion had come from John Veysey, Bishop of Exeter and formerly Archdeacon of Chester. The chapter used its influence to prevent the granting of the licence, which it said would be injurious to the cathedral and the vicars themselves. It advised the vicars to ask the help of Sir Anthony Fitzherbert, the judge, in drawing up another charter of incorporation, which it would then consider; nothing more was heard of incorporation, however, until after the Reformation. (fn. 539)
Unlike vicars in other cathedrals the Lichfield vicars were not allowed to hold any preferments apart from their stalls. In 1400 Bishop Burghill changed this custom and allowed vicars to accept any benefices other than those requiring continual residence, but this concession was cancelled by Archbishop Arundel at his metropolitical visitation later the same year. (fn. 540) In 1412 Burghill obtained licence to appropriate to the vicars their second church, Chesterton (Warws.), 'as the possessions of the vicars are at present much deteriorated and many intend to depart for lack of maintenance'; (fn. 541) in 1505 the income from the church totalled £10 10s. 10d. (fn. 542) In 1535 the vicars' gross income was just over £200 a year; apart from nearly £100 from the chapter for commons, the greater part of the income, £65, came from rents of property in and around Lichfield. (fn. 543) By the early 16th century, when they owned about 250 houses and an even larger number of single pieces of land, the vicars must have been the major landowners in the city. (fn. 544) To manage their property they had a bailiff or rent-collector and a receiver-general. (fn. 545) An ordinance made at the end of the 15th century laid down that both these officials were to be elected by the whole body of vicars and that the receivership was to be held by a vicar and the collectorship by either a vicar or a layman. (fn. 546) In 1528 the chapter decreed that in future no vicar was to hold the latter office. (fn. 547) The property was farmed under the management of the subchanter; in 1524 it was discovered that he had been leasing property out at low rates and had failed to see that the rents were collected properly. (fn. 548)
In the earlier 15th century the vicars' houses were repaired and a common hall was built for them by Canon Thomas Chesterfield (d. 1452) with the help of Bishop Heyworth and two Oxford burgesses. (fn. 549) Dean Heywood, a generous benefactor to the vicars, completed the repair of their houses and in 1474 built them an infirmary or rest-house, which contained a small chapel and a muniment room. It was laid down that the building was not to be let or occupied privately by any vicar. (fn. 550) The conduct of the vicars in their common buildings was regulated by a set of statutes which they themselves drew up. (fn. 551) They were to behave well at table and not to refuse the food put in front of them; they were not to gamble in hall, except for ale; they were to keep their rooms in good repair and free from fire, water, women, and hunting-dogs. To manage their common hall they had their own steward and butler. (fn. 552) In the 15th century two funds, the 'chest of charity' (1419) and the 'bag of grace' (1490), were established to provide vicars with extra money for such things as food, repairs, and obits. (fn. 553)
The number of choristers had risen to twelve by 1535. (fn. 554) During the 1520s their part in the cathedral services was greatly increased: they attended every bishop's obit and were ordered to be present at the services held in the middle of the night. (fn. 555) A master of the choristers was appointed pro instruccione seu doctrina eorum; in addition he taught them 'priksong et descant' and sometimes, by special arrangement, to play the organ. (fn. 556) The boys were not restricted to sacred music. Visitors to the Close were sometimes entertained by cantilenae vel ballettae sung by the choristers, and in 1522 the chapter laid down the way in which any rewards received after such performances were to be divided. (fn. 557) In the 1520s and 1530s a boy bishop, presumably one of the choristers, was being appointed on Innocents' Day (28 December); (fn. 558) there appears to be no other evidence concerning the history of this custom at Lichfield. Bishop Hales (d. 1490) left money to build a house for the choristers, (fn. 559) but they did not live in common until the late 1520s. In 1527 the Crown granted the church and property of the dissolved nunnery at Farewell to the chapter for the support of the choristers. At the same time Bishop Blythe assigned the choristers a house on the north side of the Close; with the help of Dean Denton it was repaired and a cook installed. (fn. 560) In 1535 the choristers had an income of £39; their property was managed by the chapter, and fees were paid from their income to a receivergeneral, a bailiff, and a steward. (fn. 561) Their net income of £25 was not sufficient to feed and clothe twelve boys, and they were being allowed an additional £20 a year by the chapter. (fn. 562)
The chantry chaplains numbered seventeen in 1535. Their only common property consisted of some lands left to pay for obits, worth about £7 a year. (fn. 563) They were principally supported by the endowments of their chantries, of which there were seventeen left in the cathedral, worth about £95 a year in all. (fn. 564) In 1411 Bishop Burghill gave the thirteen chantry priests without official houses a site on the south side of the Close, and after his death in 1414 his executor built them the 'New College'. (fn. 565) In 1468 this building was improved by Dean Heywood, who added a bakehouse and a brewhouse, glazed the windows, and supplied the common hall with a stove and a table-cloth. (fn. 566) Under Dean Denton the chantry priests, like the choristers, were given permission to draw water from the aqueduct. (fn. 567) Their duties were laid down in 1428: they were to celebrate their masses each day in turn from the sixth to the tenth hour, and after the consecration during high mass one of them was to say mass for the benefit of travellers. (fn. 568) They were not to absent themselves without permission and were to submit their disputes to the dean and chapter for settlement. (fn. 569)
In 1535 the seventeen chantries were being served at thirteen altars. (fn. 570) Many of the chantries founded in the 13th and 14th centuries had disappeared, for of the seventeen survivors four had been founded during the 15th and early 16th centuries. (fn. 571) The most elaborate of these new foundations was the chantry of Jesus and St. Anne, founded in 1468 by Dean Heywood; its organization forms an interesting contrast to the simpler arrangements of earlier centuries. The chaplain was supported by annual payments from Lilleshall Abbey (Salop.) and, after 1471, from Dale Abbey (Derb.); the Lilleshall pension included a stipend to the New College so that Heywood's chaplain could live with the other chantry priests. Heywood furnished the chantry chapel with statues of the Saviour and St. Anne, stalls for a choir, and an organ, and supplied all the necessary ornaments and vestments. In 1473 he added to the ordination of the chantry; there was to be in addition a cursal mass, celebrated by the vicars, a week each at a time. Every Friday morning there was also to be sung in the chantry chapel a mass of the Name of Jesus followed by a requiem mass for all the bishops, deans, and canons of Lichfield. Moreover on Friday evening after compline in the choir a suitable antiphon was to be sung before the Saviour's statue; people were to be called to this latter devotion by the ringing of the great bell of the cathedral during the saying of compline. The object of this new service was to draw lay people into the cathedral for special devotions; in 1473 Heywood obtained from Archbishop Bourchier an indulgence of 100 days to all penitents of Canterbury Diocese attending the Friday services and similar indulgences of 40 days from the bishops of the southern province. In 1482 he obtained from Rome further indulgences for pilgrims attending first and second vespers in the chapel on various specified occasions. (fn. 572) In 1483 it was decided that offerings given at the chantry should be used first to maintain its ornaments and then for the maintenance of the cathedral ornaments and fabric. A custos oblacionum de Jhesu was appointed to account annually to the chapter for the proceeds of the chantry, which by the 1490s was producing a steady income. (fn. 573)
It was only at the beginning of the 15th century when the great work of rebuilding the cathedral had been completed that the duties of the keeper of the fabric were given statutory confirmation. (fn. 574) The fabric fund was to be kept separate from the common fund, although fabric money could be borrowed by the chapter if it was promptly repaid; also all entry fees were to be used for the fabric. No extensive or special work on the fabric of the church was to be undertaken without the permission of the dean and chapter.
In fact no major work was undertaken before the Reformation, and the fabric money was used only to maintain the church. (fn. 575) During this period the interior of the cathedral was enriched and beautified, but this was at the expense and on the initiative of individual deans rather than as a consistent policy. Dean Heywood did much to improve the appearance of the church: he adorned the chapter-house with coloured glass, paintings, and panelling and bought for the cathedral a great organ and a bell called the 'Jesus Bell' which alone cost £100. (fn. 576) While he was dean a fine stone screen was erected at the entrance of the Lady Chapel. (fn. 577) Another benefactor was Dean Denton, a man of great liberality who, among other things, spent £160 in roofing-over the market cross at Lichfield 'for poor market folks to stand dry in'. (fn. 578) In 1524 he offered to have the vaults at the west end of the nave newly built in stone at his own expense if the chapter would provide the stone; the offer was evidently accepted. (fn. 579) It was probably at this time that Bishop Blythe contributed 50 oaks and £20 towards the repair and restoration of the cathedral and a further £20 for the decoration of the nave. (fn. 580)
At the end of the 15th century a new detached library was built on the north side of the Close beside the north transept. In 1490 Dean Heywood gave £40 towards this library, then in the course of construction, and it was finished in 1500 by Dean Yotton at his own expense. (fn. 581) At the same period three of the residentiaries, Thomas Milley, Henry Edyall, and George Strangeways, were building themselves new houses in the Close. (fn. 582)