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Title: Wood Carvings in English Churches - I. Stalls and Tabernacle Work. II. Bishop's Thrones and Chancel Chairs.
Author: Bond, Francis
Language: English
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  [Illustration: Beverley Minster]


I.--Stalls and Tabernacle Work

II.--Bishops' Thrones and Chancel Chairs



M.A., Lincoln College, Oxford; Fellow of the Geological Society, London
Honorary Associate of the Royal Institute of British Architects
Author of "Gothic Architecture in England," "Screens and Galleries in
English Churches," "Fonts and Font Covers," "Westminster Abbey,"

Illustrated by 124 Photographs and Drawings

Henry Frowde
Oxford University Press
London, New York, Toronto, and Melbourne




The subject dealt with in this volume, so far as the writer knows, is
virgin soil; no book has appeared, here or abroad, on the subject of
stallwork. Abroad, the great mass of stallwork has perished; sometimes
at the hands of pious vandals, often through neglect, more often still
through indifference to or active dislike of mediaeval art. In the
stallwork of Belgium not a single tabernacled canopy remains; in France
and Italy the great majority of the Gothic stalls have been replaced by
woodwork of the Classical design that was dear to the seventeenth and
eighteenth centuries; only in Spain can the wealth and splendour of
English stallwork be rivalled. In England a great amount of magnificent
stallwork still remains; on the stallwork indeed and the concomitant
screens time and labour and money were lavished without stint in the
last two centuries of Gothic art. Hitherto, however, this important
department of English mediaeval design has almost wholly lacked
recognition and appreciation; attention had not been called to its
value in the study of artistic woodwork, and even the most splendid
examples of this branch of English art have been passed over with
uncomprehending indifference. Yet it is no overstatement to say that
there is nothing in this country more consummate in design or execution
than the stallwork of Lancaster, Chester, Ripon, and Manchester. To most
of the readers of this volume the illustrations which have been here
gathered together will come as a revelation of beauty and interest. It
is to be hoped that the book will help to inform those who are heritors
of a great artistic past, will make them proud of their heritage as
Englishmen, and faithful to preserve it and hand it on in turn
unimpaired to their successors. The art is in the main English {viii}
art, as English as the timber in which it is wrought, and deserves the
attention of all English-speaking people the world over, who inherit
equally with ourselves the good things that remain from the England of

This book, like the others in the series, owes much of any value it may
possess to the generous and ready co-operation of many lovers of mediæval
art. For photographs and drawings the writer is indebted to the Rev. G. B.
Atkinson, Mr A. W. Anderson, A.R.I.B.A., Mr J. H. Bayley, Mr C. E. S.
Beloe, Dr G. G. Buckley, Dr Oscar Clark, Mr F. H. Crossley, Rev. E.
Hermitage Day, Mr W. Marriott Dodson, Mr G. C. Druce, Mr A. Gardner, Mr S.
Gardner, Mr G. F. Gillham, Mr C. Goulding, Mr Charles de Gruchy, Mr F. J.
Hall, Mr J. F. Hamilton, Mr P. Mainwaring Johnston, F.S.A., Professor
Lethaby, Mr W. Maitland, Mr Hugh McLachlan, A.R.I.B.A., Mr C. F. Nunneley,
Mr H. Plowman, Rev. G. H. Poole, Mr Alan Potter, Miss E. K. Prideaux, Rev.
G. W. Saunders, Mr S. Smith, Mr J. C. Stenning, Mr F. R. Taylor, Mr G. H.
Tyndall, Mr G. H. Widdows, A.R.I.B.A., Rev. W. E. Wigfall, Mr A. J. Wilson,
Mr E. W. M. Wonnacott, F.S.I. The writer is indebted to the Society of
Antiquaries and to the Wiltshire Archæological Society for the use of
original drawings.

The revision of the proofs has kindly been undertaken by Rev. R. A. Davis
and Rev. C. A. Norris; to the former and to the Rev. A. Bayley the writer
is indebted for many valuable suggestions with respect to changes of
orientation and the arrangements of chancels. The illustrations are
reproduced by the Grout Engraving Company. The text is preceded by a
bibliography and lists of measured drawings, and is followed by an index to
places and illustrations and a subject index. {ix}

The following is a list of the series of Church Art Handbooks in course of
publication by the Oxford University Press:--



2. FONTS AND FONT COVERS. By Francis Bond. 12s. _Published._

6d. _Published._

By Francis Bond. 6s. _Published._


PEWS. By Alfred Maskell. _In preparation._

_In preparation._

_Uniform with the above._

8. WESTMINSTER ABBEY. By Francis Bond. 10s. _Published._


       *       *       *       *       *


                         PART I

  CHAPTER                                            PAGE



   III. CANOPIED STALLS                                29

    IV. TABERNACLED STALLS                             51

     V. RENAISSANCE STALLWORK                          75

    VI. STALLS IN PARISH CHURCHES                      85

                         PART II

   VII. BISHOPS' THRONES                              101

  VIII. CHAIRS IN CHANCELS                            111

       *       *       *       *       * {xiii}


ABERDEEN. Macgibbon and Ross in _Castellated and Domestic Architecture of
Scotland_, ii. 105.

BEVERLEY MINSTER. T. T. Wildridge on the Misericords. Hull, 1879.

BLOMFIELD, REGINALD. _History of Renaissance Architecture in England._ 2
vols. London, 1897.

BURY, T. T. _Remains of Ecclesiastical Woodwork._ London, 1847.

CANTERBURY. Professor Willis' _Canterbury Cathedral_. 1845.

CAMBRIDGE, KING'S COLLEGE. Willis and Clark in _Architectural History of
the University of Cambridge_. 1886.

CARLISLE. R. W. Billings. _Carlisle Cathedral._ 1840.

CARYL COLEMAN on "Episcopal Thrones and Pulpits" in _Architectural Record_,
xi. 1.

CARTMEL PRIORY CHURCH. Paper by F. A. Paley; and James Stockdale's _Annales
Caermoelenses_. Ulverston, 1872.

CHESTER. Dean Howson's _Handbook on Chester Cathedral_; Appendix iii.
Measured Drawings of Stalls by J. McLachlan in _Builder_, 10. iii. 1900.

COX AND HARVEY. _English Church Furniture._ 1907.

DUNBLANE. Macgibbon and Ross in _Ecclesiastical Architecture of Scotland_,
ii. 105.

DURHAM. R. W. Billings. _Durham Cathedral._ 1843.

ELY. Rev. D. J. Stewart. _Ely Cathedral._ 1868.

GOTCH, J. A. _Early Renaissance Architecture in England._ 1901.

HALIFAX. Pamphlet on the Woodwork of Halifax Parish Church, by Dean Savage.

LINCOLN MINSTER. Prebendary Wickenden in _Associated Societies' Reports_,
xv. 179; and _Archæological Journal_, 1881, pp. 43-61.

{xiv} MANCHESTER CATHEDRAL. J. S. Crowther. Plates 24-26 and 30.
Manchester, 1893.

NORWICH CATHEDRAL. Rev. D. J. Stewart in _Archæological Journal_, xxxii.
18; and Henry Harrod in _Castles and Convents in Norfolk_; Norwich, 1857.

RIPON MINSTER. J. T. Fowler in _Surtees Society_. Vols. 64, 74, 78, 81.

ROCHESTER. W. H. St John Hope's _Rochester Cathedral_. 1900; and _Spring
Gardens Sketch Book_, ii. 46.

ST ASAPH. Murray's _Welsh Cathedrals_, 267.

ST DAVID'S CATHEDRAL. Murray's _Welsh Cathedrals_, p. 134.

---- Jones and Freeman's _St David's_. 1856.

SHAW, HENRY. _Ancient Furniture._ London, 1836.

VIOLLET-LE-DUC on _Stalle_, in vol. viii., p. 464, of the _Dictionnaire
raisonné de l'architecture française_.

WELLS CATHEDRAL. Canon Church in _Archæologia_, lv. 319.

WINDSOR, ST GEORGE'S CHAPEL. W. H. St John Hope in _Archæologia_, liv. 115.

WESTMINSTER ABBEY. Neale and Brayley's _History of Westminster Abbey_:
London, 1818. Pugin's _Specimens of Gothic Architecture_, 1821. Lethaby's
_Westminster Abbey_, 1906.


  BEVERLEY ST MARY. C. de Gruchy. 3. vii. 9-11.
  BOSTON. A. S. Anderson. 1. x. 8.
  BROADWATER, Sussex. A. H. Hart. 2. vii. 9.
  CHESTER CATHEDRAL. H. B. Bare. 1. v. 24.
  CHICHESTER HOSPITAL. H. Goodall. 1879.
  ---- P. D. Smith. 2. x. 10, 11.
  CLIFFE, Kent. H. Goodall. 2. 1. 15.
  DUNBLANE. T. MacLaren. 3. v. 6.
  FAIRFORD, Gloucester. J. H. Bryan. 1. vi. 15.
  HEMINGBOROUGH, Yorks. C. de Gruchy. 3. x. 40.
  HIGHAM FERRERS. Lacy W. Ridge. 1. iii. 71.
  HOLDENBY, Northants. T. Garratt. 1. ix. 20, 21.
  IRCHESTER, Northants. H. B. Bare. 1. v. 24.
  LANCASTER. J. Strong. 3. 1. 36, 37.
  ---- E. E. Deane. 2. iv. 23.
  LINCOLN MINSTER. T. C. Yates. 1. xii. 25-27.
  ---- C. A. Nicholson. 2. xii. 32.
  LYNN ST MARGARET. C. A. Nicholson. 2. xii. 20.
  MANCHESTER CATHEDRAL. J. Harold Gibbons. 3. ix. 29, 30.
  MONTGOMERY, Wales. Sydney Vacher. 2. iv. 33.
  RICHMOND, Yorks. E. Eldon Deane. 2. iii. 25.
  SALISBURY CATHEDRAL. G. P. Bankart. 2. ix. 26.
  SHIMPLING, Norfolk. E. C. Lee. 1. iii. 23.
  WARWICK, Beauchamp Chapel. G. Somers Clarke. 1. ix. 3.
  WINCHESTER CATHEDRAL. L. G. Detmar. 3. vii. 59.
  ---- J. H. Gibbons. 3. vii. 60.


  CHICHESTER CATHEDRAL. G. G. Scott, jun. i. 28, and ii. 61, 62, 63.
  CONWAY, North Wales. A. Baker, v. 71.
  IRTHLINGBOROUGH, Northants. J. Medland. i. 58.
  REEPHAM, Norfolk. J. Medland. iii. 41.
  ROCHESTER CATHEDRAL. J. T. Micklethwaite. ii. 46.
  SALL, Norfolk. H. Walker, viii. 20-22.
  ST PAUL'S CATHEDRAL, London. S. Clarke and J. S. Middleton. 1878.
  WINTHORPE, Lincolnshire. H. Vaughan. vi. 53.


  ST MARY, LANCASTER. W. Goddard. i. 9-13.
  LANCHESTER, DURHAM. C. C. Hodges, ii. 16.
  MANCHESTER CATHEDRAL. A. Mattinson. i. 35 and 36.

       *       *       *       *       * {1}






In all churches of monks and canons, whether secular canons or canons
following the Augustinian, Premonstratensian, Gilbertine or other Rule,
stalls were placed in the choir. These stalls were occupied either by the
monks or by the canons and their deputies and by men singers and
choristers; there was also a limited lay use. The stalls had seats; these,
however, were occupied for but short portions of a service: during the
greater part of each service the occupants of the stalls stood or knelt.
The seats turned up on a pivot, as may be seen by comparing those of
Beverley St Mary (2) with those of Christchurch (2); and when they were
turned up, a small ledge underneath the seat gave a little support to any
one standing in the stall; for his comfort also there was usually a
circular projecting ledge behind him, against which he could lean his back;
_e.g._, at Beverley St Mary, but not at Balsham (3); also he could rest his
hands on the shoulders of the stall, when standing, as at Beverley St Mary
and Balsham. An elbow was often provided lower down, for use when he was
seated; as in the two above-mentioned churches. Above was usually some form
of canopy, varying from a cornice of slight projection, as at Balsham, to
such tabernacled spires as those of Beverley Minster (27). In front of the
stalls, except sometimes the front stall occupied by choir boys, was a desk
for service books. Every part of the stallwork was carefully designed; and
parochial, collegiate and monastic stalls alike were constantly growing in
importance and loveliness up to the Dissolution. {2}

  [Illustration: Christchurch]

  [Illustration: Beverley St Mary's]


  [Illustration: Balsham]               [Illustration: Beverley Minster]


  [Illustration: St Luke]               [Illustration: St Matthew]

  [Illustration: St John]               [Illustration: St Mark]

Christ Church, Newgate Street


  [Illustration: Lincoln]

The upper shoulder was usually simply molded, as at Beverley St Mary; it
rarely took the form of an animal, as at Balsham. Usually the lower elbow
was simply molded, as in Beverley Minster (3); sometimes it terminated in a
mask, an animal or foliage; as in the lower range of stalls at Christchurch
(2) and at Cartmel (80); in Beverley St Mary there is an angel in front of
each of the lower elbows. As a rule, the projecting ends of the elbows were
carried down as supports, _e.g._, at Beverley Minster; sometimes, however,
a shaft or pair of shafts is introduced, as at Balsham, Beverley St Mary,
Hereford All Saints (44); Dunblane (67) and Christchurch (2), where they
are highly enriched. The upper part of the back of the stall is usually
panelled; _e.g._, Winchester (35), Chichester (36). Hereford All Saints
(44), Balsham (3). In the sixteenth century, however, panelling became less
common; at Dunblane the stall backs are plain (67); at Cartmel they are
filled in with scrolls and fretwork (80); at King's College, Cambridge,
with coats of arms (78); at Christchurch with carvings of masks and animals
(76). In Wren's church at Christ Church, Newgate Street, the panels of the
stalls have fine carvings of St Matthew (4), St Mark (4), St Luke (4), St
John (4), the Last Supper and other subjects. The desks also usually have
traceried panelling in front and at their ends, which is often of much
importance in helping to fix the date of the stalls; _e.g._, at Chester
(24), Manchester (6), Trunch (85) and Stowlangtoft (91). At Lincoln the
panels of the lowest rows of desks contain alternately the figures of a
king and of an angel with a musical instrument (5). On the stall ends was
lavished the best artistic talent of the day; there are magnificent
examples at Chester (9), Ripon (8) and Beverley Minster (7); very fine also
are those in Bishop Tunstall's chapel in Durham castle. On the example from
Manchester is an impaled shield, displaying on the dexter half the letters
I. B. (_i.e._, John Beswick, donor {6} of the northern stalls), a cross
intervening, and beneath on a chevron seven nails or cloves. The sinister
half is occupied by a demi-virgin issuing out of an orle of clouds. The
illustrations from Ripon shew the stalls of the Archbishop of York and the
Mayor of the city (8). In the former the poppy head takes the form of an
elephant holding a man in his trunk, and carrying a castle filled with
soldiery; in front of the elephant is a centaur (renewed); below is a large
mitre studded with precious stones (_mitra preciosa_) above a shield
charged with the three stars of St Wilfrid, the patron saint of the
Minster, and supported by two angels, between whom is a scroll with the
date 1494. Attached to the latter is a collared baboon; beneath is a shield
charged with the arms of the see of York, two keys in saltire. Of the two
examples illustrated from Chester (10), one represents the Annunciation;
the other is a most elaborate Jesse Tree (9).

  [Illustration: Manchester]

The ends of the desks usually terminate in poppy heads; at {7} Chester,
Ripon, Manchester and Beverley there are magnificent examples. At
Blythburgh, Suffolk (11), is a foliated poppy head with a lion in front; in
front of the desks and those on the opposite side of the chancel are niches
containing statuettes of the apostles; these stalls were brought into the
chancel from the Hopton chapel, which is said to have been founded in 1452;
the Hopton arms appear on the bench end. There are interesting desks in the
great church of Walpole St Peter, Norfolk (12). When Edmund the King of the
East Saxons was shot to death by the Danes and afterwards beheaded, his
head was guarded by a wolf; the scene is depicted here and up and down all
East Anglia; the whole story is told in six foliated capitals in the north
porch of Wells cathedral, which is early in the thirteenth century. At
Stowlangtoft, Suffolk, the poppy head consists of a vested priest reading
at a lectern or altar (91).

  [Illustration: Beverley Minster]

Besides stalls for monks, clergy and singers, benches or {8} stalls are
sometimes found for members of a church gild, as at Fressingfield, Suffolk;
or those now used by almsmen at Etwall, Derbyshire, on which the date 1635
is inscribed; the Jacobean armchair motif is prominent; nevertheless there
is Gothic cusping at the back; pegs are thoughtfully provided for the
almsmen's hats (13).

  [Illustration: Ripon]                 [Illustration: Ripon]


  [Illustration: Chester]

{10} The stalls are generally constructed very solidly. The ends of a row
are inserted in a strong sill, into which the standards for the supports of
the book board are also inserted. The elbows are in one solid piece and are
framed into the backs of the stalls; they are further secured by the heavy
capping above, which admirably connects and strengthens the work. On either
side the elbow is sunk to enable the seat to be turned up on its hinges and
to afford it support when down. The seats are generally about an inch in
thickness, the misericords projecting about five inches. As the entire seat
is got out of one solid piece of wood, the time expended on each must have
been very considerable; and difficulties in the grain without doubt
frequently added immensely to the labour. The work is often cut across the
grain and worked with much skill. Great care was taken in some instances to
match the wood; _e.g._, in the panelled backs of the stalls in Henry the
Seventh's chapel.[1]

  [Illustration: Chester]

The construction of the tabernacled canopies is well seen in the set of
illustrations from Chester cathedral. In Lincoln Minster, where they are of
somewhat simpler type, they may be described as follows. The canopies are
hexagonal, supported on shafts, which have clustered niches above their
proper capitals; the stalls of the Chancellor and Treasurer, which are at
the extreme east on either side of the choir, have winged seraphs in their
capitals. The niches have ogee canopies bowing forward in front of their
true gables, with various small heads and faces on the hip-knobs. A second
story of the canopy contains a niche, square in plan, but set lozenge wise,
covered with a lofty pinnacle, and flanked by open screenwork with high
flying buttresses, nearly all of which have lost their crockets. All the
niches originally contained statues. The loss of these greatly damaged the
general effect--the alternation of light and shadow, the play of line and
the added mass. Now that the statues have been replaced, the general
character intended to be impressed on the design can be well realised
(52).[2] {11}

  [Illustration: Blythburgh]

The cost of woodwork so elaborate as that of the later stalls, especially
those with tabernacled canopies, was very great. At Wells the stalls,
destroyed in 1848--another example of "restoration"--were begun in 1325;
each resident canon paid 30 _solidi_ for his own stall, and the stalls were
to cost altogether £1,200. The non-resident canons, having subscribed
little or nothing, were ordered in 1337 to make up a deficit of £200 for
the completion of the stalls.[3] As the number of stalls needed at Wells
would be about sixty, it follows that the expenditure on each stall was to
be £20, which in our money might be £300; giving a grand total of about
£18,000. The stalls at Amiens number 116, and were put up between 1508 and
1522. Viollet-le-Duc computes that in 1866 they could not have been put up
for less than £20,000.[4] But they do not possess tabernacled spirelets,
{12} having a comparatively simple horizontal cresting. At Windsor in 1483
six canopies cost £40; thus sixty would cost £400, or in our money about
£4,800; _i.e._, about £80 each; but this expenditure relates to the
canopies only, and not to the stalls or the misericords, or the lower
stalls and desks; if the cost of these be added, the cost might be as great
as at Wells. Few probably realise the vast expenditure which our
forefathers gladly undertook not only on the building but the equipment of
their churches: in a church of the first rank, such as Exeter cathedral,
the cost of the altar, reredos, sedilia, bishop's throne, canopied stalls
and pavement would hardly fall short of £30,000 of our money; which is
exclusive of the cost of the masonry, vault, timber roof and leading, and
stained glass.

  [Illustration: Walpole St Peter's]

As regards the arrangement of the stalls, as many as there were room for
were placed at the back of the choir screen, usually two or three on either
side of the western doorway of the choir. The juxtaposition of screen and
stalls gives some very beautiful effects, _e.g._, at Chaddesden, Derbyshire
(99); still more so is this the case when screen and stalls are of the same
design, as at Chester (24), where the screen was designed in accordance
with the stallwork by Sir Gilbert Scott. {13}

  [Illustration: Etwall]

As to the _place of honour_ in the stalls, that raises some interesting
points. There were no less than three places of honour in a chancel; in
each case the place of honour was to the right, because it was written in
the Psalms, "Sit thou on my _right hand_"; and because of the words of the
Creed, "sitteth on the _right hand_ of God the Father Almighty"; first, the
right hand or north side of the altar, facing the west; second, the first
seat to the right, or on the south side, of the entrance to the chancel
through the choir doorway; thirdly, the extreme right to the east, or
nearest the altar, of the south row of stalls. In the sanctuary the Lord
Christ was conceived to be in real, corporeal presence, face to face with
His people, His right hand to the north, His left hand to the south. In the
sanctuary therefore the place of honour was on the north; and to this day
when a bishop visits a parish church, his chair is placed north of the
altar; the gospel also is read on the north side, the epistle on the south.
In several churches in Derbyshire there are stone "gospel-desks" affixed to
the north wall of the chancel. Turning to the choir, things are different.
When the procession enters the choir from the nave through the screen
doorway, the right of the return stalls is the place of honour. Here in a
cathedral of the old foundation, _i.e._, one which has always been served
by secular canons, such as Lincoln, Wells, Hereford, the dean sits on the
right, and the subdean or the precentor on the left of the gangway. In a
monastic church the abbot sat on the south, the prior on the north side.
But sometimes a monastic church, _e.g._, Ely, Winchester, Norwich, was also
the cathedral of a bishop, who was _ipso facto_ abbot. In such a church the
bishop should sit on the right-hand side of the return stall; at Ely there
is no bishop's throne, and he occupies that position to this day. {14}

  [Illustration: Beverley Minster]      [Illustration: Beverley Minster]

{15} Where a bishop's throne was erected, it was placed on the south side
of the choir, which is ecclesiastically always favoured more than the
north. Of the stalls on the south side of a choir the one most to the right
is of course the easternmost; and it is here that the ancient thrones
remain of the bishops of Exeter, St David's and Durham. Again, even if it
was not a cathedral church, there were occasions when it was not convenient
for an abbot to be so remote from the altar as the return stalls, _e.g._,
at certain portions of the Mass; for such occasions alternative seats were
provided for the abbot and prior; the former occupying the easternmost
stall on the south side, the prior that on the north. At Peterborough there
is evidence that the abbot's seat was on the south, at the east end of the
choir, near the _ostium presbyterii_.[5] At Ripon the bishop occupies the
easternmost stall in the south side, which from the carving of a mitre at
the back appears to have been originally assigned to the Archbishop of
York; the place of honour opposite is occupied by the Wakeman or Mayor of
the city.

       *       *       *       *       * {16}



The history of the changes of position of the stalls of the clergy is one
of the most curious and least understood episodes in ecclesiology; it may
be worth while therefore to go into it somewhat at length, and to begin at
the beginning. As regards what was at all times the main service in the
church, the Mass, there were two conditions which it was desirable to bear
in mind in church planning. One was that the celebrant should face to the
East; the other that the congregation should face to the East. In the
earliest Christian days the latter was most often disregarded. The earliest
arrangement, normally, of a Christian church was that the sanctuary,
containing the altar, should be to the west, and that the laity should be
in the nave occupying the eastern portion of the church. At this time the
western portion of the church consisted of a semicircular apse. This apse
had a double function. On the chord of it was placed the High altar (in the
earliest days it was the only altar); and to the west of it stood the
celebrant facing east and facing the congregation, as he does to this day
at St Ambrogio, Milan, and other churches which retain this primitive plan.
Behind the altar, ranged round the apse, were the seats of the clergy,
having in the centre the throne of the bishop. Thus the apse, like the
chancel of an English parish church, had a double function; the portion
containing the altar was the sanctuary, the portion containing the seats of
the bishop and his presbyters was the choir; basilicas so orientated were
divided into nave, sanctuary, choir; whereas English parish churches divide
into nave, choir, sanctuary. Many examples of basilicas with eastern nave
and western choir still survive in Rome, Dalmatia, and Istria. To this day
in Milan cathedral and St Mark's, Venice, the stalls of the clergy and
singers are placed on either side of and at the back of the high altar; the
apse, with infinite loss to the dignity of the services, being made to
serve both as sanctuary and choir.


  [Illustration: Lincoln]


  [Illustration: York Minster]


There is, however, an alternative plan, which may have been in use from the
first simultaneously with the other. At any rate it can be but little
later, for in 386 was begun the important church of St Paul _extra muros_
at Rome, with apse to the east and nave to the west. By this alteration, if
no further change had been made, the congregation would face eastward, but
the celebrant and the bishop with his presbyters westward. Strangely
enough, this curious arrangement was actually adopted at least once in
England. In the walling of the semicircle of the cathedral apse at Norwich
there still remains the bishop's throne and portions of the seats of his
clergy. And since Norwich cathedral is not orientated to the west, but to
the east, it follows that the people faced east and the bishop and clergy
west; it is hardly conceivable, however, that the celebrant can have faced
west. Such a disposition can never have been but rare. A new arrangement
was made; in the first place the celebrant was made to face eastward, with
his back to the congregation, thus permanently obscuring their view of the
altar and of many portions of the office; in spite of its obvious and great
disadvantages this position has been retained in the vast majority of
Western churches ever since. There remained the question of the seating of
the bishop and presbyters. The remedy adopted was to transfer them from the
apse to the nave; the result being that they sat to the west instead of to
the east of the altar. In this second position for some considerable time
the seats of the clergy remained. At S. Clemente, S. Maria in Cosmedin,[6]
and other basilican churches in Rome, the seats of the clergy still remain
in the eastern bays of the nave, separated off, however, all round by low
marble screens, which, at S. Clemente, are mainly those of the sixth
century church.

Great was the revolution wrought in church planning by the determination
that the laity, clergy, and celebrant should all alike face East. To the
Catholic believer nothing was of more mystic import than the orientation of
the church. He prayed toward the East, toward the Holy Land where his Lord
lived and died and was buried; he looked forward to the dawn of that day
when He should come from the East to judge the quick and dead.

 "Our life lies eastward; every day
      Some little of that mystic way
  By trembling feet is trod;
  In thoughtful fast and quiet feast
  Our heart goes travelling to the East
      To the incarnate God;
  Still doth it eastward turn in prayer
  And rear its saving altar there;
  Still doth it eastward turn in creed,
  While faith in awe each gracious deed
  Of her dear Saviour's love doth plead;
  Still doth it turn at every line
  To the fair East, in sweet mute sign
  That through our weary strife and pain
  We crave our Eden back again."[7]

The next step appears first in ninth century churches, and in the plan of
the monastery of St Gall. It involved no change in the position of the
stalls of the clergy; but instead of being placed in the eastern bays of
the nave, the sanctuary was lengthened to contain them. And so we reach the
familiar parochial chancel, with its western portion forming a choir, and
its eastern a sanctuary. The clergy left the nave and the laity in the
midst of whom they had so long sung and prayed, and removed to the chancel,
where to the north and south were solid walls, while to the west, no doubt
very shortly, was added a screen guarding the entrance to the chapel.
Though the new plan made no alteration in the relative position of the
stalls of the clergy, it was nevertheless a real revolution. The chancel
became practically a secluded, closed chapel; the offices and services
which had been performed in the midst of the laity became more and more the
prerogative of a privileged ecclesiastical order; in the end, in the
greater churches, special altars were put up for the laity in the nave;
except in the parish churches, laymen lost the right to participate in
services at the High Altar. {21}

  [Illustration: Carlisle]

In our great monastic and collegiate churches it was long before the ninth
century innovation--viz., the insertion of the choir in the eastern limb of
the church--was generally adopted; in some it was never adopted at all. The
typical Cistercian churches, _e.g._, Kirkstall, reverted to the Early
Christian arrangement, by which the eastern division of the church was
appropriated exclusively to the sanctuary; and this was the case with many
Benedictine and collegiate churches also. Till ignorant and incompetent
"restorers" were let loose on them, the eastern limb of the cathedrals of
the Secular Canons of Wells and Hereford, that of the Benedictine cathedral
of Ely and others formed one vast sanctuary, the stalls being placed under
the central tower and in the eastern part of the nave; at Wells the choir
had a length of 47 feet, but the sanctuary of 67 feet. The reason why a
sanctuary so long was required was no doubt that it was desired to place in
it two altars; one, the "choir" or "matins" altar, for ordinary services;
the other, the High altar, more to the east, reserved for High Mass.[8]

  [Illustration: Durham]

{23} In some cases, _e.g._, at Westminster, in many Cistercian churches,
and in Spanish cathedrals, the stalls were not placed under the central
tower, but still more to the west, wholly in the nave. In Gothic days,
however, in English plans--Westminster is French in plan--the tendency was
more and more to place the choir of the monastic and collegiate churches in
the eastern limb, just as in a parish church. In the cathedrals the
precedent was first set at Canterbury, where in 1096 Prior Ernulph set out
a new eastern limb consisting of an eastern apse preceded by no less than
nine bays. Sometimes there was a special reason for the removal of the
choir from the crossing and the nave. In several cases--in pious
recollection of the burial of many a martyr in Early Christian days down in
the catacombs of Rome--the Italian practice of constructing a crypt beneath
the eastern limb was followed. This had been so as early as St Wilfrid,
671-678, whose crypts at Ripon and Hexham still survive, and in the
Anglo-Saxon cathedrals of Winchester, Worcester, Rochester, Gloucester,
Canterbury, York, and Old St Paul's. And when these were remodelled by the
Norman conquerors, in all cases the crypt was reproduced. Such crypts of
course necessitate the building of the eastern limb at a higher level than
crossing and nave; in some cases, _e.g._, at Canterbury, the difference in
height is very considerable. The result must have been that where as at
Canterbury the sanctuary was a long one, the High altar at its east end
must have been invisible, or nearly so, to monks seated in the crossing and
nave. Consequently, first at Canterbury _c._ 1100, in the thirteenth
century at Rochester, Old St Paul's and Worcester, and in the fourteenth
century at Winchester and York, the stalls were removed to the eastern
limb, the western portion of which now became choir. The only exception
among cathedrals with crypts is Gloucester, where the crypt is low and the
eastern limb is short and where the stalls remain to this day beneath the
central tower. The example set by cathedrals with crypts was soon followed
by churches of every degree which had none; whether Benedictine, such as at
Chester, Augustinian, as at Carlisle, or served by Secular Canons, as at
Exeter. And so in the churches of monks, regular canons and secular canons
alike, most of the ecclesiastical authorities reverted to what had been all
along the normal plan of the English parish church, viz., an eastern limb
containing choir as well as presbytery.[9] {24}

  [Illustration: Chester]


The length of the stalled choir varied of course with the number of monks
or canons serving the church. In a church of the first rank, such as
Lincoln or Chester, about sixty stalls seems as a rule to have been found
sufficient. These would generally occupy three bays; where more than three
bays are occupied with stalls, it is usually because more stalls have been
added at some later period, as at Lincoln, Norwich, and Henry the Seventh's
chapel, Westminster. In the centre, between the stalls, a considerable
space had to be left free, in order to leave room for processions from the
High Altar to the lectern and to the ecclesiastics in their stalls; as well
as for processions of the whole ecclesiastical establishment on Palm
Sunday, Corpus Christi day, Easter Sunday and other festivals, and on every
Sunday in the year. The lectern also was often of great size, and a gangway
had to be left on either side of it. In Lincoln Minster the space from one
chorister's desk to the chorister's desk opposite is 18 feet: from the back
of the northern to the back of the southern stalls is 40½ feet, which is
above the average breadth of an English cathedral or monastic choir. The
breadth of the choir conditioned the whole of the planning of the church;
for as a rule the nave and transepts were naturally given the same breadth
as the choir, in order that the central tower should be square.

As for the number of rows of stalls on either side of the choir, it was
usually three, rising successively in height; at Lincoln the floor of the
uppermost row is 2 feet 6 inches above that of the choir; the canopies rise
22 feet above the floor. At Lincoln modern additions have been made; at
present the upper row consists of 62 canopied stalls; 12 of them being
"return" stalls facing east; 25 facing north and 25 facing south. Below
them is a row of stalls without canopies; of these lower stalls there were
originally 46; in front of these again are the seats of the "children of
the choir."

The number of stalls in the uppermost row was regulated in a collegiate
church by the number of prebends founded in the church; in a monastic
church by the number of monks in the monastery. At Westminster the number
of monks between 1339 and 1538 varied from 49 to 52, 47, 30; in the upper
stalls there was accommodation for 64. At Southwell there were 16
prebendaries; at times some of these were foreigners, and never visited
Southwell or England; the rest stayed in their country parishes, and it was
sometimes with great difficulty that a single prebendary could be got
together to take charge of the Minster services; they had, however,
deputies; and for them and their masters the two western bays of the
present choir were probably appropriated. And for the meetings of this
collegiate body, which were held seldom, and which hardly ever had an
attendance of more than a half dozen prebendaries, one of the most
magnificent Chapter houses in {26} England was built. At Wells there were
54 canons or prebendaries, each with his own separate estate or prebend;
the greater number of them resided on their prebendal estates in the
country; only on rare occasions did they come up to Wells, and then
probably only for the time occupied by some important meeting; even on such
occasions there seem never to have been more than 20 canons present.[10]
Nevertheless stalls were duly provided for the whole 54, and the Psalter
was divided into 54 portions for daily recitation by the Bishop and his
canons. Each of these absentee canons at Wells had or was expected to have
a deputy in the form of a "vicar choral" who was paid by him a small
stipend called "stall-wages." A beautiful street of little houses--one of
the loveliest things in that loveliest of English cities--built for the
vicars, still survives at Wells; others at Hereford, Lincoln, Chichester
and elsewhere. At Wells the first and highest row of stalls was in practice
occupied by the senior canons, the priest-vicars and deacons; the second
row by junior deacons, subdeacons and others; the third row by choristers
on the foundation; in front of that was a seat for choristers on probation.
The seating of the choirs, however, naturally differed with the
constitution of the collegiate body. Beverley Minster was not a cathedral
proper; but its church and its establishment were on cathedral scale, and
there are no less than 68 stalls. At Beverley the exact position in the
upper row of the provost, treasurer, chancellor, clerk of the works, and
other dignitaries was definitely settled in 1391 by Thomas Arundel,
Archbishop of York. He directed that the clerks or vicars should occupy the
lower stalls, each in front of the canon, his master; and that the
choristers should sit in front of the clerks. "Clerici vero et omnes et
singuli in secunda forma qui libet coram magistro suo. Pueri vero seu
choristae ante clericos predictos loca sua teneant ut fieri consuevit etiam
ab antiquo."[11] At the back of the canons' stalls in many churches,
_e.g._, Chester and Norwich cathedrals (48), may still be seen painted the
name of the country parish where the canon's prebend lay. Appointments to
such canonries are still regularly made; but it has become usual to style
the occupants "honorary canons" or "prebendaries." As a matter of fact they
are just as much canons as the residentiaries. The difference is that the
latter come into residence for three months a year or longer, while the
former need not come at all; and if they did come, there is no house to
receive them nor any stipend. How the cathedral and collegiate
establishments lost, long before the Reformation, the services of the great
majority of their staff cannot be told here; partly it arose from sheer
neglect of duty, partly it was imposed on the canons by the necessity of
serving in their parish churches and of superintending their estates. {27}

  [Illustration: Beverley Minster]


At the backs of canons' stalls is sometimes painted the verse of a psalm.
This refers to a very ancient usage. The daily recitation of the whole
Psalter by the members of a cathedral chapter, according to the psalms
attached to their respective prebends, formed part, in the opinion of Mr
Henry Bradshaw, of the _Consuetudines_ introduced by the Norman bishops in
the twelfth century. In the _Liber Niger_ or _Consuetudinary_ of Lincoln
Minster, copies of which, earlier than 1383, remain in the Muniment Room,
it is stated that "it is an ancient usage of the church of Lincoln to say
one mass and the whole psalter daily on behalf of the living and deceased
benefactors of the church." At Wells also the whole Psalter was recited
daily for the same pious purpose. At Lincoln tablets still are to be seen
on the backs of the stalls giving the initial verse in Latin of the psalms
which the holder of the prebend is bound to recite daily: and at the
installation of each prebendary, the Dean calls his attention to the tablet
and admonishes him not to discontinue the obligation (52). Even at St
Paul's, though the original stalls all perished in the fire of 1666,
fifteen of the present stalls on each side are inscribed with the Latin
words with which various psalms commence; the Psalter here being divided
into thirty portions.

       *       *       *       *       *




It is probable that all the back stalls of monastic and collegiate churches
had originally some form of canopy. For this there was a very practical
reason, in the desire of the occupants of the stalls to have their tonsured
heads protected from down draughts, which from open triforium chambers
imperfectly tiled must often have been excessive. A great number of these
canopies have been destroyed, usually in the seventeenth and eighteenth
centuries, to make room for galleries, _e.g._, at Wells in 1590 and 1690,
and Hexham in 1740.[12] In Belgium not a single set of stalls retains
canopies. When the galleries were removed in modern restorations, the
ancient forms of canopy were frequently not replaced, but something of
modern design was put up. This should be borne in mind in examining the
cresting of the stalls as it is at present; much of it is not original
either in material or design.

The following is a list approximately in chronological order of some of the
finest sets of stalls in cathedral, monastic, collegiate and parochial

  Rochester Cathedral        1227
  Winchester Cathedral       1305
  Chichester Cathedral       1335
  Ely Cathedral     begun in 1338
  Lancaster Church           1340
  Gloucester Cathedral       1350
  Lincoln Minster            1370
  Abergavenny                1380
  Hereford Cathedral         1380
  Hereford All Saints        1380
  Chester Cathedral          1390
  Nantwich                   1390
  Stowlangtoft               1400
  Wingfield, Suffolk         1415
  Higham Ferrers             1415
  Norwich Cathedral          1420
  Carlisle Cathedral         1433
  Sherborne Abbey            1436
  Hereford St Peter          1450
  St David's                 1470
  Windsor                    1480
  Ripon                      1500
  Manchester                 1508
  Westminster                1509
  Christchurch               1515
  Bristol                    1520
  Dunblane                   1520
  Beverley Minster           1520
  Newark                     1525
  King's College, Cambridge  1533, 1633, 1676
  Aberdeen                   1520
  Cartmel                    1620
  Brancepeth                 1630
  Durham Cathedral           1665
  Bishop Auckland Chapel     1665
  Sherburn Hospital, Durham  1665
  Sedgefield                 1680
  St Paul's Cathedral        1697
  Canterbury Cathedral       1704


  [Illustration: Rochester]


The stalls of the churches of Ratzburg illustrated by M. J. Gailhabaud,
vol. iv., seem to be of the middle of the twelfth century; they are of
clumsy design and in a fragmentary condition. At Hastières and
Gendron-Celles, both near Dinant, Belgium, are simple stalls of the
thirteenth century.[13]

In France the chief examples are those in Notre Dame de la Roche; fragments
occur also in Poitiers cathedral and the church of Saulieu.[14]

The earliest stallwork of which we have remains is in Rochester cathedral
(30). From fragments which remained it was found that the stalls had been
about 3 feet 6 inches high, and had hinged seats only 13½ inches from the
floor; there was a space of 2 feet 9 inches between the seat and the form
in front, and the seat was 2 feet deep.[15] There was but a single row of
stalls, and the forms were very low; only 22¼ inches above the platform on
which they stood. They are too low to have been used as book rests; which
indeed would have been unnecessary, as the monks knew the Psalter and their
services by heart; the only service books employed being the big books
which lay on the great lectern in the gangway of the choir. It is probable
that the forms were of use at certain parts of the service when the monks
were _prostrati super formas_.[16]

  [Illustration: Westminster]

At Westminster the original stallwork of the choir has perished;
fortunately, however, a sketch of a portion of it has been preserved
(31).[17] That the sketch is trustworthy may be seen by comparing it with
the description of the stalls by Dart in his _Westmonasterium_ (1742), who
says that "the stalls were crowned with acute Gothic arches supported by
pillars." The sketch shews slender shafts with molded capitals, neckings
and bases, supporting lancet arches which are without cusps; at the back
are trifoliated lancets. The work belongs to the period when the eastern
bays of the nave were built, viz., 1258 to 1272. In Henry VII.'s chapel are
two misericords of conventional foliage; no doubt they belonged originally
to Henry the Third's choir. A valuable and little known example of a
thirteenth century stall survives at Hemingborough, Yorkshire (87). At
Peterborough also fragments of stalls of the same century remain; but they
have backing of Jacobean character (32). At Gloucester a fragment of a
thirteenth century stall has been preserved behind the seat of the Canon in
residence. {32}

  [Illustration: Peterborough]


Apart from the above, we seem to have no stallwork of earlier date than the
fourteenth century. Of that period the earliest and perhaps the most
beautiful is that in Winchester cathedral. The pulpit was given by Prior
Silkstede, whose name is inscribed on it; he was prior from 1498 to 1524;
the desks and stools of the upper tier have the date 1540. The canopies are
of one story. Each is surmounted by a straight sided gable or pediment,
which is crocketed and finialled and has compound cusping. The upper part
of each gable is perforated with a multifoiled trefoil. Below, the stall is
spanned by a broad pointed arch, which is subdivided into two pointed and
detached arches, with foliated cusps. These two minor arches carry circles
with varying tracery. At the back of each stall (35) is a broad arch
containing a pair of detached pointed trifoliated arches supported by
shafts whose capitals are alternately molded and foliated. These two small
arches carry a circle within which is inscribed a cinquefoil, cusped and
foliated. The spandrils between each pair of containing arches at the back
of the stalls are occupied by foliage admirably carved, in which are
figures of men, animals, birds, &c. There is no pronounced ogee arch
anywhere, though there is a suspicion of one where the open trefoils of the
gables rest upon the containing arches. The tracery too of all the circles
is geometrical, _i.e._, composed of simple curves; there is no flowing or
ogee tracery with compound curves. It may be assumed therefore that the
work is earlier than _c._ 1315. On the other hand the foliage of the
spandrils has pronounced bulbous or ogee curves and the pediments contain
compound cusping; both features being characteristic of ornament of the
first half of the fourteenth century. {34}

  [Illustration: Winchester Cathedral]


  [Illustration: Winchester Cathedral]


Taking all into account, 1305 may be taken as an approximate date for this
superb work. It is usually assigned to the year 1296, on the ground of
similarity of design to that of the Westminster tomb of Edmund Crouchback
who died in that year; but that is to forget that he died in debt, leaving
instructions that he was not to be buried till his debts were paid: it is
likely therefore that his tomb is several years later than 1296; indeed,
except that its main arch has not ogee arches in its cusping, it is not
much earlier in design than the adjoining tomb of Aymer de Valence, who
died in 1324. Comparison may be made also with the monument in Winchelsea
church of Gervase Alard, who was still alive in 1306; and with the
monuments in Ely cathedral of Bishop Louth (_ob._ 1298) and in Canterbury
cathedral of Archbishop Peckham (_ob._ 1292).

  [Illustration: Chichester]

On the other hand in Chichester cathedral (36), the ogee motive is supreme.
There are no more pointed arches; every arch is an ogee; and the cresting
consists of wavy tracery surmounted by a battlement. The cusping of the
upper ogee arches is compound; the foliage of pronounced bulbous character.
It is unlikely that this work can be much earlier than that of the Ely
stalls, which were not begun till 1338. On the evidence of costume and
armour it would seem that the misericords were in course of execution
between _c._ 1320 and _c._ 1340; the stallwork would probably be the last
part of the work; and {37} as the Chichester Records are reported to assign
the work to Bishop John Langton, who died in 1337, we may assign 1335 as an
approximate date to the stalls.

  [Illustration: Ely]

When we come to Ely, we deal with ascertained dates; it is known that the
stalls were commenced in 1338. They are on {38} a noble scale, but have
been "improved" by restorers, who among things have actually inserted
Belgian carvings in the upper niches. These stalls have two distinct tiers
of canopies, so that they rise to a considerable height. Each of the lower
canopies has a pointed arch with compound ogee cusping; above each of these
is a niche with three gabled canopies carrying a low spirelet which is
flanked by ornate pinnacles; the whole forming a very beautiful
composition. It is a great advance from the one-story design of Chichester
(36), to the two stories of Ely.

  [Illustration: Gloucester]

The great east window of Gloucester choir was glazed _c._ 1350; by which
date half of the stalls were ready. The northern stalls are the work of
Abbot Staunton (1337-1351); the southern of Abbot Horton (1351-1377); they
replace thirteenth century stalls erected by Elias de Lideford. The design
of the stalls is curious and interesting. In the canopy the leading motif
is the "bowing ogee," repeated twice; it is well seen in the contemporary
work of the Percy monument at Beverley and the arcading of Ely Lady Chapel.
The upper and acutely pointed ogee is finialled, and is flanked by
battlemented and crocketed pinnacles; behind is a battlemented, crocketed
and finialled spirelet. Behind the spirelets is arcading composed of window
tracery; and above the arcading is a crested horizontal cornice. At first
sight the design looks no more advanced than that of Ely; but if the
tracery of the arcading be examined, it will be found that the three lower
lights have supermullions, and that the centre-pieces are straight-sided.
In woodwork, as in stone, it was at Gloucester that the reign of the
straight line commenced (38). {39}

  [Illustration: Lancaster]


Then comes a group of stalls which it is not easy to date, but all of which
are redolent of fourteenth century inspiration; those of Lancaster church,
those of the cathedral and All Saints' church at Hereford, and those of
Abergavenny priory and Norwich cathedral. The Lancaster stalls are the
_chef-d'oeuvre_ of English woodwork, wonderful alike in design and
execution; in woodwork they must have been in their day unrivalled; in
stone they find a compeer in the marvellous detail of the Percy monument
and in the still finer work at the back of the reredos in Beverley Minster.
They do not shew the slightest sign of the revolution of design which had
commenced in Gloucester transept _c._ 1330, and which by the end of the
century was to overspread all England; they are the natural development of
the design of the first half of the fourteenth century carried forward to
an extent for which the only parallel is to be found in the highly
developed Flamboyant detail of French, Spanish, and Flemish design of the
middle and latter part of the fifteenth century. So inordinately Flamboyant
are the traceries (41, 42) that one would unhesitatingly ascribe them to
Continental artists did one not see the touch of the English craftsman
everywhere; compare for instance the tracery shewn at the top of page 42
with that of the west window of the far-away church of Snettisham,
Norfolk.[18] One hesitates to assign to the Lancaster work such an early
date; but if the Percy monument was in course of erection, as we know it
was, soon after 1340, it is quite possible that the Lancaster stalls also
date before the arrival of the Black Death in 1349-50. After that date a
great change came over design; the rich exuberance of Ely Lady Chapel, the
Easter sepulchres, sedilia and piscinas of mid-Lincolnshire and the Percy
monument at Beverley, appear no more. Any lingering hesitation one may
have, however, is removed by a scrutiny of the moldings, especially those
of the capitals, neckings and bases;[19] they are just those which were in
fashion _c._ 1340. {41}

  [Illustration: Lancaster]             [Illustration: Lancaster]


  [Illustration: Lancaster]

{43} The Lancaster stalls may be regarded as the Flamboyant version of the
stallwork of Winchester cathedral, with which they should be compared (34).
Like the Winchester stalls, they are but one story high; they do not aspire
to the two stories of Ely and Norwich. There is a tradition,
unsubstantiated, that these stalls came from Cockersand abbey in 1543. But
St Mary's, Lancaster, was a priory church attached, first, to the abbey of
St Martin, Sées, in Normandy, and then, when alien priories were
suppressed, transferred to Sion abbey, Middlesex. In 1367 Lancaster priory
had a revenue of £80, say £1,200 per annum, and was quite able to provide
stalls for itself.

  [Illustration: Hereford Cathedral]

The lower part of each canopy consists of an ogee arch; this is somewhat
low, but in compensation is surmounted by an exceptionally lofty pediment.
Both ogee arch and straight-sided pediment are filled with perforated
tracery. All this tracery, both above and below, differs from bay to bay;
the craftsman would not and could not repeat them; he was simply
overflowing with inventive design. The tracery of the ogee arch rests on an
arch, usually an ogee arch, which is cusped in ogee, semicircular or
segmental curves, tipped with charmingly diversified pendants of faces,
fruits and foliage; the interval between {44} the two arches is filled with
a network of compound curves--a labyrinth of beautiful forms--enticing the
eye to attempt to follow their ramifications by ever new routes; each
little pattern is cusped, and each has the ogee curve at one end or both
ends, or at one side (41). Equally ingenious and diversified is the tracery
which fills up the tall pediment. The broad band of foliated ornament,
which forms a kind of continuous crocketing, in spite of much mutilation
remains the richest example in English woodwork.[20] Notice too the little
masks which immortalise the features of the Lancaster men of 1340;
sometimes no doubt they represent the carvers themselves.

  [Illustration: Hereford All Saints']


  [Illustration: Hereford All Saints']

In Hereford cathedral the stalls are of one story and have a horizontal
cresting. At the back of each stall is an ogee arch, and in front a bowing
ogee arch; there is some lack of contrast. The sides of the upper ogees are
prettily flanked by graduated window tracery; and the great multiplication
and predominance of the vertical line makes it likely that the stalls were
put up rather after than before the Black Death (43). {46}

  [Illustration: Abergavenny]

  [Illustration: Wingfield]


At All Saints', Hereford, is a range of stalls of remarkable beauty. They
have the bowing ogees, the compound cusping, the intersecting wavy tracery
of the first half of the fourteenth century; yet the cusping and tracery
are not in the early manner. In the cathedral the bowing ogees meet at an
angle of nearly 45°; at All Saints', they project but slightly, meeting
with a very obtuse point. All Saints' has ogee canopies under a coved
horizontal tester with supporting shafts, as in the cathedral. In the
latter the cornice of the tester on the south side has a perforated
battlemented parapet; that on the north (43) has brattishing; at All
Saints' both sides have brattishing, but the pattern is not the same.
Hereford suffered much from the Black Death of 1350, and it is not likely
that a parish church would be able to afford such costly stalls before the
last quarter of that century. We may suggest 1380 as a probable date. It
must be remembered that nearly all changes in mediæval design originated
with the stone mason; it was some time before they were caught up by the
craftsmen in other materials (44).

To the exquisite stallwork of Abergavenny the remarks made on that at All
Saints', Hereford, again apply; it is redolent of the inspiration of the
first half of the fourteenth century; but its effects are gained in a
totally different way: this also may be assigned to the last quarter of the
fourteenth century;[21] say _c._ 1380 or later (46).

The stalls at Wingfield, Suffolk, might date from 1362, when the church was
made collegiate; but much work was done in the time of Michael de la Pole,
2nd Duke of Suffolk, and his wife, Catherine Stafford; he died in 1415; the
badges of Wingfield and Stafford--a wing and the Stafford knot--are seen on
the arches between the de la Pole chapel and the chancel. The design of the
stalls and desks is such as might be expected early in the fifteenth
century, especially in East Anglia, where fourteenth century design
lingered long (46). {48}

  [Illustration: Norwich Cathedral]

At first sight the Norwich stalls might seem to belong to the first half of
the fourteenth century; as in the stalls of Chichester, the lower canopies
have ogee arches; while there is a second story above, as at Ely. The
exuberance of earlier design is present in the cusping and the crockets;
notice how the crockets vary from bay to bay, one set being actually
composed of hawks. Nevertheless supermullions rise from the apex of each
minor arch of the window tracery of the spandrils, and are conclusive
evidence that the date is considerably later. The stalls and misericords
below are of two periods. In the earlier set of twenty-four the seats are
polygonal; the armour depicted is that of the last half of the fourteenth
century, and there are arms of donors who died respectively in 1380, 1400
and 1428; so that we may assign the approximate date of 1390 to this set of
misericords. The remaining thirty-eight misericords have seats curved on
plan, and, according to Mr Harrod, are not later than the middle of the
fifteenth century. Now the canopies extend above both sets of misericords;
the probability therefore is that they were put up together with the second
set of misericords. But there is one curious bit of evidence in the canopy
work itself, which is here illustrated (48); viz, that one set of crockets
consists of hawks with jesses. Now on the arms of John Wakering, who was
bishop from 1416 to 1425 are three hawks' lures;[22] that being so, the
probability is that the whole of the canopies, and the second set of
misericords as well, are {49} of the approximate date of 1420. Though so
much later than the Ely stalls, the absence of the spirelet and the
retention of the horizontal cornice marks this, in spite of much beauty of
detail, as a retrogressive design.

The stalls of Sherborne abbey, Dorset, are somewhat of a puzzle (49). The
arch design, with the compound cusping, is in accordance with that of the
lower story of the Ely stalls of 1338, except that the arches are
semicircular or nearly so; but fourteenth century exuberance and
versatility have faded away; the design is regular, symmetrical, prim.
There was a great fire in Sherborne Minster in 1436; the piers of the choir
are still reddened with the flames; the former stalls would certainly be
consumed, and these no doubt are their successors.

  [Illustration: Sherborne]

The stalls at Hereford St Peter and Stowlangtoft are illustrated to shew
that not only monastic and cathedral churches, but parish churches also
possessed abundance of fine stallwork. Stowlangtoft is a remote Suffolk
village; but possesses a magnificent set of the original carved benches in
the nave and stalls in the chancel (91). The woodwork is probably of the
{50} date of the church, which seems to have been rebuilt late in the
fourteenth or early in the following century; the Hereford church is a town
church; its stalls appear to be well on in the fifteenth century (89).

In Bristol cathedral the stalls consist of a range of traceried panels
surmounted by a horizontal coved cornice. There are now twenty-eight
stalls. They bear the arms and initials of Abbot Elyot (1515-1526).

At St David's a totally new departure occurs in stall design; the motif now
being clearly taken from an oak screen surmounted by a parapetted loft
(109). In the fourteenth century stalls illustrated the ogee arch was the
characteristic feature; in the fifteenth century the fashion was to take an
elongated ogee arch, and truncate it, employing only the upper portion with
the concave curve; these semi-ogees occur everywhere both in stone and
wood; they are well seen at St David's in the backing of the stalls. This
work has superseded that which was ordered to be put up in 1342 by Bishop
Gower, only one fragment of which remains; it was found above the present
canopy and consisted of a finialled ogee canopy, agreeing nearly in detail
and character with those portions of the Bishop's throne which are of
Gower's time.[23] The present stalls, misericords, stall backs and canopy
are all fifteenth century work; on the dean's stall (in this cathedral, as
nowadays at Southwell, the bishop was also dean) are the arms of Bishop
Tully (1460-1481), and on the Treasurer's stall is the name of POLE, who
was treasurer in the bishop's latter days. The parapets above cannot have
been added till the sixteenth century; for they terminate to the east in
scrolls of the form common in cinquecento work.

       *       *       *       *       * {51}



In the latter years of the fourteenth century we come to a new form of
stall design; one in which the English carvers won their greatest triumphs,
and which became the standard and typical design for English stalls. It is
seen in the magnificent tabernacled stalls of Lincoln, Chester, Nantwich,
Carlisle, Windsor, St Asaph, Ripon, Manchester, Westminster, Beverley and
Durham. To distinguish this group, we may term it "stallwork with
tabernacled canopies," or, more shortly, "tabernacled stalls." Though new,
it is, like all design, based on earlier models. At Ely (37) two distinct
and conflicting designs are combined; to those two the Lincoln carvers gave
unity (17). The stallwork at Ely is in two stories; but they are not
correlated in any way. The upper story consists of canopied niches, now
containing figures, formerly probably occupied by paintings. At Lincoln the
lower story was omitted, reducing the elevation to a single story; while
the niches of the Ely upper story were brought low down, and made to
enshrine the vested canons below. The Lincoln niches, however, are of more
elaboration than those of Ely; in the latter each niche was fronted by
three straight-sided pediments; in the former the pediments are
hollow-sided, and in front of each is a bowing ogee arch. Then these niches
are repeated above, except that each niche is single instead of being
triple, and enshrines a statuette of wood, and is flanked by window
tracery. Moreover, above each upper niche, as at Ely, rises a lofty
spirelet with crockets and finials, encircled by a coronal of ogee gables
and flanked by tall slender pinnacles, themselves also ornamented with
miniature niches, crockets and finials. Also the upper portions of the
shafts below are niched, crocketed and battlemented. Thus the Ely design
becomes thoroughly harmonious and at one with itself.


  [Illustration: Lincoln]


  [Illustration: Chester]

As a rule, design did not originate with the wood carver; it first found
expression in stone. And it well may be that to earlier work executed in
stone rather than to the stallwork of Ely the Lincoln design is to be
attributed. At any rate, the tabernacled canopies of wood are anticipated
in most marked fashion in the monument of Archbishop Stratford in
Canterbury cathedral. He died in 1348; his monument is therefore earlier
than any of the tabernacled canopies in wood. It consists of two stories,
with three gables below and a single niche above; then come spirelets with
pinnacles between.[24] There is a similar monument to Archbishop Kemp, who
died in 1454. Of the Lincoln work Mr A. W. Pugin said that "the stalls are
executed in the most perfect manner, not only as regards variety and beauty
of ornamental design, but in accuracy of workmanship, which is frequently
deficient in ancient examples of woodwork.... They are certainly superior
to any other choir fittings of that period remaining in England. The
misericords also are all varied in design, and consist of foliage, animals,
figures and even historical subjects, beautifully designed, and executed
with surpassing skill and freedom." As the work was begun by the treasurer,
John of Welbourn, who died in 1380, we may give it the approximate date of
1370. This is borne out by the fact {54} that on the base of the Dean's
stall are the bearings of Dean Stretchley, who died in 1376.[25]

Judging from the armour represented on the misericords the design of the
Lincoln stalls was copied very soon afterwards, say _c._ 1390, in Chester
cathedral, but with a magnificence of foliated ornament which is
reminiscent of the glorious stalls of Lancaster. For the main lines of the
design, however, the new type of canopy which had been worked out at
Lincoln was taken as a model; the details only are those of Lancaster, the
general design is from Lincoln. As at Lincoln, the lower canopy has
duplicated gables in front of each of the three faces of the main structure
of the canopy. This main structure starts from between pinnacled
buttresses, as it were, separating each canopy; then is brought forward
like an oriel window, having square-headed traceried windows, the whole
surmounted by a battlemented pierced parapet. In front of each face of the
oriel is first a truncated ogee arch, and second, a complete ogee arch,
both springing from a battlemented and pinnacled corner buttress. These
buttresses, whether between the canopies or in front of the corners of the
oriels, are truncated, the former rising not from the shoulders of the
stalls below but from angels, the latter from carved bosses or paterae. The
gables at the back spring from a higher level than those in front, and, as
at Lincoln, are truncated ogee arches. The three front gables are complete
ogee arches, which differ from those in the Lincoln stallwork in that their
lower convex curve spreads outward again. This is an important matter; for
though this compound ogee arch is not employed in the Lincoln stalls, yet
it occurs up and down the cathedral in the stonework of the fourteenth
century; _e.g._, in the arcading under the western towers[26] put up by the
same treasurer who paid for the stalls. It is so special and characteristic
to Lincoln that its presence at Chester may be taken as a decisive proof of
Lincoln influence in the design of the stalls. In the upper story is a
central niche, flanked by window tracery, as at Lincoln. Above rises a
lofty spirelet, encircled at its base by "Lincoln ogee" gables. Between the
spirelets, as at Ely and Lincoln, are tall pinnacles. The leafage of the
lower canopies should be compared with that of Lancaster. In the five
examples illustrated (53, 55, 56) it will be seen how consummate and
versatile in design were these mediæval craftsmen; they were bubbling over
with design, and could not repeat themselves if they wished.[27] {55}

  [Illustration: Chester]               [Illustration: Chester]


  [Illustration: Chester]               [Illustration: Chester]


  [Illustration: Nantwich]              [Illustration: Nantwich]


The magnificent church of Nantwich, Cheshire, was in building before the
Black Death of 1349; the work was then stopped; and when it was resumed, it
was carried out in a different style. To this later period belong the south
transept and the east window of the chancel with rectilinear tracery; it is
probable that the pulpit and stalls also belong to this second work, _c._
1400. The design connects itself with that of the Lincoln and Chester
stalls in the absence of any line of demarcation between the upper and
lower portions; but while that of Chester is reminiscent of early
fourteenth century work, that of Nantwich is well advanced toward normal
fifteenth century design. It is also much richer than either, the lower
stage being a mass of niches and pinnacles, with angel corbels below. The
great novelty at Nantwich is the absence of spirelets, the absence of which
is nobly compensated for by the increased height and prominence given to
the central of the three upper niches (57).

  [Illustration: York Minster]

The stalls of York Minster were destroyed by fire in 1819. Both in the
treatment of the supporting shafts and in the design of the single upper
niches flanked by window tracery they closely resembled the Lincoln stalls,
on which they were probably modelled; above the upper niches rose spirelets
flanked by pinnacles. There is a marked horizontal line midway, dividing
the composition into two stories (58). The presbytery of York Minster was
built between 1361 and 1370; the choir between 1380 and 1400; we may
therefore take 1390 as the approximate date of the stalls. They are a
little later than the Lincoln stalls, and probably contemporaneous with
those of Chester. A general view of the stalls appears in Drake's
_Eboracum_, page 522 (18).


  [Illustration: Carlisle]

At Carlisle the stalls were erected by Bishop Strickland (1399-1413); Prior
Haithwaite is said to have added the tabernacle work after the year
1433:[28] it would therefore be about forty years later than that at
Chester (21). The lower canopy, as before, has triple gables, which are
truncated ogees, but the additional front gable of Lincoln and Chester is
omitted, while the pinnacled buttresses separating the canopies are carried
by shafts standing on the shoulders of the stalls. The line of demarcation
between the two stories, which the Lincoln and Nantwich designs had
minimised, is now emphasised by making the band of quatrefoils continuous.
The upper story, which in the earlier designs had had insufficient
dominance, is now heightened and enlarged; it consists of three pedestalled
niches instead of one; and the flanking window tracery of Lincoln and
Chester, with its makeshift look, is reduced in importance, forming merely
the backing of the three upper niches. The spirelet above is also greatly
enriched, and additional pinnacles are introduced. A little prim the design
may be in comparison with the exuberance of Lincoln, Chester and Nantwich,
but the proportions are fine, and were the statuettes once more in their
niches, it would be a very satisfactory composition. Such work as this has
well been resembled to "a whole wood, or say a thicket of old hawthorn with
its topmost branches spared, slowly growing into stalls." {60}

  [Illustration: Ripon]


At St Asaph's cathedral the stalls and part of the canopies are
ancient.[29] The cathedral was gutted by fire in 1402, and the stalls were
not re-erected till 1471-1495.

Fifty years later than the Carlisle stalls were put up those of Ripon
Minster (60). As two of the misericords are inscribed 1489 and 1494, they
cannot be earlier than the latter year. Just as the Chester stalls were a
criticism of those of Lincoln, and the Lincoln stalls of those of Ely, so
the stalls of Ripon are a criticism of those of Nantwich and Carlisle. In
the latter the upper story had been emphasised; at Ripon the bottom story
is given the dominance; compared with the simplicity of the Carlisle
design, the lower stage at Ripon, as at Nantwich, is surpassingly rich;
gables and pinnacles and window tracery are loaded with beautiful detail,
cusped arches are added below; finally figure sculpture is called in, and
capitals and corbels are beset with tiny angels. In the string-course
between the two stories quatrefoils are abandoned; it is molded, foliated
and battlemented. In the upper story reappears the forest of pinnacles of
Carlisle and the window tracery of Lincoln. Here, as elsewhere, the design
suffers grievously from the loss of the statuettes which once ranged
continuously in the upper story. {62}

  [Illustration: Manchester]


  [Illustration: Beverley Minster]

Some twenty years later, stallwork was put up in the collegiate church of
Manchester. On the north side of the choir is a curious shield with the
initials of Richard Beck, a Manchester merchant, by whom all the stalls on
that side were erected: the southern stalls were erected by Bishop Stanley,
and at the west end of them is the shield of Stanley with the Stanley
legend of the eagle and child. At Manchester craftsman ambition had to
surpass Ripon and Nantwich. But the lower stages of Nantwich and Ripon were
unsurpassable; so they were copied, angelettes included. The string-course
is strengthened and improved by additional battlements; but undue emphasis
is prevented by making it discontinuous. In the upper story, by way of
change, there is a reversion to the single niche, flanked by window
tracery, of Lincoln and Chester; finally, originality is asserted by
surmounting the whole, in somewhat doubtful propriety, with a continuous
tester, so that the canopies that cover the stalls are themselves covered
and protected. This tester has a horizontal cornice with brattishing above
and cornice braces between pendant pieces below. To make room for this the
spirelets so much in vogue are replaced, as at Nantwich, by canopies with
horizontal cresting--taking it altogether, a magnificent design, if only
the Ripon stalls had not existed (62).


  [Illustration: Beverley Minster]      [Illustration: Beverley Minster]


  [Illustration: Beverley Minster]      [Illustration: Beverley Minster]

Then come the stalls of Beverley Minster, misericords of which are
inscribed with the dates 1520 and 1524; the stalls are therefore about a
dozen years later than those of Manchester. They are modelled closely on
those of Manchester and Ripon. It is quite conceivable that some of the
carvers may have worked successively at Ripon (1500), Manchester (1508) and
Beverley (1520). As at Ripon, the lower story is made predominant, the
little angels being replaced, however, by human busts--no great
improvement; not that they are not full of life and interest (27, 63). The
string-course is that of Manchester. The upper story has single niches
flanked by window tracery, as at Manchester. The horizontal canopy of
Manchester now remains over the return stalls only. On the whole it must be
admitted that these stalls mark no advance. A bit of original design indeed
appears at one point, where low, heavy straight-lined gables are introduced
quite out of harmony with the curving ogee arches (64).


  [Illustration: Durham]

Then comes the Dissolution; a long list of Tudor monarchs reign and pass
away; Stuarts take their place; Civil War follows; at length at the
Restoration of 1660 the Church comes to her own again, and John Cosin
ascends the episcopal throne of Durham. True to the Church of England and
loyal to Gothic Architecture, he reverts to the consecrated form, and
tabernacled stalls are reared once more--one of his many contributions to
the cathedral and diocese of Durham (22). Nor is the design an unworthy
one; nay, rather it is a distinct improvement on that of Carlisle, Ripon,
Manchester and Beverley; for by abolishing the string-course, he reduces
the design to the unity with which it started at Lincoln. Moreover, tall
pinnacles had flanked the spirelets of Ely, Lincoln, Chester, Carlisle,
Ripon and Beverley, so that really one could not see the wood for the
trees; these pinnacles are now omitted, and the spirelets get their full
value. Altogether a very fine design; and the little bits of Renaissance
detail which here and there creep in, as in the bishop's {67} magnificent
font cover,[30] only add to its charm (66). Other examples of John Cosin's
time are to be seen at Brancepeth where he was formerly rector from 1626 to
1633; the stalls, screens and pulpit of that church are simply delightful
(93). More of this work is to be seen in the chapel of the Bishop's palace
at Bishop's Auckland; in the church of his son-in-law at Sedgefield and at
Sherburn hospital. So Gothic in spirit is this work that it has been again
and again ascribed to Elizabethan times, _e.g._, by Billings in his _County
of Durham_. In spite of the coarseness of some of the detail and that here
and there a bit of Classical detail creeps in, it is most interesting and
enjoyable; would that we had more of these delightful admixtures of Classic
and Gothic forms; plentiful in Spain and France, they are rare with us.

  [Illustration: Dunblane]

The stalls in Dunblane cathedral are thought by Messrs Macgibbon and
Ross[31] to have been put up in the time of Bishop James Chisholm
(1486-1534). In that case they would be _c._ 1520. "The work is rather
rough in execution, not to be {68} compared with the more characteristic
woodwork of King's College, Aberdeen"; nevertheless it is very picturesque
and interesting. The introduction of the centaurs indicates Renaissance
influence; the foliage carving is a rather curious mixture of late Gothic
and Classic forms, such as we find elsewhere in Scottish carved work of
this period. The Scottish thistle is one of the chief motifs (67).

In the chapel of King's College, Aberdeen, is a considerable amount of fine
oak carved work, by far the most extensive and best of its kind in
Scotland. The chapel itself, in some of its features, bears the character
of the parish church at Stirling and other Scottish works of the beginning
of the sixteenth century. The carved stalls, monuments, and decorative work
of the interior are of the same period, but may possibly have been brought
from a distance, or executed by foreign workmen engaged (like the English
plumber) by the bishop. The panels are all of different design, and shew a
great deal of variety combined with a sufficiently uniform effect when the
work is viewed as a whole. In some of them the details are based on floral
forms--thistle, vine, oak, &c.--while the conventional French fleur-de-lis
is also introduced.[32]

At this point arises the question how far our stallwork was influenced by
foreign design. It may be stated at once with confidence that of the great
majority of the stalls the design is as thoroughly English as the oak of
which they are built. We have seen that the flowing and ogee forms of the
Ely tracery were designed not later than 1338, which is at least sixty
years earlier than any work of the sort in France. We were able to see how
by gradual modifications of the Ely design the craftsmen were able to
advance slowly but assuredly to the stallwork of Lincoln, Chester,
Nantwich, Carlisle, Ripon, Manchester, Beverley, Durham; the glorious chain
of artistic success is complete; every link is there. But there are facts
on the other side which, at any rate at Melrose, are beyond dispute or
controversy. In 1846 a document was communicated to the Society of
Antiquaries, London, from West Flanders, relating to a dispute at Bruges
between William Carebis, a Scotch merchant, and John Crawfort, a monk of
Melrose, on the one hand, and Cornelius de Aeltre, citizen and master of
the art of carpentry of Bruges, on the other hand. The latter had
contracted to supply certain stalls and to erect them in the abbey church
of Melrose, after the fashion of the stalls of the choir of the abbey
church of Dunis in Flanders, with carving similar to that existing in the
church of Thosan near Bruges. The stipulated price had been paid, and the
master carpenter was called to account for delaying to complete the work;
whereupon he pleaded various excuses, stating that the work had been
impeded by popular commotions at Bruges, during which he had been deserted
by his workmen and had suffered heavy losses. It was decided that Melrose
abbey should bear the cost of its transport to the town of Sluys and
embarkation there for Scotland, and should make some allowance to Cornelius
towards his journey to Melrose; and that they should give him and his chief
carver (_formiscissori_) a safe-conduct for their journey and return. This
document was dated 7th October, 1441.[33] {69}

  [Illustration: Windsor]


No such wholesale example of foreign design occurs in England; nevertheless
there are two important instances in which Flemish design is to be
suspected; viz., in the Royal chapels at Windsor and Westminster. As
regards the stalls in St George's chapel, Windsor, it is known that the
tabernacled canopies were begun in 1477 and were completed in 1483; thus
they took six years to make (69).[34] The canopies are known to have been
made in London; the carvers being Robert Ellis and John Filles, apparently
Englishmen. On the other hand the great Rood, with the statues of St George
and St Edward and others, was made by Diricke Vangrove and Giles
Vancastell, who are just as evidently Dutchmen; for four images the two
Dutchmen were paid at the rate of 5s. per foot; for six canopies the two
Englishmen received £40, say £480; _i.e._, about £80 of our money for each
canopy. Now here we have Dutch and English carvers engaged together on what
was practically one work: moreover the more artistic and difficult part of
the work, the figure sculpture, is entrusted to the Dutchmen. It is to the
latter probably that the general lines of the design are due. The detail is
sufficiently English; not so the general design. For the Windsor stallwork
is intermediate between that of Chester (_c._ 1390) and Carlisle (1433) on
the one hand, and Ripon (_c._ 1490) and Manchester (1508) on the other. But
it is not a development arising out of either of the earlier designs, nor
was the stallwork of Ripon and Manchester in any way a development from
that of Windsor. {71}

  [Illustration: Windsor]

{72} All the larger stallwork of the fifteenth century was, as we have
seen, designed in two stories, rising into spirelets and pinnacles; at
Windsor the double story, the spirelet and the pinnacle are all alike
lacking. It is true that the original canopies were designed quite as much
for the Knights of the Garter as for the Windsor Canons, and in the case of
the former the design had to be accommodated to provide supports for the
knights' helmets, mantles and swords; nevertheless this might have been
accomplished without utterly breaking away from current design. The Windsor
design, so far as English work goes, has no ancestry; its origin no doubt
is to be found in the Netherlands. The Windsor stalls have been much
tampered with. As Hollar's engraving in Ashmole's _Institution of the Order
of the Garter_ (1672) shews, over the westernmost bay on either side of the
choir the canopies contained imagery and had a horizontal cresting; and all
the other canopies consisted alternately of towers and spirelets; the
knights being seated under the towers and the canons under the spirelets;
but since the enlargement of the Order in 1786 all the spirelets have been
converted into towers (71). All these towers are surmounted by wooden
busts, of which the earliest go back to the time of Edward IV.; on the bust
were placed the knight's helmet, crest and mantlings, which hid the busts
from view; lower down, in front, hung his sword; banners were not added
till a later period. At first the real sword and helm were put up; later,
they were theatrical properties.

  [Illustration: Bishop Langton's Chapel]

In Winchester cathedral is stallwork of rare beauty in the Lady Chapel,
which was built in the time of Bishop Courtenay, 1486-1492. In some of its
details it resembles the Windsor stalls, which were completed in 1483; it
is therefore feasible that some of the Windsor carvers went on to
Winchester (73). South of the Lady Chapel is the chantry chapel of Bishop
Langton, 1493-1500, where also the screen and coved panelling are of great
excellence (72); there are no stalls. {73}

  [Illustration: Winchester Cathedral]  [Illustration: Westminster Abbey]


Henry the Seventh's chapel at Westminster was built partly as a Lady
Chapel, partly to be the mausoleum of Henry VII. and his Queen, and of
Henry VI.[35] Here the canopies with tower-like form and single story and
with the absence of pinnacle are plainly reminiscent of those of Windsor,
and as plainly distinct from current English design, as seen at Manchester
in 1508 and Beverley Minster in 1520; the Westminster and Manchester
canopies were being made together; but those of Westminster have no
connection with the grand Northern series of consecutive designs (131).
Besides Windsor influence there may be direct influence from the
Netherlands; for some of the misericords are evidently from the design of a
painter or engraver, the subjects being too crowded to be properly carved
in wood in so limited a space. Mr J. Langton Barnard says,[36] "While
looking over some engravings on copper of Albert Durer, I came across one
which strikingly resembled the third misericord in the upper row on the
north side; the resemblance was extremely close, especially in the
arrangement and folds of the woman's dress; this is stated by Bartsch in
his _Catalogue_ (vii. 103 and 93) to be one of his earliest plates. Another
plate of Albert Durer closely resembles the corresponding misericord in the
lower row on the south side, as regards the position of the limbs and the
folds of the drapery; while the seventh misericord of the lower row on the
south side almost exactly resembles a plate by Israel van Meckenern, of two
monkeys and three young ones." These stalls formerly occupied only the
three western bays of the chapel; another bay was filled with stalls when
the Order of the Bath was revived by King George the First; the
canopy-fronts for an additional bay on each side being got by sawing off
canopy-backs and putting them up as fronts. The tabernacle work is of the
richest and most diversified character, varying in every canopy (73).

       *       *       *       *       * {75}



Thus far the stallwork has been wholly of Gothic design, or nearly so. We
now come to the great change of style, the reversion to the Classic art of
ancient Rome, which goes by the name of the Renaissance. Of this the chief
representatives left to us are the stalls of Christchurch, Hants; King's
College, Cambridge; and Cartmel, Lancashire. The stalls and misericords of
Christchurch, as we see them now, are a patchwork of portions of work of
several periods framed together at some more or less recent epoch; there
are at least two styles of Renaissance work, and three or more of Gothic.
The earlier Renaissance work, which is seen in most of the misericords and
on the stall backs is that of William Eyre who was Prior from 1502 to 1520
(2). There are fifty-eight stalls; of the misericords twenty-six have been
stolen or destroyed. The early date of this work makes it of exceptional
importance in the history of the introduction of Renaissance art into
England. One special feature of the work is the portrait panels. These also
occur in a cupboard preserved in Louth church, Lincolnshire, where the
panels have what look very much like portraits of Henry VII. and his queen,
Elizabeth of York. It goes by the name of the "Sudbury hutch" and was the
gift of Thomas Sudbury, who was vicar from 1461 to 1504: it is therefore of
the time of Henry VII. These "portrait cabinets" had a great vogue in the
reign of Henry VIII., and throughout the sixteenth century. Then come three
important tombs by Torrigiano, executed between 1509 and 1518, that of
Henry VII. and his Queen and that of Margaret Beaufort at Westminster and
that of Dr Young in the Rolls chapel. Almost as early, if not quite so, is
Prior Eyre's work at Christchurch. Then comes Cardinal Wolsey's work at
Hampton Court, 1515 to 1525; the beautiful Marney tomb at Layer Marney,
Essex, 1523; the mortuary chests in the cathedral, and the screen work both
in the cathedral and in St Cross, Winchester, _c._ 1525; the chantry chapel
of Prior Draper at Christchurch, 1529, and that of Lady Salisbury, which
may be a year or two earlier; and the screen at Swine church, Yorkshire,
dated 1531. Then follow Henry VIII.'s hall at Hampton Court, 1534; and the
screen at King's College, Cambridge, 1533.


  [Illustration: Christchurch]


  [Illustration: Christchurch]

So that the Christchurch work stands very high on the list and deserves
much more attention than it has received. The general outline of the stalls
themselves is Gothic, the chief divergency being in the supports of the
elbow rests and seats. Among the shafts are examples of the honeycomb form
which is almost the only bit of Renaissance detail in the canopies of the
Westminster stalls. At the back of the stalls are very vigorous carvings of
classical dragons, serpents, hounds and human faces (76). To these last
fanciful attributions have been made; _e.g._, one has been imagined to
represent Catharine of Arragon between Cardinal Wolsey and Cardinal
Campeggio (77). These portrait busts have a wide distribution; they occur
in wood, stone and terra cotta. Noble examples are those in terra cotta at
Hampton Court, which were undoubtedly imported by Cardinal Wolsey direct
from Italy.[37] Others no doubt are the work of Italians resident in
England in the first half of the sixteenth century, when Italian art and
Italian literature were equally the fashion with the cognoscenti led by
Henry VIII. and Wolsey; _e.g._, the fine bust of Sir Thomas Lovell by
Torrigiano, now in Westminster Abbey.[38] These portrait busts have a wide
range--from Essex westward to Somerset, Devon and Cornwall; _e.g._, North
Cadbury, Somerset; Lapford, Devon, and Talland, Cornwall; several also
occur at Hemingborough, Yorkshire. The probability is that the Italian
artists entered the kingdom at Southampton; and that a few found work at
Christchurch and in the south-west, but that the main body proceeded
eastward to Winchester, Basing, London and Layer Marney; they have left one
memorial at Oxford beneath a window at Christ Church.[39] {78}

  [Illustration: King's College, Cambridge]


Next come the famous screen and stalls of King's College, Cambridge--"the
finest woodwork this side of the Alps." Harmonious as is the general effect
of the stallwork, it was executed at three different periods. The stalls
were ordered to be made by Henry VI. in his will, but were not put up till
much later. About 1515 an estimate was obtained for 130 stalls, which it
was found would cost about £12,000 of our money, _i.e._, about £92 each. On
the screen, which is part of the same work, are the arms, badge and
initials of Anne Boleyn, who was at the height of her influence between
1531 and 1535; the stallwork may be ascribed to the same period, but as yet
the stalls had plain backs. In 1633 Mr Thomas Weaver presented the large
coats of arms which are seen on the backs of the stalls (78). The cresting
was made between 1675 and 1678 by Thomas Austin, following more or less the
style of the work below.[40] The screen is more completely Italian in
treatment than any other work of the time, all the moldings being Classic;
it is practically certain that the general design and most of the work must
have been done by Italians. The design of screen and stalls alike is to be
regarded as an isolated example, complete in itself. It did not grow out of
anything that went before it in England, nor did it develop into anything
else in England afterwards.[41]

More Classical still in design--an entablature with architrave, frieze and
cornice superseding the semicircular arches of the Cambridge stalls--is the
superb woodwork at Cartmel, Lancashire. From the Dissolution up to 1620,
the choir of Cartmel priory church was roofless; the canopies of the stalls
must have perished; the stalls themselves remain, bearing the mark of long
exposure to the weather. In 1620 it is recorded[42] that George Preston of
Holker, who died in 1640, not only reroofed the chancel, "but decorated the
quire and chancel with a profusion of curiously and elaborately carved
woodwork" (80). {80}

  [Illustration: Cartmel]


  [Illustration: Cartmel]


Cartmel was a priory church of Austin Priors, with an income at the
Dissolution of £90, say £1,000. There are twenty-six stalls; above the
doorways are inscriptions in gold letters from the Psalms. The architrave
is supported by shafts which have Corinthian capitals, round which cling in
delightful fashion delicate tendrils and fruit of the vine. On the shafts
also are emblems of the Passion; in the illustrations may be recognised the
cross, the ladder, the buffet, the pillar of scourging, the hammer and the
nails. At the back is delicate tracery work, reminding one of the Gothic
tracery of the screen of St Catharine's chapel in Carlisle cathedral. The
whole design is full of grace and charm; above all in the delicate tendrils
of the vine coiling round the shafts; one's first thought is to class it
with the exquisite scrollwork of the churches of S. Maria dei Miracoli at
Brescia and Venice, and with the work of the Italian artists in England in
the time of Henry VIII. For as a rule, says Mr Gotch,[43] "with the close
of the first half of the sixteenth century we come to the end of pronounced
Italian detail such as pervades the tiles at Lacock abbey and characterises
other isolated features in different parts of the country. The nature of
the detail in the second half of the sixteenth century," and in the
seventeenth century, "is different; it no longer comprises the dainty
cherubs, the elegant balusters" (_cf._ the King's College stalls) "vases
and candelabra, the buoyant dolphins and delicately modelled foliage which
are associated with Italian and French Renaissance work, but indulges
freely in strapwork curled and interlaced, in fruit and foliage, in
cartouches and in caryatides, half human beings, half pedestals, such as
were the delight of the Dutchmen" who had superseded the Italian artists.
In the Cartmel stalls the one feature which is pre-eminently Jacobean is to
be seen in the character of the busts in the frieze; if they are compared
with those at Christchurch (77), they are seen at once to be of seventeenth
and not of sixteenth century design. Setting those aside, the design is
purely that of the Early English Renaissance, as practised by Italian
artists. It is one of the most remarkable examples of "survival" in design
in the range of English art, and as beautiful as it is belated--a whole
century behind the times. {83}

  [Illustration: St Paul's Cathedral]


In 1697 the choir of St Paul's cathedral was opened for public worship. The
stalls differ considerably in type from those of Pre-Reformation days, as
it was necessary to provide seats for the Lord Mayor and Corporation of
London as well as closets at the back to accommodate the wives and families
of the canons. By the removal of the western screen in the time of Dean
Melvill, appointed 1856, the appearance of the choir has been completely
changed. The exquisite carvings of Grinling Gibbons, says Dean Milman,[44]
are not merely admirable in themselves, but in perfect harmony with the
character of the architecture. He even goes so far as to say that they
rival, if they do not surpass, all mediæval works of their class in grace,
variety and richness; and keep up an inimitable unison of the lines of the
building and the decoration. In the words of Horace Walpole, "there is no
instance of a man before Gibbons who gave to wood the loose and airy
lightness of flowers, and changed together the various productions of the
elements with a fine disorder natural to each species." It is doubtful
whether Grinling Gibbons was of Dutch or English birth. He was discovered
by Evelyn in a poor solitary thatched house near Sayes Court carving a
Crucifixion after Tintoretto. In this piece more than a hundred figures
were introduced; "nor was there anything in nature so tender and delicate
as the flowers and festoons about it; and yet the work was strong." He
asked Evelyn £100 for it. The frame, says Evelyn, was worth as much. Evelyn
introduced "the incomparable young man" to the King and to Wren, and his
fortune was made. Malcolm in his _Londinium Redivivum_ calculates that the
payments made to Gibbons for his work in St Paul's amounted altogether to
£1,337. 7s. 5d.[45]

Space fails to tell of many noble examples of eighteenth century
stallwork.[46] In spite of an enormous amount of destruction, _e.g._, by
the vandals in charge of Canterbury cathedral, much still remains and
awaits the historian. A fine drawing of the stallwork put up in 1704 in
Canterbury choir will be found in Dart's _Canterbury_. The throne, carved
by Grinling Gibbons, was given by Archbishop Tenison; the pulpit, two of
the stalls and other fittings by Queen Mary II.;[47] all this has been
swept away, except some pieces worked into the return stalls, to make way
for stalls of the usual brand of Victorian Gothic.

       *       *       *       *       * {85}



  [Illustration: Sall]                  [Illustration: Trunch]

Stalls are found, but rarely with canopies, in many parochial, as well as
in monastic, collegiate and cathedral churches. In the latter of course the
object of them is obvious; they were intended to accommodate a large body
of monks or canons with their vicars and the choristers. But they are found
sometimes in the churches of quite small parishes, _e.g._, Sall, Trunch,
Ludham, Burlingham St Edmund's in Norfolk, Weston-in-Gordano, Somerset,
Norton in Suffolk, Ivychurch[48] in Romney Marsh, where it is pretty
certain that in most cases the church was served by a single parish priest
merely. At Ingham, a parish in the Norfolk Broads, there are ten stalls in
the chancel; at Stowlangtoft, Suffolk, there are six stalls; and so with
numerous others. How early parochial chancels had stalls is difficult to
say. No existing examples are earlier than the thirteenth century. But a
curious fact about the growth of our parish churches, to {86} which
attention has not hitherto been directed, may throw some light on the
subject. In early Anglo-Saxon days the normal and most common type of
parish church was one which had an aisleless nave and chancel. In early
Norman days also this was the most common type. In all the above churches,
whether Anglo-Saxon or Norman, the chancel, whether rectangular or apsidal,
was quite small. Comparatively few, however, of these chancels remain
small. In the vast majority of cases they have been enlarged. Either the
old chancel has been retained but has been lengthened, or it has been
broadened as well as lengthened, thus producing an entirely new chancel. In
most cases it happened that, in the long history of the church, aisles were
thrown out afterwards, or transepts, that later the nave was lengthened
westwards and was heightened to accommodate clerestory windows, and still
later a western tower was added and perhaps a spire. But the enlargement of
the chancel sometimes took place without any of the other alterations, and
where that is so, _i.e._, where the church retains a comparatively small
nave, the enlarged chancel bulks up very lofty and spacious, seemingly
quite out of scale to the rest of the church: in some examples the chancel
is actually loftier than the nave. A church with a chancel so
disproportionate strikes the attention at once as one demanding
explanation. Large numbers of such abnormally big chancels survive. In Kent
and Sussex many of them are of the thirteenth century; _e.g._,
Littlebourne; while over England one is struck with the very large number
of lofty and spacious chancels of the fourteenth century; _e.g._, Norbury,
Derbyshire; Oulton, Suffolk. In numerous cases the enlargements of the
chancel took place more than once. At Boston the church was rebuilt with a
fine chancel _c._ 1330; but by the end of the century even this vast
chancel was judged inadequate, and it was extended still further to the


  [Illustration: Hemingborough Church]

{88} What then is the explanation of this furore for enlargement of
chancels? In considering the answer, it must be borne in mind that,
ritualistically, the English parish church was always tripartite;
consisting of nave, choir and chancel. In churches of the Iffley type,
_i.e._, with a central tower, it was also architecturally tripartite. But
even in churches which architecturally were bipartite, _i.e._, which
consisted merely of a nave and chancel, the chancel was divided into two
parts, choir and sanctuary, the distinction between them being marked by a
change of level. Which part then was it that was found inadequate, the
sanctuary or the choir? Not the former; it was not then cumbered with altar
rails; the purpose they serve nowadays was served by the screen which every
church possessed, guarding the entrance to the chancel; and the sanctuary
was quite large enough for the celebrant at the Mass, with as a rule a
solitary assistant, the parish clerk. It must have been the choir that was
too small for the seats which it was desired to place in it. We conclude
therefore that seats were common even in small village churches as early as
the thirteenth century, if not before. Documentary evidence to that effect
we have not. But in later days there is definite evidence as to the
practice of putting stalls in the chancels of parish churches. In
Hemingborough church, Yorkshire, there remain stalls of graceful thirteenth
century design (87). Now this church in the thirteenth century was
parochial; it did not become collegiate till 1426. A series of entries of
the cost of choir stalls is preserved for the parish church of St Mary at
Hill in the City of London. In the year 1426 there was "paid to three
carpenters for the stalls of the quire, 20d." In the following year there
was paid "for the stalls of the quire" the large sum of £12 (= £150); it
would seem that it was about this time that a complete new set of stalls
was put into the choir. In the same year, 1427, there was "paid for stalls
in the quire, 16s. 6d."; and "for a quire stool, 7s. 10d." In 1501 a
payment was made "for mending of desks in the quire"; in 1509 "for nails
and mending of a bench in the quire, 1d." In 1523 there was "paid for a
long desk for the quire, 3s."; in 1526 "for the stuff and making of a
double desk in the quire, 5s." Then, in Protestant days, there was "paid
for mending the desk and settles in the chancel, 2s." At this church the
lower part of the bench was made to form a box or chest. {89}

  [Illustration: Hereford St Peter's]

Who then sat in these stalls? The common theory is that they were intended
for the use of the rector or vicar and the parish clerk, and of any chantry
priests who might be attached to the church. This no doubt is true as far
as it goes. At St Maurice, York, a complaint was made at the visitation in
1416 to the effect that the desks in the choir, viz., those where the
parish chaplain and the parish clerk were wont to sit, are unhandsome and
in need of repair: "Dicunt quod deski in choro, tam ex una parte quam ex
alia, ubi saltem capellanus parochialis et clericus parochialis sedere usi
sunt, nimis deformes et indigent reparacione."[49] To many churches also,
but by no means to all, chantry endowments were made; _i.e._, money was
left that masses might be said for ever for the repose of the soul of the
donor by a priest, other than the rector or vicar, specially appointed for
that purpose. It is commonly supposed that these chantry priests were
concerned only with the special altars at which they ministered. But that
this was not the case, at any rate universally, is apparent from the terms
of the institution of the Willeby chantry in Halifax parish church. The
deed is dated 10th June 1494. Amongst other regulations it contains the
provision that the chaplain is to attend in person in the choir of the
church on every Sunday and Holy Day in his surplice, at matins, mass and
vespers, and to take his part in the reading and chanting, as directed by
the vicar, and in accordance with the constitutions of the Metropolitan
Church. "Item volo et ordino quod predictus Tho. Gledhill, Capellanus
modernus, et omnes alii Capellani, ... temporibus futuris nominandi,
singulis diebus dominicis et festivis personaliter sint presentes in choro
ejusdem Ecclesie temporibus matutinarum missarum et vesperarum, suis
suppeliciis induti, et legant et psallent, prout Vicario ejusdem Ecclesie
pro tempore existenti decenter et congrue videbitur expedire, ut in
constitutionibus Ecclesie Metropolitane proinde constitutis plenius
liquet." Assuming {90} then that the same rule applied also to the
incumbents of the other chantries, there would be a regular body of clergy
to take part in the choir offices.[50]

Instances might be multiplied to any extent of the obligation laid on
chantry priests to attend and assist the rector or vicar in the services.
Thus at Rothwell in 1494 the chantry priest attached to the altar of Our
Lady was not only required by the foundation deed to celebrate Mass and
other service daily at this altar, but was directed to be in the high choir
all festival days at matins, Mass, and evensong. In 1505 Margaret Blade,
widow, endowed a chantry of Our Lady in Kildewick parish for a priest who,
in addition to his special duties, was to help Divine service in the choir
and to help the curate in time of necessity.[51] Sometimes quite a
considerable number of chantry priests were attached to a parish church.
When all chantry endowments were confiscated by Edward VI., the loss of the
services of the chantry priests was in many cases severely felt. At
Nottingham indeed the parishioners of St Mary's made formal protest;
stating that in their parish there were "1,400 houseling people and that
the vicar there had no other priest to help but the two chantry
priests."[52] We may take it therefore that seats in the chancel were
required not only for the parish priest and the parish clerk, but in some
cases for chantry priests as well.

But the above explanation does not cover the whole ground. There are often
many more stalls than could be used as above. And in some churches there
were no chantry priests at all, and yet there are stalls. Who else then
occupied seats in the chancel? Some of the stalls probably, usually but a
few, may have been occupied by laymen even so early as the thirteenth
century. {91}

  [Illustration: Stowlangtoft]

As regards the occupancy of seats in the chancel it is quite clear that it
has always been the wish of the Church that they should be reserved for the
clergy and that no laymen should be admitted. It is equally clear that the
Church has never been able to carry out the injunction. In the Trullan
Council of 683 or 692 it was laid down, "Nulli omnium liceat, qui quidem
sit in laicorum numero, intra septa sacri altaris ingredi, nequaquam tamen
ab eo prohibita potestate et auctoritate imperiali, quandoquidem voluerit
Creatori dona offerre, ex antiquissima traditione"; _i.e._, "No layman may
enter the chancel, except the Emperor, who by venerable tradition is
allowed to do so when he wishes to present offerings to his Maker." But
this does not explicitly allow the Emperor to sit down in the chancel. And
even this much was objected to by many; for a gloss follows: "Nemo liceat
laico intra, &c." ... "Adulatione et timore victi, per gravem errorem
concedunt imperatori, quod magna cum laude sanctorum patrum Ambrosius
Theodosio negavit"; _i.e._, "The permission given to the Emperor was given
under the influence of adulation and timidity, and the action of St Ambrose
in refusing it to the Emperor Theodosius was greatly applauded by the
Fathers." But it was a perilous thing to exclude emperors, and what was
conceded to emperors was claimed by princes, and what was conceded to
princes was claimed by and had to be conceded to the nobility generally. So
in Scotland in 1225 by an episcopal order the King and his nobles also were
allowed to stand and to sit in the chancel: "Ne laici secus altare, quum
sacra mysteria celebrantur, stare vel sedere inter clericos presumant,
excepto domino rege et majoribus regni, quibus propter suam excellentiam in
hac parte duximus referendum." And if the nobles, then certainly the patron
of the living could not be excluded from a parochial chancel. So in the
diocese of Worcester in 1240 a canon was agreed to that patrons as well as
high personages might stand in the chancel: "nec laici stent in Cancellis
dum celebrantur divina; salva tamen reverentia patronorum et sublimium
personarum"; in Lincoln diocese also Bishop Grosstête in 1240 restricts the
permission to the patron. Again in 1255 in Lincoln diocese the patron or
any other "venerable" person was allowed to sit and stand in the chancel.
Archbishop Greenfield of York (1304-1315) found it necessary to make a rule
against laymen intruding into the choir during service. So also at Ely,
Simon Langham in 1364 wrote: "Lay people are not to stand or sit amongst
the clerks in the chancel during the celebration of divine service, unless
{92} it be done to shew respect or for some other reasonable and obvious
reason; but this is allowed for the patrons of churches only."[53] Then
what had been claimed successfully by those of noble birth, and by patrons
in particular, was claimed with equal success by any good Churchman of
consideration and wealth, especially if he were a benefactor of the church.
For in the fourteenth century Alan de Alnewyk of York, goldsmith, wills
that his body be buried _in the quire_ of St Michael Belfry near the place
_where I used to sit_ ("ubi sedere solebam"). Another century later, Robert
Constable of Bossall, leaves this direction in 1454: "First, I devise my
soul to God Almighty and his mother Blessed Saint Mary and to Saint Botolph
and to the holy court of heaven; and my body to be buried in the quire
afore the place _where my seat is_."[54] In 1511 Robert Fabyan, the
chronicler, citizen and draper of London, devises as follows: "I will that
my corps be buried between my pew and the high altar, _within the quire_ of
the church of Allhallows, Theydon Gardon, Essex." Finally, at Yatton,
Somerset, in 1529, 2s. was "paid for a sege in ye chaunsell."[55] It is to
be remembered moreover that though it may have been unusual for laymen to
have seats in the chancel, yet it was by no means uncommon for them to
stand or kneel there; there are enough representations of laymen so
standing to establish that point satisfactorily: they are shewn standing or
kneeling, sometimes with lighted tapers in their hands. At a St Martin's
mass in France in the fourteenth century,[56] two women are shewn near the
altar steps, one standing and attending to her duties, the other
inattentive and seriously distracting the attention of an acolyte kneeling
near. We know definitely that in Salisbury cathedral laymen were allowed to
be present in the sanctuary before the Sunday procession; for after the
hallowing of the water it was ordered that the priest should asperge the
laity in the presbytery as well as the clergy in the choir. "Post
aspersionem clericorum laicos in presbiterio hinc inde stantes
aspergat."[57] At Salisbury the Sunday procession was marshalled in the
ample space between the choir and the high altar, which space the laity
entered in order to follow the clerks in the procession. {93}

  [Illustration: Brancepeth]

For women it was more difficult to get admission to the chancel. Tradition
and usage were against them. As early as A.D. 367 the Council of Laodicea
passed a canon that women ought not to come near the altar or enter the
apartment where the altar stands. In the ninth century a canon was passed
at Mantes that women must not approach the altar or act as "server" to the
celebrant or stand in the chancel. Among the canons of the time of King
Edgar is one: "Docemus ut altari mulier non appropinquet dum Missa
celebratur"; "a woman must not come near the altar at Mass." In laying down
regulations for the services in Ripon Minster Archbishop Greenfield says,
"We permit no women at all, religious or secular, unless great ladies or
ladies of high rank or others of approved honour and piety, to sit or stand
in a stall or elsewhere in the choir while the divine offices are being
celebrated." "Nullas omnino mulieres, religiosas vel seculares, nec laicos
nisi magnas aut nobiles {94} personas aut alias quarum sit honestas et
devocio satis nota, in stallo vel alibi in choro inter ministros ecclesiae
stare vel sedere dum divina celebrantur officia permittimus."[58] The story
told about Sir Thomas More shews that while he himself sat in the chancel,
Lady More sat in the nave. "During his high Chancellorship one of his
gentlemen, when service at the church was done, ordinarily used to come to
my Lady his wife's pew-door and say unto her 'Madame, my Lord is gone.' But
the next holy day after the surrender of his office of Lord Chancellor, and
the departure of his gentlemen from him, he came unto my Lady his wife's
pew himself, and, making a low courtesy, said unto her, 'Madam, my Lord is
gone.' But she, thinking this at first to be but one of his jokes, was
little moved, till he told her sadly he had given up the Great Seal." And
many other good Churchmen at all times have retained the ancient usage of
the exclusion of women from the stalls in the chancel. At Great Burstead,
in Essex, in 1661, an applicant was authorised to build a pew at the
entrance to the chancel for the use of himself and sons and companions and
friends of the male sex; but to build another in the nave for his wife and
her daughters and companions and friends of the female sex. King Charles I.
in 1625 wrote, "For mine own particular opinion I do not think ... that
Women should be allowed to sit in the chancel, which was instituted for
Clerks"; and in 1633, when he visited Durham cathedral, the choir was
cleared of all the seats occupied by the Mayor and Corporation and the
wives of the Dean and Prebendaries and other "women of quality," and his
Majesty gave orders that they should never again be erected, "that so the
Quire may ever remain in its ancient beauty." Even to this day in some
cathedrals it is the usage to allow women to sit only in the lower desks of
the choir and not in the stalls above. Nevertheless in plenty of instances
the pertinacity of women prevailed; and where the husband sat in the
chancel, there the wife insisted on sitting beside him. Thus in a suit
instituted by Lady Wyche in 1468, the lady put it on record that she had a
seat in the chancel: "jeo aye un lieu de seer en le chauncel." In 1468 two
ladies had seats in the chancel of Rotherham church; for the master of the
grammar school willed that he be buried in south chancel[59] near the stall
in which the wife of the Bailiff of Rotherham and the testator's wife sit.
In 1553 a new pew was made for Sir Arthur D'Arcy and his wife at St
Botolph, Aldgate: "Paid to Mattram, carpenter, for three elm {95} boards
for the two new pews in the quire where Sir Arthur Darsey and his wife are
set ... ijs. viijd." The same parish in 1587 gave Master Dove permission to
"build a pew for himself, another for his wife to sit in, being in the
chancel." Therefore we come to the conclusion that at any rate from the
thirteenth century onward more and more seats were provided in the chancel
for lay folk. Where, as in the parish church of Boston, the stalls are very
numerous--at Boston there are sixty-four--it is likely that a considerable
number of them were appropriated to various important gilds connected with
the church.

But there is another purpose which parochial stalls subserved, and that is
the most important of all: viz., to accommodate a surpliced choir. The
introduction of surpliced choirs into chancels in modern days was an
innovation at first deeply resented, and seems to have been usually made in
ignorance of the existence of mediæval precedent. Precedent there is,
however, in abundance. England was a merry, tuneful land before the
Reformation, and nowhere more than in the churches. The musical part of the
service grew more and more ornate, especially in the last years immediately
preceding the Dissolution; the parishes--village and town parishes
alike--delighted in "the cheerful noise of organs and fiddles and anthems,"
and spent on music a very large part of the church income. The early years
of the sixteenth century were a glorious time for church music; the
parishioners loved it and would have it, and were willing to pay for it; it
was not forced on them from above; it was the people and the people's
churchwardens who would have it. What a joyful sound we should hear from
the church doors if we could enter once more an English church of the
sixteenth century and hear the surpliced men and boys a singing in the
choir, accompanied by organs and citterns and fiddles and crowdes and
dulcimers and all instruments of music in the rood loft, with perhaps an
anthem or a solo on high festival days from distinguished vocalists of the
neighbouring villages; those were happy times. Take the churchwardens'
accounts of St Mary at Hill, London.[60] In this church in 1523 there was
"paid 15d. for 6 round mats of wicker for the clerks." If we assume six
more for the boys, we get a regular choir of six men and six boys. But
besides these an extra choir of choirmen and boys was engaged for special
days. In 1527 there was "paid 9d. at the Sun tavern for the drinking of Mr
Colmas and others of the King's chapel {96} that had sung in the church of
St Mary at Hill." In 1553 there was "paid 16d. to the gentlemen of the
Queen's chapel for singing a mass at St Mary at Hill." Again, in 1527 there
was "paid 7s. for bread, ale and wine for the quire, and for strangers at
divers feasts in the year past"; these "strangers" would probably be
singers hired from other churches. The above entry shews that the choir was
paid in kind as well as in money. The choirmen received quite handsome
salaries. In 1524 Morres, the bass, was receiving from the parish 20 nobles
a year. John Hobbes was the most expensive member of the choir. In 1556
there was paid to John Hobbes 56s. 8d., being one quarter's wages, for his
services in the choir. This choirman therefore had a salary of £11. 6s. 8d.
per annum, which would be equivalent to about £113 of our money. Sir John
Parkyns, a bass, received a quarterly salary of 15s. 8d. "for the help the
quire when Hobbes was dead, and to have 8d. a day every holy day and
Sunday." On the other hand there was "paid 12s. to Mr Hilton, priest, for
three quarters of a year, for keeping daily service in the quire in 1528";
this was at the rate of 16s. per annum; this compares remarkably with John
Hobbes' salary of £11. 6s. 8d. per annum; even allowing for the fact that
Mr Hilton had other sources of revenue, we cannot but infer that priests
were cheap and good singers dear in the sixteenth century. The parishes
were quite willing to pay for good music. At Braunton, Devon, _c._ 1580,
_i.e._, after the Reformation, the churchwardens were still paying four or
five expensive choirmen, as well as singing boys; the highest salary for a
choirman was 26s. 8d.; say £13. 6s. 8d. per annum; the choir in this
village church could not have cost the parish less than £100 per annum of
our money. In all the choirs there seem to have been "singing boys" as well
as men. We hear in 1477 of four choristers being brought over to St Mary at
Hill for a special service, for which they received the modest sum of 1d.
each. At this church it was finally arranged to have a permanent choir, and
what we should call a choir school was established, with John Norfolk, the
organist, at the head of it to train the boys: for there "was paid for
making clean of a chamber in the Abbot's Inn to be a school for Norfolk's
children." The same year "Mr parson gave the boys a playing week to make
merry," and the churchwardens kindly presented the boys and choirmen with
3s. 4d. to spend on their holiday. Next year there was again a payment of
3s. 4d. "in the playing week after Christmas to disport them." Both the
boys and the men wore surplices, bought at the expense of the parish. In
1496 there were at St Mary at Hill "8 surplices for the quire, of which
{97} 2 have no sleeves; and 7 rochets for children, and 6 albs for
children." In 1499 there was "paid 12d. for the making of 6 rochets for
children that were in the quire." At St Nicholas', Bristol, in 1521 there
was paid "1d. for making a child's surplice belonging to the quire"; and in
1542 iiis. viid. for material "to make 2 lads' surplices." An inventory of
Huntingfield church, Suffolk, shews that the church possessed "vii
rochettys ffor men and vii for chyldern," and that the material of the
rochets cost 6d. each; it would seem that this Suffolk village had seven
men and seven boys in the church choir. At St Mary at Hill there was paid
in 1523 "for making 12 surplices for men at 6d. each, 6s.; and for 12
surplices for children at 5d. each, 5s."; this was a rich city parish, and
could afford to have a pair for each choir man and boy, one to be in use,
the other at the wash. Then music had to be paid for. In the same church in
1523 there was paid "for 4 hymnals and a processioner, noted, for the
clerks in the quire, 6s. 8d."; in the same year there was paid "for two
quires of paper to prick songs in, 8d." In 1555 at St Mary the Great,
Cambridge, there was "paid 3s. 4d. for the copy of the service in English
set out by note; and 1s. 4d. for writing and noting part of it to sing on
both sides of the quire"; _i.e._, they sang antiphonally. There are
numerous entries as to the cost of the organ and of the constant repairs
which it required. Lastly, there was the organist's salary, which if it was
anything like the sum received by John Hobbes, would be a heavy item. An
eminent organist like John Norfolk, who was in charge of a choir school,
would expect and no doubt get a large salary. In village churches, however,
the boys would be trained, sometimes by a chantry priest if he was under
statutory obligation to do so, more often by the parish clerk. The latter
was a permanent official with a freehold, as he is still, and a person of
much importance and dignity. Before the Reformation, in addition to serving
at the daily Mass in a village church, carrying holy water and "blessed
bread" round the parish, and many other functions, he was more especially
in charge of the musical part of the services. He was expected to sing or
chant himself, especially the psalms; he had to read the epistles; and, at
any rate in the sixteenth century, he had to train the choir boys. It was
ordered at Faversham in 1506 that "the clerks, or one of them, so much as
in them is, shall endeavour themselves to teach children to read and sing
in the quire." And at St Giles', Reading, in 1544 there was a payment of
12s. "to Whitborne the clerk towards his wages, and he to be bound to teach
2 children for the quire."


  [Illustration: Hambleton]

Beside the professional choirmen and the parish clerks there were sometimes
amateurs also giving help. Sir Thomas More used to sing in Chelsea church
like any parish clerk. "God's body," said the Duke of Norfolk, coming on a
time to Chelsea and finding him in Chelsea church, singing at Mass in the
choir, "God's body, my Lord Chancellor, what turned parish clerk?" Put
these items together--the wages of choirmen and boys, and now and then of
extra help, the making, mending and washing of surplices, the cost of
music, the salaries of the organist and parish clerk and the cost of the
choir school, and it will be seen that the services of a large town church
must have been, musically, on quite a grand scale; it is equally plain that
the love of church music and the willingness to pay for it were equally
great in the villages. It is not possible here to go further into this
matter of the church music. It may be said briefly, however, that the plain
chant of the Divine Office and of the Mass would be sung in the chancel,
and that for this the permanent village choir of men and boys would
suffice. Every parish that could afford it seems to have had a rood loft
and an organ in it. But the organ would not be used to accompany the plain
song, but for what we call "voluntaries" in the various intervals of the
Mass and other services. The {99} organ again would be employed when there
was singing of "motets," _i.e._, anthems, whether the singers were in the
choir or the rood loft. On great days when minstrels playing all manner of
instruments were got together to help out the organ, they would no doubt be
placed in the rood loft, with any extra vocalists for whom place could not
be found in the choir below.

  [Illustration: Chaddesden]

Summing up, we may say that in a parochial chancel seats were required (1)
for the parish priest, the parish clerk and any chaplains or chantry
priests; (2) for the patron and a few of the leading churchfolk of the
village; (3) for a choir of men and boys which was occasionally enlarged by
choirmen and choristers borrowed from neighbouring churches. Altogether
quite a considerable number of seats would be required; and we need not be
surprised that there are so many stalls in small village churches, but
rather that they are not more; no doubt, however, additional forms or
benches would be introduced on days of great festival.

Not every parish church could afford to have a set of stalls made,
cathedral fashion, for its chancel. In many cases probably the seats were
but benches or settles; and the naked, desolate {100} look of many spacious
chancels is no doubt due to the removal of these seats. Desks, or as they
were Latinised "deski," there must have been, at least one at each side, on
which to place the anthem book, processioner and other music. We hear of a
double desk at St Mary at Hill; but only the richest parishes seem to have
provided desks for the choir boys as well as for the men. In poor parishes
the men had not armed stalls, but merely a bench to sit on.[61] The boys
sometimes had a bench; sometimes, as at Stowlangtoft, Suffolk (91), the
bench was framed into the desk behind. At the back of the choirmen's seats,
there might be bare wall; or it might be panelled, as at Sall, Norfolk
(85), or arcaded, as at Chichester Cathedral (36). In richer examples there
might be above the panelling a coved cornice, as at Stowlangtoft and
Balsham, Cambridge (3). A still more sumptuous design was to erect a
horizontal canopy above the stalls, as at St Peter's (89) and All Saints'
(45), Hereford, and Brancepeth, John Cosin's church, Durham (93). The
return stalls, facing east, would be those of the parish priest and his
clerical helpers, and were often more spacious and lofty than the rest, and
backed on to the screen, as at Chaddesden, Derbyshire (99), and Trunch,
Norfolk (85).

The workmanship of the best stalls is quite first rate. At All Saints',
Hereford, the timber of the stalls is "good sound English oak, all either
cleft or cut in the quarter, proving that the trees were converted into the
smallest possible sizes before being sawn from either end, the very rough
saw-kerfs meeting at an angle in the centre of the board."[62] The stalls
frequently stand on stone plinths, pierced for ventilation; _e.g._, at Sall
and Trunch (85).

       *       *       *       *       * {101}





In the next chapter we deal with movable chairs and thrones, descendants
more or less of the "_sella curulis_" and the "_sella gestatoria_." More
important still are the fixed thrones of Early Christian days. These were
not of wood or ivory, but of masonry, usually marble. In shape they were
just high-backed chairs of marble. Now countless numbers of such marble
chairs or stalls were in use in the theatres, thermæ and amphitheatres of
Pagan Rome; the thermæ of Caracalla alone possessed 600 such marble stalls.
Doubtless many a bishop's throne, like those at St John Lateran, St Clement
and Cosmedin, Rome, was actually taken from one of the Roman thermæ.
Similar bishops' chairs, cut out of the solid rock, occur in the catacombs
of Rome.

The position of the fixed marble throne of an Early Christian bishop was
high up in the centre of the back wall of the apse of the church.

In Dalmatia and Istria several thrones retain their original position. At
Parenzo there remains the semicircle of marble seats for the clergy with
the episcopal throne in the centre; a work of the first half of the sixth
century. At Aquileia, in the centre of the east end, is the Patriarch's
throne of veined white marble, inlaid with serpentine; it is made up of
portions of an older throne of genuine Byzantine work. At Grado the marble
throne at the east end of the church seems to have been made up in the
ninth century; it is surmounted by a stone tester. At Zara in the same
position is another marble chair, raised on five steps. At Trau the bench
of the clergy remains, but the bishop's throne has been destroyed. At
Ossero also is a marble throne made up of fragments of older work.[63] In
the apse of the twelfth century church of S. Stefano, Bologna, is a
bishop's throne ten steps above the choir. Another remains _in situ_ in
Vaison cathedral, Provence. Another episcopal chair of marble is now placed
on the north side of the sanctuary of Avignon cathedral; on it are carved
the emblems of the Evangelists (104). {102}

  [Illustration: Exeter]


  [Illustration: Exeter]


In the Victoria and Albert Museum is a throne, painted and gilded, dated
1779, from a church in Cyprus. In Norwich cathedral in the centre of the
apse wall of the presbytery there are the fragments of the original stone
seat built for the use of the bishop, and on the pavement and adjoining
piers there are traces of the steps by which his throne was reached. When
Blomfield wrote his _History of Norfolk_, 1739-1775, the steps of the
throne had not been disturbed; "the ancient bishop's throne ascended by
three steps," and when built, before a rood screen was erected, the bishop
had an uninterrupted view down the whole church to the west end of the

  [Illustration: Avignon]

In Canterbury cathedral is a stone chair, which as at Norwich was
originally at the back of the High altar; it was removed from that position
by Archbishop Howley _c._ 1840, but has recently been replaced; it consists
of three blocks of Purbeck marble (105). The chronicler Eadmer, writing of
the Pre-Conquest cathedral burnt down in 1067, says that "the pontifical
chair in it was constructed with handsome workmanship and of large stones
and cement." The description would apply very well to the present chair:
but the monk Gervase states that in Lanfranc's cathedral, finished in 1077,
"the patriarchal seat, on which the archbishops were wont to sit during the
solemnities of the Mass, until the consecration of the Sacrament, was of a
single stone." It would seem therefore that the Anglo-Saxon chair perished
in the fire of 1067, and that its successor experienced the same fate in
1174. The probability is therefore that the present chair was made between
the fire of 1174 and the consecration of 1184. A decisive argument against
a Pre-Conquest date is the fact that the throne is made of Purbeck
marble--for this material seems not to have come into use till after the
middle of the twelfth century in the Norman house at Christchurch on the
Avon, in St Cross', Winchester, and in William of Sens' work at Canterbury.

  [Illustration: Canterbury]

The position of the pontifical throne at Canterbury has varied at different
periods. Eadmer states that the cathedral burnt down in 1067 was orientated
to the east, where was the presbytery containing the High altar. But at the
west end of the church was the altar of Our Lady, and behind this altar was
the throne adjoining the west wall. This unusual position is only
explicable by the assumption that the first cathedral at Canterbury was
orientated to the west, and that the site occupied in 1067 by the altar of
Our Lady was originally that of the High altar. The western position so
postulated for the High altar and the throne was originally that of most of
the Early Christian basilicas at Rome, in particular the ancient basilica
of St Peter. At a later period the orientation was often reversed, _e.g._,
in St Paul _extra muros_, Rome; what happened in this latter church seems
also to have happened in Anglo-Saxon times at Canterbury. A similar change
has occurred in the French cathedral of Nevers; where, however, though in
Gothic days a presbytery and High altar were constructed at the east end of
the church, the early {106} Romanesque presbytery, crypt, and two bays of
the nave have been allowed to remain to this day.

  [Illustration: Beverley Minster]

What looks like a survival of the marble chair of the bishop is to be seen
in the frithstols of Hexham and Beverley (106). These also are of masonry,
and are so similar in design to the ancient marble thrones that one is
tempted to speculate that the original usage of sanctuary was for the
offender to fly to and occupy the actual throne of the bishop or

As has been said, in the Early Christian churches both the altar and the
seats of the bishop and his clergy were usually at the west end of the
church to the west of the High altar, so that the clergy faced towards the
east, while the congregation faced towards the west. But early examples
occur of churches with the modern orientation. When this was the case, the
congregation faced east; and where the ancient position of the throne and
benches was retained, the clergy were left in an anomalous position facing
west. This led, first to the clergy, then the bishop, migrating elsewhere.
The higher clergy took up their position in the return stalls of the choir,
facing east; the lower clergy occupied stalls north and south of the choir.
As for the bishop, he could not seat himself as before, facing the altar,
for his throne would have blocked the entrance into the presbytery. He
therefore set up his throne on the south side of the choir, at the eastern
end of the southern range of stalls. And this is where we find him in
Gothic days. There is one chief exception. In cathedrals served by monks,
the bishop was the titular abbot of the house, though the superintendence
of the monastery had necessarily to be left mainly in the hands of the
prior; and so to this day in some churches the bishop has no throne, but
occupies the ancient abbot's stall--at Ely the stall of the Benedictine
abbot, at Carlisle the stall of the Augustinian abbot.


  [Illustration: Durham]

The change of position from the back of the High altar to the front of it
was a complete break with tradition. Equally complete was the break in
design. In the design of the Gothic throne there is no reminiscence
whatever of the marble chairs of the Early Christian basilicas and the
Pagan Thermæ. The Gothic thrones are but glorified versions of such stalls
and spirelet-tabernacles as those of Lincoln; they are spacious stalls,
sometimes, as at St David's, big enough to hold a bishop and two chaplains,
and crowned with a spire of open woodwork. The earliest and grandest is
that of Exeter cathedral; the Fabric Rolls shew that in 1312 during the
episcopate of Bishop Stapledon there was paid "for timber for the bishop's
seat £6. 12s. 8½d." The oak was kept four years before it was used. Then £4
was paid to Robert de Galmeton "for making the bishop's seat by contract."
There was also a charge of 30s. for {108} painting, and there must have
been one for carving the statues in the canopy. The whole cost would be
about £13; say £200 in our money; a sum surprisingly small for work of such
magnitude and delicate detail. The throne was evidently intended to have a
chair placed under it, and probably seats for the bishop's chaplains to the
right and left. It is 57 feet high; at present its niches look somewhat
unsubstantial and meagre; but that is because all the niches were tenanted
with statues, and all have disappeared. The carved foliage is of
exceptional excellence, and the corners of the pinnacles are occupied with
small heads of oxen, sheep, dogs, pigs, monkeys and other animals (102).

  [Illustration: St David's]


  [Illustration: St David's]

{110} Not much later is the throne in Hereford cathedral. That at Wells is
fifteenth century work, and by a pretty fancy of the "restorers" its
tracery is filled with modern plate glass, and the door is a solid swinging
stone! That at St David's is nearly 30 feet high. Of the throne erected by
Bishop Gower _c._ 1342 there remains _in situ_ only the low partition
surrounding it; the present throne was probably put up by Bishop Morgan
between 1496 and 1504 (109).[65]

The throne at Durham is of masonry, and in two parts of different dates.
The lower portion contains an altar tomb surmounted by a recumbent effigy
of the bishop in richly worked robes beneath a rich lierne vault. No doubt
Bishop Hatfield as usual put this up during his lifetime; he was bishop
from 1345 to 1381. This lower part is an exquisite example of the design in
vogue before the advent of the Black Death of 1349-50. On the tomb is the
pulpit, which bears unmistakable marks of the change of style which became
general after 1350. The drawing shews the throne as it was in 1843 (107).

       *       *       *       *       * {111}



Hardly anything in a cathedral has so venerable a history as the throne and
chair of the Bishop, of wood or ivory. The origin of this type of Bishop's
chair goes back to Pagan Rome. There the greater officials had two official
chairs, both portable; one, the "_sella curulis_" in which they sat while
administering justice; the other, the "_sella gestatoria_" in which they
were carried in procession. The "_sella curulis_" was a folding chair with
crossed legs like the chair of Dagobert in the Hotel Cluny, Paris: chairs
of this form are still in use in many Continental cathedrals.

The "_sella gestatoria_" was a kind of sedan chair, shaped like a settle;
with high back and usually without arms; it was provided with rings through
which were passed staves when it was borne in procession. Similar is the
Pope's chair in St Peter's, Rome, last shewn in 1867 (112). It is said to
have belonged to the Senator Pudens and to have been used by St Peter.
Whether that be so or not, it is undoubtedly very ancient, and its legs may
be of the Apostolic age; they are of yellow oak, worm-eaten, and chipped by
pilgrims who carried away bits as relics; the seat and back are of acacia
wood and are of a later period. This back is ornamented with ivory panels
carved to represent the Labours of Hercules; the panels are probably of the
ninth century, for among the decorations is a bust with a crown bearing
_fleurs de lis_, and what seems to be a portrait of Charles the Bald.[66]
Very similar is the chair in which St Silvester is represented as seated in
the dome of the apse of St John Lateran, where the mosaics are those of
1291, copied probably from the original ones executed in 428. Similar
chairs also appear in the mosaics of Sta. Pudentiana and other Roman
basilicas, and in those of Santa Sophia, Constantinople. {112}

  [Illustration: Pope's Chair]


In the Archbishop's chapel at Ravenna is preserved a chair made for
Maximian who was Archbishop of Ravenna from 546 to 556. It is in wood
entirely covered with plaques of ivory, arranged in panels, with Scriptural
subjects--among others the story of Joseph--and figures of saints richly
carved in high relief. The plaques have borders with foliated ornaments,
birds and animals, flowers and fruit, filling the spandrels.

  [Illustration: Pope's Chair]

At Lincoln is a wooden chair, which appears to be _c._ 1300; it has
recently been placed in the Chapter House and is now used by the bishop at
diocesan synods (114). It is possible that since several Parliaments met at
Lincoln, between 1265 and 1327, that this may be the royal chair: it may
well have been used also at the great trial of the Knights Templars, which
was held in the Chapter House in 1310. It is only original up to the level
of the arms; the lions, the back and the canopy are modern. {114}

  [Illustration: Lincoln]               [Illustration: Hereford Cathedral]

{115} In Hereford cathedral is an ancient wooden chair, once coloured in
red and gold; it is composed of fifty-three pieces; not counting the seat
of two boards and the two circular heads in front; it has been variously
ascribed to the twelfth or fourteenth century; but no doubt is Jacobean,
belonging to the same class of chairs as those enumerated in the following
paragraph (114).[67] At Stanford Bishop church, Hereford, is a rude chair
or settle, of oak without nails. It is said to have been traditionally
called "Old Horstin's chair," and therefore has been supposed, very
improbably, to be the identical chair seated on which St Augustine received
the British bishops in Herefordshire _c._ 600 A.D., greatly exciting the
ire of the irascible Celts by not rising from his seat to receive them. In
the Canterbury Museum Dr Cox has recently deposited a mediæval chair
believed to be of great antiquity.[68]

  [Illustration: Wells]                 [Illustration: Wells]

A few examples remain of what are supposed to have been abbots' chairs. In
the Bishop's Palace at Wells is preserved a chair of remarkable type, said
to have been used by the Abbot {116} of Glastonbury. In the College,
Manchester, is or was an ancient chair of the same baluster shape; and a
very similar one formerly was to be seen in Agecroft Hall, Manchester. In
the cottage at Zaandam, Holland, is a baluster chair, formerly used by
Peter the Great. Another chair of this type, but of simpler form, is that
once used by John Bunyan, and now preserved, together with his pulpit, in
the meeting house of the Independent Congregation at Bedford. In the
Victoria and Albert Museum is an arm-chair with balusters of turned ash.
All these chairs are of seventeenth century date; no abbot of Glastonbury
can have sat in the chair in the Bishop's Palace at Wells (115, on the

  [Illustration: Dunmow]                [Illustration: Winchfield]

A chair from Glastonbury, bearing an inscription, and in date _c._ 1530, is
now in the chapel of the Bishop's Palace at Wells; modern copies of it may
be seen in hundreds of churches. It is inscribed _Monachus Glastonie_ and
_Johannes Arthurus_; a similar chair was formerly in Southwick Priory,
Hampshire (115). An abbot's chair, reputed to have belonged originally to
Peterborough cathedral, stands in the south chapel of Connington church,
Hunts, where it is said to have been brought from the collegiate church of
Fotheringhay, and is said to have been the last chair in which Mary, Queen
of Scots, sat previous to her execution. From Little Dunmow priory came the
chair now in Great Dunmow church, Essex; its trefoiled arcading shews that
it was made in the thirteenth century. In it, up to 1907, were chaired the
married couple "who had not repented them, sleeping or waking, of their
marriage in a year and a day." The first recorded claim for the
happy-marriage prize was made at the Priory in 1445 (116). {117}

  [Illustration: Coventry]


  [Illustration: Bishop's Cannings]


A magnificent and well-preserved seat is to be seen in St Mary's Hall,
Coventry, and is assigned to the middle of the fifteenth century: it is of
oak. From the mortices at one end and the discontinuance of the lower
pattern it would seem to have been attached to a set of stalls, and to have
belonged therefore originally to some church or chapel (117).[69]

  [Illustration: Jarrow]                [Illustration: Beeston Regis]

In Bishop's Cannings church, Wiltshire, is a remarkable seat believed to be
a "carrel," or desk and seat, such as used to be employed by monks when at
study in their cloister; it may have been brought from some monastic house.
"It consists of an upright panel, with some fifteenth century moldings at
the {120} top and sides; against this panel is constructed a seat, facing
sideways, with a flooring, a back the ordinary height of a pew, a door
facing the panel, and a sloping desk facing the seat." With this
description may be compared that of the monastic carrels given in the
_Rites of Durham_;

    "In the north side of the cloister from the Corner over against the
    Church Door to the corner over against the Dorter door was all finely
    glazed from the height to the sole within a little of the ground into
    the cloister garth, and in every window three pews or carrels where
    every one of the old monks had his Carrel, several by himself, that
    when they had dined they did resort to that place of cloister, and
    there studied upon their books, every one in his carrel, all the
    afternoon unto evensong time; this was their exercise every day. All
    their pews or Carrels was all finely wainscotted and very close, all
    but the forepart, which had carved work that gave light in at the
    carrel doors of wain scot. And in every Carrel was a desk to lie their
    books on; and the Carrels was no greater than from one stanchion of the
    window to another."

  [Illustration: Lutterworth]

On the inner side of the large panel are a variety of brief admonitory
sentences, painted in Latin black letter on the thumb and four fingers of a
rudely outlined hand, inscribed at the cuff _Manus meditationis_; beginning
on the thumb with _Nescis quantum, Nescis quoties, Deum offendisit_. Below
the hand with its pious sentences on the respective points of each finger,
two cocks are painted, the one white and the other black; from their beaks
proceed two labels, bearing further ejaculations (118).[70] {121}

  [Illustration: Westminster Abbey]


  [Illustration: Winchester Cathedral]

In St Paul's church, Jarrow, is a very rude seat known as the chair of the
Venerable Bede; he was a monk of Jarrow, and died in 742; only the sides
and seat and the crossbar at the top are original. Mr Mickethwaite was of
opinion that it was originally a settle; and it seems hardly likely that
the chair can have survived from the eighth century, especially as the
monastery of Jarrow was repeatedly burnt by the Danes; but it is of an
exceptionally hard oak, and bears marks of fire, and has had its present
designation for several centuries.[71] It will be noticed that the
standards have been whittled away by relic hunters (119). At Lutterworth is
a well-known chair; the tradition is that it was used by John Wyclif, and
that he was smitten with paralysis while sitting in it hearing mass, on
Holy Innocents' day, 1384, and was carried in it to the rectory hard by,
where he died on the last day of that year. A brass plate on it records the
tradition; but the chair is plainly Jacobean and of domestic origin; there
is another chair in the chancel of exactly the same shape and pattern
(120). {123}

  [Illustration: Mainwaring Chapel]     [Illustration: Higher Peover]

{124} At Kidderminster Baxter's chair is preserved; on it is the following
inscription:--"Rev. R^d Baxter born n^r Shrewsbury in 1615 and died at
London in 1691. Chaplain to King Charles II. Rev. T. Doolittle, M.A. S^r H.
Ashurst B^t, Kidderminster, A. 1650 D." Baxter speaks of Mr Thomas
Doolittle, born in Kidderminster, as "a good schollar, a godly man, of an
upright life and moderate Principles, and a very profitable serious
Preacher." To Sir Henry Ashurst, Bart., Sylvester dedicated his _Reliquiae
Baxterianae_, 1696. He also stood by Baxter in the day of his trial and
distress, paid the fees for his six counsel, and when the trial before
Judge Jeffries was over, led Baxter through the crowd, and conveyed him
away in his coach. He was also Baxter's executor, and it is possible the
chair may originally have belonged to him. At Beeston Regis, Norfolk, is a
fine old seat, now used by the parish clerk (119); it would seem to be of
the period of the work at Balsham and elsewhere (3). At Winchfield,
Hampshire, is another old seat of rude and early design (116).

  [Illustration: Puddletown]

Stone seats are occasionally found. Where they are placed south of the
altar, they are probably sedilia; but not when they are placed in the
western bay or bays of the chancel or in the nave. At Barnack the remains
of a stone seat were found on the west wall of the Pre-Conquest tower; it
had formerly an oak seat and oak slabs on either side: a stone seat occurs
also in the west wall of the nave of Old Radnor church. A stone seat is not
uncommon in the western bays on the south side of chancels; the object of
this is not clear; perhaps it was to provide a seat for the priest while
reading his office; in later days, as we have seen, oak stalls were common
in parish chancels, and the priest would read his office in one of these.
Several examples occur. There is a rude example in the Pre-Conquest church
of Corhampton, Hampshire. Others, probably {125} of thirteenth century
date, occur at Warlingham, Surrey, and Halsham and Sprotborough, Yorkshire.
At Lenham, Kent, is one with solid stone arms, and with a cinquefoiled
canopy of later date.

  [Illustration: Redenhall]             [Illustration: Redenhall]

Last, we have the Coronation chair at Westminster,[72] which has a long, if
somewhat unreliable history behind it. The stone beneath it is said to have
been the one on which Jacob's head rested at Bethel; from whence it
travelled to Egypt, and thence to Spain, Ireland and lastly Scotland. King
Kenneth of Scotland had the following inscription engraved on it in Latin

 "Ni fallat fatum, Scoti quocunque locatum
  Invenient lapidem regnare tenentur ibidem";

a prophecy curiously fulfilled on the accession of James I. to the English
throne (121). On the upper surface of the stone is a rectangular groove
large enough to receive an inscribed plate. Edward I. found the stone in
1296 at Scone abbey, where the Scotch kings had always been crowned on it.
He carried it to London, and in 1300 Master Adam, the king's goldsmith, was
working at a bronze chair to hold it. But when this was nearly {126}
finished, the king altered his mind and had a copy of it made in wood--the
present chair--which cost 100s., by Master Walter, the king's painter. The
chair has lost the quatrefoils in front, and the lions are of recent date.
It originally stood in the same position as a bishop's chair, _i.e._, at
the back of the High altar and in front of the shrine of Edward the
Confessor, and facing to the west. It is made of oak, fastened together
with pins; the surface was first covered over with the usual gesso; then
gold was applied by means of white of egg, and burnished; then minute dots,
forming diapers of foliage, beasts, birds, &c., were pricked on the surface
of the gold, taking care not to penetrate it, with a blunt instrument
before the ground and gilding had lost their elasticity; a most tedious and
delicate process. A second chair, modelled on the older one, was made on
her coronation for Mary II., Queen of William III. It used to stand by the
side of the king's chair, but has been moved to the easternmost recess of
Henry VII.'s chapel. In Winchester cathedral is the chair which was used by
Mary I. on her marriage with Philip of Spain, which was solemnised in the
Lady chapel: it is now placed in Bishop Langton's chapel (122). Very
similar is a chair preserved in York Minster, which, owing to the shield
attached in front, is probably not older than the time of Richard II.:[73]
the cushion is stuffed, and covered with green velvet; the shield also is
covered with leather, the upper part of which has been torn away, and the
lines upon it are but slightly stamped. At Constance is shewn a similar
chair of Martin V., who was elected Pope there in 1417.

  [Illustration: Much Hadham]


  [Illustration: Cartmel]

In addition to the above, chairs are often placed in the presbytery to the
north of the altar. These were occupied by the preacher during morning or
evening service, till his turn came to ascend the pulpit and deliver the
sermon. Of these the greater number no doubt have been presented by the
owner of some manor house or parsonage, or have been picked up in recent
years in some second-hand furniture shop. This is probably the case with
the interesting chair which is known to have been for nearly a century in
the Mainwaring chapel of Higher Peover church, Cheshire; it bears not only
the name, but the portrait and initials of the owner. The inscription is
DORATHY MAYNWARING; she married Sir Richard Mainwaring of Ightfield, Salop,
High Sheriff of that county in 1545. Most of the chair is older than her
time; Dorothy seems to have had it put together of old bits of carving,
adding her name and portrait, and the raven, the crest of her father, Sir
Robert Corbet. She lived at Ightfield, and it was probably when that branch
of the family became extinct that the chair was brought to Higher Peover
church, and placed in the Mainwaring chapel. At the top are holes for
holding sconces in which tapers would be placed (123). {128}

  [Illustration: Suffolk]               [Illustration: Halsall]

At Penshurst there used to be a chair with a bust on the inner panel of the
back; the tradition was that it belonged to Sir Philip Sidney.[74] At
Puddletown, Dorset, a chair has been in the chancel for very many years; it
is of Elizabethan date, and was probably brought from some hall or manor
house. "The tall narrow back, the broadening seat, the vertically straight,
but horizontally angled arms are those of the French caqueteure type rarely
seen in England. The strap carving of the back is of the best; while the
twin greyhounds with averted heads that fit the curved top of the chair no
doubt have reference to the original owner" (124).[75] At Upton, near
Castor, there {129} are two chairs in the chancel; on one of which is
inscribed "A.D. 1700--Joane Browne--Want Not." The other has the initials
J. D.; the Doves were Lords of the Manor at that time (130).[76] In
Redenhall church, Norfolk, is one of two chairs brought there from
Canterbury cathedral by Archbishop Sancroft on his expulsion from the see
in 1615; it is of a curious pattern common in the latter part of the
seventeenth century, in which the back is hinged and can be turned over to
convert the chair into a table. Archbishop Sancroft is buried at Redenhall,
which, by the way, possesses perhaps the finest church tower of any village
in England and an exceptionally fine ring of ancient bells. The other chair
is kept at Gawdy Hall, the seat of the Sancrofts (125).

In many cases the chair is a composite product, made up of fragments of
screens, bench ends and the like; this seems to be the case with the chairs
in the churches of Bridford, Devon, and Othery, Somerset; that at Much
Hadham, Hertfordshire, appears to be put together out of the fragments of a
screen (126). In the Chapter House of Gloucester cathedral are two chairs,
on the inner panels of the back of which are carved "The Last Supper" and
"The Ascension" respectively; the panels were presented in the time of Dean
Law, and, provided with a framework, now form part of two chairs.

  [Illustration: Combmartin]

Where, however, the chair has a representation of some ecclesiastical
subject, the presumption is that it was made for the church in which it is
placed. In Cartmel Priory church is a fine chair on the back of which is
represented the Resurrection; below are seen the Roman soldiers; above,
Christ shews the wounds in His hands (127). At Sanderstead, Surrey, Abraham
{130} with uplifted sword is about to slay Isaac; on the right is shewn the
ram, on the left an angel. The same subject appears, better carved, on the
back of one of two chairs brought from a church in Suffolk, now pulled
down; on the other chair is a representation of what looks like the
Temptation (128). In Halsall church, Lancashire, are two beautiful chairs
with the initials IHS; beneath them is a scroll on which is inscribed _Ecce
quomodo amabat_ (128). In the Victoria and Albert Museum is a similar
"winged" chair, which bears the initials IPI and the date 1670. In the
chancel of Combmartin church, Devon, is a mahogany chair with wheat and
grapes, apparently referring to the sacramental bread and wine; it had been
for many years in the family of the present incumbent, Rev. F. W. Jones,
and was presented by him to the church; it is possible that it was
originally made for a church (129).

  [Illustration: Upton]


  [Illustration: Henry the Seventh's Chapel, Westminster]

       *       *       *       *       *




_Numbers followed by the name of the Photographer or the Draughtsman refer
to Illustrations_


  Aberdeen, King's College, 29, 68
  Abergavenny Priory, Monmouth, 46, G. G. Buckley. 29, 40, 47
  Amiens, 11
  Aquileia, 101
  Avignon, 104, F. Bond. 104

  Balsham, Cambs., 3, G. G. Buckley. 1, 5, 100, 124
  Barnack, Northants, 124
  Basing, Hants, 79
  Bedford, 116
  Beeston Regis, Norfolk, 119, C. F. Nunneley. 124
  Belgium, 29, 31
  Beverley Minster, Yorks., 3, 14, 14; C. Goulding. 7, Alan Potter. 27, 63,
      64, and frontispiece; W. E. Wigfall. 64, 65, 106; F. H. Crossley. 5,
      7, 26, 29, 40, 51, 65, 66, 68, 74, 106
  Beverley St Mary, 2, F. H. Crossley. 1, 5
  Bishop Auckland, Durham, 31, 67
  Bishop Cannings, Wilts., 118, Wilts. Archæological Society. 119
  Blythburgh, Suffolk, 11, S. Gardner. 7
  Bologna, St Stefano, 101
  Bossal, Yorks., 92
  Boston, Lincs., 86, 95
  Brancepeth, Durham, 93, F. Bond. 31, 67, 100
  Braunton, Devon, 96
  Brescia, Sta. Maria dei Miracoli, 82
  Bristol Cathedral, 29, 50. St Nicholas, 97
  Bruges, 68, 70
  Burlingham St Edmund, Norfolk, 85

  Cambridge, Great St Mary, 97. King's College Chapel, 78, F. R. Taylor. 5,
      29, 75, 77, 79, 82
  Canterbury Cathedral, 105, S. Gardner. 23, 31, 36, 53, 84, 104, 115
  Carlisle Cathedral, 21, R. Billings. 59, F. Bond. 23, 29, 51, 58, 61, 66,
      68, 70, 82, 106
  Cartmel, Lancashire, 80, 81, 127; F. H. Crossley. 5, 31, 75, 79, 129
  Chaddesden, Derbyshire, 99, G. H. Widdows. 12, 100
  Chelsea, 94, 98
  Chester Cathedral, 9, W. M. Dodson. 10, 24, 53, 55, 56; F. H. Crossley.
      5, 6, 7, 10, 12, 23, 26, 29, 51, 54, 58, 61, 66, 68, 70
  Chichester Cathedral, 36, P. M. Johnston. 5, 26, 29, 36, 38, 47, 100
  Christchurch, Hants, 2, G. F. Gillham. 76, 77; F. H. Crossley. 1, 5, 29,
      75, 77, 79, 82, 105
  Cockersand Abbey, Lancs., 43
  Combmartin, Devon, 129, W. M. Dodson. 130
  Connington, Hunts., 116
  Constance, 126
  Constantinople, Santa Sophia, 111
  Corhampton, Hants, 124
  Coventry, St Mary's Hall, 117, Anon. 119
  Cyprus, 104

  Dalmatia, 16, 101
  Dinant, 31
  Dunblane, Scotland, 67, W. Maitland. 5, 29, 67
  Dunis, Flanders, 68
  Dunmow, Essex, 116, F. R. Taylor. 116
  Durham Cathedral, 22, 107; R. Billings. 66, F. Bond. 15, 31, 51, 66, 68,
      94, 110. Castle, 5

  Ely Cathedral, 37, G. H. Tyndall. 13, 20, 29, 36, 37, 38, 40, 43, 47, 49,
      51, 61, 66, 68, 91, 106
  Etwall, Derbyshire, 13, G. H. Widdows. 8
  Exeter, 102, E. K. Prideaux. 103, G. H. Widdows. 12, 15, 23, 107

  Faversham, Kent, 97
  Flanders, West, 68, 70
  Fotheringhay, Northants, 116
  France, 31, 67, 68, 92, 105
  Fressingfield, Suffolk, 8

  Gawdy Hall, Norfolk, 129
  Gendron-Celles, 31
  Glastonbury, Somerset, 115, 116
  Gloucester Cathedral, 38, Oscar Clark. 23, 29, 33, 38, 40, 129
  Grado, 101
  Great Burstead, Essex, 94

  Halifax, 89
  Halsall, Lancashire, 128, G. G. Buckley. 130
  Halsham, Yorkshire, 125
  Hambleton, Worcester, 98, G. H. Poole. 100
  Hampton Court, Middlesex, 75, 77
  Hastières, 31
  Hemingborough, Yorks., 87, C. de Gruchy. 33, 77, 88
  Hereford Cathedral, 43, G. B. Atkinson. 114, A. J. Wilson. 13, 20, 26,
      29, 40, 44, 108, 115. All Saints', 44, G. G. Buckley. 45, W. M.
      Dodson. 5, 29, 40, 47, 100. St Peter, 89, G. G. Buckley. 29, 49, 100
  Hexham, Northumberland, 23, 29, 106
  Higham Ferrers, Northants, 29
  Higher Peover, Cheshire, 123, F. H. Crossley. 127
  Huntingfield, Suffolk, 97

  Iffley, Oxon., 86
  Ightfield, Salop, 128
  Ingham, Norfolk, 85
  Istria, 16, 101
  Ivychurch, Kent, 85

  Jarrow, Durham, 119, W. Maitland. 120

  Kidderminster, 122
  Kildwick, 90
  Kilpeck, Herefordshire, 122
  Kirkstall, Yorks., 20, 23

  Lacock, Wilts., 82
  Lancaster, 39, 41, 42; F. H. Crossley. 29, 40, 54
  Lapford, Devon, 77
  Layer Marney, Essex, 75, 79
  Lenham, Kent, 125
  Lincoln Minster, 5, 52, 114; S. Smith. 17, Hugh McLachlan. 5, 10, 13, 23,
      25, 26, 28, 29, 51, 54, 58, 59, 61, 66, 68, 91, 106, 113
  Littlebourne, Kent, 86
  London, 70, 79. Christ Church, Newgate Street, 4, F. R. Taylor. 5.
      Hampton Court, 75, 77. Rolls Chapel, 75. St Botolph, Aldgate, 94. St
      Mary-at-Hill, 88, 95, 96, 97, 100. St Paul's, 83, F. J. Hall. 28, 31,
      82. Old St Paul's, 23. Victoria and Albert Museum, 104, 116, 130. See
      Westminster Abbey
  Louth, Lincs., 75
  Ludham, Norfolk, 85
  Lutterworth, Leicester, 120, E. H. Day. 122

  Manchester Cathedral, 6, 62; F. H. Crossley. 5, 7, 29, 51, 61, 65, 66,
      68, 70, 74. Agecroft Hall, 116. College, 116
  Mantes, 93
  Melrose, 68
  Milan, St Ambrogio, 16
  Much Hadham, Herts., 126, A. W. Anderson. 129

  Nantwich, Cheshire, 57, F. H. Crossley. 29, 51, 58, 59, 61, 68
  Nevers, 105
  Newark, 29
  Norbury, Derbyshire, 86
  North Cadbury, Somerset, 77
  Norton, Suffolk, 85
  Norwich, 48, S. Gardner. 13, 19, 25, 26, 29, 40, 43, 47, 104
  Notre Dame de la Roche, 31
  Nottingham, 90

  Old Radnor, Radnorshire, 124
  Ossero, 101
  Othery, Somerset, 129
  Oulton, Suffolk, 86
  Oxford, 29, 79

  Parenzo, 101
  Paris, Hotel Cluny, 111
  Penshurst, Kent, 128
  Peterborough, 32, H. Plowman. 15, 33, 116
  Poitiers, 31
  Puddletown, Dorset, 124, W. Wonnacott. 128

  Ratzburg, 31
  Ravenna, 113
  Reading, St Giles', 97
  Redenhall, Norfolk, 125, C. F. Nunneley. 129
  Ripon Minster, 8, W. Maitland. 60, J. H. Bayley. 5, 6, 7, 15, 23, 26, 29,
      51, 61, 65, 66, 68, 70, 93
  Rochester Cathedral, 30, P. M. Johnston. 23, 29, 31
  Rome, 16, 19, 23, 101, 105, 111. Baths of Caracalla, 101. S. Clemente,
      19, 101. St John Lateran, 101, 111. S. Maria in Cosmedin, 19, 101. St
      Paul extra Muros, 19. St Peter's, 111. Old, 105. Sta. Pudentiana, 111
  Rotherham, Yorks., 94
  Rothwell, Northants, 90

  St Asaph, 51, 61
  St David's, 108, 109; W. M. Dodson. 15, 29, 50, 107, 110
  St Gall, 20, 23
  St Paul's, 83, F. J. Hall. 28, 31, 82
  Salisbury, 92
  Sall, Norfolk, 85, F. Bond. 85, 100
  Sanderstead, Surrey, 129
  Saulieu, 31
  Scotland, 67, 68, 91
  Sedgefield, Durham, 31, 67
  Sees, St Martin, Normandy, 43
  Sherborne, Dorset, 49, G. G. Buckley. 29, 49
  Sherburn Hospital, Durham, 31, 67
  Sion Abbey, Middlesex, 43
  Sluys, 70
  Snettisham, Norfolk, 40
  Southampton, 79
  Southwell, Notts., 25, 26, 50
  Southwick Priory, Hants, 116
  Sprotborough, Yorks., 125
  Stanford Bishop, Herefordshire, 115
  Stirling, 68
  Stowlangtoft, Suffolk, 91, C. F. Nunneley. 5, 7, 29, 49, 85, 100
  Suffolk, 128, J. C. Stenning. 49, 85, 130
  Sutton Coldfield, Warwickshire, 84
  Swine, Yorks., 77

  Talland, Cornwall, 77
  Theydon Gardon, Essex, 92
  Trau, 101
  Trunch, Norfolk, 85, F. Bond. 5, 85, 100

  Upton, Northants, 130, G. C. Druce. 128

  Vaison, Provence, 101
  Venice, St Mark's, 16. Sta. Maria dei Miracoli, 82

  Walpole St Peter, Norfolk, 12, S. Gardner. 7
  Warlingham, Surrey, 125
  Wells Cathedral, 115, G. W. Saunders. 7, 11, 13, 20, 26, 28, 29, 110.
      Bishop's Palace, 115, 116
  Westminster Abbey, 31, Sandford. 121, A. Gardner. 21, 23, 25, 29, 31, 33,
      51, 77, 125, 73; Henry VII.'s Chapel, A. W. Pugin, 73; D. Weller,
      131. 10, 25, 70, 74, 75.
  Weston in Gordano, Somerset, 85
  Winchelsea, Sussex, 36
  Winchester Cathedral, 34, 122; C. E. S. Beloe. 35, S. Gardner. 72, J. F.
      Hamilton. 73, J. Britton. 5, 13, 23, 29, 33, 40, 43, 72, 75, 79, 126.
      St Cross, 75, 105
  Winchfield, Hants, 116, G. C. Druce. 124
  Windsor, St George's Chapel, 69, Lysons' _Magna Britannia_. 71, Alan
      Potter. 12, 29, 51, 70
  Wingfield, Suffolk, 46, C. F. Nunneley. 29, 47
  Worcester, 23, 84, 91

  Yatton, Somerset, 92
  York Minster, 18, 58; J. Britton. 23, 58, 126. St Maurice, 88. St Michael
      Belfry, 92

  Zara, 101
  Zaandam, Holland, 116

       *       *       *       *       *



  Abbot, place in choir, 13, 106
  Accounts (_see also_ Cost), 95
  Arcading, 40, 54, 100
  Arms and armour, 36, 48, 54 (_see also_ Heraldry)
  Arrangements of stalls, 12, 16, 26

  Back of Stalls, 5, 10, 15, 26, 28 (_see_ Panelling)
  Badges, 47
  Baluster chairs, 115, 116
  Bath, order of the, 74
  Battlements, 36, 38, 47, 51, 54, 61
  Baxter's chair, 124
  Benches, 49, 99
  Benefactors, 92
  Bishop's chair, 13, 19
  ---- throne, 101
  Black Death, 40, 47, 58, 110
  Boys, 96 (_see_ "Children of the Choir")
  Brattishing, 47, 63
  Busts, 70, 77
  Buttresses, 54

  Canons, resident and non-resident, 11, 25, 28
  Canopies, construction of, 1, 10, 33, 54
  ---- ogee, 10, 33, 36, 43, 45, 47, 50, 53, 54, 59, 65, 68
  ---- bowing ogee, 10, 38, 45, 47, 51
  ---- compound ogee, 54
  ---- "Lincoln" ogee, 54
  ---- tiers or stories of, 38
  ---- varieties of, 1, 29, 51, 74, 100
  Capitals, 10, 61, 82
  Capping, 10
  Carrel, 119
  Carvers, 68, 70, 74, 77
  Carving, 5, 33, 38, 53, 54, 61, 68, 70, 77, 79, 82, 108
  Centaurs, 68
  Chairs, abbots', 115
  ---- bishops', 13, 111
  ---- church, 111
  ---- marble, 101
  ---- popes', 111
  ---- stone, 101, 124
  ---- winged, 130
  Chancels, 16, 20
  ---- enlargement of, 86
  Chantries and Chantry priests, 8
  "Children of the Choir," 25, 96
  Choir, 13, 16, 20
  Choristers, 1, 25, 26, 85, 95
  Chronological order of stalls, 29
  Churchwardens' accounts, 95 (_see_ Cost)
  Classical design, 67, 79
  Clerk, parish, 97, 124
  Construction of stalls and canopies, 1, 8, 10, 33, 54 (_see also_
  Cornice, 1, 40, 47, 49, 50, 63, 100
  Coronation chair, 125
  Cost, 11, 79, 84, 88, 107
  Costume, 36
  Cresting, 29, 36, 45, 65, 72, 79
  Crockets, 10, 33, 44, 47, 51
  Crossing, 20, 23
  Crypts, 23
  Cusps, 33, 36, 43, 47, 49, 61

  Dagobert, chair of, 111
  Dates of stalls, 5, 29
  Dean's stall, 13, 50, 54
  Design, 10, 38, 68, 70, 74
  Desks, 1, 5, 7, 47, 88, 100, 119
  Dorothy Mainwaring, 79, 127
  Dove, 95, 129
  ---- of St Botolph's, Aldgate, 95
  ---- of Upton, 129
  Dutch carvers, 70

  Edmund Crouchback, 33
  Edmund, Saint, 7
  Elbows of stalls, 1, 5, 10, 77
  Ends of stalls, 5, 8
  Entablature, 79, 82
  Epistle, place of reading, 13

  Finials, 33, 51
  Flamboyant, 40
  Flemish work, 68, 70
  Fleur de lis, 68
  Flying buttresses, 10, 54
  Foreign design and workmen, 68, 77, 79, 82
  Frithstols, 106

  Gables, 10, 33, 54, 61, 65 (_see_ Canopies)
  Galleries, 29
  Garter, Knights of Order of, 72
  Gilds, 8, 95
  Glastonbury chairs, 116
  Gospel, desks, and place of reading, 13
  Grinling Gibbons, 84

  Hawks, 47
  Heraldry, 5, 6, 47, 48, 50, 79
  Hipknobs, 10
  Honeycomb, 77
  Honour, place of, 13

  Inscriptions, 26, 28, 82
  Italian workers, 77, 79, 82

  Jacobean chairs, 115, 122

  Kemp, Archbishop, 53
  Knights of the Bath, 74
  Knights of the Garter, 72

  Laity, 1, 16, 19, 90
  "Lincoln ogee," 54

  Mainwaring, Dorothy, 79, 127
  Marble chairs, 101, 106
  Masks, 5, 44
  Mayor's stall, 6, 15, 82, 94
  Maximian, chair of, 113
  Minstrels, 99
  Misericords, 1, 48, 50, 53, 54, 61, 65, 74, 75
  Moldings, 40
  More, Sir Thomas, 94, 98
  Music in churches, 95

  Niches, 10, 38, 51, 54, 58, 59, 61, 63, 65
  Nobility in chancel, 91
  North side, 13, 15
  Number of stalls, 25, 26, 50, 75

  Oak, 68
  Occupants of stalls, 1, 88
  Ogee, 10, 33, 36, 43, 45, 47, 51, 53, 54, 59, 65, 68
  Orientation, 16, 105
  Organs and Organists, 96, 98

  Panelling, 5, 50, 68, 74, 100
  Parish churches, planning, growth of, 16, 23, 25, 85, 86 (_see_ Chancel)
  ---- stalls in, 49, 85
  Parish clerk, 97, 124
  Passion, emblems of, 82
  Patrons, in chancels, 91
  Pediment, 33, 43, 51
  Pews in chancels, 95
  Pinnacles, 10, 38, 51, 53, 54, 58, 59, 61, 66, 74, 108
  Place of honour, 13
  Planning, 16, 20, 23, 25, 85
  Plinth, 100
  Poppyheads, 6, 7
  Portrait busts, 77
  ---- panels, 75
  Position of stalls, 1, 16
  Prebendaries, 25, 28
  Processions, 13, 25, 92
  Projection of canopies, 47
  Psalter, recitation of, 26, 28
  Purbeck marble, 105

  Removals from other churches, 43
  Renaissance, 66, 75
  Restorers and restorations, 20, 29, 38, 84
  Return stalls, 12, 13, 25, 100, 106
  Rochets, 97
  Rood loft, 95, 98
  Rows of stalls, 25

  Sancroft, Archbishop, 129
  Screens, 10, 12, 19, 20, 50, 75, 79, 100
  Scrollwork, 5, 82
  Seats, 1, 10, 48, 77
  ---- marble and stone, 111, 124
  Sedilia, 124
  Sella curulis and gestatoria, 101, 111
  Shafts, 10, 33, 51, 59, 77, 82
  Shields, 5, 6
  Shoulders of stalls, 1, 5, 59
  Singers, 1, 16, 95 (_see also_ Boys, "Children of the Choir," Choristers)
  South side, 13, 15
  Spires and spirelets, 1, 11, 38, 40, 49, 51, 53, 54, 58, 61, 63, 66, 72,
  Stalls in greater churches, 1, 13
  ---- in parish churches, 49, 85, 90
  ---- object of, 85
  Stall-wages, 26
  ---- work, earliest, 31
  ---- thirteenth century, 31, 88, 90
  ---- fourteenth century, 33, 50, 51, 53, 58
  ---- fifteenth century, 48, 50
  ---- sixteenth century, 79
  ---- Renaissance, 66, 75
  ---- eighteenth century, 84
  Standards, 8
  Stanley legend, 61
  Statues, 10, 51, 61
  Stone chairs and seats, 101, 124
  ---- _versus_ wood, 51
  Stories of stalls, one, 38, 43, 44, 51, 59, 72, 74
  ---- two, 10, 38, 47, 51, 53, 58, 61, 65, 72
  String-course, 58, 59, 61, 65, 66
  Sudbury hutch, 75
  Sunday and other processions, 25, 92
  Supermullions, 40, 47
  Supports, 5, 77
  Surplices, 89, 96

  Tabernacled spires and canopies, 1, 10, 51, 53, 66, 106
  Tester, coved, 47, 63
  Thirteenth century work, 31, 88, 90, 116, 125
  Thistle, Scottish, 68
  Three-gabled canopies, 38, 51, 54, 59
  Throne, bishop's, 13, 16, 19, 101, 105
  Tiers of canopies, 38
  Tracery, 33, 36, 40, 43, 45, 51, 54, 58, 59, 61, 63, 65, 68, 82

  Vicars choral, 26
  Ventilation, 100
  Vine, 68

  Winged chairs, 130
  Women in stalls, 92
  Wood _versus_ stone, 51
  Workmanship, 100
  Wyche, Lady, 94
  Wiclif, 122


_Printed at_ THE DARIEN PRESS, _Edinburgh_.

       *       *       *       *       *




LONDON: HENRY FROWDE, Oxford University Press



_Builder._--"When we look at the detailed photographs we realise the
richness of the field which Mr Bond has traversed, and congratulate him on
the choice of his subject. His method is one of singular thoroughness from
the ecclesiological standpoint."

_Journal of the Architectural Association._--"As a record of the screens
remaining in our churches it cannot be valued too highly. No book till now
has brought such a number together, or traced their development in so full
and interesting a manner.... A most delightful book."

_Builders' Journal._--"The author may be congratulated on the production of
a book which, in text as well as in illustrations, is of striking and
inexhaustible interest; it is the kind of book to which one returns again
and again, in the assurance of renewed and increased pleasure at each

_Tablet._--"The numerous excellent illustrations are of the greatest
interest, and form a veritable surprise as to the beauty and variety of the
treatment which our forefathers lavished upon the rood screen."

_British Weekly._--"The book abounds with admirable illustrations of these
beautiful works of art, so perfect even in the minute details that any one
interested in the art of woodcarving could reproduce the designs with ease
from the excellent photographs which occur on almost every page. There is
also a series of 'measured drawings' of great beauty and interest."

_New York Nation._--"It is not easy to praise too highly the simple and
effective presentation of the subject and the interest of the book to all
persons who care for ecclesiology or for decorative art."

_Bibliophile._--"This excellent book is a sign of the times; of the
reawakened interest in the beautiful and historic.... A model of scholarly
compression. Of the finely produced illustrations it is difficult to speak
in too high terms of praise."

_Daily Graphic._--"Mr Bond has produced a work on our ecclesiastical
screens and galleries which, like his larger work on the 'Gothic
Architecture of England,' is in the first degree masterly. His knowledge of
his subject, exact and comprehensive, is compressed into a minimum amount
of space, and illustrated by a series of photographs and measured drawings
which render the work of permanent value."

_Bulletin Monumental._--"Après avoir analysé, aussi exactement que
possible, l'intéressant étude de M. Bond, nous devons le féliciter de nous
avoir donné ce complément si utile à son grand ouvrage."

       *       *       *       *       *




LONDON: HENRY FROWDE, Oxford University Press



_Guardian._--"Mr Bond is so well known by his monumental work on 'Gothic
Architecture in England,' and by his beautiful book on 'Screens and
Galleries,' that his name alone is a sufficient guarantee for this new
volume on 'Fonts and Font Covers,' the most complete and thorough that has
yet appeared."

_Church Times._--"The finest collection of illustrations of fonts and font
covers yet attempted.... A real delight to the ecclesiologist."

_Commonwealth._--"A sumptuous monograph on a very interesting subject;
complete and thorough."

_Church Quarterly Review._--"It is most delightful, not only to indulge in
a serious perusal of this volume, but to turn over its pages again and
again, always sure to find within half a minute some beautiful illustration
or some illuminating remark."

_Irish Builder._--"This book on 'Fonts and Font Covers' is a most valuable
contribution to mediæval study, put together in masterly fashion, with deep
knowledge and love of the subject."

_Westminster Gazette._--"Every one interested in church architecture and
sculpture will feel almost as much surprise as delight in Mr Bond's
attractive volume on 'Fonts and Font Covers.' The wealth of illustrations
and variety of interest are truly astonishing."

_Journal of the Society of Architects._--"The book is a monument of
painstaking labour and monumental research; its classification is most
admirable. The whole subject is treated in a masterly way with perfect
sequence and a thorough appreciation of the many sources of development;
the illustrations, too, are thoroughly representative. To many the book
will come as a revelation. We all recognise that the fonts are essential,
and in many cases beautiful and interesting features in our ancient
churches, but few can have anticipated the extraordinary wealth of detail
which they exhibit when the photographs of all the best of them are
collected together in a single volume."

_Outlook._--"Mr Francis Bond's book carefully included in one's luggage
enables one, with no specialist's knowledge postulated, to pursue to a most
profitable end one of the most interesting, almost, we could say, romantic,
branches of ecclesiastical architecture.... This book, owing to its
scholarship and thoroughness in letterpress and illustrations, will
doubtless be classic; in all its methods it strikes us as admirable. The
bibliography and the indexes are beyond praise."

       *       *       *       *       *




LONDON: HENRY FROWDE, Oxford University Press



_Guardian._--"There is probably no better brief handbook. Mr Bond's
qualifications for the task are beyond question. By the use of varied type,
ingenious arrangement, and excellent tone-blocks and plans, the book
attains a high standard of lucidity as well as of accuracy."

_Building News._--"This little work is characterised by its terseness,
directness, and practical treatment. A carefully compiled and scholarly

_Architect._--"This book will excellently and admirably fulfil its
purpose.... A splendid itinerary, in which almost every inch of the way is
made to speak of its historical connections."

_Birmingham Daily Post._--"Concise, informative, reliable, and admirably

_Western Morning News._--"By his key plan and very clear directions as to
where to find the numerous side chapels, historic monuments, and other
objects of interest, Mr Bond makes it possible for a visitor to find his
way round the building at his leisure. It refreshes one's knowledge of
English history, and is supplemented by thirty-two excellent plates, which
by themselves are worth the shilling charged for it."

_Scotsman._--"A more complete and dependable guide to the National Pantheon
could not be desired."

_Architectural Review._--"This is an excellent little text-book. Mr Bond is
to be congratulated in having introduced into it an interesting element of
history. The notes in small print should make the visit to the Abbey both
more profitable and more interesting. The key plan and the numerous small
plans are extremely clear and easily read. The information given is concise
and to the point, and a word of special praise must be given to the plates
at the end; the subjects of these are well chosen and are illustrated by
very good photographs."

_Antiquary._--"This little book, strongly bound in linen boards, gives
concisely and clearly all the information the ordinary visitor is likely to
require. Cheap, well arranged, well printed, abundantly illustrated and
well indexed, this handy book, which is light and 'pocketable,' is the best
possible companion for which a visitor to our noble Abbey can wish; it is
an ideal guide."

       *       *       *       *       *




LONDON: HENRY FROWDE, Oxford University Press



_Oxford Magazine._--"All who love the Abbey will be grateful for the skill
and affection bestowed on this admirable work."

_Birmingham Post._--"With the history of the Abbey the author interweaves
the life of the Benedictines, peopling the building with its occupants in
the centuries when England was a Catholic country, and does it with such
skill than one can almost imagine oneself at the services."

_Englishman._--"The writer handles his subject with consummate skill, and
his reward will lie in the unmeasured praise of his many readers."

_Guardian._--"A book which brings fresh enthusiasm, and will impart a new
impetus to the study of the Abbey and its history."

_Scotsman._--"At once instructive and delightful, it more than justifies
its existence by its historical and architectural learning."

_Liverpool Daily Courier._--"We found the earlier parts of the book most
fascinating, and have read them over and over again."

_Architectural Association Journal._--"Bright and interesting; evincing the
author's invariable enthusiasm and characteristic industry."

_Western Morning News._--"To say that the book is interesting is to say
little; it is a monument of patient and loving industry and extreme
thoroughness, an inexhaustible mine of delight to the reader, general or

_Outlook._--"The author discusses the architecture with a minuteness that
might terrify the inexpert if it were not for the sustained ease and
interest of his style; great is the fascination of the expert hand when its
touch is light."

_Saturday Review._--"Mr Bond leaves us more than ever proud of what is left
to us of the stately Benedictine house of God, which is to the entire
English-speaking world a common bond and home."

_Antiquary._--"It has a wealth of capital illustrations, is preceded by a
bibliography, and is supplied with good indexes to both illustrations and

_Journal des Savants._--"Certains clichés, comme ceux des voûtes, des
tombeaux et de quelques détails de sculpture sont de véritables tours de
force. Le choix des illustrations est très heureux, comme d'ailleurs dans
les autres ouvrages de M. Bond."

       *       *       *       *       *





LONDON: HENRY FROWDE, Oxford University Press



_Morning Post._--"The subject is one of the first importance to mediæval
popular history, and we welcome this very admirable and thorough monograph
with special gratitude."

_Athenæum._--"Mr Bond has put his rare industry in all that pertains to
ecclesiology to excellent service in his latest book on Misericords."

_Antiquary._--"An authoritative and, at the same time, delightful and
instructive volume. Really the first attempt to deal comprehensively with
the great variety of carvings on misericords."

_New York Herald._--"One of the quaintest, most fascinating, and at the
same time most learned volumes that a reader would happen upon in a

_Church Times._--"An indispensable guide to the subject. The illustrations
are worthy of all praise."

_Architectural Association Journal._--"The blocks, taken from photographs,
are of an excellence really amazing, when the difficulties such subjects
present to the camera are considered. A most delightful book."

_Yorkshire Post._--"Another of the valuable series of monographs on Church
Art in England, and the most entertaining of all."

_Architects' and Builders' Journal._--"An exceedingly interesting volume
both in illustrations and subject-matter, and full of curious information."

_Glasgow Herald._--"Mr Bond's scholarly and most interesting book brings us
very near to popular life in the Middle Ages."

_Liverpool Courier._--"Another of the admirably written and illustrated art
handbooks for which the author is famous."

_Birmingham Post._--"This well illustrated volume is not only a valuable
technical monograph, but also an important contribution to the history of
social life and thought in the Middle Ages. Mr Bond's treatment of the
subject is exceptionally charming and successful. The general excellence of
the book is great."

_Outlook._--"Many there must be to whom Mr Bond's new book will be welcome.
Into all the details of this varied and most puzzling subject he goes with
thoroughness and a pleasant humour. The bibliography and indexes, as usual
in Mr Bond's work, are admirable."

       *       *       *       *       *


[1] Harry Sirr in _Art Journal_, 1883, 329.

[2] Wickenden, _Archæological Journal_, 1881, pp. 43-61.

[3] Canon Church in _Archæologia_, lv. 326.

[4] _Dictionnaire raisonné_, viii. 464.

[5] C. R. Peers in _Victoria County History of Northants_, ii. 445.

[6] Illustrated in the writer's _Screens and Galleries_, 2.

[7] Faber's _Poems_, pp. 227-229.

[8] See the writer's _Westminster Abbey_, 48.

[9] For plans of St Gall, Kirkstall, Westminster, Canterbury, Exeter, York,
see the writer's _Gothic Architecture in England_.

[10] For an account of the working of the system of Secular Canons in the
English cathedrals see Canon Church's paper in _Archæologia_, lv.;
Professor Freeman's _Cathedral Church of Wells_; Mr A. F. Leach on
_Beverley Minster_ in vols. 98 and 100 of the Surtees Society, and on
_Southwell Minster_ in the 1891 volume of the Camden Society; and Rev. J.
T. Fowler, D.C.L., on _Ripon Minster_ in vols. 64, 74, 78, 81 of the
Surtees Society.

[11] See Mr A. F. Leach's _Memorials of Beverley Minster_, Surtees Society,
vols. 98 and 108.

[12] Views of galleried choirs may be seen in Britton's _Cathedral
Antiquities_; Norwich, ii. 13, Oxford, ii. 10.

[13] Illustrated in Maeterlinck, _La genre satirique dans la sculpture
flamande et wallonne_, page 12.

[14] See Viollet-le-Duc's _Dictionnaire_, viii. 464.

[15] See C. R. B. King in _Index_ to _Spring Gardens Sketch Book_, ii. 46,
and Plate XLVI.

[16] Hope's _Rochester Cathedral_, pp. 110, 111.

[17] It is illustrated in Professor Lethaby's _Westminster Abbey_, p. 23,
from Sandford's _Coronation of James II._, and is reproduced above.

[18] Illustrated in _Gothic Architecture in England_, 481.

[19] See _John O'Gaunt's Sketch Book_, vol. i.

[20] Here, as always, one has to recognise the technical and artistic
excellence of Mr Crossley's photography; he has even reproduced the

[21] They are ascribed to the fourteenth century by Mr Octavius Morgan in
_Monuments of Abergavenny Church_.

[22] My attention was directed to these arms by Mr W. H. St John Hope.

[23] Jones and Freeman's _St David's_, pp. 87 and 91.

[24] Illustrated in Dart's _Canterbury Cathedral_, 145 and 160.

[25] E. Mansel Sympson's _Lincoln_, 277.

[26] Illustrated in the writer's _Gothic Architecture in England_, p. 269.

[27] A photograph of the north range of the Chester stalls forms the
frontispiece of the writer's _Misericords_.

[28] Mr C. H. Purday.

[29] Illustrated in Murray's _Welsh Cathedrals_, page 267.

[30] Illustrated in the writer's _Fonts and Font Covers_, 296.

[31] _Ecclesiastical Architecture of Scotland_, ii. 105. Drawings by Mr J.
B. Fulton appeared in the _Builder_, 1st Oct. 1898 and 2nd Dec. 1893; and
by Mr A. S. Robertson in the _Builders' Journal_, 14th Jan. 1903.

[32] Macgibbon and Ross. _Castellated and Domestic Architecture of
Scotland_, v. 543; and _Builder_, lxxv. 293, in which are measured drawings
by Mr J. B. Fulton.

[33] _Proceedings of the Society of Antiquaries_, i. 112.

[34] For information relating to the Windsor stalls I am indebted to Mr W.
H. St John Hope: see his paper "On a remarkable series of Wooden Busts
surmounting the stall-canopies in St George's chapel, Windsor," in
_Archæologia_, liv. 115, and the building accounts to be published in his
forthcoming work on _Windsor Castle_.

[35] See the writer's _Westminster Abbey_, 146.

[36] _Sacristy_, i. 266.

[37] The Hampton Court busts are by Giovanni de Majano, who in 1521
demanded payment for ten "medallions of terra cotta." They cost £2. 6s. 8d.
each. R. Blomfield's _History of Renaissance Architecture in England_, 3.

[38] Illustrated in the writer's _Westminster Abbey_, 197.

[39] See also the illustration of the chair made _c._ 1545 for Dorothy
Mainwaring, page 123.

[40] See Willis and Clark, i. 516-522.

[41] Gotch's _Early English Renaissance_, 29, 254.

[42] _Annales Caermoclenses_, by James Stockdale; Ulverston, 1872, p. 76.

[43] _Early Renaissance Architecture in England_, 38.

[44] _Annals of St Paul's_, 447.

[45] Measured drawings of the stalls of St Paul's by Mr C. W. Baker
appeared in the _Building News_, 1891, pages 108 and 358.

[46] The Renaissance woodwork ousted from Worcester cathedral by Sir
Gilbert Scott found a resting-place in the church of Sutton Coldfield (R.
A. D.).

[47] Willis' _Canterbury Cathedral_, 107.

[48] These are illustrated in _Archæologia Cantiana_, vol. xiii.

[49] _York Fabric Rolls_, 35, 248.

[50] Canon Savage's pamphlet, 369.

[51] Cutts' _Parish Priests_, 466.

[52] Gasquet's _Parish Life in Mediæval England_, 96.

[53] Gasquet, _Parish Life in Mediæval England_, 45.

[54] It is of course possible that both Alan de Alnewyk and Robert
Constable sat in the chancel in surplice either as a member of a gild or of
the choir.

[55] This, however, may have been for one of the choirmen or choristers.

[56] Reproduced in Gasquet, _ibid._, 47, from Didron.

[57] Wordsworth's _Salisbury Ceremonies and Processions_, 20.

[58] Inhibitions of Archbishop William of York in 1308 and 1312 in Rev. Dr
Fowler's _Memorials of Ripon Minster_, Surtees Society, vol. 78.

[59] "South chancel" may mean "the chapel south of the chancel."

[60] Admirably edited by Mr Littlehales for the Early English Text Society;
vols. 20 and 24.

[61] At Hambleton (98) the chancel was remodelled, and the simple desks
with linen pattern may be of that date. But the seats behind were never
more than rough movable benches.--G. H. P.

[62] R. H. Murray on _Ancient Church Fittings_, 12.

[63] Mr T. Graham Jackson's _Dalmatia_: iii. 319, 427, 105: i. 272 and ii.

[64] Stewart in _Archæological Journal_, xxxii. 18.

[65] Jones and Freeman's _St David's_, 90-93.

[66] Padre Garrucci in _Proceedings of Society of Antiquaries_, iv. 40, and
illustrations in _Vetusta Monumenta_, vol. vi. The perspective sketch is by
Carlo Fontana and is in the Royal Library at Windsor; the measured drawing
is by Signor S. A. Scardonelli, and was made in 1784.

[67] Measured drawings of the Hereford chair by Mr W. H. Brierley appeared
in the _British Architect_, xxiii. 114.

[68] Described by Dr Cox in _English Church Furniture_, p. 250.

[69] Shaw's _Ancient Furniture_, 31.

[70] _Wiltshire Archæological Society's Magazine_, vi. 147-149, quoted in
_English Church Furniture_, 253.

[71] _Archæologia Æliana_, xvii. 47, and _Proceedings of the Society of
Antiquaries_, xvii. 238. There are four similar chairs at Kilpeck.

[72] For descriptions and illustrations see Mr J. Hunter's "Edward the
First's Spoliations in Scotland, A.D. 1296" in _Arch. Journal_, vol. xiii.;
Mr W. Burges' paper in "Gleanings from Westminster Abbey," p. 121; and Mr
Lethaby's _Westminster_, pp. 18, 265, 297.

[73] Henry Shaw's _Ancient Furniture_, Plate VI.

[74] Illustrated in Hone's _Year Book_, 143.

[75] Rev. Arthur Helps from _Country Life_, 12th March 1910.

[76] Communicated by Rev. R. M. Serjeantson

*** End of this Doctrine Publishing Corporation Digital Book "Wood Carvings in English Churches - I. Stalls and Tabernacle Work. II. Bishop's Thrones and Chancel Chairs." ***

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