A History of the County of Stafford: Volume 3. Originally published by Victoria County History, London, 1970.
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The Reformation brought no basic change to the constitution of the chapter. Only one prebend was lost, that of Bolton, which was granted to the king in 1541 with the archdeaconry of Chester to form part of the new bishopric of Chester. (fn. 1) The constitutional relationship of bishop and chapter remained unchanged, though with the dissolution of Coventry Priory the existence of two separate chapters came to an end. In 1541 it was enacted that the Dean and Chapter of Lichfield should be 'the full entire and sole see and chapter of the said bishopric of Coventry and Lichfield'. (fn. 2) As a result the chapter had the sole right to confirm grants made by the bishop, and since it had proved expensive to obtain the privilege the chapter recouped some of its expenses by charging the bishop a fee of 40s., in addition to that claimed by the chapter clerk, for confirming small grants and more for those of greater value. (fn. 3)
The right of collating to prebends remained with the bishop. Rowland Lee (1534-43) and Richard Sampson (1543-54) either sold, or were persuaded to give, many presentations to prebendal stalls to laymen. In 1536 Lee sold to Thomas, Duke of Norfolk, the first two vacant appointments to Bishop's Itchington or Gaia Minor, and in 1538, in answer to Thomas Cromwell's request for a good prebend, he gave him the presentation to Eccleshall; in 1540 he sold two reversions to a syndicate which included Cromwell's nephew, Sir Richard Cromwell. (fn. 4) Bishop Sampson, who alienated much episcopal property, made a practice of selling reversions of benefices and in 11 years disposed of 19 presentations to prebendal stalls. (fn. 5) A possible explanation of this traffic in prebends was the need to find places for dispossessed monks, for many of whom the lay impropriators were legally bound to provide pensions. (fn. 6) During the vacancy after Lee's death the Crown had presented Stephen Sagar, who had been the last Abbot of Hailes (Glos.), to one of the Ufton prebends, and in 1547, probably at Sagar's instigation, the bishop appointed Philip Brode, who had been a monk at Hailes, to the prebend of Dernford. At the beginning of 1550 the two former colleagues combined to purchase from the bishop the next assignments of five of the canonical houses in the Close, thus obtaining partial control of possible candidates for residentiaryships. The following year one of the pre-Reformation canons, Arthur Dudley, Prebendary of Colwich, bought from the bishop the right of nomination to four of the remaining houses to prevent the exmonks from gaining complete control of the chapter. (fn. 7)
As was common at other cathedrals the medieval statutes, so recently revised, remained in force, those enjoining 'popish' practices being quietly ignored. (fn. 8) Royal visitation of cathedral chapters, a short-lived innovation, was exercised at Lichfield in 1547 and 1559. (fn. 9) The Edwardian visitors did little except deliver the standard injunctions concerning preaching, vestments, education, and discipline. English was to be used for anthems and the liturgy, and the Bible was to be read in English during services; one criticism which the visitors made was that members of the cathedral body had not been as 'studious and diligent in reading of the Bible' as they should have been. Excessive hospitality was forbidden and not more than £20 was to be exacted in fines at the beginning of residence. The vicars choral were to have one month's leave of absence a year, and the master of the choristers was to take over from the precentor and subchanter the duty of choosing and managing the choristers. (fn. 10) The visitation of 1559 added nothing apart from an order that married canons and vicars were entitled to commons and an injunction that a register of leases was to be kept.
The 1559 injunction about the register was no doubt intended as a curb on the chapter. A drastic change in the chapter's policy on the length of leases had taken place in the 1540s and 1550s. During these years the statute of 1294 limiting leases to a term of 20 years was ignored. A great number of fee-farms were granted, (fn. 11) and in addition there were a number of leases for long terms, such as 80 or 99 years. (fn. 12) These leases were usually to local gentlemen and were not confined to the property of the common fund: in 1550 the manor of Farewell, belonging to the choristers, was granted to William, Lord Paget, in fee-farm. (fn. 13) The most notable example of a local family which acquired fee-farms of chapter property is the Gell family of Hopton in Derbyshire. Before 1559 Ralph Gell acquired leases of land and tithes in many of the Peak parishes and their chapelries either in perpetuity or for very long terms of years, and the family continued to accumulate leases up to the time of the Civil War. (fn. 14) In 1550 Ralph Gell and his heirs were granted the office of receiver-general and collector of the farms, rents, and profits of the chapter, with the exception of the tithes of wool and lambs, in the Bakewell jurisdiction. For this office and the fee-farm of Kniveton Gell paid a fine of £120. (fn. 15) Other beneficiaries included the Vernon family, which in 1543 acquired the farm of the grain and hay tithes in the Peak at an annual rent of £37 and was still paying the same in 1649. (fn. 16) There are several possible explanations for these grants of fee-farms and long leases; the most probable is that the chapter needed ready money and could charge large entrance fines for such grants. (fn. 17) It is evident that by the late 1540s the chapter was having to consider ways of eking out its reduced revenues. In 1548 it decided that canons could be absent for up to 40 days in each quarter and still receive commons for the time of their absence; the object of this was to persuade residentiaries to spread their residence more evenly through the year and lessen the burden of hospitality. (fn. 18) In 1553, however, it was decided that the measure was dishonourable and contrary to the statutes, and it was revoked. (fn. 19) The Act of 1559 limiting the term of leases granted by archbishops and bishops seems also to have applied to deans and chapters; leases, except those to the Crown, were in future to be for 21 years or for the term of three lives only and the rents charged were to be no lower than the 'old, accustomed' ones. (fn. 20)
As a result of the Edwardian visitation a new post was created at the cathedral, that of divinity lecturer. The first lecturer, Dr. John Ramridge, Prebendary of Hansacre, appeared before the chapter with his letter of appointment from Archbishop Cranmer at the beginning of 1548. He was to lecture in the choir three times a week, receiving annually £10 from the chapter, 5 marks from the chancellor, and board for himself and a servant. Ramridge then offered to undertake the residentiaries' preaching turns as well if his stipend from the dean and chapter were raised to £20; it was agreed that he should receive £20 and whatever payments he could obtain from the residentiaries, but no board. (fn. 21) In July 1548 the Duke of Somerset ordered Ramridge's removal, presumably because of his lack of zeal for reform, and replaced him with Laurence Saunders, later a Marian martyr. (fn. 22) The post lapsed during Mary's reign, and an injunction delivered at the royal visitation of 1559 ordered the reappointment of a divinity lecturer. (fn. 23)
The most notable change in the personnel of the cathedral during the years of the Reformation came with the dissolution of the cathedral's chantries in 1548 and the consequent disappearance of the body of chantry chaplains. (fn. 24) In April 1549 the royal commissioners arrived to inquire into the possessions of the seventeen chantries and the arrangements for obits and lights. (fn. 25) There is no direct reference in the records of the cathedral to the destruction of the chantries, but at the end of the year the residentiaries were dividing amongst themselves the altar ornaments and various vestments. (fn. 26) During the following years the property of the chantries was sold off, mainly to London speculators, although much of it came eventually into the hands of local landowners, such as the Levesons and the Pagets. (fn. 27) Some of the endowments of the chantries had been lost even before their dissolution in 1548 with the sale of the property of the abbeys which had provided them with pensions. In 1544 and 1546 the chapter had made strenuous efforts to recover the endowments of Dean Heywood's chantries, invested with the abbeys of Halesowen, Lilleshall, and Dale, from the laymen to whom the abbeys had been granted; the report of the commissioners in 1548 shows that this effort was unsuccessful. (fn. 28) The chantry chaplains' college was sold to London speculators and came eventually into the hands of the corporation of Lichfield. (fn. 29) The chantry chaplains for the most part disappeared without trace, although some of them are found later in receipt of pensions, and one or two of them may have obtained Staffordshire livings. (fn. 30)
At the Reformation the vicars were brought more closely under the control of the dean and chapter; this was a direct reversal of the position in the early years of the century when the vicars had been demanding, and obtaining, more independence. (fn. 31) In February 1539 a royal commission, consisting of the bishop, the president of the chapter, and two laymen, drew up new statutes for the vicars. (fn. 32) Any statutes made by the vicars themselves were to be disregarded, and all new statutes were to be made by the dean and chapter and were not to be changed without their knowledge and consent. The intitulator was to keep a strict watch on the movements of the vicars and all absences were to be reported. (fn. 33) Regulations were made for the payment of tenths and first fruits by the vicars, and it was decided that no vicar should be allowed to act as bailiff or collector. None of their property was to be leased for a term of lives or for more than 15 years without the knowledge and consent of the dean and chapter, and the vicars were not to dispose of any of their goods without the chapter's permission; if called upon they were to make a yearly account to the chapter. It seems that the funds which had been established for the vicars (fn. 34) had become depleted, and the commissioners allowed the vicars a year to restore them to their former amounts. There were in addition the usual regulations about attending services and not introducing suspect women into the Close, and also an order forbidding the vicars to sell water from the aqueduct. In 1544 the vicars were given a 'friendly warning' to mend their ways; otherwise the statutes would be applied in their full vigour. (fn. 35)
The vicars narrowly escaped losing all their property at the beginning of 1549 under the terms of the Chantries Act of 1547. A prima facie case was made out against them that they were 'incorporated by the name of a college' and that all their possessions should be confiscated. The chantry commissioners, however, found that in fact the vicars were 'united and consolidated to the corporation of the dean and chapter', and they were confirmed in their possessions by letters patent later in the year. (fn. 36)
Several of the vicars took advantage of the Edwardian Act permitting clerical marriage. On Mary's accession two priest vicars were deprived for marriage, and in August 1558 Thomas Bagot, a lay vicar whose wife had just died, was ordered to return to live in common with the other vicars. (fn. 37) The 1559 injunctions laid down that married vicars were to be permitted to receive commons even if they lived outside the Close. (fn. 38)
Very little is known of the choristers during the years of the Reformation. They were put directly under the control of the master of the choristers, and they retained their property which continued to be administered for them by the chapter. (fn. 39) The 1547 and 1559 injunctions ordered that each chorister should be given an annual pension of £3 6s. 8d. for five years after his voice had broken to enable him to attend a grammar school. (fn. 40)
The most damaging loss to the cathedral at the Reformation was the destruction or removal of many of its treasures. St. Chad's shrine, which was said to bring in an annual income of £400, (fn. 41) was among those destroyed in the general attack on pilgrimage shrines in 1538. The statues, jewels, and other ornaments were seized by the Crown, but Bishop Lee persuaded the king to grant the shrine itself to the cathedral for its own uses, (fn. 42) while St. Chad's bones were smuggled away by Canon Arthur Dudley. (fn. 43) In March 1548 the chapter ordered the removal of the statues on the high altar and elsewhere in the cathedral in accordance with the royal decree of 21 February, (fn. 44) and by the end of 1549 the chantry chapels had been dismantled. (fn. 45) The body of the cathedral seems to have survived undamaged, and it appears from later descriptions that much of the medieval glass and most of the monuments were left intact. (fn. 46) Hardly any evidence survives concerning work on the fabric between 1538 and the Civil War, though it is known that in 1543 Robert Hodd of Ludlow (Salop.) was appointed to gild the reredos for £40, and in 1550 Dean Williams, who had won Henry VIII's favour through his skill as an architect, came to an agreement with John Osbaston of Abbots Bromley for the repair of the central tower, which had been struck by lightning. (fn. 47)
The vestments, plate, and service-books of the cathedral were dispersed during Edward VI's reign. In 1549 the residentiaries divided among themselves the albs and the money received for 'ly canopy', and in the following year the chapter sold all the books in the choir, having first defaced them, and divided the proceeds, each canon receiving 5s. 4d. (fn. 48) Despite all this the cathedral was still thought worthy of the Crown's attention. At the end of April 1553 five commissioners visited Lichfield and seized all remaining vestments and ornaments; the best were locked away under seal in the cathedral and the rest sold. On 18 May Edward Littleton, one of the commissioners, returned to collect what had been left behind — silver plate, crosses, and thuribles, the best copes, and two mitres. Having poured the consecrated oil from three silver cruets on the ground, he loaded everything into a cart and took it away. (fn. 49) Of the cathedral's furnishings all that appears to have been left behind were 2 silver-gilt chalices with patens, 6 cloths for the communion table, 24 old cushions, a brass lectern, and the 12 bells in the towers. (fn. 50)
It is impossible to estimate the extent of this loss since the only full surviving inventory of the goods of the cathedral is that made in 1345. (fn. 51) By the early 16th century some of the vestments were evidently shabby. In 1523 Bishop Blythe ordered a levy from the revenues of the prebends to help renew the copes. (fn. 52) The move appears to have had no success, however, for in 1531 the chapter put restrictions on the use of the copes on the grounds that they were almost worn out by long use and no resources (facultates) existed for their repair. (fn. 53) At the same time it was directed that the service-books in the choir, which were also worn out through age and long use, should be repaired. (fn. 54) The value of the plate and church ornaments lost must, however, have been considerable. The accession of Mary and the restoration of the old forms of worship found the cathedral lacking most of the furniture for divine service. The shifts to which the chapter was put when it reviewed the situation in October 1553 are revealing. There were no service-books left and all that could be procured by the chapter clerk were two breviaries: a large one which he obtained from Humphrey Swynnerton and a damaged one given by Sir Thomas Fitzherbert. Vestments were also in short supply, and one of the prebendaries contributed a chasuble and two tunicles. (fn. 55) More were evidently collected later: in 1579 the Privy Council ordered the destruction of 'certain copes, vestments, tunicles and such other Popish stuff' which the dean had reported to be in the cathedral. (fn. 56)
The doctrinal changes between the 1530s and the 1550s seem to have caused few crises of conscience at Lichfield. A good example of the conforming attitude of the chapter is the career of Henry Sydall, B.C.L., a prebendary from 1541 and holder of Dean Yotton's chantry. In 1548 he was deprived of his chantry but ordered to continue to preach at Lichfield; he was an equally zealous conformist under Mary when he helped to persuade Cranmer to recant, and on the accession of Elizabeth he was one of the first to take the Oath of Supremacy. (fn. 57) One prebendary was deprived in 1546 for refusing to pay tithes to the king, (fn. 58) and the dean and two prebendaries were deprived for marriage on the accession of Mary. (fn. 59) The biggest upheaval came in 1559 after the accession of Elizabeth I. (fn. 60) The dean, John Ramridge, who had been divinity lecturer under Edward VI and had obtained the deanery under Mary, was imprisoned in the Tower; he was released on bail and escaped to Flanders. He was succeeded by Lawrence Nowell, the Anglo-Saxon scholar, who was rarely resident at Lichfield. Also deprived were the precentor, Henry Comberford, who was accused in February 1559 of 'lewd preaching and misdemeanour' by the bailiffs of Lichfield, (fn. 61) and the chancellor, Alban Langdale, said to be 'learned and very earnest in papistry'; the treasurer took the Oath of Supremacy in 1559 but resigned the following year. The chancellor and the precentor were replaced by extreme Protestants who were, however, rarely, if ever, resident at Lichfield. Of the canons residentiary one was deprived, one retired, and the other four conformed; it was probably due to these four that there were no violent innovations after 1558. Of the other prebendaries three were deprived in 1559 and three more in 1562.
The Cathedral under Elizabeth I and the Early Stuarts
The period after Elizabeth I's accession must have been a time of considerable adjustment for the chapter, both to a new liturgy and to a reduction in revenues. Very few records of chapter acts have, however, survived between 1560 and the Civil War. It is therefore impossible to draw any definite conclusions about the character of cathedral life during this period, and any generalizations are based on very fragmentary evidence.
Notes made for the guidance of the communars in the 1580s give an idea of the revenues of the chapter at this period and how they were accounted for. (fn. 62) The total revenue of the common fund was just over £360 a year. Of this £137 13s. 8d. came from leases of chapter property, £3 7s. from rents of the land given by Dean Heywood, and £161 14s. 3½d. from the Peak parishes; in addition there should have been £110 a year from pensions, but it was usually possible to collect only some £60 of this. The revenue of the farm of the tithes of wool and lambs from the Peak seems to have been divided among the chapter separately. (fn. 63) Out of these receipts there had to be paid the commons of the residentiaries at the rate of £21 9s. each for a full year's residence, and the commons of the bishop and dean at double the rate. Each vicar was paid £4 11s. 3d. a year in commons. Over £70 went to the queen in payment of subsidies and tenths. Another £53 went in fees and salaries to the chapter clerk, the organist, the porter, the collector of the Bakewell revenues, and other officials, and in augmentation of the stipends of the vicars of the Peak parishes. Finally there were unspecified foreign expenses; in the years 1574-85 these varied between £3 15s. 10d. in 1575 and £130 17s. 1d. in 1581. It was estimated in the mid 1580s that the average income of the chapter was about £364 and the average expenditure was about £383, if 5 canons were in residence and there were 17 or 18 vicars. This deficiency involved the communars in extensive borrowings from the chapter's reserve fund, the baga de Whalley. (fn. 64)
The income of the fabric fund was kept separate from that of the common fund and consisted of some £5 18s. in rents from various fabric lands, together with receipts from 'stall money' paid by prebendaries without vicars, burials in the cathedral, (fn. 65) and various other fees. From this income the cathedral had to be kept in good repair and fees paid to a clerk of the fabric, a clocksmith, a plumber, a bellringer, an organ-blower, and other officials. (fn. 66) The income from the choristers' property, which amounted to about £58 a year, was also managed separately. This money was used to pay the stipends of the eight choristers at £1 each a year and a fee of 26s. 8d. to the master of the choristers. (fn. 67) From it also came annual payments of £6 13s. 4d. for the boys' clothing and 26s. 8d. for fuel.
There is little evidence about the policy which the chapter pursued in managing its estates, for, although the 1559 injunctions ordered the keeping of registers of leases, such registers survive only from 1631. (fn. 68) Where a comparison is possible it appears that during the later 16th century the farms charged by the chapter corresponded more or less to the annual values given in the Valor Ecclesiasticus. (fn. 69) Although the chapter continued to suffer financially from the effects of long leases granted in the 1540s and 1550s, (fn. 70) after 1559 most of the surviving leases were for 21 years, with occasional leases for three lives. (fn. 71)
From the 1560s the chapter even leased the tithes of wool and lambs in the Peak, the collection of which it had kept in its own hands for so long. In 1566 the tithes were leased to Sir Edward Littleton at a rent of £115 a year; the lease was for 20 years, renewable for another 20 years in 1586. (fn. 72) By the 1630s the farm of these tithes had passed into the hands of the Gell family, the most notable farmers of the chapter's property. (fn. 73) Even after the Restoration the tithes were still being leased for only £115 a year, (fn. 74) although it had been found in 1649 that they were usually worth £450 a year. (fn. 75) The rent, which was paid half-yearly, was not added to the common fund but was divided immediately among the residentiaries. (fn. 76)
Much money was lost because impropriators of churches formerly appropriated to monastic houses were reluctant to pay pensions due to the chapter. It has been seen above how nearly half of the income from pensions was proving impossible to collect in the 1580s. In 1612 25 of the chapter's 45 pensions were in arrears, most of them from Henry VIII's reign. The chapter decided to sue the impropriators, when it could discover who they were, in the Exchequer and Court of Arches, and it asked a lawyer to draw up a general bill against them for payment of arrears from 1534-5. (fn. 77) Evidently it met with little success as many of the pensions had virtually lapsed by the 18th century. (fn. 78)
By the 1590s it was apparent that the common fund could no longer support a full chapter of a dean and six residentiaries, and in 1596 Bishop Overton's statutes laid down a new system of residence, as complicated as that drawn up at the end of the 12th century. (fn. 79) The year, running from Michaelmas, was thenceforth to be divided into halves. Three residentiaries were to be in residence in each half of the year; the dean was allowed to choose which half he preferred for his residence. Every canon was to reside at least 12 full weeks in his half. Any surplus revenue was still to be divided according to quarters (stadia), but this was now an artificial concept. Canons in residence between Michaelmas and the Annunciation were to lose their dividend for one quarter if they were absent more than 93 days, for 2 quarters if they were absent more than 114 days, for 3 quarters if they were absent more than 135 days, and for the whole year if they were absent more than 156 days. A similar scale was laid down for those resident in the second half. One of the canons in residence during the first half was obliged to provide hospitality within the Close during the twelve days of Christmas, and one of those in residence during the second half was responsible for hospitality during Easter Week and at Whitsun; the burden of hospitality thus fell on each canon once every three years. (fn. 80) Even with a reduction in commons the cathedral's revenues were insufficient to maintain a dean and six residentiaries, and it was laid down that the number of residentiaries was to be reduced to four when the death or resignation of the existing canons permitted it. The scheme of residence was then to be altered to two senior canons in residence for the first half and two junior canons resident in the second. These changes were later attributed to the reduction in revenues caused by grants of fee-farms and leases for long terms at 'very small' reserved rents, (fn. 81) presumably those of the 1540s and 1550s. A fragmentary act book for the last years of the 16th century provides confirmation of the chapter's financial embarrassment at that period. In 1598, for example, Bishop Overton agreed to take no more than £13 6s. 8d. a year for his commons in order to lighten the burden on the cathedral's finances, (fn. 82) while the following year the canons gave a tenth of the income of their prebends to the cathedral after the dean had appealed to them for help. (fn. 83)
The estate policy of the chapter in the early 17th century differed little from that which had damaged its revenues in the previous century; in common with other ecclesiastical corporations of the time, long leases at uneconomic rents in return for high entry fines were still the rule. (fn. 84) In 1634 the Lichfield chapter, with the chapters of other cathedrals and collegiate churches, was warned by the Crown to stop converting leases for years into leases for lives. It was ordered that in future no leases were to be made for more than 21 years and no leases at all were to be made by deans after their appointment to a 'better' deanery or a bishopric; in this way it was hoped that chapters could be prevented from depriving their successors of entry fines or the benefits of increased rents. (fn. 85) The full extent of the chapter's mismanagement of its property can be seen in the reports of the commissioners appointed to survey the chapter estates under the terms of the Act of 1649 'for the abolishing of deans, deans and chapters, and canons'. (fn. 86) The unfavourable leasing of wool tithes in the Peak parishes has already been mentioned. The mineral tithes of the Peak, which were farmed by the chapter before the Reformation, (fn. 87) had been lost completely by the cathedral to a lay impropriator, Sir John Gell; in 1649 the tithes of lead ore were said to be worth nearly £1,000 a year. (fn. 88) Sir John Gell held the office of receiver in the Peak under the lease of 1550 and was found to be taking tithes of woodland but not accounting for them to the chapter. (fn. 89) Even when the lease was a recent one the terms benefited only the canons who shared the entry fine: the glebe of Tideswell was leased in 1637 for £12 whereas it was estimated in 1649 to be worth £46 a year. (fn. 90) In many cases the rents charged were still the same as the annual values given in the Valor Ecclesiasticus. In 1650, for example, the rectory of Edgbaston was being farmed for 53s. 4d. a year, the 1535 value, when it was in fact worth £47 6s. (fn. 91) The rest of the chapter property was under-exploited in the same way. Whereas the lands given to the cathedral by Dean Heywood and the property belonging to the fabric fund produced rents totalling only £11 a year, the commissioners considered them to be worth £135 a year. (fn. 92) The same inadequate rents were found in the case of prebendal properties. The dean's prebend of Brewood had been leased in 1628 for three lives at a rent of £30, but the total value of the lands, profits, and tithes was £185 a year in 1649; the prebend of Flixton was leased on the same terms in 1620 at a rent of £16 and was worth £122 in 1649, and the prebend of Tervin had been leased for 90 years in 1559 at a rent of £1 a year and was worth £14 10s. in 1649. (fn. 93)
A few of these leases were used by the chapter to reward its officers. The chapter clerk, for example, held land in Lichfield on favourable terms and paid a peppercorn rent for a house in the Close which the commissioners valued at £4 a year. (fn. 94) The clerk by this period was responsible for the routine administration of the chapter estates and many of the prebendal estates: in the 1620s, for example, Thomas Glazier transacted business for both residentiaries and non-residentiaries, collecting rents and tithes, paying wages and dues, repairing houses, and arranging for proctors. (fn. 95)
The chapter's relations with the bishop were generally harmonious during this period, though there was a sharp clash early in Bishop Overton's episcopate. (fn. 96) Shortly after his appointment in 1580 the bishop, heavily in debt (fn. 97) and harassed by lawsuits, demanded from the clergy of the diocese a subsidium charitativum of a twentieth of their revenues. The cathedral clergy refused to pay on the grounds that such a claim had never been made to enable a bishop to meet his normal expenses, and that they were exempt in any case. The bishop threatened the canons with a suit under the writ de scandalis magnatum and arrested two of them. When his case collapsed he obtained an order from the Court of High Commission directing two of the canons to lend him £100 each or appear before the court. One of the canons, who was 70 years old and confined to his room, gave in under the threat; the other went to London with the dean, but Overton managed to obtain an order for £30 costs against him. There were further disputes over the bishop's refusal to recognize the cathedral statutes as valid and the reluctance of the dean and chapter to confirm grants of leases, offices, and annuities which the bishop had made to one of his sons-inlaw; the chapter's explanation of its action was that the possessions of the bishopric should not be squandered. These quarrels led Archbishop Grindal to order a visitation of the cathedral by John Whitgift, then Bishop of Worcester; this took place at the beginning of 1583. It resulted in the reappointment of a divinity lecturer (fn. 98) and the appointment of four canons, the 'best learned and affected to religion', to visit the chapter peculiars and report on the ministers' 'sufficiency and worthiness'. Relations between Overton and George Boleyn, the dean who had led the opposition to him, were still bad in 1587 when Boleyn complained that the bishop refused to quit the Deanery; Boleyn had been living in a canonical house which he had promised to give up to the Earl of Essex. (fn. 99)
During James I's reign deans began to be appointed by the Crown under a congé d'élire. (fn. 100) Unlike some other deaneries Lichfield was not greatly sought-after: in 1625 the Chancellor of Salisbury asked for the deanery of either Salisbury or Rochester 'or at least of poor Lichfield, which is hardly worth £100 per annum'. (fn. 101) Yet it proved during the early 17th century a good stepping-stone to further ecclesiastical preferment. Of the seven deans appointed between 1603 and the Civil War three moved to bishoprics and two to more lucrative deaneries; (fn. 102) Dean Tooker, who remained at Lichfield from 1605 until his death in 1621, is said to have narrowly missed receiving the bishopric of Gloucester, (fn. 103) and Dean Higgs's career was interrupted by the outbreak of war.
Bishop Overton's statutes do not seem to have been strictly observed during the period before the Civil War. Though by the 1630s the residentiary chapter had been reduced to a dean and four canons the elaborate system of residence had broken down and the five residentiaries were dividing the year into five sections and residing in turn; any canon who failed to perform his residence forfeited his commons for the whole year. (fn. 104) Overton's statutes appear, indeed, to have been unknown to, or ignored by, Bishop Wright, who in 1638 informed Laud that the cathedral statutes had not been renewed since 1526 and were 'very capable of reformation'. Laud himself had apparently commended the work of revision to Wright and the chapter during his metropolitical visitation of the diocese in 1635. Several drafts were prepared and additions were made from the recent Canterbury statutes; but when Wright attempted to impose the new statutes upon the cathedral some two years later he was opposed by Dean Fell. The dean complained to Laud that the bishop's additions were prejudicial to the cathedral and added that if Wright and his successors were to make a habit of producing new statutes at their visitations it would probably lead to confusion. Laud, evidently impressed by the argument, reminded the bishop that 'as the course of the kingdom now stands, 'tis requisite that all statutes which are binding to such a body should be under the Broad Seal'. He forbade Wright to impose his new statutes upon the cathedral until the whole body of Lichfield statutes had been revised by an independent panel of royal commissioners. This intervention appears to have stifled the attempt at revision. (fn. 105)
The number of vicars tended to decrease during the later 16th century. In 1568, owing to the age and weakness of some vicars and the lack of musical ability among the priest vicars, there were not enough vicars to carry on the services properly. The chapter therefore decided that lay vicars should in future be appointed to two stalls usually reserved for priest vicars and called epistolers' stalls. (fn. 106) At this time, out of a total of 18 or 19 vicars, 6 were laymen, compared with 14 priests and 7 laymen in 1535; by 1616 only 4 of the 16 vicars were priests. (fn. 107) Little is known of the late-16th-century or early17th-century vicars. Robert Tarentyre, admitted as a lay vicar in 1595 after the chapter had received letters of recommendation from the queen, was a singer (psaltes) in the Chapel Royal and presumably a good musician. He remained a member of the Chapel Royal, however, so that his Lichfield appointment was evidently intended merely as a sinecure; there is no evidence that he was ever in residence or took part in the services. In April 1598 the chapter granted him £10 a year while he remained in the queen's service, since he was unable to come to Lichfield and therefore received no commons or dividend. By the following September, however, he was dead. (fn. 108) A musician who did come to Lichfield was the composer Michael East. East, whose music forms one of the links between that of the great English madrigalists and that of the school which produced Purcell, became master of the choristers at some date between 1610 and 1618 and remained at Lichfield until his death in 1648. Compositions which he published during his years at Lichfield include anthems presumably composed for use at the cathedral. (fn. 109)
There is little evidence concerning the corporation of vicars as a whole, but it is evident that by the 1590s the statute of 1539 which stated that no vicar should act as bailiff for the corporation was virtually a dead letter. When in 1595 the subchanter and a minority of the vicars complained to the chapter about the election by a majority of the vicars of one of their number, John Ballard, as bailiff, the chapter merely appointed another vicar, Raphael Potter, to the post. (fn. 110) Although the estate policy of the vicars is even more sparsely documented than that of the chapter it would seem that they too failed to exploit their property to the full. In 1616 their yearly revenues totalled £148, from which they had to pay subsidies to the king, chief rents to various lords, and the cost of repairing their hall and houses. They had also to pay the fees of a collector and a bailiff and to defend lawsuits; the yearly accounts, or 'restore', of the vicars include such items as 'Mr. Bearsley's charges to Hampton to serve Mr. Levison with [a] process'. (fn. 111) In 1632 the vicars were warned by the chapter not to grant leases for longer than a term of 20 years renewable every five years, and in 1634 the chapter was reminded by the Crown that the royal order against leases for lives applied also to the vicars. (fn. 112) On the balance of the revenues supplemented by the commons paid by the chapter sixteen vicars subsisted; in 1616 only one of the four priest vicars held any other benefice. (fn. 113) There were the usual problems caused by vicars' unruliness. In 1591, for example, two vicars were indicted at Quarter Sessions for having gathered a mob and assaulted one of their colleagues in the Close. In 1598 another vicar was summoned before the chapter to answer for his daily visits to alehouses and his drunkenness and blasphemies. (fn. 114) In the 1630s their absences from services were being carefully noted by the chapter and fines imposed. Laud after his visitation ordered the expulsion from the Close of three laymen who had been living with the vicars in order to avoid holding public office in the city. (fn. 115)
By at least the 1580s the number of choristers had been reduced to eight, and by that date they were evidently no longer living in common. In 1582 their house was let on condition that the boys should have access to the privy and to the butts in the garden. The tenant was also to give up the hall, buttery, and kitchen 'if it fortune the dean and chapter to take order that the choristers shall keep commons together in such manner as heretofore they were accustomed'. (fn. 116) The choristers were taught in a room somewhere in the Close which, by the 1620s, was proving 'very loathsome not only unto them but also unto gentlemen which have resorted thither to hear music'; as a result the master of the choristers built them a schoolroom above the adjoining gateways of two canonical houses. (fn. 117) In 1635 Laud ordered the chapter to try to recover the lease of the choristers' house and take the building into its own hands again, presumably so that the choristers could once more live in common, but no such move appears to have been made. (fn. 118) It is possible that by the end of the 16th century the cathedral could no longer afford to pay choristers retirement pensions on the scale laid down in the 1547 and 1559 injunctions, for in 1600 a chorister who was leaving the cathedral was paid only 30s. (fn. 119)
There was no divinity lecturer at the cathedral in 1583, when Whitgift carried out his visitation. This was reported to the Privy Council and the chapter was ordered to appoint 'some able, sufficient person, learned in the tongues and otherwise qualified for the place, to have continual residence there'; the lecturer was to have a salary of at least £40 a year. (fn. 120) The chapter decided that the stipend should be provided by a levy of a tenth on all prebendal incomes, though in the case of canons with prebends worth less than £10 a year the first year's levy on a new tenure was to be paid from the common fund. (fn. 121)
Without complete act books it is impossible to trace any liturgical changes in services at the cathedral, but by the time of Bishop Wright it is evident that services had become richer and more elaborate. Some visitors in 1634 noted that 'the organs and voices were deep and sweet, their anthems we were much delighted with, and of the voices two trebles, two counter-tenors, and two basses, that equally on each side of the choir most melodiously acted and performed their parts'. In the vestry they saw 'three old rich copes of cloth of tissue, a fair communion cloth of cloth of gold for the high altar and the plate belonging thereunto, rich and fair, answerable and fit for such a sacred place'. (fn. 122) Laud himself found little to complain of during his metropolitical visitation the following year. He ordered the repair of the bell-frame and also of the two organs which were 'much defective' and which he suggested should be combined and made into a 'chair organ'. (fn. 123) He found 'too many seats' in the body of the church, and Lichfield became one of the few cathedrals where Charles I's order for the removal of pews from cathedrals was carried out completely. (fn. 124) Finally, the Close was to be tidied up: the churchyard walls were to be repaired and the Close was not to be made a highway for carriages or profaned in any other way. (fn. 125)
The visitors in 1634 were shown, amongst other things, the Lady Chapel 'where they have their 6 of the clock prayers' — a reference to an early-morning service regularly held there at 6 a.m. on weekdays; this time of day was regarded as the most convenient for servants, workmen, and shopkeepers. The subsacrist had the duty of ringing the bell and cleaning the chapel, and one of the priest vicars officiated. After the service the dean and residentiaries provided hospitality for the vicars. (fn. 126) A service of matins at 6 a.m. had been enjoined by the 1547 injunctions. By 1559 matins was evidently celebrated later in the morning, but the injunctions of that year ordered an early-morning service as well, at 6 a.m. in winter and 5 a.m. in summer, 'to the intent that the scholars of the grammar [school] and all other well-disposed people and artificers may daily resort thereunto'. (fn. 127) By 1634 the service was held at 6 a.m. all the year round. (fn. 128)
The chapter's jurisdiction over the Close was threatened twice by the city authorities in the earlier 17th century. (fn. 129) In 1622 James I granted a new charter to the city and, it seems by accident, the traditional clause guaranteeing the independent liberty of the Close was omitted. The chapter, under the leadership of Dean Curle, complained, and a charter which it obtained from the Crown in 1623 not only ratified and confirmed the privileges granted in 1441 but also amplified them. The Close was to be entirely separate from the city and exempt from the jurisdiction of any of the city officials, with the one minor proviso that the bailiffs of Lichfield should be allowed to have their maces borne before them when they attended services at the cathedral. No citizen was to lose his civic rights by living in the Close; conversely no craftsman working at the cathedral was to be refused permission by the city authorities to live freely in Lichfield. The cathedral officers, defined in the charter as the vicars choral, the two chapter clerks, the two clerks of the fabric, the bailiff of the liberty of the Close, and the collector of pensions, were to be exempt from jury-service. At the request of the dean and chapter the bishop, Robert, Earl of Essex (for life), the dean and residentiaries, and the bishop's vicar general were made sole J.P.s within the Close, taking two oaths, that of a J.P. and that of fidelity to the cathedral. County coroners were to have the right to hold inquests in the Close. Three days after the issue of the capitular charter the city received a revised version of its own charter in which all the passages exempting the Close from civic jurisdiction were restored.
The second threat came in 1635, when the city authorities petitioned the Privy Council that laymen living in the Close should be required to contribute towards Lichfield's ship-money assessment or that the city's assessment should be reduced. (fn. 130) In a counter-petition the chapter, in conjunction with the officials of the diocesan consistory court, alleged that this move was merely part of a general attack by the city authorities on clerical privileges. Many people coming to the cathedral to appear before the consistory court as plaintiffs or witnesses were, the counter-petition claimed, unjustly arrested as they passed through the city, while the corporation had recently begun to tax the inhabitants of the Close and to distrain upon their goods for non-payment. The corporation admitted that the Close was not in the county of the city but argued that it was within the city and that the inhabitants should join with them in paying the city's ship-money. The Close was in fact assessed separately, and in 1638 the SolicitorGeneral gave his opinion that the Close was in neither the city nor the county of Lichfield.
During the Civil War Lichfield suffered more
than any other cathedral. The Close was a natural
strongpoint and was besieged three times, with
consequent damage to the cathedral and its surrounding houses. At the beginning of the war a body
of local gentry and Lichfield burgesses under the
leadership of the Earl of Chesterfield and Sir Richard
Dyott garrisoned the Close for the king. On 2 March
1643 parliamentary forces under Lord Brooke, who
was killed in the course of the siege, opened a
bombardment which, after three days, forced the
surrender of the garrison. The cathedral, already
battered by artillery fire, appears to have been
further mishandled by the parliamentary soldiers
who, according to Dugdale, smashed windows and
destroyed monuments, carvings, and muniments.
Having wrecked the church,
they stabled their horses in the body of it, kept courts of guard in the cross-aisles, broke up the pavement, polluted the choir with their excrements, every day hunted a cat with hounds throughout the church, delighting themselves in the echo from the goodly vaulted roof, and to add to their wickedness brought a calf into it wrapped in linen, carried it to the font, sprinkled it with water, and gave it a name in scorn and derision of that holy sacrament of baptism. (fn. 131)
The following month Prince Rupert arrived to dislodge the parliamentarians. After ten days during which his artillery was unable to breach the walls of the Close he drained the moat and sprang two mines; one was successful, and after some fierce fighting the garrison surrendered. (fn. 132) The Close remained a royalist stronghold until 1646; it finally fell after a destructive siege lasting from March until July during which the central spire of the cathedral was destroyed. (fn. 133)
A report made in July 1649 by the parliamentary commissioners surveying the lands and property of the chapter shows how much damage the three sieges had caused. The cathedral itself was 'exceedingly ruinated; much lead and iron was taken away whilst it was a garrison, and much lead and other materials is taken away since, and is continually by evil persons stolen away in the night'. Much of the roofing was gone, and the report stated that if speedy action were not taken the rest of the lead would soon disappear and the whole roof would collapse. (fn. 134) The library was a wreck, and the gatehouse at the east end of the Close in ruins. Of the 14 houses in the Close belonging to the chapter (including those leased to the chapter clerk and the verger), 8 had been entirely destroyed or were out of repair. The vicars' common hall and their communal 'boghouse' had been destroyed, and 5 of their 20 houses were in ruins or out of repair. (fn. 135) The bishop's palace, according to a survey made a few years later, was badly damaged, and orchards, gardens, and walls in and around the Close had been 'digged up to make works and trenches'. (fn. 136) The ruin of the cathedral itself was completed in October 1651 when, under a parliamentary order of the previous April, Col. Henry Danvers, Governor of Stafford, had the remaining lead stripped off the roof and sold. (fn. 137) This sale and that of other material from the cathedral appear to have raised some £1,200. Much of the money vanished into private pockets; well over two years later £600 assigned to Stafford for the relief of the poor there had not been paid, while as late as 1658 the Warwickshire authorities were still making inquiries about £200 due to them. (fn. 138) Minor acts of destruction continued after 1651. By the following year some of the bells had been broken and others carried off, and in 1653 Dugdale noted the destruction of the Jesus Bell by 'a Presbyterian pewterer who was the chief officer for demolishing of that cathedral'. (fn. 139) The communion plate and linen had been carried off by the defeated parliamentary commander after the second siege of 1643. (fn. 140) The books and manuscripts were destroyed or scattered. (fn. 141)
The varying fates of canons during the Civil War and Commonwealth suggest that at the outbreak of war a fairly wide range of political and ecclesiastical loyalties may have been represented in the chapter. Some of the canons adapted themselves to the new order and even displayed a real or feigned zeal for it: in 1648, for example, Alexander How signed the Testimony of the Staffordshire Presbyterian ministers and John Bisby that of the Shropshire ministers. (fn. 142) By steering a wary course Richard Love, a friend of Col. Valentine Walton the regicide, succeeded not only in retaining his preferments during the Interregnum but in obtaining the deanery of Ely in 1660. (fn. 143) Others made no secret of their royalist sympathies. James Fleetwood became chaplain to the regiment of John, Earl Rivers, and distinguished himself at the battle of Edgehill. He was subsequently granted the rectory of Sutton Coldfield (Warws.), from which he was later ejected by Parliament. (fn. 144) The precentor, William Higgins, was taken prisoner after Edgehill and imprisoned at Coventry for three months. He was taken prisoner again when the Close surrendered in 1646 and on his release maintained himself and his family by teaching. When this was forbidden in 1655 he is stated to have been reduced to penury. (fn. 145) Another zealous royalist, John Arnway, was taken prisoner when Shrewsbury fell to Parliament in 1645 and is said to have fled first to Oxford, then to The Hague, and finally to Virginia, where he died. (fn. 146) Some of the cathedral body appear to have remained in or around Lichfield; in the late 1650s the Trustees for Maintenance of Ministers made various grants to relieve some of the vicars choral. (fn. 147) What connexions they retained with the cathedral appears to be unknown. Parliament appointed a lecturer to serve the cathedral in July 1646, shortly after the third siege, and in 1655 the minister serving the cathedral in place of the dean and chapter received a salary increase of £50. (fn. 148) No details concerning services at the cathedral during the Interregnum appear to have survived.
From the Restoration to 1700
At the Restoration there were two main tasks: the reconstitution of the chapter and the rebuilding of the cathedral. Most of the work in the first few months fell upon Precentor Higgins; the new dean, Dr. William Paul, was not appointed till February 1661, and there was no bishop to oversee proceedings between Frewen's translation to York in September 1660 and Bishop Hacket's arrival at Lichfield in August 1662. (fn. 149) Of the 27 prebends at least 15, and possibly 18, were vacant at the Restoration. Bishop Frewen soon began to send in nominations, and in September 1660 Higgins formed a chapter with two of the surviving canons, John Mainwaring and Thomas Tudman, and admitted seven of the bishop's nominees. (fn. 150) Between then and the following January a further eight canons were admitted. (fn. 151) The completion of the residentiary chapter took longer and was rather more complicated. In the absence of a dean Precentor Higgins chose three new residentiaries. In April 1661 Dr. Paul was installed as dean; a few days later he produced a letter from the king which voided the recent appointments and ordered that in future no residentiary was to be admitted without the dean's consent. Higgins naturally disagreed with this but was overridden by Dr. Paul, who the following day admitted on his own authority three royal nominees, including the chancellor, Richard Harrison, one of those whom Higgins had admitted. The dispossessed canons appealed to the Court of Arches, but without success. (fn. 152) The chapter was meanwhile building up the number of vicars choral: there were 7 by 1661, 9 by 1663, and 14 by 1664. (fn. 153)
The systematic restoration of the cathedral began with Dean Paul's arrival, though there are indications that some temporary repairs had been carried out by Higgins. When services at the cathedral began again in 1660 the chapter-house and the vestry were the only parts of the church which were still roofed; later a makeshift choir may have been prepared in the nave or the Lady Chapel. (fn. 154) Large sums of money were needed for the full-scale restoration of the church, and as an opening move the canons petitioned the Crown late in 1660, asking that improved rents from property belonging to prebends might be devoted to the repair of the cathedral and the canonical houses in the Close. (fn. 155) In April 1661 a subscription list was opened, and shortly afterwards a Mr. Fisher was engaged as 'surveyor' or architect. (fn. 156) Work was pressed on energetically, and in September 1665 Bishop Hacket wrote that the Lady Chapel, choir, chancel, transepts, and nave had been roofed and leaded 'and the side aisles, by God's blessing, shall be covered by Christmas'. The central spire was more than half completed. (fn. 157) By April 1666 Hacket could boast to Sheldon that 'we have at Lichfield the stateliest spire and the goodliest window in stone to the west that is in England', adding ruefully: 'I would they were paid for'. (fn. 158) The glass for the west window was apparently put up later the same year. (fn. 159) The west front was further adorned by a statue of Charles II, which has been attributed to Sir William Wilson; this was placed in the central niche of the apex. (fn. 160) Two years later the bishop was occupied with the furnishings and complaining that 'it is come most cross unto our work that the maker of our organ, by all report a most sufficient artist, is detained about the organ of Whitehall'. The organbuilder was the famous Bernard Smith ('Father Smith'). (fn. 161) The cathedral was finally rededicated on Christmas Eve 1669. (fn. 162)
The work was not, however, complete. Hacket's last contribution to the restoration before his death in 1670 was a peal of six bells to be placed in the south-west tower. Only three had been cast before his death and only the tenor had been hung. The three smallest bells were not hung until 1673, and by the late 1680s it was agreed that all six were 'bad and useless'. A subscription was opened in 1687 to pay for the recasting of the bells into a peal of ten, and Henry Bagley of Ecton (Northants.) was engaged as bell-founder. Various difficulties were encountered, and it was not until 1691 that all ten bells were ready. (fn. 163) Another addition was an elaborate Classical reredos, completed about 1678. A much-admired specimen had recently been installed in the Chapel Royal at Whitehall, and Dean Smalwood decided to obtain a replica for Lichfield. He engaged the three master-craftsmen responsible for the Whitehall reredos, Thomas Kinward the joiner, Henry Phillips the carver, and Robert Streeter the painter, and instructed them to produce another for the cathedral, identical in its general pattern and ornamentation though somewhat smaller than the original. The final cost, after some haggling, was about £310, of which the three craftsmen's fees amounted to £230. (fn. 164) Another £100 was spent in 1680 when Smith enlarged the organ. (fn. 165) Even so, as late as 1693 the precentor estimated that to restore the cathedral to the state in which it was before the Civil War would cost at least another £5,000. (fn. 166)
The leading part in the work of restoration was played by Bishop Hacket. While it is true that reconstruction was under way when he arrived at Lichfield in 1662 and continued after his death, it is also obvious that the chapter owed much to his energy and generosity and that the traditional picture of him as virtually the builder of a new cathedral is substantially correct. Of the £2,729 paid into the restoration fund by July 1663 Hacket gave £1,160, the chapter itself raised some £965, and just over £604 came in gifts from individual subscribers and from collections made in various parishes in the diocese. (fn. 167) Of a further £835 3s. 2d. added by September 1665, when Hacket undertook the management of the fund, the bishop himself contributed £523 12s. (fn. 168) By July 1666 he was 'drawn dry and driven to work upon my credit', and a final estimate of his expenditure shows that by his death he had given £3,500 towards the restoration of the cathedral fabric, £1,300 for bells, and £230 for plate and ornaments. (fn. 169) Besides giving so generously himself, he was also endowed with all the gifts of an expert fund-raiser. A month before his death he claimed to have collected about £15,000 for the restoration fund, (fn. 170) and his correspondence with Sheldon shows him appealing to the Duke and Duchess of York for contributions and asking that the plight of the cathedral be brought to the notice of M.P.s. (fn. 171) According to one contemporary he raised much of the money 'by barefaced begging. No gentleman lodged, or scarce baited in the city, to whom he did not pay his respects by way of visit, which ended in plausible entreaties for some assistance towards rescuing his distressed church from ruin'. (fn. 172) Some of his schemes have a very modern flavour. In 1667 Sir Edward Bagot of Blithfield was informed that for £8 he could buy one of the 52 stalls to be erected in the choir; his name would be set on an escutcheon over the stall, so that 'among the chiefest nobility and most ancient gentry . . . your memorial may be recorded; a patronage to the Church, and for your own honour, easily purchased'. His wife was asked for a contribution towards the £600 needed for the organ, which was 'to be called the Ladies' Organ, with his Majesty's approbation, because none but the honourable and most pious of that sex shall contribute to that sum'. (fn. 173) Hacket appears to have been unsuccessful with Lady Bagot, but he obtained ten distinguished subscribers to the organ fund, including Frances, Duchess of Somerset, who later bequeathed to the cathedral some 1,000 volumes of her late husband's library. (fn. 174)
The bishop's palace in the Close had suffered badly during the sieges and from decay and looting during the years that followed. In 1652 the parliamentary commissioners had found it 'a large and fair edifice built all with stone and a great part leaded on the roof' but 'very much ruinated', (fn. 175) and when Hacket arrived at Lichfield he evidently did not consider it worth repairing. Instead he leased one of the prebendal houses from the chapter, and at a cost of over £800 repaired it and so enlarged it by adding a gallery, a dining-room, other rooms, and outbuildings that in later years it was converted into two houses. (fn. 176) The work was almost complete by March 1667, when Hacket expressed the opinion that although the house was not large 'no bishop in England . . . will have a more commodious seat'. Although he appears to have made efforts to secure the house for himself and his successors, at the time of his death it was still only rented from the chapter, which, however, appears to have been willing to settle it on the bishops. (fn. 177) Hacket's successor, Thomas Wood, was not satisfied with it and by 1672 was suing the bishop's son and executor, Sir Andrew Hacket, for compensation for the decay caused by the negligent treatment of the former palace, which had been used as a source of material for other buildings. (fn. 178) The new bishop, whose relationship with Hacket had been stormy (see below), appears to have acted through a mixture of spite and avarice; and when the case was finally settled by arbitration in 1684 it was laid down that Wood was to pay £2,600 towards the reconstruction of the palaces in the Close and at Eccleshall and Sir Andrew Hacket £1,400. It was at this time that Wood was suspended, and the responsibility for building a new palace in the Close fell on Archbishop Sancroft, who chose Edward Pierce (or Pearce) as architect and delegated the task of organizing work at Lichfield to the dean, Dr. Addison. The foundations were laid on the site of the old palace in the north-east corner of the Close in May 1686 and the building was completed in October 1687. Pierce's dignified Classical house of brick with stone dressings remains unaltered save for the two wings added in the 19th century by Bishop Selwyn. (fn. 179)
In general relations between the chapter and Hacket were cordial; at the bishop's instigation, for example, the chapter agreed in the mid 1660s that each canon should contribute to the restoration fund a quarter of the fine he received whenever he leased any of his prebendal property. The only difficulty that arose was with Dr. John Cornelius, Prebendary of Hansacre, who despite having agreed to the measure subsequently refused to contribute. (fn. 180) Both chapter and bishop suffered when in 1663 Dean Paul was made Bishop of Oxford, (fn. 181) for his successor at Lichfield, Thomas Wood, was a constant source of annoyance. He was appointed through influence at Court, (fn. 182) and appears to have done all he could to make himself objectionable to the bishop and the canons. Hacket complained of his long absences at London and elsewhere and of his meanness: (fn. 183) thus he promised £50 towards the restoration but then announced his intention of spending it on the reconstruction of the chapter's consistory court in the cathedral, the only part of the restoration which Hacket had proposed to leave to the chapter. The bishop, who had allotted Wood's £50 to the repair of the pavements, remarked bitterly that 'in effect he shall escape with nothing contributed to the great fabric out of the public stock'. (fn. 184) The dean even went into open opposition; whether out of conviction or in an attempt to embarrass Hacket he encouraged the Protestant nonconformists in Lichfield to such an extent that the bishop wrote angrily of 'the phrenetic dean, who sides altogether with Puritans and told me to my face I did more harm than good in re-edifying this church'. (fn. 185) In fact, the bishop declared, 'I never met in one man with such an ingredient of maliciousness, pride, rudeness, covetousness, and ignorance. I must endure him as an affliction sent by God'. (fn. 186)
Wood aroused similar feelings among the chapter, whom he appears to have treated with a mixture of arrogance and indifference. In January 1668 Hacket informed the archbishop that three residentiaries (Richard Harrison, Thomas Browne, and Henry Greswold) had presented a petition against the dean. Wood, it was alleged, had refused to call chapter meetings, had ransacked the muniments and removed some documents, had taken away the accounts of the keeper of the fabric, and had refused to confirm a list of preachers drawn up by the residentiaries on the bishop's instructions. He had refused several times to appear before Hacket to answer the charges and on the last occasion had locked the doors of the chapter-house against the bishop, compelling him to force the lock. Hacket excommunicated him, and he caused a disturbance in the cathedral. (fn. 187) Thomas Browne wrote to Sheldon supporting the bishop; the dean was, he said, 'the strangest man that ever I have had anything to do with'. (fn. 188) Despite Hacket's protests Wood was absolved by the archbishop, and by the end of January a reconciliation of some sort had been patched up between him and the chapter. It would, however, seem that he still maintained his unconstitutional claim to a right of veto in capitular business, (fn. 189) and the quarrel continued to simmer. He persisted in his refusal to call chapter meetings — according to Hacket because the residentiaries quoted the statutes at him in Latin, which he did not understand — and though he remained in the Close he appears to have cut himself off almost completely from cathedral life. (fn. 190) Hacket went to the aid of the chapter by making a statute empowering three residentiaries who had asked the dean to call a chapter meeting to summon such a meeting themselves if, after three weeks, he had not done so. A month before his death Hacket was still threatening to sue and suspend the dean. (fn. 191)
The elevation of Wood to the bishopric of Lichfield as Hacket's successor in 1671 brought no obvious disadvantages to the chapter, though it was disastrous for the diocese. Dr. Matthew Smalwood, his successor as dean, was a capable administrator who took over Hacket's role as organizer of the restoration work and managed cathedral business with little or no reference to the chapter. The residentiaries were, on the whole, content to allow him a free hand; on one occasion the precentor, Henry Greswold, protested at this but his protest was overridden. (fn. 192)
As the affairs of the cathedral returned to normal, however, the chapter became less and less willing to leave all important decisions to the dean, and this led to a series of disputes with Smalwood's successor, Dr. Lancelot Addison, father of the essayist Joseph. The official copy of the cathedral statutes had been destroyed in the Civil War. Though a satisfactory text had been produced under Bishop Hacket it had never been promulgated officially, and Addison appears to have preferred to base his claims upon the precedents set by his predecessors, Dr. Paul and the masterful Dr. Smalwood. The residentiaries, headed by Precentor Greswold, to whom Hacket had committed the revision of the statutes, and Christopher Comyn, Prebendary of Bishopshull, began to campaign for the restoration of their statutory right of consultation. (fn. 193) In 1689, feeling that it would be useless to approach Bishop Wood, they sent a petition to William Lloyd, Bishop of St. Asaph, explaining the situation and asking for his advice. Lloyd appears to have avoided becoming committed and to have recommended a direct appeal to the dean, but it was inevitable that when he was translated to Lichfield in 1692 he should have been prejudiced against Addison. (fn. 194) The visitation of the cathedral which he held in 1693 and 1694 allowed Addison's opponents to bring out their complaints against him. As was to be expected, these mainly concerned occasions on which Addison had acted without consulting the chapter: he had, for example, dismissed the librarian and appointed another on his own authority and in the same way had assigned seats in the cathedral himself. Some accusations, of drunkenness and peculation, were obvious attempts to blacken his character but were nevertheless accepted or investigated by the bishop. On the whole the dean's opponents were successful in humiliating him. (fn. 195)
One important result of the visitation was the promulgation of a new code of statutes. In 1668 Hacket had asked the residentiaries to 'compile a form of statutes out of the old ones . . . adding such new ones as may conduce to the true worship of God, to laudable government in the church, and to a fair and unfailing way of unity among yourselves'. The work was given to Precentor Greswold; obsolete pre-Reformation statutes ('ea omnia . . . quae papisticis temporibus accommodata Ecclesiae reformatae non convenirent') were dropped and the remaining statutes were sorted out and, where necessary, revised. The regulations concerning residence, for example, were simplified. The dean and the four residentiary canons were each to reside at least 90 days in the year — which, as before, ran from Michaelmas to Michaelmas and was divided into four quarters. The dean was privileged to reside in whichever part of the year he wished and had to pay a 10s. fine to the fabric fund for each day's residence he missed; the four canons, whose fine for a day's absence was 5s., divided the four quarters among themselves according to the rule laid down in the 1596 statutes, the two senior taking the first two quarters and the two junior the last two quarters. The usual practice at the time when the statutes were being revised and one which, it was stated, was to be followed as far as possible was that the senior canon took the first quarter, the second senior the next quarter, and so on. Canons were to be permitted to reside for each other, so long as everyone personally performed 90 days' residence. (fn. 196)
Nothing remained to be done at the time of Hacket's death, but the collection still needed the bishop's assent and it was impossible to proceed further under Bishop Wood. On Bishop Lloyd's arrival the draft Collectio Hacketiana was submitted once more to the dean and chapter and they, after having made a few changes and additions, approved it. It was sealed by Lloyd in February 1694. (fn. 197) In addition the bishop supplemented the ten chapters of Hacket's code with eleven chapters of his own, promulgated just under a fortnight later in March. (fn. 198) Various of these settled disputes which had arisen between the dean and his opponents among the residentiaries; all the settlements emphasized the corporate responsibility of the residentiary chapter and limited the independence of the dean. It was declared, for example, that seats and benches in the cathedral were to be assigned jointly by the dean and the residentiary chapter. (fn. 199) More important were Lloyd's last two statutes, forced through despite considerable opposition in the general chapter and a public protest from Addison. The most bitterly contested controversy between the dean and the residentiaries had been provoked by the attempts of Dr. John Willes, Prebendary of Ufton Decani, to force himself into the residentiary chapter after the deprivation of the non-juring Thomas Browne in 1690. Dr. John Mainwaring, Prebendary of Weeford, the newly elected residentiary, never came into residence and Willes tried to take his place. In this he was resisted by the whole residentiary chapter. When, however, in 1692 Dr. Mainwaring died and an election was held for a new residentiary the chapter was split, two, including the dean, voting for Thomas White, Prebendary of Longdon, and two for Willes. Addison gave his casting vote for White and declared him elected. Willes's two supporters protested, and Willes himself sued the dean and chapter in the Exchequer for loss of his commons. The case was in progress at the time of Lloyd's visitation, and the two controversial statutes, ostensibly aimed at preventing the recurrence of a similar situation, were undoubtedly aimed at the dean. The first laid down that if in future the residentiary chapter could not come to a unanimous decision about the election of a new residentiary, the matter was to be transferred to the general chapter, which was to make the election by a majority vote. The second abolished the dean's casting vote in the residentiary chapter by decreeing that no decision could be taken, save in the hebdomadary chapter, without the approval of at least three of those present. The bishop's action in thus diminishing the dean's powers and his open support for Willes evidently influenced the court. Willes won his case and duly became a residentiary. (fn. 200)
Lloyd also took measures to augment the cathedral's income. In 1660-1 the revenues of the common fund had amounted to some £404, of which about £164 came from fee-farms, about £118 from other farms, just over £110 from pensions, and the remainder from rents and Peak revenues. The real income, however, amounted to only some £333, the chapter having been unable to collect over £71 of the money. By 1664-5 the chapter had succeeded in raising the real income to some £448, partly by pushing the revenue from farms up to £179 and partly by reducing the arrears of payment to £12. Pensions were always in arrears and continued to be so throughout the rest of the 17th and the whole of the 18th centuries. After the payment of commons, fees, salaries, royal dues, and various other expenses there was every year a surplus to be divided, ranging from over £23 in 1661-2 to just under 30s. in 1664-5. Over the next 35 years the annual revenue of the common fund varied between £460 and £491. There was a surplus each year except for 1665-6 and 1666-7 (deficits of over £11 and almost £31), and between 1671-2 and 1691-2 the annual surplus never dropped below £60, rising in 1681-2 to over £107. In 1692-3 the heavy expenses incurred in fighting the Willes case brought the annual surplus down to under £10, and from then until the end of the century it did not rise above £57. (fn. 201) In addition there were of course entry fines for leases of the common property. These could be substantial, (fn. 202) and in his 1694 statutes Lloyd decreed that future residentiaries were to lay aside a proportion of the fine paid whenever the lease of any of the property belonging to the common fund was renewed; in this manner a fund could be raised to endow two more residentiaryships, thus bringing the number up to the seven which existed before Bishop Overton's reform. (fn. 203)
From the evidence given at Lloyd's visitation of 1693 it appears that virtually all the prebendal property was leased, either for years or for three lives. It is impossible to estimate the incomes of individual canons, but it is evident from some of the complaints that several were suffering because predecessors had granted leases on favourable terms, either because of family considerations or in return for large entry fines. Francis Ashenhurst, Prebendary of Ufton Cantoris, having acquired the existing lease of the prebendal property, which was for years, transformed it in 1685 into a lease for the lives of three of his sons. When Edmund Lees became Prebendary of Bobenhull in 1686, he found that the rectory of Bubbenhall, which had at one time brought in a yearly income of £60, had been leased by a predecessor for three lives at £3 6s. 8d. a year. (fn. 204) Addison noted that some canons failed to register their leases as required by statute, and the visitation revealed at least one example. (fn. 205) Some canons were careless of the rights of jurisdiction attached to their prebends. Willes and Palmer, the two Ufton prebendaries, had 'neglected to assume the jurisdiction belonging to their prebends'; it had therefore been exercised by the dean and chapter. (fn. 206) Although one of Bishop Meuland's statutes laid down that nullus firmarius habeat cognicionem causarum, Dr. Edmund Diggle, treasurer from 1660 to 1688, leased his prebend for three lives with all the jurisdictions, courts, and perquisites of courts belonging to it. (fn. 207)
The 1693 visitation further revealed that the spiritual life of the prebendal parishes had suffered as a result of the canons' neglect. Most of the evidence pointed that way. Dean Addison claimed that the only canon who preached in the parish church within his prebend was Richard Wood of Stotfold. The churchwardens of Sandiacre (Derb.) complained about the way in which their church was being served. (fn. 208) In general the stipends which farmers were compelled under the terms of their leases to pay curates were not generous, and where no specific sums were mentioned payment was low. A canon noted that there was 'very mean provision' for the curates of some of the prebendal churches and churches of the common fund. (fn. 209) At St. Chad's, Stafford, the curate received only the £7 a year specified in the farmer's lease. (fn. 210) In Derbyshire the rectories of Sawley and Wilne, leased by Dr. Diggle, were valued at about £530 a year; the lease laid down that the tenant was to provide ministers for the two parish churches and their three chapels, Breaston, Long Eaton, and Risley, and was to pay them stipends amounting in all to at least £34 a year. The visitation revealed that there was, and had been for many years, only a single curate to serve all five churches and chapels. The farmer paid him £36 a year, of which £7 4s. went in tax. In addition to his stipend he had only surplice fees and what he could make out of the perquisites of court — he acted as the farmer's official with regard to the improperly leased prebendal jurisdiction. (fn. 211) The affluent curate, such as the man at Tipton who held the lease of the rectory, worth £80 a year, was definitely the exception. (fn. 212) Contemporary opinion realized the danger that an impoverished parochial clergy might bring the Established Church into disrepute; Bishop Lloyd considered that the stipends of some of the clergy who served cathedral livings were so poor as to make them contempti et abjecti. (fn. 213) In the second of his eleven statutes he laid down that in future each lease of a rectory was to make provision for a stipend of at least 40 marks (£26 13s. 4d.) for the vicar or curate. A sliding scale was added, under which a man who served a parish containing 100 households was to receive £30 a year, a man serving a parish of 200 households £40 a year, a man serving one of 400 households £50 a year, and a man with one of 600 households or more £60 a year. Special arrangements were made for the Vicar of St. Mary's, Lichfield, whose stipend of £30 had become inadequate; the dean and those canons whose prebends lay partly in St. Mary's parish were to transfer the small tithes of the prebends to the bishop for the vicar's use. (fn. 214)
Lloyd also took steps to reorganize the finances of the vicars choral. Since the outbreak of the Civil War the corporation had suffered several losses, of which the most important was that of the almshouse at Stowe for sick or aged vicars. (fn. 215) Two customary payments made to vicars by the chapter or by individual canons had lapsed: the 'interessem' or 'perdition money' divided among the vicars 'for the greater encouragement of such as come to church most and do their duty best', and the 'litany money', paid until about 1692. (fn. 216) Moreover by the time of Lloyd's arrival at Lichfield the stipends themselves had become inadequate, and the vicars had been forced to look for supplementary sources of income, laymen for jobs and clergy for benefices. To increase the stipends the reserved rents from the vicars' property had to be raised; Lloyd ordered that the income from this source should be raised to £480, which would give each vicar £40 a year. Until this was done the vicars were forbidden to renew leases of any portions of their common property without doubling the reserved rent. When each vicar had been provided with £40 a year in this way none was to take any additional job or benefice. (fn. 217)
Little evidence appears to have survived concerning services at the cathedral in the years immediately following the Restoration. As was commonly the case throughout the country at this period, (fn. 218) celebrations of Holy Communion appear to have been rare. In October 1664 the dean and chapter ordered that 'for the present' there should be at least four celebrations a year, on Christmas Day, Easter Day, Whit Sunday, and the first Sunday after Michaelmas. Other celebrations were to be held 'as there shall be occasion and as the dean and chapter shall think fitting'. (fn. 219) The following year, at a meeting presided over by Hacket, it was decided that in future there should be a celebration on the first Sunday in each month, (fn. 220) presumably in addition to the four celebrations laid down in 1664. How long this practice lasted is unknown. It had evidently lapsed by 1683, when Addison informed Archbishop Sancroft that he had begun a monthly Communion which he hoped to continue 'with comfort'; but, he added, he could not 'promise anything of success should I attempt it oftener'. (fn. 221)
In 1663 Dr. Paul's visitation articles for the vicars choral asked them what they remembered of the 6 a.m. weekday services 'in order to the restoration thereof when God shall please to fit the church'. (fn. 222) Nothing, however, appears to have been done, and it was not until the beginning of Lloyd's episcopate that the early-morning service in the Lady Chapel was revived. The bishop gave instructions that morning prayers were to be read 'after the parochial manner' in the chapel as before the war; the hour, however, was altered to 7 a.m. between Michaelmas and the Annunciation and the residentiaries' duty of hospitality to the vicars was commuted for an annual payment of £12 10s., £2 10s. of which was allotted to the subsacrist. (fn. 223) Matins was to be celebrated at 10 a.m. and evensong at 4 p.m. (fn. 224) Lloyd also laid down that in future the first part of the Litany was to be sung by a priest vicar or by a priest vicar and a lay vicar together instead of by two lay vicars - the traditional Lichfield practice embodied in Hacket's code. He further lifted Hacket's restrictions on priest vicars who did not hold priests' stalls and who, under Hacket's statutes, were allowed to take only lay parts in services. (fn. 225)
The cathedral music appears to have been fully restored by 1663. There were nine vicars in residence and a number of choristers, and the choristers' music school had been reopened. (fn. 226) The only hint of past uncertainties comes with an inquiry into the behaviour of the organist: did he, as was the ancient custom, play a voluntary before the first lesson after the psalmody? 'And is it grave or apt? For ye know how he hath been accused that hath been in that office.' (fn. 227) Of the ability of the vicars and choristers it is impossible to judge; it may be noted, however, that after a trial of candidate vicars in June 1663 the man chosen as a probationer by the chapter was one whom eight of the nine vicars had pronounced unsuitable for the post. He was dismissed sixteen months later. (fn. 228) By 1665 the cathedral possessed, in addition to ten folio service books, six books containing 'all the ditties of the anthems in print'; (fn. 229) but a few months later Bishop Hacket intervened to replace the customary anthem after the sermon by a psalm. There were objections from members of the chapter at this interference with cathedral services. It was claimed that the alteration gave offence to gentry and clergy, with the further comment that 'it is not difficult to foresee how nauseous church music and common prayer will again become if Hopkins and Sternhold's rhythms may jostle out our anthems, and a long pulpit-prayer seduce the devotions of the common people'. The bishop, however, appears to have got his way. (fn. 230) Things seem to have been back to normal by 1676. Roger North later considered that a Sunday service which he had attended at the cathedral at that date had been performed 'with more harmony and less huddle than I have known it in any church in England, except of late in St. Paul's'. (fn. 231)
From 1700 to the Cathedrals Act
Between 1700 and the Cathedrals Act of 1840 there were various changes in the constitution of the cathedral. The most important of these related to the number of residentiaries. Bishop Lloyd's scheme for raising an endowment to provide for the reestablishment of the two residentiaryships abolished by Bishop Overton was abandoned in 1703. At a general chapter held in September of that year Dr. William Binckes, the newly-elected dean, put forward a plan of his own. Under this adequately endowed additional residentiaryships would be created by bestowing more than one prebend on a canon, to whom the bishop would then assign a prebendal house in the Close. The chapter approved the plan; but since it affected the bishop's patronage and required parliamentary sanction it was referred to Bishop Hough. The dean and chapter pointed out to the bishop that the cathedral revenues could not be raised sufficiently to provide for further residentiaries and asked for his support in obtaining an Act to consolidate several prebends. They wished to raise the number of residentiaries to eight or more, and appointed a standing committee to co-operate with the bishop in the matter and to act on their behalf. (fn. 232)
In 1706 an Act was obtained which aimed at bringing the residentiary chapter up to nine. The bishop was empowered to confer two or more prebends on one person, provided that the total of the reserved rents of such prebends did not exceed £70 a year; anyone collated to a second prebend was to bind himself to perform the residence required by the cathedral statutes from the time that he got his prebendal house and a £45 a year income from reserved rents. In view of the low income of the deanery the Duchy of Lancaster rectory of Tatenhill was vested, from its next vacancy, in the dean. Prebends worth less than £4 a year in reserved rents were to be vested in the dean and chapter when they fell vacant and were to become part of the common fund property. The bishop, for his part, was to receive the prebend of Eccleshall for himself and his successors when it next fell vacant. (fn. 233)
Whether by accident or design the Act was drafted in a way which worked very much to the disadvantage of the residentiaries appointed under the new scheme. (fn. 234) These canons residentiary of the New Foundation were allotted by the Act neither a vote in the residentiary chapter nor a share in the common revenues of the chapter, and successive local statutes emphasized the fact that they were, so to speak, the poor relations of the residentiaries of the Old Foundation. Bishop Chandler's 1720 statutes, for example, reserved to the residentiaries of the Old Foundation the election of residentiaries, the appointment of the chapter clerk and the verger, and the management of the common fund; they also laid down that the fabric fund was to be managed solely by the Old Foundation and was not to be touched by the New. In the cathedral hierarchy residentiaries of the New Foundation were to be placed after the Old Foundation residentiaries, and they were to pay only half the admission fees demanded of residentiaries of the Old Foundation. If in course of time they became residentiaries of the Old Foundation the £30 which they had paid into the fabric fund at the time of their original admission was to be transferred to the common fund together with an additional £36 13s. 4d. to make up the traditional 100-mark entry fine.
The residentiaries of the New Foundation thus faced all the disadvantages of residence with none of the compensating advantages, and Chandler's statutes had to make provision against the possibility that a man with the necessary qualifications would refuse to accept a residentiaryship. (fn. 235) In the opinion of residentiaries of the Old Foundation the new residentiaries were merely there to aid and assist them, chiefly by lightening the burden of compulsory residence. Under Chandler's statutes the new residentiaries were obliged to reside 45 consecutive days a year if the income of their prebends amounted to £55 or 38 consecutive days if it did not. The actual dates were to be settled at the residentiary chapter's main yearly meeting, the Michaelmas audit. By the time of Bishop Frederick Cornwallis's statutes of 1752 there were three residentiaries of the New Foundation, and the statutes laid down more exact arrangements. In each of the four quarters into which the year was still divided a residentiary of the Old Foundation was to be in residence for two consecutive calendar months and a residentiary of the New Foundation for one calendar month. A residentiary of the Old Foundation was to pay a 5s. fine to the fabric fund each time he was absent from a cathedral service during his first month's residence and 2s. 6d. for each absence during his second month's residence; a residentiary of the New Foundation was to pay 5s. for absence during his month. With the four residentiaries of the Old Foundation and the three residentiaries of the New this ensured that there would be a canon in residence for eleven months of the year; the remaining month was to be filled by the three New Foundation residentiaries in rotation until the creation of a fourth residentiary of the New Foundation. During this month fines for absence were reduced to 2s. 6d. to maintain equality with the arrangements for Old Foundation residentiaries. As for periods of residence, the New Foundation residentiaries had to wait until the others had made their choice. The only advantage they gained from the statutes was a decision that they should join in presenting to lay vicars' stalls in future. (fn. 236)
This unsatisfactory state of affairs, with the New Foundation residentiaries receiving nothing from the common fund and having no say in most of the important capitular decisions, persisted until almost the end of the 18th century. Finally, at the 1796 audit, the chapter decided to ask leave to bring in a Bill to explain and amend the 1706 Act, make further provision for the residentiaries, and provide an addition to the fabric fund. (fn. 237)
The preamble to the 1797 Act revising the constitution of the cathedral pointed out the disadvantages which the last Act had brought with it and emphasized the benefits which would follow if all residentiaries participated in the work of the residentiary chapter. The revenues of the residentiary chapter were, as things stood, insufficient to maintain even four residentiaries, but if an addition were made to the income of the residentiaries of the Old Foundation by amalgamating prebends it would be possible to establish six residentiaries with equal shares in the revenues of the common fund. The Act therefore laid down that the residentiary chapter was to consist of the dean and of six canons who were to have the powers and authority of the four existing residentiaries of the Old Foundation. The dean was to receive annually one fifth of the income of the common fund, plus £42 18s. for his commons (the existing arrangement); after the deduction of these sums the income of the common fund was to be divided equally among the six residentiaries. The bishop, not the chapter, was to appoint the residentiaries; a man so appointed was to be installed forthwith by the dean and residentiary chapter, without any election. The residentiaryships were to be known as the 1st, 2nd, 3rd, 4th, 5th, and 6th residentiaryships; each residentiary was allotted a house in the Close and a sixth of the annual dividend from the common fund. The First Residentiary was to hold the prebend of Colwich, and that of Bishop's Itchington, with the precentorship, when it fell vacant; the Second was to have the prebends of Alrewas (with the chancellorship) and Weeford, when they fell vacant; the Third was to hold the rich prebend of Sawley, with the treasurership; the Fourth was allotted the prebends of Ryton and Prees; the Fifth those of Offley and Flixton; and the Sixth those of Freeford and Hansacre. The Act was to come into effect when either the prebend of Alrewas or that of Weeford fell vacant. Each of the six was to be in residence for two calendar months each year under the same conditions as those applying to the existing residentiaries of the Old Foundation.
Various financial concessions were made to the new residentiary chapter. The prebendal house in the Close which had been occupied by the late Richard Jackson, Prebendary of Colwich and Prees, was to become part of the property of the fabric fund, as were the prebends of Tervin and Stotfold when they next fell vacant. In addition future treasurers were to give the fabric fund a fifth of all fines, rents, and other receipts from their prebend of Sawley after the deduction of the traditional reserved rent of £66 13s. 4d. and of the profits of the rectory of St. Philip's, Birmingham. Members of the residentiary chapter were encouraged to spend their own money on repairs or improvements to their houses in the Close by a clause laying down that if any dean or canon, with the bishop's approval, should spend between £100 and £800 in this way he or his heirs might recover a proportion of the cost from his successor. The bishop, whose patronage was diminished by the Act, received as compensation the advowsons of certain vicarages belonging to the dean and chapter — Colwich, Bishop's Itchington (Warws.), Tachbrook (Warws.), Longdon, High Offley, and Tarvin (Ches.). (fn. 238)
The Act came into force with the death of Richard Farmer, the chancellor and Prebendary of Alrewas, in the autumn of 1797 (fn. 239) and regulated the constitution of the residentiary chapter until the Cathedrals Act of 1840. The various minor adjustments which accompanied the major reform appear to have been made smoothly. The 1799 audit, for example, reorganized the system of chapter patronage so as to provide presentations for the new residentiaries; and when in 1803 the prebends of Tervin and Stotfold became part of the fabric property on the death of Dr. Samuel Smalbroke, that year's audit ordered a survey of the two prebends and a reallotment of the preaching turns. (fn. 240)
A printed sheet of about 1796, arguing the case for a revision of the Act of 1706, noted amongst other things that the residentiaries of the New Foundation, not having been allowed any powers in the residentiary chapter, were seldom in residence; indeed two of their houses were ruinous. (fn. 241) Nonresidence was not, however, confined to the New Foundation residentiaries. At Bishop Hough's visitation in 1703 the dean asked that the statute allowing one residentiary to perform another's residence might be interpreted in such a way as to allow one month's personal residence to suffice, with the rest being performed by another residentiary. In 1738 during his visitation of the cathedral Bishop Smalbroke censured the non-residence of certain of the residentiaries, which had been 'too frequently practised for long intervals of time, to the great offence of many observing persons'. The act books of the hebdomadary chapter, starting in 1709, reveal much absenteeism throughout the 18th century and the early part of the nineteenth. Between 1748 and 1772, for example, very little business was done in the hebdomadary chapter, the dean and all the residentiaries sometimes being away at the same time. (fn. 242) Those who had no particular business in Lichfield avoided residence and saved paying the statutory fines by persuading other, more amenable, colleagues to perform part at least of their residence for them. This practice drew a formal protest from the precentor, Thomas Smalbroke, in 1754. (fn. 243) His argument was that residentiaries who resided by proxy were virtually defrauding the fabric fund by avoiding payment of fines for nonresidence; and when, from 1758 to 1761, the practice was forbidden the chapter's declared reason was the bad state of the fabric and the need to supplement the fabric fund. (fn. 244) When the demands on the fabric fund were not so heavy, residence was not so strictly enforced; in 1778 and 1781, for example, the dean and residentiaries were often away, and between mid-November 1805 and April 1806 all the members of the residentiary chapter were absent. (fn. 245) At the 1837 audit 'the probability of some of the canons being prevented by illness from keeping their residences . . . formed the subject of conversation'. It was duly decided that, 'if on any future occasion of this nature it should be proposed by any member of the chapter not keeping his residence to offer pecuniary compensation to any other canon willing to keep his residence for him, it be understood that such an arrangement will not be objected to by the body'. (fn. 246) The residentiaries were not, however, willing to grant others the latitude they allowed themselves; in 1759 the divinity lecturer was warned that he must be in constant residence according to the terms of foundation of the lectureship. (fn. 247)
Relations between the chapter and the bishop were generally good during the period. The only serious breach occurred during Smalbroke's prolonged visitation of the cathedral from 1737 to 1739. Besides the non-residence of certain of the canons the bishop found numerous causes for complaint, such as the canons' failure to register prebendal leases, (fn. 248) the chapter's reluctance to provide an adequate stipend for the Vicar of St. Mary's, Lichfield, (fn. 249) and the negligence of the sacrist. (fn. 250) The bishop's persistence, his complaints about the slowness with which the chapter answered his articles of inquiry and the imprecision of their answers, and his apparent intention to conduct a visitation of the vicars choral, provoked the chapter into an assertion of its rights. It denied that the jurisdiction of the dean and chapter over the vicars choral was suspended during an episcopal visitation or that the regular capitular visitation of the cathedral body devolved upon the bishop during his visitation. An episcopal visitation did not, it was claimed, extend to the profits or ecclesiastical jurisdiction of any member of the chapter, save in cases of neglect or default. 'If it were otherwise your Lordship might from time to time find some cause or other for adjournment of your visitation and thereby make it perpetual and entirely destroy the jurisdiction of the dean as well as dean and chapter, which we neither apprehend your Lordship intends nor the Composition [of 1428] or local statutes of the church'. (fn. 251) Smalbroke in reply insisted that the chapter had entirely misunderstood his intentions. He was asking for nothing but his canonical rights when he claimed that all inferior jurisdictions were suspended during an episcopal visitation and that several branches of the chapter's jurisdiction devolved upon him during a visitation; it was in fact questionable 'whether the denial of such a power can be excused by any thing but by an unacquaintance with the Canon Law', especially when the denial was accompanied by such a misinterpretation of his motives. (fn. 252)
The chapter maintained friendly relations with the Lichfield authorities during these years. In some instances concern for the feelings of local tradesmen coincided with concern for the dignity of the Close. Some time after the Civil War the Lichfield guild of corvisors and curriers had complained to the chapter about a 'foreigner' who had set up business in the Close. Their petition was probably successful, for in 1717 the dean forbade one of the inhabitants of the Close to take a bridle-cutter into his house, saying that he 'would not admit any person that followed a trade to come into the Close to live'. (fn. 253) No attempts appear to have been made to infringe the liberty of the Close, and the chapter continued to appoint its own J.P.s and overseers of the poor. (fn. 254) In 1738 it was stated that £13 was distributed annually among the poor of the Close in breadmoney; the poor also benefited from 'an hospitality not to be named'. (fn. 255) The payment of bread-money ceased in 1767 because the weekly payments to the poor of the Close far exceeded the offering money and there was a deficiency of £23. (fn. 256)
In the early 1720s there was a brief squabble with the parishioners of St. Michael's, Lichfield. Canons who had a statutory duty to deliver a certain number of afternoon sermons at the church vel per se vel per alium found it inconvenient to walk to the church in bad weather and asked the churchwardens for permission to ride up to the church door in a coach. The request was turned down. The canons retaliated by taking refuge in the letter of the statute and sending one of the vicars (whom they provided with 'a set of very good printed sermons for the whole year') to preach in their place, a move which greatly annoyed the parishioners. Finally the matter came to the ears of the bishop, the churchwardens were persuaded to rescind their ban, and harmony was restored. (fn. 257)
The period saw little change in the cathedral's estate policy, which remained essentially unaltered, with the chapter and the individual canons continuing to lease their estates as before. Most improvements to prebendal estates can probably be attributed to the efforts of the farmers. In the years between 1694 and 1739, for example, the estates in and around Lichfield were 'generally improved nine parts in twelve' by inclosure; the acreage of arable land was 'vastly increased' and that of pasture declined. The farmers benefited from increased corn and grain tithes and the Vicar of St. Mary's, Lichfield, to whom the tithes of wool and lambs were allotted, suffered proportionately. (fn. 258) The chapter reaped the benefits of agricultural improvements through increased entry and renewal fines rather than by higher rents. When in 1766 it was decided that the lease of the tithes of Litton (Derb.) should not be renewed but instead offered to the highest bidder, the reason given was that the existing tenant had refused to increase the fine although the commons had recently been inclosed and ploughed, thereby swelling his yield from corn and grain tithes and diminishing the chapter's wool and lamb tithes. (fn. 259) The general rule appears to have been that up to 1755 the entry fine was equivalent to a year's return, at current valuation, from the property leased. In that year, because of the lowering of the rate of interest and the consequent increase in the value of leases, the chapter decided that in future lessees should pay fines of 1¼ year's value. This was raised to 1½ year's value for septennial renewals in 1778 and for all leases in 1783. (fn. 260)
The problems of management were similarly unchanged. Complaints came at intervals during the earlier 18th century about the failure of canons to register leases of their prebendal estates in the chapter lease-book. In 1703, for example, it was reported that no fewer than six canons had failed to register leases, while in 1738 Bishop Smalbroke ordered the institution of systematic inspection and registration, with tenants being ordered to bring in terriers or surveys to be deposited in the registry. (fn. 261) Sufficient information always appears to have been available, however, at least for the more accessible parts of the capitular estates; Smalbroke himself was well-informed about the property around Lichfield. (fn. 262) In 1775 the chapter was employing a land-surveyor, John Renshaw. (fn. 263)
Between 1700 and 1800 the revenues of the common fund from fee farms, other farms, pensions, Peak revenues, and rents remained virtually static, seldom falling below £460 a year and only once rising over £500. The surplus for division after the payment of commons and other charges generally varied between £60 and £90, though it occasionally dropped as low as £15 and in at least one year exceeded £100. (fn. 264) Commons and dividend, however, formed only a comparatively small part of the residentiaries' income; far more important were the fines received from lessees of the common property. Even so, Lichfield was not a wealthy cathedral. About 1796 it was estimated that over the past 10 years the four residentiaryships of the Old Foundation had each been worth, upon an average, £124 1s. 7½d. a year, and it was argued that one of the merits of the proposed Act (of 1797) would be the creation of five residentiaryships worth about £300 a year each and a sixth, the treasurership, which on account of the increased value of the prebend of Sawley would be worth much more. (fn. 265)
The figures published in 1835 by the royal commission inquiring into ecclesiastical revenues show that during the three years ending in 1831 the average annual income of the common fund was £1,638 gross, £1,311 net. Just over £1,000 of the gross income came from fines, some £560 from reserved rents, and the remainder from various other unnamed minor sources. (fn. 266) Lichfield had the smallest common fund of any English cathedral save Chester, though it is true that the common fund of York provided only some £40 net a year more. (fn. 267) From it the dean drew annually an average of £279 in commons and dividend and each of the six residentiaries an average of £172. (fn. 268) The individual prebendal estates differed widely in value. The dean was by far the wealthiest member of the chapter, with an average net annual income from his prebend and the annexed rectory of Tatenhill of just over £1,500; next came the treasurer, with some £670 a year from the prebend of Sawley, and then the Fourth Residentiary with about £340. The other canons — the precentor, the chancellor, the Fifth and Sixth Residentiaries, and the 14 non-residentiaries— received regularly little more than nominal reserved rents from their prebendal estates: the precentor £23, the chancellor £46, the Fifth Residentiary £44, the Sixth Residentiary £51, and none of the non-residentiaries more than £20. Income from fines was considerable but irregular; in the three years ending in 1831 the dean received nothing from this source while the precentor received a total of £1,295, the chancellor £895, and the treasurer £1,350. (fn. 269) This did not of course exhaust the sources of income available to the canons. All the residentiaries and all, save apparently two, of the non-residentiaries were pluralists. Dean Woodhouse's rich rectory of Stoke-upon-Trent (which he resigned in 1831) brought him a net annual income of over £2,500 and the rectory of Donington (Salop.) another £573. Similarly the precentor, Anthony Hamilton, held the rectories of Loughton (Essex) and St. Mary-le-Bow (London), together worth over £800 net, besides the archdeaconry of Taunton (Som.) with its annexed stall at Wells. (fn. 270)
During this period the organization and status of the vicars remained virtually unchanged. Shortly after the Restoration their numbers had settled at twelve — five priest vicars, including the subchanter, and seven lay vicars, including the organist — and no alteration was subsequently made. (fn. 271) In general they were a well-behaved body. There were occasional black sheep, (fn. 272) but there is little to compare with the more spectacular misdoings of previous centuries.
The chapter's chief ground for complaint was absenteeism. Each vicar was entitled to one day off duty a week (the 'sine' or 'ensign' days), but for some this was evidently insufficient. In 1734, on Bishop Smalbroke's orders, the subchanter delivered a lecture to the vicars on the evils of absenteeism. As he subsequently reported to the bishop, most of the vicars performed their duties conscientiously. The trouble was caused mainly by a minority of absentees over whose movements he appears to have had little or no control despite the fact that penalties for absence were being strictly enforced. The chief offender was the sacrist, Henry Perkins, 'nominal or pretended rector' of Barwick in Elmet (Yorks. W.R.). He was away from Lichfield for more than two-thirds of the year, seldom attended services when he was resident, and had infringed the cathedral statutes by not appointing another vicar to act as his deputy. A second vicar was a chronic invalid and often available for only three months in the year; two more had been away from Lichfield for some time. Thus whenever any of the remaining vicars failed to attend a service the choir was left 'almost destitute'. The subchanter promised that there would be a further tightening of discipline, and the chapter ordered Perkins to return to his duties on pain of deprivation. (fn. 273) In 1753 it was decided that any vicar absent from duty for more than a week should lose his commons until his return to duty, even if he had obtained leave of absence; if he stayed away for more than a fortnight he was in addition to pay a fine of 2d. a day into the fabric fund. A vicar who was in Lichfield and missed a cathedral service was to lose his commons for the day and pay a 2d. fine. (fn. 274) In 1770, 1774, and 1777 the vicars were officially warned to attend services more regularly and their attention was drawn to the oath which they had taken upon their admission. (fn. 275) From 1779 vicars had to submit the reasons for any absence in writing to the chapter. (fn. 276)
There appears to have been no marked increase in the revenue of the corporation. Despite Bishop Lloyd's attention to the revenue from reserved rents (fn. 277) this rose very little. In 1718 priest vicars were still receiving a dividend of only £14 3s. 3d. from reserved rents and lay vicars one of £12 3s. 3d. With each vicar receiving about £7 17s. in commons, pensions, stall-money, and other payments, priests had a basic income of about £22 and laymen one of about £20. (fn. 278) Bishop Chandler's statute of 1720, which laid down that in future the vicars were not to lease any of their common property unless a quarter or a fifth were added to the existing reserved rent, also allowed various exceptions from this rule: when, for example, the leases were of land worth less than £10 a year attached to houses in Lichfield paying customary rents. (fn. 279) All this marked a retreat from Lloyd's instructions to double the reserved rents, and income from this source never approached the target of £480 a year which Lloyd had set. In a period of nearly 50 years, from 1732 to 1780, it rose from just over £194 a year to some £242; by about 1830 it was still only £253 a year. (fn. 280) There were also fines, which evidently provided the greater part of the vicars' corporate income. In the years 1828-31 the vicars had an average annual income of £804 gross, £770 net; of the gross income £551 came from fines and the rest from reserved rents. The net revenues were divided equally save that the five priest vicars each received £2 more than the seven lay vicars from the reserved rents. The only member of the corporation with an additional income was the subchanter, who received various annual payments amounting to £7. (fn. 281) Individual vicars thus received between £60 and £70 a year, in addition to their houses and the commons provided by the dean and chapter.
When the dean and chapter visited the vicars in 1723 the latter stated that they had one church, Chesterton, appropriated to them, adding 'there may [be] some others have been lost for aught we know, but how or where to recover them we know not'. (fn. 282) In fact the appropriated church of Penn appears to have been lost at some date between 1706 and 1714. (fn. 283) The appropriation was later recovered, however, (fn. 284) and during the greater part of the 18th century and in the early 19th century the vicars seem to have organized their affairs quite efficiently, keeping their houses in the Close in good repair (fn. 285) and, between 1756 and 1759, building themselves a 'new, commodious muniment house'. (fn. 286)
The early years of the 19th century saw various changes with regard to the choristers. In 1806 the number was reduced from ten to eight, (fn. 287) and in late 1817 or in 1818 a choristers' school was established with the help of a gift of £100 from Dean Woodhouse. Here the choristers were taught reading, writing, and arithmetic and had a speciallyappointed master in charge of them. The organist continued to be personally responsible for their musical education. (fn. 288) During the 18th century the organist or his deputy had taught the boys singing, and mention is made of a singing school in the anteroom of the cathedral library in 1772, and of a practice room for the older boys in the Vicars' College in 1802; (fn. 289) but there appears to be no definite evidence concerning the boys' general education. Possibly, since all were local boys, they were taught in Lichfield itself. They each received £2 a year until 1770, when their stipends were increased to £3. In 1800 it was decided that newly-admitted choristers should receive £3 a year but that as the older boys left the choir the stipends of the younger boys should be increased, according to their merit, on the recommendation of the subchanter. Since the previous year the boys had received supplementary payments of 14s. or 15s. each a year from chapter funds. (fn. 290) When in 1806 the number of choristers was reduced to eight, the stipends were considerably increased for the older boys: the two eldest each received £10 a year, the next pair £8, the next pair £6, and the two youngest £4. Further increases followed in 1812 and 1825. (fn. 291) Apart from this the boys came to the chapter's attention only when their surplices were grubby or their behaviour in church fell below the required standard. (fn. 292)
Except when there was a sermon, the choir was the only part of the cathedral used for services. This caused difficulties until the time of Wyatt's restoration of the building; his scheme of throwing the choir and the Lady Chapel together was welcomed by the chapter, since it provided greater accommodation for the congregation and enabled sermons to be preached in the choir. It is in fact probable that the idea came from the chapter. (fn. 293) Previously, whenever there was a sermon, the inhabitants of the Close were obliged to move from the choir into the nave in order to hear it, 'a circumstance very awkward, disagreeable, and troublesome'. A large number of people also came up from the city, where sermons appear to have been infrequent. Afterwards those who intended to communicate returned into the choir, 'the sacrament being administered there every Sunday if there is a proper number of communicants'. (fn. 294)
In 1752 Bishop Frederick Cornwallis made various adjustments to the hours of services. The early morning prayers were in future to be celebrated in the Lady Chapel at 7.30 a.m. from Michaelmas to the Annunciation and at 6.30 a.m. during the rest of the year. On weekdays matins was to be at 10.30 a.m. from Michaelmas to the Annunciation and at 10 a.m. during the rest of the year. Evensong remained at the usual time, 4 p.m. On Sundays matins was to begin at 10.30 a.m. all the year round and evensong at 4.30 p.m. (fn. 295) In 1779 new regulations were laid down for Passion Week services: the organ was not to be used and services were to be read 'in a parochial way'. (fn. 296)
The 18th century saw an increased insistence on decorum in the conduct of services. Though it was stated at the beginning of the century that a customary rule allowed vicars to be credited with attendance at a service if they reached their stalls before the first Gloria of the psalms, (fn. 297) steps were taken a few years later to ensure that once they were in their stalls they stayed until the end of the service. Dean Kimberley considered it 'very scandalous and offensive' that many vicars should leave the church when prayers ended and before the sermon began; in future, he directed, vicars were to stay for the sermon. (fn. 298) The Sacheverell affair evidently had its repercussions in Lichfield, for in 1710 the chapter moved to prevent the preaching of inflammatory or controversial sermons in the cathedral. (fn. 299)
The later 18th century evidently saw a marked improvement in the cathedral's music. Probably this is to be attributed to the efforts of John Alcock, organist and master of the choristers 1749-60, for the standard of musicianship before his arrival seems to have been somewhat undistinguished. (fn. 300) In 1723 the vicars reported that although they knew of no occasion on which a candidate had been admitted through bribery 'sometimes we have had reason to think some of our body's judgements much biassed and their testimonies too partial' — apparently a hint that some unsatisfactory singers had been accepted. Nine years later they were more positive about the choristers: the boys were quite wellbehaved, 'but as to their natural abilities with respect to music they are not the most promising'. (fn. 301) In 1732 the vicars reported that 'the organ is out of repair, all our books imperfect, and no dinner for the preacher on a Sunday'. (fn. 302) Alcock, a competent and experienced musician and a former pupil of the blind organist John Stanley, appears to have brought with him new efficiency. His Divine Harmony, published in 1752, contained a collection of 55 chants which he had composed for the use of the cathedral, and he noted in the preface that these were 'not much more than half the number I've composed for this church'. He had also accumulated a valuable collection of services and anthems by various composers, which he doubtless put to use at Lichfield. (fn. 303) Eventually a breach of some sort occurred between him and the other vicars. In 1760 his colleagues formally complained that he spoilt the services 'by playing improperly, indecently, and perversely on the organ with design to confound and prevent the vicars from the due performance of their duty in singing the said services and anthems'. The chapter admonished him to behave in future and he left the cathedral. (fn. 304) The choir continued, however, to be well-served. Boswell was 'very much delighted' with the music when he attended a service at the cathedral in 1776. Vicars visited London to sing in oratorios and public concerts there, and when a visitor called at the cathedral in 1799 he noted that several of the vicars were 'names of celebrity in the musical world' and that the choristers sang 'exceeding well'. (fn. 305) When lay vicars were required in the early 19th century the chapter advertised not only in the Birmingham newspapers but also in those at London and Bath. (fn. 306)
The cathedral fabric needed little work done upon it, apart from care and maintenance, for a hundred years after the 17th-century restoration. During the 1730s, for example, payments out of the fabric fund were usually small, and in 1738 Bishop Smalbroke was informed that the building was in good repair 'except in the roof, where there is some defect'. (fn. 307) In 1749 many of the statues on the west front were removed, in 1758 the rose-window on the south face of the south transept was restored, and in 1765-6 the upper part of the north-west spire was rebuilt; (fn. 308) but no large-scale work was begun until the 1770s. By 1772 the roof had become dangerous. At least two surveys were made of it in that year and the next, and various plans for making it safe were submitted to the chapter. That finally adopted appears to have been the one proposed by Thomas Webb, somewhat modified by William Newbolt. The lead was gradually stripped from the roof and sold, while the timber framework, evidently the cause of the anxiety, was removed and replaced. The new framework lowered the pitch of the roof and reduced its area by over 6,000 sq. ft.; this, and the replacement of the lead covering by Westmorland slates, must have lessened the cost of reconstruction considerably. Even so, the work, which went on from 1774 to 1778, involved the chapter in heavy expense: £525 10s. was paid for 205 tons of slates, and at least £547 10s. was spent 'on account of the roof' and for timber. Nevertheless the sale of the lead which had formerly covered the roof may have enabled the chapter to recoup the cost, with enough money left to lay a new floor and clean the inside of the cathedral, as had been planned in 1772. (fn. 309)
Soon after the reroofing had been completed the chapter was considering further restoration and reconstruction. In 1781 it asked the Staffordshireborn James Wyatt to make a survey of the proposed alterations in the nave, the choir, and the Lady Chapel, and it was under his direction that the work was completed between 1788 and 1795. (fn. 310) The period between the first approach to Wyatt and the beginning of the work was spent by the chapter in fund-raising. Bishop James Cornwallis took a keen interest in the proposed 'improvements' and was a liberal subscriber, while members of the chapter not only subscribed themselves but were urged to rouse local support. Cornwallis estimated that the scheme would cost £4,000; Wyatt, however, stated that the cost would be over £5,950. By 1788 £5,200 had been raised by subscription. To this the chapter added £1,800 which it had borrowed, and Wyatt could begin. (fn. 311)
Lichfield was the first cathedral in which Wyatt's plans for restoration were actually carried out, and his aims — uniformity of style and the creation of sweeping, uncluttered 'vistas' — were those which he later pursued elsewhere. (fn. 312) His work here, as at other cathedrals, was later savagely criticized; but his contemporaries agreed that restoration work was urgently needed at Lichfield (fn. 313) and his clients not only approved of his alterations to the cathedral but in fact probably dictated them. The principal object of the restoration was to enlarge the choir, so that it could contain the whole congregation. Wyatt effected this by removing the 'elegant stone screen' between the choir and the Lady Chapel, and also Dean Smalwood's Classical reredos which stood before it. (fn. 314) The latter, which Celia Fiennes had admired in 1697, (fn. 315) was now regarded as a monstrosity; Pennant in 1780 considered that 'the beauty of the choir was much impaired' by it, and Stebbing Shaw agreed, calling it 'a sad mass of deformity'. (fn. 316) The materials of the stone screen were repaired and used as a base for the organ. The new choir, formed out of the choir and the Lady Chapel, provided the required accommodation and did not in general offend the aesthetic susceptibilities of a Gothicizing public, though before long there were complaints that it was too long — 'it is all seeing and no hearing'. (fn. 317) The pews and pulpit were removed from the nave, the stalls in the choir were repainted, new floors were put in — Derbyshire stone in the nave and grey and white marble in the choir — and a new freestone altar, 'elegantly sculptured', was put at the east end of the former Lady Chapel. (fn. 318) To render the new, enlarged choir more self-contained and easier to keep warm, Wyatt blocked up the four easternmost arches on both sides of the choir, the only ones which were still open, by building a plain walled screen flush with the inner arches. (fn. 319)
In other parts of the cathedral he undertook some substantial rebuilding. The weight of the stone vaults in the roof of the nave was threatening to bring down the walls; this was remedied by taking down five of them and replacing them by plaster, 'in consequence of which the walls . . . have not now a twentieth part of the weight to sustain'. (fn. 320) The roofs of the aisles were raised; much of the central spire was taken down and rebuilt; windows, doors, pillars, and capitals were restored; walls and roof were scraped and whitewashed; new glass was inserted; and two great buttresses were erected to support the south transept. (fn. 321) The restoration, which cost in all some £8,000, was completed in 1795 with the addition of a stained glass window after a design by Sir Joshua Reynolds at the east end of the cathedral. (fn. 322)
At least one other architect appears to have been employed under Wyatt's general supervision to carry out part of the work: at the 1794 audit it was agreed that Joseph Potter of Lichfield should repair and secure the 'south spires' of the cathedral and be allowed his reasonable expenses. (fn. 323) Francis Eginton of Handsworth was responsible for the stained glass. He executed the east window and was commissioned by the chapter to do other work in the cathedral. (fn. 324)
The restoration left the fabric fund about £2,700 in debt, (fn. 325) and various other alterations now made necessary were paid for out of the common fund; the bishop's consistory court, for example, had been removed during Wyatt's restoration of the interior of the cathedral, and the chapter had to fit up a new one in the vestry in the south aisle. (fn. 326) In 1797 Dean Proby came to the chapter's aid with a loan which enabled it to pay the bills still due on the fabric account. (fn. 327) In 1799, however, it was decided to erect a screen in front of the organ and glaze it 'in order to render the choir less inconvenient during the winter months'; the cost, £180, had to be defrayed by £20 subscriptions from the residentiaries and the proceeds of a public appeal. (fn. 328)
The most notable addition to the cathedral came shortly after 1800. While travelling on the Continent in 1801 Sir Brooke Boothby of Ashbourne (Derb.) purchased for £200 340 panels of mid-16th-century stained glass which had come from the dissolved Cistercian abbey of Herckenrode, some 2 miles from Hasselt in what is now Belgium. The Peace of Amiens the following year enabled him to bring the glass to England and some time before the Michaelmas audit he offered it to the chapter at cost price. The offer was gratefully accepted, as was Wyatt's offer in 1804 to give advice on the placing of the glass in the cathedral. Preparations for installing it were begun in 1803, when 'a machine for new leading the painted glass was ordered to be procured from Birmingham'. It was finally decided to fill seven windows in the Lady Chapel. The Revd. W. G. Rowland of Shrewsbury was responsible for the actual arrangement, and John (later Sir John) Betton of Shrewsbury had the work of putting up the glass. (fn. 329) In 1814 some remaining pieces were placed in the south window of the east aisle of the transept. (fn. 330)
A visitor to the cathedral in 1818 noted that the interior presented 'a most interesting and gratifying sight to the lover of neatness, harmony, and preservation. Every part is clean, sound, and beautiful'. Externally, however, the building had suffered from the action of the weather on a bad sandstone, and considerable alterations were by this time going on under the direction of Joseph Potter the younger of Lichfield. One of the works proposed was a thorough repair and restoration of the west front, 'which at present is sadly mutilated'. (fn. 331) This proposed restoration took place in the early 1820s and was executed principally in Roman cement. Much of the remaining sculpture on the west front was defaced or destroyed in the course of the work, which was immediately attacked as 'patching and plastering'. (fn. 332)
Apart from work on the cathedral, there was some rebuilding going on in the Close throughout the period. Dean Binckes, for example, reconstructed the deanery at the beginning of the 18th century. The building, which dated from the 15th or early 16th century and had been badly damaged during the Civil War, was given a new front 'with good brickwork and well set off with uniform windows'. (fn. 333) It was probably Binckes who planted lime-trees along the north and east sides of the Close, forming 'The Dean's Walk'. (fn. 334)
At that time the Close must have 'presented a
somewhat unkempt appearance. In 1706 it was
reported that there were two alehouses within the
precincts, the pavement was broken up in various
places, a horse was sometimes kept in the churchyard, and there was a dunghill near the south door
of the cathedral. (fn. 335) By 1714 the alehouses were gone
but the pavements were still broken up and sometimes horses and cows were turned into the
churchyard to graze. (fn. 336) In the 1720s and 1730s there
were renewed complaints about the pavements and
the general condition of the Close, (fn. 337) but from the
middle of the century the chapter showed a new
concern about the tidiness and general appearance
of the precincts. Provision was made for cutting the
trees in the walks formed earlier in the century, and
steps were taken to keep the Close free from weeds
and rubbish. (fn. 338) In 1759 part of the churchyard was
levelled, provoking a protest from Precentor
Smalbroke, who did not think that the bones of the
dead should be disturbed. (fn. 339) In 1775 the north
doorway of the cathedral was cleared and the road
to it gravelled; in 1781 the sundial in the Close was
taken down, the paths round the cathedral were
widened and gravelled, and the road to the deanery
was made into a carriage road. (fn. 340) This concern for
tidiness led to one ludicrous episode. The sight of
the conduit which stood on the cathedral green gave
offence to two of the dignitaries, and in 1786 they
persuaded the chapter to have it taken down and
replaced by a reservoir and pump. (fn. 341) A local humorist
told the story of the demolition and its sequel. A
workman summoned up from Lichfield swore that
a reservoir would give as good a water supply as the
conduit. He was ordered to pull the conduit down.
Great was thereof the fall,
Of water few have complement,
The Bishop none at all.
What can be done in such a case,
How will they make amends?
E'en build another in its place,
And so the frolic ends. (fn. 342)
No replacement appears to have been built, however, until in 1803 an octagon brick conduit, equal in size and capacity to the one demolished, was erected in a corner of the Close. (fn. 343)
The quest for elegance and uniformity resulted in the destruction of several of the medieval buildings in the Close. The most notable loss was the late15th-century half-timbered library on the north side of the cathedral, (fn. 344) which as early as 1724 was thought to be 'a mean structure'. (fn. 345) In 1757 the chapter ordered the destruction of the building, which also contained the chapter clerk's house, on the ground that its proximity to the cathedral threatened the latter in case of fire. (fn. 346) The room above the chapter-house was fitted with shelves and became the cathedral library once more. (fn. 347) In 1772 the choristers' house was pulled down and rebuilt by the lessee 'in an elegant style'. (fn. 348) The south gateway to the Close was demolished in the mid 18th century, (fn. 349) and in 1800 Bishop Langton's other gateway, at the west entrance to the Close, 'was, with a barbarous taste, pulled down, and the materials applied to lay the foundation of a pile of new buildings, for the residence of necessitous widows of clergymen'. (fn. 350)
All this is, perhaps, a reflection of the extent to which the Close had become one of the leading centres of polite society in the county, despite the fact that none of the 18th- or early-19th-century bishops of the diocese lived in their palace at Lichfield. (fn. 351) Gilbert Walmesley (d. 1751), the bishop's registrar and a man of taste and learning, was for many years tenant of the palace. There he was the head of a group of local literati and there both Johnson and Garrick received help and encouragement from him in their youth. (fn. 352) A few years after Walmesley's death Thomas Seward, Prebendary of Pipa Parva (d. 1790), moved into the palace with his family. Seward achieved a modest distinction as an author and as editor of the plays of Beaumont and Fletcher, and the palace again became 'the resort of every person in that neighbourhood who had any taste for letters'. Seward's daughter Anna, 'the Swan of Lichfield', who became a far more eminent figure in the literary world, lived on at the palace until her death in 1809. (fn. 353) Another author with a home in the Close was Erasmus Darwin, who from 1758 to 1781 lived in a house facing Beacon Street. (fn. 354)
Reform and Reconstruction, 1840 to 1900
The conditions revealed by the 1835 Report on Ecclesiastical Revenues and similar parliamentary reports led to an era of reform in the Church of England. In the rapidly growing industrial towns money was needed to augment poor livings and to endow new parishes, and it was felt that part of this money could well come from capitular revenues. (fn. 355) The Cathedrals Act of 1840 reduced the establishments of cathedrals and collegiate churches and by a general reorganization of cathedral finances and patronage made a considerable sum available to a newly formed body, the Ecclesiastical Commissioners, to be redistributed where it was most needed.
Lichfield, despite its comparative poverty as a cathedral, did not escape the workings of the Act. (fn. 356) It was laid down that the cathedral was to lose two of the six residentiaryships. Sawley, the richest of all, was to be detached from the rectory of St. Philip's, Birmingham, and suspended when it next fell vacant; the first of the other residentiaryships to become vacant, which in fact proved to be that of Freeford and Hansacre, (fn. 357) was likewise to be suspended. The endowments of the two prebends, less the sum customarily paid out of the prebend of Sawley into the fabric fund, were to be used by the Ecclesiastical Commissioners to provide stipends for two Birmingham incumbents, the Rector of St. Philip's and the perpetual curate of Christ Church. At the next vacancy of the deanery the annexed estates were to be transferred to the common fund or used by the Commissioners to make proper provision for the new dean who, it was laid down, was to have an average income of £1,000 a year. The four remaining residentiaries were each to have an average of £500 a year. Non-resident prebendaries were to be abolished and the endowments of their prebends transferred to the Commissioners; in place of the non-residentiaries the bishop was to be allowed to appoint up to 24 honorary canons and dignitaries, who would be non-resident and receive no emoluments. Minor canons (the term used in the Act to describe vicars choral) appointed after the passage of the Act were to receive not less than £150 a year and, if priests, were to hold no benefice situated more than six miles from the cathedral.
Under the terms of the Act the Crown retained the right of appointing the dean, who was in future to be in residence at least eight months a year. No alteration was made to the method of electing residentiaries, who were to reside at least three months a year. Rights of patronage held by individual members of the chapter by virtue of their tenure of certain dignities or prebends were to be vested in the bishop; livings belonging to the common fund were to be given only to members of the chapter, to archdeacons of the diocese, to honorary canons of the cathedral, or, if they were willing to leave their previous posts within a year of institution, to clergy who had been for at least five years minor canons or lecturers in the cathedral, incumbents or curates in the diocese, or public tutors at Oxford or Cambridge. Should common fund livings not be filled within six months the right of presentation was to lapse to the bishop. Regulations were also laid down concerning property in the Close. For the disposal of surplus prebendal houses or for the raising of mortgages on canonries in order to improve the remaining residences the chapter now had to obtain the permission not only of the bishop but also of the Ecclesiastical Commissioners.
The cathedral was thus placed more firmly than ever before under episcopal and parliamentary control. It remained hard-pressed financially. In 1852 the chapter had an income of some £2,941, over half of which came to it from the fabric fund. By comparison Durham, the richest of the English cathedrals, had an income that year of almost £58,000. Lichfield's relative position was even worse when considered over the seven-year period 18461852. Salisbury, which was the only English cathedral in 1852 to have an income lower than that of Lichfield, had an average annual income for the seven years of over £5,300; Lichfield was the poorest English cathedral, with an average annual income of about £3,167. (fn. 358) Between 1857 and 1863 the chapter's average annual income from its corporate property was only some £1,550. Rents were evidently being pushed up gradually, but as usual the chapter relied chiefly upon entry fines to keep up the average income. In the year 1860-1, for example, when the chapter received no entry fines, its income was only some £881, whereas in the following year fines of £2,170 brought the total up to some £3,059. (fn. 359)
Under an Order in Council of 1852 provision was made for securing fixed incomes for future deans and residentiaries of Lichfield. (fn. 360) Deans appointed after the making of the Order were to have incomes of £1,000 and residentiaries of £500 a year. Any surplus decanal or canonical income was to be paid to the Ecclesiastical Commissioners, who were in turn to make up any deficiencies. In 1876 the dean and chapter transferred all their property, except the cathedral and its precincts, the deanery, the canonical houses, the chapter clerk's house, their ecclesiastical and educational patronage, the property held in trust for the choristers, and about 10 acres of land in Lichfield, to the Ecclesiastical Commissioners. In return they were guaranteed £5,250 a year until the death or resignation of Canon Henry Ryder, the last of the pre-1852 residentiaries, and £5,500 a year thereafter. This provided incomes of £1,000 a year for the dean and £500 a year for the residentiaries (only £250 for Canon Ryder, who still enjoyed his customary share of the capitular income) and £2,500 a year for the maintenance of the cathedral and other expenses. The chapter clerk was allotted a further £120 a year, the value of some property in the Close and Dam Street, Lichfield. Since the chapter had refrained from renewing certain leases on parts of the property to be transferred it was compensated for loss of fines by a grant of £3,000. A further lump sum of £15,000 was allotted to it to be spent under the supervision of the Ecclesiastical Commissioners on repairs and restoration at the cathedral. With this arrangement of 1876 begins the modern pattern of the cathedral's finances. Meanwhile various measures taken to regulate the financial position of the deanery according to the terms of the 1852 Order resulted in the loss to the dean of the rectories of Brewood and Adbaston in 1867, on the death of Dean Howard, and that of Tatenhill in 1875, on the death of Dean Champneys.
The loss of two residentiaries under the provisions of the Cathedrals Act had reduced the residentiary chapter to a dean and four residentiaries by the mid 1850s. When the prebend of Sawley was suspended on the death of Dr. Lawrence Gardner in 1845 the treasurership also fell into abeyance, thus leaving the cathedral with only three dignitaries. (fn. 361) Among the suggestions made by the chapter to the Cathedral Commissioners in the mid 1850s was one calling for the treasurership to be revived and conferred upon one of the remaining residentiaries; the chapter considered that to the post there could be attached the cure of souls in the parish of the Close and possibly the office of principal of the proposed theological college at Lichfield (opened in 1857). (fn. 362) Bishop Selwyn (1867-78), who thought that a cathedral chapter should ideally be a body of men devoted to the training of ordinands and the organization of diocesan work, (fn. 363) favoured a more ambitious scheme. In 1869 he summoned a general chapter of residentiaries and honorary canons to consider reforms and reorganization at the cathedral in the light of reports by the Cathedral Commissioners, (fn. 364) and in 1871 the general chapter proposed that the two suspended residentiaryships should be revived (fn. 365) — a move probably taken at the bishop's instigation and undoubtedly meeting with his full approval. The residentiary chapter, however, felt that the proposal was injudicious and in 1872 informed Archbishop Tait on its own authority that it did not think it desirable to alter the existing number of residentiaries. (fn. 366) The residentiaries thought that it would be difficult, if not impossible, to endow two further residentiaryships; and though Selwyn, who had hoped that one of the revived canonries would be held by a coadjutor bishop and the other by the principal of the Lichfield Theological College, fought hard for his proposals, in the end nothing was done. (fn. 367) The treasurership was finally revived in 1906 by Order in Council. It was, however, to be held by the prebendary of Offley and Flixton, and the treasurer's former prebend of Sawley remained suspended. (fn. 368)
Although Selwyn failed to enlarge the residentiary chapter, he effected other reforms. It was he, for example, who reinstated the general chapter as a regular supervisory body for the cathedral. Though its recommendations regarding the residentiaryships came to nothing, it achieved one major success during his episcopate: the revision and translation between 1869 and 1875 of the cathedral statutes. (fn. 369) In 1863 Bishop Lonsdale had printed Statuta et Consuetudines Ecclesiae Cathedralis Lichfieldiae. This collection contained the statutes of Bishops Hacket, Lloyd, Hough, Chandler, Smalbroke, and Frederick Cornwallis, and Lonsdale's own statute of 1863 concerning the vicars choral, the first statute issued to the cathedral in English. A number of the older statutes, especially those concerning property, had been rendered meaningless by the passage of time and the operation of the Cathedrals Act and subsequent measures. Selwyn was determined to produce an intelligible modern body of statutes. The work was completed in December 1875, and the bishop wrote to a friend: 'On December 21, when the whole document had been printed, we met pro forma to sign and seal; and so came to pass the euthanasia of the old Composition [of 1428] and all of the unintelligible stuff which has been sworn to for "four or five centuries."' (fn. 370) These English statutes have formed the basis of all subsequent versions of the cathedral statutes.
The passage of the Cathedrals Act and the widespread attacks upon clerical absenteeism forced the residentiaries to take their obligations of residence far more seriously. In 1840, shortly after the Act had been passed, the dean and chapter, 'having witnessed with much pain and concern the very imperfect state of the residence directed by the statutes on the part of the several canons of this cathedral and the consequent failure of attendance on the services of the church', adopted certain resolutions to bring the practice at Lichfield into line with that at other cathedrals. It was decided that, if any residentiary was unable to perform his statutory residence, his duties might be carried out by another residentiary, or by one of the honorary canons if no residentiary would help. The substitute was to be paid £100 a year by the absentee and, if an honorary canon, was to have such of the privileges of a residentiary 'as may be deemed expedient'. All the residentiaries save one agreed to abide by these rules, and it was expected that two, who were in bad health, would take advantage of them promptly. (fn. 371) In general this arrangement appears to have worked satisfactorily; in 1873, however, Bishop Selwyn used as one of his arguments for enlarging the residentiary chapter the fact that at that time it was reduced virtually to three members by the unauthorized absence of Canon Henry Ryder. (fn. 372) The 1875 statutes laid down that the dean and residentiaries were each to keep at least three months' residence a year. On at least 45 days of this period attendance at both matins and evensong was required; during the remainder of the three months attendance at one service a day sufficed. Attendance by proxy — another residentiary or 'in case of need' an honorary canon — was permitted. (fn. 373) The rule remained unaltered in 1905. (fn. 374)
A noticeable feature of the changes after 1840, and one example of the increased vigour of cathedral life, was the greater number of services and celebrations of Holy Communion. (fn. 375) The cathedral was also becoming once more a centre of diocesan life, and this was reflected in the number of special services held there. In the mid 1850s there were two services daily, except on the six days a year during which the building was closed for cleaning. Services were at 10.30 a.m. and 4.30 p.m. on Sundays and 10 a.m. and 4 p.m. on week-days, except for Christmas Day, Good Friday, and some special occasions. All services were choral except on 'days of humiliation', when the organ was not played. There was a service of Holy Communion every Sunday and on Christmas Day and Ascension Day. Sermons were preached at matins every Sunday and on holy days and other special occasions; the duties of the divinity lecturer had been commuted into that of preaching on certain saints' days.
By 1880 the number of services had increased still more. (fn. 376) Holy Communion was celebrated at 8 a.m. every Sunday, and there was also a midday celebration on the first, third, and, when it occurred, the fifth Sunday of every month. There were two celebrations on all great festivals and one on all saints' days and on various diocesan occasions. Sunday services remained at the same times, with the Litany as a separate service at 2.30 p.m. whenever there was a midday Communion. Weekday services were at 10 a.m. and 4 p.m. between Lady Day and Michaelmas and on holy days, and at 10.30 a.m. and 4 p.m. during the rest of the year. All services were choral except the 2.30 p.m. Litany, evensong whenever there was a special evening service, and Holy Communion, which was choral only at midday celebrations and on the great festivals. Various extra services were held, notably during Advent and Lent. There were two sermons each Sunday, those at the morning service being preached by the dean, one of the residentiaries, or one of the honorary canons, and those in the afternoon by the dean or the canon in residence. On saints' days sermons were preached by the divinity lecturer or some other member of the cathedral body; there were sermons preached by diocesan clergy at special weekday services during Advent and Lent, and 'addresses' delivered at other times such as Good Friday and Holy Week.
By 1880 the cathedral was being used regularly for diocesan gatherings of various kinds. (fn. 377) Among the more notable of these were the Diocesan Choir Gatherings; Lichfield was the first cathedral to hold such a festival, and it was subsequently copied in almost every other diocese in England. John Hutchinson, the precentor, was responsible for the first gathering, held on 14 October 1856, when 26 parish choirs joined the cathedral choir in morning and evening services. The Bishops of Lichfield and of Sodor and Man, the cathedral chapter, and about 150 diocesan clergy were present, and the congregation numbered in all nearly 3,000 people.
The increased number of cathedral services and the growing diocesan use of the building made the ability and efficiency of the vicars choral far more important than it had been previously, and various moves were made after 1840 to improve the musical side of cathedral worship. (fn. 378) In 1842 the chapter informed the vicars that in future at least three vicars were to be present at each morning or evening service, one representing each part of the choir; no vicar would be allowed leave beyond that laid down by statute unless he had previously found a substitute. Applications for leave were to be made, whenever possible, to the hebdomadary chapter instead of simply to the canon in residence, so that daily services might be arranged 'with greater precision'. Five years later, however, it was reported that the order limiting the number of vicars who might be absent from any one service had been 'habitually disregarded'.
The chief problem facing those who wished to improve the quality of the choir was the vicars' freehold. Once appointed a vicar held office until he died or resigned, and a number of elderly vicars whose voices had decayed clung to their posts and forced the chapter to various shifts to maintain the quality of the singing. In the early 1850s, for example, it was employing two supernumerary lay vicars because two octogenarian vicars were no longer able to sing with the choir. (fn. 379) Precentor Hutchinson submitted to the Cathedral Commissioners in 1853 that more vicars were required; it was impossible to ask men to sing twice a day throughout the year, and leave and infirmity left gaps in the choir. Unpaid assistance would be unreliable; but he felt that a salary less than half that received by the existing vicars would secure the three supernumeraries necessary to bring the choir to full efficiency. The organist was less sanguine: 'Nothing but salary can accomplish what you wish . . . If you were to double the number of lay vicars you would not improve the choir but would have more noise and less music. Good musicians and good voices are scarce things and are not to be found in this city'. (fn. 380) Finally, in 1861, six supernumerary lay vicars were appointed, all resident in Lichfield, and it was agreed that up to £12 a year should be distributed among such of them as required some payment. (fn. 381)
In 1863 Bishop Lonsdale promulgated new statutes for the vicars. The number of vicars was, it was stated, no longer sufficient for the due performance of services if vicars were to be allowed 'reason able relaxation and occasional necessary absence'; and since the value of their property had increased, thus making more funds available, their numbers were duly raised from 12 (5 priest vicars and 7 lay vicars) to 14 (4 priest vicars and 10 lay vicars). Any vicar incapable of performing his duties was to provide a duly qualified substitute; the existing vicars were allowed the option of paying instead an annual sum to the chapter. (fn. 382) These reforms were evidently insufficient, for in the early 1880s Bishop Maclagan, the dean, and the chapter were united in agreeing that the corporation of vicars should be dissolved and replaced by a body of stipendiary vicars who could be dismissed or pensioned off when their voices were no longer adequate. (fn. 383) The Cathedral Commissioners recommended this in their report on the cathedral in 1884, (fn. 384) but nothing was done.
The financial arrangements of the corporation followed the same general pattern as those of the chapter. The vicars, who in 1840 were managing their own estates, had by the end of the century transferred their property to the Ecclesiastical Commissioners in return for a fixed annual payment. In the seven years 1846-52 the average gross annual income of the corporation was about £1,500; the income varied between £2,010 in 1849 and £882 in 1851. On an average rack-rents amounted to about £110 a year, while reserved rents on leases came to about £234 a year; commons from the chapter provided a regular £54 12s. a year, and the rest was made up of entry fines. This provided the subchanter with an income which varied between £179 4s. in 1849 and £84 17s. 8d. in 1851; some of the vicars, both priest and lay, received over £165 each in 1849, while in 1851 one of the priest vicars was paid as little as £67 12s. 3d. and one of the lay vicars £63 6s. 7d. (fn. 385) The 1863 cathedral statutes laid down that none of the existing vicars was to suffer financially because of the increase in numbers. (fn. 386) In 1872 the vicars transferred all their property, with the exception of the twelve vicarial houses in the Close, to the Ecclesiastical Commissioners in return for an annual payment of £2,160. (fn. 387) From this in 1880 the six 'older' vicars, those appointed before the 1863 statutes, received sums varying from £171 1s. 8d. to £176 15s. 4d.; the eight 'younger' vicars, those appointed since 1863, received £128 14s. 4d. each, except for the dean's vicar, who was paid £2 6s. more. Upon the death of every 'older' vicar the salaries of the remaining vicars were augmented. It was estimated that when all the 'older' vicars had died or retired the fourteen vicars would each receive £152 4s. a year and their commons. In addition twelve of the vicars had vicarial houses in the Close. (fn. 388) The financial position of Lichfield vicars in the last quarter of the 19th century compared very favourably with that of vicars at other English cathedrals, and in 1906 the dean informed them that their stipend of about £150 'with one or possibly two exceptions . . . is the largest in England'. He added that whenever there was a vacancy at Lichfield there were many applicants from other cathedrals, not only because of the stipend offered 'but also because of the advantageous terms enjoyed in retirement'. (fn. 389)
The number of choristers remained at eight until December 1861, when it was increased to ten. (fn. 390) In addition there were generally four or six supernumerary boys on probation. The boys continued to be maintained on the proceeds of property managed on their behalf by the residentiary chapter; by 1879 the property — houses and land — produced about £360 a year. In the mid 1850s the boys received stipends ranging from £7 to £20 a year. When the numbers were increased in 1861 the scale of stipends was revised. (fn. 391) Choristers and probationers received free education from the schoolmaster provided for them by the chapter; the school was in the Close, and in 1866 a newly-appointed schoolmaster was given permission to take up to 14 probationers in addition to the choristers. (fn. 392) When choristers left they were generally given a bonus payment to be used as an apprenticeship fee, the amount varying according to their past behaviour and general usefulness in the choir. (fn. 393)
The major work undertaken by the chapter during these years was perhaps the full-scale restoration of the cathedral. To some extent this was rendered necessary by decay and the deterioration of poorquality stone used in previous rebuilding; but it is evident from contemporary evidence that what weighed more heavily with the chapter was the changing taste in ecclesiastical architecture and the consequent dissatisfaction with the state of the cathedral as Wyatt (fn. 394) and Potter had left it. Moreover the greater use being made of the cathedral and the need to accommodate larger congregations rendered the 18th-century arrangements, which isolated the choir and the Lady Chapel from the rest of the building, totally inadequate.
Ecclesiology reached Lichfield early. The pioneering Cambridge Camden Society was founded in 1839, (fn. 395) and in 1841 there appeared the Lichfield Society for the Encouragment of Ecclesiastical Architecture, a body with similar, though rather less ambitious, aims and ideals. It had close connexions with the cathedral: the dean and chapter were among its vice-presidents, and its first chairman was William Gresley, Prebendary of Wolvey. At the first annual general meeting, held in January 1843, Gresley offered the society's help in 'the restoration of the west front or even the whole of Lichfield Cathedral; if only the dean and chapter will accept our services and the diocese will place twenty or thirty thousand pounds at our disposal'. (fn. 396) Although such a task was, and remained, outside the society's powers it is highly probable that its activities focussed attention on the cathedral and strengthened the position of those who wished to see a thoroughgoing restoration of the building.
In fact work on the cathedral began shortly after the society's foundation. In September 1842 a report on the state of the fabric was submitted to the chapter by Sydney Smirke, a younger brother and pupil of the more famous Sir Robert Smirke, and he was authorized to spend £1,000 during the ensuing year on such repairs and restorations 'as appear to him of the most urgent importance'. (fn. 397) Between 1842 and 1846 Smirke restored the south aisle of the nave at a cost of some £3,000. Largescale work was then brought to an end for lack of funds, though the chapter retained two workmen to carry out urgently needed repairs and Smirke remained consultant architect to the cathedral. (fn. 398)
Work was resumed on a rather larger scale in the late 1850s, thanks mainly to the enthusiasm and powers of persuasion of Precentor Hutchinson. After Hutchinson had visited Ely Cathedral, and one or two other churches which had recently been restored, Dean Howard, a cautious man, was finally persuaded that similar restoration was needed at Lichfield. (fn. 399) The work immediately involved was chiefly the opening out and rearrangement of the choir, for which Smirke and George Gilbert (later Sir Gilbert) Scott submitted plans in April 1855. (fn. 400) Early in 1857 the chapter considered Smirke's drawings for the proposed restoration of the choir; it then asked Scott and Benjamin Ferrey, diocesan architect for Bath and Wells, who had been associated with the two others in some of their earlier proposals, to prepare schemes for its consideration. (fn. 401) Ferrey having declined to compete, Scott's and Smirke's proposals were considered later in the year, and the verdict went to Scott. (fn. 402)
One of the canons later painted a gloomy picture of the cathedral as it was before Scott started his work. (fn. 403) The whole of the interior was 'one uniform, dead, yellowish whitewash, many coats thick'. The nave was 'quite unused — indeed, except during service hours the verger's silver key alone gave admission to any part of the church. During morning and evening prayers the nursery maids, it was said, used to walk up and down with babies in their arms; nay, it is reported that the smell of a cigar has been detected in the nave while service was being sung in the choir'. As a result of Wyatt's work nave and choir were completely separated by a high stone screen, filling the whole of the first bay of the choir. On this screen was placed the organ, surmounted by a glass screen going up to the roof. Since the arches between the choir and the choir aisles had been filled in with plaster, there had thus been created what was virtually a self-contained church within a church. (fn. 404) In the choir itself, with its altar at the east end of the Lady Chapel, there were oak pews, lined with green baize and studded with brass nails, and, in the three bays eastward from the screen, stalls 'composed of plaster, wood, rope, nails, and much else, with canopies of the same material over them, which the old verger of that day used to call "beautiful tabernacle work." '
The work of demolishing the plaster between the choir and the choir aisles, which had been begun in 1856, evidently under Smirke's direction, (fn. 405) was continued by Scott, together with that of pulling down the stalls and canopies in the choir. In 1858 the organ was moved into the nave, which was temporarily equipped for services, and the screen upon which it had stood was demolished. The arches between the transept aisles and the choir aisles were opened out, and in both choir and transepts whitewash was scraped off and plaster replaced by stone. Mouldings, figures, and capitals were renewed. It had originally been intended to confine the restoration to the choir; the chapter subsequently decided, however, that a whitewashed nave would look strange against a restored choir and Scott was instructed to complete the restoration of the whole of the interior. When the work in the choir was sufficiently advanced the organ was moved back and Scott turned his attention to the nave. Comparatively little needed to be done there beyond the removal of the whitewash and the restoration of some stonework; Scott was urged to replace Wyatt's plaster groining with stone but refused, saying that the walls would not bear it. (fn. 406)
Among the furnishings installed during the course of the restoration was a new organ presented by Josiah Spode of Hawkesyard Park, Armitage; it was placed in the north transept aisle. (fn. 407) A metal screen designed by Scott was erected between the nave and the choir. It was the first of its type; later examples included those at the cathedrals of Worcester and Hereford. (fn. 408) Similarly the pavement tiles within the altar rails containing Old Testament subjects worked in pottery ware by Minton and Co. of Stoke-uponTrent and presented by the firm to the cathedral were the first of their kind in modern times and were later copied in other churches. (fn. 409) The cathedral was officially reopened on 22 October 1861, though services had been held in the building virtually throughout the restoration. (fn. 410)
The reopening did not, however, mark the end of work on the cathedral. Restoration went on almost continuously for another forty years, first under G. G. Scott and then under his son J. O. Scott. The interior of the cathedral occupied the chapter's attention during the years immediately following 1861. The plaster arcading on either side of the nave was replaced by stone, similar work was carried out in the choir aisles, the chapter-house and library were repaired, Wyatt's plaster reredos was removed from the Lady Chapel, some new glass was inserted to match the Herckenrode windows, and the consistory court was cleaned and restored. With this last task, completed in 1880, the restoration of the interior was virtually finished and the chapter could concentrate on external repairs. (fn. 411)
Work had already begun in 1877 on the west front to remove Potter's much-criticized Roman cement and replace it by stone. It was also decided to replace with new statues the numerous figures which had formerly adorned the west front and of which only two survived. The distribution of the statues followed in general the former pattern, though a statue of Christ replaced one of Charles II in the central niche of the apex. The cost of these statues, some £5,000, was borne by individual donors and the Ecclesiastical Commissioners agreed that the £15,000 which they had laid aside in 1876 for use on the fabric, together with the interest which had accumulated on it, should be devoted to the restoration of the west front; the chapter itself raised a further £15,000 by subscription. The work, which included not only the west front but also the refacing of both the west towers and considerable repairs to them and their spires, was completed in 1884. (fn. 412) Other major work completed later included the repair and restoration of the exterior of the Lady Chapel, repairs to the central tower and spire, the rebuilding of the north and south ends of the transepts, and the restoration of St. Chad's Chapel. (fn. 413) In March 1901 a Thanksgiving Festival for the complete restoration of the cathedral was celebrated. (fn. 414)
After the 18th-century demolitions and rebuilding in the Close there were comparatively few major alterations to the domestic buildings in the 19th century. When in the late 1870s Bishop Selwyn decided to live in Lichfield, after many years during which the bishops had used Eccleshall castle as their sole residence, two wings were added to the 17th-century palace in the Close. (fn. 415) Otherwise the only important work appears to have been the provision, south of the cathedral, of quarters for the theological college, which was opened in 1857. (fn. 416)
The Twentieth Century
During the present century the life and work of the cathedral and the chapter have been further modified to harmonize with changing conditions. The most notable alteration to the constitution of the cathedral body came in 1934 with the dissolution of the ancient corporation of the subchanter and vicars choral under the terms of an Order in Council of that year. (fn. 417) Even this, however, was not a startling event; at intervals for many years the corporation had been attacked by bishops and chapter as an anachronism in a modern cathedral, (fn. 418) and it is not surprising that when, under the provisions of the Cathedrals Measure of 1931, the minor corporations of other English cathedrals were dissolved (fn. 419) the Lichfield corporation shared their fate. The rights of existing vicars were safeguarded, and the property of the corporation, consisting chiefly of two annuities from the Ecclesiastical Commissioners amounting to £2,260 a year, was transferred to the dean and chapter. (fn. 420) The 1937 cathedral statutes laid down a new scheme under which there were to be nine lay vicars and not more than four priest vicars. All were to be appointed by the residentiary chapter, except for one of the priest vicars who was to be appointed by the dean. Vicars were to have a written contract of employment including the provision of three months' notice on either side. Lay vicars were to attend all sung services at the cathedral; each was to have one free day a week, still known in the traditional fashion as his sine day, and in addition an annual holiday of 21 days. (fn. 421) In 1964 there were nine lay vicars but only two priest vicars. (fn. 422)
Under the 1905 cathedral statutes and the Order in Council of the following year reviving the treasurership the residentiary chapter consisted of the dean and four canons, including the precentor, chancellor, and treasurer; they allotted annually amongst themselves the offices of commoner (with responsibility for auditing chapter accounts), fabric keeper or custos (with responsibility for the cathedral building), and director of ceremonies (with responsibility for the arrangements on ceremonial occasions). (fn. 423) The 1937 statutes, while leaving the number of residentiaries at five, made the post of custos one of the cathedral dignities, thus giving each residentiary a dignity. (fn. 424) The terms of residence were at the same time slightly altered. In lieu of the three months' residence a year required by the 1905 statutes, a distinction was now made between 'residence', during which attendance at both morning and evening services was not obligatory, and 'close residence', corresponding to the periods of residence required by previous cathedral statutes, when the residentiary was to be present daily at matins and evensong. It was laid down that in future the dean was to be in close residence for 45 days a year and a canon residentiary for three consecutive months a year; residence of at least 240 days a year was enjoined on dean and canons. (fn. 425)
The present century has seen at Lichfield, as in all English cathedrals, a great reduction in the number of sung services. (fn. 426) Whereas about 1900 morning and evening prayer were sung daily except on Wednesdays, in 1964 the only sung services were those on Sundays, matins every Friday, and evensong four week-day evenings a week. The reasons for this change are chiefly economic. Whereas previously a lay vicar's chief source of income was his stipend from the cathedral, which he could eke out with money from part-time jobs such as musicteaching, today it is usually necessary to find a lay vicar a full-time job, and the money which he receives from the cathedral simply supplements his main income. The cathedral has been fortunate in finding a number of local employers who are prepared to allow men time off for services and rehearsals, but it is obviously impossible to have sung services as frequently as before. This new pattern of employment was one of the factors which in 1951 persuaded the chapter to change the time of evensong to the present 5.30 p.m., thus making it easier for lay vicars to come to the cathedral when they finished work in the afternoon. Meanwhile the number of special services and diocesan gatherings held at the cathedral continues to increase. There has, for example, been an annual service for Young Farmers in the diocese since 1962, while services for the combined diocesan Sunday Schools, for the Darby and Joan clubs in the diocese, and on such occasions as Commonwealth Youth Sunday fill the cathedral with congregations of about 2,000 people at a time.
Shortly after the beginning of the century there was a brief dispute over vestments and ritual. A chapter order that copes should be worn at celebrations of Holy Communion in the cathedral on and after Christmas Day 1901 (fn. 427) gave rise to some dissension among the residentiaries. The chancellor, J. G. Lonsdale, objected and was granted an exemption because of his advanced age (he had been a canon of the cathedral for over forty-five years). Another residentiary, Canon C. Mortimer, refused to obey the order. At a meeting of the residentiary chapter in May 1902 Dean Luckock announced that he was advised that the order for the wearing of copes was lawful, as were the newly-introduced practices of taking the Ablutions at the altar and of singing a hymn during the cleansing of the chalice, about which another canon had complained. Two months later, at another chapter meeting, Lonsdale announced that both he and Mortimer would wear copes, though 'it seemed to them hard that after being so long in Orders they should be called upon to adopt a dress that had been so rarely used in cathedrals' and they did not acknowledge the soundness of the legal opinion given to the dean. Luckock, anxious to avoid further friction within the chapter, proposed that instead the exemption already granted to Lonsdale should be extended to Mortimer; this was unanimously agreed (fn. 428) and appears to have closed the matter. In 1918, 'in view of the extremely unsatisfactory nature of the only bread now available for altar use', the chapter decided to adopt the use of wafer bread in the cathedral, and the Sisters of the Community of St. Peter, Horbury (Yorks. W.R.), were asked to supply the wafers. (fn. 429)
The maintenance and repair of the cathedral fabric continues to be one of the chapter's chief preoccupations. One major improvement of the past half-century has been the installation, in 1930, of electric lighting in the cathedral (fn. 430) to replace the gas lights which had been in use since at least 1861. (fn. 431) Some restoration work was undertaken in the 1920s, (fn. 432) and since the Second World War a more extensive and ambitious scheme has been embarked upon. (fn. 433) In the early 1950s the central spire was strengthened. Shortly afterwards it was discovered that the roof of the cathedral had been badly damaged by the death-watch beetle, and in 1956 the chapter launched an appeal for funds to enable it to repair the roof and complete other necessary repairs and improvements. Since then it has been able to proceed steadily with the work. The roofs of the nave, choir, presbytery, Lady Chapel, and north and south transepts have been restored; the two spires at the west end have been strengthened; some exterior stonework has been restored; glass has been releaded; the cathedral has been rewired throughout; and in 1964 the west side of the south transept, omitted from the 19th-century restoration, was being restored. The chapter itself has had to raise all the money for this work, and it has been greatly helped in this task by the efforts of the Friends of Lichfield Cathedral, an organization founded in 1937 to support and assist the cathedral. In recent years the Friends have not only contributed to the appeal fund in general but have also made grants towards the cost of such things as the rebinding of the St. Chad's Gospels, the provision of new copes, the purchase of new altar books, and the cleaning of monuments in the cathedral. At present there are about 1,300 members of the organization.
The most important recent development in the Close has resulted from the expansion and transformation of the choir school. (fn. 434) By the 1930s the number of choristers had risen to 18, and there were 36 boys (two sets of 18) receiving free education at the chapter's expense. The financial burden on the chapter was causing it concern in the late 1930s, and the position worsened after the outbreak of the Second World War. In 1941 it was decided to reorganize the school. In the following year it was reopened as a preparatory school in the house in the Close previously assigned to the chancellor. It was renamed St. Chad's Cathedral School, and feepaying non-choristers were admitted. Since 1955 the school has also occupied the former Bishop's Palace in the Close, last used by Bishop Woods and handed over to the dean and chapter in 1954; the present bishop lives in a smaller house in the Close. There are at present some 80 boys at the school, most of them Midlanders. Of the boys 18 are choral scholars whose fees are paid by the chapter.
Another feature of the modern Close is the Dean Savage Library, founded and endowed in 1924 (fn. 435) by the dean whose name it bears, a notable historian of the cathedral. It occupies part of one of the houses in the Close and contains his library of history and theology and some of his notes and transcripts.
Deans of Lichfield
William, occurs about 1140. (fn. 436)
Master Hamon, occurs about 1170. (fn. 437)
William de Lega, occurs by 1173. (fn. 438)
Richard of Dalham, succeeded William de Lega 1176, occurs about 1210-11. (fn. 439)
Ralph Nevill, appointed 1214, Bishop of Chichester 1222. (fn. 440)
Master William of Mancetter, elected 1222, died 1254. (fn. 441)
Ralph of Sempringham, D.Th., elected 1254, died 1280. (fn. 442)
Master John of Derby, elected 1280, died 1319. (fn. 443)
Papal licence was granted for the king to nominate to the deanery in 1363. Manton occurs in 1364. Ibstock was elected in February 1369, but Manton was presented by the king to the deanery in September. Rous died as dean in 1370.
Henry Williams, B.Th., elected 1536, deprived for marriage 1553. (fn. 444)
John Ramridge, D.D., installed 1554, deprived shortly after the accession of Elizabeth I. (fn. 445)
Lawrence Nowell, M.A., installed 1560, died 1576. (fn. 446)
James Montague, D.D., installed 1603, Dean of Worcester 1604. (fn. 447)
Hon. Henry Edward John Howard, D.D., appointed 1833, died 1868. (fn. 448)
William Weldon Champneys, M.A., appointed 1868, died 1875. (fn. 449)
Edward Bickersteth, D.D., appointed 1875, resigned 1892. (fn. 450)
Herbert Mortimer Luckock, D.D., appointed 1892, died 1909. (fn. 451)
Henry Edwin Savage, D.D., appointed 1909, died 1939. (fn. 452)
Frederic Athelwold Iremonger, D.D., appointed 1939, died 1952. (fn. 453)
William Stuart Macpherson, M.A., appointed 1954. (fn. 454)
The earliest reference to capitular seals occurs in Bishop Nonant's statutes of 1191, according to which the chancellor was the keeper of the chapter's seals ad causas et negocia. (fn. 455) With one probable exception no impression of a pre-Restoration common seal is known, though there are several examples of the more frequently used seals ad causas. By at least the late 15th century the seal ad causas was being used for sealing leases and other grants, and Bishop Blythe, in his statutes of 1526, made rules concerning its safe custody and proper use. (fn. 456)
A chapter seal, probably the common seal, in use between at least 1267 and 1309, is a pointed oval about 25/8 by about 1¾ in. (fn. 457) It depicts a crowned female figure (presumably the Virgin) wearing a gown with long pendant sleeves. The hands are held together, probably in prayer. The figure stands in front of what appears to be a building; this has a central tower with a high-pitched roof rising from a flat-roofed façade. On either side of the standing figure there is in the façade a window or fragment of arcading rising to twin semi-circular arches. Legend, lombardic:
The chapter seal in use since the Restoration is a pointed oval 2½ by 1¾ in. (fn. 458) The design, with one small modification, is a replica of that of the seal ad causas in use before the Civil War (see below). It depicts the Virgin, crowned and holding a sceptre in her right hand, seated under a Gothic canopy of three arches. In the base, between two pillars, is St. Chad in pontificals, full-face and holding a pastoral staff with both hands. Legend, roman:
A new matrix, an exact replica of that just described, was cut in 1959 and first used in 1960. It is now in the possession of the chapter clerk. (fn. 459)
No impression is known. (fn. 460)
A seal ad causas in use between at least 1333 and 1550 is a pointed oval 2¾ by 15/8 in. depicting the Virgin and Child under a pointed trefoiled arch. (fn. 461) In the field are a crescent and an estoile. In the base, under a two-spired church and a rounded trefoiled arch, is St. Chad in pontificals seated on a throne, lifting his right hand in benediction and holding a pastoral staff in his left. Legend, lombardic:
A small seal ad causas in use between at least 1378 and 1409 is a pointed oval about 1½ by about 1 in. (fn. 462) It depicts a figure, apparently mitred, seated under a pointed trefoiled arch and holding a book in his lap. In the base is a kneeling figure, possibly a bishop with a pastoral staff. Legend, lombardic:
Another small seal ad causas, in use between at least 1462 and 1501, is a pointed oval 1½ by 1 in., depicting Our Lord crowned, seated under a Gothic canopy of three arches, lifting His right hand in benediction and holding an orb surmounted by a cross in His left. (fn. 463) In the base, under a pointed arch, is a bishop (presumably St. Chad) with hands joined in prayer and with a pastoral staff under his right arm. Legend, black letter:
In his statutes of 1526 Blythe followed his injunctions concerning the seal ad causas with an order that a seal should be provided for the communar. This was to be used to seal letters of acquittance, letters missive, summonses, suspensions, and excommunications. The following year the chapter was shown a newly made seal ad causas and the communar's seal. (fn. 464) No impression of the communar's seal is known to exist, but a seal ad causas in use in 1545 and 1550, and almost certainly used until the Civil War, was probably the new seal ad causas of 1527. (fn. 465) It is a pointed oval about 21/8 by 1¼ in., depicting the Virgin, crowned and holding a sceptre in her right hand, seated under a Gothic canopy of three arches. In the base, between two pillars, is St. Chad in pontificals, facing right and holding a pastoral staff with both hands. Legend, lombardic:
A 17th-century decanal seal, a pointed oval 2½ by 17/8 in., depicts the Virgin, crowned, standing with the Child on her left arm; to their left, in profile, stands St. Chad, in pontificals and holding a pastoral staff. (fn. 466) The group is framed by a pinnacled roundheaded arch. In the base is the shield of arms of the see. Legend, roman:
The vicars choral had a common seal by at least 1315. (fn. 467) The earliest known impression of their seal dates from 1368. The seal in use at that date (probably that mentioned in 1315) was still in use in 1508 and apparently continued to be used until the Civil War. (fn. 468) It is a pointed oval 15/8 by 1 in., depicting St. Chad in pontificals, half-length, with his right hand raised in benediction and a pastoral staff in his left. Over his head is a rounded trefoiled arch with a pinnacle on either side. In the base are seven heads in profile, evidently representing vicars. Legend, lombardic:
The matrix appears to have been lost during the Civil War or the Interregnum, and after the Restoration a new matrix was cut. This remained the vicars' corporate seal until the dissolution of the corporation in 1934. (fn. 469) It is a pointed oval 17/8 by 11/8 in. and follows the design of the earlier seal, though St. Chad is now under a pointed arch, holds his pastoral staff in his right hand, and rests his left in his lap; in the base the seven heads of the earlier seal have been replaced by seven roundels. Legend, roman:
A 17th-century seal of the officiality of the spiritual jurisdiction of the dean and chapter is a pointed oval 1½ by 11/8 in.; it depicts a hand issuing from the clouds and holding a balance. (fn. 470) In the field is the inscription 'Iustitia Reipublicae Basis'. Legend, roman: