Illustrative Documents: Extract from the will of Thomas Watts, Archdeacon of Middlesex, 1570

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

This free content was digitised by double rekeying. All rights reserved.

'Illustrative Documents: Extract from the will of Thomas Watts, Archdeacon of Middlesex, 1570', in Registrum Statutorum et Consuetudinum Ecclesiae Cathedralis Sancti Pauli Londiniensis, (London, 1873) pp. 415-416. British History Online [accessed 13 April 2024]


Archdeacon Watts (fn. 1) gives by his Will (fn. 2) certain property to the Dean and Chapter of S. Paul's Cathedral, in trust, in order that they "shall procure, fynd, and maynteyn from tyme to tyme for ever one Sermon to be made vnto the comon people within the churche of St Paule of London, by the space of one hole howre or somwhat more, every Sonday in the mornynge throughoute the hole yere, between ffive and seaven of the cloke in the fore none from tyme to tyme and yere to yere for ever; and for that purpose shall after my decease from tyme to tyme for ever successively provide two godly well learned and discrete Preachers to preache and make by course the said Sonday sermon at the said tyme and place, suche as for their godlye zeale, knowlege, and vtteraunce, and also by their honest coversacon, shalbe hable and mete well to instructe and edifye the people that will heare them: which two Preachers and eyther of them shall from tyme to tyme be approved and allowed by the Bishop of London for the tyme beinge, before they or eyther of them be admitted to preache the said Sermons, and shall divide the labor of preachinge the said Sermons betwene them equally, by the nombre of the Sondayes in the yere, that is to say—thone of them yerely xxvj Sondays, and thother of them other xxvj Sondays, in suche order and course as they two, by the consent of the said Dean and Chaptre and their successors from tyme to tyme shall agree, onless it be that, by reason of sicknes or other lawfull occasion, thone of them be letted to preache the said Sermon when his course shall be, in which case the other shall supplie his defecte for the tyme, if the partie so letted shall not provide an other preacher, such as shalbe allowed by the said Bishop and Dean and Chaptre to supplie his rowme, which for varietie sake is rather to be wyshed, then that one man shuld of any long contynuance occupie the place alone: and onles also it be that any other person or persons, by order of the said Dean and Chaptre, shalbe appoynted to preache in the said Cathedrall Churche vpon any of the said Sondays at the tyme and howres before appoynted."

The Testator proceeds to direct the Bell to be rung for Prayers and hearing of the said Sermon: the stipend of the two Preachers to be xx marks jointly, that is, that each should receive annually the sum of 6l. 13s. 4d. (fn. 3)


  • 1. Thomas Watts, Prebendary of Totenhale, was collated to the Archdeaconry of Middlesex (void by the resignation of Alexander Nowell, promoted to the Deanery), 31 January, 1560–61.
  • 2. The document from which this extract is taken is preserved amongst the Cathedral Archives, Press N, Box No. 55.
  • 3. A mark is 13s. 4d. (20× 13s 4d. = £13 6s. 8d., the half of which sum is £6 13s. 4d.)