Acts and accounts: 1600-10

Pages 341-359

Calendar of the Manuscripts of the Dean and Chapter of Wells: Volume 2. Originally published by His Majesty's Stationery Office, London, 1914.

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In this section


1600, Sept. 30.—Election of officers.

Auditors: James Bisse and John Borne.

Baron of the exchequer: Philip Bisse.

Master of the fabric: James Bisse.

Surveyors of houses: Philip Bisse and William Powell.

Communar: William Powell.

Escheator: Nicholas Clunn.

Tabellar: Humphrey Bayley.

Bailiff and cursor: William Sawier.

"Towching the makyng of a new organe, the chapter doe wholy referr them selves to Mr. D. James Bisse, now master of the fabrick, for the finishing [?] of that busines, and what he shall doe therin they doe promise to ratify and allowe of it."—ƒo. 156.

1600, Oct. 1.—Ordered that William West, George Huishe and John Elliott "doe more diligently frequent the church and ring the bells, as by their offices they ought," on pain of losing office.—ƒo. 156d.

William Tawswell, vicar-choral, accused of incontinence with Mary wife of Robert Marwood, purges himself with three vicars-choral as compurgators.—ƒo. 157.

1600, Oct. 27.—The chapter have appoynted that Mr. D. Ph. Bisse shall goe forthwith to London about the cause in question betwixt Mr. Upton and my L.B. of Bath and Wells concerning tythes, and there to contynue at London untill the end of the terme, and he shall have his dayes and expenses. . . .—ƒo. 157d.

1600, Nov. 20.—All the vicars-choral, except John Hulett and Richard Mason, appeared and confessed that it was true that on Wednesday at evening prayers only four of them were present. They were admonished to be more diligent, and not to frequent taverns nor walk the streets [plateas].

1600, Nov. 27.—Dean Herbert to the sub-dean and chapter.

Wheareas it pleased you to gratifie me with the graunte of a lease of Okehampton, and that at this present the tenant is a sutor to me the same maye be made over to his use, with some alteracion, suche, as I conjecture, as can noe waie brede any prejudice to your selves,—I am frindly to request each of yow in particular and all in generall to parfitt that which yow have soe kindly begon, that is, to graunt a new lease to the tenant's use for three lives, in such forme as the same is demaunded, the same in substance little differing from the first graunt ye made to me; and I will as kindly acquite the same, both in generall and in particular, when occasion shall require it. And as touching the chaunging of the yeares into lyves being contrary to the decre made at my being with yow, seing it is to the benefitt of us all, without prejudice to our successors, I am well content therewith, soe as I maye be made acquainted therewithall, and my consent had to every particuler, as before. And whereas Mr. Upton hath ben and is a sutor to have a further state in the parsonadge of Wells and the Canon Barnes, I am content the same be propounded, to th'end his offer maye be knowen, and uppon notice therof and your liking of the same, I will as then further impart my resolucion therein. From Court.—[Ledger F, ƒo. 179d.]

1601, April 2.—It was objected against William Tawswell, one of the vicars-choral, that he was last night out of his house all night, in the town, playing at tables with Anthony Harrison and others; he confessed, and was suspended from his habit and from all benefits and commodities to his office for one month.—ƒo. 161.

1601, April 17.—Richard Marwoodd, vicar-choral, having been accused of incontinence and having confessed, is sentenced to do penance as follows :—"Uppon the first day of July next followyng he shall come into the chapter howse between the howers of ix and xj of the fornoon, in his usuall apparell, and that before the chapter and company of the vicars . . . then presente, he shall kneel downe on his knees and openly confess his offens, viz. that he hath committed the cryme of fornicacion or adultery with Susan Giffard and that he is hartely sory therfor, and shall desier God to forgeve hym his offence and the company there present for his ill example; and further, betwixt this day and the first day of July next, he shall write and prick out services for the quyer of the cathedrall church of Wells, at the discretion of Mr. D. Cottington, the chaunter of the said church, or his deputy." . . .—ƒo. 162.

1601, May 26.—Ralph Maynwaring, A.M., installed in the prebend of Combe IV, pursuant to mandate of the bishop.—ƒo. 163.


1601, Sept. 30.—Election of officers.

Auditors: John Langworth and John Borne.

Baron of the exchequer: James Cottington.

Master of the fabric: John Langworth.

Surveyors of houses: John Borne and James Bisse.

Communar: James Cottington.

Escheator: Nicholas Clunn.

Tabellar: Robert Marwood.

Bailiff and cursor: William Sawier.

1601, Oct. 1.—Lease to George Upton, for 40 years, of the tower commonly called Browne's Gate in Sadlers Street; rent 2s.—[Ledger F, ƒo. 185.]

1601, Oct. 16.—Henry Jones is charged with allowing tippling in his house during the time of divine service on Sundays. He confessed "that true it is that there were some persons in his house on Sunday last was three weeks, eating a cake, as he thinketh." He is admonished not to allow it again.—ƒo. 171

1601, Nov. 26.—Dean Herbert to Dr. Bisse, archdeacon of Taunton and Wells.

Sir, whereas I did heretofore, uppon the commendacions of my lord cheife justice of England [Sir John Popham] and others, write unto you on the behalf of William Towse, to be joyned in patent with his father, Alexander Towse, in the office of clerke of our courtes, in such sort as he, the sayd Alexander, was formerlie joyned in patent with one William Bowerman, esq., deceased, which office the said Alexander hath executed above these 26 yeares, as I am informed. Now for that I understand that, since my sayd letters unto you, the suit of the said Alexander and his sonne hath not ben propounded, and for that I have ben moved againe by my lord chief justice on the behalf of the said William, who (as I am also informed) is verie fit and to doe us good service in that place, and the rather also for that his sayd father, as well in regarde of his age, as of some other occasions, is not nowe soe able to travell about the execucion thereof as heretofore,—these are therefore eftsoones to desire you, at your next meeting in chapter, not onlie to propound the said suit and to give my voice and assent therunto, but also at this my request for the better present effecting thereof to give all the best furtherance you maie. From the Court.—[Ledger F, ƒo. 172d.]

1601–2, Jan. 2.—Alexander Towse of Wells and William Towse, his son, are appointed to the office of clerk of the courts of the dean and chapter, late of William Boureman, deceased, on the conditions contained in former patents, and with the following condition :—They are not to make more than one copy of any grant without the consent of the steward or the president of the chapter for the time being, and that only for the first or principal purchaser.

Ordered that the steward shall not take from any tenant of this church in consideration of any grant more than 12d. for the entry and 10s. for his fee; "all other somes whatsoever by hym mad shall accrue to the generall benefitt of the chapter, sub fide et juramento dato Decano et Capitulo."—ƒo. 170.

1601–2, Jan. 2.—Appointment by the dean and chapter of Alexander Towse of Wells, gent., and William Towse, his son, to the office of clerk of the courts of all their lordships, manors, lands, etc., in Somerset, Gloucestershire, Dorset or elsewhere, to be exercised by them of either of them, unless prevented by serious illness, for their lives and the life of the survivor, at a yearly fee of 56s. 8d., issuing out of the manor of Winscomb, co. Somerset, and all accustomed emoluments, etc.—[Ledger F, ƒo. 172.]

1601–2, Jan. 4.—Francis [Godwin], bishop of Llandaff, (fn. 1) prayed to be allowed 67 days towards completing his residence at Wells, which the canons not only refused to grant, but ordered should not be granted.ƒo. 172.

1601–2, Jan. 4.—Ordered "That the steward that now ys to the deane and chapter of Wells, and that hereafter shalbe, shall not take any somme of money to him selfe for a heriott ex conventione upon a surrender, but that the heriott upon every surrender to be taken away and shalbe made most of and sold by the steward, to the only benefit of the whole chapter, as yf the same heriott were really sold in their sight and presence."—ƒo. 172d.

Alexander Towse, under-steward and clerk of the courts, surrendered his former letters patent, easdemque litteras patentes in manibus suis tenens quodam cultro penetravit secuit et cancellavit. New letters patent were ordered to be sealed granting the office of clerk of the courts to the said Alexander Towse and William Towse, for their lives and the life of the survivor; they were sworn, and, accepting 6d. from the sub-dean, undertook to give a bond in 400l. if required.

1601–2, Jan. 11.—The bishop of Llandaff appeared and produced letters patent under the great seal and the seal ad facultates . . . commonly called litteras ad commendam, and prayed that his days of residence since his consecration on November 22 last be allowed him, and also "that all the rest of his days for residence in his absens may be allowed him hereafter." Reserved for the next general chapter.—ƒo. 173d.

1601–2, Jan. 12.—Mr. Robert Wright, S.T.D., installed as treasurer by mandate of the bishop, on the resignation of John Borne, S.T.D.—ƒo. 174.

1601–2, Feb. 19.—Dean Herbert to the sub-dean and the chapter.

I understand by Mr. Doctor Bisse that yow are desirous, in respect of the charges yow are like to be at this yeare, to have my consent to certaine graunts that yow have alredy considered of among your selves, and I thinck it maye be fitly done, without prejudice to any. The first is that the lease at Stogommer, which at my last being with yow was graunted for 21 yeares, maie be exchaunged uppon some new increase of a fine into the terme of three lyves. To the which I willingly assent. So doe I in like manner for a new lease of Westmere to be made for three lives uppon surrender of his graunt for yeares, yelding such fine as yow shall in your discretion thinke convenient. And towching the graunt yow have made of Canon Barne, though in some respect I could have wished yow had made longer staye, yet seing yow thought it convenient soe to doe, I will not impugne the same, but yeld my consent to that yow have done. And withall seing yow have determined to pleasure Mr. Upton therein, as your good neighbour, I can well approve that, considering he hath many yeares to come of the lease of his howse, and hath ben at great charges in repayring therof, that yow enlarge the graunt of his howse to as many yeares as yow shall thinke convenient. And as towching the exchange and altering of the terme of 21 yeares made of the rectory of Lavington to Mr. Doctor Cottington, seing he is a member of our bodie, I doe well approve the same be made for three lives, as beneficiall as yow maie. From Court at Whitehall.—[Ledger F, ƒo. 180.]

1601–2, March 4.—"We whose names are underwritten, beyng capitulerly gathered together, do thinck and beleev that the howse wherein Mr. John Lunn now dwelleth is parte of the L. busshopp of Bath and Wells his palace, and therfore of his jurisdiccion and not of the jurisdiccion of the deane and chapter of the cathedrall church of Wells. Dated in our chapter howse, 4° Marcii, 1601.

  • James Bisse.
  • James Cottington.
  • WillM Powell.
  • John Langworth.
  • Philipp Bisse.

ƒo. 176.

1601–2, March 6.—"Every canon resident shall refuse to receave his vicare chorall and to admitt hym to his hows, till he doth reforme hym self and become conformable to the orders and government of this church, as he ought."—ƒo. 177.

1602, April 1.—Lease to William Morgan alias Williams of Wells, woollen draper, for the lives of George Upton of Wells, esq., Edward Bisse and Upton Bisse, sons of Edward Bisse of Spargrove, co. Somerset, gent., of the rectory and parsonage of the parish and parish church of St. Cuthbert, and the barn called Canon Barne with two courts and yards adjoining thereto, and all tithes, etc., and profits, etc.; except perquisites of court, etc., and the prison and the house used for the same, and the pound adjoining the barn, and the right to hold courts in the barn as heretofore accustomed, and the advowson of the vicarage; rent 40l.; lessee to keep St. Cuthbert's chancel in repair.—[Ledger F, ƒo. 182d.]

[There is here a gap of nearly three years.]


1604–5, Jan. 12.—Proceedings against William Moore, a vicar-choral.

Wheras the rev. father in God, the bishop of Landaffe [Francis Godwin], by his letters missive, bearing date the viijth day of Januarie, a.d. 1604, hath signefied unto the deane and chapter of this churche that not longe since William Moore and the widow Sarney passed throughe Chepstowe towards Ragland. And he the said rev. father, suspecting that to be the cause of their jorney which now appeareth, made inquirie after them the best he could. But they carryed their busynesses so closeley as that he could not come to perfect notice of anie thing. But that the deane and chapter maye be able to guesse at their arrand as well as him selfe. Wherupon he signified that Walter Powell, mencioned in their letters formerly sent unto him the said rev. father, is a priest ordered in Queene Marie's daies, and being somtymes beneficed in this diocese of Landaff gave over his lyvinge some thirtye yeres since, contynewinge all this space a recusant. And for manie yeres before his comynge thither, hath ben accompted a comon masse-monger. He is a runagate, abiding in no certen place, but lurketh for the most part about Ragland, as he heard, for marriges and christenings with masses: he, the said rev. father, hath complayned him to the lord president, to the late archebusshopp [Whitgift], and to the judges of assises. All which notwithstanding, doe what he can, he contyneweth these courses. But he hopeth er longe to have order for him and other of his sort. And this is all he can certifie the chapter concerning this matter, the consideracion whereof he comytted to the chapter; etc.

Now upon the receipt and perusing of the said letter, the deane and chapter of Wells aforesaid, in regard that the said William More, one of the vicars-chorall of the cathedrall church of Wells, confessed in open chapter, as appeareth by act made in court, that he was marryed by the said Walter Powell to Mary Sarney, widow; and for as muche as yt appereth to the said deane and chapter that this foresaid marriage thus made doth conteyne in yt certen evident breaches against the order and locall statutes and the jurisdiction of the said cathedral churche, and also semeth to conteyne in yt certen matters of greater qualitie against the politicall lawes of this kingdome then apperteyne to their censure,—the said deane and chapter, reserving to them selves their said jurisdiction ecclesiasticall of this cathedrall church, thought good to referr the said breaches of the politicall lawes, by waie of notice, to the lord bisshop of Bathe and Wells, as a justice of peace of this countie, and that under their seale of office.—ƒo. 178d.

1604–5, Jan. 24.—The said William Moore is cited to appear on April 3, to answer to the charge of having married, without banns or license, Mrs. Marie Sarney, a recusant, and an excommunicate person, he thereby breaking the statutes of the house and church.—ƒo. 179.

1605, April 3.—In ecclesia cathedrali Wellensis, juxta horalogium ibidem . . . inhibitum fuit prefatis venerabilibus viris [i.e. the dean and chapter] virtute literarum inhibitoriarum . . . Richardi [Bancroft], Cantuariensis Archiepiscopi, per Petrum Lane, mandatarium. [No details or explanation are given.]—ƒo. 179d.

1605, Sept. 28.—John Worth, M.A., installed in the prebend of Barton Davy, pursuant to the mandate of the bishop, vice Thomas Drope, S.T.B., resigned.—ƒo. 180d.


1605, Sept. 30.—Election of officers.

Auditors: John Borne and James Bisse.

Baron of the exchequer: William Powell.

Master of the fabric: William Powell.

Surveyors of houses: William Powell and James Bisse.

Communar: Philip Bisse.

Escheator: Richard Mason.

Tabellar: John Clerke.

Bailiff and cursor: William Sawier.

John Welshman alias Gorman is appointed apparitor.—ƒo. 181d.

John Bowrne, S.T.D., canon residentiary, is elected, nominated and appointed to exercise all and all manner of jurisdiction ecclesiastical and spiritual, belonging to the dean and chapter, by himself or his deputy, during pleasure.

1605, Oct. 5.—Mr. Thomas Sowthwarck [Sowthworth in margin], counsellor at law, is elected surveyor of all lordships, lands or tenements belonging to the cathedral or to the dean and chapter; he shall have a yearly "pension" of 40s. and shall exercise his office once a year.—ƒo. 184.

The dean protested that he would not give his consent to the confirmation of letters patent of the office of steward of this church to Sir John Portman, knight.

Ordered that the sacrist "shall attend on every canon of this church when he shall preach in this church, and goe befor hym to the pulpitt."

1605, Oct. 20.—The bishop of Landaff, prebendary of St. Decuman's, is granted a dispensation from residence.—ƒo. 185.

1605, Oct. 30.—Certain statutes [not set out] for the better subordination of the vicars-choral were published.—ƒo. 192.

1605, Nov. 25.—James I to the dean and chapter.

Recommending Dr. Wright and Dr. Barker, the treasurer and chancellor, for the chapter to choose one of them to fill the place of a residentiary vacant by the death of Dr. Cottington, the other of them to be appointed on the next vacancy; "the same beinge, as we are informed, due unto ether of them, by course, custome and otherwise alsoe by your newe charter, which doth allowe the full number of eight residensaries . . . soe, yf ye shall use any delaie herein, our will and pleasure is then that you make your present repaire to the archbushoppe of Canterburie, whome wee have appointed and authorized to heare and determine the right and equitie which these two parsons have herein." Given under our signet at our palace of Westminster.—[Ledger F, ƒo. 202d.]

1605, Nov. 30. (fn. 2) —John Clerk, vicar-choral and one of the principal vicars, for refusing to admit into the house of the vicars-choral one John Fido, in deacon's orders, who had been chosen a vicar-choral for a year's probation by the dean and chapter, was suspended from all emoluments of his office until Michaelmas next. "And further the sayd deane and chapter did warne and requier the said John Clerck, accordyng to the statutes of this church and the stall he hath in the said Cathedrall Church as a vicare-chorall ther, under payn of amotion from his place in the said quier, to procure hym self to be in orders of a decon betwixt this day and the feast of St. Michaell the Archangell next followyng."—ƒo. 193.

1605, Dec. 6.—Ordered "that Mr. Deane shall have an advowson made unto twoe such persons as he shall name of trust to his use, of the vicaridg of St. Cuthbert's in Wells, for the first and next avoydance of the same vicaridg, whensoever it shall happen by death, resignacion or any other avoydance of Mr. Paule Methwyne, now vicare and incumbent there, to the intent that it may be conferred upon the said Mr. Deane of the cathedrall church of Wells after the next avoydance."—ƒo. 186.

1605–6, March 10.—Richard Boughton, S.T.B., installed by proxy in the prebend of Compton Dundon and precentor of the cathedral, pursuant to the mandate of the bishop.—fos. 187, 187d.

1606, May 30.—At Lambehith, before Richard [Bancroft], archbishop of Canterbury.

This daie appeared personallie Mr. Doctor Barker, chauncelor of the cathedrall church of Wells, togeather with Mr. Deane of Wells [Benjamin Heydon], Mr. Doctor Bisse and Mr. Doctor Langworth, cannons residentarie of the same church. And then Sir Thomas Crompton, beinge of counsell for the said Mr. Doctor Barker and for Mr. Doctor Wright, another member of the same church, humblie desired that accordinge to an order taken by his grace, authorized thereunto by his highnes, the said Mr. Doctor Barker or Mr. Doctor Wright might be elected and chosen into the roome of a cannon residentarie of the same church, to supplie the number of eight, their beinge nowe but seaven, by reason of the death of Mr. Doctor Cottington. Whereuppon, the saide most reverend father, havinge nowe deliberatelie heard the matter on both sides, at length, and for perticuler consideracions then insisted uppon on the behalf of the saide Mr. Doctor Barker aforesaide, did admonishe and require the saide Mr. Deane of Wells, Doctor Bisse and Doctor Langworth, in his majestie's name, and by vertue of his highnes' letters authorizinge his grace to heare and determine the saide cause, to elect and choose him the saide Doctor Barker into the roome and place of a cannon residentarie of the saide church (nowe beinge voide) at the next chapter; and his grace did further signifie that he thought it agreeable to right and equitie and his majestie's gracious will and pleasure, that uppon the next vacancie ensuinge Doctor Wright should be alsoe elected and admitted residentarie, whereof he likewise required them to have consideracion. Whereunto the saide Mr. Deane, Mr. Doctor Bisse and Mr. Doctor Langworth, for their partes yeelded their consentes. And then it was ordered that the saide Mr. Doctor Barker, uppon his admission to be residentarie as aforesaide, by himself or his deputie shall reade the divinitie lecture appointed to be reade in the saide cathedrall church of Wells, at such times and in such manner as hath ben heretofore usuallie reade by the chauncelor or his deputie or deputies in the saide church.

Present, the bishop of Wells, Sir Christopher Parkins, knight, the dean of St. Paul's, the dean of the cathedral church of Westminster, William Ferrand, LL.D., and many others.—[Ledger F, ƒo. 203.]

1606, June 13.—John Aglionbye, S.T.D., installed by proxy in the prebend of Combe V, pursuant to the mandate of the archbishop of Canterbury.—ƒo. 188d.

1606, July 1.—Ordered "that hereafter ther shalbe a forme of a lease, to be drawen by the advise of three sufficient men lerned in the lawe, by the which all leases hereafter shalbe drawen; and it is ordered that he that shall have the next lease to be sealed shall paie the charges and fees due to the said lawyers. Note, that Mr. Deane and ij other of the canons shalbe present and shall geve directions and conferr with the counsell about the form of drawyng the lease aforesaid.—ƒo. 189.

Ordered that the bishop of Llandaff [Francis Godwin] may have "six timber trees, to be taken out of their manners of Winscombe, Allerton and Congresbury, towardes the reparacion of a tenement, the said Lo. Busshopp howse of the church land in Congresbury."

1606, July 2.—The steward for the time being, at the end of his stewardship, shall deliver to the dean and chapter a book containing the grants made in his time.—ƒo. 189d.

1606, July 19.—The archbishop of Canterbury to the dean and chapter.

I understand you refuse or delaie to performe the order which, in the cause of a residentiarishippe lately voide, committed unto me by speciall reference from his majestie, I sett downe uppon the hearinge thereof, as most agreeable in my judgement to your statutes and to equitie and right. I wishe you yet once againe frendlie to be better advised. And least any of your companie should pretend ignorance of the saide order, I have sent a coppie thereof heareinclosed, requiringe you in his majestie's name (whoe hath referred this matter to me to be determined and ordered) that you see the saide order, sett downe by mee therein, to be presentlie put in execucion and performed, or, in default thereof, that everie one of you refusinge to obaie and fulfill the saide order, doe make your personall apparance before me at Lambeth, the eight daie after the receipte hereof, to answeare your contempte in that behalf. Whereof I require you not to faile, as you will answeare the contrarie at your further perill. Lambeth.—[Ledger F, ƒo. 203.]

1606, Aug. 8.—Robert Wright, S.T.D., treasurer, admitted canon residentiary, upon depositing 100l. as caution money.—ƒo. 193d.


1606, Sept. 30.—Election of officers.

Auditors: John Langworth and James Bisse.

Baron of the exchequer: William Powell.

Master of the fabric: William Powell.

Surveyors of houses: William Powell and James Bisse.

Communar: Phillip Bisse.

Escheator: Robert Marwood.

Tabellar: William More.

Bailiff and cursor: William Sawier.

1606, Oct. 1.—Ordered "that hereafter nether the schollers of the Gramer Schoole nor any other shall play in the cloysters at any tyme, and that notice shalbe geven to Mr. Evans to forbide his schollers."—ƒo. 197.

Ordered "that yf the said Mr. Deane or any of the canons residenciaryes of this church, that now is and hereafter shalbe, shalbe absent from this church uppon any Sonday, holliday or any other day, to preache and returne home, one day betwixt the same day that he preacheth on shalbe a day of residence, as yf he weare at home and kept his residence in the said cathedrall church."

Every dignitary, canon or prebendary, bound to preach in the church, who shall omit to do so in his turn, shall be suspended on the citation of the president [?].

Mr. Mark Tabor is granted the office of registrar of the archdeaconry of Wells, for the lives of himself, Francis his son and Henry Luellin.

The days for ministering the communion are to be set in the table of preaching, and it is to be ministered by a canon once in the year, according to an order heretofore made, and so monthly by a canon in his turn or some other canon. The minister shall give notice publicly in the church the Sunday next before the monthly Sunday. The vicars are to be admonished to come to the communion. The canons are to take care that their servants receive the holy eucharist monthly.—ƒo. 197d.

Humfrey Willis submitted himself to the chapter and confessed "that he procured matrimony to be solemnized in the cathedral church of Welles betwixt hym self and Martha Drury, now his pretended wife, at an unlawfull hower, without bannes published and without any licens obtayned," namely, on September 15 last, between 8 and 9 a.m., by one Sir Thomas Smith, clerk, late curate of Lullington. He was pronounced excommunicated.—ƒo. 198.

Martha Drury, alias Willis, was excommunicated for the like, and also Hugh Hallett for being present at the "pretensed mariadg."—ƒo. 198d.

1606, Oct. 3.—William Smith, servant [famulus] of Mr. James Bisse, for "that about August last past, uppon a Saboth Day after evenyng prayer, he did spett in the face of Hugh Mead, one of the constables of the citye of Wells, in the chancell dore of the cathedrall church of Wells."—ƒo. 199d.

1606, Oct. 22.—Mr. D. Powell shall have out of the church cambry so many stones as shalbe needfull for hym in his buildyng of his canonicall howse in Mountroy Lane.—ƒo. 201.

1606, Nov. 13.—It appears from statutes and ordinances in the records of the cathedral that in times past the schoolmaster [ludimagister] was vicar of the prebend of Bitsham and was admitted to a stall in the choir and to the vicarial habit [habitum vicarialem]; Mr. William Evans, now schoolmaster of the church, is so admitted, with all emoluments.—ƒo. 202.

1606, Nov. 15.—Resignation of Mr. William Evans, B.A., of the office of schoolmaster of the schools of the church, and his appointment by Dr. William Barker, the chancellor, as master of the scholars of the grammar school of the church, his admission as vicar of the prebend of Bidesham and to a stall in the choir and to the vicarial habit.

1606, Nov. 30.—John Bellame or Bellamy and John Corne admitted perpetual vicars-choral.—ƒo. 203.

1606–7, Jan. 2.—Ordered "that Mr. Deane and Mr. D. Wright shall have ther equall divident with the rest of the canons residents of this church, they makyng only three moneths residency in the said church, in as ample manner as if they had mad their full fower moneths residency."—ƒo. 204.

1607, April 1.—The bishop of Llandaff is excused from residence for one year from Michaelmas next.—ƒo. 204d.

Ordered "that a peticion shalbe drawen and made by the deane and chapter unto my lord's grace of Canterbury, for reformacion of the negligenc of preaching in the said cathedrall church."—ƒo. 204d.

Ordered "that all the vicares-chorales shall be removed to the hier roomes or stalls, and dores to be mad to them at the charg of the chapter; and the choristers to be placed in the lower roomes or stalls, and those to be raysed; a desk and dores to all to be ordered by the judgment of the deane."—ƒo. 205.

The patent of the alms-house lands is revoked; a new one is to be sealed to Dr. Ph. Bisse, Dr. Powell, Dr. Bourne and Dr. Ja. Bisse, or to any three or two of them, the dean being one.

Ordered "that Mr. Deane shall have stones out of the cambery sufficient towardes the repairyng of his howse; and after he hath sufficient to serve, Mr. D. Powell to be served, accordyng to the former graunt."—ƒo. 205.

Ordered "that the clerkes of the church be required to attend more diligently the church, and to sweep and keep the same cleane. And that a seate be mad in the body of the church on the north side, answerable to the other over right agaynst it."

The pathway from the dean's house through the churchyard to the church to be "pitched," and half the highway between the dean's house and the churchyard wall to be mended and "pitched," at the cost of the dean and chapter.

Ordered "that frome henceforth every prebendary to be installed shall take out his letters testimonials uppon ther installacion, and paie such ordinary fees as have been usually payed."

Thomas Maicock [the chapter clerk] is to have a pension of 53s. 4d. a year for life.

1607, April 2.—Those present promise in verbis bonorum virorum to renew to Edward Heyden, gent., and his assigns, a lease of the tithe hay and woods specified in a lease of this date, until a good and sufficient lease be made to him.
Benjamin Heydon, decan.
Francisc. Landaven.
Philipp Bisse.
Ja. Bisse.—ƒo. 205d.

1607, July 1.—James Bisse, S.T.D., sub-dean, is elected steward for two years from Michaelmas next, reserving the jurisdictions of Winsham, Comb and Niwlin [?] to the dean.—ƒo. 206.

Sir Edward Tynes, clerk, vicar-choral, is to have a pension of 40s. a year during good behaviour.

1607, Aug. 15.—John Still, A.M., installed in the prebend of Warmister otherwise Luxfield, vacant by the death of James Bill, pursuant to a mandate of the bishop.—ƒo. 207.

1607, Aug. 17.—Henry Allen, A.M., installed in the prebend of Combe X, vacant by the death of Paul Methwyn, pursuant to a mandate of the bishop.—ƒo. 207d.

1607, Sept. 1.—Adam [Adamas] Abraham installed in the prebend of Barton Davy, vacant by the death of John Worth, pursuant to a mandate of the bishop.—ƒo. 208.


1607, Sept. 30.—Election of officers.

Auditors: Robert Wright and James Bisse.

Baron of the exchequer: William Powell.

Master of the fabric: Robert Wright.

Surveyors of houses: Robert Wright and John Bourne.

Communar: William Powell.

Escheator: Roger Rugg or William Moore.

Tabellar: William Moore.

Bailiff and cursor: William Sawier.

1607, Oct. 26.—Thomas Stevens collated to the rectory of the parish church or chapel of Allerton, on the resignation of John Farrant, the last incumbent.—ƒo. 210.

1607, Nov. 21.—Richard Meridith, S.T.B., installed as dean of Wells, and also in the prebend of Curry, annexed to the office of dean, vacant by the death of Benjamin Heidon, S.T.D., pursuant to a mandate of the king.—ƒo. 211.

1607, Nov. 26.—The vicars-choral were admonished to attend the cathedral church more frequently, and not to go out of their close into the city without gowns [non togati].—ƒo. 212.

Edward Tynes is admitted a perpetual vicar-choral.—ƒo. 212d.

John Corne, vicar-choral, was charged with using "very unreverent wordes of the canons of this church, viz. that he cared not a fart for any of the doctors of this church."

1607, Nov. 27.—Witnesses deposed to the truth of the charge against John Corne. He was ordered to make confession upon his knees the next day in the chapter house and on the following Sunday in the cathedral at morning service.—ƒo. 213.

1607, Nov. 28.—The canon's house, late inhabited by Mr. James Bisse, the sub-dean, now deceased, is granted to Mr. Robert Wright, S.T.D., the treasurer of the cathedral, for life or so long as he shall remain a canon resident.—ƒo. 213d.

1607, Dec. 16.—A commission granted to Dr. Philip Bisse, Dr. Wright, Dr. William Powell and Dr. John Bowrne, or any three of them, to hold courts and to demise or grant the lands of the alms house of the city of Wells.—ƒo. 214d.

1607, Dec. 19.—Mr. John Langworth is chosen steward and official, in place of James Bisse, deceased, for two years ending at Michaelmas, 1609. If Mr. Langworth be unwilling to serve, Dr. Wright is chosen.

1607–8, Jan. 2.—Dr. Langworth having declined the office of steward, Dr. Wright is chosen steward and official of peculiar jurisdictions belonging to the dean and chapter. (fn. 3)ƒo. 1.

Dr. Langworth is dispensed from residence as from Michaelmas next.

Grant of the office of auditor to Nicholas Weeks and Edward his son.—ƒo. 1d.

Mr. William Barker, S.T.D., chancellor of the cathedral, admitted a canon residentiary, upon depositing 100l. as caution money; he shall begin his residence on October 2, 1608, and shall not participate in the canons' emoluments until then; if he die before then the 100l. shall be returned to his executors, administrators or assigns.—ƒo. 2.

1607–8, Jan. 4.—Ordered "that every canon residentiary of this church and all others that have any recordes, bookes or other evidences appertaynyng to the cathedrall church, shall bring them in to the chapter howse the first day of Aprill next; and that the master of the fabrick shall make a chest with three lockes and keyes, to be sett in the exchequer, wherin the recordes appertaynyng to the church shalbe kept."—ƒo. 3.

Thomas Maicock's patent of a pension of 53s. 4d. was sealed.

Ordered "that Mr. D. Powell shall have so many stones out of the ruynes and foundacions of the ruinated chapple in the church cambry, towards the buildyng of his howse, as shalbe allowed hym by the Mr. of the Fabrick or his deputy."

Ordered "that Mr. D. Wright shall with all convenient speed mak and provid lockes and keyes for the archives, the chest wherein the chapter seale lyeth, and all other necessary places about the church."

1607–8, Jan. 18.—Dean Meredith admitted a canon residentiary upon depositing 100l. as caution money; he shall begin his residence on October 1, 1608, and shall not participate in the canons' emoluments until then; if he die before then the 100l. shall be returned to his executors or assigns.—ƒo. 3d.

No one shall henceforth be admitted as a canon residentiary except at a quarterly general chapter.

1607–8, Feb. 26.—John Still, B.A., in the person of Thomas Hall, clerk, installed as sub-dean and in the prebend of Compton Episcopi, in place of Dr. James Bisse, deceased, pursuant to a mandate of Bishop John [Still]. [Crossed out and marked vacat.]—fos. 4, 4d.

1607–8, March 22.—Congé d'élire for Dr. James Montague as bishop of Bath and Wells.—[Ledger F, ƒo. 205.]

1608, March 29.—Election of James Mountague, S.T.D. dean of the Chapel Royal, to the bishopric of Wells, vacant by the death of John Still, pursuant to a congé d'élire under the great seal.—ƒo. 5.

1608, April 1.—All canons residentiary and others having in their possession any records, muniments, books, etc., concerning the cathedral are to bring the same into the chapter house this day.—ƒo. 5d.

The dean protested that hereafter no indenture should be made or granted or sealed with the seal of the dean and chapter without his consent, either verbal or written, being first obtained.

Robert Scott, S.T.B., sub-almoner to the king, installed in the prebend of Compton Episcopi, on the mandate of Richard [Bancroft], archbishop of Canterbury.—ƒo. 6.

And his installation as sub-dean of Wells.—ƒo. 6d.

Mr. Hugh Worth, of the city of Wells, esq., appointed to collect in the name of the dean and chapter the subsidy to be paid by clerks to the king within the diocese of Bath and Wells.—ƒo. 7.

1608, May 14.—Installation and enthronization of Dr. James Mountagu as bishop of Bath and Wells.—ƒo. 7d.

1608, July 1.—The excommunication of the ven. William Hinton, S.T.D., to be pronounced in the cathedral at divine service.—ƒo. 9.

Ordered "that whereas divers sommes of money are behynd and unpayed by divers persons and prebendaries of this church which ought to be payed to the fabrick of the said church, and that many somes so due are desperat and not to be recovered, the said desperat debtes shalbe remitted, and such as are recoverable the parties shalbe presently sued for the same, and that hereafter every man that ought to pay any somme of money to the said fabrick and shall not paie the same yearely by St. Andrewe's Day, the same shalbe presently after shued for."

Richard Mason, one of the vicars-choral, petitions the dean and chapter for oblations and other emoluments arising in the cathedral at Easter for the baptism of infants, marriages and burials. Ordered that "the said Mr. Mason shall have fyften shillings of the offerings geven at the funerall of the late busshopp deceast, and that the rest to be distributed as followeth, vizt. xs. to Mr. Bayly, five shillings to the widow Lacy, and the rest to be geven to the poore at the discretion of the deane and chapter."—ƒo. 9d.

1608, Sept. 5.—Gerard Woodd, M.A., installed in the prebend of Milverton II, vacant by the death of William Watkinson, S.T.B., pursuant to a mandate of the bishop.—ƒo. 10.


1608, Sept. 30.—Election of officers.

Auditors: Robert Wright and John Bourne.

Baron of the exchequer: Philip Bisse.

Master of the fabric: Robert Wright.

Surveyors of houses: [William] Barker and William Powell.

Communar: William Powell.

Escheator: Walter Tailor.

Tabellar: Robert Marwood.

Bailiff and cursor: William Sawier.

1608, Oct. 1.—Ordered "that no canon resident of this cathedral church at any tyme hereafter shall appeare by any proxie or proctor, neither shall have any benefitt of his voyce in the chapter howse for any affares or busines whatsoever to be handled and determined in the chapter howse unlest he be personally present in the chapter howse, or unlest he be in the towne sick and cannott be personally present."—ƒo. 12.

James Weare is admitted as vicar-choral and organist for a year of probation; the stall belonging to the prebend of Combe II is assigned to him.

The stall belonging to the prebend of Combe VII is assigned to Mr. William More, one of the vicars-choral.

Ordered "that yf the deane or any dignity beying canon resident of this church shall make his residence xij weeks in every yeare and shall happen to dy at the end of the xij weekes before he hath fylled upp his residence of xvj weeks, he shall have his full divident and all other commodytyes belonging to every of them in as large and ample manner as if he had lived his full residency of xvj weekes. . . ."

1608, Oct. 3.—Ordered "that yf any stranger whatsoever or any other dwellyng within the liberty of the cathedral church of Wells that shall hereafter be buryed in the body of the said church or Our Lady Chappell, except any canon resident or any of their famyly, shall hereafter pay for breakyng the ground for the grave xxs. and for every peale [?] iijs. 4d.; yf in any ile about the chancell or quier, then he shall pay xxxs.; and yf he be buryed in the chancell, it shall be at the pleasure of the deane and chapter."—ƒo. 13d.

1608, Oct. 12.—Richard Hadley, B.A., installed in the prebend of Eastharptrie, vacant by the resignation of William Jones, pursuant to mandate of the bishop.—ƒo. 15d.

1608, Dec. 17.—John Brent, the sacrist, William West, John Elliott and John Coxe, clerks of the church, are admonished "that they doe ring coverfoy hereafter as they weare wont to doe, and performe their duties in better forme hereafter."—ƒo. 18.

1608–9, March 1.—Ordered "that the vicars-choralls of the cathedrall church shall, before the first of Aprill next commyng, unto the deane and chapter . . . disclayme and withdrawe all actions, suites and complayntes heretofore had and mad by tham or any of them in the behalf of the wholl company of them, viz. concernyng stipendia vicariorum, stall wages, chetry [?] and ther dyett at the master's table . . . and shall submitt them selves to the deane and chapter . . ." The submission is to be made under their common seal.—ƒo. 21.

1609, April 1.—Lease of a house in Mountroy Lane, newly built by Dr. William Powell, to him and his assigns, for three lives.—ƒo. 21d.

1609, July 1.—Mr. William Barker, S.T.D., is appointed steward of the church and official of the peculiar jurisdictions belonging thereto, for two years from Michaelmas next.—ƒo. 23.

Thomas Bisse, M.A., installed in the prebend of Taunton, vacant by the resignation of John Farrar, M.A., pursuant to mandate of the bishop.—ƒo. 23d.

1609, July 3.—Richard Montague, S.T.B., installed in the prebend of Combe III, vacant by the death of Edward Powell, M.A., pursuant to mandate of the bishop.—ƒo. 24.

1609, July 28.—William Hall, M.A., vicar of St. Cuthbert's, having resigned, Richard Meridith, S.T.B., is appointed "racione sortis, anglice by reason of his ball."—ƒo. 25.


1609, Sept. 30.—Election of officers.

Auditors: [William] Barker and John Bourne.

Baron of the exchequer: Philip Bisse.

Master of the fabric: Robert Wright.

Surveyors of houses: [William] Barker and William Powell.

Communar: William Powell.

Escheator: Roger Rugg.

Tabellar: John Clerke.

Bailiff and cursor: William Sawier.

1609, Oct. 2.—A letter was read, dated September 15, 1609, from Dr. John Langworth, archdeacon of Wells, resigning his residency in the cathedral church of Wells. Mr. Richard Bowghton, S.T.B., the precentor, thereupon appeared, and prayed to be admitted among the canons resident and to the place of residency with its rights and appurtenances. He was elected and admitted accordingly, and thereupon paid his caution money of 100l. Mr. Bowghton then read another letter from Dr. Langworth, dated August 1, 1609, assigning to Mr. Bowghton all emoluments and arrears belonging to him by virtue of his residency as from October 23rd instant. This was so decreed.—ƒo. 26.

Ordered "that the aforesaid Mr. D. Langworth, in respect that he is archdeacon of the archdeaconry of Wells founded in this cathedrall church, he shall never hereafter in regard thereof challenge any residency or place of residency in the said cathedrall church of Wells nor any profitts appertainynge to a canon resident of the said church.—ƒo. 27.

Mr. Samuel Bisse, M.A., is appointed registrar of the archdeaconry of Taunton, for the lives of himself, Richard Peck of Trull and William Peck his son.

The bishop of Llandaff shall be allowed his residency, with all profits, etc., without making petition yearly to the dean and chapter.

James Weare admitted a perpetual vicar-choral.

Grant of the jurisdiction of the archdeaconry of Wells to Francis James, LL.D., for life; he must give bond in 100l. to pay all tenths, subsidies and duties that Dr. Langworth, now archdeacon of Wells, and his successors, ought to pay to the king "in respect of the jurisdiction apperteyning to the said archdeaconry of Wells."—ƒo. 27d.

1609–10, Jan. 2.—Ordered "that in consideration the late Lord Busshopp Still, busshopp of Bath and Wells, deceased, gave unto the said deane and canons legacies, and for that his executor hath built a faire monument in the choyer of the said church, the said deane and chapter are pleased to accept the somme of xls. in respect of the breakyng of the soyle of the choyer for his grave and placyng his monument there."—ƒo. 28d.

Ordered "that from henceforth uppon the fower quarter chapter dayes the vicars shall begynn service at viij of the clock, and that the deane and all the canon residensaryes then at home shall be at service in their ornamentes, and from thence to goe to the chapter howse."

1609–10, Jan. 3.—100l. granted to the dean.—ƒo. 29.

The steward need only entertain in the audit week, at the time of the steward's feast, the bishop (if he be present), the dean and canons residentiary, and the accustomed officers, with their bailiffs and reeves, for four days.—ƒo. 29.

The communar's audit breakfast is to be for three days, at the second account.

1610, July 21.—Norwich Spackman, M.A., installed in the prebend of Combe V, vacant by the death of John Eglionsby, S.T.D., pursuant to mandate of the bishop.—ƒo. 31d.

1610, July 27.—Samuel Ward, S.T.D., installed in the prebend of Yatton, vacant by the death of Richard Woode, S.T.D., pursuant to mandate of the bishop.—ƒo. 32.

1610, July 30.—Ordered "that the chancell of the church of Winscombe beyng now by the negligence and oversight sett on fyer, that the same shall be amended and the roof sett upp and covered with hard tyle." [Crossed out and marked vacatt ex mandato decani.]—ƒo. 32d.


  • 1. Consecrated November 22, 1601.
  • 2. The entries of this chapter are given on fol. 192, out of order. This order was probably made on July 6, 1606.
  • 3. A new volume of Chapter Acts begins here.