A History of the County of Wiltshire: Volume 3. Originally published by Victoria County History, London, 1956.
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From the Reformation to the Restoration
The Reformation at Salisbury brought remarkably few constitutional changes. Rather, there was an accentuation of late medieval developments. Most obvious was the extension of the power of the Crown over both bishop and chapter. Bishops and deans were henceforth nominated by the Crown as a matter of course in letters missive sent to the chapter with its congé d'élire; and the deans, like the bishops, were frequently imposed from outside, being apparently no longer required to be members of the chapter before election. Bishop Shaxton and Bishop Capon, like earlier bishops, had to collate to the prebends many nominees of the Crown, of Cromwell, and of other royal officials. (fn. 394) An interesting constitutional experiment was that of royal visitations of the cathedral chapters, during which the bishop's jurisdiction at his cathedral was suspended. The system, however, was in full operation only at intervals between 1535 and 1559; since then the Crown has not suspended episcopal authority. (fn. 395) The Tudors, moreover, used the royal injunctions issued after their visitations chiefly as a means of carrying through their religious changes. Most of their orders were about images, relics, lights, preaching, theological books to be acquired for the cathedral library, and education. Injunctions on constitutional matters were much more rarely given, and the royal commissioners seem to have found the investigating and interpreting of cathedral statutes a particularly difficult task. The few constitutional changes which they ordered were usually observed only temporarily or not at all, unless they happened ultimately to accord with the development of cathedral customs. (fn. 396) It was over 200 years since the last comprehensive revision of the cathedral statutes by Bishop Mortival, and, as at other cathedrals of the Old Foundation, many statutes at Salisbury were at variance with existing custom. Both Mary and Elizabeth I were given power by Parliament to revise cathedral statutes, but little was done. By 1572 a draft was prepared by Archbishop Parker; then the whole project was apparently quashed. (fn. 397) The medieval statutes of Salisbury remained in force, and the canons on their admission swore to obey both them and 'the laudable and approved customs' of the church, with the qualification 'in so far as they agree with the Word of God and with the laws of the kingdom'. (fn. 398) For the future, when episcopal or archiepiscopal visitors pointed out that the ancient statutes of the church were not observed, or that recent chapter acts were contrary to the statutes, the dean and chapter merely replied that they had sworn to obey the customs as well as the statutes, and that customs were often more in accord than the statutes with the present needs and constitution of their church. (fn. 399)
The fall in numbers of resident clergy, already observed in the late 15th century, was confirmed and carried farther, although the residentiary canons remained at about seven or eight throughout the Reformation period. (fn. 400) The biggest changes were among the lesser clergy and followed the dissolution of the chantries in 1547-8. The chantry priests disappeared from the cathedral, and the functions and revenues of the vicars choral were much reduced. Masses for the souls of the founders of the chantries were no longer said and the daily High Mass and Mass of the Virgin in the Lady Chapel were also soon to be abolished. The reformers resented the idea that priests should be appointed merely to sing in choir, saying that they were more urgently needed in the parishes, while laymen with good voices could perform the choral duties in the cathedral more efficiently. In 1539 the chapter rejected a lay vicar nominated by Bishop Shaxton for Thomas Cromwell, because he was not a priest and Cromwell's stall in the cathedral was a priest's stall; (fn. 401) but by 1547 lay vicars were being appointed, and there was apparently competition for their offices. The vicars choral seem from the first to have had the right of nominating or approving the appointments of lay vicars, and paid their salaries from their common fund. In 1547 fourteen vicars choral agreed at the king's request to the admission of Patrick Forde, layman, as a lay vicar to the next vacant place after the admission of Robert Courtenay, who had already been promised the next vacancy. (fn. 402) In 1552 there were still 20 vicars choral, but by 1568 the numbers had fallen to 7 vicars choral and 7 lay vicars. (fn. 403) Six vicars choral and 7 lay vicars appeared in 1593, when the sub-treasurer was a lay vicar. (fn. 404) His fall in status was doubtless the result of the loss of many of the cathedral treasures, which had reduced the importance of his office. The chief function of the altarists was removed with the destruction of the altars and chantries. Men or boys were still needed to help the vergers to clean the church and to ring the bells (though bell ringing was less frequent than before), but these duties alone were not suitable for former choristers. At first efforts were made to divert some of the revenues from the altarists' stipends to the education of choristers whose voices had broken. Injunctions of Edward VI and Elizabeth I ordered that choristers who had served for five years or more in the church and whose voices had broken should no longer be appointed to do the work of altarists, but should be given an altarist's stipend of £3 6s. 8d. a year for five years to support them while studying at the free grammar school in the close. At the same time three men were to be appointed and paid by the treasurer and two by the Masters of the Fabric to keep the church clean and to ring the bells. (fn. 405) For a time these orders were partially observed. (fn. 406) By 1593, however, the altarists' portions were no longer given to scholars, but to the lay vicars as a help towards their maintenance. (fn. 407) Throughout the greater part of the 17th century and beyond, four or five lay vicars received the traditional payments allotted to altarists in the Middle Ages. (fn. 408) The number of choristers also fell. By 1552 they were only 8; in 1569 the chapter declared that they should not exceed 10; in 1580 they were 8; in 1593 6. (fn. 409)
The loss and damage to the chapter's property, though serious, was probably less devastating than many of the canons expected. Only six prebends were lost, and five more involved in Bishop Capon's exchanges of property. The prebends of Sherborne, Loders, and Upavon were dissolved with the monasteries which held them; Blewbury prebend, after being appropriated for a time to Wolsey's Oxford college, was annexed to Salisbury bishopric in 1542; while Faringdon and Horton prebends were alienated in Edward VI's reign, Horton going to the Duke of Somerset. (fn. 410) In 1542 and 1545 by Acts of Parliament Bedwyn prebend was exchanged for Uffculme (Devon); Charminster and Bere for Ilfracombe (Devon); Axford and Ramsbury for Gillingham (Dors.), which was divided into the two prebends of Gillingham Major and Gillingham Minor; and Ratfyn for Winterbourne Earls. (fn. 411) Further losses followed the dissolution of the cathedral chantries, though some of their property was 'concealed' until Elizabeth's reign. The chapter succeeded in retaining the Abbot of Sherborne's canonical house of residence in the close, but lost most of the houses appropriated to chantry chaplains. (fn. 412) Pensions payable by religious houses to the chapter were ordered to be paid by the future owners of their lands. With the transfer of the archdeaconry of Dorset to the new diocese of Bristol, the archdeacon ceased to be a member of the chapter. The most disastrous results for later generations were the loss and destruction of many of the cathedral's treasures. In 1539 2 men were employed for 9 days, 4 men for 1 day, and 2 men for a further 15 days on the destruction of St. Osmund's shrine, (fn. 413) the long period of demolition suggesting that the jewels were carefully removed. In 1549 the dean and chapter received a royal order to send 2,000 marks' worth of cathedral plate to the king's mint at Bristol. (fn. 414) In Elizabeth I's early years there were several further sales of jewels, ornaments, and copes, 'for which there is now no use'. On one occasion at least the buyers were the dean and residentiary canons, only Chancellor Parry protesting at the action and refusing his share of the spoils. (fn. 415) The extent of the cathedral's loss can be measured by comparing the rich inventory of jewels, images, vestments, and other treasures made by Master Thomas Robertson, treasurer, in 1536, with an inventory of 1583, which consists of a mere 29 items of little value. (fn. 416) Probably much of the medieval stained glass was also removed at this time, for several visitation injunctions of the 1560's and 1570's refer with dismay to the cathedral windows 'broken and open to the rain'. (fn. 417)
The most revolutionary changes were naturally in the cathedral services and liturgy. The Use of Salisbury was abolished and the English Prayer Book took its place. In Edward VI's reign and from Elizabeth's reign only two daily services were held at the cathedral in the morning and evening, with a monthly communion, in place of the seven daily canonical hours, the daily High Mass, the daily Mass of the Virgin, and the many chantry masses and obits of the early 16th century. Yet even here there were links with the past, for the first Prayer Book of 1549 was partly compiled from the Use of Salisbury. (fn. 418)
Under Bishop Shaxton, Salisbury's first reforming bishop, there was strong Catholic opposition within the chapter, though from the first Cromwell, if not Shaxton, could command some support, and set himself to acquire more. In 1534 Richard Arche, a residentiary canon, wrote to the queen's vice-chamberlain that Dr. Edward Powell and Master John Baker, residentiaries, and others should be discharged as proctors for Salisbury Diocese in the matter of the king's divorce, and the dean and chapter told to elect others named by the king; he himself and Master Thomas Bennet, the bishop's vicar-general, would put Salisbury Diocese on the king's side, but the others were directly against his cause. (fn. 419) Powell was speaking, preaching, and writing books against the king's marriage; (fn. 420) by 1535 he was a prisoner in the Tower, and was hanged, drawn, and quartered at Smithfield in 1540 for denying the king's supremacy. (fn. 421) His canonical house in the close went in 1536 to Thomas Parker, a supporter of Cromwell, who soon succeeded Edward Carne as chancellor. (fn. 422) In 1536 too, Master Thomas Bennet gained the precentorship on the death of Richard Dudley, who, as the dean's locum tenens, had been resisting Cromwell's claims at the cathedral. (fn. 423) Thus three members of the residentiary chapter of seven were now apparently ready to serve Cromwell, and their influence may be seen in its decision of 1536 to offer him the stewardship of its lands. (fn. 424) Yet Bishop Shaxton still met with much resistance in his efforts to enforce the royal injunctions. In 1537 Macdowell, the bishop's chaplain, reported that the Pope's name was still in the cathedral missal and the king's orders totally disregarded there. Macdowell's preaching in the cathedral against the Bishop of Rome roused such indignation that deputations against him were sent to the king from the close and city. When he fixed a copy of the king's dispensation for Lent to the cathedral gate it was immediately torn down, and none would search for the culprits. Both he and the bishop were accused of heresy. The resentment aroused by Macdowell, 'an uncharitable and slanderous Scottish friar', is shown by his excommunication by Thomas Bennet, then chancellor of the diocese and in frequent communication with Cromwell. (fn. 425) Goodall, the bishop's under-bailiff of Salisbury, complained bitterly of the enormities of the priests in the close and city, who haunted ale-houses and supported relics. The royal injunctions were said to be kept neither by the precentor nor by the subdean, while scholars had even been rebuked for not coming to evensong on a high even. (fn. 426) By 1539, however, Goodall wrote to Cromwell that 'the displeasures have accomplished something; now the residentiaries not only preach, but have Bible reading at dinner'. (fn. 427)
With the deprivation of Shaxton and the accession of the pliant Bishop Capon most canons seem to have followed their bishop's example in accepting the royal commands. In Edward VI's reign the Italian dean and king's Latin secretary, Peter Vannes, was apparently replaced for a time by an ardent reformer, Thomas Cole, who fled to Frankfort and Geneva in Mary's reign. (fn. 428) Mary restored Vannes to the deanery and gave a prebend and house in the close to Thomas Harding, the catholic apologist and future opponent of Bishop Jewel. (fn. 429) He and several other canons appointed in Mary's reign were deprived in the opening years of Elizabeth's. (fn. 430) On the whole, however, it seems that deprivations for conscience' sake were few at Salisbury. An interesting and perhaps typical figure is Master Thomas Bennet, (fn. 431) who first appeared at Salisbury in 1524 as a chaplain of Wolsey, and vicar-general for the absent Bishop Campeggio. Apparently he suffered for a time after Wolsey's fall, being replaced as chancellor of the diocese by Richard Hilley, the cathedral treasurer. But by 1533 he had decided to support Cromwell and the king's divorce, and was soon back in favour. From 1536 he took a leading part in chapter business as precentor, acting frequently as locum tenens for the dean. He could occasionally take an independent line with Cromwell. In 1543, with Bishop Capon and other commissionaries, he tried John Marbeck, the Windsor organist, for heresy, and sentenced him to burning, although the sentence was not carried out. Yet Bennet seems to have had no difficulty in continuing to live in the close as precentor in Mary's reign until his death in 1558. Perhaps his chief interest in his later years lay in providing for his many kinsmen and dependants. He had a magnificent monument built for himself in the cathedral before his death, and also took an active interest in the cathedral choristers. (fn. 432) Bennet was not apparently alone at Salisbury in adopting a pliant attitude. The famous Vicar of Bray was also a residentiary canon at Salisbury in the reigns of Henry VIII and Edward VI, though he died in 1551, and so the full story of his changes of religion under Henry, Edward, Mary, and Elizabeth cannot be true. (fn. 433)
Nevertheless, although the chapter weathered the storm, its moral strength was reduced by the rapid changes. John Jewel, who visited it and other cathedrals of the south-west as royal commissary in 1559 and as archbishop's commissary in 1560, wrote to his friend Peter Martyr in Geneva that 'the cathedral churches have become dens of robbers or more wicked'. (fn. 434) Again, on his first visitation as bishop in 1562, Jewel found 'very many things amiss, which we took grievously to heart'. (fn. 435) Materially the cathedral was in a deplorable state, with its tower and glass, canonical houses, and close wall approaching ruin. Nature had been taking a hand in the destruction: in 1559 the spire was struck by lightning, and a fissure extended 60 feet downwards from the top. The attitude of the chapter to their bishop may be illustrated by Jewel's remark that 'this happened before I arrived in Salisbury, or it would have been ascribed to my coming'. (fn. 436) The spiritual decline and lack of discipline among all ranks of the cathedral clergy seems to have been almost as marked as the material destruction. However, the canons consented to the extension of his visitation for more than the five days allowed by the composition of 1392, and finally thanked the bishop for his work and agreed to the statutes he proposed. (fn. 437) These attempted to enforce that all four dignitaries should be continually resident (only one dignitary, the chancellor, was resident in 1562), and provide the customary hospitality and 'feedings' for the lesser cathedral clergy; that the prebendaries should come into residence for a term or pay their fifths for non-residence, and that the individual canons should be responsible for repairing their houses in the close. (fn. 438) During the next two years the bishop was several times in chapter examining the cases of canons whom he had pronounced contumacious for not appearing at his visitation. Eventually at least six were deprived of their prebends for simony, infamy, or contempt of the cathedral statutes, while Leonard Bilson, a residentiary, remained in prison for practising magic. (fn. 439)
Foremost among the methods adopted by the Elizabethan bishops to improve the state of their chapter was regular visitation. Detailed inquiries were made every seven years; in addition the cathedral was subjected to several metropolitical visitations. At first there was little improvement. Bishop Jewel's second visitation of 1568 revealed serious charges of adultery and incontinence against both canons and vicars as well as much fighting, drinking, and quarrelling among the vicars; some clergy did not attend communion as often as three times a year; the Archdeacon of Wiltshire was said to have two wives; Canon Robert Hooper had been preaching unsound doctrine (though more, it was thought, from inexperience than malice), and Canon John Coleshill was neglecting his duty to dispense hospitality. (fn. 440) As time went on the constant episcopal supervision may have had some effect, but progress was very slow. From 1563 the deans, at least, were more frequently resident; several were leading theologians, and their competence is suggested by the fact that until 1604 all were fairly rapidly promoted to bishoprics. (fn. 441) But Bishop Jewel's attempt to increase the number of residentiaries and to encourage the prebendaries to come into residence for a short term each year failed completely. An experiment of setting aside Braybrook House in the close as a residential college for the prebendaries ended in a scandal in 1564. (fn. 442) The close chapter was now strongly opposed to any increase in the number of residentiaries; and the customary and, later, statutory limitation to seven or six with the dean in the late 16th and early 17th centuries was clearly due to its determination to share the rising profits of residence with as few canons as possible. On the other hand, there was keen competition among the prebendaries for the profitable residentiary places. The bishop kept the right to collate to the residentiary house of Leadenhall, and so to confer one residentiary place; but for the other places royal and magnate influence was sought to put pressure on the close chapter at elections, so that in effect appointments of residentiaries was soon being made by the Crown. By the end of the 16th century a system of pre-election was in full force. In 1585 William Zouch, the precentor, was pre-elected by the close chapter into the fifth vacant residentiary's place next ensuing. (fn. 443) Thus dignitaries other than the dean, who-attempted to obey the ancient statutes and Bishop Jewel's express order for their continuous residence, would normally for long periods be forced to reside at their own expense without sharing any of the profits of residence and without being admitted to the residentiary chapter or given a canonical house. At the same time the canons' obligations of residence were cut down. Whereas Bishop Mortival's statutes of 1319 had allowed twelve days' absence a quarter to full residentiaries, ordinances of 1571 and 1589 declared that 40 days' residence a quarter would henceforth be sufficient for receiving full commons. (fn. 444)
In other ways, however, the bishops achieved some slight success in their efforts to bring the non-resident canons, or, as they were now more usually called, 'prebendaries', into closer connexion with the cathedral. Bishop Jewel insisted that the Pentecostal chapters ordered by the royal injunctions of 1559 should be held annually. All the prebendaries were summoned to these chapters, which continued throughout Whitsun week and gave opportunities for discussion of cathedral business and for grants of taxation from the prebends, particularly for the repair of the fabric. The first was in 1560 when Bishop Jewel attended in person as a prebendary. In 1561, in his absence, no chapter was summoned, but in 1562 he continued his visitation of the cathedral in Whitsun week, requiring the prebendaries to attend. (fn. 445) From this time Pentecostal chapters were celebrated fairly regularly during the rest of the 16th century and at intervals in the 17th century up to about 1670. Not all the prebendaries attended, but the custom was established, as with the general chapters of the Middle Ages, that absent prebendaries should at least send proxies. A further method of giving the prebendaries some share and responsibility in cathedral work was by preaching turns, requiring every prebendary to preach one sermon a year in the cathedral. The first known rota of preaching turns, drawn up in the reign of Edward VI or Mary, was revised on Bishop Jewel's initiative at the first Pentecostal chapter in 1560, (fn. 446) and vigorous efforts were made to enforce it throughout the rest of the 16th and in the 17th centuries. The arrangement that absent prebendaries might pay a deputy to preach their sermons had, however, to be accepted.
Henceforth the cathedral clergy were officially encouraged to have more contacts with the diocese and city. The canons were more insistently required to provide sermons and hospitality at the churches belonging to their prebends and common fund, as well as at the cathedral, (fn. 447) where greater emphasis on preaching took the place of the chancellor's theological lectures, and the lecturer disappeared. (fn. 448) High fixed seats were erected in the body of the church for the mayor and corporation, who now attended the Sunday services and sermons with their wives. (fn. 449) These cumbersome seats caused many disputes about precedence, in which the wives of the cathedral clergy were also involved, and in 1634 Archbishop Laud ordered their removal; for the future only movable seats were to be used. (fn. 450) Social changes were taking place in the close, for which the canons' wives were largely responsible. Elizabeth I had at first disapproved of wives of the clergy living in the cathedral close, but had been unable to prevent it. By James I's reign they had an established position, and Dean Gordon's French wife, Dame Geneviéve, who was both intelligent and determined, emerged as a dominant figure. Her letters to Secretary Nicholas throw interesting light on life in the close. (fn. 451) Salisbury became a centre of fashion when the Stuart kings came to stay with their courts, lodging in the close. (fn. 452)
A few signs of a gradual revival in cathedral life may be noticed. There was a big improvement in the cathedral fabric. Much money was spent on it in the late 16th and early 17th centuries, so that by 1634 it could be said: 'no fault is found with the fabric save the pavement and cloisters and some other small defects'. (fn. 453) The Gorges memorial, built in the cathedral about this time to commemorate Sir Thomas Gorges and his Swedish wife, suggests a revival of interest in art. The muniments which, on Bishop Jewel's accession, were in a state of decay and complete disorder, were in 1607 and 1634 kept duly under lock and key and were claimed to be safe at least from vermin and bad weather. (fn. 454) There is less evidence for interest in the library. It apparently had few manuscripts of sufficient interest to tempt collectors like Archbishop Parker or Sir Robert Cotton. Bishop Jewel was able to send only one book in Old English to Parker, saying he had 'ransacked our poore library to find it'. (fn. 455) Bishop Guest gave many printed books and Dean Gordon in the early 17th century also left books; (fn. 456) but the dean and chapter were careless custodians. A number of their more interesting medieval manuscripts found their way to Oxford at this time. (fn. 457) There were some learned canons and prebendaries. Dean Gordon was a theologian, a scholar of Greek, Hebrew, and oriental languages, and a writer in verse and prose; two prebendaries, Richard Hooker, author of the Ecclesiastical Polity, who died in 1600, and Thomas Fuller, the church historian, a prebendary from 1631, made outstanding contributions to the thought and history of the English Church; William Camden, author of the Britannia, was a prebendary from 1589 to 1624. (fn. 458) Some able masters were appointed to the cathedral grammar school, which had been refounded in the close by about 1540, apparently mainly for the choristers' benefit. (fn. 459) The boys, however, apparently suffered increasing ill treatment and neglect in their common house under their sub-master. (fn. 460) Their revenues fell in value; about 1620 they ceased to live in common; in 1629 their numbers were permanently limited to six, and the chapter decided that for the future they should be paid salaries of £4 or £3 a year each to support themselves. (fn. 461) When the Stuart kings visited the city additional choristers had to be brought from Windsor to augment the choir, (fn. 462) This neglect of the cathedral choristers is surprising, because there was a genuine love of church music in Salisbury at this time, and much interest in its development. The cathedral had some fine composers and musicians among its organists and lay vicars, including the tempestuous John Farrant who attempted to murder Dean Bridges in his study, and, on failing to do so, returned to finish singing the anthem in choir, and the Lawes family in the early 17th century. (fn. 463) The Puritans condemned their music for being too formal and curious, but George Herbert, poet and parish priest of Bemerton, loved it and found inspiration in his visits to the cathedral in the early 1630's. (fn. 464)
Such contrasts are typical of the growing diversity in cathedral life under the early Stuarts, when there was both piety, learning, and striving for order and discipline, along with lack of restraint, negligence, and worldliness. At the same time there were the complications of the widely differing religious views. The citizens of Salisbury were largely Puritan; the bishops conciliatory to them; the deans increasingly inclined to the High Church party, while among the canons were colourful and clashing personalities, some unattractive, a few devout and efficient.
A change from the attitude to church ceremonies of the Elizabethan clergy possibly began in Dean Gordon's time. Although a Scot who had been in the service of Protestant leaders in France, he came so far from his earlier views when preaching before James I in 1605 as to vindicate the use of cross, cap, and surplice. (fn. 465) In 1607 the order of 1604 for wearing surplices and hoods was thought to be observed at Salisbury, though the canons agreed that copes were not yet worn at communion. (fn. 466) The medieval copes had long since been sold or used up as pulpit cloths or cushions, while the ancient payments of cope money by the canons had been diverted to the fabric fund. (fn. 467) About the same time large sums were spent on enlarging and repairing the organ. (fn. 468) Some gifts of plate and ornaments were made to the cathedral treasury; the inventory of 1624-5 shows that it was then far more adequately supplied with plate than in 1583 or 1601. (fn. 469) The cathedral bells were repaired. (fn. 470) In Bishop Davenant's time the different points of view within the church became apparent. The deans in particular asserted their independence of the bishop and took the opposite side in constitutional and religious controversies in cathedral and city. These differences suggest that even after the Reformation Salisbury dean and chapter had retained greater independence of their bishop than other English chapters. Dean Bowle strenuously opposed the bishop's claim to sit in chapter and take part in the election of a music teacher of the choristers. (fn. 471) The result was a disputed election, the bishop and three canons voting for John Holmes, son of the former master, the dean and the three other canons for Giles Tompkins, organist of King's College, Cambridge. Appeals to the archbishop and king followed. Eventually the king decided in favour of the dean's party, though, its victory was made to appear less decisive by the appointment of Tompkins by the king 'by way of provision'. (fn. 472) Dean Mason, Dean Bowle's successor, and tutor to Prince Charles, was an open supporter of Laud against the bishop. Their views clashed in 1633 over the public submission of Henry Sherfield, Recorder of Salisbury, for destroying a stained glass window in St. Edmund's Church. Dean Mason and Laud were victorious, achieving a full public submission. (fn. 473)
In another quarrel about this time, over the admission by royal letters of Dr. Humphrey Henchman, the precentor, as a supernumerary residentiary at the cathedral, Dean Mason and Bishop Davenant were, however, united against a majority of the chapter. This quarrel throws light on the divisions, personalities, and motives within the chapter. Henchman was a kinsman of Bishop Williams of Lincoln, (fn. 474) who had spent one year as Dean of Salisbury in 1620-1 while waiting to be transferred to the deanery of Westminster. From there his promotion was rapid, but he continued to exercise a strong influence over Salisbury chapter in opposition to the rising influence of Laud. By 1633, it was claimed that Bishop Davenant, Edward Thornburgh, a residentiary canon, and Henchman, the precentor, all owed their appointments to him, while he could on occasion command the vote in chapter of Canon Giles Thornburgh, an elder kinsman of Edward. (fn. 475) The bishops of Lincoln and Salisbury were said to 'drive in one yoke', and it seemed to Dr. Matthew Nicholas, a younger brother of Secretary Nicholas and a preelected residentiary, that the best way of preventing Henchman from being admitted as a residentiary before him was to play on Dean Mason's fears that Laud, then Bishop of London, would be angry with him for doing so much for a kinsman of the Bishop of Lincoln. (fn. 476) The dean, however, was not intimidated, while Bishop Davenant maintained that the Bishop of London was intelligent and would understand the situation at Salisbury. Henchman was a 'true resident' and of greater service to the church than any of the other canons. He had been precentor for ten years; had performed all the duties of the office, including those of residence and hospitality, without ever being admitted as a residentiary or receiving any profits of residence. (fn. 477) The attitude of the rest of the chapter seems to have been dictated partly by their anxiety not to offend powerful outside influences, partly by their desire not to share the profits of residence among eight instead of seven residentiaries. (fn. 478) By appealing to these last motives the two pre-elected residentiaries, Dr. Matthew Nicholas and Dr. Thomas Mason, whose claims to residentiary places were prejudiced by Henchman's admission, detached the two Thornburghs from their allegiance to Bishop Williams, and persuaded them with two other residentiaries to petition the king and Laud for the repeal of the royal letters. (fn. 479) However, their opposition was not very convincing, especially as they had already accepted Henchman's large entrance fee for residence and divided it up among themselves. (fn. 480) Early in 1634 the king on Laud's advice ruled that Henchman was to continue as a supernumerary residentiary, but with single commons like the other residentiaries, not with the double commons anciently due to dignitaries. Thomas Mason and Matthew Nicholas were to have the next two vacant residentiary places. After this the next vacant residentiary place was not to be filled, and the number of residentiaries was to be permanently reduced to six with the dean. There were to be no more pre-elections, and dignitaries were to be as capable as others of being chosen as residentiaries. (fn. 481) From this time until the Cathedrals Act of 1840 the number of residentiaries remained fixed by royal ordinance at six with the dean, and the dignitaries permanently lost their claim to double commons.
In the same year Archbishop Laud's visitation of the cathedral revealed a complete lack of system and some scandals in the practice of residence. The canons confessed that they did not know what the times of their residence should be. 'We do not dispense each other, but everyone keeps residence at his own discretion and yet receives all profits as if continually resident.' They thought that sometimes all the residentiaries were absent from the services, but never all absent from their houses, and that all were not absent from the church for many weeks together. Only old Canon Barnston, Canon Henchman, and, before he was called away on royal service, Dean Mason, were not severely criticized for their church attendances and only these three were said to be laudable in hospitality. By others neglect of hospitality was freely admitted. Canon Lee declared that he was too poor to be hospitable, and informed the archbishop's commissary that other canons were very sparing in hospitality. Edward Thornburgh was further accused by Lee of flying into violent passions as a result of intemperate eating and drinking, and Osborne of using bad language. The most serious charge was brought against Canon Seward by Henchman and Lee. He was said to have separated a kinswoman from her husband, to have had the husband put in prison, and to be keeping her at his house in the close in the greatest luxury. Lee himself presented a long and rambling account of his claims to precedence and of his grievances. (fn. 482) The reasons for Bishop Davenant's and Dean Mason's insistence on the admission of Henchman as a supernumerary member of such a chapter are self-evident, especially since the dean was likely to be absent for long periods. As a result of the visitation a new statute for residence, according to the canons of the Church of England of 1604, was drawn up by the chapter and confirmed by the king. In future two canons were to be required to keep residence and open house in the close in each quarter of the year, and to be present daily at morning and evening prayers; on 60 of the 90 days their personal attendance at the services was necessary under pain of a 5s. fine for every absence; on the remaining 30 days a substitute was allowed, so long as he was a residentiary canon. A rota of residence was drawn up accordingly. (fn. 483) Thus a three-monthly residence, similar in some ways to the plan of Richard Poore in the early 13th century, was finally accepted under outside pressure and probably for the first time by the whole residentiary chapter at Salisbury, though this now consisted of only seven or eight canons in place of the 52 for whom Poore had legislated. The gradual abandonment by the residentiaries of the 16th and 17th centuries of the long annual residence customary in the 14th and 15th centuries was not due solely to their laziness and neglect of duty. It was also a necessary result of the orders of the post-Reformation church for their personal residence and hospitality at their prebendal and other churches in the diocese for most of the year. The canons of the Church of England of 1604 specifically required this, allowing to cathedral canons only three months' absence at their cathedral; and Archbishop Laud made searching inquiries at his visitation about its observance. (fn. 484) Though most of the canons had been remiss in this as in their other duties, Barnston and Henchman at least were said to have been assiduous in preaching and hospitality at their churches in the diocese. (fn. 485) The statute of 1635 now regulated the position at the cathedral, where changes obviously had to be made if the rules for the churches of the prebends and the common fund were to be observed. Much of the disorder in the cathedral in the years before 1635 was probably due to each canon making his own rules to meet conditions for which the ancient statutes did not provide. After 1635 discipline seems to have been tightened up. The new dean was Dr. Richard Baylie, husband of a niece of Archbishop Laud, Vice-Chancellor of Oxford University and President of St. John's College. He spent much of his time in Oxford, but dispensed lavish hospitality 'like a cardinal' on his visits to Salisbury. (fn. 486) In his absence the real power in the close lay with Henchman. Matthew Nicholas, who was admitted as a residentiary in 1637, wrote in the following year, 'The order about residence has long been put into execution. Two residents are present in each quarter and attend constantly at the services.... Dr. Henchman is now the only visible man in our church.' (fn. 487)
The history of the vicars choral in the 40 years preceding the outbreak of the Civil War faithfully reflects the history of their masters, the residentiary canons. The visitations of 1607 and 1634 reveal many examples of negligence and disorder among the choral and lay vicars, as among the canons. They were irregular in their attendances at the church services. The choir was noisy because the vergers did not stop the laity from tramping up and down and talking in the church in service time, and the vicars broke the rule about talking in choir. Some complaints were made about the vicars' singing. In addition the canons maintained in 1607 that there were a few drunkards, haunters of taverns, and sowers of dissension among them. The vicars, like the choristers, ceased to live a common life in their hall of residence about 1620. (fn. 488) This was a natural development, now that most vicars were married. More serious were the dissensions which arose between the choral and lay vicars. The small corporation of six vicars choral opposed any increase in its own numbers and any proposals for sharing its increased revenues with the lay vicars. While poverty had been a main reason for the rapid fall in the vicars' numbers in the late 15th and 16th centuries, the further limitation of their numbers in the early 17th century was due, as with the canons' numbers, to the desire of the small established body to keep the profits of their steadily rising revenues for themselves. As a result, the cathedral had much difficulty in attracting good basses and counter tenors to serve as lay vicars. In 1604 the brilliant Thomas Lawes resigned because of his small salary. (fn. 489) This caused the chapter to intervene. In 1605 it insisted that the vicars choral must pay £12 a year each to lay vicars with bass voices instead of the normal £8 13s. 4d. and that for the future at least three and if possible four laymen were to be basses or counter tenors. As a concession to the vicars choral, however, it agreed that the lay vicars might temporarily be reduced from eight to seven, so that the eighth layman's salary might be divided between the two basses. (fn. 490) Thomas Lawes was then readmitted as a lay vicar without loss of seniority, but the struggle of the lay vicars against the vicars choral continued and eventually came before the bishop and archbishop. The trouble lay largely in the choral vicars' administration of their property. The value of their lands was increasing, but they refused to raise the old medieval rents, preferring to charge large fines for the renewal of leases, which they at once shared out amongst themselves. Thus their regular annual income remained roughly the same as in 1535, and they declared that this alone could be drawn upon for payment of the lay vicars' stipends, as well as for their own commons and dividends. Shortly before 1615 the archbishop inhibited them from renewing any more leases until an order had been made. (fn. 491) In 1624 an agreement was drawn up by which the vicars choral promised not to renew any more leases until they had completely run out. Then the property was to be leased for one, two, or three lives at improved rents. Two-thirds of the increased rents were to go to the vicars choral and one-third to the lay vicars. In return the chapter agreed that the lay vicars should remain at seven until an eighth layman could be paid a sufficient stipend out of the increases; that all fines for renewal of leases should still belong to the vicars choral only; and that the lay vicars' stipends should not exceed £20 a year. (fn. 492) By 1644 a new lease of Laverstock rectory for three lives raised the annual rent from £15 to about £85, which according to the Parliamentary Survey of 1649 was about £130 a year less than its actual value, and the lay vicars pressed for increased stipends. (fn. 493) After the Restoration all seven received £20 a year but the eighth was never reappointed.
A similar state of affairs prevailed on the chapter's estates. Here there was no further loss of property, save the annexation of Shipton prebend to the Regius Chair of Civil Law at Oxford by Act of Parliament in 1617. (fn. 494) But in the late 16th and early 17th centuries there was a steady rise in the value of the property, and, like the vicars, the canons normally refused to lease their lands at rents corresponding to the improved value. The changed situation can best be seen in the Parliamentary Survey of the chapter's lands made in 1649-50, which gives not only the reserved rents of the lands and churches and their assessment for taxation, but also the actual value. For 40 prebends the total assessment for taxation was only £1,400 6s. 8d. a year and in all cases corresponded to the assessment in the Valor Ecclesiasticus. The reserved rents were usually the same or very slightly higher than the taxation value. But the gross annual value was often eight to ten times as great. Thus the gross value of the small prebend of Alton Australis had risen to about £197 a year, although the annual rent paid by its farmer was only £20, and its taxation £19 10s. The gross value of the 'golden' prebend of Teignton Regis was about £654, its rent £74 6s. 8d., and its taxation £63 13s. 4d. In the case of the dignitaries' estates the reserved rents paid to the chancellor and treasurer had been raised from £56 and £101 in 1535 to £86 and £174 respectively, while their gross values were given as £559 and £1,197. (fn. 495) The position on the estates of the deanery, precentorship, and common fund was similar. The commissioners frequently remarked that a church or estate was worth £75, £130, or, in the case of Bishop's Cannings, as much as £681 a year more than the annual rent paid by the farmer. (fn. 496) This was due to the increasingly large fines for renewal of leases, some of which, amounting to over £1,000, can be traced in the chapter lease books which are extant from 1608. In spite of the royal injunctions that leases should not be granted for more than 21 years, most of the larger estates and churches were now leased for three lives. In addition to the fines the residentiaries also had the patronage of the churches belonging to the common fund. These advowsons now passed to each residentiary in order of seniority, (fn. 497) and were occasionally sold by them, though the sale of the advowson of Britford church for £70 by Canon Edward Thornburgh in 1634 raised such an outcry against simony that it had to be cancelled before payment was made. (fn. 498)
THE CIVIL WAR
The period of the Civil War and the Commonwealth saw the only complete break in the chapter's history, when the whole institutional structure and anglican form of worship was swept away and a new Presbyterian system established in its place at the cathedral. It is difficult to discover how long the chapter continued to function. The abolition of deans, chapters, vicars choral, and choristers was made law in 1648, and was followed in 1649 by the Act for the Sale of Deans' and Chapters' Lands. (fn. 499) Many individual canons and prebendaries, however, were ejected long before this under the parliamentary order of 1643 which required the sequestration of the property and benefices of all those who had helped to raise arms against Parliament. No entries were made in the chapter act books between 28 November 1642 and 13 September 1660, but the fabric accounts continued into 1643 and included payments to workmen for taking down the organ. The clerk of the works also paid money to the watch at the close gate and to a watch at the church porch during the early fighting in Salisbury. (fn. 500) Records of the dean's court are extant as late as 1645, (fn. 501) and new prebendaries were appointed in the place of those who had died in 1643, 1644, and 1645, though they were reinstalled in 1660 to safeguard them from charges that their appointments were illegal. (fn. 502) As early as 1641 a puritan, John Strickland, later a member of the Westminster Assembly, was elected as minister by the vestry of the chapter's church of St. Edmund, Salisbury, although in his absence in London Thomas Mason, a residentiary canon, apparently officiated, preached against Parliament, and publicly prayed for the success of the royalist forces. Mason seems to have remained in charge at the cathedral for some years. When the parliamentary forces were in Salisbury, probably in 1644-5, he was said never to have preached, but to have kept the church shut. In July 1646 he was accused before the County Committee of Wiltshire of receiving rents due to the dean and chapter, disposing of them as he pleased, and of sending £20 to Dean Bailey in Oxford. He denied on oath that he had the chapter rent-roll, but, when pressed, produced it the next day. He refused to take the Covenant, saying he would stand for the Prayer Book while he lived. (fn. 503) After 1646 there is little evidence that the chapter had any authority at the cathedral or in its city churches, though Canon Matthew Nicholas, most of the choral and lay vicars, the schoolmaster, and two vergers were apparently in possession of their houses in the close in 1649-50 when the Parliamentary Survey of the close was made. (fn. 504) In 1646 another puritan member of the Westminster Assembly, Dr. John Conant, whom the chapter had refused in 1642, was appointed to its church of St. Thomas, Salisbury; a third, Stanley Gower, to its church of St. Martin, Salisbury, in 1648; and in July 1648 Dr. Faithful Tate became Presbyterian minister at the cathedral with a salary of £150 a year and Canon Mason's house of Leadenhall in the close for his residence. (fn. 505) In 1649 it was declared that he 'preacheth twice in the cathedral every Lord's Day, and alone supplieth the ministeriall office there'. It was presented as convenient that 'Our Ladye church be made a parish churche'. (fn. 506) Soon after the Survey the city corporation decided to buy four canonical houses in the close for £800 as permanent residences for the four Presbyterian ministers of the city, in the hope that the purchase money would eventually be raised by the parishioners. (fn. 507) Other sales of the chapter's property within and outside the close were made. The city magistrates assumed authority over the close, and in 1656 Cromwell's charter to the mayor and corporation gave them full rights of jurisdiction over the former liberty of the close with the patronage of the dean and chapter's hospital of St. Nicholas by Harnham Bridge which they had long coveted. (fn. 508)
The Presbyterian system probably did not take very firm root at Salisbury, particularly at the cathedral and in the close. Faithful Tate had left Salisbury by 1650. The only successor to him who has been traced was a T. Rashleigh, minister at the cathedral about 1658-9. (fn. 509)
The cathedral itself seems to have suffered less damage than almost any other cathedral in the country. In 1644 it was plundered by a parliamentary force, and its plate and vestments sent to London to be shown before the House of Commons, but the plate was soon restored. (fn. 510) The destruction of the images on the west front of the cathedral and of what remained of the medieval stained glass has sometimes been attributed to this period, but the images and much of the glass were more probably destroyed in Edward VI's reign, while Wyatt in the 18th century was probably responsible for the removal of most of the remaining glass. (fn. 511) The heaviest fighting in the city was in 1644-5, when the parliamentary leader, Ludlow, entrenched himself in the close and was attacked there by a royalist force. He had to retire on Harnham, leaving his prisoners and a small body to defend the belfry. The royalists then set fire to the door of the belfry and smoked the defenders out. Further damage was done later by Dutch prisoners in the cloisters. In 1653 the Mayor of Salisbury wrote to the government asking for their removal; he said they had already done much damage to the cloister pillars and to the windows of the library. (fn. 512) Evidently the city authorities, having assumed jurisdiction over the cathedral, were now anxious to protect it. The cathedral apparently owed its remarkable preservation throughout the period largely to the generosity and loyalty of local gentry, possibly members of the Hyde family, who secretly employed workmen to keep it in repair. Walter Pope, the friend and biographer of Bishop Seth Ward, tells the story of how, when asked who paid them, the workmen answered, 'They who employ us will pay us; trouble not yourselves to inquire who they are; whosoever they be, they desire not to have their names known.' (fn. 513) The bishop's palace, however, and the canonical houses suffered greater damage and dilapidations than the cathedral.
A few glimpses may be caught of the doings of some of the ejected cathedral clergy during these years. The bishop, Brian Duppa, Prince Charles's tutor, stayed with Charles I during his imprisonment, and afterwards lived in retirement at Richmond (Surr.), where he continued to baptize children according to the rites of the Church, of England. Of the residentiary canons, four died; (fn. 514) and the remaining three, Dean Bailey, Humphrey Henchman, and Matthew Nicholas, all seem to have joined the royal army and had their estates and benefices sequestrated. Later, on the surrender of the royalist garrisons, they were able to enjoy the advantages of compounding for their private estates at the low fine of a tenth without taking the oath to the Covenant, though Matthew Nicholas refused to do this until the king's execution. Henchman was apparently treated generously by the Dorset Committee for Compounding, which in April 1648 forbade any further sequestration of his real estate and allowed him to have its profits since 1646. By 1649 he was again living in the close at Salisbury, though not in his canonical house. In 1651 he helped Prince Charles to escape after the battle of Worcester. (fn. 515) Of the prebendaries, many also joined the royalist armies and were taken prisoner at the surrender of the garrisons at Oxford, Dartmouth, and Arundel. Some of the richer ones then compounded for their private estates, while the wives of the others were usually granted fifths from the incomes of their former benefices. Many wives undoubtedly suffered; others showed that they could look after themselves. After their ejections the prebendaries took different ways. Two, Richard Steward, Dean of St. Paul's and prebendary of Alton Borealis, and John Earle, Chancellor of Salisbury, joined the exiles in Paris. (fn. 516) Some settled down in country retreats or at Salisbury, but continued secretly to correspond with members of the royalist party or to use the Prayer Book. Others wholly or partially conformed and so managed to keep one of their livings. Thomas Fuller, the historian, after years of deprivation, submitted to seeking the approval of Cromwell's Board of Triers and gained admission to a living in Middlesex. Some found opportunities for study and produced notable books, but those without private means had a hard struggle to exist. John Gregory, the historian of the boybishops at Salisbury, whom Wood called 'the miracle of his age for critical and curious learning', died in poverty and obscurity near Oxford. (fn. 517) Nothing is known of the cathedral choristers throughout the period, although their grammar master continued to teach in the close. Several vicars choral and lay vicars received payments from the Trustees for the Maintenance of Ministers in 1658 and 1659, though they had earlier taken part in the fighting against Parliament. (fn. 518)
In 1660 the three surviving members of the residentiary chapter, Dean Bailey, Precentor Henchman, and Matthew Nicholas, now Dean of St. Paul's, set about restoring the broken institutions, worship, and discipline at the cathedral and of re-integrating their property. They held their first formal meeting with the larger chapter on 13 September, but were joined by only four prebendaries: John Earle the chancellor, John Ryves, Archdeacon of Berkshire, Alexander Hyde, and John Chappell. (fn. 519) The most immediate need was to fill the many vacancies. On the first day five new prebendaries were installed and by 22 September eighteen in all. Four new residentiaries were elected, including the chancellor, John Earle, Alexander Hyde, and two of the newly appointed prebendaries. A succentor was installed; vicars choral, lay vicars, and choristers were admitted. (fn. 520) Then, on 4 October, Henchman was elected and installed as bishop by royal nomination, following Bishop Duppa's translation to Winchester; (fn. 521) Thomas Hyde, Bishop Duppa's vicar-general and official, took Henchman's place in the residentiary chapter, and a third member of the Hyde family, Richard, became a prebendary and sub-dean. (fn. 522) Dean Bailey alone remained to preside over his reconstituted chapter until his death in 1667. In 1662 he wrote to the Earl of Clarendon that he had just returned from Salisbury to Oxford, having at Salisbury 'contracted the work of some weeks (in former times) into two days, owing to the sedulity of my brethren'. (fn. 523)
The restoration chapter seems to have been active and conscientious, working at first in harmony with both its bishops and deans. The first three bishops, Henchman, John Earle, and Alexander Hyde, who followed each other in quick succession, were all former members of the residentiary chapter and understood its problems; Henchman especially gave vigorous leadership. The fourth, Seth Ward, who was translated from Exeter in 1667, was one of the outstanding bishops of his time, a distinguished scientist and foundation member of the Royal Society. He took an active interest in the cathedral fabric and services, and contributed generously to paving the cloister and choir and to the new choir stalls. In 1668-9, when there was anxiety about the spire, he persuaded his friend, Sir Christopher Wren, to survey the cathedral and advise the chapter on how to strengthen it. He regularly attended the cathedral services twice daily with his household whenever he was in Salisbury; and so long as Ralph Brideoak, who had succeeded Richard Bailey as dean, remained there, his frequent presence and advice brought no conflict with the dean and chapter. (fn. 524) Episcopal visitations of the cathedral were made in 1661 by Bishop Henchman and in 1671 by Bishop Ward. (fn. 525) They suggest that the recovery, leasing, and repair of its property were among the main problems occupying the chapter's attention. Statutes published by Bishop Henchman after his visitation laid down that all leases of the prebends and other property must be approved by the bishop, dean, and chapter; that all chancels of churches and other buildings belonging to the chapter must be repaired within two years; that all houses in the close must be inspected annually and repaired within fifteen months; that a register of the customs, leases, and extents of all the prebends and common estates must be compiled and kept for reference in the cathedral muniment room. (fn. 526) By 1671 much progress had been made. Most of the property was apparently recovered fairly quickly. Pentecostal chapters had been reinstituted and were attended by large numbers of prebendaries who brought the leases and terriers of their prebends for registration. (fn. 527) In 1671 all the common property was in good repair, save the parsonage house at Bramshaw which had been burnt in the time of troubles. (fn. 528) All the fines from the fabric lands, amounting to £4,200, were spent on repairs of the cathedral fabric, to which the prebendaries also contributed £500 by a tax on their prebendal incomes. The repair and rebuilding of the houses in the close were vigorously undertaken. By 1670 £475 had been spent on the deanery and £775 on three other canonical houses. (fn. 529) Within 50 years or so the appearance of the close was largely transformed by the new style of domestic architecture. Much time and care was spent by the chancellor, Richard Drake, in arranging, cataloguing, indexing, and in many cases laboriously copying out the muniments. (fn. 530) This was partly to meet the need for complete titles of the recovered property; partly because of his genuine interest in the cathedral's history and antiquities. The communar's accounts were kept with exemplary care in book form, with a single annual account in place of the four quarterly rolls. Drake prefaced his account of 1668-9 by Latin verses of his own composition, describing the traditional way in which the accounts were made up and the profits divided. (fn. 531) Much more attention was also paid to the library. A catalogue of the manuscripts was made soon after 1670, and since then there have been few losses. (fn. 532)
Worship and discipline at the cathedral seem to have been of a high standard compared with that of the 1630's. Drake, as the dean's locum tenens, insisted that vicars who wished to be absent from either of the two daily services must always ask leave and offer a reasonable excuse. (fn. 533) Sermons were frequent. A revised list of preaching turns was drawn up and enforced, and, at least while the court lived at Salisbury during the plague of 1665, two sermons a day were preached on Sundays, by the prebendaries in the presbytery in the morning, and by the residentiaries in the nave in the afternoon. In 1670 when Archbishop Sheldon sent his circular letter to cathedrals requiring the canons to celebrate communion on Sundays and holy days in person and not to leave it to their vicars, the dean and chapter replied that they had already begun to do so; the 52 Sundays of the year were divided up among the six residentiaries, the four dignitaries, the sub-dean, and the succentor, who were to officiate in turn. (fn. 534) Much money was spent on the organ, and a brilliant though temperamental organist, Michael Wise, succeeded Giles Tompkins in 1668. (fn. 535) The number of choristers was increased from six to seven. After a brief experiment of boarding them with Wise, the system of salaries was reinstituted, but on a higher scale than before the war. (fn. 536) In 1673 Edward Hardwick, a vicar choral, became head master of the grammar school in the close, and the great days of the school began. (fn. 537) Cope money was reinstituted and the proceeds ordered to be applied to the adornment of the church. (fn. 538) The chapter bought more plate for the altar, and gifts were received. The treasurer's inventory of 1684 shows a great improvement on that of 1671, when complaints were made that the church was but meanly provided with plate. (fn. 539) Walter Pope declared that in the early years of Seth Ward's episcopate the cathedral services were celebrated with 'exemplary piety, admirable decency, and celestial music', and that the church was kept so clean that it would be difficult to find sufficient dust to blot the superscription of a letter. (fn. 540)
After his visitation Bishop Ward attempted to deal with the anomaly by which all four dignitaries were bound by ancient statutes to 'continuous' residence, whilst they Were not all admitted to the residentiary chapter. He declared that in future all four dignitaries must keep residence for three months a year, each being responsible for a quarter of the year, and, if absent, must pay a fine of £5 a month. As Dean Pierce soon pointed out, this brought down the dignitaries' residence to 'none at all' on payment of £15 a year. (fn. 541) It would, however, hardly have been possible to insist on the dignitaries keeping residence while at the same time refusing to grant them a canonical house or a share in the profits of residence; and there seems to have been no thought of increasing the number of residentiaries. In 1670 the chapter told Archbishop Sheldon that the average sum from the common fund (including fines) divided among the dean and six residentiaries was about £450 a year, which would give to each about £64. (fn. 542) The communar's accounts suggest, however, that this was an under-estimate. There was still much competition for the residentiary places, and the system of pre-election forbidden in 1635 was soon in force again, as were the royal letters of recommendation. (fn. 543) In fact, most residentiaries of the late 17th century seem to have been 'recommended' to the chapter in royal letters. When the bishop or others wished to obtain residentiary places for their kinsmen, friends, or chaplains they asked for royal letters to the chapter in their favour. (fn. 544) On one occasion, in 1674, the chapter held an election 'clandestinely' while Dean Brideoak was absent at Windsor with the king, but was speedily rebuked. The king directed that a regular election should be held in the dean's presence, in which he did not doubt that the chapter would comply with his recommendation; but he did not attempt to override the rule which required residentiaries to be chosen from the prebendaries. (fn. 545)
Bishop Ward kept the appointments to prebends as far as possible in his own hands, giving some to the poorly paid incumbents in market towns of the diocese where the influence of the dissenters was strongest, (fn. 546) a policy continued by Bishop Burnet. Otherwise Ward's appointments were most remarkable for the very large number given to his own relatives. (fn. 547) A cause of one of the bitterest, most dramatic, and most astonishing disputes in the cathedral's history was his grant of the rich prebend of Teignton Regis to his nephew, Thomas Ward; Thomas Pierce, who became dean in 1675, badly wanted it for his son, Robert, and maintained that the bishop had promised it to him. (fn. 548) Pierce was probably the most difficult dean with whom any bishop or chapter of Salisbury has been confronted. At first a Calvinist, he had turned Arminian during the Civil War, and proclaimed his views with a convert's zeal. As President of Magdalen College, Oxford, after the Restoration he gained a reputation for being 'high, proud, and mad'; he expelled a fellow, defied the Visitor, and was eventually forced to resign. (fn. 549) At Salisbury in the 1680's Archbishop Sancroft's view was that the dean's haughty and revengeful spirit was at the bottom of all the troubles which threw the cathedral life into confusion and undid much of the careful work of restoration of the previous 20 years. (fn. 550) Pierce wanted both arbitrary power over the cathedral and revenge against the bishop for the slight to his son. He therefore claimed that Salisbury was no ordinary cathedral but a royal free chapel directly subject to the king and exempt from the bishop's jurisdiction and visitation. This chapel had existed in the royal castle at Salisbury before the Norman Conquest. Since the dean had existed before the bishop and was immediately subject to the king, his jurisdiction over his chapter and its property was obviously greater than that of any bishop; it could best be described as a kind of archiepiscopal jurisdiction. The composition of 1392 which allowed episcopal visitation was void because it was popish.
The result of all this extraordinary historical research and invention was set out at first anonymously, then in formal petitions to the king protesting against the bishop's claim to collate to prebends, and asking the king to forbid the bishop's intended visitation of the cathedral in 1683 as an infringement of royal rights, and finally in a virulent printed pamphlet, A Vindication of the King's Sovereign Right. (fn. 551) The petitions were referred to Lord North, Keeper of the Great Seal, and Sir Robert Sawyer, the Attorney General, who pronounced strongly in the bishop's favour, and the king was advised to allow the bishop's visitation to proceed. (fn. 552) The visitation, however, served only to reveal the deep divisions, quarrels, and resentments in the cathedral body, so that Bishop Ward wrote in dismay to Archbishop Sancroft for advice and help. 'Matters are at such a crisis here (by the perversion of some persons) that it. is very hard for the many wise and good men who are here to withstand the atheism, profaneness and debauchery visibly breaking out.' (fn. 553) The dean had won the allegiance of one residentiary canon, Francis Horton, and of two vicars choral, John Hopkins and William Powell, who seem to have been the most disreputable members of their body. In opposition were ranged all the other five residentiary canons, led by the precentor, Daniel Whitby, whom Dean Pierce described as 'our Protestant Embroiler, an eminent misleader of his brethren', and by Seth Ward, the bishop's nephew. (fn. 554) After his visitation the bishop became mentally ill with worry. The dean published further libellous pamphlets against him and stirred up the lay vicars to disregard his wishes. (fn. 555) The Bishop of Bristol, after visiting Salisbury, wrote to tell his archbishop that there was now a scandalous neglect of the services. (fn. 556) Relations between the dean and chapter also became steadily worse. In 1685 the five residentiaries petitioned the archbishop to prevent the dean from acting independently of his chapter, saying that their visitor, the bishop, was detained by sickness and could not protect them. All their complaints were confirmed by Geoffrey Frome, the chapter clerk, and defiantly admitted by the dean. He had kept the chapter seal for nine months while frequently absent from Salisbury, thus making it impossible for leases and other documents to be sealed. He had admitted a lay vicar and dismissed the vicar of the close (that is, the vicar choral with cure of souls in the close) on his own authority, and had ordered his acts as dean alone, without the chapter, to be registered in the chapter act book. He had refused to allow the customary annual election of a custos munimentorum and Masters of the Fabric from among the canons, but had kept both offices and all the fabric money in his own hands. He had presented no accounts of the fabric fund, and he had had a special key for the muniment chest made for himself. (fn. 557) Eventually the king and archbishop decided that the dean must be forced to submit and apologize to the bishop; that the chapter must have its privileges restored, and that a metropolitan visitation of the cathedral should be made by royal command to prevent further disorders. (fn. 558) These things were done, but a further proposal to issue a complete new set of statutes for the cathedral was abandoned. In July 1686 the dean asked the bishop for pardon and humbly begged restoration to his former favour and friendship. In the same month the archbishop's commissaries began their visitation. They made a solemn peace between bishop, dean, and canons, and the dean and chapter formally declared that their church was not a royal chapel but a cathedral, and that the bishop had the right to visit every seven years according to the composition of 1392. (fn. 559)
The state of the cathedral as revealed in the archbishop's detecta of 1686 was, not unnaturally, less satisfactory than at Bishop Ward's first visitation of 1671, though efforts were being made to restore order. The rota of residence was apparently being observed for the most part, though there were some irregularities and two members of the chapter had dispensations from residence at their other benefices. The prebendaries complained that the residentiaries were not exercising their duties of hospitality to them. Prebendary Townson declared that, when he was present in the close eight times in the extreme heat of mid-June, Dr. Whitby and Dr. Lambert would not offer, him a cup of small beer to refresh him. Communion was celebrated once a month instead of once a week as the canons of the Church of England directed. Canon Horton was said seldom to be present at the service, while two other canons had been absent last month, one (Seth Ward) because he had been officiating instead at the bishop's palace. The chapter did not often exact the duty of attending communion from the vicars choral, since nearly all served nearby cures, where they had to administer the sacrament and preach on Sundays. The choir seems on the whole to have been efficient. The six vicars choral and seven lay vicars provided five basses, four tenors, and four counter-tenors. No complaints were made of their skill in music, and they were all said normally to be present at each of the two daily services, though some sometimes came late or went early. Michael Wise received high praise for his skill as an organist, but was erratic in his attendances. The vicars did not all live in their proper houses in the close, but explained that some lay vicars were tradesmen in the city and lived at their shops. (fn. 560)
The settlement of the great dispute was followed in rapid succession by the Revolution (when James II stayed for a few nights at the bishop's palace, and three or four prebendaries were later deprived of their prebends as non-jurors), (fn. 561) and by the deaths of Bishop Ward in 1689 and of Dean Pierce in 1691. With the remarkable Gilbert Burner, a Scot and latitudinarian, as its bishop, and Robert Woodward, a lawyer and good administrator, as its dean, the chapter entered on a new phase of its existence.