The Chapel Royal: Deans and Sub-Deans

Pages 244-245

Office-Holders in Modern Britain: Volume 11 (Revised), Court Officers, 1660-1837. Originally published by University of London, London, 2006.

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


In this section

Dean 1660–1837

The dean of the chapel royal was appointed by royal warrant. According to The Present State of the British Court `He hath the Government of the King's Chapel, and the choosing of all the officers thereof.' He was also particularly charged with planning services. He received board wages of £200. There is evidence that he was able to augment this sum through the eighteenth century by selling places in the vestry. (fn. 1)

1660 7 June Sheldon, G.
1663 2 Oct. Morley, G.
1668 7 Feb. Croft, H.
1669 5 Apr. Blandford, W.
1675 15 July Compton, Hon. H.
1685 28 Dec. Crew, Hon. N.
1689 20 Sept. Compton, Hon. H.
1713 17 July Robinson, J.
1718 15 Mar. Talbot, W.
1721 17 Nov. Gibson, E.
1748 1 Dec. Sherlock, T.
1761 19 Sept. Hayter, T.
1762 19 Feb. Osbaldeston, R.
1764 8 June Terrick, R.
1777 9 May Lowth, R.
1787 29 Nov. Porteus, B.
1809 8 July Randolph, J.
1813 28 Oct. Howley, W.
1828 29 Aug. Blomfield, C. J.

Sub Dean 1660–1837

The sub dean was appointed by the dean of the chapel royal. He was responsible for the day to day operation of the chapel and, in particular, for overseeing its musical establishment:

To the Sub-dean it belongeth to supply the absence of the Dean, and to be as frequently at the Chapel as he can: to take care that everything therein be conducted with decency and regularity; More especially upon Sundays and Holy Days, when it is the Duty of his Office to go up to the Altar, and to read the Second Service. On certain days the Subdean goes into the Desk, and Reads the whole service, Viz: Upon Christmas Day, Easter Day, WhitSunday, Ash Wednesday, Good Friday; and on all other days appointed, as days of Thanksgiving, and Fasting. The Subdean Swears and admits all persons into their Places and Offices, by Virtue of a warrant from the Dean, To him directed for that purpose.... (fn. 2)

His remuneration consisted of £11 8s 2d in wages and £79 16s 11d in, plus riding wages. Originally provided with a house, he was awarded £30 in lieu thereof in 1794. This rose to £60 in 1819. (fn. 3)

1660 Jones, W.
1672 7 Sept. Colebrand, R.
1674 2 Sept. Holder, W.
1689 1 Nov. Battell, R.
1713 20 Apr. Dolben, J.
1718 20 Mar. Aspinwall, E.
1732 16 Aug. Carleton, G.
1746 23 Dec. Pordage, E.
1751 2 Dec. Allen, F.
1764 28 Apr. Bayly, A.
1792 29 Feb. Pearce, T.
1803 30 Mar. Holmes, W.
1833 1 July Sleath, J.


  • 1. PSBC, p. 48; LC 3/24, f. 6; Chamberlayne (1755) I, 97–98; Baldwin, pp. 225–59.
  • 2. Lovegrove MS. quoted in Baldwin, p. 251; see also ibid., pp. 193, 248–59, passim.
  • 3. CTB XXVII, 505; Baldwin, p. 251.