Statutes (not included by Baldock & Lisieux): Visitation by Archbishop Bancroft, 1598

Pages 272-280

Registrum Statutorum et Consuetudinum Ecclesiae Cathedralis Sancti Pauli Londiniensis. Originally published by Nichols and Sons, London, 1873.

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The Answeres to all such Articles given to be enquired of in ye first Visitation of ye Reverend ffather in God Richard, Lord Busshopp of London, (fn. 1) holden in the Chapter Howse of ye Cathedrall Church of St Paule in London vpon Mundaye ye xxijth daye of Octobor Ao D'ni. 1598.

§ I. Towchinge Divine Service in ye sayd Church and ye hearinge of ye worde of God preached. (fn. 2)

1. To ye first we answere yt accordinge to ye Auntient Custom of ye Church prayers are read at 5 of ye clock in the morninge in ye som[m]er, and 6 in ye wynter, in ye Chappell called Jesus Chappell, by all the Petticannons in their Course, savinge ye Subdeane and the two Cardinalls, who haue byn allwayes freed from that dutye.

2. To ye seconde we answere omnia bene.

3. To ye third we answere yt some of ye Petticannons and Vicars have offended in there goinge oute before the end of service, and do wicklye offend therin, either by comming tardy, or beinge absent, or goinge oute, wch howe many yt so doe, are by him whose course is to keepe ye perdition booke put in, and every Satterday after Eveninge Prayer shewed to one of ye Resedent Masters, and at ye end of every quarter the perditions being cast vp, the Warden of or Colledge doth staye so muche yt every man is to paye, and dothe cast it towardes the maintenance of or Com[m]ons.

4. To ye fourthe we answere yt but fewe of ye Petticannons do come to ye Divinity lecture in tearme tyme, but they which are by course to begin the Confession and ye Psalme, and ye Vicars are seldome there. We doe not knowe whether we are by Statute bounde to be there.

5. To ye fift we answere yt many of ye Petticannons and Vicars haue offended in not stayinge oute ye sermons on Sondaies and holydayes at night, but who they are we cannot well name ym, for some yt goe oute at one tyme, the same tarry an other tyme, and others go. We haue not knowne them all stay oute ye whole sermon at any time.

6. To ye sixt we answere yt the two Cardinalls doe not wickelye examine the Quoristers in their Catachesme, but they doe go often to them and instruct them.

7. Towching suche as do lyve in ye Petticannons, and shoulde come to Paules Service, and there receave the holy Communion accordinge to hir Maties Injunctions, we have no cause to complayne or greatly find fault wth any but wth ffraunces Chambers and his wyfe, who have lyne one or bothe of them by ye space of 2 yeres or theraboutes sometyme in Doctor Tabors lodginge and some tyme in the Subdeanes howse, and neither haue receavid ye Communion in Paules.

8. To ye eight we answere that Mr. Subdeane is parson of St. John Zachary in the dioces of London, and hath byn parson there these 11 or 12 yeres.

Mr. Goldinge hath byn Curate in St. Gregories in the dyoces of London by ye space of 12 or 13 yeres or there abouts, and Curat in Sargentes Inne in fflet streat about 2 yeares. Mr. Fletcher is Curate in Clapton Well, and hath servid there these 1 or — yeres, and also Curat of Sargentes Inne in Chauncery Lane. Mr. Atkinson is Curate at St. Nicholas Olives in Bread Street, and hath servid there aboute a yere, wch is in the dyoces of London.

9. To ye ninth we answere that ye Petticannons do begin the Confession and Psalme every day that ye Divinity lecture is reade in their owne course, or procure some other of their felowes to supply that dutye, if they happen to be sicke or oute of towne. And none haue fayled to doe yt duty at any tyme but Mr. Goldinge.

Towchinge ye goverment and ordringe of their publique Societye and Howses belonginge vnto them.

1. To the first we answere yt, since our tyme or admittance into our Colledge, we haue not knowne or can remember ye assent and confirmation of the Lord Busshopp of London to any Decrees or Statutes made by the Warden of ye Petticannons and the Fellowes of the Colledge.

2. To ye second we answere yt every Petticannon at ye tyme of his admission doth take so muche of ye oth of Busshop Brabrookes foundation wch is set downe for yt purpose, and is written in our Statute booke in Inglishe, wch is in the custody of ye Warden, (fn. 3) and we thinke your lordship hath seene it.

3. To ye third we answere yt every Petticannon at his entraunce and admission doth take his oath yt he will and intend in all things and by all meanes to be ruled by owre masters ye Deane and Chapter of our Church and them obey.

4. To ye fourth we answere yt there is never a Petticannon that lodgeth in his howse or lodginge but Mr. Subdeane, Mr. Williams, Mr. Langley, and Mr. Atkinson, but are all let vnto straingers, as here followeth. In Mr. Subdeanes howse, in one parte of it dwelleth one John Hardye and his wyfe, stationer, and in an other parte of [it] one frances Archer, a book bynder. In Mr. Goldinges howse divers inhabitants, namely, Mr. Coop a hosyer, Mr. Ponseby stationer, Mr. Cooke, stationer, Widow Barley, and Thomas Gillman, mercer. In Mr. Maicocks howse, Mres. Walley, wydow, Mr. Wight, stationer, Mr. Blunt, Mr. Adams, stationer, and Mr. Hankinson; there is no rome reserved for ye Incombent. In Mr. Williams his howse, besydes himselfe, Widow Coole. In Mr. Barkstedes howse, Mr. Slegge. In Mr. Phetibons howse, Mr. Goldinge, Mr. Theaker, Mr. Smith, Mr. Owen, and Mr. Hyde. (fn. 4) In Mr. Fletchers howse, Mr. Phetibone, Mr. Walker, and Mr. Lownes. In Mr. Langles howse, himselfe, Doctor Tabor, Mr. Vnderwood, and Mr. Chambers and his wyffe. In Mr. Atkinsons howse, himselfe, Mr. Bird, and Mr. Vle, Batchelers. In Mr. Langtons howse, Mistres Orrell, widow. In Mr. Walkers howse, Mr. Poe. In Mr. Roydens howse, Mr. Warde. These 3 last are oute of ye precinct of ye Petticannons.

5. To the fift we answere yt we knowe no parte of ye stone wall wch parteth ye precinct of ye Petticannons and the Lyberties of the Cyttye but one dore waye oute of Mr. Hankyns howse into his shoppe in Pater Noster Rowe.

6. To ye sixt we knowe none yt haue offended therin.

7. To ye seventh we answere omnia bene.

8. To the eight we answere that ye Petticannons doe keepe commons together in their haule, dynners but not suppers, for their alowaunce will not mayntayne both.

9. To ye ninth we answere yt ye Bellringers doe not open and shutt the dores of Jesus Chappell where morninge prayer is read, but it is done by the butler of ye Petticannons.

10. To ye tenth we answere omnia bene.

11. To ye eleventh we answere yt we knowe of no brasses of ye grave stons of ye Reverend fathers the Bisshops or any other monuments pulled vp or stollen of late, or since the last Visitation.

12. We thinke (fn. 5) it a verye necessarye thinge that every Quorister should bringe wth him to Church a Testament in Inglish, and torne to every chapter as it is dayly read; or some other good and godlye prayer booke, rather then spend their time in talke and huntinge after spurre money, (fn. 6) whereon they set their whole mindes, and do often abuse dyvers if they will not bestow some what on them.

§ II. One John Ramsey presents the following replies.

Defaultes in the quire.

1. Item, we be for the moste parte of vs very slacke in cominge in to the queere after the Bell is towlde, and when we be there dyvers thinke the service very longe till they be owte of yt agayne.

2. Item, at the confessyon tyme we ought to kneelle on our knees towards the easte wth our faces, which we for the moste parte do not, neyther at the Gloria Patri do not stande vp turninge our faces towardes the easte, as in her maties Chapell and other Cathedrall Churches they do with reverence.

3. Item, at the singinge of the psalmodie divers sitt talkinge that they maye be herde somtyme from one syd of the queere to the other, never almoste singinge any part of the psalms.

4. Item, at the tyme of devine service the children of the queere eyther they vse themselves very vnreverentlye in there seates talkinge and playinge, or els they be ronninge abowte the quiere to gentlemen and other poore men, for spurre moneye, not lightlie leavinge them tell thaye have monye, or dryve them owt of the quier, wch manye fynde faulte at ym.

5. Item, ther is suche noyse of children and others in the side chaples and churche at the devine service and sermondes that a man may scarce be hearde for the noyse of them, and suche hallowinge and hootinge above in the steple that yt is intollorable to heare yt dyvers tymes.

6. Item, in the vpper quier, wher the communion table dothe stande, ther is suche vnreverente people walking with their hattes on there heades, comonlye, all the service tyme, no man aprovinge them for yt.

7. Item, the Orgayns are so misvsed in the Blowing, and other ways wt jogging the bellowes, that the Bellowes be broken, and the winde is not sufficiente to geve sownde to the instermente.

In the Churche.

8. Item, many gentlemen and others, (as I have com to service) I have hearde them findinge great faulte that the Chappell standinge at the further ende of the Sowthe Ielle should be made a warehouse to sett glasse in, or that they shoulde bringe yt in to the Churche thither, especiallye at the time of service. Also the carre wheels, beinge sette agaynste the steppes of the Sowthe doore, dothe raise and breake the stayres, as ys to be seene at this presente, so that manye men and women have had shrewde fawles dyvers tymes, speciallye in frostie weather, where the steppes be slipperye and the stones lyenge aslope.

9. Item, when the Churche is pared and made cleane ther lyes the heapes of the parynges and duste in dyvers places of the Churche iij or iiij weakes together, wch is very noysom by the reason of the longe lyenge there and smell.

10. Item, yt is a greate disorder in the Churche, that Porters, Butchers, Waterberers, and who not? be suffred, in speciall in tyme of service, to carrye and recarrye whatsoever, no man wthstandinge them or gaynsayenge them, wch is a greate scandalle to honeste mynded men; and boyes (savinge your Reverence) pissinge vpon stones in the Churche by St. Faithes doore to slide vpon as vpon ysse, and so by that meanes may hurte themselves quicklye by that meanes.

§ III.Thomas Harroulde: his presentment.

1. There is a disorder amonge the quyer men, in yt they vse not to lighte theyr candels at servyce tyme in the darke evenings, for whereas they have every one a candle they syldome lighte above 3 or 4 on a syde, when there shoulde be 9, to ye greate disgrace of the Church and theyr owne hinderaunce in theyr service.

2. The Choristers allso doe ye like, and vse moreover wt great impudencye to importune men to geive them mony for theyr spurs, and wt oute regarde eyther of person or tyme or place doe trouble them even in theyr prayers.

3. There be places in the Churche yt be hyred out for warehouses, a greate faulte.

4. The Organe lofte is greatly abused by ye bell ringers letting vp of many people for monye, to ye decaye of ye instrument, ye pipes beinge manye of them vnder feete, and ye hazardinge of ye people vnderneath.

5. The Petty Cannons have begonne of late to vse somtymes to leave oute ye Prayer For y whole state of Christes Churche Militant here on earth, whiche hath allwayes bene vsed to be sayd at ye Communion table after ye Creede is svnge.

6. The quier men are very longe before they come into ye quyer to beginne prayers after that the bell is ceased, which causeth ye service to continue beyonde his howre, or maketh them vnreverently to knitt yt vp. Many of them doe vse greate vndecencye in prayer tyme, as leaninge vpon theyr elbowes, sleepinge, talkinge, and such lyke to ye scandale of the Church.

7. The Choristers doe greatly offend in thease faultes, and in vnmannerlynes towards ye quyer men.

8. The nurcinge faulte of all thease disorders is because after our complaynt there followeth no amendinge, as though your Visitation were helde rather for forme sake than to reforme; for thease disorders have bene most of them complayned on at every Visitation, and yet continue in theyr oulde irregularitye.

§ IV. Rychard Smythe, Verger: his presentment.

1. Imprimis, that there are fyve Chaples and nyne severed places above in the Chauncell, and in the lower Churche fyve Chaples and ij severed places.

2. Item, the names of the Chaples in the Chauncell are, the Ladye Chaple, St. George Chaple, St. Dunstons Chaple, the Duke of Lancasters Chaple, the Deanes Chaple; the severed places are, the Vestrye, the Chamber Offyce; the names of the rest I never hard. In the Lower Churche, St. Johns Chaple, Morninge Prayer Chaple, Long Chaple, St. Katherine Chaple, B. Kempes Chaple, one place vnder Clock house, and a Chamber in the clocke house whiche the bell ringers have lodged in tymes past, as I haue hard.

3. Item, that the Chaples belowe the steapes are muche vnglased, St. Johns Chaple, long Chaple, St. Katherin Chaple, but who should repayer them I knowe nott; for, as I haue hard, those chauntryes that weare foundid for the reperations are taken away, and the lands dispersed in dyvers mens handes.

6. Item, the Deane dothe lay his surples and hod in his Chaple somtymes, and alwayes puts one and of (fn. 7) the same there; and in the Duke of Lancasters Chaple dothe the other Resydenciaryes put of and one there there surples and hods: the ladye Chapel is not imployed, but in the parlement tyme for the Deanes and Archedecons to sytt in for that tyme; and St. Dunstons, the lord Mayor and Aldermen doth every Sondaye morninge sytt there before thei goe vnto the sarmon; and St. George Chaple, John Jackson (the Deane and Chapters officer) dothe laye old stones and a lader in; in Long Chaple, there is lyenge old firr pooles and other old lumber, whiche was layd there after the mendinge of the Churche when it was burned, (fn. 8) as I haue hard. St. Katherin, Mr. Mansfield dothe teache children in; and morninge prayer is said every morning by one of the petie canons in the same Chaple, whiche is called morninge prayer Chaple; and St. Johns Chaple is now imployed to no vse. Ye severed places be imployed, the vestrye to lay quyshions and copes (fn. 9) and suche things as belonge for the sarvyce of ye churche; and the chamber offyce by the Chamberlin, and one rome Mr. Goldinge somtyme dothe put on his surples in, and the Vycars hathe ij Romes for the same vse, and the Vergers and Bell Ryngers dothe imploye the reste to laye there gownes and suche things as they vse for the service of the Churche; and B. Kempes Chaple som of ye canons doth laye there surples and boks in.

7. Item, there is, vnder the Chauncell, Jesus Chaple; not anye Chaple vnder the Churche that I knowe or haue hard, and saynt Faythes paryshe hathe the vse of the same Chaple.

8. Item, the vaults vnder the Churche are letten vnto Mr. fynche the Carpenter, and those vpon the Northe syde the petie Canons haue the vse of: and Mr. Gyles hathe one of them one the southe syde, and vnder the Chauncell and queere Mr. Cawod, (fn. 10) and Petleye the Carpenter hathe the vse of; those vnder the Churche weare lett by the B: those vnder Chauncell and queere by the Deane and Chapter lycense, and further I can say nothinge.

11. Item, the vper cloysters in the Chapter house are not imployed to any vse at this present.

12. Item, the lower cloysters and the place called the Shrowdes are in the custodie of Mr. Gyles, and by the lyeence of the Deane and Chapter, as I haue hard.

[He proceeds to report the building of certain houses and shops adjoining the Cathedral, "one house at the southe steps dothe stop the light of ye wyndows of St. Jhons Chaple."]

21. Item, there are tenn Choristers, accordinge to the first foundacion, as I haue hard.

§ V. Rowland Fleminge, Virger, his presentment.

5. Item, that the sheddes before the Crosse doe much anoye the Church, in so much that one of them doth smell verye much, and at one tyme a Chymney was a fyre in the sermon tyme; that shedd is hard by St. Faithes Church door.

6. Item, that the parictour (fn. 11) doth not get a sufficient man that hath discretion to give and singe the Psalmes at the Sermons at Powles Crosse.

§ VI. John Howe, Virger, his presentment.

1. Imprimis, I present the lower Church to be a comon passage and thorowfaire for all kinde of Burden bearing people, as Colliers with sacks of Coles, Porters with Baskettes of fleshe, and such like. And also to be a daily receptable for Roges and beggers howsoeuer diseased, to the greate offence of religious mynded people.

2. And nowe to come to yr Lordships question whether the charge of this disorder is to be executed by the Vergers or Bell ringers. Your Lordship shall vnderstand that for the space of theis ffiftie yeeres last past, of my owne certein knowledge, the Bellringers haue euer from tyme to tyme clensed and kept the said lower Church and haue geven daily attendance for the avoiding of all the aforenamed abuses, being alwaies under the check of the Vergers. And so it contynued vntill the xiiijth yere of Bishop Aelmers (fn. 12) Consecration, at wch tyme the said Bishop gaue the keping of the steple to one of his servauntes, and so deprived the Bellringers thereof, who euer till that tyme enjoyed the keping of the said steple for their better mayntenance. By meanes of wch losse the Bellringers became careles in their places, not geving such attendance as before tyme was vsed, and so the said Church in very short tyme was daily pestered with all kinde of abuses, as at this present. Wherevppon complaint being made vnto Bishop Aelmer, he willed the ffarmer of the steple to see those disorders redressed; his answere was, that he paide so deare a rate for the steple that he could nott. Then were the Bellringers comaunded to do it. Their answere was, that by reason they had lost the keping of the steple (wch was the cheifest parte of their mayntenaunce) they cold not geve that daily attendance in the said Church, for the quiet and sweete keping thereof. Wherevppon my Lord Aelmer called me vnto him, and asked my advise how theise disorders might speedily be redressed: and then, by my advise, a Beadle (fn. 13) was hired (whom the Rogues and Beggars more feared then all ye Bellringers) to attende daily in the said Church, by means of whose dilligent attendance the Church was kepte in very good order. But the Beadle being dead, no body hath bine hired to succeede him.

3. Notwithstanding all this former speech, I finde that in the yeres 1197 and 1287 certain Institucions or Statutes were made by Richard Gravesend, bishop of London, Raph Baldock and Raphe Dycett, Deanes, with the rest of the Chapter. (fn. 14) In wch Institucions it appeareth that the charge of clenyng, shutting and openyng the Church is onely in the charge of the Vergers, and that the Bellringers are but their servaunts. As in the said Injunction more particularly appeareth: the resolucion whereof I refer to yr Lordships good discretion.

4. Item, I present that the Shrowdes and Cloyster vnder the Convocation howse (where not long since the Sermons in foule weather were wont to be preached,) are made a common Laystall for bourdes, Trunckes, and Chestes, being let out vnto Trunckmakers, where by meanes of their daily knocking and noyse the Church is greatly disturbed.

5. Item, I present the Tenantes and Inhabitantes of the north and south churchyardes dwelling within the boundes and limyttes of the Church of St. Paule, for suffering and maynteyning Serjeants and other officers of the Citie of London to attache and arrest within the boundes and Liberties of the said Church, by meanes whereof both your Lordship and the Deane and Chapiter are greatly injured, and your Liberties daungerously broken and infringed.

6. Item, I present the Petty Cannons, Vickers, and other officers of the Church for that they vse not euery yere in the Rogation weeke to make their perambulation to the vttermost boundes and Liberties of the said Church according to her maties Injunction.

7. Item, I present the maisters of Powles Schoole and other Schoole maisters nere adjoyning to the Church, for suffring their Children to play in the Churchyard, whereby the windowes are broken, and well disposed people in the Church disquieted at the tyme of divine service.

[This presentment comprises also eight other sections in which John Howe presents "the officers of the Dutchy for making a dore in the north Ile; and for suffring a woman to be dore keper in the said Ile, where she standeth at a stayle to take euerie man's money in the tyme of divine Service and Sermons, a sight very vnseemely in such a place;" certain Tenants for building within the Buttresses of the walles "whereby the foundation is greatly indaungered by making of cellers;" the two Bell ringers, for suffering their wives "being young proper women" to take the money of those who went up into the steeple; and the Minor Canons for their litigious conduct. He concludes by suggesting that "a discreete person may be appoynted to survey the monuments of the said Church and Quier, that the coppers (fn. 15) on the graves, wch are by contynuall walking made smooth and loose, may be repaired and fastned againe, to avoyde the stealing of them awaye, whereby the memories of many worthy men and good Benefactors to the Church may be still revived and kept freshe in memory."]


  • 1. Richard Bancroft, consecrated 8 May 1597, translated to Canterbury 10 December 1604.
  • 2. A presentment made by William Maicock and Thomas Langley, two of the Minor Canons. The Records of this Visitation, so far as the Presentments are concerned, are preserved in the Archives Room of the Cathedral, (Press. No. Box 53.) It would not be difficult to re-construct, from the materials here supplied, the paper of questions submitted by the Bishop at this Visitation.
  • 3. See the Statutes of the Minor Canons printed infra, Book III. Article VI. Cap. 4.
  • 4. The houses of the Minor Canons must have been of good size to have rendered it possible to accommodate so many lodgers.
  • 5. The ipsissima verba of this section are found in a curious tract called The Children of the Chapel Stript and Whipt, published in 1598, the very year of this Visitation. It is cited by Dr. Rimbault in Notes and Queries, First Series, i. 494.
  • 6. Spur Money. A great deal of curious information on the subject may be found in that repertory of universal information, Notes and Queries, at the places cited below. Spur money was a fee claimed by the chorister boys of a Cathedral from any person entering the church wearing his spurs. The person from whom it was claimed had, however, the right of calling for the youngest chorister and requesting him to sing his gamut; which if he failed to do, the spur-wearer escaped his fine. The custom remained at Peterborough in 1847, at the Chapel Royal in 1830, at Bristol in 1811. It is said that spur money was demanded of the Duke of Wellington at the Chapel Royal, but that he escaped payment in consequence of the youngest chorister failing in his appointed exercise. Lord Colchester. Diary, I. 45, says that none but county members were entitled to wear spurs in the House of Commons: the knight of the shire should be of knightly rank. In the Privy Purse Expenses of Henry VII. occurs the entry:—"1495, Oct. 1. To the children, for the King's spoures, 4s." The custom also existed in France. See Menagiana, I. 238, edit. 1715, quoted in Notes and Queries, Second Series, xii. 276–7. See Notes and Queries, First Series, i. 373, 374, 462, 494. Ibid. Second Series, Spurs in the House of Commons, xi. 508; xii. 37, 97, 140, 176. Ibid. Second Series, Spurs in Cathedrals, xii. 229, 259, 276. Ibid. Third Series, Spur Money in Belfries, vii. 324, 366, 446, 488; viii. 17, 406.
  • 7. one and of: so in MS., for on and off.
  • 8. That is in the fire which destroyed the spire and roof on 4 June, 1561.
  • 9. The use of the cope will be specially observed.
  • 10. John Cawood was a well-known printer, who resided in S. Paul's Churchyard, at the sign of the Holy Ghost. In Queen Elizabeth's patent he is named as partner with Richard Jugge. He died April 1, 1572, aged 58, and was buried in S. Faith's under S. Paul's. Johnson's Topographia, i. 561. Of this John Cawood, the Mr. Cawod of the text was probably a descendant. "As for books, the booksellers, who dwelled for the most part round about the Cathedral Church of S. Paul, had sheltered their books in a subterraneal church under the Cathedral, called S. Faith's . . . I have heard judicious men of that trade affirm that the only loss of books in that place, and Stationers' Hall, publick libraries, and private houses, could amount to no less than 150,000 pounds." Dugdale, S. Paul's, 126, note, quoting Observations both Historical and Moral upon the Burning of London, September, 1666.
  • 11. The parictour; that is, I suppose, the Apparitor.
  • 12. John Aylmer, consecrated 24 March, 1576–7, died June 1594, buried in S. Paul's.
  • 13. The office of Beadle is here spoken of for the first, and indeed only, time in this volume.
  • 14. See supra, pp. 72, 109, 124, 125, etc.
  • 15. That is, the monumental brasses, which were very numerous and of great interest. Some of these were engraved by Hollar as illustrations to Dugdale's S. Paul's.