Canterbury cathedral: The deans (from the Reformation to 1672)

Pages 1-26

The History and Topographical Survey of the County of Kent: Volume 12. Originally published by W Bristow, Canterbury, 1801.

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Dean Wotton's Monument.

Canterbury Cathedral

NICHOLAS WOTTON, LL. D. was, by the king's charter of foundation, constituted the first dean of this church. He was a person of so distinguished a character, that he ought not to be passed over with the bare naming of him. But the truth is, his eminency of character shone far brighter in the several high em ployments and offices of state with which he was entrusted, and which he executed with singular prudence, than in his station in the church. He was descended of a good family, which had been for some time seated in this county, of which the reader will find some account in the fifth volume of the History of Kent; being the fourth son of Sir Robert Wotton, of Boughton Malherb, by Anne Belknap his wife. He was educated at Oxford, where he studied the canon and civil law; his skill in which recommended him to Tunstall, bishop of London, to whom he became official, in 1528, being at that time LL.D. (fn. 2)

His first preferment in the church was the rectory of Ivechurch, to which he was collated in 1530; (fn. 3) after which it appears that he acted as a civilian; for in 1536, he appeared as proctor in court for queen Anne Boleyn, when sentence was pronounced upon her. In 1538, archbishop Cranmer appointed him commissary of the faculties, and he became chaplain to the king, who the next year preferred him to the archdeaconry of Gloucester. (fn. 4) His next promotion was to the deanry of Canterbury, being nominated to it, by the foundation charter, in 1541, in addition to which he obtained, in 1544, the deanry of York; (fn. 5) and in the year following, was presented to the prebend of Osbaldwick, in that church. (fn. 6) In 1553, he resigned the archdea conry of Gloucester; and in 1557, was presented to the treasurership of the church of Exeter, which, however, he relinquished in the succeeding year. (fn. 7) And he is said to have declined more exalted situations, even the sees of York and Canterbury. (fn. 8)

But the dean must be considered more in the character of a stateman, than as an ecclesiastic, from his continued employment on foreign embassies and negociations, during the times of which he had a royal dispensation for non residence, and to receive the profits of all his preferments. In which instrument (fn. 9) he is styled the king's chaplain and counsellor. He was twice ambassador to the emperor Charles V. once to Philip, king of Spain; once to Francis I. king of France; thrice to Henry II. his son; once to Mary, queen of Hungary, and governess of the Netherlands; and twice to William, duke of Cleves.

At the time of king Henry's death, being then ambassador in France, he was made one of the executors and supervisors of his will, who besides, as a mark of his esteem, gave him a legacy of 300l. (fn. 10) In the reign of king Edward VI. he was continued of the council, and for a short time held the office of principal secretary of state, to which he was appointed in 1549; (fn. 11) and afterwards was again employed abroad, in negociations of state; and at that king's death likewise, was one of his ambassadors in France, in which office and as one of her council, he was continued by queen Mary, after her accession to the crown; (fn. 12) and was afterwards intrusted by her during the whole of her reign. (fn. 13)

Sensible of the dean's political abilities, queen Elizabeth, on her succession to the throne, scrupled not to retain him in her service; he was accordingly appointed a privy counsellor, and continued a commissioner in the negociation, begun in the late queen's reign, for the treaty of a peace between England, Spain, and France, (fn. 14) which he appears to have accomplished; and though it lasted but a short time, yet when it was again renewed, he was one of those who was appointed to adjust the terms of it. After this, we find him employed in behalf of the English merchants, who had been ill treated, particularly in the Netherlands; (fn. 15) and this probably was the last public employment of the dean, which, indeed, he did not long survive He died at London, on January 26, 1567, aged near 70; having continued dean of this church almost twenty-six years.

Hollingshed and Camden have both left testimonies of his good conduct and prudence as a statesman, and of his worth and learning; but his temporizing and compliance with the different changes of religion at those times, cannot but diminish from that esteem his character would otherwise have entitled him to; for he found means to continue in favour, and a privy counsellor, for the space of twenty-six years, during four precarious and troublesome reigns; in which time, religion underwent as remarkable changes, as have been known in the Christian church; yet upon none of them was he dismissed the council board, or from his state employments, or forced to quit his church preferments. To serve his prince, seems to have been the sole maxim by which he acted; and to enhance that religion which his prince favoured, let him change it ever so often, seems to have been his creed likewife.

His person was small and slender, but very upright; his constitution was healthy, his countenance open; he was so sparing of food that he eat but once a day; his mind was much addicted to books and learning, and he was thoroughly master of the Latin, Italian, French and Dutch languages. The dean died unmarried, and his body being brought to Canterbury, was buried in the Trinity chapel, in the eastern part of this cathedral, (fn. 16) where there is an elegant tomb, erected to his memory by his nephew and heir, Thomas Wotton, esq. having his effigies in white marble kneeling on his tomb, with his hands joined and uplisted before a desk, on which is an open book. The whole is much admired for its excellent sculpture, the head especially, which is said to have been executed by an eminent artist in Italy, during the dean's residence there. Over it is the following inscription:—

Nicolaus Wottonus, Robert Wottont Equitis Aurati ex ANNA BELKNAPPA Filius, utriusque juris Doctor, Ecclesiæ hujus primus, itemq; Metropolitanæ Ecclesiæ D. Petri Eborancensis Decanus; HenRICO VIII. EDOVARDO VI. MARIÆ & ELIZABETHÆ, ANGLIÆ Regibus, a secretis Consiliis. Ad CAROLUM V. Cæsarem bis, et ad PHILIPPUM HISPANIARUM Regem semel, ad FRANCISCUM Primum FRANCORUM Regem semel, ad HENRICUM II. ejus Fillium ter, ad MARIAM HUNGARIÆ Reginam BELGARUM Præsidem semel, ad Gulielmum Cl. vensium Ducem bis, legatione sunctus. Renovatæ pacis inter ANGLOS, Francos, et SCOTOS, inter GUINAS et ARDE RAM, anno 1546; similiter et ad Castrum CAMERA. CENSE, anno 1559; denique EDINBURGI SCOTIÆ, anno 1560, Oratorum unus. Hic tandem sere septuagenarius requiescit.

Hæc ille ante mortem et ante morbum, quasi fatalem diem præsentiens, et cigneam cantionem propheticé canens, sua manu in Musæo scripta reliquit.

Qui apud tales Principes, Divina Providentia gubernante, laudabiliter, et in tot, et in tantis causis (quarum magnitudo gravissima utilitas publica suit) feliciter bonam vitæ suæ partem consumsit; eum Virum sapientem et experientissimum ipsa invidia judicare debet. Quam semper ab omni contentione Honorum fuerit alienus, illud declarat, quod ad hanc Ecclesiasticam Dignitatem non ambitione ulla sua inflammatus, nec amicorum opera usus aspiravit, sed eam utramque Henricus VIII. (hominis merito et virtute provocatus) ultro detulit. Cumque idem Rex illustrissimus morbum lethalem ingravescere persentisceret, et Edovardi Principis sane excellentissimi, adhuc tamen pueri et Reipublicæ administrandæ imparis imbecillam a tamen senili prudentia secretioris sui consilii regendam esse existimaret, illis ex sedecim, quos supremæ voluntatis suæ Testes et Vindices Testamento instituit, hunc Nicolaum (absentem tunc in Francia Legatum) unum esse voluit. Edovardo Regi jam medio Regni curriculo prope consecto, unus é primariis Secretariis suit; quem locum diutius tenere potuisset, nisi et suis et assiduis amicorum precibus abdicandi veniam impetrasset.

Corpus illi erat gracile quidem et parvum, sed rectum; habitudo sana, vultus liberalis, victus exquisitus, quem semel tantum in die carpere consueverat. Valetudo adeo firma, ut raro morbum aliquem senserit. Animus vero totus, libris ac literis dicatus, Artium, Medicinæ, Jurisprudentiæ, et Theologiæ studiis intentus; Linguarum Romanæ, Italicæ, Gallicæ, et Germanicæ inserioris cognitione pulchré exornatus. Ita: vir iste genere clarus, legationibus clarior, domi ac foris clarissimus, honore florens, labore fractus, ætate confectus, postquam Decanus huic Ecclesiæ annos 25 dies 293 præsuisset, Londini, Januarii 26, Anno nostræ Salutis 1566, pié et suaviter in Domino obdormivit, Thoma Wottono, Nepote, Hærede relicto; qui ei hoc Monumentum, non Honoris ergo, quo abundavit vivus et florescet mortuus; sed Amoris causa quem Memoria colet, ut debet, sempiterna consecravit.

2. THOMAS GODWIN, S. T. P. prebendary of Lincoln, and dean of Christ-church, in Oxford, was, in 1567, on the death of dean Wotton, promoted to this deanry. He was born at Okingham, in Berkshire, and received his first rudiments of learning at the grammar school in that town, from whence going to Oxford, he entered at Magdalen college, of which, in 1545, he became fellow, and two years afterwards took the degree of M.A. (fn. 17)

His situation in college being rendered uneasy by his known attachment to the reformation, he accepted the free-school of Brackley, in Northamptonshire, in the gift of his college, and resigned his fellowship in 1549, and soon after married Isabella, the daughter of Nicholas Puresoy, esq. of Shalston, in the county of Bucks. (fn. 18)

His intention was, no doubt, to take orders, but the accession of queen Mary frustrated his intention, for he was suspended from his office, and so severely threatened, that he was obliged to remove his habitation, to seek refuge in obscurity; during which time he practised physic for the maintenance of himself and family, and in 1555, proceeded to the degree of bachelor in that faculty. On the queen's death, however, he resumed his former design of entering into the church, and accordingly he was ordained at the beginning of queen Elizabeth's reign, to whose notice he was introduced as an excellent preacher, and for the space of eighteen years he was always appointed to preach before her in Lent. In June 1565, he was promoted to the deanry of Christ church, and in the December following, to the prebend of Milton Ecclesia, in the church of Lincoln, (fn. 19) and on the 17th of that month, he took the degrees of bachelor, and doctor of divinity; and on the death of dean Wotton, he was instituted, on March 10, 1567, to this deanry of Canterbury. In 1569, the buildings of the deanry having been much damaged by an accidental fire, the dean repaired them, as plainly appeared by his name, and the date 1570, recorded on stone, at the upper part of the front of the house, shewing both when and by whom it was done. (fn. 20) He relinquished this deanry in 1584, on being promoted to the see of Bath and Wells, being consecrated on September 13, that year, being then of about the age of seventy, having presided over this church eighteen years. (fn. 21)

3. RICHARD ROGERS, S. T.P. and suffragan bishop of Dover, was next appointed dean of this church, being installed on September 16, 1584.

He was a native of Sutton Valence, in this county, a descendant of an antient family there; he was educated at Christ college in Cambridge, where he took the degree of B.D. in 1562, and became afterwards doctor in the same faculty. About the latter end of the year 1559, being then only in deacon's orders, he was preferred to the archdeaconry of St. Asaph, which he resigned in 1566, (fn. 22) at which time it is probable, that he was presented by the bishop of that diocese to the sinecure rectory of Llanarmon, in Denbighshire, of which he was possessed when he was installed dean of Canterbury, as he was of the rectory of Great Chart, in this county, to which he had been collated in 1567, by archbishop Parker, (fn. 23) as he had been the next year, 1568, to a more conspicous station, being consecrated by the same prelate, suffragan bishop of Dover. (fn. 24)

Archbishop Parker, who died in 1575, had such friendship and respect to him, that as the last testimony of it, he appointed him one of the overseers of his will, and left to him by it, the best advowson he should chuse in his gift, excepting the advowson of a prebend in the church of Canterbury. In 1594, he was collated by archbishop Whitgift to the rectory of Midley, in this county, and to the mastership of Eastbridge hospital, in Canterbury; (fn. 25) of these last preferments his possession was but short, for he died on May 19, 1597, æt. 64, (fn. 26) having been dean of this church for the space of thirteen years. He was buried in the chapel of the Virgin Mary, now called the dean's chapel, in this cathedral, where, on a table monument of black marble, is the following unfinished inscription in capitals:


4. THOMAS NEVIL, S. T. P. dean of Peterborough, succeeded next to this deanry in 1597.

He was descended from the antient and honourable family of Nevil, being the son of Richard Nevil, esq. of Nottinghamshire, by Anne his wife, daughter of Sir Walter Mantel, of Heyford, in Northamptonshire.—He was born at Canterbury, to which ciiy his father, who had spent his younger days at court, had in his decline of life retired.

He was educated in the university of Cambridge, at Pembroke-hall, of which he was elected fellow in 1570, (fn. 27) and in 1582, was presented to the mastership of Magdalen college, (fn. 28) at which time he was rector of Dodington, in the Isle of Ely, to which he had been presented the year before. In 1587, in the month of November, the queen, to whom he was chaplain, conferred on him a prebend in the church of Ely; and the same year he was presented to the rectory of Charton, in Hampshire, and in 1590 was promoted to the deanry of Peterborough, (fn. 29) to which the queen added, in February 1593, the mastership of Trinity college in Cambridge, (fn. 30) upon which he quitted that of Magdalen college. In March 1594, the dean was presented to the rectory of Teversham, near Cambridge, on which he resigned that of Dodington. (fn. 31)

On the death of dean Rogers, the queen promoted Dr. Nevil to the deanry of Canterbury, in his room, in which he was installed on June 28, 1597; on the death of the queen he was sent by archbishop Whitgift into Scotland, with an address to king James, in the name of all the clergy, with assurances of their loyalty and affection, and was most graciously received; the king declaring, that he would maintain the government of the church, as Elizabeth had left it. (fn. 32)

Soon after the accession of king James, archbishop Whitgift died, who shewed his confidence in the dean, by appointing him one of the overseers of his will. In March 1615, the king visiting the university of Cambridge, paid a royal visit to the dean in his college there, who was too infirm to come to him, to thank him for the liberal entertainment, and the reception which he, with the prince and nobles in his train, had met with in the university; the king telling him at the time, that he was proud of such a subject. The dean did not long survive this royal visit, for having been for some time much enfeebled by the palsy, he died at Cambridge, an aged man, says Fuller, on May 2, 1615; having filled this deanry about eighteen years.

Few men ever possessed a more liberal heart than dean Nevil. By his munificence to Trinity college, he secured to himself the gratitude and admiration of posterity. He expended more than 3000l. in rebuilding that fine quadrangle, which, to this day, retains the name of Nevil's court. He was also a contributor to the library of that college, and was a benefactor to Eastbridge hospital, in his native city. He died unmarried, and was buried on May 7, in the small chapel on the south side of the nave of this cathedral, which he had fitted up for a burial place for himself and his relations; and in which he had in his life time erected a monument on the east side, for himself and his brother Alexander; but the dates of their deaths and their ages, which were left on them blanks, were never af terwards inserted; the remains of this monument have been removed, and placed under the window of the dean's chapel. (fn. 33) On that part for the dean, was his figure kneeling, in his habit, at a reading desk and this inscription:


Ortu illustri, pietate insigni, ingenio optimo, eruditione haud vulgari, moribus suavissimis, et spectatissimo Theologo dignissimis: In flore primæ indolis (Cantabrigiæ in Aula Pembrochiana ad annos fere quindecem) omnibus iis ornamentis, quibus adolescentior ætas illustrari solet, egregie perpolito: Magdalensis Collegii in eadem Academia (quod et ornavit; et studio atque industria sua, quoad potuit, locupletavit) Præfecto gratiosissimo: Reginæ Elizabethæ (cujus a sacris fuit) excellentissimi judicii Principi ob singulares et vere laudabiles animi dotes acceptissimo: Petroburgensis Ecclesiæ (cui ad annos octo haud mediocri cum laude præfuit) Decano eminentissimo: Sacræ et Individuæ Trinitatis Collegii, jam non ejus Academiæ tantum, sed totius Europæ celeberrimi (labantis non ita pridem et prope cadentis, necnon ob veterem structuram male coherentis, ipsius consilio, auspiciis atque ære etiam suo liberalissime collato, disjectis male positis ædificiis atque in elegantiorem formam redactis; viis areisque veteribus directis et ampliatis, novis pulcherrime constitutis, auctis, ornatis ad hanc, qua nunc conspicitur, eximiam pulchritudmem evecti) Moderatori, Amplificatori, Instauratori fælicissimo: Hujus denique Ecclesiæ quam summa æquitate, rara modestia, fide singulari ad annos gubernavit, Decano moderatissimo, integerrimo, amplissimo: Hoc Monumentum memoriæ ergo Virtus et Honos, invita morte, suis quasi manibus construxere. Obiit Anno Dom. Ætatis suæ Mensis Die. atque in hac capella, quam (dum vixit) sibi ac suis adornavit, non sine ingenti suorum mærore huic tumulo illatus advenient is Domini nostri Jesu Christi gratiam et gloriam sempiternam expectat. Etiam Veni, Domine Jesu, Veni Cito.

5. Charles Fotherby, S. T. P. prebendary and archdeacon of Canterbury, was advanced to the dignity of dean of this church, in the room of dean Nevil, in 1615.

He was a native of Great Grimsby, in Lincolnshire, being the son of Martin Fotherby, esq. of that place, whose family had long resided in it, and brother of Martin Fotherby, bishop of Salisbury. (fn. 34) He was educated at Trinity college, in Cambridge, of which society he was a fellow; but though he was afterwards advanced to so conspicuous a dignity, he proceeded as an academic, no further than to the degree of B. D. In 1587, he was collated to the vicarage of Chislet, (fn. 35) which he resigned in 1692, being presented by the queen to the rectory of aldington; (fn. 36) about which time he was commissioned with Dr. Rogers and others, to visit the churches and hospitals of Saltwood and Hythe.

Soon after this, he received additional marks of the queen's favour, being promoted, on the removal of Dr. Redman, to the see of Norwich, (fn. 37) to the archdea conry of Canterbury in 1594, and the year after to the vicarage of Tenham, and by archbishop Whitgift to the fourth prebend in this church of Canterbury; (fn. 38) nor did the kindness of the primate towards him end here, for on the death of the learned and pious Hooker in 1600, he was collated by him to the rectory of Bishopsborne, (fn. 39) on which he resigned the vicarage of Tenham; and such was the archbishop's esteem and confidence in him, that he was appointed one of the overseers of his will; the other, being dean Nevil, on whose death in 1615, he was nominated dean of Canterbury, to which he was instituted on May 12, that year; on this advancement he relinquished his prebend, but retained his other preferments, all which he enjoyed but a short time, for he died on March 29, 1619, æt. 70, having presided over this church only four years, (fn. 40) and was buried in the Virgin Mary's chapel, now called the dean's chapel, in this cathedral; on the south side of which is a table monument of black marble, placed to his memory, the emblems of mortality round which are finely carved. The inscription on the monument is as follows:

Charissimo Patri suo

CAROLO FOTHERBY de GRIMSSBY GRIMSBY MAGNA in Comilatu LINCOLNIENSI; olim Collegii Sanctæ et Individuæ Trinitatis apud CANTABRIGIENSES Socio; Sacræ ibidem Theologiæ Baccalaureo, CANTUARIENSIS Diocæsios annos circiter 24 Archidiacono; Metropoliticæ in ea Ecclesiæ 20 Præbendario; ejusdem Decano 4ttuor; sedulo et sincero Verbo Præconi, cordatoque divinæ Veritatis Propugnatori; viro pietate, gravitate, hospitalitate perquam insigni, 29 Martii Anno humanæ salutis 1619, Ætatis suæ 70. Vitæ mortalis sortem cum immortali gloria commutanti.

JOHANNES FOTHER BEIUS Filius et Hæres devotissime posuit.

Habuit uxorem unam et unicam Annos 31 CECILIAM WALKER CANTABRIGIENSEM. ex qua liberos suscepit decem; eorum quinque tantum moriens reliquit superstites, JOHANNEM Elizabethæ ex Antonio Coco Milite Essexciensi Maritum; PHÆBEN Henrico Henrici Palmeri Militis Cantiani filio nuptam; et Roberto Johannis Moyle de Buck well in eodem comitatu Armigero PRISCILLAM: Innuptas reliquit duas ELIZABETHAM et MABELLAM.

6. JOHN Boys, S. T. P. rector of Great Mongeham, and of Betshanger, in this county, succeeded to this deanry in 1619. (fn. 41)

He was a native of Kent, being the fourth son of Thomas Boys, esq. of Eythorne. (fn. 42) Being educated at Cambridge, he became a scholar of Benet college, and proceeded to the degree of A. M. in 1593, about which time he was elected to a fellowship of Clarehall, which is appropriated to a native of this county. His first preferment seems to have been the rectory of Betshanger, to which he was presented by his uncle Sir John Boys, (fn. 43) who had been his patron at the university; and the same year he was collated to the mastership of Eastbridge hospital, in Canterbury; (fn. 44) and in 1599, to the vicarage of Tilmanstone, (fn. 45) at which time he had acquired the character of a distinguished theologist, and proceeded soon afterwards to the degree of S. T. P.

In 1610, he was appointed by the king, one of the first fellows of the new institution of a college at Chelsea, for the management, by learned divines, of all controversies against Papists; a design, which, for want of support, fell to the ground, even before the college was finished. (fn. 46)

In 1618, Dr. Boys was collated to the rectory of Great Mongeham, on which he relinquished the vicarage of Tilmanstone, and in 1619 was nominated by the king to the deanry of Canterbury, to which he was admitted on May 3, that year; but he did not live to enjoy this dignity little more than six years. He died suddenly in his study, on September 26, 1625, æt. 54; and was buried in the Virgin Mary's, commonly called the dean's chapel, in this cathedral, where there is a handsome monument erected to his memory, by his wife Angela, who survived him. (fn. 47) He is represented on it in his doctor's habit, as in his study, fitting in his chair, and leaning his head on his hand. Among the books, which form the back ground of the monument, is the following inscription:

Bonorum Lacrymis!

JOHANNES BOISIUS S. T. P. hujus Ecclesiæ Christi CANTUARIENSIS Decanus, nuper diligentiæ Christianæ, mox mortalitatis humanæ, nunc gratiæ divinæ exemplum: Ecclesiam ore, vita, scriptis docuit, ædificavit, illustravit: et Opus quo non extat Clero ANGLICANO gratius aut utilius, Liturgiæ universæ præ claram Elucidationem sui perpetuum Monumentum reliquit.

Hoc minus et indignius, sed tamen debitum felicibus Manibus tanti viri, Mariti amantissimi amantissima mæstissimaque Uxor.

ANGELA posuit.

His learned and judicious Commentaries on the Holy Scriptures, his Postils, or Defence of the Liturgy, Lectures, Sermons, and other theological works, were published, with a dedication to king James, in his life time, and again in a folio volume, in 1629. (fn. 48)

7. ISAAC BARGRAVE, S. T. P. prebendary of this church, and one of the king's chaplains, was next promoted to this deanry, the king's letters patent for his installation bearing date Oct. 11, 1625. (fn. 49)

He was sixth son of Robert Bargrave, esq. of Bridge, in this county, and was born in 1586; (fn. 50) being entered early at Clare-hall, in Cambridge, he there took his degrees in arts, and was incorporated A. M. at Oxford, in July 1611. (fn. 51) In October 1614, he was preferred to the rectory of Eythorne, in this county, (fn. 52) and became soon afterwards minister of St. Margaret's, Westminster, (fn. 53) and chaplain to the prince of Wales, whom he served in the same quality after his accession to the throne; and in 1622, at which time he was S. T. P. he was promoted by the crown to the fifth prebend in this metropolitical church of Canterbury; and Charles I. soon after his accession, nominated him, on the death of Dr. Boys, to the deanry of it, to which he was admitted on October 14, 1625. In January 1626, he was presented by the chapter to the vicarage of Tenterden, (fn. 54) which he held by dispensation, with the rectory of Eythorne; but in the following year he resigned the former, being then preferred by the king to the vicarage of Lydd, in this county, then in the king's disposal, jure prærogativo; and in 1628 he was collated by the archbishop to the rectory of Chartham, near Canterbury. (fn. 55)

The account of dean Bargrave, from this time, becomes closely connected with the misfortunes of those unhappy times, when rebellion and fanaticism trampled on religion and decency; when the cathedrals were plundered and their revenues seized. Deans and chapters were abolished in 1641, and the former members of them oppressed and cruelly treated. At this time the dean had become so obnoxious to the ruling powers, that he was fined 1000l. by the house of commons, as a member of the convocation, in which he was looked upon by them as a forward assertor of the clergy's rights. (fn. 56) This does not seem to have deterred him from exerting himself in behalf of the church, for that year he undertook with Dr. Hacket, archdeacon of Bedford, to appear before the house of commons, in behalf of the establishment of deans and chapters; but this did not prevail, and in the same session an act passed for their abolition. (fn. 57)

Next year the fanatic spirit of these reformers, as they styled themselves, more fully displayed itself. In August the rebel Colonel Sandys, with his troop, arrived at Canterbury; after they had defaced the cathedral, they violently intruded themselves, late at night, into the deanry, terrifying the family, (the dean himself being absent) and regardless even of that respect due to the weaker sex, they treated his wife and his aged sister (the window of dean Boys) with the most unmanly behaviour, and pillaged the house, though they afterwards, by the persuasion of one of their own party, restored the gold which they had unjustly seized. Their treatment of the dean's son was no less brutal, whom they took from his bed, and carried prisoner to Dover. (fn. 58) The sufferings of the dean were still greater, for having been acquainted with the affliction of his family, he was hastening to them, but Colonel Sandys interrupted his design, for hearing where he lodged at Gravesend, he went there, and rushing with his banditti into his chamber, as he was preparing for bed, made him prisoner, and without any reason for this insolent outrage, he was burried to London, and committed to the Fleet-prison. (fn. 59) The dean continued in confinement for three weeks, but was neither examined nor called before the house; he was, indeed after that time released, but the sense of his persecution and the prospect of its future increase, so much affected him, that he died in the January following, anno 1642, aged 56.

The dean had been a great traveller, and his friendships, made abroad, were such as testified his discernment and the esteem he was held in; he attended Sir Henry Wotton in one of his embassies, as his chaplain, and he appointed him afterwards one of the supervisors of his will, expressing his unremoveable affection to him in it. (fn. 60)

During his residence at Venice, he enjoyed the intimate acquaintance of the celebrated Father Paul, usually stiled Padre Paolo, who wrote the History of Trent; whose moderation and learning were alike conspicuous.

The dean was a firm defender of our civil and religious rights; his abilities, which were very considerable, had been greatly improved by attentive travel. He was much respected, for he was hospitable, as well as upright, and his opinions were manly and liberal. (fn. 61)

He was buried in the Virgin Mary's, now called the dean's chapel, on January 25, 1643; against the north wall of which is a monument erected to his memory, in a state not common; being his portrait, a half length, painted on copper, in a beautiful oval frame of white marble, and an inscription under it, as follows:


CANTIANUS, S. T. P. Hujus Ecclefiæ DECANUS, et ingens decus; amæ no ingenio Pietatem et Eruditionem ornavit: In fæ culo Novitatis nimium avido fide vixit ac moribus antiquis; Gentibus exteris, do mique Nobilibus gratissimus Hospes, Hospitio generosissimo reposuit. Bello civili ex partibus Regiis Caroli Martyris Stetit ac cecidit.

Post varia per Europam itinera Hic tandem fixus.

Ob. an salutis reparat. 1642

Johannes Bargrave, S. T. D. Canritianus
Posterum expensis
Ponendum curavit
Anno Domini

Underneath which, follows the inscription for Elizabeth Dering, his wife, as mentioned before.

8. GEORGE AGLIONBY, S. T. P. succeeded next, as dean of this church; the letters patent for which are dated at Oxford, on Feb. 8, 1642. (fn. 62)

He was educated at Westminster school, and elected from thence to Christ-church in Oxford, in 1619, at which time he was sixteen years of age, as he is entered in the university matriculation book, Oxon. Docris Fil. There is little doubt but he was the son of Dr. John Aglionby, principal of Edmund hall, and the descendant of a very antient and genteel family in Cumberland. (fn. 63)

Whilst he resided in the university, he was distinguished as a person of superior abilities; Wood tells us, that lord Falkland often went to Oxford, to enjoy the conversation of the learned and the witty there, among whom was George Aglionby, of Christchurch. (fn. 64)

In June 1623, he took the degree of B. A. (fn. 65) about which time he left the university, and became probably an assistant master at Westminster-school, and afterwards tutor to George, the young duke of Buckingham; in 1634, he proceeded to the degree of S. T. P. (fn. 66) and in 1638, was promoted to a prebend in the collegiate church of Westminster, (fn. 67) and it is probable that he was also prebendary of Woodham, in the church of Chichester.

Whilst attending the court of king Charles I. at Oxford, in 1642, he was nominated by the king, on the death of Dr. Bargrave, to the deanry of Canterbury; but in this dignity he never was installed, nor did he reap any advantage from it; the parliament having, as is said before, abolished these dignities and seized on the revenues of all capitular bodies, and he survived his nomination to this deanry but a few months; for he died at Oxford, in November 1643, in the 40th year of his age, and was buried in Christchurch cathedral, near to bishop King's monument in the south isle; but there is neither monument or inscription to his memory, nor is there any portrait of him in the deanry at Canterbury; the want of which interrupts the regular series of portraints of the deans of this church.

9. THOMAS TURNER, S. T. P. was next admitted dean of this church. He was the son of Thomas Turner, of Heckfield, in Hampshire, alderman and mayor of Reading, in Berkshire, and was born in the parish of St. Giles in that borough. In 1610, he was admitted on the foundation at St. John's college, in Oxford, two fellowships in that college being appropriated to persons from the town of Reading. He was there placed under the tuition of Dr. Juxon, then fellow of the college, afterwards archbishop of Canterbury, (fn. 68) and having entered into holy orders, he was in 1623 presented by his college to the vicarage of St. Giles, in the suburbs of Oxford, with which he retained his fellowship, but resigned it in 1628.

Dr. Laud, who had become president of the college soon after his admission to it, appointed him his domestic chaplain, and in April 1629, being then bishop of London, collated him to the prebend of Newington, in the church of St. Paul; and in October following, to the chancellorship of that church, in which he was afterwards appointed by king Charles I. a canon residentiary (fn. 69)

He had been recommended by bishop Laud to the king's notice, who appointed him one of his chaplains in ordinary, and presented him to the rectory of St. Olave, Southwark, with which he held the rectory of Fetcham, in Surry.

In 1633, the king having resolved on a progress into Scotland, for his coronation, Mr. Turner was commanded to attend him; previous to which, he was on April I, 1634, created S. T. P. by the university of Oxford.

In 1641, he was promoted by the king to the deanry of Rochester, and on the death of Dr. Aglionby, in 1643, to this of Canterbury, of which, however, he did not obtain possession till after the restoration; but when he was nominated to this dignity, he resigned the rectory of St. Olave into the king's hands.

When the king was removed to Hampton-court, and was suffered to resume the mock appearance of majesty and freedom, dean Turner was among those divines who there attended him; and when he fled to the Isle of Wight, the dean was one of those servants, to whom the liberty of visiting him was granted; (fn. 70) the king's death followed not long after, of which the dean was a sincere, but silent mourner.

His adherence to the royal cause, as might be expected, brought him into much distress; he was abused, pillaged and imprisoned. Three of his houses were plundered of his furniture and library. (fn. 71) Being at his church of Fetcham, he was seized (probably in the time of divine service) by a party of horse, who carried him in an ignominious manner prisoner to an inn in Southwark, and his house and rectory were forcibly taken from him; upon which he retired to an estate he possessed in Hertfordshire, but persecution followed him there likewise, for being summoned before the committee of sequestrations, at Hertford, he was charged and convicted of malignancy, for attending the king and praying for him, upon which his estate was decimated, and he was compelled to fly for safety into Wales. (fn. 72)

The dean survived these unhappy times, and joined in the general joy which king Charles II.'s restoration inspired, and on the 10th of August, 1660, entered into the full possession of the deanry of Canterbury; and so far was he afterwards from seeking addition to his preferment, that he soon resigned the rectory of Fetcham. Having enjoyed an uninterrupted state of good health during thirty years, he was at length attacked with that severe disease, the stone, the sharpness of which he endured with exemplary fortitude and resignation, till his death, which happened on Oct. 31, 1672, at the age of 81. (fn. 73)

His disposition was generous, disinterested and humble; and his example afforded an excellent lesson to those, who imagine that dignity is better supported by avarice and insolence, than by a liberal condescension; for never was a clergyman more free from pride and coveteousness.

To the church and library of Canterbury, he was a considerable benefactor; in thankfulness for his deliverance from an imminent danger, he dedicated to the holy altar in this cathedral, a costly folio bible, with covers of beaten silver, double gilt; to the church of St. Paul, his liberality was extensive; for, when, in 1661, the ruinous state of that cathedral required a general assistance, Dr. Turner, then a residentiary, subscribed, as well as his brethren, 500l. each. He built likewise a good house for his successors in the canonry there, on which he expended the better part of 1000l. Two colleges in Oxford also received some share of his bounty, for he gave forty pounds towards the building of a new quadrangle at Trinity in 1665, and two years afterwards, the same sum towards compleating a building in Corpus Christi college. In 1667, when king Charles II. requested a supply from the clergy, by way of loan, Dr. Turner advanced on his own account, 100l besides his share of 1000l. as a residentiary of St. Paul's. He had before contributed on a similar proposal 120l. besides his proportion of 1000l. contributed by the dean and chapter of St. Paul's. To these instances of his public spirit must be added, his generous conduct to his relations; for he resigned his paternal estate of considerable value, to his younger brother; he gave portions to several of his sisters, and settled them and others of his kindred handsomely in the world, at the time when he was a married man and a father: and when the storm of persecution raged against him, and his fortunes were at a low ebb, even then he took into his care his aged parents, harrassed and ruined by the iniquity of the times, for their eminent loyalty. The dean was buried at the east end of the Virgin Mary's, now called the dean's chapel, where, under the window, there is a handsome mural monument erected to his memory, with the following inscription: (fn. 74)

H. S. E.
Thomas Turner, S. T. P.

Ecclesiæ Beati Pauli apud Londinenses Canonicus Residentiarius
Deinde Rossensis Anno CIODCXXXXI Decanus
Tandem hujus Christi Cantuariensis CIODCXLIII

Quem Carolus primus et Archiepiscopus Laud,
Gloriosi et Sanctiffimi Martyres,
Sacellanum habuerunt et una cum illis fortissimum Confessorem.
Quem Rex in ultimis fere Agonibus
In Cura Hamptonionsi et Insula Vectis
Unum e paucis fidissimum afcivit sibi.
Generosa Prosapia Redingiæ
Natus, si quis alter, Bono Publico.
Fortuna magnaque rerum copia reverenter usus est,

Ingens Humilitatis profundissimæ Exemplar.
Simplicitatis Christianissimæ
Zeli pro Ecclefia serventissimi

Calamitates sub tyrannide perduellium animo æquissimo toleravit,
Et utriusque fortunæ expertus
Utrique par exstitit.
Juxta felicem Caroli secundi reditum
Novas dignitates minime ambiebat,
Et octogenarius Senex adhuc in concionibus dominabatur
Jamque maturus cœlo
Post multa immortalia facta, nihil optavit mortale
Nisi mori in Domino,
Et obiit Anno Domini CIODCLXXII
Ætatis fuæ LXXXI.


  • 1. he following account of the deans of Canterbury is chiefly taken from the authentic and well written lives of them, published in 1793, by the Rev. and learned Mr. Todd, a member of this church, and a kind istant and encourager of this History.
  • 2. Fuller's Worthies. Strype's Cranmer, p. 72.
  • 3. He resigned this rectory, in 1555, to John Armerar, but a yearly pension of 14l. 3s. 4d. being a third part of the reputed value of the benefice, was reserved out of it to him during his natural life. Battely, pt. 2, p. 122. Fuller's church history, B. 5, p. 207.
  • 4. This was on the promotion of archdeacon Bell to the see of Worcester, and this possibly, says Brown Willis, might be one of the first instances of the crown taking that liberty, on making bishops, to dispose of their former preferments. See survey of Worcester cathedral, p. 667.
  • 5. Wood's Ath. vol. i. fasti, p. 10.
  • 6. B. Willis's survey of York cathedral, p. 69, 157.
  • 7. B. Willis's survey of Gloucester cathedral, p. 732. Le. Neve's Fasti, p. 91.
  • 8. Biog. Brit. 4339, note A. Styrype's Life of Parker, p. 35. Lloyd's Worthies.
  • 9. Battely, pt. 2. This instrument was dated in September, 1546.
  • 10. See Rymer's Foed. vol. xv.
  • 11. Hayward's Life of king Edward VI. On the duke of So merset's commitment, Dr. Wotton was, in October, 1549, joined with Sir William Petre, as his Majesty's Secretary. Harleian MSS. No. 284.
  • 12. See Strype's Cranmer, p. 304.
  • 13. Speed. Hume's History of England.
  • 14. Forbes's Preface to his State Papers.
  • 15. Baker's Chronicle. Among the Harleian MSS. in the British Museum, are the instructions given to dean Wotton, No. 297; and there are many of his letters in the Nos, 283, 523, and 1582.
  • 16. See an account of his burial among the Harleian MSS. No. 6064-76, f. 83.
  • 17. See Godwin de Præful. Biog. Brit. Art. Godwin, and Wood's Ath. vol.i.p.709.
  • 18. There is a good portrait of him, painted on board, remaining in the deanry.
  • 19. He quitted this prebend in 1574, on being promoted to that of Leighton Buzzard, the richest in that church.
  • 20. On the new fronting of the deanry some years ago, these stones were removed; but the inscription is now replaced.
  • 21. The bishop died at his native town of Oakingham, whither he had retired for the benefit of the air, on November 19, 1590, æt. 73, and was buried in the chancel of that church, where there is a mural monument to his memory, erected by his son Francis Godwin, sub-dean of Exeter, afterwards bishop of Hereford.
  • 22. Willis's Survey of St. Asaph, p. 287.
  • 23. Strype's Annals, vol. ii. appendix, p. 63. Register of Inductions.
  • 24. See Dover, Hist, Kent, vol. ix.
  • 25. Battely, pt. ii. p. 172.
  • 26. He left his wife Mrs. Anne Rogers surviving, who was buried in this cathedral in 1613; by her he left a son, Francis Rogers, D.D. rector of Denton, and vicar of Alkham, in Kent, and rector of St. Margaret's, in Canterbury, where he lies buried. He died in 1638. See Wood's Ath. vol. i. p.686.
  • 27. Fuller's Worthies, Kent.
  • 28. La Neve's Fasti.
  • 29. Willis's Survey of Peterborough cathedral.
  • 30. Burleigh's notes, at the end of Murdin's State Papers, p. 800.
  • 31. Bentham's Ely.
  • 32. Strype's Life of Whitgist.
  • 33. This chapel, formerly called Brenchley's chantry, which has been mentioned already before, having continued useless from the time of the reformation, was repaired by the dean, and cleansed and beautified for a place of burial for himself and his relations; accordingly they were buried in it, the dean himself, his father and mother, his uncle Thomas, and his elder brother Alexander, whose monuments have been already described before, among the others in this church. This chapel having been pulled down a few years since, the scire of it, (which was without the wall of the church) under which the Nevils lie buried, is laid into the church-yard, and in common with it, is open to the air.
  • 34. See the History of Kent, vol. ix.
  • 35. Reg. Whitgist, pt. iii.
  • 36. Ibid.
  • 37. Ibid. pt. ii.
  • 38. Chapter Register.
  • 39. Reg. Whitgift.
  • 40. He married Cecilia Walker, of Cambridge, by whom he had a numerous issue, as his monument records; of which only one son and four daughters survived him: of these, Mabella, the youngest, then single, afterwards married John lord Finch, baron of Fordwich, lord keeper of the great seal, but died without issue. He left his wife surviving, who died in 1634, aged upwards of 60, and was buried in the same tomb in this church, close to which there is an inscription to her memory. In the beginning of king James I.'s reign, he had purchased, among other estates in this county, the manor and seat of Barham court, near Canterbury; which by one of his descendants, went in marriage to the Derings, who now possess it. The dean's will is in the prerog. off. Canterbury, proved April 17, 1619. In it he desired to be buried in the chapel, called our Lady's chapel, in Christ church, a place where usually the preacher did retire for his meditations, before he did go to his sermon; in such a convenient place, as should be thought fit by his loving brethren, the prebendaries of the said church.
  • 41. See Wood's Ath. vol. i. f. p. 153.
  • 42. By his wife Christian, daughter and coheir of John Searles, esq. of Wye, and he was nephew to Sir John Boys, of St. Gregories, in Canterbury. See the account of St. Gregories hereafter.
  • 43. Register of Inductions.
  • 44. Ibid.
  • 45. Ibid.
  • 46. Newcourt's Rep. vol. i. See Fuller's Church History, B. 10. p. 51.
  • 47. He married Angela, daughter of Robert Bargrave, esq. of Bridge, in this county, and sister to his successor dean Bargrave; she survived him many years, and lived to be very unhandsomely treated by the parliamentary rebels, in 1642, at the age of eighty, whilst resident in this deanry.
  • 48. See a lift of his Works in Master's History of Corpus Christi college, p. 241.
  • 49. Rym. Fœd. vol. xviii. p. 648.
  • 50. See more of this family and of the dean's descendants, in the History of Kent, under Eastry, vol. x. p.105.
  • 51. Wood's Fasti, vol. i. p. 190.
  • 52. Book of Inductions, &c.
  • 53. See Lloyd's Memoirs, and Walker's Sufferings of the Clergy.
  • 54. Book of Inductions, &c.
  • 55. Ibid.
  • 56. See Rushworth, vol. v. p. 235, who says, the dean of Canterbury, anno 16 Charles I.(1640) was fined 1000l. for the convocation business.
  • 57. Walker's Suff. of Clergy, pt. i. p. 10.
  • 58. Dugdale's View. Mercurius Rusticus. Walker, ibid. and Lloyd's Memoirs.
  • 59. Walker's Suff. ibid. It must have added to the dean's diftress, to find Sandys the author of this cruelty towards him; for that unprincipled rebel owed his escape from an ignominious death, when indicted for a rape at Maidstone, to the dean's interest, made then in his behalf.
  • 60. Life of Sir Henry Wotton.
  • 61. The dean published only three sermons, which were printed in the years 1624 and 1626. He married Elizabeth, the daughter of John Dering, esq. of Pluckley, in this county, by whom he had several children; from Thomas, the eldest son of whom, was descended Isaac Bargrave, esq. late of Eastry-court, who died in May, 1800. The dean's wife survived him many years, and dying in 1667, æt. 74, was buried near her husband, in the dean's chapel, where there is an inscription to her memory.
  • 62. See Rym. Fœd. vol. xx. p. 545.
  • 63. Burn's History of Cumberland, p. 327.
  • 64. Wood's Ath. vol. i. p. 587.
  • 65. Ibid. vol. i. p 260
  • 66. See Wood's Ath Fasti, vol. i. p. 260.
  • 67. Newcourt's Repert. vol. i. p. 928.
  • 68. Wood's Fasti, vol. i. p. 259.
  • 69. Newcourt's Repert. vol. i. p. 189. Wood's Ath.
  • 70. Parliamentary Journals.
  • 71. Walker's Suff. of Clergy.
  • 72. Ibid.
  • 73. The dean married Margaret, the daughter of Sir Francis Windebank, secretary of state to king Charles I. By her he had three sons, each of whom attained to distinguished stations in the church; for Francis was D. D. and fellow of New college, Oxford, and after a series of intermediate preferments, was made bishop of Ely, in 1684, but was deprived at the revolution, and died in 1700 William was D. D. of Trinity college, Oxford, and afterwards archdeacon of Durham, and died in 1685. And Thomas was likewise D. D. fellow, and afterwards president of Corpus Christi college, Oxford, prebendary of Ely, and St. Paul's, besides other preferments. He died in 1714, unmarried, remarkable for his munificence and liberality in his life time, and left the bulk of his fortunes, which were very considerable, to charitable uses.
  • 74. His wife survived him, and dying July 1692, æt. 64, was buried in St. Giles's church, in Oxford, near the remains of their son William.