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Title: History of the Cathedral Church of Wells - As Illustrating the History of the Cathedral Churches of - the Old Foundation
Author: Freeman, Edward Augustus
Language: English
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    Of Wells




    OF THE











  LECTURE I.          1

  LECTURE II.        42

  LECTURE III.      105

  NOTES             163

  INDEX             191


This small volume is a reprint, with hardly any change, of three
lectures which were given to a local society in Wells in the months of
December 1869 and January 1870, and which were printed at the time in a
local paper. I have added some notes and references, but the substance
is essentially the same. The subject seemed to deserve more than local
attention on more grounds than one. I wished to point out the way in
which local and general history may and ought to be brought together.
As a general rule, local historians make hardly any attempt to connect
the history of the particular church or city or district of which they
are writing with the general history of the country, or even with the
general history of its own class of institutions. On the other hand,
more general students of history are apt to pay too little heed to the
history of particular places. I have here tried to treat the history
of the Church of Wells as a contribution to the general history of the
Church and Kingdom of England, and specially to the history of the
Cathedral Churches of the Old Foundation. I have also a special object
in calling attention to the origin and history of those foundations,
to their original objects and their modern corruptions. It is quite
impossible that our Cathedral institutions can stay much longer in the
state in which they now are, a state which satisfies no party. If they
are not reformed by their friends, they can hardly fail to be destroyed
by their enemies. The awkward attempt at reform which was made thirty
years back was made in utter ignorance of the history and nature of
the institutions. Instead of reforming them, it has merely crippled
them. Our Cathedral Churches have indeed vastly improved during those
thirty years; but it has been almost wholly because they have shared
in a general improvement, hardly at all by virtue of the changes which
were specially meant to improve them. I wish to point out the general
principles of the original founders as the model to which the Old
Foundations should be brought back, and the New Foundations reformed
after their pattern.

What I have now written is of course a mere sketch, which does not at
all pretend to be a complete history of the Church of Wells, either
architectural or documentary. I had hoped that Professor Willis would
have allowed me the use of the materials of both kinds on which he
grounded his lectures in 1851 and 1863. But it seems that he reserves
them for the general work for which architectural students have been
waiting so long. I have therefore been left to my own resources,
that is, as far as documents are concerned, to the ordinary printed
authorities in _Anglia Sacra_, the _Monasticon_, and elsewhere. But it
is to be hoped that some day or other the documents that are locked up
in manuscript at Wells and at other places may be made available for
historical purposes. Some of our capitular records would be excellently
suited for a place in the series issued by the Master of the Rolls.

I have given an historical ground-plan, but the scale of the book
forbade any strictly architectural illustrations, while it seemed
needless to give any mere picturesque views of a building of which
engravings and photographs are so common.

  _May 18th, 1870_.



                              Consecration.         Death or

  Æthelhelm                        909                914[1]

  Wulfhelm                         914                923[1]

  Ælfheah                          923                937?

  Wulfhelm                         938                955?

  Brihthelm                        956                973

  Cyneward                         973                975

  Sigar                            975                997

  Ælfwine                          997                998?

  Lyfing                           999               1012[1]

  Æthelwine }[2]                  1013               1023?
  Brihtwine }                     1013               1023?

  Merewith                        1027               1033

  Duduc                           1033               1060

  Gisa                            1061               1088


                              Consecration or       Death or
                               Translation.       Translation.

  John de Villulâ                 1088               1122

  Godfrey                         1123               1135

  Robert                          1136               1166

  Reginald                        1174               1191[3]

  [1] Translated to Canterbury.

  [2] This seems to have been a case of disputed election.

  [3] Translated to Canterbury.


                              Consecration or       Death or
                               Translation.       Translation.

  Savaric                         1192               1205


  Jocelin of Wells                1206               1242

  Roger                           1244               1247

  William Button                  1248               1264

  Walter Giffard                  1265               1266[1]

  William Button                  1267               1274

  Robert Burnell                  1275               1292

  William of March                1293               1302

  Walter Hasleshaw                1302               1308

  John Drokensford                1309               1329

  Ralph of Shrewsbury             1329               1363

  John Barnet                     1363[2]            1366[3]

  John Harewell                   1367               1386

  Walter Skirlaw                  1386[4]            1388[5]

  Ralph Erghum                    1388[6]            1400

  Henry Bowett                    1401               1407[7]

  Nicholas Bubwith                1407[8]            1424

  John Stafford                   1425               1443[9]

  Thomas Beckington               1443               1465

  Robert Stillington              1466               1491

  Richard Fox                     1492[10]           1494[11]

  Oliver King                     1495[12]           1503

  Hadrian de Castello             1504[13]           1518[14]

  Thomas Wolsey                   1518[15]           1523[16]

  John Clark                      1523               1541

  William Knight                  1541               1547

  William Barlow                  1549[17]           1554[18]

  Gilbert Bourne                  1554               1559[19]

  Gilbert Berkeley                1560               1581

  Thomas Godwin                   1584               1590[20]

  John Still                      1593               1608

  James Montague                  1608               1616[21]

  Arthur Lake                     1616               1626

  William Laud                    1626[22]           1628[23]

  Leonard Mawe                    1628               1629

  Walter Curll                    1629[24]           1632[25]

  William Piers                   1632[26]           1670

  Robert Creighton                1670               1672

  Peter Mews                      1673               1684[27]

  Thomas Ken                      1685               1690[28]

  Richard Kidder                  1691               1703

  George Hooper                   1704[29]           1727

  John Wynne                      1727[29]           1743

  Edward Willis                   1743[30]           1773

  Charles Moss                    1774[30]           1802

  Richard Beadon                  1802[31]           1824

  George Henry Law                1824[32]           1845

  Hon. Richard Bagot              1845[33]           1854

  Robert John Lord Auckland       1854[34]           1869[35]

  Lord Arthur Charles Hervey      1869

  [1] Translated to York.

  [2] Translated from Worcester.

  [3] Translated to Ely.

  [4] Translated from Coventry and Lichfield.

  [5] Translated to Durham.

  [6] Translated from Salisbury.

  [7] Translated to York.

  [8] Translated from London to Salisbury, and thence to Bath
  and Wells.

  [9] Translated to Canterbury.

  [10] Translated from Exeter.

  [11] Translated to Durham, thence to Winchester.

  [12] Translated from Exeter.

  [13] Translated from Hereford.

  [14] Deprived for a conspiracy against Pope Leo the Tenth.

  [15] Held in plurality with York.

  [16] Exchanged for Durham.

  [17] Translated from Saint David's.

  [18] Deprived on the accession of Queen Mary and reappointed
  to Chichester under Queen Elizabeth.

  [19] Deprived on the accession of Elizabeth.

  [20] Father of Francis Godwin the historian, Canon of Wells
  and afterwards Bishop of Llandaff.

  [21] Translated to Winchester.

  [22] Translated from Saint David's.

  [23] Translated to London and thence to Canterbury.

  [24] Translated from Rochester.

  [25] Translated to Winchester.

  [26] Translated from Peterborough.

  [27] Translated to Winchester.

  [28] Deprived for refusing the oaths to William and Mary.

  [29] Translated from Saint Asaph.

  [30] Translated from Saint David's.

  [31] Translated from Gloucester.

  [32] Translated from Carlisle.

  [33] Translated from Oxford.

  [34] Translated from Sodor and Man.

  [35] Resigned. Died 1870.



The subject which I have chosen for this course of lectures is one
which must always have an interest beyond all others for us who
live in this city and neighbourhood. In every place which boasts
of a cathedral church, that cathedral church is commonly the chief
object of interest, alike as its present ornament and as the chief
centre of its past history. But in Wells the cathedral church and its
appurtenances are yet more. Their interest is not only primary, but
absorbing. They are not only the chief ornament of the place; they are
the place itself. They are not only the centre of the past history
of the city; their history is the history of the city. Of our other
cities some can trace up a long history as cities independent of their
ecclesiastical foundations. Some were the dwelling-places of Kings
in days before England became one kingdom. Some have been for ages
seats of commerce or manufactures; their history is the history of
burghers striving for and obtaining their freedom, a history which
repeats in small that same tale of early struggles and later abuses
which forms the history of so many greater commonwealths. Others have
a long military history; their name at once suggests the memory of
battles and sieges, and they can still show walls and castles as the
living memorials of the stirring scenes of bygone times. In others
even the ecclesiastical pre-eminence of the cathedral church may be
disputed by some other ecclesiastical building. The bishoprick and
its church may be comparatively modern institutions, and they may be
altogether eclipsed by some other institution more ancient in date
of foundation, perhaps more ancient in its actual fabric. Thus at
Oxford the cathedral church is well-nigh lost among the buildings
of the University and its greatest college. At Chester its rank may
be disputed by the majestic fragments of the older minster of Saint
John. At Bristol the cathedral church, even when restored to its old
proportions, will still have at least an equal rival in the stateliest
parish church in England. In these cities the bishoprick, its church
and its chapter, are institutions of yesterday; the cities themselves
were great and famous for ages before they were founded. So at Exeter,
though the bishoprick is of far earlier date, yet Exeter was a famous
city, which had played its part in history, long before Bishops of
Exeter were heard of. Even at Winchester the overwhelming greatness of
the Old Minster has to compete with the earlier and later interests
of the royal palace, of the fallen Abbey, of the unique home of noble
poverty[1] and of the oldest of the great and still living schools
of England. Salisbury alone in our own part of England, and Durham in
the far north, have a history which in some measure resembles that of
Wells. Like Wells, Salisbury and Durham are cities which have grown up
around the cathedral church. But they have grown up--I presume it is no
offence to say so--into a greater measure of temporal importance than
our own city. To take a familiar standard, no one has ever proposed
to strike either of them out of the list of parliamentary boroughs.
Wells stands alone among the cities of England proper as a city which
exists only in and through its cathedral church, whose whole history
is that of its cathedral church. The Bishoprick has been to us what
the Abbey has been to our neighbours at Glastonbury, what the church
first of Abbots and then of Bishops has been elsewhere to Ely and
Peterborough. The whole history of Wells is, I say, the history of
the bishoprick and of its church. Of the origin and foundation of the
city, as distinguished from that of the church, nothing is known. The
name of Wells is first heard of as the place where the church of Saint
Andrew was standing, and its name seldom appears in later history
except in connexion with the affairs of its church. It was never a
royal dwelling-place; it was never a place of commercial importance; it
was never a place of military strength. Like other cities, it has its
municipal history, but its municipal history is simply an appendage to
its ecclesiastical history; the franchises of the borough were simply
held as grants from the Bishop. It has its parochial church, a church
standing as high among the buildings of its own class as the cathedral
church itself. This parochial church has a parochial constitution
which is in some points unique. But the parochial church is simply an
appendage to the cathedral church; it is the church of the burghers who
had come to dwell under the shadow of the minster and the protection
of its spiritual lord. And it has ever retained a close, sometimes
perhaps a too close, connexion with the cathedral and its Chapter. Thus
the history of the church is the history of the city; no battles, no
sieges, no parliaments, break the quiet tenor of its way; the name of
the city has hardly found its way into our civil and military history.
Its name does appear among the troubles of the seventeenth century, in
the pages of Clarendon and of Macaulay, but it appears in connexion
with events whose importance was mainly local. And even here the
ecclesiastical interest comes in; the most striking event connected
with Wells in the story of Monmouth's rebellion is the mischief done
to the cathedral, and the way in which further damage and desecration
was hindered by Lord Grey. And in our own times, when the parliamentary
existence of this city became the subject of an animated parliamentary
discussion, even then the ecclesiastical interest was still uppermost.
The old battle of the regulars and seculars was fought again over the
bodies of two small parliamentary boroughs. I need not remind you that
the claims of the old secular foundation were stoutly pressed by one
of our own members. But the monastic influence was too strong for us;
the mantle of Dunstan and Æthelwald had fallen on the shoulders of
Sir John Pakington, and the claims of the fallen Abbey of Evesham were
preferred to those of the existing Cathedral of Wells.[2]

  [1] See notes at the end of the volume.

The whole interest, then, of this city is ecclesiastical; but its
ecclesiastical interest in one point of view surpasses that of every
church in England,--I am strongly tempted to say, every church in
Europe. The traveller who comes down the hill from Shepton Mallet
looks down, as he draws near the city, on a group of buildings which,
as far as I know, has no rival either in our own island or beyond the
sea. To most of these objects, taken singly, it would be easy to find
rivals which would equal or surpass them. The church itself, seen even
from that most favourable point of view, cannot, from mere lack of
bulk, hold its ground against the soaring apse of Amiens, or against
the windows ranging, tier above tier, in the mighty eastern gable of
Ely. The cloister cannot measure itself with Gloucester or Salisbury;
the chapter-house lacks the soaring roofs of York and Lincoln; the
palace itself finds its rival in the ruined pile of Saint David's. The
peculiar charm and glory of Wells lies in the union and harmonious
grouping of all. The church does not stand alone; it is neither crowded
by incongruous buildings, nor yet isolated from those buildings which
are its natural and necessary complement. Palace, cloister, Lady
chapel, choir, chapter-house, all join to form one indivisible whole.
The series goes on uninterruptedly along that unique bridge which by a
marvel of ingenuity connects the church itself with the most perfect
of buildings of its own class, the matchless Vicars' close. Scattered
around we see here and there an ancient house, its gable, its window,
or its turret falling in with the style and group of greater buildings,
and bearing its part in producing the general harmony of all. The
whole history of the place is legibly written on that matchless group
of buildings. If we could fancy an ecclesiastical historian to have
dropped from the clouds, the aspect of the place would at once tell
him that he was looking on an English cathedral church, on a cathedral
church which had always been served by secular canons, on a church
of secular canons which had preserved its ancient buildings and
ancient arrangements more perfectly than any other in the island. It
is to the history of that great institution, alike in its fabric and
its foundation, that I call your attention in the present course of
lectures. And, taking Wells as my text, I purpose to compare our own
church, alike in its fabric and its foundation, with other churches of
the same class. The subject naturally falls into three divisions. I
purpose to devote three discourses of moderate length to the early, the
mediæval, and the modern history of the Church of Wells.

For a subject like that which I have chosen is obviously one which may
be looked at from various points of view. A cathedral church like ours
is not only a material fabric, a work of architecture; it is also an
ecclesiastical institution, an establishment founded for the benefit
of our Church and nation, and which has played its part, whatever
that part may have been, in the general history of the country. I
purpose to look at it in both aspects, aspects either of which is
very imperfectly treated if it wholly shuts out the other. But I do
not purpose to treat either branch of the subject in any very minute
detail. A minute architectural or antiquarian memoir has its value, but
it is not at all suited to a popular lecture. A minute architectural
exposition, if it is to be intelligible, must be given on the spot. A
minute antiquarian memoir, crowded with names and dates, is often very
profitable when printed, but it is not at all suited to be read out to
a general audience. Moreover I should be very sorry to trespass on the
province of one to whose minute knowledge of local history I can make
no claim. My object is different. I wish to treat the history of Wells
Cathedral, both as a building and as an institution, in a more general,
in what I may call a comparative, way. I wish to dwell on the position
of our own church as one of a class, to point out how it stands among
other buildings and other institutions of its own class, and to trace
out its connexion with the general history of the Kingdom and Church of

For my first portion then this evening, I purpose to take as my subject
the early days of the church of Saint Andrew, from the first time that
its name is heard of in history or record to the time when both the
material fabric and the ecclesiastical foundation assumed something
like their present form. And as this subject will lead us into somewhat
obscure times, and into many matters which people in general are far
from accurately understanding, I hope that those among my hearers to
whom all that I have to say is familiar will forgive me if I deal with
some matters in a somewhat elementary way. I have spoken of Saint
Andrew's church in Wells as a cathedral church, as a cathedral church
which has always been served by secular canons; I have spoken of an
opposition between the regular and the secular clergy. To some of my
hearers all these terms carry their meaning at once. To others I am
afraid that they may not suggest any very definite idea. But without a
definite idea of them neither the general history of England nor the
local history of Wells can be clearly understood. Let then my better
informed hearers bear with me if I go somewhat into the A B C of the

To begin then with the beginning, what do we mean when we call the
larger of the two ancient churches in this city, the _Cathedral_? What
is the meaning of the word? Some people seem to think it means simply
a bigger church than usual--I have heard a vast number of churches
in other places called _cathedrals_ which have no right to the name.
Sometimes people seem to think that it means a church which has a Dean
and Chapter or a special body of clergy of some kind, or a church where
there are prayers every day, or a church where the prayers are chanted
and not merely read. Nay, some people seem to think that a cathedral
is not a church at all; I have heard it said that a cathedral was not
a church, but that it had a church inside it. And I do not wonder at
people thinking so when they go into a cathedral church, and see the
greater part standing empty indeed and swept, but never garnished. I
was once in a large parish church, that of Grosmont in Monmouthshire,
where the man who let me in told me very proudly: "Our church is like
a cathedral." What he meant by the church being like a cathedral was
that the whole congregation was rammed, jammed, crammed into the choir,
while the nave stood empty and useless. Again it is not at all uncommon
to hear people talk of "cathedrals and churches," as if they were two
different sorts of things. And people seem also to think that some
particular sort of worship is right in a cathedral, which is not right
in other places. When there is a good deal of singing and organ-playing
in divine service, they call it "cathedral service," as if singing and
organ-playing were something specially belonging to a cathedral more
than to other places.

Now all these latter notions are simply mistakes. And those with
which I began are mistakes too, though in a somewhat different way.
A cathedral is simply a church, one particular sort of church, and,
instead of being a thing to be proud of, it is a thing to be ashamed
of if the nave of any church stands empty and useless. What is called
"cathedral service" is simply divine service done in the best and
most solemn way, a way which other churches may not always be able to
follow in everything, but which they should try to follow as nearly as
they can. On the other hand, it is very right that a cathedral church
should be larger and finer than other churches, that it should have a
larger body of clergy belonging to it, and that they should perform
divine service in such a way as to be a light and an example to other
churches. Still none of these things lies at the root of the matter; it
is none of these things which makes the difference between a cathedral
and another church. That difference is that it contains the throne or
official seat of the Bishop. In Greek and Latin that seat is called
_cathedra_,--a word which in English is cut short into _chair_--and
the church which contains it is called _ecclesia cathedralis_, the
_cathedral church_. _Cathedral_ in short is an adjective and not a
substantive, and its use as a substantive is always rather awkward and
slovenly. Certain churches, namely those which contain the throne of
a Bishop, are _cathedral_ churches, as churches which do not contain
the throne of a Bishop, but which have a Chapter or College of clergy,
are _collegiate_ churches, while the great mass of churches are simply
_parochial_ churches, churches designed for the use of a single parish,
and with only a single parish priest.

The essence then of the cathedral church is its being, beyond all other
churches, the church of the Bishop. It is the church which contains
his official seat, and it is by taking possession of that official
seat that the Bishop, as we shall presently see when our newly chosen
Bishop comes among us, takes possession of his Bishoprick.[3] From
that seat the church, and the city in which it stands, is called the
Bishop's _See_. And from that see the Bishop takes his title. Thus we
call this city of Wells the see of a Bishop, the Bishop of Bath and
Wells. The Bishop is called Bishop of Bath as well as of Wells, because
this diocese, unlike most others, contained two cathedral churches. The
Bishop had his throne in the church of Saint Peter at Bath as well as
in the church of Saint Andrew at Wells. But since the time of Henry
the Eighth the church of Bath has not been reckoned as a cathedral
church, and the Bishop has been enthroned in the church of Wells only.

Now you may ask how it is that, while, of all the churches of the
diocese, the cathedral church is pre-eminently the Bishop's church,
the church which is specially his own, and whence he takes his title,
it is precisely in the cathedral church that he has less authority
than in any other church, that the whole management of the cathedral
church seems to have passed away from the Bishop into the hands of the
Dean and Chapter. The independence of the Dean and Chapter, when it is
carried so far as it now is, is undoubtedly an abuse and an anomaly,
and how it came about I shall show as I go on. You may also ask how it
happened that the see of the Bishop of this diocese should have been
placed at Wells rather than anywhere else. For it was at Wells that it
was placed first of all, and it was not till nearly two hundred years
after the foundation of the Bishoprick that Bath became a cathedral

To see how this happened we must go back to the days of the first
preaching of the Gospel to Englishmen. In those parts of Western Europe
which first became Christian, in Italy, for instance, and Gaul and
Spain, the cities were at that time almost everything the open country
was of very little account. The Gospel was therefore first preached
to the people of the cities, and the cities had become almost wholly
Christian at a time when the people of the country were still mainly
heathens. Hence the word _pagan_--in Latin _paganus_--which at first
meant only a countryman as opposed to a townsman, came to mean a
heathen or worshipper of false gods. Now in this state of things the
Bishop was pre-eminently the Bishop of the city; the city was his
home, and the home of his original flock; it was only gradually that
he came to have much to do with the people beyond the city, and, when
he did so, the limits of his diocese were fixed by the limits of the
civil jurisdiction of the city of which he was Bishop. In England, and
indeed in the British Islands generally, the state of things was very
different. The country was divided among many princes; there were but
few large towns, and those that there were exercised no authority over
the people of the country round them. In England therefore at first
there commonly was a Bishop in each Kingdom; he fixed his throne,
his _bishopstool_ as it was called, in some particular church in his
diocese, which thus became his special home and cathedral church; but
he was not Bishop of the city in the same special sense in which an
Italian or even a Gaulish Bishop was Bishop of the city. In fact in
many of the English dioceses the Bishop did not even take his title
from the city where his cathedral church stood, but was called from the
country at large, or rather from the tribe which inhabited it. Thus up
to the Norman Conquest the Bishop of this diocese was not called the
Bishop of Wells, but the Bishop of the Sumorsætas, the tribe from which
Somersetshire takes its name.

Now the Bishoprick of the Sumorsætas was not one of the oldest
Bishopricks, one of those which were founded at the first preaching of
the Gospel in England. When Augustine came to Britain in 597, only
a very small part of Somersetshire was English at all; the Welsh of
Cornwall still held all the land from the Land's End to the Axe. Thus
Wells, if Wells existed, was within the Welsh border, though Wookey was
within the English border. When the West-Saxons became Christians in
635, a Bishop was, as usual, appointed for the whole kingdom. He was
called Bishop of the West-Saxons, and his _bishopstool_ was placed,
after some changes, in the royal city of Winchester.[4] After a while,
as Christianity spread and as the West-Saxon Kingdom grew by conquests
from the Welsh, this great diocese was divided in the year 705.[5]
One Bishop remained at Winchester; the other had his _bishopstool_ at
Sherborne, and his diocese took in the shires of the Dorsætas, the
Wilsætas, and the Sumorsætas, and Berkshire, a shire which, unlike the
other three, was not called after a people. In the time of Eadward the
Elder, in 909, this diocese was divided again; the Sumorsætas now got a
Bishop to themselves, and his _bishopstool_ was placed where it still
is, in the church of Saint Andrew at Wells.[6]

Now we come at once to the question, why was Wells chosen to be the
seat of the Bishoprick? I think you will easily see that there is not
now, nor was there then, any diocese in England where the Bishop was
more thoroughly driven to be the Bishop of the whole diocese and not
merely the Bishop of one city. Somersetshire had not then, and it has
not now, any one town at once larger than any of its neighbours and
placed conveniently in the middle of the shire. Then, as now, the
two greatest towns in the shire must have been the old Roman city
of Bath at one end and the purely English town of Taunton at the
other. Taunton was founded by King Ine between 710 and 722 as a border
fortress against the Welsh, after he had carried the English frontier
as far west as the boundary of Somersetshire goes now.[7] Neither
of these places was well suited to be the centre of the diocese.
Bridgewater, which is more central, was not built till some ages later.
Glastonbury, which is more central still, could not well be made the
Bishoprick, because it was the seat of the greatest monastery of the
West. Also Glastonbury was in those days a singularly inaccessible
place. It stood on an island, and could be reached only by boats; so
that unless the Bishop was to be altogether a hermit, he would have
been a good deal out of place there. Some Bishops had fixed their sees
in places of this kind, but it is clear that such an arrangement was in
every way inconvenient, and so wise a King as Eadward the Elder was not
likely to sanction it. And we may be sure that the monks of Glastonbury
would be then, as they were long after, altogether set against having
the Bishop for their chief instead of an Abbot of their own. I conceive
that Wells was chosen, because at Wells there was already a body of
secular priests attached to the church of Saint Andrew.

The whole history of Wells before the time of Eadward the Elder is
excessively obscure, and much of it is undoubtedly fabulous. There is
a story about King Ine planting a Bishoprick at Congresbury, which was
presently moved to Wells, and a list of Bishops is given between Ine
and Eadward. There is also a document which professes to be a charter
of King Cynewulf in 766, which does not speak of any Bishop at Wells,
but which implies the existence of an ecclesiastical establishment
of some kind. But unluckily the Congresbury story rests on no good
authority, and the charter of Cynewulf is undoubtedly spurious. But
because a charter is spurious in form, it does not always follow that
its matter is unhistorical. And I am the more inclined to attach
some value to it, because, while implying the existence of some
ecclesiastical establishment, it does not imply the existence of a
Bishoprick. Putting all things together, and remembering the strong and
consistent tradition which connects the name of Ine with the church of
Wells, I am inclined to think that there must have been some body of
priests, probably of Ine's foundation, existing at Wells before the
foundation of the Bishoprick by Eadward.[8] If then Ine did, somewhere
about the year 705, found a church at Wells with a body of priests
attached to it, we can well understand why Wells should be chosen as
the seat of the new Bishoprick in 909. The secular canons of Ine's
foundation could receive the Bishop as their chief, and become his
_Chapter_, in a way in which the monks of Glastonbury could not so
well do. If this be so, then the Chapter of Wells is really an older
institution than the Bishoprick. The present form of the Chapter is,
as I shall presently show, comparatively modern; but if this be so,
the priests of Wells are, in one shape or another, two hundred years
older than the Bishop. On this view, Eadward the Elder did with the
church of Wells exactly what has been done with the churches of Ripon
and Manchester in our own time. Both these churches were _collegiate_;
Ripon had a Dean and Prebendaries; Manchester had a Warden and Fellows.
In our present Queen's reign Bishopricks were founded in these two
churches; from being only _collegiate_, they became _cathedral_, and
the collegiate bodies became the Chapters of the new Bishops. In the
like sort it seems probable that the church of Saint Andrew at Wells,
founded by King Ine as a collegiate church, was made into a cathedral
church by King Eadward the Elder. Saint Andrew's church therefore
may be said to have two founders; King Ine founded the Chapter, King
Eadward founded the Bishoprick. Now perhaps some of you read the notice
which was placed on the choir-door last week summoning all the members
of the Chapter to attend for the election of the new Bishop. You might
there have seen the Queen's _congé d'élire_, the writ giving leave to
the Chapter to elect a Bishop. In that _congé d'élire_, the Queen calls
her rights over the church of Wells her "fundatorial rights." That is
to say, they are the rights which she has inherited as the successor of
King Ine, as not only the successor but the direct descendant of King
Eadward the Elder.

Let us now try and picture to ourselves the state of things at Wells
and in its neighbourhood at either of these early times. In some
respects the aspect of the country has greatly changed; in others
closely connected with them the influence of the then state of things
abides to this day. The traveller who in Ine's day looked down from
the height of Mendip looked down on a land which had been but lately
wrested from its old British owners. By the hard fighting of about a
hundred and twenty years the English border had been carried from the
Axe to nearly the present limits of the shire.[9] Taunton was a border
fortress, newly raised against the gradually retreating but still often
threatening Welsh. If the eye caught the hills of Devon or perhaps
even those of Western Somerset, it looked, no less than when it looked
across the Channel to the hills of Gwent and Morganwg, upon a foreign
and hostile land.[10] The great natural features of the country were
of course the same as they are now. The rocks of Cheddar and of Ebber,
the bold headland of Brean, the island rock of the Steep Holm, the
little hills scattered here and there, and the knoll of Brent and the
Tor of the Archangel rising above their fellows, are objects which do
not change. But in the days of Ine we must remember that those hills
were truly islands. The low ground was one wide extent of marsh; the
dwelling-places of man were confined to those ridges and isolated
heights where the ground was high enough to be safe against accidents
of tide and flood. Mendip itself was a wild forest land, peopled only
by beasts of chase, and we must remember that the hunters of those
days had to struggle against really formidable foes. The cave-lion
had indeed long ago vanished, but we cannot doubt that the wolf still
preyed on the flocks, and that the wild boar still ravaged the fields,
of the men who were striving to bring the land into subjection. The
inhabitants were doubtless still mainly of the old British stock, no
longer dealt with as wild beasts or as irreclaimable enemies, but
allowed to sit down as subjects, though as subjects of an inferior
class, under the rule of the West-Saxon King.[11] But English influence
was fast spreading; between the days of Ine and the days of Eadward the
tongue and laws and manners of the conquerors had spread themselves,
and, by the time of the second foundation of Wells, Somersetshire must
have been mainly an English land. The evidence of nomenclature shows
us that most of the sites now occupied, most of the old towns and
villages, were occupied between these two dates, and the population
must have been, then as now, thickly scattered over the insular and
peninsular heights of the district. I need not tell you that it is
mainly along those old lines of habitation that men dwell still. Along
the hill-sides of Mendip and of the opposite ridges villages and houses
lie thick together, while the flat land below, though it has become
the wealth of the country, remains almost as little dwelled in by man
as in the days when it was one impassable swamp. And in the land which
was thus fast becoming part of the inheritance of Englishmen, the piety
and discernment of English Kings had planted two special centres of
religion and civilization, richly endowed of the wealth of the land
for the common benefit of all. In the isle of Avalon, the isle of
Glastonbury, the great Abbey still lived on, rich and favoured by the
conquerors as by the conquered, the one great institution which bore
up untouched through the storm of English Conquest, the one great tie
which binds our race to the race which went before us, and which binds
the Church of the last thirteen hundred years to the earlier days
of Christianity in Britain. There in their island monks and pilgrims
still worshipped in that primæval church of wood and wicker which
time and conquest had as yet agreed to spare.[12] To the north of the
old British monastery, not alone on an island, but nestling under the
shadow of the great hill range itself, the younger ecclesiastical
foundation, the foundation of the conquerors, was growing up. Of purely
English and Christian origin, claiming no Roman or British forerunner,
the church and town which were rising at the foot of Mendip drew their
name from no legend of old times, from no tradition of gods and heroes,
but from the most marked natural feature of the spot and from the
patron saint in whose name the young foundation was hallowed. While the
origin of the Abbey is lost in the gloom of hoariest antiquity, while
its name of Avalon has become a name of legend, a name rather of some
fancied fairy-land than of an actual spot of earth, no traditions, no
legends, have decorated the birth and early years of the church and
city which drew its name, as intelligible to English ears now as it was
then, from the holy wells of Saint Andrew.

Two ecclesiastical foundations, two centres of civilization, were thus
planted in each other's near neighbourhood; but it is the history of
one only of them with which we are now concerned. I have not to follow
out the tale of the monks of Glastonbury, but that of the secular
priests of Wells. And here perhaps it may be needful to set forth more
fully the exact meaning of those words, and to say something about
the two different classes of clergy in those days, the differences
between whom tore the whole country in pieces at a time a little later
than the foundation of our Bishoprick. Some people seem to fancy that
all the clergy in old times were monks. I have heard people talk of
monks even in our church of Wells, where there never was a monk. Indeed
they sometimes seem to fancy that not only all the clergy but all
mankind were monks; at least one hardly ever sees an old house, be it
parsonage or manor-house or any other, but some one is sure to tell us
that monks once lived in it. It is hard to make people understand that
there were clergymen in those days, just as there are now, parsons of
parishes and canons of cathedral or collegiate churches, living, as
they do now, in their own houses, and in early times not uncommonly
married. These were the _secular_ clergy, the clergy who live in the
world. The monks, on the other hand, the _regular_ clergy, those who
live according to rule, were originally men who, instead of living in
the world to look after the souls of others, went out of the world to
look after their own souls. There is no need that a monk should be
a priest, or that he should be in holy orders at all, and the first
monks were all laymen. Gradually however the monks took holy orders,
and they did much good in many places by teaching and civilizing the
people, by preaching and writing books, and, not least, by tilling the
ground. But in all this they were rather forsaking their own proper
duty as monks and taking on them the duty of secular priests. The main
difference between them came to be that the monks bound themselves
by three vows, those of poverty, chastity, and obedience, while the
secular clergy did not take vows, but were simply bound, as they are
now, to obey whatever might be the law of the Church at the time. Now
of these two classes of clergy some of our early Kings and Bishops
preferred one and some the other. But whenever a new diocese was
founded, the Bishop surrounded himself with a company of clergy of one
sort or the other. You will remember that when a bishoprick, say that
of the West-Saxons, was founded, the cathedral church was the first
church that was built and endowed. The Bishop of the West-Saxons had
his home at Winchester, along with a body of monks or clergy, who were
his special companions and advisers, his helpers in keeping up divine
worship in the cathedral church, and in spreading the Gospel in other
parts of the diocese. Gradually churches and monasteries were built
in other places, and monks and clergy were appointed to serve them,
but a special body of monks or clergy always remained at the cathedral
church, to be the Bishop's special companions, and to keep up the
cathedral church as the model and example for the whole diocese. This
is the origin of the Chapters of our cathedral churches. The clergy
of a cathedral were sometimes regulars and sometimes seculars; and
as men looked on the monks as holier than the seculars, the seculars
were turned out of several cathedral and other churches, and monks
were put in their place. Hence several of our cathedrals were served
by monks down to the time of Henry the Eighth, when all monasteries
were suppressed, and the cathedral monasteries, as at Canterbury,
Winchester, and elsewhere, were changed into chapters of secular
canons. But in other churches, as in our own church of Wells, and in
the neighbouring churches of Exeter and Salisbury, the secular canons
have always gone on to this day. And this makes a great difference
in the appearance of our buildings at Wells from those of many other
cities. We have here in Wells the finest collection of domestic
buildings surrounding a cathedral church to be seen anywhere. There
is no place where so many ancient houses are preserved and are mainly
applied to their original uses. The Bishop still lives in the Palace;
the Dean still lives in the Deanery; the Canons, Vicars, and other
officers still live very largely in the houses in which they were
meant to live. But this is because at Wells there always were secular
priests, each man living in his own house. In a monastery I need hardly
say it was quite different. The monks did not live each man in his own
house; they lived in common, with a common refectory to dine in and a
common dormitory to sleep in. Thus when, in Henry the Eighth's time,
the monks were put out and secular canons put in again, the monastic
buildings were no longer of any use, while there were no houses for the
new canons. They had therefore to make houses how they could out of the
common buildings of the monastery. But of course this could not be done
without greatly spoiling them as works of architecture. Thus while at
Ely, Peterborough, and other churches which were served by monks, there
are still very fine fragments of the monastic buildings, there is not
the same series of buildings each still applied to its original use
which we have at Wells. I wish that this wonderful series was better
understood and more valued than it is. I can remember, if nobody else
does, how a fine prebendal hall was wantonly pulled down in the North
Liberty not many years ago. Some of those whose duty it was to keep it
up said that they had never seen it. I had seen it, anybody who went
by could see it, and every man of taste knew and regretted it. Well,
that is gone, and I suppose the organist's house, so often threatened,
will soon be gone too. Thus it is that the historical monuments of
our country perish day by day. We must keep a sharp eye about us or
this city of ours may lose, almost without anybody knowing it, the
distinctive character which makes it unique among the cities of England.

It is then in this way that Wells became, what it still is, the seat
of the Somersetshire Bishoprick. The Bishop had his throne in the
church of Saint Andrew, and the clergy attached to that church were
his special companions and advisers, in a word his Chapter. We have
thus the church and its ministers, but the church had not yet assumed
its present form, and its ministers had not yet assumed their present
constitution. Of the fabric, as it stood in the tenth century, I
can tell you nothing. There is not a trace of building of anything
like such early date remaining: while in other places we have grand
buildings of the eleventh and twelfth centuries, at Wells we have
little or nothing earlier than the thirteenth. But it is quite a
mistake to fancy that our forefathers in the tenth century were wholly
incapable of building, or that their buildings were always of wood.
We have accounts of churches of that and of still earlier date which
show that we had then buildings of considerable size and elaboration
of plan.[13] And we know that in the course of the same century Saint
Dunstan built a stone church at Glastonbury to the east of the old
wooden church of British times.[14] The churches both of Wells and
Glastonbury must have been built in the old Romanesque style of England
which prevailed before the great improvements of Norman Romanesque
were brought in in the eleventh century. You must conceive this old
church of Saint Andrew as very much smaller, lower, and plainer than
the church which we now have, with massive round arches and small
round-headed windows, but with one or more tall, slender, unbuttressed
towers, imitating the bell-towers of Italy. I do not think that we have
a single tower of this kind in Somersetshire, but in other parts of
England there are a good many. There is a noble one at Earls Barton in
Northamptonshire, and more than one in the city of Lincoln.

Of the foundation attached to the church at this time there is but
little to say. The clergy of the cathedral did not as yet form a
corporation distinct from the Bishop, and the elaborate system of
officers which still exists had not yet begun. The number of canons
was probably not fixed; in the next century we incidentally hear that
there were only four or five. They had no common buildings besides the
church, and they lived no doubt each man in his own house.[15] The
revenues of the church seem not to have been large. The ceremony which
happened among us last week may make some of you ask whether the canons
of Saint Andrew had already the right of electing the Bishop. This is
a question which it would be hard to answer. I am not prepared with any
detailed account of the appointment of a Bishop of this particular see
in the tenth or eleventh century. But it is certain that the way of
appointing Bishops in those days was very uncertain.[16] It is clear
that no Bishop could be consecrated without the King's consent, and
that it was by a document under the King's writ and signature that the
Bishoprick was formally conferred. But the actual choice of the Bishop
seems to have been made in several ways. Sometimes we hear of the monks
or canons choosing whom they would, and then going to the King and his
Witan or Wise Men, the great assembly of the nation, to ask for the
confirmation of their choice. This confirmation was sometimes given
and sometimes refused. Sometimes we expressly read that the King gave
the monks or canons leave to elect freely. This is exactly what would
happen now, if the _letter missive_ should be lost on the road and
the _congé d'élire_ should come by itself.[17] At other times we read
of the King alone, or the King and his Witan, appointing, seemingly
without any reference to the monks or canons. The truth is that in
those days the Church and the nation were more truly two aspects of the
same body than they have ever been since, and that those questions as
to the exact limits of the civil and ecclesiastical powers, which have
gone on, in one shape or another, from the days of William Rufus till
now, had not yet arisen.

Things thus went on in our church of Wells without anything very
memorable happening, from the days of Æthelhelm the first Bishop, who
was appointed in 909, to those of Duduc, who was Bishop from 1033 to
1060.[18] Tombs bearing the names of several Bishops of those days
are still to be seen in the church. But they are all work of the
thirteenth century, and, if the names given to them are trustworthy,
Bishop Jocelin, when he rebuilt the church, must have made new tombs
for his predecessors, a thing which sometimes was done. But when
we get to Duduc, we are getting towards things which ought to be
remembered; we are getting to the actual local history of the church
of Wells itself, which hitherto it has been hard to distinguish from
the general history of the Church in England. Duduc was the first
Bishop who was not an Englishman; he was a Saxon. Of course there was a
sense in which the Bishops before him might be called Saxons, that is
West-Saxons, subjects of the King of the West-Saxons and probably in
most cases themselves of West-Saxon blood. But Duduc was a Saxon from
the Old-Saxon land in Germany, the old land of our fathers, and this is
always the meaning of the word Saxon in the history of those times.[19]
This Bishop Duduc was in high favour both with King Cnut and afterwards
with Eadward the Confessor. And his name at once brings us to a story
which connects our church of Wells with the greatest Englishman of
those days, though in a way which has brought undeserved obloquy on his
name. I dare say some of you have read the tale of Harold's plundering
the church of Wells, banishing the Bishop, bringing the Canons to
beggary, and what not. However, I will read you the story as it stands
in Collinson's "History of Somersetshire." He is speaking of the next
Bishop Gisa, of whom I shall say more presently.

"On his entry into his diocese, he found the estates of the church in
a sad condition; for Harold earl of Wessex, having with his father,
Godwin earl of Kent, been banished the kingdom, and deprived of all
his estates in this county by King Edward, _who bestowed them on the
church of Wells_, had in a piratical manner made a descent in these
parts, raised contributions among his former tenants, spoiled the
church of all its ornaments, driven away the canons, invaded their
possessions, and converted them to his own use. Bishop Giso in vain
expostulated with the King on this outrageous usage; but received from
the Queen, who was Harold's sister, the manors of Mark and Mudgley,
as a trifling compensation for the injuries which his bishoprick had
sustained. Shortly after [after 1060] _Harold was restored to King
Edward's favour, and made his captain-general_; upon which he in
his turn _procured the banishment of Giso_, and when he came to the
crown, resumed most of those estates of which he had been deprived.
_Bishop Giso continued in banishment till the death of Harold_, and
the advancement of the Conqueror to the throne, who in the second year
of his reign restored all Harold's estates to the church of Wells,
except some small parcels which had been conveyed to the monastery of
Gloucester; in lieu of which he gave the manor and advowson of Yatton,
and the manor of Winsham." ("History of Somersetshire," iii. 378.)

Now all this, as is commonly the case with what we read in county
histories and books of that class, is pure fiction, but it is very
curious and instructive to see how the fiction arose. We can trace
every step. Collinson improved on the account in Bishop Godwin's
Catalogue of Bishops, which was written in the time of Elizabeth.[20]
Godwin improved on the Latin history of Wells, written by a Canon of
Wells in the fifteenth century, which is one of our chief authorities
on all local matters.[21] The Canon of Wells, in his turn, improved
on the original account given by Bishop Gisa, the person concerned.
We have no account from Harold's side, but we have the contemporary
version from the other side, and it certainly differs not a little
from the version given by our worthy local antiquary. All about
Harold's estates being granted to the church of Wells, all about his
seizing the estates of the church, all about Gisa being banished
and the Canons being driven away, is all pure invention, which has
gradually grown up between Gisa's time and Collinson's. Gisa's own
account, which is printed in Hunter's Ecclesiastical Documents, is
to this effect.[22] King Cnut had given to Duduc the two lordships
of Banwell and Congresbury, not as a possession of his see, but as a
private estate. These lands, together with some ornaments and relics,
Duduc wished to leave to the see. But on his death Harold, the Earl
of the district, took possession of them. This is the whole of the
charge. Gisa does not accuse Harold of taking anything which had ever
belonged to the see, but only of hindering Duduc's will in favour of
the see from taking effect. We thus have Gisa's charge, but we have
not Harold's answer. That answer, I conceive, would have been that, as
Duduc was a foreigner dying without heirs, he had no power of making
a will, but that his property went to the King or to the Earl as his
representative. I cannot say for certain whether this would have been
good law everywhere, but it certainly would have been good law in some
places, and it at once suggests an intelligible explanation of Harold's
conduct. But churchmen in those days always held that the Church was
always to gain and never to lose, and we find other cases in which
laymen who prosecuted legal claims against ecclesiastical bodies are
called nearly as hard names as if they had robbed the Church by fraud
or violence.[23] Gisa does not say that he complained to the King or
attempted any legal prosecution of the matter; but he made private
appeals to Harold and threatened him with excommunication. You must
remember that all this concerns only the moveable goods and the lands
at Banwell and Congresbury, which, before Duduc's death, had never
belonged either to Harold or to the church of Wells. With Winesham
Harold had nothing to do; that lordship, Gisa says, was wrongly
detained from the see by a man named Ælfsige. Gisa was never banished,
and it so happens that the only writ of Harold's which we have is
one addressed to Gisa, assuring him of his friendship and confirming
him and his see in all their possessions.[24] Gisa himself adds that
Harold, after his election to the Crown, promised to restore the two
lordships and to make other gifts as well. This he was hindered from
doing by what Gisa calls God's judgement upon him, that is to say, by
the Conquest of England.[25]

Now this is a very remarkable story, as showing how tales grow, like
snowballs rolled along the ground, and how dangerous it is to take
things on trust from late and careless writers. You see at once how
utterly different Gisa's own account of his own doings is from that
in Collinson. The Canon of Wells and Bishop Godwin give the story in
intermediate forms. I should strongly recommend those who are able to
get at the books to compare all four accounts together. There cannot be
a better example of the growth of a legend.

This Bishop Gisa, who succeeded Duduc in the year 1060, was a
remarkable man in our local history. Like Duduc, he was a foreigner.
Like several other Bishops at that time, he came from Lotharingia or
Lorraine. But you must remember that the name Lorraine then meant, not
only Upper Lorraine which is now part of France, but Lower Lorraine,
a great part of which is now part of the Kingdom of Belgium. Gisa in
short was what we should now call a Belgian, and he probably spoke
the old tongue of those parts, which is one of the tongues of the
Continent which is most like our own. He complains that, when he came
to his diocese, he found his church mean and its revenues small; so
much so that the four or five canons who were there had to beg their
bread.[26] Of course I need not say that this is an exaggerated way
of talking; but we may well believe that, like many a poor clergyman
still, they were glad of any help that well-disposed people would give
them. It is worth notice that another Bishop of the same time and of
the same nation, Hermann, Bishop of the Wilsætas, complained that the
revenues of his church at Ramsbury were so small that they could not
maintain any monks or canons at all. Hermann mended matters in one
way by getting the Bishoprick of Dorsetshire or Sherborne joined to
that of Wiltshire and Berkshire, and in the end he moved his see to
Salisbury, that is of course Old Sarum, whence it was afterwards again
moved to the new city of that name.[27] Gisa set to work to increase
the revenues of his church by buying and begging in all directions.
King Eadward gave him Wedmore; his wife, the Lady Eadgyth--remember
that the proper title of the wife of a West-Saxon King was not Queen
but Lady--gave him Mark and Mudgeley; William the Conqueror gave him
the disputed lordships of Banwell and Winesham, and he bought Combe
and lands at Litton and Wormestor or Worminster.[28] He was thus able
to make a good provision for his canons; you will doubtless remember
that many of the places which I have just spoken of give their names to
prebends in the church of Wells to this day. He also greatly increased
the number of canons, but he did something more. Among the things which
he complains of is that the canons of Wells before his time had no
cloister or refectory. This means that they did not live in common,
but lived, after the manner of English secular priests, each man in
his own house. They therefore had no need of a common refectory or
dining-hall, nor had they any need of a cloister. In a monastery the
cloister is one of the most important parts of the building; it is
the centre of everything, all the other parts gathering round it;
and it is always built in one particular place and of one particular
shape, namely a square north or south of the nave of the church. In a
monastery in short the cloister is a necessity; in a secular church it
is a luxury, a thing which may be very well left alone. In our secular
churches therefore we sometimes find a cloister and sometimes not, and,
when there was one, it might be built of any shape and in any position
that might be thought good. But in Gisa's country of Lorraine the
secular canons were used to live in a much stricter way than they did
in England. They were not monks, because they did not take vows; but
they lived much more after the manner of monks, dwelling together with
a common refectory and a common dormitory or sleeping-room, and being
governed by very strict rules which had been drawn up by Chrodegang,
Bishop of Metz in Upper Lorraine.[29] You will see that the main
object of all this was to hinder them from marrying, which the English
secular priests, living each man in his own house, often did. Gisa's
great object was to bring this discipline, the discipline, as he says,
of his own country, into his church of Wells. This was what several
Bishops about the same time were doing elsewhere. About a hundred years
before Adalbero, Archbishop of Rheims, had done the same in his church,
the metropolitan church of France.[30] But Rheims, you may remark,
though in France and the head church of France, is quite near enough
to the borders of Lorraine to come within the reach of Lotharingian
influences. So in our own country, at this very time Leofric Bishop
of Exeter was introducing the same discipline into his church.[31] But
we find that Leofric, though by birth an Englishman, or perhaps rather
a Welshman of Cornwall, had been brought up in Lorraine. It is always
from Lorraine, in one shape or another, that this kind of change seems
to come. And we have quite enough to show that Englishmen did not like
it, as the changes which were brought in by Gisa and Leofric did not
last very long either at Wells or at Exeter. Gisa, however, carried
his point for the time. He built a cloister, a refectory, and whatever
other buildings were needed for his purpose, and made the Canons live
after the Lotharingian fashion. As their chief officer he appointed
one Isaac, one of their own body, and whom they themselves chose. He
was called the Provost, and his chief business was to look after the
temporal concerns of the church.

Now in this account there are many things worthy of careful notice.
First, mark the full authority of the Bishop in his own church; Gisa
seems to do whatever he pleases. We need not suppose that he did what
he did without obtaining the consent of his Chapter in some shape or
other; but it is plain that the Bishop was still, to say the least,
the chief mover in everything. One is also inclined to think that
before Gisa's time the Canons had no property distinct from that of the
Bishop. A large portion of his new acquisitions was bestowed to the
benefit of the Canons; but it appears from Domesday that what they held
at the time of the Survey was all held under the Bishop.[32] Secondly,
mark the very important change which Gisa made in the constitution
of the church of Wells by bringing in the Lotharingian discipline. He
did not, like some other Prelates, drive out his canons and put monks
in their stead, nor yet did he, as was done at some other places,
compel his canons to take monastic vows. The Canons of Wells, after
his changes, still remained secular priests and not regulars. But the
changes which he made were all in a monastic direction. They brought in
something of the strictness of monastic discipline among a body of men
who had hitherto lived in a very much freer way. I cannot help thinking
that the rule of Chrodegang was but the small end of the wedge, and
that before long it would, if not by Gisa, by some reforming Bishop or
other, have been developed into the rule of Saint Benedict. But the
next Bishop was not a reforming Bishop, and the fear of the Canons
of Wells being displaced to make room for monks, or being themselves
turned into monks, happily passed away. Gisa, there can be no doubt,
was a good man and a diligent and conscientious Bishop, though some of
his doings were such as we Englishmen are not likely to approve. At
last, after being Bishop twenty-eight years, he died in 1088, and was
buried under an arch in the wall on the north side of the high altar,
as his predecessor Duduc was on the south side.[33] This notice is
important; it shows that Gisa, among all his works of other kinds, did
not rebuild the church itself; it also shows, by speaking of an arch in
the wall, that the eastern part of the church had no aisles.

The next Bishop was quite another kind of man. I know not whether he
is reverenced at Bath, but we at Wells have certainly no reason to
love his memory. You will remember that, as Gisa was Bishop from 1060
to 1088, the Norman Conquest of England came in his time. One result
of that event was that all the Bishopricks and Abbeys of England were
gradually filled by strangers, and much greater strangers to England
than Duduc and Gisa had been. The new Bishops and Abbots, just as much
as the new Earls, were almost all Normans or Frenchmen, who, I suspect,
seldom learned to talk English. The first Bishop of Somersetshire
after the Conquest was John de Villulâ, a Frenchman from Tours, who
was appointed by William Rufus. About this time there was a great
movement, which had begun under Edward the Confessor and which went
on under William the Conqueror, for moving the sees or _bishopstools_
of Bishops from smaller towns to greater ones. Thus, in our own part
of England, Bishop Leofric, in King Edward's time, removed the united
see of Devonshire and Cornwall from Crediton to Exeter, and in King
William's time Bishop Hermann removed the united see of Dorsetshire
and Wiltshire from Ramsbury and Sherborne to Salisbury. By Salisbury
you will of course remember that I mean Old Sarum and not New. The
historian William of Malmesbury, who wrote under Henry the First, calls
this change the removal of Bishopricks from villages or small towns to
cities. And among the villages or small towns from which Bishopricks
were removed I am sorry to say that he reckons our city of Wells.[34]
For the first thing that the new Bishop John did was to remove his
bishopstool from the church of Saint Andrew at Wells to the church
of Saint Peter at Bath, on which William of Malmesbury remarks that
Andrew, although the elder brother, was obliged to give way to his
younger brother Simon.[35] Bath was then, as now, a much larger town
than Wells, and was a walled city, which Wells never has been. It was
an old Roman town, which had been taken by the West-Saxons in 577, a
good while before Somersetshire south of the Axe became English.[36]
The church of Saint Peter there was founded by Offa, King of the
Mercians, for secular canons, but King Eadgar had, as in so many other
churches, put monks instead, and Bath had ever since been a famous
monastery. So, if the Bishop's see is necessarily to be fixed in the
greatest town in the diocese, Bath was undoubtedly the right place, but
it had the disadvantage of being much less central than Wells, being,
as we all know, quite in a corner of the diocese. The Abbey of Bath was
just then vacant by the death of the Abbot Ælfsige, an Englishman who
had contrived to keep his office all through the reign of William the
Conqueror; so Bishop John persuaded King William Rufus to grant the
Abbey of Bath for the increase of the Bishoprick of Somersetshire.[37]
This was done by a charter in 1088, which was confirmed by two charters
of Henry the First in 1100 and 1111. In the next year the Bishop begged
or bought of the King the whole town of Bath, which had lately been
burned. The effect of these changes was that the Abbey of Bath was
merged in the Bishoprick. There was no longer a separate Abbot, but
the Bishop was Abbot; the church of Saint Peter became his cathedral
church, and its Prior and monks became his Chapter. The Bishop also,
by his grant or purchase from the King, became temporal lord of the
town. Bishop John, having thus got possession of Bath and all that
was in it, spiritual and temporal, reigned there at first somewhat
sternly. He was, as I have said, a foreigner; he was also a skilful
physician and fond of learned men of every kind. The monks of Bath,
no doubt mostly Englishmen, he despised as ignorant barbarians; so he
oppressed them and cut their living very short, till afterwards, we are
told, he repented, and gave them their possessions back again.[38] He
also rebuilt the church of Bath, now become his cathedral church, and
greatly enriched it with ornaments and the like, and then, after being
Bishop for thirty-six years, he died and was buried in 1124.

But it more concerns us to know what was going on at Wells all this
time. The see had been altogether taken away, so much so that one of
the charters of Henry the First speaks of the see of all Somersetshire
having been moved to Bath from the town which is called Wells. I
conceive that the Bishop of Bath now looked on Wells simply as one of
the lordships of the see, just like Banwell, Evercreech, Wookey, or
any other, where the Bishops had houses and where they occasionally
lived. So, among his other doings, Bishop John built himself a house
at Wells. But the way in which he found himself a site and materials
was a somewhat remarkable one. For it was by pulling down all the
buildings that Gisa had built for the use of the Canons, and building
his own house on the spot.[39] Now this shows that either the church
or the Bishop's Palace has changed its place since the time of John of
Tours. For we may be sure that Gisa built his cloister, refectory, and
dormitory close to the church, just as they would be in a monastery.
Therefore, if John built his house on their site, it must have been
much nearer to the church than the present palace is. Nothing is left
of either the church or the palace as they stood then, and it is
most likely that the site of the palace has been changed, and that
Gisa's canonical buildings and John's manor-house both stood where
the cloister, library, &c. stand now. But I thought it worth while
to mention this, because it was not very uncommon, when a church was
rebuilt, to build the new church a little way off from the old one.[40]
The reason for this was, that the service might go on in the old church
while the new one was building; and when the new church was finished,
the old one was pulled down and the new used instead. It is therefore
quite possible that our present cathedral does not stand quite on the
same site as the church which was standing in Gisa and John's time. But
on the whole the chances are the other way.

The Canons of Wells were thus turned out of the buildings which Gisa
had made for them, and were driven to live where they could in the
town.[41] The great and learned Bishop of Bath cared nothing about
them, or rather he made spoil of them in every way. A portion of
their estates, valued then at thirty pounds a year, was held by the
Bishop's steward, Hildebert by name, who seems also to have been his
brother and to have held the office of Provost of the Canons. On
Hildebert's death, the estate, by the Bishop's assent, passed as an
hereditary possession to his son John, who is described as Archdeacon
and Provost.[42] As I understand the matter, the estate became a kind
of impropriation; Hildebert, John, and their heirs held the estate, and
paid the Canons a fixed rent-charge. For though we read of the estate
being taken away from the Church, yet we also read incidentally that
Provost John paid each Canon sixty shillings yearly.[43] This would
seem to show that there were ten Canons, among whom the thirty pounds
had to be divided. But as we read that, when Bishop Robert recovered
the property, he paid each Canon a hundred shillings, it would seem
that the estate increased in value, but that John simply paid the
Canons their old stipends, taking to himself the surplus, which should
no doubt have been employed either in raising the stipends of the
existing Canons or else in increasing their number. This is the kind of
abuse which we constantly light upon in all manner of institutions, and
we see that at all events it is not a new abuse. Canons in their own
infancy were treated by Provosts much as Canons, in the days of their
greater developement, have in different places treated Minor Canons,
Singing Men, Grammar-Boys, and Poor Knights. The peculiar thing is that
the Provostship became hereditary, subject only to this fixed charge,
exactly like a lay rectory charged with a payment to the Vicar.

I think then that, however our Bath neighbours may look at him, we at
Wells have a right to set down Bishop John of Tours as the worst enemy
that our church had from the eighth century to the sixteenth. We
are told that he repented, but it must have been an ineffectual kind
of repentance, as he made no restitution.[44] Or we may say that his
repentance was geographical, for a deed is extant in which he restores
to the monks of Bath all that he had taken from them, but there is no
sign that he restored anything to the Canons of Wells.[45] Still his
doings had one effect; the Lotharingian discipline was broken up for
ever, and the secular priests of Wells were never again constrained
to sleep in a common dormitory or to dine in a common refectory. John
thus indirectly helped to put things on the footing which they assumed
under the next Bishop but one, and which, in its main features, has
been retained to this day. It is that Bishop, Robert by name, whose
episcopate forms the natural boundary of the first portion of my
subject. Hitherto I have had to deal with a church and a Chapter of
Wells; but hardly with the church and Chapter which at present exist.
I have had to speak of the early beginning of things, of fabrics and
institutions alike which were far from having reached their full
developement. With Robert a new era begins alike in architectural,
capitular, and municipal matters. He was a founder in every sense. He
rebuilt the fabrics of both his churches. He settled the relations
between those two churches as they remained till the suppression of
the monastery of Bath in the sixteenth century. He gave the Chapter
of Wells a new constitution, which, with some changes in detail, it
still retains. Last, but not least, he gave the first charter of
incorporation to the burghers who had gradually come to dwell under
the shadow of the minster. He may therefore be looked upon as the
founder of Wells, church and city alike, as they now stand. The reign
of this memorable Prelate therefore marks the first stage in my story;
I will therefore now bring my first lecture to an end, and will reserve
a detailed account of the important episcopate of Robert to form the
beginning of my account of the mediæval, as distinguished from the
early, history of the church of Wells.


In my former Lecture I did my best to trace the history of the church
of Wells from the earliest days. We have seen its small beginnings, a
colony of priests planted in a newly-conquered land, with their home
fixed on a small oasis between the wild hill-country on the one side
and the never-ending fen on the other. There their church had risen,
and settlers had gathered round it; it had grown into the seat of
a Bishop, the spiritual centre of the surrounding country, a rival
in fame and reverence of that great island church which stood as a
memorial of the past days of the conquered, while Wells rose as a
witness of the presence of the conquerors. We have seen one Prelate of
foreign birth at once vastly increase the power and revenues of his see
and try to subject his clergy to the yoke of a foreign rule against
which the instincts of Englishmen revolted. We have seen another
foreigner undo the work of his predecessor alike for good and for evil;
we have seen him forsake church and city altogether, and remove his
episcopal chair to a statelier and safer dwelling-place. We have seen
the local foundation again brought back to a state lower than the poor
and feeble condition out of which Gisa had raised it. We now come to
the great benefactor whom we may fairly look upon as the founder of
Wells as it is, the man who put the Bishoprick and Chapter into the
shape with which we are all familiar, and who moreover gave to the city
its first municipal being.

On this last head I shall not enlarge. The subject is so completely the
property of others both present and absent that I should feel myself
the merest intruder if I attempted to dwell upon it. I will rather
go on with those parts of Bishop Robert's career which more directly
concern my subject, and look at him in three lights, as his actions
concern respectively the Bishoprick, the Chapter, and the fabric of the

After the death of John of Tours the see was held by one Godfrey,
a countryman of Gisa's from Lower Lorraine, and therefore somewhat
nearer to an Englishman than a mere Frenchman like John. His promotion
was owing to his being a chaplain of the Queen, Henry the First's
second wife, Adeliza of Löwen, with whom he had doubtless come into
England.[1] He is described as being of noble birth, mild, and pious,
but perhaps mere mildness was not the virtue which was most needed in
those days. All that we hear of him is that he tried to get back the
Canons' lands from John the Archdeacon, but that King Henry and Roger
Bishop of Salisbury, who was a mighty man in those days, hindered him.
He died in 1135. Then came Robert. He was a rare case of a Bishoprick
in those times being held by a man who could be called in any sense
an Englishman. As a rule, the great ecclesiastical offices were now
given to men who were not only not of Old-English descent, but who
were not even the sons of Normans or other strangers settled in
England. Utter foreigners, men born on the Continent, were commonly
preferred to either. But Robert was a Fleming by descent and born in
England. As a native of the land, and sprung from one of those foreign
nations whose blood and speech is most closely akin to our own, we may
welcome him a countryman, in days when the most part of the land was
parcelled out among men who did not even speak our tongue. He had been
a monk at Lewes at Sussex, and was promoted by the favour of Henry
of Blois, Bishop of Winchester, the famous brother of King Stephen.
Henry had been Abbot of Glastonbury before he became Bishop, and,
what is more, he kept the Abbey along with his Bishoprick. He is said
to have sent for Robert to look after the affairs of the monastery;
that is, I suppose, to act as his deputy after he became Bishop.[2]
Thus we see that the comfortable practice of pluralities, and what
somebody calls the "sacred principle of delegation,"--that is to say,
the holding two or more incompatible offices and leaving their duties
to be done by others or not to be done at all,--are inventions in
which the nineteenth century was forestalled by the twelfth. Robert
next from deputy Abbot of Glastonbury became Bishop of Bath, and he
seems to have set himself manfully to work to bring his diocese and
its two head churches out of the state of confusion into which the
changes of John of Tours had brought them. First of all with regard to
the Bishoprick. You understand of course that the removal of the see
from Wells to Bath had been made without the consent of the Canons of
Wells, who had an undoubted right to be consulted about the matter.
In ecclesiastical theory a Bishop and his Chapter are very much like
a King and his Parliament; neither of them can do any important act
without the consent of the other. And here a thing had been done for
which of all others the consent of the Wells Chapter ought to have been
had, as their most precious rights had been taken away from them. All
this time they had never formally submitted to the change, and they
had been always complaining of the wrongful removal of the see, and
asserting their own rights against the usurpations of the monks of
Bath. And it is to be noticed that the change had never been approved
or recognized by any Pope. The Bishops of Somersetshire were still
known in official language at Rome as _Episcopi Fontanenses_ or Bishops
of Wells, not as _Episcopi Bathonienses_ or Bishops of Bath. Robert now
procured that the episcopal position of Bath should be recognized, and
from this time for some while after our Bishops are commonly called
Bishops of Bath.[3] But it would seem that this is merely a contracted
form, for the style of Bishop of Bath and Wells, with which we are all
so familiar, is found before very long. And there can be no doubt that
the controversy was now settled by Robert on these terms, that Bath
should take precedence of Wells, but that the Bishop should have his
throne in both churches, that he should be chosen by the monks of Bath
and the Canons of Wells conjointly, or by deputies appointed by the two
Chapters, and that those episcopal acts which needed the confirmation
of the Chapter should be confirmed both by the Convent of Bath and by
the Chapter of Wells.[4] There are deeds hanging up in this very room
to which you will see the confirmation of both those bodies. The Bishop
of Somersetshire thus had two cathedral churches, as was also the case
with the Bishop of Coventry and Lichfield, and as has been the case
with the Bishop of Gloucester and Bristol since those sees were joined
within our own memory. This arrangement lasted till the cathedral
church of Bath was suppressed under Henry the Eighth, after which, by
an Act of Parliament passed in 1542, the Chapter of Wells was made the
sole Chapter for the Bishop.[5] Things thus came back, as far as Wells
was concerned, to much the same state as they had been in before the
changes of John of Tours, except that Bath still forms a part of the
Bishop's style. But since the Act of Henry the Eighth it has been a
mere title, as the Bishop is Bishop of Bath in no sense except that in
which he is Bishop of Taunton or of any other place in the diocese. He
is elected by the Chapter of Wells only; he is enthroned in the church
of Wells only; and when Saint Peter's church at Bath was set up again
in the reign of James the First, it was not as a cathedral, but as a
simple parish church.

Bishop Robert, having thus settled himself as Bishop of Bath _and_
Wells, with two churches under his special care, began to set to work
to put in order whatever needed reform in both of them. He enlarged
and finished the church of Bath, if he did not actually rebuild it
from the ground. I speak thus doubtingly, because our accounts do
not exactly agree. The little book called "Historiola de Primordiis
Episcopatûs Somersetensis" says that "he himself caused the church of
the Blessed Peter the Apostle at Bath to be built at a great cost."[6]
But the history commonly quoted as the Canon of Wells says only that
"he finished the fabric of the church of Bath which had been begun
by John of Tours."[7] Now the "Historiola" is the earlier authority,
and that which we should generally believe rather than the other,
whenever there is any difference between the two. But, on the other
hand, stories generally grow greater and not smaller; a man's exploits
are much more likely to be made too much of by those who repeat the
tale than to be made too little of. When therefore the later writer
attributes to Robert less than the earlier one does, one is tempted to
think that the earlier writer exaggerated or spoke in a loose way, and
that the Canon of Wells had some good reason for his correction. And
this is the more to be noticed, because we shall find exactly the same
difference when we come to the accounts which the two writers give of
what Robert did at Wells. It is indeed said that the church and city of
Bath were again destroyed by fire in 1135, and that this made Robert's
rebuilding necessary. But the phrase of being destroyed by fire is
often used very laxly of cases where a building, like York Minster
within the memory of some people, was simply a good deal damaged, and
had to be repaired, but did not need to be wholly rebuilt. At any rate,
whether Robert altogether rebuilt or only finished, the great church of
Saint Peter at Bath was now brought to perfection. Do not for a moment
think that this is the Abbey Church of Bath which is now standing,
and which I do not doubt that a great many of you know very well. The
church of John and Robert was of course built in the Romanesque style
with round arches, and in that particular variety of Romanesque which
had been imported by Eadward the Confessor from Normandy into England,
and which we therefore call the Norman style. But the present church of
Bath is one of the latest examples of our latest English Gothic, and of
that special variety of it which forms the local Perpendicular style of
Somersetshire. Moreover the Romanesque church was very much larger than
the present one, which covers the site of its nave only. One little
bit of the Romanesque building, the arch between the south aisle and
the south transept, is still to be seen at the present east end. The
fact is that the later Bishops of Bath and Wells were not at all of the
same mind as John of Tours. They lived much more at Wells than at Bath,
and took much more care of the church of Wells. Bath indeed was quite
neglected, and by the end of the fifteenth century the church was in a
great state of decay. It was then, in the year 1500, that Bishop Oliver
King and Prior Bird began to build the present church on a smaller
scale and in a widely different style of architecture. Besides what he
did to the church, Bishop Robert built or rebuilt all the conventual
buildings of his Abbey of Bath, the cloister, refectory, dormitory, and
the rest, all which were necessary for the monks of Bath, though the
secular priests of Wells could do without them.[8]

It is to be noticed that Bishop Robert, himself a monk, when he began
to reconstitute the Church of Wells in the way of which I now have to
speak, made no attempt to bring in monks instead of secular canons,
or even to subject the Canons to the same half-monastic discipline
which had been brought in by Gisa. All his changes in fact tended in
an exactly opposite direction. Hitherto the Canons had been altogether
dependent on the Bishop. They do not seem to have formed a distinct
corporation, and the lands which they held, when they were not taken
away from them altogether were held by them as the Bishop's tenants.
All Robert's changes tended to give them greater distinctness and
independence. The first business was to get back the lands which had
been alienated by the connivance of Bishop John, and which Bishop
Godfrey had in vain tried to get back. John the Archdeacon, we are
told, repented on his death-bed, and straitly charged his brother
Reginald to restore the lands. This he now did; he came to Bath and
surrendered everything to the Bishop, but we shall presently see that
his vested interest was thought worthy of some respect. It is now
that we are told that, instead of the sixty shillings which John had
paid each Canon yearly, the Bishop was able to pay them a hundred
shillings.[9] And now, to hinder anything of the kind happening
again, Robert put the constitution and revenues of his Chapter on
altogether a new footing. The Canons became a separate corporation,
distinct from the Bishop; and, besides this, each Canon became for
some purposes a separate corporation sole, distinct alike from the
Bishop and from his brother Canons. For Robert first founded the
dignities and prebends of the Church of Wells. The dignities are the
chief offices of the Chapter, those of the Dean, the Precentor, the
Chancellor, the Treasurer, and the Sub-Dean, all which offices still
remain, to which we may add the Provostship, which still went on, and
the Subchantership; these two no longer exist. Of these the Deanery
and the Precentorship were certainly founded by Robert. Of the others
I do not feel quite certain whether they were founded by Robert or by
Jocelin.[10] But in any case all that Jocelin did in this matter was to
carry out the plans of Robert somewhat more fully, and we may fairly
discuss the whole constitution as one work at this point. We need not
suppose that all these offices were absolutely new; for instance,
there must always have been a Precentor, or some one discharging the
Precentor's duties in the immediate government of the choir. But at
all events these offices were not till now distinct and permanent
foundations, with a special _status_ and distinct revenues of their
own, which they now became. In the Dean especially the Canons now
got for the first time a head of their own body distinct from the
Bishop. Now as to the prebends. There is a corrupt way of speaking
in use now of calling some few members of the Chapter _Canons_, as
if the name belonged to them only, and calling the rest of the body
_Prebendaries_, as if they were something different and, I suppose,
something inferior. That this is a mere corruption is well known to
every one who knows anything of the history of these foundations. But
it is also made very plain by the language of official documents to
this day. Whenever a new Prebendary is installed, he is still installed
into "the Canonry or Prebend" of so and so; and when the whole Chapter
is summoned for the election of a Bishop, all its members without
distinction are still summoned by the title of Canons. The truth is
that every member of the cathedral body is at once a Canon and a
Prebendary. Canon and Prebendary are two different names for the same
man looked at in two different characters. He is a Canon as one of
the capitular body, a member of the corporation called the Dean and
Chapter; he is also a Prebendary as holding--or of later years not
holding--a certain prebend, _præbenda_, or separate estate, in regard
to which he himself forms a corporation sole. The priests of Saint
Andrew's had been Canons all along, but they first became Prebendaries
under Bishop Robert. For it was he who first founded the prebends
or separate estates. He divided the property of the Canons into two
parts. Certain estates were to be held by the whole body in common as a
corporation aggregate. Certain other estates were cut up into smaller
portions or _prebends_, of which each Canon held one as a corporation
sole. Such and such lands or tithes were attached as a prebend to the
Deanery, to the Precentorship, and so on through the whole body; those
Canons who did not hold any dignity, such as Dean or Precentor, being
called Prebendaries of the place where their estates or _corpses_ lay,
Wormestor, Buckland, or any other. Some estates, as those of Combe and
Wedmore, were so large as to form several prebends; thus we get the
titles which sound so odd, Wedmore the first, Combe the twelfth, and
the like. Thus each Canon came to have as it were two beings. As a
Canon, he was one of a body, enjoying rights and discharging duties in
common with his brethren. As a Prebendary he was independent, holding
his own prebendal estate like any other holder of a benefice. But mark
that the title of Canon, a title of office and duty, is clearly a
more honourable title than that of Prebendary, which is a mere title
of property. And mark again that, now that all the prebendal estates
are transferred to the Ecclesiastical Commissioners, it may fairly
be doubted whether there are any Prebendaries left, save the few who
were appointed before those changes began. But there is nothing in
the Act of Parliament which brought about those changes which at all
touches the _status_ of a non-residentiary Canon in any point except
that of his property. What I want you to bear in mind is that, when a
non-residentiary Canon becomes a Residentiary, he is not, as people
commonly talk, changed from a Prebendary into a Canon. He was a Canon
before, and, saving my own objection which I have just started,
he remains a Prebendary afterwards. How the distinction between
residentiary and non-residentiary Canons came about I shall explain

The Church of Wells thus received a new constitution at the hands of
Bishop Robert, who was helped in his undertaking by King Stephen and by
his former patron, the King's brother Henry, Bishop of Winchester.[11]
This constitution is essentially the same as that which, in theory at
least, exists still, and it is one which, in all its main features,
is shared by Wells with all the other cathedral churches of the
Old Foundation. The cathedral churches of the Old Foundation are
those which have always had secular canons, which therefore were
not suppressed at the dissolution of monasteries, but have gone on
uninterruptedly with essentially the same constitution down to our
own time. Such, besides our own church, are the neighbouring churches
of Salisbury and Exeter. Such, in other parts of England, are York,
London, Lincoln, Lichfield, Hereford, Chichester, and the four
cathedrals of Wales. The churches of the New Foundation are those
which in the time of Henry the Eighth were served by monks, which
were therefore dissolved along with the other monasteries, and all of
which, except Bath and Coventry, were refounded by him as Chapters of
secular canons. Such was our old mother church of Winchester; such was
the common mother church at Canterbury; such were Rochester, Norwich,
Worcester, Durham, and the newer sees of Ely and Carlisle. With these
are also reckoned the churches which became cathedral by Henry planting
Bishops in them for the first time, Oxford, Peterborough, Saint
Werburgh's at Chester, our own neighbours of Gloucester and Bristol,
and Westminster, which lost its Bishop in the next reign, and is now
only a collegiate church. And to these I suppose we must again add the
churches of Ripon and Manchester, which have become cathedral in our
own time. In all these the constitution is very different from that of
the churches of the Old Foundation; among other things, they have not
that variety of officers, each with his separate duties and revenues,
which are to be found in the Old Foundations. And the influence of
the Crown is much greater in the New Foundations than in the Old.
Their Deans have always been appointed by the Crown, and in several of
them the Canons also are appointed either by the Crown or by the Lord
Chancellor. In the Old Foundations the Dignitaries and other Canons,
except the Dean, have always been appointed by the Bishop. In the Welsh
churches the Deans also have always been, and still are, appointed by
the Bishops.[12] In the others the Canons elected their own Dean, but a
custom gradually came in by which the Crown recommended a person, who
was always chosen. But within the reign of the present Queen, there
chanced to be some legal objection to the person recommended by the
Crown to the Chapter of Exeter, so that the Canons freely elected their
own Dean, who held his place till his death; only meanwhile an Act of
Parliament was passed, vesting in the Crown the appointment to the
Old Deaneries as well as to the New. You will see easily that, though
the connexion between the Bishop and his Chapter is everywhere much
weakened from what it once was and from what it ought to be, it still
is much closer in the churches of the Old Foundation than in those of
the New.

It is to the wise and careful gradation of officers, each with his
special function, in our own church and in the other churches of the
Old Foundation, that I wish specially to call your attention. I assume
of course that all are constantly resident, as constantly resident
as a parish clergyman is on his living. I assume of course that none
of them holds any preferment besides his cathedral office. These two
conditions are necessary to the effective carrying out of the ancient
scheme; it is owing to the breach of them, a breach which is no new
thing, but which began almost from the beginning, that a most wisely
and beautifully ordered system has gradually become a mere name. When
offices whose duties require the constant presence of their holders on
the spot are held by men who are resident for three months only or not
resident at all; when there is not even any provision for the proper
discharge of their duties by deputy, the whole scheme of those offices
fails, and their mere empty titles become mockeries. The great offices
of the cathedral, those of Dean, Precentor, Chancellor, and Treasurer,
are sinecures in the legal sense, as being without cure of souls;[13]
but they were certainly not meant to be sinecures in any other sense.
They are offices any one of which would afford ample occupation for a
studious and thoughtful man, whose soul was in his work and who loved
the institution of which he was a member. The Dean is the President
of the Chapter, the general superintendent of the whole institution.
I can say from the examples of men alike dead and living, that when
that important post is held by a man who understands its duties, it
is anything but a sinecure, anything but useless. A man of ability
and zeal, to whom the cathedral and everything about it supplies some
labour of love at every step, who knows and loves every stone of the
fabric, whose heart answers to every note of its services, to whom
every tittle of its history is a living thing, will not find the office
of a Dean an idle or an irksome one. Unencumbered by any parochial
charge, he will influence men's minds as the chief preacher of the
cathedral church, and as continuing the old missionary functions of
capitular bodies by preaching on fitting occasions in other parts of
the diocese. As the chief presbyter of the city and diocese, he will
be foremost in every good work within that city and diocese, ever at
his post, keeping up order and discipline alike by precept and by
example, dispensing the simple but liberal hospitality enjoined by
ecclesiastical rule. As the President of the Bishop's Council, he
will be the Bishop's right-hand man in his presence, and his most
natural representative in his absence. Such I conceive to have been
the sort of Dean whom good Bishop Robert wished to see at the head
of his Chapter; such Deans there have been and still are, and under
such Deans cathedral institutions are not found to be useless. Hardly
less important are the functions of the officer second in rank, the
Precentor. To his lot falls the immediate management of the cathedral
services; he is, as Bishop Godwin says, "the Precentor to govern the
choir."[14] Here is work, full and worthy work, for an accomplished
musician and profound liturgical scholar. It is plain that the duties
of both these great officers are constant, that the presence of some
one to discharge those duties is always needed. The pious care either
of Robert or of Jocelin therefore provided for their occasional and
unavoidable absence, by the foundation of two officers, holding the
rank of dignitaries, whose duty it was to supply their place on such
occasions, namely, the Sub-Dean and the Sub-Chanter. The office of
Sub-Chanter no longer exists; the Sub-Dean, I need not say, is still
among us. Next comes the Chancellor, the Chancellor of the Church,
whom I hope no one will confound with the Chancellor of the Diocese,
a judicial functionary with whom my history has nothing to do. His
business, says Godwin, is "to instruct the younger sort of Canons." But
his business is more than this: he is the great educational officer of
the church and diocese; the head and centre of all that is done in that
way in the city and diocese. Here, I need not say, is practical work
enough for any man, especially in these days. One very natural part of
his functions is now very efficiently discharged among us, but it is
discharged by other members of the capitular body, and by them hardly
in their capitular character.[15] The last of these great officers is
the Treasurer, who must not be taken for a bursar or steward; his duty
is to "look to the ornaments of the church." His duties are certainly
less wide and less important than those of his brethren: but they are
duties which to an ecclesiastical antiquary would be a labour of love;
and, if they were combined with the special care of the church itself,
with the office of Master of the Fabric, they would rise in importance
to a level with any of the others. Such were the dignitaries, each,
besides his share of the general revenue, having his own special
prebendal estate. Such was the case with the other Canons also, the
whole body amounting in Robert's time to about twenty-two. Other
Bishops increased their numbers till they reached the full tale of
fifty, at which they still remain.

In what I have just been saying, I have been drawing an ideal picture,
a picture of the great officers of a cathedral body, as they ought
to be, as I doubt not that their founders meant them to be, but not
as I suppose that they ever will be, or that they ever were. But
in this, as in all other matters, it is well to make our ideal the
highest possible. If we aim at the highest mark, we shall, in this
imperfect world, most likely not hit it, but we shall assuredly come
much nearer to it than if we are content to aim at a lower mark. What
hindered this goodly scheme from being carried out for any length
of time, what probably hindered it from being ever in its fulness
carried out at all, was the vice of the age, the inveterate tendency
to pluralities and non-residence. In fairness to our own age we must
say that the instances of those abuses which still remain, even those
which remained in the last generation, are trifles compared with the
pluralities and non-residence of the Middle Ages. But in fairness to
those ages we must also say that the pluralities and non-residence of
those days had not always their root in mere unscrupulous greediness,
but in a peculiar view of ecclesiastical offices, which we now hold
to be wrong, but which the circumstances of those times rendered
natural. The true theory of the endowment of an ecclesiastical office
doubtless is that an office is instituted for the common good; it
is the business of its holder to discharge its duties in person; an
endowment is attached to it, not as mere payment for work done, but as
a maintenance for its holder and a means of enabling him to discharge
his duties efficiently and liberally. But the feudal notions which
were then prevalent caused ecclesiastical offices to be looked on in
quite another light. Temporal estates, temporal _benefices_--for the
word is just as correctly applied to a lay fee as to a bishoprick or
a rectory[16]--were held of the lord by the tenure of performing some
service, military or otherwise, for the lord's behoof. So that those
services were efficiently performed, it was not necessary, it was not
always possible, that the holder of the fief should perform them in
his own person. And of course there has been no time when temporal
men have had any scruple, nor is there any reason why they should
have any scruple, in multiplying their temporal estates as largely as
they honestly can. A false analogy led men to look on ecclesiastical
offices in the same feudal light. They were looked on as benefices
rather than as offices, as estates held by a certain service, by the
discharge of certain ecclesiastical duties, but, provided those duties
were performed, it was thought to matter little whether the holder of
the benefice performed them personally or by deputy. Here and there
a specially virtuous man, a saint in short, would not cumber himself
with any office whose duties he could not perform in his own person.
But men of ordinary virtue, men who were not scrupulous beyond the
public opinion of their day, did not hesitate to heap benefice upon
benefice, and thought their consciences were perfectly clear if the
duties of each were discharged by a competent deputy. It is like any
other evil fashion; we admire those who rise above it; we are not
hard on those who conform to it, provided they do not sink before the
received morality of the time. But the prevalence of this view of
ecclesiastical property was enough to undermine from the very beginning
all such pious schemes as those of our Bishop Robert. And we find that
Robert was himself driven to a course which was probably unavoidable,
but which reads very like a compromise, not to say a job. We have seen
that Reginald the brother of Archdeacon John restored the capitular
estate. But we find that Robert invested Reginald with the office of
Precentor, and, what is more, attached to it as its prebend the whole
estate of Combe, an estate so valuable that it was provided that on
Reginald's death it should be divided into five prebends.[17] Possibly
Reginald did not personally lose much by surrendering the estate of the
Canons, when his prebend, like Benjamin's mess, was five times as much
as any of theirs. And it is further to be noticed that two nephews of
Reginald, two knights called Payne of Pembridge and Roger Witing, did
not willingly acquiesce in an arrangement which cut them off from the
succession to what they had learned to look on as an hereditary estate.
In the reign of Henry the Second they brought an action to recover the
lands which had been restored to the Church by their uncle Reginald. It
is said in a marked way that this happened after the death of Stephen
and the accession of Henry. This looks therefore as if Henry had some
ill-feeling against a Bishop who had been so specially favoured by
his mother's rival. It sounds very strange to read that, though the
claim of the two knights was strongly withstood by the Bishop, by Ivo
the first Dean, and by their own uncle Reginald, now Precentor, yet in
the end the matter had to be compromised, and the claims of Reginald's
nephews were bought off with a payment of twenty marks.[18] This case
is only one of many in which the Church found it very hard to recover
lands of which it had once parted with the possession, whether in the
usual form of a lease for three lives--a very old custom indeed[19]--or
of any other. We have no statement from the side of Reginald's nephews,
and it is quite possible that their case may really have been not
unlike that of those who in our own day have enfranchised lands held
of ecclesiastical bodies. In any case the name of one of the claimants
is worth notice, and local genealogists may perhaps be able to tell
me something about his descendants. It would be remarkable indeed if
Roger Witing, the obstinate enemy of the Church of Wells, should prove
to have been a forefather of Richard Whiting, the Abbot and martyr of

In the deed by which Bishop Robert founds the Deanery and
Precentorship, he distinctly says that his object is to secure the
Canons against such spoliations as they had suffered at the hands of
the Provosts.[20] This object, there can be no doubt, was effectually
compassed. When part of the estates of the church was held by the
Canons in common, while each Canon held another portion as his own
separate endowment, it is clear that they could no longer lie at the
mercy of any one officer. He also founded an admirable system of
offices in his church, which, if fully carried out, would greatly
improve its discipline within and greatly extend its usefulness
without. But there can be no doubt that his changes had indirectly,
and certainly undesignedly, another effect of which we cannot so fully
approve, the effect of weakening the old connexion between the Bishop
and his cathedral church. We must remember that a spirit of corporate
isolation was the spirit of the times. Liberty, as has been well said,
meant privilege. Every body of men, ecclesiastical or civil, strove
rather for its own independence than for the well-being of the whole
country. Every town, district, monastery, university, ecclesiastical
body of any kind, did all it could to procure exemptions of one kind or
another, to withdraw itself from the general and ordinary jurisdiction
and to set up some exceptional jurisdiction of its own. Traces of this
system linger here and there, wherever there is a temporal jurisdiction
different from the jurisdiction of the ordinary Judges and magistrates,
wherever there is an ecclesiastical jurisdiction different from that
of the Archbishop, the Bishop, and their regular officers. I am far
from saying that the working of this system has been altogether bad.
In many cases it has been conspicuously good. For it was simply by
one application of this system that the boroughs of England each, one
by one, wrested or bought their independence from their temporal or
spiritual lords. But it illustrates the difference between those times
and ours that the original independence of those boroughs was won by a
series of isolated local struggles, while their reform in our days was
wrought by a single Act of Parliament for the whole country. The spirit
of local and corporate independence was the natural, and in many cases
the beneficial, result of the circumstances of the time. But it had its
weak side, especially in ecclesiastical matters. The monasteries set
the example in obtaining exemptions from the jurisdiction of the Bishop
of the diocese. Other ecclesiastical corporations followed them. Each
cathedral Chapter now became a distinct corporation, with a head, in
the person of its Dean, distinct from the Bishop. I suspect that the
institution of the Deanery, more than any of the other changes, tended
to weaken the tie between Bishop and his Chapter. Hitherto the Bishop
had been the head of his Canons, much as an Abbot was the head of his
monks. Now the Chapter became a separate body, with interests and
possessions of its own distinct from those of the Bishop. It had a head
of its own, who must have been strongly tempted to set himself up as a
rival of the Bishop. The old tie was gradually loosened; the Bishop,
from being the immediate head of his cathedral, sank into the mere
Visitor of an independent corporation, having less authority in his own
church than in any other church in the diocese. It became a point of
honour with capitular bodies to lay more stress on maintaining their
chartered rights against the Bishop than on working with the Bishop
to promote the ends for which both Bishops and Chapters were founded.
The Bishop and his Chapter became alike isolated. Two authorities
which were intended to work together very much like a King and his
Parliament, silently divided the departments of administration between
them. The Bishop came to manage the affairs of the diocese without any
reference to the advice of his nominal Council the Chapter. The Chapter
came to manage the affairs of the cathedral with very little reference
to the authority of the Bishop. Instead of an immediate ruler, he
became an external power, called in ever and anon to reform an abuse
or to settle a dispute. It gradually came, in most places at least, to
be held in law that the freehold of the cathedral church was vested in
the Dean and Chapter or Prior and Convent. The old theory that, when
the cathedral was served by monks, the Bishop was their Abbot, had thus
quite died away. At the dissolution of religious houses, the monastic
cathedrals were surrendered by their Priors and Convents, just like
the other monasteries. The metropolitan church of England became the
property of Henry the Eighth, and he had the right in law, not only, as
he did, to despoil it of all its treasures, but to destroy, dismantle,
or desecrate the fabric itself, as was actually done with the churches
of Bath and Coventry. The Bishop of Coventry and Lichfield earnestly
prayed that his head church might be spared, but the tyrant was not to
be moved, and in law, as law had gradually come to be understood, no
right of the Bishop was touched by its destruction.[21]

Thus the Chapter of Wells gradually became, like other Chapters,
no longer a body of clerks headed by the Bishop, but a separate
corporation subject only to the Bishop's visitation. But this was not
the only instance of the spirit of local and corporate isolation
which is supplied by the history of capitular bodies. Besides the
Chapter becoming an independent corporation aggregate, we have seen
that each Canon became for some purposes a separate corporation sole,
independent alike of the Bishop and of his brother Canons. Nor did
this independence always affect matters of property only. The notions
of property and jurisdiction were closely connected in the ideas
of those times. It followed that in many cases the parishes where
either the Chapter or any particular Prebendary had property, those
especially where they possessed advowsons or rectories, became exempt
from the ordinary jurisdiction of the Bishop, and were placed under
the peculiar jurisdiction of the Chapter itself or of the particular
Prebendary.[22] My friend the Sub-Dean can bear witness that, though
his rectory and advowson have gone elsewhere, he still retains, or very
lately retained, some small remnants of ecclesiastical jurisdiction
among my neighbours at Wookey. But the spirit of corporate independence
went further still. We have not yet come to the days of Vicars and
Chantry-priests. But we shall find that even these purely subordinate
officers, mere assistants to the Canons as regards their ecclesiastical
duties, became perfectly independent corporations as regards their
temporal possessions.

I have dwelt at length on the changes wrought by Bishop Robert in the
constitution of the foundation, because they were the beginning of the
constitution as it still exists, and because these changes of Bishop
Robert's were simply one example out of many of the changes which
were going on everywhere. The constitution which was assumed by the
church of Wells was essentially the same as the constitution which was
assumed by all the secular cathedrals, some a little sooner, some a
little later. The exact number and functions of the officers are not
everywhere precisely the same. But we everywhere find the Precentor,
the most absolutely indispensable functionary of all, and we commonly
find the Dean, Chancellor, and Treasurer. The distinction too between
the property of the Chapter as a body and the property of separate
Prebendaries is common to all the cathedrals of the Old Foundation.

I now come to what Bishop Robert did with regard to the fabric of the
church. I have already said, while speaking of Robert's building at
Bath, that our two chief accounts, earlier and later, do not exactly
agree as to the extent of his works at either place. The earlier
account seems to assert a complete rebuilding from the ground; the
later implies only a thorough repair of a church which had become
ruinous and dangerous.[23] As all the work of this date at Wells has
vanished, it is impossible to say for certain how the case really
stood, but at all events Robert's repair must have been very extensive,
as it was followed by a reconsecration of the church. But what I
want you specially to remark is this, that the church which Robert
either repaired or destroyed in order to rebuild must have been the
Old-English church, one can hardly venture to say the church of Ine,
but very possibly the church of Eadward the Elder. The old church thus
lasted, certainly to the middle of the twelfth century, perhaps even
some way into the thirteenth. Now at either of those times large
churches earlier than the Norman Conquest must have been almost as rare
in England as they are now. The Norman and other foreign Prelates, who
were thrust into English Bishopricks and Abbeys, had almost everywhere
rebuilt their minsters in the newly imported style long before the time
of Robert's episcopate. But it is plain that such was not the case at
Wells. The acts of Gisa and John of Tours are so fully recorded that,
if either of them had rebuilt the church of Wells, we could not fail to
have heard of it. Gisa, we know, thought poorly of the building,[24]
but he does not say that he did anything to improve or enlarge it. His
architectural works were all devoted to the accommodation of the Canons
on his new system. And it is plain from the account of his burial that
he was buried in the same church in which his predecessor lay, which it
therefore follows that he had not rebuilt. John of Tours, I need not
say, was not likely to rebuild the church of Wells. In short, we have
no mention of the actual fabric of the cathedral till we come across
this description of its dangerous and ruinous state in Robert's time.
The Old-English church was therefore still standing, and, if Robert
merely repaired and did not wholly rebuild, parts of it must have been
standing down to the great rebuilding under Jocelin. Perhaps we may
be the more inclined to think that this was the case, when we see how
soon Robert's work was done, and when we remember how utterly his work
was swept away so soon after his own time. The church was consecrated
in the presence of three other Bishops, one of whom, Robert, Bishop
of Hereford, died in 1148.[25] Our Robert therefore had at the outside
only thirteen years of the stormy reign of Stephen for the rebuilding
of his church at Wells, and that at a time when he was also occupied
with his architectural works at Bath, and with his efforts to recover
the lost property of the Canons. At all events, whatever was the exact
extent of his work, it is certain that not a single bit of detail
of his age is to be seen in the present church; a single stone with
Norman mouldings, which must have formed part of Robert's building, is
built up in the house which was lately restored by Mr. Parker. That
is literally all; in the church itself I think I can show one small
bit of masonry of Robert's age, but it is merely masonry, without any
ornamental work. It is seldom that one of the massive piles of that
day has so utterly gone, without leaving any trace of itself. But it
is easy to call up before our eyes what the church of Robert must
have been. It was small compared with the great Romanesque minsters
of Peterborough, Ely, and Norwich, or with its own rival at Bath. The
present building is one of the very smallest of the original cathedral
churches of England, and, as it stood in Robert's day, it must have
been much smaller than it is now. The western limb was most likely of
its present length; the eastern limb was very much shorter than it
now is, containing probably only one or two bays and the apse. The
choir--the place for the stalls--if not actually placed in the western
limb, was under the central tower, the usual place for it in Norman
minsters. It has indeed struck me that what Robert did was perhaps
mainly to rebuild and enlarge the choir and presbytery,--a change
which the increase in the number of the Canons would make needful,
and which, as changing the site of the high altar, would call for a
fresh hallowing of the building. In this case it is quite possible
that the ancient nave may have remained substantially untouched down
to the building of the present church. As for the style of Robert's
building, whatever he built or added was of course built in the fully
developed Norman style of the middle of the twelfth century, somewhat
less massive, somewhat more highly enriched, than the church of John de
Villulâ at Bath is likely to have been. But the style was essentially
the same; the church of Eadward at Westminster was still the great
model for English buildings;[26] it is not likely that the pointed arch
found its way, even as a purely constructive feature, into any part of
the church of Robert. If the nave or any other considerable part of the
ancient minster really survived, it would have been most curious to
trace the way in which the architect, like the architects of Le Mans
and of Saint Remigius at Rheims, doubtless strove to throw a coating
of the more refined Romanesque of his own day over the still living
body of the old primitive building. But on these matters we cannot get
beyond fairly probable conjecture. Whatever stood before the days of
Robert, whatever was built in the days of Robert, has utterly vanished.
Still there does seem every reason to believe that the ancient church
of Wells, a church most likely of the tenth century, remained at least
to the middle of the twelfth century, and that large portions of it
were not improbably standing even in the thirteenth.

The episcopal reign of Bishop Robert has thus occupied a large part of
our time. Nor has it done so unworthily, for his episcopate is the most
important of all in the constitutional history of the Church of Wells;
and, though all Robert's architectural works happen to have perished,
yet his episcopate must have been almost equally important with regard
to the material fabric. We may pass more lightly over the time of the
two Bishops who came between the first great founder Robert and the
second great founder Jocelin. Their time is a most important time in
the history of the see of Bath and Wells; it is the most important
of all times in the later history of the Church of Glastonbury; but
it provides but little matter bearing on the history of either the
fabric or the constitution of the Church of Wells. Bishop Robert died
in 1166, and the see remained vacant for seven years. The next Bishop,
Reginald, founded several new prebends,[27] but I do not find any
mention of the fabric in his time. Then came the famous Savaric, the
last of our Lotharingian Prelates, whose detailed history belongs in
a special manner to Professor Stubbs.[28] His great object, as we all
know, was to annex the Abbey of Glastonbury to the Bishoprick, and
to make Glastonbury a third, or perhaps rather the first, cathedral
church of the Diocese.[29] The controversy which arose about this
matter fills up the whole of his episcopate, and part of that of his
successor, Jocelin, who was Bishop from 1206 to 1242. For a short
time Glastonbury, much against the will of its own monks, remained
an episcopal see, with the Bishop for its Abbot, and Jocelin himself
signs the Great Charter by the title of Bishop of Bath and Glastonbury.
One might have thought that this change was one which tended still
more to the lowering of the position of the Church of Wells. But we
may perhaps infer that it was not so taken, as we find the Dean and
some of the Canons of Wells acting zealously on the Bishop's side in
the course of the long dispute.[30] In the end, as is well known, the
monks of Glastonbury gained their point at the expense of considerable
sacrifices. Jocelin gave up his claims over the Abbey; the Bishop of
Bath and Wells ceased to be Bishop and Abbot of Glastonbury, and the
minster of Glastonbury ceased to be a cathedral church. It became
once more simply a monastery governed by its own Abbot, as it had
been for so many ages. On the other hand, the monks of Glastonbury
had to buy their independence by the surrender of several manors and
advowsons; and, though the Bishop ceased to be Abbot, yet he retained
a more efficient right of visitation over the Abbey than Bishops could
commonly retain over monasteries so great in wealth and dignity.[31]
This agreement was made in the year 1218, and from that time till
Jocelin's death in 1242, it would seem that his chief attention was
given to the rebuilding of the fabric of the church of Wells, to some
further changes in the constitution of the Chapter, and to other good
works in the city. He could not have begun his works at Wells before
the year 1211; for the first five years of his episcopate were spent
in banishment under the tyranny of John.[32] Jocelin was a Wells man
in every sense of the word. As he is called Jocelin of Wells, and as
his brother Hugh, Bishop of Lincoln, is called Hugh of Wells, both were
doubtless natives of the city, and Jocelin had been a Canon of the
Church before he became its Bishop. He is a memorable man indeed in our
local history; he may be called the creator of the cathedral as it now
stands, he put the last finishing touches to the capitular constitution
devised by Robert, and he also began another of our institutions which
has lasted to our own time, I mean that of the Vicars. With regard to
the fabric, I now come upon ground which Professor Willis has made
his own. As many of you doubtless remember, he has twice lectured on
Wells Cathedral: once in 1851, when the Archæological Institute at
their Bristol meeting paid a hurried visit to Wells; and again in 1863,
at the meeting of our own local Archæological and Natural History
Society, an honour, let me tell you, of a very rare kind, and which I
believe has not been granted to any other local society. Now, if we had
Professor Willis's lecture as he delivered it, there would be little
else for any future historian of the fabric to do except to make spoil
of what the Professor said. But unluckily, the great work of which
this and all other Professor Willis's lectures of the same kind were
to form parts has not yet appeared, and I greatly fear that it never
will appear. We have therefore to draw our own recollections, helped
by the report in our own Society's Proceedings, 1863, which is at
least fuller and more accurate than that in the Bristol volume of the
Institute. I shall therefore, in what I have to say as to architectural
facts, follow Professor Willis as nearly as I can, though I shall have
to make more use of my own light than I need have done if I really had
the Professor's lecture before me. I speak thus of architectural facts,
with regard to which he who follows Professor Willis will seldom go
wrong; as for matters of taste and opinion, architectural or otherwise,
I hold myself independent of Professor Willis as of every other man.
But I should add that I have not had, like the Professor, the advantage
of a diligent study of the manuscript documents in possession of the
Chapter. I once glanced at them in company with Professor Stubbs, and
that is all. When these documents are printed, as all documents of
the kind ought to be printed, I hope I may be able to make good use
of them; but while they are shut up in manuscript they are useless to
me. Searching into manuscripts is a special gift, one which Professor
Willis and Professor Stubbs, and some nearer to ourselves, possess in
the highest degree, but it is a work for which I have neither time nor

Let us now look, in a general historical way, without attempting to
enter into any very minute detail, at the church of Wells, as it
was designed and begun, if not absolutely finished, during the long
episcopate of Jocelin. That episcopate reached over twenty-four years
from the settlement of the Glastonbury controversy, over thirty-six
from Jocelin's first consecration. That any part of the church is older
than Jocelin I see no reason to believe; but if anybody holds that the
porch may be a little earlier than his time, I will not dispute against
him. The church of Jocelin, thus understood, takes in the nave, the
transepts, and what is now the choir proper, that is, the three western
arches of the eastern limb. It takes in the three towers, up to the
point where they rise above the roof of the church, but no higher. With
the present presbytery, that is, the three eastern bays of the eastern
limb, with the Lady chapel and the other small eastern chapels, with
the Chapter-house and the tops of the towers, we have as yet nothing
to do. Now within these limits, that is, between the west door and the
Bishop's throne, I think that every one of common observation must
have remarked that there are two styles of architecture in use. I do
not speak of certain small changes and insertions made at later times,
such as the tracery which has been put into the nave windows, or of the
changes which were made when it was found needful to add new props to
the great central tower. Of these I shall have to speak further on. I
speak of differences of style in the original fabric itself. The west
front, within and without, differs widely in its architectural detail
from the arcades of the nave and transepts. If there is any one here
who has never remarked the difference, I can only say, let him go into
the church to-morrow and use his eyes for himself. Both parts are built
in the style which is called Gothic, the style which uses pointed
arches with an appropriate form of ornament; both are built in that
variety of Gothic which is called Lancet or Early English, that is,
the first form of Gothic, which in England is mainly distinguished by
the use of long narrow windows without tracery. But, notwithstanding
this general likeness, there is a wide difference between the two. To
those who have never marked the difference I am not sure that I could
make it perfectly intelligible, except either on the spot or with the
help of large drawings. But go, I say, into the building itself, go
especially under either of the western towers, at the point where the
two styles join, and I think any one of common observation will easily
see the difference. The west front is built in that form of Early
Gothic which is common in other parts of England, the style of Ely,
Lincoln, and Salisbury. The rest of the Early work is built in a style
which in England is almost peculiar to Somersetshire, South Wales, and
the neighbouring counties, and which is much more like French work.
Among greater churches it is the style of Glastonbury and Llandaff as
well as of Wells; among smaller buildings good examples will be found
in parts of Whitchurch in Somersetshire and Cheriton in Gower, and
above all in the beautiful church of Slymbridge in Gloucestershire. Of
the two styles used in this part of the building this is the one which,
speaking of England generally, we should be inclined to call foreign,
and the other native. Here in the West we must call the ordinary
English style of Ely and Salisbury foreign, and the French-looking
style of Wells and Llandaff we must call native or local. Our local
Somersetshire and South-Welsh style has a good deal of the earlier
Romanesque leaven hanging about it; its mouldings and the clustering
of its pillars are much less free; the abaci or tops of the capitals
are square or octagonal instead of round; it makes no use of those
detached shafts, often of marble, which are so abundantly found in
the west front. Now which of these two is the older? The local style
is no doubt older in idea; but that does not absolutely prove that
the parts of the church which are built in it are necessarily older
in date. The evidence of the masonry is puzzling; some bits look one
way and some the other. Mr. Parker and I once looked very carefully
at it, and we were both inclined to think that the west front was the
oldest part, that it had been built up against the earlier church, like
the west front of Peterborough, and that the nave and the rest had
been built later. Then Professor Willis came and told us that we were
wrong, and showed us other signs to prove that the west front was the
latest part built. We of course dutifully bowed to our master; but,
if the west front is the latest part, then it follows, what Professor
Willis is inclined to doubt, that the whole work was finished during
the episcopate of Jocelin--and surely thirty-one years is enough even
for so great a work. For that Jocelin built the west front I have no
doubt at all. It is certain that he built the oldest parts of the
palace at Wells and of the manor-house at Wookey[33], and the style
in both of those buildings exactly agrees with the foreign style of
the west front, and not with the local style of the nave. And these
buildings are certainly earlier than some works in the local style.
For it is certain from an account in Matthew Paris that in 1248, six
years after Jocelin's death, the vault, which was not commonly put on
till some time after the walls and arches were finished, was then
being put on some part of the church of Wells. The vault fell in by
reason of an earthquake and did a good deal of damage.[34] The present
vault then is later than Jocelin, and to the repair rendered needful by
this accident I am also inclined to attribute the breaks and style of
differences--not amounting to differences of style--which it is easy
to see between the eastern and western bays of the nave. The chances
therefore seem on the whole to be that Jocelin began to build in the
local style; that for his later works, the west front and the two
houses at Wells and Wookey, he sent for architects from a distance, who
brought in the more advanced style which was usual in other parts of
England; but that the mere damage caused by the fall of the vault was,
even after his death, repaired by the local workmen in the local style.

This last work was almost certainly done after Jocelin's time; still
it was simply the restoration of a damaged portion of his design,
and it does not at all bar his claim to be looked on as the real
builder of the church. The church was hallowed in 1239. This shows
that so much of the building as was absolutely needful for divine
service was then finished. It does not prove whether the other parts
were finished or not, neither does it show how long the essential
parts had been finished at the time of the consecration. For in the
history of those times we often come across complaints that various
churches still remained unconsecrated, and indeed Mr. Dimock has told
me that the present church of Lincoln has never been consecrated to
this day. We find several cases in which a whole batch of cathedral
and abbey churches were consecrated in the same year, and this year
1239 one of those cases. In that year, besides the cathedral church
of Wells, seven great abbey churches were all consecrated.[35] This
date therefore proves only that the choir was ready for service in
1239. It proves nothing either way as to the state of the works in
the rest of the church, and it does not prove that the choir may not
have been ready some years before. But we can thus see how much at
least of the church was finished in that year. The choir was no doubt
under the tower, stretching possibly a bay eastward or a bay westward.
For you must remember that it is the only three western bays of the
eastern limb which belong to Jocelin's work. It is quite impossible
that the whole choir and presbytery could have been crammed into the
narrow space of those three bays. It follows then that the eastern
limb contained only the presbytery, that is, the void space left to
give dignity to the high altar, while the choir proper, containing the
stalls of the Canons, must still have kept its old place under the
central tower. By this time then the presbytery, the tower-choir, and
the transepts must all have been finished, together with at least one
or two bays of the nave, to form at once a constructive abutment to
the tower and a necessary approach to the choir. The work of Jocelin's
date in the transepts and eastern limb differs in some small points
of detail, especially in the triforium, from the work in the nave.
There is no difference in style, no difference in general effect, but
these are just those little differences which show that they were not
all built at exactly the same time. In a work which may well have
been spread over thirty-one years it is not wonderful if there were
several stoppages and fresh beginnings. And of such a stoppage and
fresh beginning we may see clear signs at this particular point of the
building. Every one who looks carefully at the buttresses of the north
aisle of the nave will see that, though the general effect of all is
the same, yet at two different points there are minute differences,
showing change or stoppage of work. One of these points is where I
have just mentioned, at the second bay from the east. This no doubt
marks the completion of the first part of the work, the part absolutely
necessary for divine service. The other marks the extent of the repair
caused by the fall of the vault. When the first or absolutely necessary
part of the work was done, a stoppage of a few years might well take
place, and it is well to try and call up before our eyes the appearance
of the church during this interval. The old nave--probably, as we have
seen, the Old-English nave recast by Robert--still remained in the
greater part of its extent; it would be taken down piecemeal as the new
nave gradually stretched itself westward. For a short time therefore
the old nave, much lower no doubt as well as much ruder in style than
the new work, must have stood against it in an incongruous fashion.
The eastern limb, the transepts, and the small part of the nave that
was built, must have soared like a tower over the older part. This is
a state of things which we do not often see in England, but which is
common enough in France, and which reaches its height in the famous
cathedral of Beauvais. There the old nave of the tenth century--the
_Basse Oeuvre_ as it is locally called--still survives--at least it
survived while I was there,--cleaving as a kind of excrescence to the
mighty pile which has risen up to the east of it. And with the reverse
process we are familiar enough in England, and specially familiar in
our own shire. It is a characteristic of the churches of Somersetshire
that the nave has often been rebuilt on a lofty and magnificent scale,
while the choir still remains small, low, and quite unworthy of its
companion. We may see this disproportion to some extent in our own
church of Saint Cuthbert, and it comes out much more strongly at Yatton
and in some other of the great parish churches of the county. At the
time of which I speak the transepts and eastern limb of Wells Cathedral
must have soared over the nave, exactly as the nave of Yatton soars
over its transepts and eastern limb. Then the rest of the nave would be
gradually rebuilt. We have seen that there is some slight difference
of detail, not affecting the general design, between the transepts and
the eastern part of the nave. And going westward, we can see the place
of the second stoppage, marked by a second slight change of detail,
probably caused, as I have already said, by the fall of the vault in
1248. Still, notwithstanding all these smaller differences, the whole
work, except the west front, is essentially in one style, and is
evidently built from one general design. And though the repair which
followed the fall of the vault must have happened after Jocelin was
dead, yet I think we may fairly speak of the thirteenth century work at
Wells as being, as a whole, the work of that great Prelate. This is a
case in which I see no reason to depart from the received tradition and
the received manner of speech.

Still, when I speak of the work as being the work of Jocelin, I ought
perhaps to pause and explain, and in some sort to qualify, my meaning.
As regards the design of the building, Jocelin may or may not have been
his own architect. In some of our great churches there is no doubt that
the Bishop, the Abbot, or some other member of the society, really was
the architect. William of Wykeham, long after Jocelin's time, really
designed his own nave at Winchester, but we read of some of the works
in Saint Alban's Abbey that they were designed by one of the other
officers of the monastery, but that it was held right to attribute them
to the Abbot, on account of his higher dignity.[36] While Jocelin's
nave was building, the vault over the nave of Gloucester Abbey was
actually made by the hands of the monks themselves.[37] In other cases
there can be no doubt that professional architects and masons were
employed, just as they are now.[38] The vault which fell in at Wells
was being made, not by the hands of the Canons or of their Vicars, but
by those of skilled workmen. One thing is certain, that the designer
of the local work at Wells must have been a local man; whether he was
actually Jocelin of Wells in his own person I cannot say. Another thing
is equally certain, that, before the work was done, the local style was
forsaken and another style was adopted in its stead. And that this was
the personal act of Jocelin is shown by the new style being used, not
only in the west front of the church, but in his own domestic buildings
both at Wells and at Wookey. And as to another point, when I call the
work Jocelin's work, I do not necessarily mean that he paid out of
his own pocket for everything that was done. We must remember that in
Jocelin's day we are just at a moment of transition in the history of
our own and of other churches. The earlier Bishops, who did what they
pleased, no doubt paid for whatever they did. At any rate, we cannot
suppose that the Canons of Wells in the eleventh century did, out of
their poverty and beggarly estate, contribute much either towards the
erection of Gisa's buildings or towards their pulling down by John of
Tours. In our own day, as we all know, any works done to the cathedral
are done by the Chapter, either out of their own funds, or out of funds
collected by them. In the intermediate ages we sometimes find works
of this sort attributed to the Bishop alone, sometimes to the Chapter
alone, sometimes to the Bishop and Chapter working together. I suspect
that this last would commonly be the truer account in all cases; at
any rate, what either Bishop or Chapter did the other party must have
consented to. Jocelin was doubtless the great mover in the work, the
life and soul of the whole undertaking. The whole would be done under
his care, and his personal contributions would doubtless be large. But
all this in no way shuts out the co-operation of the Chapter, of the
clergy and laity of the diocese, and of well-disposed persons wherever
they might be found.[39]

Another part of the buildings of the church belongs to the age of
Jocelin, where his hand might not have been looked for at first. This
is the cloister as it stood in its first estate. You will remember that
the cloister which was built by Gisa, together with his dormitory and
refectory, was pulled down by John of Tours. You will also remember
that a cloister, which in a monastery is an essential part of the
building, and is always built after a particular model, is in a
secular church a mere convenience, which may perfectly well be left
out, and which may be built in any place and after any fashion which
may be thought good. Jocelin then, or his Canons, now built them a
cloister, but it was a cloister which was no longer accompanied, as in
Gisa's time, by any refectory or dormitory. It is more like a monastic
cloister than those of Chichester and Hereford; it is less like one
than that of Salisbury. It occupies, like a monastic cloister, one
side of the nave; still it is not a perfect square, but an irregular
parallelogram; it has no walk on the north side, and the eastern walk
comes up against the south end of the transept, while in a monastery
it would have been built against its western wall. To the east,
where the chapter-house would have stood in a monastery, there was
a detached Lady chapel, of which the traces may easily be seen, but
which was rebuilt late in the fifteenth century and wholly destroyed
in the sixteenth. Now that the cloister was first built at this time
is plain, as all the outer walls, including that very pretty doorway
leading to the Palace, are all of Jocelin's date. The doorway leading
from the transept into the cloister is also mentioned in an Act of
Chapter in 1297, printed in Dugdale's Monasticon.[40] But this very
doorway, and the doorway which is in some sort the fellow to it in the
south-western tower, give us the surest signs that the cloister is not
now in the same state in which it was originally designed. Even in its
first estate, it seems to have been, as we should expect, an addition,
though an addition made not very long after the building of the part
of the church which it joins. The wall comes up uncomfortably close
against this fine doorway, though it does not mutilate it in the way
which is done by the vault which was added long after. This vault, and
the window-tracery of the cloister of the same date, are therefore not
only later additions, but additions which could not have been so much
as contemplated when the cloister was first built. What then was the
cloister in its original state? That its outer wall was of stone is
plain; but I believe that whatever was inside, the roof and whatever
there may have been in the way of tracery or arcading, was of wood.
Wooden cloisters were not uncommon. Even in so great a monastery as
Glastonbury, it is plain that the cloister was not of stone.

Jocelin, the great builder of the fabric, is hardly less memorable with
regard to the constitution of the church. He put the last touches to
the system which had been devised by Robert. To him, as we have seen,
was perhaps owing the foundation of the other dignities besides the two
chief ones, the Deanery and the Precentorship. He certainly increased
the number of prebends, and enlarged or settled again the endowments
of some of them.[41] And to him is owing the beginning of another
class among the officers of our church, who still remain among us; I
mean the Vicars. The institution of this order is closely connected
with certain changes which were going on about this time in our own
and in other capitular bodies, and which produced the distinction
which I have already mentioned, and with which we are all familiar,
between Residentiary and Non-residentiary Canons. All the old capitular
bodies were framed upon one general model, the essential features of
which they retain to this day. But, amid this general likeness, each
church has its own personal peculiarities; it would be impossible to
find two Old Foundation cathedrals in England which are exactly alike
in the names, numbers, and duties of their officers. And so with the
change of which I am now about to speak; it happened in all the secular
cathedrals with the single exception of Llandaff; but it was not
brought about in all by exactly the same stages nor at exactly the same
time. The general result was the same in all; but the process was not
everywhere the same, and this or that change might be made a few years
earlier in one place and a few years later in another. The exact dates
and stages in the church of Wells I am not prepared to tell you, till
all the information which now lurks in manuscript has been unlocked by
means of the printing-press. There is one among us who has no doubt
mastered every single record in its existing form, and who, I feel
sure, can tell us the year, day, and hour of every change of detail.
But all I can do is to point out the stages of change in a general way,
and to mark that in the time of Jocelin the changes of which I speak
were at least beginning.

I have already spoken of that inveterate tendency to pluralities, and
consequently to non-residence, which was the bane of the mediæval
Church, and which brought to nothing so many fair schemes of discipline
and reform. This had already begun to extend itself to cathedral
foundations. We may be sure that in early times the whole body of
Canons were constantly resident. Gisa at all events, we may be sure,
would allow of no absentees from the common refectory and the common
dormitory. But the changes made by Robert would certainly tend to make
non-residence possible. A Canon was no longer a mere member of a body
which, even as a body, had hardly any corporate rights. His prebend
had now been made a distinct benefice, as independent, as far as its
temporal possessions went, as a Bishoprick or a rectory. The feudal
ideas which, as I before said, came to be applied to ecclesiastical
benefices, would come to be applied to a prebend no less than to a
Bishoprick or a rectory. It would come to be looked on as a benefice,
which a man might, as in the case of any other benefice, hold along
with any other preferment, and, as in the case of any other benefice,
its holder would deem his conscience discharged if its duties were
discharged by deputy. The non-residence of Canons became a matter
of complaint in the twelfth century. It was a favourite subject for
monkish writers, who naturally found in it a fruitful field for
declamation against their secular rivals. Thus Richard of Devizes, one
of the most amusing writers of that or of any age, holds forth on the
superiority of the monks who praised God with their own mouths, while
the Canons praised Him only through the mouths of their Vicars. He
goes on to draw a grotesque picture of a stranger coming to ask alms
at the door of a rich Canon. The door is opened by a poor Vicar, who
bids the wayfaring man go away, as the master of the house is not at
home.[42] Then, at a somewhat earlier time, in the Life of Saint Thomas
of Canterbury, we find how the man whom he sent over with a bull of
excommunication against the Bishop of London went to high mass in Saint
Paul's Cathedral on so great a festival as the Ascension, and found the
officiating priest to be neither Bishop, Dean, nor Canon, but only a
Vicar.[43] An incidental notice of this sort speaks volumes.

The non-residence of the Canons was in itself an evil, and it grew
out of a relaxation of discipline; still it wrought some incidental
good by calling into being a class of men whom I look upon as highly
valuable, and indeed as essential to the proper working of the
cathedral system. I mean the Non-residentiary Canons. The distinction
between Residentiary and Non-residentiary Canons, which is found in
all the strictly English cathedrals of the Old Foundation, grew up
in different churches at nearly the same time and by nearly the same
steps, but with some differences of detail in each case. The first
stage seems to have been one of very general non-residence. The Canons
lived at the cathedral or not just as they pleased; those who did not
reside keeping (as we have incidentally heard) Vicars to discharge
their share of the duties of the church. Here we have the origin of
that body of Vicars, clerical and lay, whom we still see among us.
The Vicar at first was simply the deputy of the Canon whose place he
took, just as a curate takes the place of a non-resident rector. Each
Vicar was thus dependent on a particular Canon, who was looked upon
as his _Master_. Of this name, after the lapse of so many ages and
after such great changes in the position of the Vicars, we still have
traces among us. Among the legislative acts of Jocelin were some which
concerned the institution of Vicars.[44] He certainly did not form them
into a corporation, which was the work of a benefactor of the next age.
But he probably insisted that the non-residence of the Canons should
not involve any neglect of the services of the church, that every
absent Canon should be represented by a competent Vicar, perhaps even
that each Vicar should receive a decent stipend. It is plain that the
principle of non-residence was already recognized. Savaric, in founding
two new prebends in the church, had directed them to be held by the
Abbots of Muchelney and Athelney for the time being.[45] It probably
was good policy thus to connect the heads of two great monastic houses
in the diocese with the diocesan church. But it is plain that the two
Abbots were not meant to reside permanently at Wells. They would have
their votes in Chapter, and they would come to give them on fitting
occasions; but their share in the ordinary duties of the cathedral must
have been discharged by deputy from the beginning.

Non-residence thus became rife everywhere. But strict men naturally
looked upon it as a scandal. It was not fitting that all or most of the
responsible officers of the church should be habitually absent from
their post, leaving their duties to be discharged by deputy. And it is
likely enough that the deputies might not in every case be the most
creditable representatives of their principals that could be found.
It was needful to take some steps to check the system by which, in
cathedral churches as well as elsewhere, one man did the work while
another took the pay. On the other hand, we can see a growing and very
reasonable feeling that, as it was not possible, so neither was it
desirable, to demand constant residence at the cathedral from the whole
of so large a body as the Canons had now become. Now that the prebends
had been increased to so great a number as fifty, there was really no
object in requiring the holders of all of them to be always present
either in the choir or in the chapter-house. The twofold objects of the
cathedral foundation would be better carried out by dividing the Canons
into two classes. One portion of the body was placed constantly on the
spot, to maintain the regular services and to discharge the routine
duties of the corporation. Another portion consisted of men scattered
about the diocese, appearing at the cathedral only at stated seasons,
who, as being at once cathedral clergy and diocesan clergy, might
help, above all other men, to keep up the connexion between the mother
church and the diocese at large. How far these objects were consciously
present to the minds of those who established the distinction between
Residentiary and Non-residentiary Canons, I do not pretend to say; but
I do say that the distinction has really worked for good, and has
given us, in the Non-residentiary Canons, a very valuable body of men,
whose position I should like to see better appreciated than it commonly
is. This is, however, a subject which will again come before us, and
at present we have to deal only with the origin of the distinction.
In the first stage no fixed number of Residentiaries was appointed.
It was open to every Canon to reside if he chose; and if he chose
to reside, he was in every sense a Residentiary. There could not be
then, as there is now, the strange sight of Canons, even dignitaries,
of the cathedral, who really do reside, but who are not reckoned as
Residentiaries, while others bear the name of Residentiaries who
come among us for three months in the year only. The first stage was
commonly this. Every Canon could reside or not, as he pleased; but
those who did reside enjoyed great worldly advantages over those who
did not. The common revenues of the corporation were divided among
those only who resided, while those who did not reside received only,
what the corporation of course could not meddle with, the incomes of
their own prebends. The non-resident thus had only his prebend; the
resident had his prebend and a share in the common income as well. This
is all explained in a statute of Jocelin himself, dated in 1242, the
year of his death, in which a daily distribution is ordered to such
Canons and Vicars as are present, while at the end of the year the
remainder of the common revenues is to be divided among such Canons as
have kept residence. Residence is defined to be six months in the year
for a simple Canon, that is, for one not a dignitary, and eight for
the Dean, Precentor, Chancellor, and Treasurer.[46]

With this stage, when residence was voluntary, is connected the curious
institution of _ribs_, which, as far as I know, is peculiar to our own
church. A rib, as many of you know, is a house, or a piece of ground
fit for building a house, which the Bishop must give to some Canon,
but which he might give to any Canon that he pleased. If therefore the
Bishop wished to call into residence any Canon who had not a house of
his own, he might give him the means of residing by giving him a rib.
At this stage, then, residence was optional, just as it is at this
moment among Fellows of Colleges in the Universities. But there was
this important difference, that the resident Canon, unlike the resident
Fellow, greatly bettered his income by residing. The natural result was
that, whereas hitherto the tendency had been to shirk residence, there
now was a general rush of the Canons to reside. And this new tendency
to residence next led to all kinds of devices to hinder residence. If
a small number were already residing, and therefore divided the common
fund among them, they would be tempted to look with no friendly eye on
those of their brethren who came trooping in to share their funds, and
thereby to lessen their own dividends. It was often ordered that no one
should be allowed to reside, or at least to draw any profits from his
residence, unless he obtained the consent of those who were already
Residentiaries. And it was no uncommon rule, a rule which existed in
our own church, that no one should reside unless he purchased the
right to residence by giving a series of costly entertainments to his
brother Canons and to various other people.[47] This of course many of
the Canons could not afford to do, and so were hindered from residing
if they wished. All these devices were clear abuses, arising out of
a selfish wish on the part of the existing Residentiaries to have as
few sharers in their dividends as they could. Still it was clearly not
to be wished that the whole body of Canons should reside, while it
was desirable that the choice of those who should reside should not
depend upon their power of giving great dinners. The remedy was to
appoint a fixed number of Residentiaries to be chosen in some regular
way out of the whole body of Canons. This was done sooner or later
in all the strictly English Old Foundation churches, but the number
of the Residentiaries, and the way of choosing them from among the
Canons, differed widely in different places. Here in Wells the number
finally settled was eight, including the Dean; now, by the Act of
Parliament settling such matters, it is, as you all know, four besides
the Dean. Here too, on a vacancy among the Residentiaries, the existing
Residentiary body determines which of the other Canons shall be called
into residence. You will see that the rule that no man could reside
without the consent of the existing Residentiaries would, as soon as
there was a fixed number, naturally grow into an election of this kind.
But in some places, as at York, the Dean alone called into residence
whom he would. In others, as at Lincoln, the duty of residence was
laid on some or all of the dignitaries, who of course must reside
if they are to do their duties effectually. This, you will see, was
in effect to put the choice of Residentiaries into the hands of the
Bishop. At Saint David's this mode was combined with that with which we
are familiar here. There was a Residentiary body of six, consisting of
three dignitaries, the Precentor, the Chancellor, and the Treasurer,
and of three other Canons elected by the Residentiary body. As the
Church of Saint David's had no Dean, the Precentor was the President
of the Chapter.[48] These small differences meet us everywhere, but
the general system is the same everywhere. Both the likeness and the
unlikeness were exactly what was to be looked for, when the same causes
were working in different places in a great number of institutions of
the same class, but where the changes were made, not by any one general
enactment, but by independent local legislators laying down rules for
their own societies only. But the general result was everywhere the
same. A smaller body arose within the general body of the Canons, a
body on whom alone fell the duty of residence and the common daily care
of the fabric and its services. The change was undoubtedly a good one.
It brought in a regular order and discipline instead of a state of
things which must have been verging on anarchy. It produced two classes
of men, the Residentiary and the Non-residentiary Canons, each of whom,
as it seems to me, has a very useful function to perform in the economy
of the Church. But it had its weak side also. The tendency of a smaller
body, more constantly present on the spot and more constantly in the
habit of acting together, has naturally been gradually to draw all
power into its own hands. The result has been that in many churches,
including our own, the rights of the Non-residentiary Canons have been
cut down, greatly to the disadvantage of the institution as a whole, to
little beyond a bare name and a barren precedence.

I need hardly say that when the duty of residence was laid exclusively
on a certain number of the Canons on behalf of the whole, it was
meant that those on whom the duty of residence was laid should really
discharge that duty. But the same tendencies which had before worked
in the general body of Canons began after a while to work again in the
smaller body of Residentiaries. It was clearly intended, it was implied
in the very distinction between Residentiaries and Non-residentiaries,
that those who were to reside should really reside; that the cathedral
should be their home, their dwelling-place, at least as constantly
as the parish of a clergyman who resides on his living is his
dwelling-place. But a passion which seems almost inherent in human
nature, the passion for shirking one's own immediate duties, soon
stepped in. Residence was shirked even by the Residentiaries; it was
cut short to the smallest possible amount, till the strange doctrine
was finally established that residence was effectually kept by the
presence of a single Canon, the Residentiary body coming in turn for
periods which in some places fell below, and which I believe never rose
above, the mystical period of three months. This period is now fixed by
law for all churches alike. At Wells, however, it does seem to have
been, even in the worst times, at least the theory that there should
always be two Canons resident at once.[49] But even two is a very small
show out of fifty, and with what propriety of language a man who is
away nine months or longer in the year can be called a Residentiary
is altogether beyond my understanding. The three months' system is a
mockery, and worse. Three months is too long a time for a bad man, and
not long enough for a good man. The man who comes for three months
only has not time enough to do much good, but he has time enough to do
a great deal of mischief. We ourselves know by experience that more
mischief may be done to the fabric of the cathedral in one term of
three months than can, with the best will in the world, be undone in
the next term. We do not want to get rid of our Residentiary Canons,
but we do want to have more of their company. If our cathedrals are
ever to be made what they ought to be and what they might be, the first
reform of all must be that Residentiaries shall really reside. I assume
of course that they hold no other preferment involving residence. I
do not want them to be resident at the cathedral and non-resident
somewhere else. No Dean or Canon Residentiary ought to have any other
benefice, or any cure of souls, except such as may be attached to the
cathedral itself. And if the right kind of men--men very far from
scarce in the Church--were always made Deans and Canons Residentiary,
they would find their cathedral offices enough for them, and would not
go hungering after other functions which are incompatible with their
proper discharge.

We must now turn once more from the constitution of the Church to its
fabric. The church as built by Jocelin, though capable, as we know,
of much further enlargement and improvement, was still essentially
perfect. But one important building was still lacking. In a secular
foundation, where each man lives in his own house, only one common
building besides the church is actually necessary. The refectory and
dormitory are useless; the cloister is a luxury which may be dispensed
with; but there must be a place where the whole body may meet for
elections, and for whatever other business they have to discharge. The
Chapter-house is therefore quite as much needed in a secular as it is
in a monastic foundation. And it should be noticed that in secular
foundations the Chapter-house is much more strictly part of the church
than it is in a monastery. In a monastery the Chapter-house is one of
the main parts of the whole building. It communicates directly with
the cloister, and thereby with the church and the other principal
buildings. But it has no direct communication with the church; it
has no more connexion with the church than the refectory has, and
not nearly so much as the dormitory has. But in secular foundations
the Chapter-house is much more commonly a part of the church, its
principal or only entrance being from the church itself. This is a
general but not an universal rule, Salisbury being a notable instance
to the contrary. This, as you all know, was at first the case with
the Chapter-house at Wells. When it was first built, and up to the
time when the way which leads to the Vicars' Close was made, long
afterwards, the only approach to the Chapter-house was from the church
itself. And now that the door which leads to the Vicars' Close is
always kept fastened, we may be thought to have come back again to the
old state of things. Our Chapter-house is one of the best examples of
a type which chiefly belongs to the thirteenth century, though one or
two examples are earlier and one or two examples are later.[50] This is
the type in which the building is of an octagonal or other polygonal
shape, most commonly with a single pillar in the middle, from which all
the ribs of the vaulting branch out in different directions. This is
the case with our own and with most other chapter-houses of this kind,
both in monastic and in secular churches. But in the great example at
York, and in the smaller one imitated from it at Southwell, the central
pillar is wanting. With the beauty of our own Chapter-house we are
all familiar; its windows are amongst the finest examples of tracery
of their own date; still the details of the Chapter-house itself
do not please my personal taste so much as the details, one stage
earlier in the history of art, of the staircase which leads to it. The
Chapter-house stands on what is commonly called a crypt, but which,
as not being underground, hardly deserves that name. It is rather of
a piece with those vaulted undercrofts or substructures which are so
common under the principal buildings of monasteries and other houses,
and which are constantly mistaken for cloisters, dormitories, and what
not.[51] There cannot be a better example than the lower stage of our
own Bishop's palace. I need hardly say that, when this substructure
and the staircase were made, the Chapter-house was already designed;
for both staircase and substructure are simply buildings subordinate
to the Chapter-house. Yet there must be a certain difference of
date between the two. The staircase must be a little later than the
church itself, for it is manifestly built up against the buttresses
of the north transept, and, while the church has only lancet windows,
the staircase has some of the best examples of the earliest form of
Geometrical tracery. The Chapter-house itself again has Geometrical
tracery of a later type, and the details throughout are more advanced.
It appears from Professor Willis's account that in 1286 the Chapter
determined to finish a certain new structure which had been long
before begun, and which urgently needed to be finished. This, as the
Professor says, can be no other than the Chapter-house. In 1286, then,
the staircase and substructure were already finished, but the works
were at a standstill, and the Chapter-house itself had not yet been
begun. The result of these debates of the Chapter was the carrying out
of the Chapter-house. The general design had no doubt been planned long
before, and it was now carried out according to that original design,
but, as might be expected, with all the changes in detail, whether we
look on them as improvements or not, which had come into fashion since
the work began.[52]

Thus, by the end of the thirteenth century, we may look on the church
of Wells as at last finished. It still lacked much of that perfection
of outline which now belongs to it, and which the next age was finally
to give it. Many among that matchless group of surrounding buildings
which give Wells its chief charm had not yet arisen. The church itself,
with its unfinished towers, must have had a dwarfed and stunted look
from every point. The Lady chapel had not yet been reared, with its
apse alike to contrast with the great window of the square presbytery
above it, and to group in harmony with the more lofty Chapter-house
of its own form. The cloister was still of wood. The palace was still
undefended by wall or moat. The Vicars' Close and its chain-bridge had
not yet been dreamed of. Still the church, alike in its fabric and its
constitution, may be looked on as having by this time been brought to
perfection. There was still much to add, to improve, and to develope,
but all that was essential was there. The church itself, though still
lacking somewhat of ideal grace and finish, had been made perfect in
all that was absolutely needful. The nave, recast in forms of art
such as Ine and Eadward, such as Gisa and Robert, had never dreamed
of, with the long range of its arcades and the soaring sweep of its
newly-vaulted roof, stood, perfect from western door to rood-loft,
ever ready, ever open, to welcome worshippers from city and village,
from hill and combe and moor, in every corner of the land which looked
to Saint Andrew's as its mother church. The choir, the stalls of the
Canons, the throne of the Bishop, were still confined within the
narrow space of the crossing; but that narrow space itself gave them a
dignity which they lost in later arrangements. For the central lantern,
not yet driven to lean on ungainly props, with the rich arcades of
its upper stages still open to view, still rose, in all the simple
majesty of its four mighty arches, as the noblest of canopies over the
choir below. And if the receding vista of the Lady chapel, with that
matchless grouping of slender pillars, that no less matchless harmony
of colour, was still a thing of the future, yet we have fragments
enough to tell us that the older ending of the choir was one rich with
the best detail of the thirteenth century,[53] and one which perhaps
gave greater majesty to the high altar itself, the sole feature of
the eastern limb, than any arrangement that can be devised with the
present ground-plan. The group of buildings of which the Chapter-house
now forms a part was as yet unthought of, but the great octagon itself
was already rising; by the end of the century it was perhaps already
finished. There it stood, with its central pillar and its surrounding
stalls, the many ribs of its vault converging to one centre, typifying,
as symbolical writers tell us, the government of each diocesan church,
with its many members, clergy and laity, gathering around one common
head and father. All this was there already; that is, everything
had been done which was needful for the practical perfection of a
cathedral church, though something might still be needed to give the
fabric its ideal perfection as a work of art. And as with the fabric
of the church, so with its constitution. The relations of the original
centre of the diocese with its sister or rival churches, in one sense
more ancient, in another newer than itself,[54] had been finally and
peacefully settled. The relations between the Bishop and his Chapter,
between the Chapter and its subordinate officers, had been definitely
settled also. All the great offices of the church which still exist
had been already founded, and those duties had been attached to them
which, however much they have been forgotten, still remain the duties
of their holders as much now as they were then. In short, the church
of Wells, alike in its fabric and in its constitution, was already
perfect. The thirteenth century had done its great creative work, and
had left to future ages only to improve and develope according to the
principles which the thirteenth century had laid down. That is to say,
the thirteenth century had done for the local church of Wells what it
did for England, what it did for Europe and for the world. It is well
to mark how exactly the most striking periods in our local history
fall in with the great and decisive epochs in the general history of
our country. The church of Wells first arose at the bidding of the
first great West-Saxon lawgiver, the prince whose reign fixed for ever
that the south-western peninsula of Britain should be, in speech and
allegiance, if not wholly in blood, a Teutonic and not a Celtic land.
The church received its Bishop at the hands of the great West-Saxon
conqueror, at the moment when Wessex finally grew into England, and the
first endowment of the Bishoprick of Somersetshire was a gift from the
hand of the prince to whom the Northumbrian, the Scot, and the Briton
bowed as their father and their lord. The old dynasty passed away
and strangers sat on the throne of England; that was the time when a
stranger prelate first brought into our church the foreign and novel
discipline which he had learned in his own land beyond the sea. And
yet, with strangers alike on the royal throne of England and in the
episcopal chair of Wells, the ancient fabric, the church of native
Kings and saints and heroes, still lived on. Through the reigns of the
Norman and the Angevin the ancient fabric still survived as a witness
that England and her Church, conquered as they were, still preserved
their national being, and would one day arise to wrest their ancient
freedom from the hands of their conquerors. That ancient fabric still
lived on into days when its witness was no longer needed, to days when
England had won her conquerors to her heart, and had changed the sons
of her oppressors into the foremost champions of her freedom. A Prelate
who had suffered banishment at the hands of John, whose name stands
subscribed to the Great Charter of our rights, might venture to sweep
away the still abiding monument which told of the older freedom of the
days of Ine and Eadward. And, even before his time, we may see how the
darker and brighter days of the church of Wells coincided with the
darker and brighter days of England. It was during the blackest night
of oppression, in the days of the tyrant Rufus, that the name of our
church was for a moment wiped out from the roll of Bishopricks, and
that its ministers were reduced to beggary by the arbitrary violence
of a foreign Bishop. The wrong was redressed in days which, if days
of sorrow and conflict, were still days of hope. If the fabric of the
church was renewed and strengthened during the civil wars of Stephen,
its constitution was finally settled and confirmed when peace and order
returned under the sway of the great Henry. And next came the great
age of all, the age which, in its creative and in its destructive
power, was to leave its mark on every land from one end of heaven to
the other. Time would fail to tell of all the mighty men and mighty
deeds which are crowded more thickly into the age of Innocent and
Frederick, the age of Saint Ferdinand and Saint Lewis, the age of Bacon
and Dante, the age in distant lands of the first Mongol and the first
Ottoman invaders, than into almost any other equal space in the world's
history. Throughout the world destruction and creation were marching
side by side; old systems were falling, new systems were rising. But it
was in England alone that the new and the old could be worked together
into harmony, that the age which elsewhere was an age of destruction
and of creation could become simply an age of reform and restoration,
an age which put new life into old names and old traditions, and made
England England once again. We see the sons of the soil, of whatever
blood, alike the children of the conquerors and the children of the
conquered, rising in their strength to put a bridle on the tyranny of
Popes and Kings, to break the yoke of the stranger, and to win the
land back once more for its own children. Then it was that our tongue,
our laws, our constitution, assumed those shapes which the six ages
that have followed have had only to improve in detail. It was the age
of Stephen Langton and Robert Fitzwalter, of Robert Grosseteste and
Simon of Montfort, of Roger Bigod and Humfrey Bohun, and of the King
from whom they won our freedom. And we in this place may add to the
list the name of our local worthy, foremost in local honour and not
without his share in the general history of our land, the rebuilder of
the fabric of our church, the final lawgiver of its constitution, the
honoured name of Jocelin of Wells. As it was throughout all England,
so it was in our little city at the foot of Mendip. The older state of
things was passing into a newer by a process of gradual and peaceful
change and developement. And as throughout all England Englishmen were
rising against foreign influence in every shape, so here too it was no
stranger from Tours or Lüttich, but a true son of the soil, a native
of the kingdom, of the shire, of the city itself, bearing the name
of the city as his distinctive surname, to whom fell the great work
of calling the fabric of the church into a new being, and of putting
the finishing stroke to its ecclesiastical constitution. The local
chronicler says with truth that there was none such before him and
none such after him.[55] Our local history contains earlier and later
names which must ever claim our reverence, Beckington, Robert, Gisa
himself. But no name of Canon or Dean or Bishop can dwell in the hearts
of the men of Wells and Somersetshire like the man of their own shire
and their own city who gave that city its greatest and most lasting
ornament. He went to his rest and his works followed him; his name and
his honour still abideth. Ruthless hands had, even three hundred years
back, "monstrously defaced" his marble tomb within his own choir.[56]
But he is one of those who need not a marble tomb to enshrine their
memory. Benefactors of lesser fame may need their graven figures, their
epitaphs of brass or alabaster; of Jocelin of Wells we may truly say--

  "Si monumentum requiris, circumspice."


I have in my former lectures carried the history both of the fabric
and the foundation of the church of Wells to the time of Jocelin, and
somewhat later. The thirteenth century, the great creative century of
later English history, brought both fabric and foundation to a state,
if not of ideal, at least of essential perfection. We now come to two
centuries which found much to improve and to enlarge, but which had
no need, like their predecessors, to begin afresh from the beginning.
Jocelin, we may say, was the last of the line of great innovators for
good and for evil, the line formed by Ine and Eadward and Gisa and
John de Villulâ and Robert. We now come to what we may call quieter
times. One thing to be noticed is that by this time the work of John
de Villulâ, the degradation of Wells and exaltation of Bath, has been
pretty well reversed. Roger, the successor of Jocelin, may be called
the last Bath Bishop. In his election Bath made its last effort. On
Jocelin's death the monks of Bath, contrary to the agreement which had
been made, ventured to make an election without joining with the Canons
of Wells. The story is very characteristic of the reign of Henry the
Third. The Pope and the King joined together to do an illegal act
to the prejudice of Englishmen. The monks of Bath got their _congé
d'élire_ from the King; then they elected in this irregular way; the
elect went to the Pope, Innocent the Fourth, who, glad no doubt of
such an opportunity, took no heed to the appeal of the Wells Chapter,
conferred the Bishoprick on Roger by his own authority, bargaining
that the preferment which he vacated, the Precentorship of Salisbury,
should be given to his own nephew. The new Bishop was consecrated at
Rome, and the temporalities were restored to him by the King.[1] This
is a sort of thing which could hardly have happened at any time earlier
or later. Both in earlier and in later times we suffered a good deal
at the hands of both Kings and Popes, but Henry the Third was the only
King who habitually conspired with the Pope against his own people. It
really adds to the shamelessness of the whole story that, when Innocent
had gained his personal point, when he had established the precedent
that the Pope might if he pleased appoint to an English Bishoprick,
when he had further established his own kinsman in an English living,
he then was ready enough to confirm the former agreement, and to decree
that the rights of the Chapter of Wells in the election of the Bishop
should be observed for the future.[2] Roger also made up what he could
to the Wells Chapter by the grant of various advantages.[3] He did not,
however, think good to choose his last resting-place among them. He was
the last of our Bishops who was buried at Bath. This marks the time
when Wells once more became the real home of the Bishoprick, though
Bath still retained its precedence in the episcopal title. And it was
doubtless from this time that that comparative neglect of the church of
Bath began which ended, as I have already said, in its falling into a
state of decay verging on ruin.

During the time that followed I need not go through every Bishop in
succession, as several Bishops seem to have had very little to do with
the fabric. William Button the First, who was Bishop from 1247 to
1264, was chiefly remarkable for a practice which we certainly have
not seen among us for some time past, but of which the traces still
linger. In his day all the chief places of the church were filled with
the Bishop's own kinsfolk. It was no doubt a most comfortable family
party when the Bishop was surrounded by a Dean, Precentor, Treasurer,
Archdeacon, and Provost, all of them his own brothers and nephews.[4]
Yet mark that, though the fact of being the kinsman of a Bishop does
not prove a man to be fit for high preferment, it does not prove him
to be unfit. One of the Buttons, William the Second, first Archdeacon
and afterwards Bishop from 1267 to 1274, was looked on as the holiest
Prelate of his time, and after his death miracles were held to be
worked at his tomb.[5] So they were said to be at the tomb of William
of March, Bishop from 1293 to 1302.[6] Between these two saintly
persons came Robert Burnell, whose place, whether in the history of
England or in the history of Wells, is by no means small, but whose
name is not specially connected with the fabric or foundation of the
cathedral. In general history he appears as the minister of the great
Edward; we know him here as the builder of that noble, but alas ruined,
hall in the episcopal palace, which may take its place alongside of
the great works of Gower at Saint David's.[7] For the next Bishop who
claims any minute notice in a sketch of this kind we have to hurry on
to the reign of Edward the Third, when a worthy successor of Robert and
Jocelin meets us in the fortifier of the palace, the founder of the
Vicars' Close, the famous Ralph of Shrewsbury.

Great works had been going on in the cathedral from the beginning of
the century, although we do not find the name of any Bishop distinctly
connected with them. The fact is that, now that the Chapters had gained
so great a degree of corporate independence, the Bishops naturally
become less prominent in such works than they were at an earlier
time. The church, as designed by Jocelin, had hardly been brought to
perfection by the building of the Chapter-house, when a series of
works were begun which had the effect of completely transforming the
whole eastern part of the church. There is reason to believe that
the arrangements of the church of Jocelin were, like its style of
architecture, a little old-fashioned. In the thirteenth century the
tendency was to enlarge the eastern limbs of churches on a larger
scale. The famous rebuilding of the choir of Canterbury late in the
twelfth century had most likely set the example. The choir was now
commonly placed in the eastern limb, which sometimes swelled to a
length as great or greater than that of the nave. Sometimes the choir
itself became cruciform by the addition of an eastern transept.
Jocelin's church, on the other hand, still kept its choir under the
tower, and east of the tower there was only a presbytery of three
bays--the present choir--with some small chapels beyond it on the site
of the present presbytery. The new scheme involved a complete recasting
of all this part of the church, which seems to have been done from one
general design which was carried out bit by bit. They began, as usual,
at the east end, and with that part of the work which involved the
least disturbance of the existing building. A distinct addition was
made at the east end, an addition covering new ground which had not
hitherto been part of the church. This addition was no other than the
present beautiful Lady chapel, with the small transept immediately to
the west of it. With the exquisite beauty of the Lady chapel every one
is familiar; but every one may not have remarked how distinct it is
from the rest of the church. Unlike any other of the component parts
of the church, it could stand perfectly well by itself as a detached
building. As it is, it gives an apsidal form to the extreme east end
of the church; but it is much more than an apse; it is in fact an
octagon no less than the Chapter-house, and to this form it owes much
of its beauty. As an octagon standing detached at one end and joined
to other buildings at the other end, it allowed the apsidal end to be
combined with the exquisite slender shafts which open into the space
to the west. But it must be remembered that the chapel must at first
have stood almost as a detached building, and that, though it was
doubtless not intended to remain so, yet the fact of its original
isolation clearly had an effect on its form. There is a second transept
at Wells, but, instead of dividing the choir from the presbytery, it
is a mere appendage to the Lady chapel, and it is therefore far from
being the important feature which the eastern transept is at Canterbury
and Salisbury. The Lady chapel, with this dependent transept, clearly
formed the first instalment of this general reconstruction of the
eastern part of the church; and it appears, by an incidental notice in
a document quoted by Professor Willis, that it was finished before the
year 1326.[8] Then came the reconstruction of the eastern limb itself.
This, as I said, involved an utter change in all the arrangements of
the church. The eastern limb was to be lengthened by the addition of
three bays, or, to speak more accurately, by substituting three bays
of the full height of the church for whatever chapels had formerly
stood on the site. These three bays were to form the presbytery,
while the former presbytery was to be fitted up as the choir; that
is to say, the stalls of the Canons were to be placed where they are
now, instead of being under the tower. You must all have marked for
yourselves the great difference in style between the three bays of
Jocelin's work which now form the choir and the three added bays which
now form the presbytery. They furnish a good study of the difference
between the architecture of the thirteenth and the architecture of the
fourteenth century. The two are put side by side, and their several
details may be easily compared. And yet the contrast is perhaps not a
perfectly fair one. The two pieces of work are rather extreme cases in
opposite ways. The earlier work retains something of the character of
the style earlier still; as I have said all along, it is not typical
English architecture of the thirteenth century, but has something of
Romanesque leaven hanging to it. On the other hand, the new work,
though exceedingly graceful, is perhaps rather too graceful; it has a
refinement and minuteness of detail which is thoroughly in place in a
small building like the Lady chapel, but which gives a sort of feeling
of weakness when it is transferred to a principal part of the church
of the full height of the building. The three elder arches are all
masculine vigour; the three newer arches are all feminine elegance;
but it strikes me that feminine elegance, thoroughly in its place in
the small chapels, is hardly in its place in the presbytery. That the
same style can be worked with great vigour and boldness is shown by the
nave of York Minster. The next stage, after the addition of the new
presbytery, would be the attempt to adapt what had now become the choir
to the new work. You all know that Jocelin's triforium and clerestory
have vanished, or nearly so, from the three bays of the choir, and that
a clerestory and a triforium, if I may call it so, in the same style
as the three new bays, have taken its place. I conceive that this work
was not absolutely contemporary with the addition of the presbytery.
If it had been done exactly at the same time, care would surely have
been taken to keep the arcade, triforium, and clerestory exactly on the
same level. There could be no motive for doing otherwise. I take the
case to be this. The three bays were added, as such additions often
were, without any regard to the style or proportion of the original
building, beyond keeping the walls themselves at the same height. In an
addition, like the presbytery, built in an utterly different style and
without any adaptation to the earlier work, it was of no great moment
whether the three divisions of the elevation exactly agreed or not with
the levels of the older work. But a little later, probably when the
roof came to be added, the idea suggested itself of bringing the three
older bays into harmony, as far as might be, with the newer ones. The
roofing of the presbytery would naturally suggest this change; it would
perhaps make it absolutely necessary. For the form of roof chosen for
the new work was of a kind very different from the older vaults of the
church, and of a kind very singular and unusual. It is in fact a coved
roof, such as we are used to in woodwork in this part of England, only
with cells cut in it for the clerestory windows.[9] Such a roof could
hardly have been added to the three eastern bays without disturbing the
original roof of the three western bays; and it could hardly have been,
as it was, carried over the three western bays also without disturbing
the original triforium and clerestory. When therefore the design of the
roof of the presbytery was determined on, the attempt was made to adapt
the triforium and clerestory of the choir to those of the new work.
But it was now impossible to keep the exact levels, and the result is
what we see. You will remark that the upper stages of the choir were
not, strictly speaking, rebuilt, but were simply cased and new windows
inserted. The latter process, as is to be seen on the outside, was
somewhat awkwardly done. The aisles of the choir were also recast at
the same time by the addition of a vault and the insertion of windows
in the new style.

The choir and presbytery, as we see them now, were thus finished in the
course of the first half of the fourteenth century, but there may be
some question as to the exact date. Professor Willis quotes an order of
Chapter in 1325, by which each Canon was ordered to make his own stall
at his own cost. The Professor infers that at that time the new choir
was ready for the stalls to be placed in it.[10] But perhaps the words
need not absolutely bear that meaning; and one or two things seem to
me to look the other way. First of all, the style of the presbytery
seems to point to a time somewhat later in the century. The windows
have fully advanced, and not very good, Flowing tracery, and in the
east window there is a distinct approach to the Perpendicular lines
of the next style. The other details too seem to belong to quite the
later stage of what is called the Decorated style; they show decided
signs of the near approach of the latest form of Gothic, our own local
Perpendicular. Then again, our famous Bishop Ralph of Shrewsbury, who
sat from 1329 to 1363, and of whom I shall have presently to speak more
fully, was buried between the steps of the choir and the high altar,
having seemingly a detached tomb in the middle of the presbytery.[11]
His tomb, which was fenced in by a grating, was afterwards moved to
the north side of the presbytery, but, as Bishop Godwin says in his
quaint fashion, it "lost his grates by the way."[12] But the original
place of Ralph's tomb was a place of special honour; it was the place
of a founder; Ralph held the same place in the new choir which Jocelin
had held in the old one. The inference seems irresistible, that Ralph
stood to the new work in somewhat of the same relation in which Jocelin
stood to the old; that he was in some sort its founder; that, at the
very least, it was done during his episcopate. I confess that these
two considerations seem to me to outweigh the presumption drawn from
the order of Chapter about making the stalls, which, after all, might
have been made as a precaution before the works in the choir were begun
just as well as after they were ended. I believe therefore that the
recasting of the eastern limb, the addition of the new presbytery,
the change of the old presbytery into a choir, and the architectural
changes following on the change of arrangement, belong mainly to the
days of Ralph of Shrewsbury.

These changes, you will see, finished the ground-plan of the church
itself as it now stands. The church itself has not been extended
northwards, southwards, eastwards, or westwards, since the days of
Bishop Ralph. Nor, on the other hand, has any part of the church itself
been destroyed. Other buildings have been attached to it, and parts of
the subordinate buildings have perished, but the ground covered by the
church itself is exactly the same now as it was when Ralph was buried
before the high altar. As a church then, as a building set apart for
divine worship, Saint Andrew's was now quite perfect and needed neither
addition nor change. Nave, choir, presbytery, chapels, and the one
necessary adjunct of the Chapter-house, were all finished. But besides
the completion of the ground-plan, there was another great work to be
done before the building could be said to be finished as a work of
architecture. Jocelin had not carried his three towers above the height
of the roofs; they were mere stumps, and the effect must have been
unfinished and unsightly. In the course of the fourteenth and fifteenth
centuries this defect was supplied. Indeed, as far as the central
tower is concerned, the defect had been supplied already. I have
carried on the history of the changes which affected the ground-plan
as a continuous narrative, but the raising of the central tower and
its consequences belong to the same period. The raising of the tower
seems to have formed part of the general plan of recasting the whole
part of the church east of the crossing, and it may actually have been
the first instalment of the work. I may here perhaps say a few words
on the general subject of central towers. As the principal feature of
churches of the highest class, the central tower is all but confined
to England and Normandy; in other parts of France it is common enough,
but, reversing our English rule, it is common in churches of a smaller
class, but nearly unknown in the great cathedrals and abbeys. I ought
perhaps to say that I am now speaking mainly of Gothic buildings, not
of Romanesque. The truest way of putting the case would perhaps be
that the central tower, the direct representative of the cupola, is
a Romanesque feature, prevalent everywhere in Romanesque times, but
which England and Normandy alone retained in large churches of later
date. The question of central tower or no central tower resolves
itself into this; which is the greater merit in a cathedral or other
great church--the highest amount of internal majesty, or the highest
perfection of external outline? England and Normandy decided for the
external outline; the rest of Western Christendom decided for the
internal effect. A great French church, Amiens, Beauvais, Chartres,
Rheims, Saint Quentin, is carried up to a height in the inside of which
we in England have no notion. But this internal majesty is bought by
the utter sacrifice of external outline. The crossing of the four
limbs of the church cries in vain for its natural crown in the central
lantern. Indeed I am not clear that, if the central tower is left out,
it is not better to leave out the transepts also. Certainly no churches
ever impressed me more than those of Bourges and Alby, which follow
this arrangement. Some of the great churches of France, which are most
glorious within, are absolutely shapeless without. The central tower is
impossible, and it is hard to adapt even western towers to a body of
so great a height, unless their size is something prodigious. On the
other hand, several of our English churches, on whose external outline
the eye rests with the greatest pleasure, are positively depressing
when we go in. Such above all is Lincoln; nothing can surpass the
grouping of its three towers, but the effect of the lowness of the
choir roof is positively crushing. The only church in England which
affects great internal height is that of Westminster, and there, though
a central tower was certainly designed, it seems to have been found
impossible to carry it up. The general look of Westminster Abbey is
therefore much more that of a French than that of an English church. I
know of one church only which thoroughly combines both kinds of merit,
namely, the church of Saint Ouen at Rouen. There are French churches of
greater height; there are English and Norman churches of more perfect
outline. But no other church of equal internal height carries a central
tower; no other church finished with a central tower can boast of the
same internal height. Inferior to Amiens in one point, to Lincoln in
another, I place Saint Ouen's, as a whole, above either.

Turn we now to our own church of Wells, a church, I need not say,
built on a much smaller scale than any of those of which I have been
speaking. It was of course designed, according to the usual English
custom, for a central tower, though most likely Jocelin did not think
of carrying it up so high as was afterwards done. This was constantly
the case; a tower was carried up to a vast height, in what we cannot
help calling a reckless way, on piers and arches which had been
designed only for a much smaller weight. The natural consequence
followed; the supports began to give way under the vast mass which was
laid upon them, and, to keep the whole from falling, some means or
other of propping, in a way necessarily more or less awkward, had to be
resorted to. In many cases the tower actually fell down, as the spire
of Chichester fell a few years ago. That it fell at that particular
moment seems to have been pure matter of accident. It had always been
dangerous; it might just as well have fallen three or four hundred
years sooner, or it might just as well have lasted three or four
hundred years longer. So at Salisbury, that lovely spire, so graceful
to the sight, is constructively an excrescence which ought never to
have been placed there, which the piers below it were never designed to
support, and which has been kept up to this day only by using various
props and devices from time to time. Our own case at Wells was bad
enough, though not nearly so bad as at Chichester and Salisbury. The
tower was carried up between the years 1318 and 1321,[13] but if any
spire was ever added or designed, it was simply one of wood and lead,
like those which have vanished from all the three towers of Lincoln.
Hence, though the weight which was laid on the piers was much greater
than they were able to bear, it was not so great as at Salisbury and
Chichester, and the danger and destruction has not been so great as
it has been in those two cases. The tower then was raised, and the
usual results followed, results which have been graphically described
by Professor Willis both at Wells and in other places. The increased
height caused the four great piers to sink into the ground. This of
course tore away the masonry of the four limbs of the church from their
connexion with the piers; the new tower, perhaps as yet hardly brought
to perfection, stood, so to speak, on four lame legs, on four supports
which were giving way beneath it, and yawning gaps began to appear
between the tower arches and the main walls of the church. Thus, within
twenty years after its first building, in the years 1337 and 1338,[14]
the tower needed to be strengthened by supports which the first
builders had never thought of, and the damage which had already been
actually done had to be made good. The tower at Wells had to be propped
like the towers at Canterbury and Salisbury. The question at once
follows as to the way in which the propping was done. Any support of
the kind must be more or less unsightly; thrust in as an after-thought,
to remedy a constructive defect, it cannot fail to interfere with the
original design and the original proportions. No one would have put
them there, if he could have helped it; if constructive reasons had
not called for the props, they would have been better away. When we
compare the way in which this needful, though unpleasant, work was
done in the different cases, we shall see a kind of clumsy ingenuity
about the Wells work which may call for a certain measure of praise. At
Salisbury and Canterbury the prop takes the form of a horizontal screen
running across the arches. Such a form is more elegant in itself, and
it interferes less with the general appearance of the building. But it
is more distinctly an excrescence; it forces itself more strongly on
the eye as something stuck in than when the props are worked into the
earlier work in the way that they are at Wells. You all know the low
arches under the lantern with the inverted arches on the top of them,
the great circles in the spandrils, the whole arch turned into a kind
of pattern of gigantic Geometrical tracery. It is very heavy, very
clumsy; till the eye gets thoroughly familiar with it, it seems very
ugly; but it is in every way ingenious. The prop is worked and fitted
into the old work in a way in which it is not in the other cases. I
can even think it possible that people who do not know the history,
and who do not at once see from its details that it is an insertion,
may even mistake it for part of the original design. And, granting
its position at all, granting the peculiar form which it takes, there
is something in the detail or rather lack of detail, something in the
great size of the few mouldings and the absence of capitals and shafts,
which seems to suit the boldness of the general outline. And I am not
sure whether there is not a further propriety in the form chosen. The
lines of the inverted arches roughly suggest a Saint Andrew's cross,
and it may be that we have here, now that the affairs of Wells were
beginning to brighten, a new trophy of success offered to the now
triumphant elder brother.[15]

The object of the inverted arches was strictly to support the tower
by strengthening its piers. Other changes were needed to make good
the damage done by the tearing away of the masonry on each side. This
involved a partial blocking of the clerestory and triforium in the bays
adjoining the tower, so as to make a set of gigantic flying-buttresses
for its support. The pier-arches below them had most likely been quite
shattered; those at least in the nave and transept certainly had been.
New arches in the style of the fourteenth century were accordingly
inserted, and it is instructive at once to compare the difference of
their details from those of the original work, and to trace the exact
extent of the new masonry. As ever, the mediæval builders wasted
nothing; every stone of the old work which could be kept in its place
or used again they did keep in its place or use again. And though
the details are of exactly the same date and style as those of the
inverted arches, it is worth while to notice the extreme boldness with
which the mouldings are wrought in the great arches, and the extreme
delicacy with which they are wrought in the smaller ones. Altogether it
is plain that the raising of the tower must have been done recklessly
and without due regard to the strength of its supports. It is plain
also that the result of this reckless building has been the lasting
disfigurement of the church by the insertion of props which the eye
wishes away. Still, as the disfigurement had to be made, we must allow
the praise of considerable ingenuity to the way in which it was made.

All that was now lacking to the fabric of the church was the completion
of the western towers. The general effect of these towers is so
exactly alike that no one would guess that nearly fifty years passed
between the building of the two. A minute examination will reveal
certain small differences. The height of the two towers is not exactly
the same, and a niche which is found on one is not repeated on the
other. But these are not differences of style: they are just the
same kind of differences as those which we find at an earlier time
between the different parts of the nave. Still it is strange to find
that a gap of so many years had made absolutely no difference at all
in style strictly so called. But this, at this time at least, is
characteristic of the district. The Perpendicular style was introduced
into Somersetshire very early, and it remained in use for a long time
without any material change. Between the earliest and the latest
examples there undoubtedly is a difference, but it is a difference
much slighter than is usual in other parts of the country. In many
cases there is no perceptible difference of style between buildings
separated by an interval of a good many years. I have therefore
always declined to guess at the dates of Perpendicular buildings in
Somersetshire, when no documentary evidence could be brought forward;
and I think that the case of the western towers of Wells shows that I
have been discreet in so doing. I do not think that any one would have
found out the difference in date between these towers by simply looking
at them, and I think that any one would have been inclined, from simply
looking at them, to place the earlier of the two a good deal later
than its real date. I must confess that, knowing as I do that they
are nearly fifty years apart, I sometimes find it hard to remember
whether it is the northern or the southern tower which is the older.
In fact, the southern one is the older. It was built in the time of
John Harewell, who was Bishop from 1366 to 1386, at the joint cost of
himself and the Chapter, the Chapter paying two-thirds and the Bishop
one.[16] The tower therefore belongs to the very first days of the
Perpendicular style; it must have followed so soon upon the east window
of the choir, that we may count the completion of the western towers
as really parts of the same work as the changes in the eastern part of
the church. The other, the northern tower, was built in the days, and
largely at the cost, of Bishop Bubwith,[17] whose name is well known to
us all by reason of his hospital and his chantry chapel. He has also a
special place in the municipal history of the city, through his gift
of the old Guildhall to the citizens. His episcopate lasted from 1408
to 1424, so that the very considerable difference of date between the
building of the two towers is clearly marked.

Nothing more remains to be spoken of in the fabric of the church
itself, beyond a few insertions in the Perpendicular style--such, for
instance, as the window tracery inserted in the nave and transept.
I do not know the exact date of this not very important change, but
it must have been late in the fourteenth or early in the fifteenth
century. For it is plain that it was made before the reconstruction of
the cloister and the addition of the rooms over it, as these last block
one of the windows inserted in the transept. Now these rooms were built
by Bishop Bubwith,[18] so that the insertion of the tracery was made
before his time, not improbably when the southern tower was carried up.
A more important change, and one which must have happened later, was
the insertion of a fan-tracery vault in the central tower, hiding the
original arcades which remain above it. One hardly sees the reason of
this insertion, as there could be no reason for hanging bells in the
central tower of a church which had two towers at the west end.

Thus, after about two hundred years from the beginning of the present
building in the days of Jocelin, we may look on the cathedral church of
Saint Andrew as at last finished. It was finished, in a sense, before
the end of the thirteenth century, when everything had been built which
was needed for its ecclesiastical completeness. But it was in the
course of the fifteenth century that it finally assumed the shape with
which we are all familiar, and which has from that time remained almost
unchanged. Now then we have reached the point at which we can estimate
the place which fairly belongs to the church of Wells among the other
churches of England and of Christendom. As it seems to me, that
position, as I began by saying, is a special and remarkable one. I need
not say that, in point of size and splendour, the church of Wells has
no claim to a place in the first rank of European, or even of English,
churches. Setting aside the Welsh churches, and the churches which have
become cathedral without being originally meant for that rank, Wells is
one of the very smallest of English episcopal churches. It is hardly
fair to compare it with Carlisle, which is a mere fragment, or with
Hereford, which has lost its western tower, and with it a part of its
nave. But it is, in point of scale, with Carlisle, Hereford, Lichfield,
and Rochester, or again with non-cathedral churches like Southwell,
Beverley, and Tewkesbury, that Wells must fairly be compared, not
with churches like Canterbury and York, or even like Salisbury and
Gloucester. And among churches of its own class it certainly ranks very
high. It has one accidental advantage in having been much less damaged
by mere destroyers than any of them, except perhaps Beverley. But this
is not all. I think that those under whose hands the church of Wells
gradually grew up showed a wiser discretion, and a greater skill in
adapting their changes and additions to what they found existing, than
was shown in most of the other cases. Let us take the two ends of the
church, the two parts to which a church owes so much of its external
character, the east end and the west front. Now the west front of Wells
is a thing which it is the fashion to rave about. It is the finest part
of the church; the finest thing in Somersetshire; the finest thing in
England; for aught I know, the finest thing in the world. I am perverse
enough to think differently, and to look on the west front as the one
part of the church of Wells which is thoroughly bad in principle. It
is doubtless the finest display of sculpture in England; but it is
thoroughly bad as a piece of architecture. I am always glad when I
get round the corner, and can rest my eye on the massive and simple
majesty of the nave and transepts. The west front is bad, because it is
a sham--because it is not the real ending of the nave and aisles, but
a mere mask, devised in order to gain greater room for the display of
statues. The architecture, in short, is sacrificed to the sculpture. A
real honest west front, if it have two towers, will be made by the real
gable of the nave flanked by a tower at the end of each aisle. So it is
at York; so it is at Abbeville; so it is at Llandaff. Or a front may,
like those of Winchester, Gloucester, and Bath, have no towers at all,
but may simply consist of the endings of the nave and aisles, set off
with turrets and pinnacles. Or a front may be, like that one glorious
and unequalled front at Peterborough, built up in front of and across
the endings of the nave and aisles, but without at all professing to
be itself their finish. All these forms are honest; but I deny the
honesty of such fronts as those at Wells, Salisbury, and Lincoln.[19]
In all these cases the front is not the natural finish of the nave
and aisles; it is a blank wall built up in a shape which is not the
shape which their endings would naturally assume. It is therefore a
sham; it is a sin against the first law of architectural design, the
law that enrichment should be sought in ornamenting the construction,
in giving a pleasing form, and such enrichment as may be thought good,
to those features which the construction makes absolutely necessary,
not in building up anything simply for the sake of effect. The main
features in a front should be the windows and doorways. There must be
some windows and some doorways; it is the business of the architect to
make these necessary features the main sources of ornament. Now in the
Wells front the windows and doorways are made nothing of; they could
not be altogether got rid of, but they seem to have been felt as mere
interruptions to the lines of sculpture. They are therefore stowed
away as they best may be, and they do not form, as they should, the
main features of the front. Look, for instance, at Llandaff; the front
suffers much from the incongruity of the two towers built at different
times: but look at the ending of the nave itself; that perfect
composition of lancets, inside and out, is, as it should be, the main
feature; at Wells the west window is made nothing of; it is simply cut
through the sculpture. The small size of doorways is a common fault of
English as opposed to foreign churches; but at Wells they reach the
extreme point of insignificance in those narrow mouse-holes at the end
of the aisles, through one of which we are commonly driven to creep,
while the west doorway remains shut. But even the west doorway itself
is a very small mouthful, I will not say after Laon or Rheims, but
after York; nay even at Lichfield and Salisbury the doorways have a
little more of dignity than they have at Wells. In a really good design
the architectural features ought to be the first thing; sculpture or
any other source of ornament should be secondary. At Wells the rule
is reversed; a sham wall is built up and loaded with statues, and the
windows and doorways are left to shift for themselves.

You may perhaps be surprised, perhaps even a little indignant, at the
freedom of my criticism on a work which you have doubtless all learned
to look on with traditional admiration. But there is nothing like
truth, and I think that, if you go and fairly examine for yourselves,
you will see that the censures which I have made on our west front rest
on good grounds. Those censures are pretty well summed up in the one
charge of unreality. But, if we can get over that charge, there is much
to be said for the design on the score of boldness and originality. You
know that the towers, instead of standing, as usual, at the ends of the
aisles, stand beyond them, an arrangement which I have seen nowhere
else except in the metropolitan church of Rouen.[20] Now in a church of
the comparatively small size of Wells the effect of this arrangement
is undoubtedly to sacrifice height to width, and thereby to take away
from the truest dignity of the front. Still it is not to be denied
that even the width has a dignity of its own, and the arrangement
was well planned with regard to the special object in view, that of
gaining the greatest possible space for the display of sculpture.
And after all, though the west front of Wells is a sham, it is by no
means so contemptible a sham as the west fronts of either Salisbury or
Lincoln. The form given to the front, if unreal, is at least stately.
At Salisbury the form given to the front is equally unreal, and it is
indescribably mean; as no western towers were intended, one cannot
conceive why the natural endings of the nave and aisles were not
left, as at Winchester, Gloucester, and Bath, and in our great parish
churches of Yatton and Crewkerne. The Wells front again is at least a
whole; the Lincoln front is a mass of incongruous pieces. Large parts
of two earlier fronts are left to disturb the harmony of the design,
and a blank wall is actually carried in front of two of the noblest
towers in the world, as if of set purpose to destroy their effect. The
Wells front, after all, unreal as it is, has more connexion with the
main building than that of Beverley, where a front, poorly imitated
from that of York, is built up against the church, with a gable which
has no reference whatever to the real gable of the nave.[21] At Wells,
again the later builders seem to have had more feeling than usual
for the harmony of the front. Wells has not suffered like Southwell,
where a huge Perpendicular window was cut through the noble Romanesque
front, and a sham wall with a flat battlement carried up above it. The
towers were carried up in the fourteenth and fifteenth centuries in a
way which harmonizes very well with the general design of the front,
though there is no kind of adaptation to its details. And here comes
the question which I believe everybody asks at a first sight of Wells
Cathedral. As I once heard it clearly and tersely put, "Well, that is
a fine piece of work, but what are those pieces without their tops?"
Every one, I suppose, feels the unfinished look of the towers; the eye
craves for something or other more than there is, be it pinnacles,
spires, or anything else. Now I once very carefully examined the tops
of the towers in company with Mr. Parker, and we could see no signs
that there ever had been, or had been designed to be, any stone-work
more than there is now. But any sort of finish that any one chooses
to imagine may have been added, or designed to be added, in wood. I
suspect that people seldom take in how many of our great churches
had their towers finished with spires of wood covered with lead or
shingle. Spires of this sort were either destroyed by accident or
taken away in wantonness at Old Saint Paul's, Lincoln, Ely, Hereford,
Exeter, Southwell, and a crowd of other churches. A single one of two
still remains at Ottery Saint Mary. On the Continent they are far more
common, and they sometimes furnish beautiful examples of work in lead.
Among the English examples, the towers of Lincoln supply the example
which is most instructive for our own case. The spires are gone, but
the angle turrets are still finished with pinnacles of wood covered
with lead. Whether such an arrangement as this ever actually existed at
Wells I do not know, but there can be no doubt that a finish of this
kind, spires of wood sheeted with lead, with pinnacles of the same
materials at the angles, would be the true means of getting rid of the
flat and imperfect look of which every one complains.

If we turn to the east end, we shall, as I have already said, find
the church of Wells holding a far higher position among its fellows.
The east ends of English churches are of various kinds; the apsidal
form, that most usual on the Continent, being the rarest. We do indeed
find the German apse without aisles repeated at Lichfield, and the
French apse with its divergent chapels is found on a vast scale at
Westminster, and on a smaller at Tewkesbury. And there are a few other
examples of apses of less merit and importance at Pershore, Coventry,
Wrexham, and a few other places.[22] But the apsidal arrangement never
was thoroughly English. Of the three great examples Tewkesbury is the
only one where the apse fills its proper function of a canopy over the
high altar. At Westminster the high altar is displaced by the shrine
of Eadward the Confessor, and at Lichfield it is not the choir, but
a Lady chapel of the full height, of which the apse is the ending.
English east ends fall for the most part under two classes. Sometimes,
as at York, Lincoln, Ely, Beverley, and Southwell, the Lady chapel
and whatever else stands east of the high altar is carried on at the
full height of the church. In other cases, as at Winchester, Hereford,
Exeter, and Salisbury, the Lady chapel and other chapels east of the
choir are much lower than the main body of the church. Now of these
arrangements I confess that I myself prefer the apse to all others.
No other plan gives such dignity to the high altar, or makes it so
evidently the central and crowning point of the whole church. There
is undoubtedly great stateliness in such an arrangement as that of
York and Lincoln; but its good effect is almost wholly confined to the
outside. The high altar seems to have come where it is by accident;
its position is marked by a mere screen, not by anything in the
arrangement of the building itself. In the third arrangement, where
all that is east of the choir is much lower than the choir, some share
of its proper dignity is or may be restored to the high altar. But,
on the other hand, it is not easy to add on a lower building which
shall be in full harmony with the loftier parts of the church. There
is something insignificant about the Lady chapel at Salisbury, and it
is hard to admire, externally at least, the long masses of low chapels
at Winchester and Saint Alban's. A happy accident, as I have already
explained, gave the opportunity at Wells of producing a form of east
end which I think certainly surpasses all others of its class. The
general outline and proportion of the church are no less excellent,
and it is fortunate in having had everything finished, and in having
nothing destroyed. At Hereford, as I have already said, the western
tower has vanished, and it has carried part of the nave away with it.
But, even while it stood, the single western tower could never have
grouped so well with the central lantern as the two western towers at
Wells. Wimborne, the chief surviving example of this arrangement, I
have heard irreverently compared to driving tandem, and I cannot deny
the aptness of the saying.[23] At Southwell, where the grouping of the
three towers is as perfect as it well may be, the general effect has
greatly suffered by the lowering of the roofs throughout. We shall
hardly venture to compare the four limbs of Wells with the four limbs
of Beverley, but of the Beverley west front I have already spoken,
and the general effect of the church is altogether ruined through the
central tower never having been carried up. Even at Lichfield, the
faultless grace of the three spires, even the loveliness of the apse,
cannot reconcile us to the long low body and to the extravagant length
of the eastern limb. The eastern view of Lichfield, graceful as it is,
cannot compare with the real stateliness of the east end of Wells. I
have seen many fine churches both in our own country and abroad, many
of them of course on a scale which might seem to put Wells out of all
comparison. But I can honestly say that I know of no architectural
group which surpasses the harmony and variety of our own cathedral, as
seen by the traveller as he first enters the city from Shepton Mallet.

From the outside we turn to that of which the outside is after all the
mere shell. When we enter the church, we find ourselves in a building
which can fairly hold its own against competitors of its own class.
The nave has a distinct character of its own: there may be differences
of taste as to its merit, but it has a character, and that character
is clearly the result of design. The main lines of the interior are
horizontal rather than vertical. We can hardly say that there is any
division into bays; no vaulting-shafts run up from the ground, nor does
the triforium take, as usual, the form of a distinct composition over
each arch. In short we cannot, as we can in most churches, take each
arch with the triforium and clerestory over it as a thing existing
by itself. One would rather say that three horizontal ranges, one
over the other, all converged to the centre, without thinking of what
was above or below them. Now tastes may differ as to whether this is
a good arrangement or not, but there is no doubt that it is in its
way an effective arrangement; there is no nave in which the eye is so
irresistibly carried eastward as in that of Wells. And it is worth
notice that this arrangement, in its fulness, is confined to the nave;
in the transepts the bays are much more clearly marked. The idea of
producing this marked horizontal effect was clearly one which came into
the heads of the designers as they were working westwards.

It might have been expected that the marked prominence which is thus
given to the horizontal line might have gone far to destroy all effect
of height in the interior; but it is not so. There is no special
feeling of height in Wells Cathedral--not so much, for instance, as
there is in the church of Saint Mary Redcliff; but there is no such
crushing feeling of lowness as there is at Lincoln. This I imagine
to be mainly owing to the form of the arch chosen for the vaulting,
one boldly but not acutely pointed, and to the way in which the
lantern-arches fit into the vault. Contrast this with the far larger
and loftier nave of York. In that nave the positive height is second
only to Westminster among English churches, and the design of the
separate bays can hardly be surpassed in its soaring effect. But in
the direct eastern or western view the nave of York loses almost its
whole effect, partly, no doubt, from the excessive breadth, but partly
also from the flat and crushing shape of the vaulting-arch. Another
point which I think helps to redress the balance between horizontal
and vertical effect is the great height of the clerestory. In a church
where the vertical bays are strongly marked I do not think that great
comparative height in the clerestory helps to increase the effect of
height. But in such cases the question rather lies between the arcade
as one thing, and the triforium and clerestory together as another.
Here the question lay between the triforium and the clerestory, and I
cannot help thinking that, if the triforium had been on the same scale
as that in the choir of Ely, the effect of height would have been less.
At any rate, the nave of Wells makes the most of its small actual
height: so do the choir and presbytery also; for, though I cannot at
all admire the kind of vault which is there used, the shape of the arch
is as judiciously chosen as it is in the nave. In the presbytery we
also get the vaulting-shafts rising from the ground, so as to give the
vertical division, and the consequent effect of height, in its highest
perfection. Of the exquisite beauty of the Lady chapel, looked on, as
it should be, not as a part of the whole, but as a distinct and almost
detached building, I have already spoken. In short, the internal effect
of the church, whether looked at as a whole or taken in its several
parts, if not of the highest order, which its comparatively small scale
forbids, may claim a high place among churches of its own class.

I think then on the whole that, even looking at the church by itself,
we have every reason to be thankful for what we have got. We have
not a church of the first order; but we have a church whose several
parts fit very well together, all whose parts have been finished, and
of which no part has been destroyed. And I may add that we may be
thankful for another thing, for the goodness of the stone of which the
greater part of the church is built. The sculpture of the west front
indeed has crumbled away; but elsewhere at Wells, as at Glastonbury,
wherever the work has not been wantonly knocked away, it is as good
as when it was first cut. Now we might have had a church like Chester
or Coventry, where the whole surface of the stone has crumbled away,
and where the whole ornamental design has become unintelligible. I
have said that the church of Wells forms a harmonious whole, that it
was perfectly finished, and that no part has been destroyed; and this
is a great thing to say. Let me compare the good fortune of Wells in
this respect with the cathedral church of a much more famous city at
the other end of England. At Carlisle there is a noble choir, ending
in what is probably the grandest window in England. If that choir only
had transepts, nave, and towers to match it, the church of Carlisle
would be a splendid church indeed. But the choir is built up against a
little paltry transept and central tower, and nothing remains by way
of nave but two bays of the original small Norman church, the rest
having utterly vanished. Here then is a church which does not form a
harmonious whole, a church which remains utterly unfinished, and of
which one essential part has been destroyed. Or, without taking such an
extreme case as this, we may compare our church with some of those of
which I have already spoken, with Hereford, Southwell, Beverley, and
Tewkesbury. In all of these some important feature has either never
been finished or has been destroyed at a later time. The church of
Wells then, simply taken by itself, claims a high place among buildings
of its own class, that is, among minsters of the second order. But,
as I began these lectures by saying, the real charm of Wells does
not lie in the church taken by itself, but in the church surrounded
by its accompanying buildings. Of some of these I must now speak a
word. I do not intend to go minutely into either their architecture or
their history; but some of them are inseparably connected both with
the fabric and with the foundation of the cathedral. And it is the
preservation of them which gives Wells its peculiar character. Each
part may easily be equalled or surpassed, but the whole has no rival in
England, and I cannot think that it has many in Christendom.

It was during the fourteenth and fifteenth centuries, alongside of
the works in the church itself of which I have already spoken, that
those subordinate buildings were also rising, which have given Wells
this its peculiar character as the most complete and most uninjured
example of the buildings of a great secular foundation. The greatest
name in this way in the course of the fourteenth century is one which
we all know, that of Bishop Ralph of Shrewsbury; I have already spoken
of him as having probably had a chief hand in the reconstruction of
the choir and presbytery. He also gave the palace its present form.
The house had been originally built by Jocelin. The great hall had
been added by Robert Burnell. It was Ralph who fenced himself in with
a moat and a wall as we now see.[24] But his greatest work is to be
looked for on the other side of the church, and it is closely connected
with the constitutional change which may be looked on as putting the
finishing stroke to the existing constitution of the cathedral, I
mean the foundation of the College of Vicars. The great offices of
the church were now all in being, and the relations between the two
classes of Canons had been pretty well fixed. It now remained to fix
the exact position of that subordinate body of clergy which had grown
up through the prevalent practice of non-residence among the Canons.
The Vicar, we have seen, was at first simply the personal deputy of
some particular Canon, appointed by him to discharge his duties in his
absence. But it could hardly fail that the Vicars as a body should
gradually enter into some sort of relation with the Chapter as a body.
This would especially be the case, when residence became the fixed
duty of one class of Canons and no part of the duty of another. The
Vicars would gradually change from deputies of absent Canons into
assistants of Canons who at least professed to be present. As such,
it was natural that they should receive a fixed status in the church,
and, with the ideas of those times, it was equally natural that they
should receive somewhat of corporate independence. The Vicars of Wells
then, like the Vicars of most or all of the Old Foundation churches,
became a distinct corporation. They were subordinate to the Chapter
as regards their duties in the church, but they were independent of
it as regards the estates with which they were endowed, and they were
governed by statutes given them by their founder. That founder was,
as we all know, Ralph of Shrewsbury. Most of you, no doubt, have seen
the picture with the Latin verses in which the Vicars set forth their
hard case to the Bishop, how they are driven to live where they can
about the town, and how he promises to give them a house where they may
live together.[25] Then arose the Vicars' Close of Wells, and, though
the present buildings mainly belong to a later time, yet portions of
Ralph's work may still be seen, especially in the hall, where several
of his windows still remain. But the complaint of the Vicars, that they
were scattered through the streets of the town, deserves notice. In the
first state of things, as is plain from the stories told by Richard
of the Devizes, the Vicar lived in the house of the Canon whom he
represented.[26] But it is equally plain that as the number of prebends
increased, even the institution of ribs did not provide a house for
every Canon, and, as the institution of special Residentiaries became
fixed, the available houses would be mainly occupied by them. We can
thus understand how there might now be many Vicars unprovided with any
place to dwell in. The buildings of the Close were recast and almost
rebuilt by the three executors of Bishop Beckington, Richard Swan the
Provost, Hugh Sugar the Treasurer, and John Pope, Prebendary of Saint
Decumans.[27] They were commissioned to dispose of the unbequeathed
portion of the Bishop's goods to pious uses at their discretion, and,
besides other works in other parts of the diocese, the Vicars' Close
now assumed its present shape. In that shape it is certainly without a
rival. I know nothing to compare to those two quiet ranges of houses,
the hall at one end, the chapel at the other, suggesting the very
perfection of collegiate life; and, as an ingenious device for turning
a piece of practical convenience into a matter of high architectural
ornament, nothing can well surpass the chain-bridge. I need not say
that the original design of the institution was at once broken in upon
as soon as marriage was allowed to its members. The two rooms, with
the separate approach to each, were designed as college rooms for
men who took their meals in the common hall; and, as college rooms,
they give very far from contemptible accommodation. But they were, of
course, utterly unsuited for the reception of wives and families, and
the architectural features of the Close have been sadly damaged by
throwing two or more houses into one. I have always cherished a sort of
dream that, by some means or other, the old institution of the Vicars'
College and the new institution of the Theological College might be
rolled into one, that the office of Vicar in the cathedral might be
held by young clergymen and by men preparing for holy orders, and that
collegiate life might be again restored in the old hall of Ralph and
Beckington. But, however this may be, I would at least call on the
clerical members of the College to stick to their good old title of
Priest Vicar, and not to call themselves, or allow themselves to be
called, by the new-fangled name of Minor Canon. It is historically
incorrect; it was in use at Saint Paul's and at Hereford, but it was
never in use at Wells. That it is better sounding or more honourable
than that of Priest Vicar I cannot believe. To me it seems exactly the
reverse, as the stress is always laid on the word _Minor_, never on the
word _Canon_. And it tends to confound the Priest Vicars of our Old
Foundations with men holding a position very inferior to theirs, namely
the Petty Canons or Minor Canons of the churches founded by Henry the
Eighth. These are simple subordinates of the Chapter, without any
separate endowment or corporate independence of any kind. The supposed
legal necessity for the change arises from a misconstruction of an Act
of Parliament, which really orders nothing of the kind. To hear of a
Minor Canon of Wells is as bad as to hear of an Honorary Canon; that
is to say, to hear a Canon or Prebendary of Wells, whose stall dates
perhaps from the twelfth century, pulled down to the level of those
mysterious personages, not only without revenues but without either
rights or duties, who have sprung up at Bristol or Manchester within
the present reign.

The history of Vicars' Colleges at Wells and elsewhere should be
written in full. No one could do it so well as my friend Mr. Dimock,
once himself a Priest Vicar of the collegiate church of Southwell.[28]
One point to be worked out with special care would be the steps and
causes by which the office came to be held by laymen. The change in
this respect was fully recognized by the charter of Elizabeth, which
confirmed the rights and estates of the Vicars, and regulated, without
absolutely fixing, the numbers of the two classes of Vicars, clerical
and lay. It is a change which has not taken place everywhere. The
Vicars at York are still a purely clerical body, the lay members of the
choir being mere stipendiaries. And, unless some change has been made
very lately, the same is the case at Hereford.[29] And as the Priest
Vicars of our Old Foundations should never be confounded with the Petty
Canons of the New, still less should the lay members of those colleges,
equal in corporate rights to their clerical brethren, ever be degraded
to the level of the mere lay clerks or singing-men of other churches,
who are sometimes simply stipendiaries, and who, even when they are
statutable officers, have no separate endowment or corporate being.

There were thus, before the end of the fourteenth century, two distinct
corporations attached to the cathedral church, namely, the Chapter and
the College of Vicars. These two were and are distinct and independent
as regards their property and personal being, though, as regards
the duty and discipline of the church, the members of the younger
foundation were and are subordinate to the members of the elder. These
two bodies still remain, and I trust they may long remain and flourish;
but, in the first years of the fifteenth century, a third body arose,
which has vanished from among us. We read that Ralph Erghum, who was
Bishop from 1388 to 1401, and who was a benefactor to his church in
several ways,[30] founded by his will a College of fourteen priests
in a place which was then called the _Mounterye_, and which from
this foundation took the name of College Lane.[31] That is to say, he
seems to have incorporated the Chantry-priests of the cathedral, the
priests who, besides the public services performed by the Canons and
Vicars, said masses for particular persons at particular altars. All
foundations of this kind were suppressed by the Act of the first year
of Edward the Sixth, and the only memory which Erghum's foundation has
left among us is the name which still belongs to the lane.

The separate houses of Canons and other officers belong mainly to the
fifteenth century, though there are some portions of earlier date. Let
me here especially mention one small and decaying but very beautiful
fragment, namely the round window with wooden tracery at the east end
of the house which formerly belonged to the Archdeacons of Wells. The
house itself, strangely disguised as it is without, contains within a
very fine timber roof; the Deanery too, much as it has suffered from
the insertion of modern windows, still retains much of the dignity of
design which it received from its builder, the learned Dean Gunthorpe,
who held the office from 1473 to 1498.[32] But I will not enlarge more
fully on the particular houses; they are the especial province of
Mr. Parker, and he has dealt with them all from the Bishop's palace
to the house of the organist.[33] I would only again insist on the
necessity, on the duty, of carefully preserving every one of these
ancient buildings to the assemblage of which our city owes its special
position among the cities of England. We have lost too much already.
Every year some ancient building is destroyed or threatened.[34] Let
those whose business it is awake before it is too late; let them see
that not another stone is sacrificed to niggardliness, to caprice, or
to ignorant notions of improvement. Look, for instance, at what was
some time back trumpeted as a vast improvement, the pulling down of a
house to open a view of the west front of the Cathedral to the windows
of the Swan Inn. The doers of that deed most likely knew not what they
were doing. They perhaps did not even remember that, in opening the
view of the west front of the Cathedral to the windows of the Swan Inn,
they were also opening the not very picturesque view of the Swan Inn to
those who came out of the western doors of the Cathedral. They did not
stop to think that the space before the west front was really too open
already, and that at any rate matters were not mended by opening a view
through so ludicrous a gap, which I have heard witty people compare
to the space left in a man's mouth by drawing a single tooth. Still
less did they think that, in a thoughtless moment of destruction, they
were wiping out the whole history of the church and city. The house
indeed was in itself valueless; I should not have wept for the removal
of the house or of the whole row of houses of which it formed a part.
But, along with the house, the destroyers overthrew the wall against
which the house was built up, and that wall was the history of the
city of Wells. At Wells, as I have already set forth, the church was
not founded in the city, but the city grew up under the shadow of the
church.[35] The church and its precincts were not taken into the city
till the days of parliamentary and municipal reform. The wall of the
Close is everywhere a sign of separation, marking off ecclesiastical
and temporal property, and often marking the limits of distinct
jurisdictions. But at Wells the wall has a special significance, as a
memorial of the days when the city arose outside the ecclesiastical
precinct. Thus, by a single thoughtless act, not only is a material
piece of antiquity destroyed, but a page of local, and thereby of
national, history is torn away.

The only remaining work to be mentioned is one to which I have
incidentally referred more than once, namely, the cloister and
the buildings attached to it. I have now to add that the detached
Lady chapel in the east walk of the cloister was rebuilt by Robert
Stillington, who was Bishop from 1464 to 1487, an event which is best
recorded in the words of Bishop Godwin.

"He built that goodly Lady Chappell in the cloysters, that was pulled
down by him that destroyed also the great hall of the palace ... and
was entombed in the said Chappell, but rested not long there: For it is
reported, that divers olde men, who in their youth had not onely seene
the celebration of his funerals, but also the building of his toombe,
Chappell and all; did also see, toombe and Chappell destroyed, and the
bones of the Bishop that built them, turned out of the lead in which
they were interred."[36]

This quotation may serve as a fitting transition to the times which
we have now reached. We have now done with the age of building
up, and we have come to the age of pulling down. At the end of the
fifteenth century the church of Wells had reached its highest degree of
perfection. The church was complete; its appurtenances were complete.
Of the fabric itself it is enough to say that our great Beckington,
so bountiful a benefactor to the city and diocese in every other way,
did nothing to the actual fabric of the cathedral, because there was
really nothing for him to do. My subject, you will remember, is the
cathedral church, alike in its fabric and in its constitution. Had my
subject been the city generally, I should have found something to say
about the parish church, about the hospitals, about the Guild-hall,
about Beckington's houses in the marketplace. But I keep myself to
the cathedral and its immediate belongings. The destruction spoken
of in the extract which I just before made from Godwin carries us on
to the reign of Edward the Sixth. But I must first say a few words
about the reign of Henry the Eighth. I must now once more call on you
carefully to bear in mind the distinction between the regular and
secular clergy, and between the cathedral churches served by each of
them severally. In the course of the reign of Henry the Eighth all the
monastic foundations in England were destroyed. Everybody knows this
fact, but everybody does not put the fact in its right place. People
talk of an event called the Reformation, as if it were a single event
which happened in some one particular year, like the passing of the
Reform Bill or the cutting off of Charles the First's head. No such
event ever happened. A great many ecclesiastical changes took place
in the course of the sixteenth century, but those changes did not
happen all at once, and many of them had no immediate connexion with
one another. Above all, do not fancy that an old Church was destroyed
and a new Church founded; do not fancy that property was taken from
one set of clergy and given to another set of clergy. Nothing of
the sort ever happened. Great changes were made _in_ the Church of
England, changes which, as some people at the time thought, went too
far, and which, as other people thought, did not go far enough. But
these changes in no way touched what we may call the personal identity
of the Church before and after them. Remember that I am not talking
theology but history. No one here will suppose that I, of all men, deny
the power of Parliament to disestablish and disendow a Church, if it
sees good reason to do so; I only say that, as a matter of fact, that
power was not exercised by Parliament in the sixteenth century. Certain
ecclesiastical changes were made; certain ecclesiastical foundations
were suppressed; but the Church itself went on. The throwing off of the
authority of the Bishop of Rome, the suppression of the monasteries,
the introduction of the English Prayer-Book and Articles, were three
different events, which happened at three different times, and which
had nothing directly to do with one another. The monastic foundations
accepted the King's supremacy just as fully as the secular foundations
did, and, after the monasteries were suppressed, mass went on being
said in the cathedral, collegiate, and parochial churches, just as
it had been before. And let no one fancy that the two suppressions
familiar to us in the reign of Henry the Eighth, the suppression of
the lesser and of the greater monasteries, were the first cases of the
suppression of ecclesiastical foundations known in England. The supreme
power of the state in England has in all ages, as it has done in our
own day, exercised that authority over the temporalities of the Church,
which, in its own nature, it must exercise over everything. Cardinal
Wolsey suppressed a number of small monasteries in order to transfer
their endowments to his colleges at Ipswich and Oxford.[37] Before
that, in the reign of Henry the Fifth, the Alien Priories, that is the
monasteries which were dependent on monasteries in foreign countries,
were suppressed by Act of Parliament.[38] The main difference is that
in these cases monasteries were suppressed for good political reasons,
and their revenues were applied to useful public purposes, while in the
suppression under Henry and Cromwell all that was thought of was the
scramble of the King and his courtiers for their own private pelf.[39]
The most sickening havoc and sacrilege ran wild among the noblest and
holiest fabrics of the land. We have but to go as far as Glastonbury,
to see the desolation of the most venerable spot in Britain, to ask in
vain for the burying-places of our Kings and heroes, and to look up to
the height where the last Abbot of that great house won the martyr's
crown rather than betray his trust and provide for his own enrichment
and promotion by wilfully surrendering his church to the illegal
bidding of the spoiler.[40]

But we have now chiefly to see how these various changes affected
the constitution and position of our church of Wells. As Wells was
a secular foundation, the suppression of the monasteries did not
touch it at all; Glastonbury and Bath fell, but Wells went on just
as it had done before. If anything, the church of Wells gained by
the suppression, as it was thereby restored to the rank which it
held before the days of John de Villulâ. As I have already said, the
church of Bath was suppressed along with the other monasteries, and
the Chapter of Wells was once more made, by an Act of Parliament
in 1543, the sole Chapter of the Somersetshire Bishoprick.[41] It
is undoubtedly true that, for three years, from 1537 to 1540, the
Deanery was irregularly held by the King's favourite, Lord Cromwell,
who, of course, as a layman, could not perform its duties.[42] This
was a great abuse, but it was not altogether a new abuse. To search
no further, earlier in Henry's reign the two Deaneries of Exeter and
Wimborne had been held at once by the King's cousin, Reginald Pole,
who was afterwards Cardinal and Archbishop, but who had not then taken
holy orders. Reginald Pole was, to be sure, a theological student, a
description which would hardly apply to Thomas Cromwell; still Pole
could as little discharge the duties of Dean of Exeter as Cromwell
could discharge those of Dean of Wells.[43] It was not till the reign
of Edward the Sixth that the systematic picking and stealing from
ecclesiastical bodies, as distinguished from their regular suppression,
set in like a flood. The first instalment of destruction was indeed
done in a regular and legal way. In his first year (1547), all
chantries and colleges were suppressed, the cathedral chapters, the
colleges in the Universities, and a few others only being spared.[44]
The suppression of the chantries, where masses were said for the souls
of particular persons, necessarily followed on the change of doctrine;
but the general suppression of Colleges, which had the effect of
destroying the capitular bodies at Beverley, Wimborne, and a crowd of
other places, was sheer destruction, and not reformation. Then came the
general plunder of Bishopricks, Chapters, and ecclesiastical bodies
generally, which began under Edward, and went on again in a form one
degree less shameless under Elizabeth. A Bishop was commonly bullied
into exchanging the estates of his see for some pretended equivalent,
commonly in the shape of impropriate tithes. No church suffered in this
way more than that of Wells. William Barlow, who became Bishop in 1547,
the first year of Edward the Sixth, was driven in the course of that
year and the next to give up to Edward Duke of Somerset pretty well
everything belonging to the see, including the palace of Wells itself,
in exchange for a few rectories.[45] A large part of this property was
lost for ever; but a good deal was recovered by Barlow himself after
the Duke's execution, and by his successor Gilbert Bourne in the days
of Queen Mary.[46] It is not easy for us to conceive that there was
a time when the palace had ceased to be the house of the Bishop, and
had become the dwelling of a lay nobleman. And when we remember that
that lay nobleman, besides receiving endless estates elsewhere, was
also the grantee and the destroyer of the Abbey of Glastonbury, we
get a good specimen of the way in which the property of the Church
was squandered away, not for the public good in any shape, but for
the private enrichment of greedy courtiers. Of the other foundations
in Wells, the Priory of Saint John had fallen in 1541. This, I should
explain, though its chief officer bore the title of Prior, was not a
monastery, but a hospital.[47] The college of Chantry-priests fell by
the Act of 1547;[48] the plunderers then fell upon the property of
the Chapter and of its individual members. The estates of the Deanery
were swallowed up, and, in order to patch up a new endowment for the
Dean, an Act was passed for the suppression of the offices of Provost
and Sub-Chanter, the estates of which formed a new corps for the
Deanery.[49] But as with the lands of the Bishoprick, so with those of
the Deanery, a great part was recovered in the days of Queen Mary; so
that, as the provostship and sub-chantership were never restored, I
suspect that the Deans in the end gained by their spoliation. Some of
the common possessions of the Chapter were also lost, and were partly
recovered by Bishop Bourne, as also were the lands of the Archdeaconry;
but the Archdeacon's house of which I have already spoken has remained
alienated to this day.[50]

These are specimens of the spoliations, many of them positively
illegal, all of them wrought, not for the public good but for private
enrichment, which our Bishopricks, Chapters, and other ecclesiastical
foundations underwent in the course of the sixteenth century. But at
Wells these spoliations had an important effect on the constitution
of the church. Legal cavils were raised as to the right both of the
Chapter and the Vicars to their possessions. It was affirmed that
the reconstitution of the Deanery had somehow involved the complete
suppression of the Chapter. Both the Chapter and the College of Vicars
therefore found it expedient to procure charters from Queen Elizabeth
confirming them in their rights and properties. The charter granted
to the Chapter is a most curious document, because it is evident that
the Residentiaries took this opportunity to procure something like a
legal confirmation of the usurpations by which the non-residentiary
Canons were gradually cheated out of their rights and powers. The
Queen refounds all the dignities and prebends, and endows them afresh
with their old possessions. Then, as if the holders of these dignities
and prebends did not form the Chapter, the Charter goes on to found
the Chapter, as a body consisting of Residentiaries only, and to
grant to them the cathedral church and other property. The deed winds
up by saying that the non-residentiary Canons are to have votes in
Chapter, but only for the purpose of electing a Bishop.[51] I do
not profess to know what may be the legal force of such a document,
though it certainly seems to me that nothing short of an Act of
Parliament can take away from any man or any corporation any rights
which they already legally enjoy. But whatever it may be worth, this
charter is the authority for the practice by which at Wells the
non-residentiary Canons are summoned to the election of a Bishop and
not to other meetings of the Chapter, while at York they are still
summoned to every meeting. I am not a lawyer and I do not speak as
one. But historically the thing is a cheat and an usurpation. The
Elizabethan charter carries its own contradiction with it; and, as an
ecclesiastical reformer, I say once more that the point to be most
strongly insisted on, if our cathedral bodies are ever again to fulfil
their ancient uses, is to make both classes of Canons realities. The
Residentiaries must be Residentiaries, living on the spot, not making
the cathedral a place of holiday retirement from duties elsewhere. And
lest the smaller body of Residentiaries should again sink into a narrow
oligarchy, the whole body of Canons must be again restored to their
ancient rights, not only in the formal election of a Bishop, but in all
those matters of election, patronage, discipline, and business of every
kind, which are expressed in the ancient formula of "a stall in the
choir and a voice in the chapter-house."[52]

On the two following centuries I need not dwell. I will rather hasten
on to our own times. The last great changes in the church of Wells come
within our own memory. Those changes say a great deal for the zeal
and energy of those who carried them out, but they say very little
for their taste and knowledge. The pity is that they were done at
the particular time when they were done, when it was quite possible
to get detail well executed--and the detail certainly is very well
executed--but when ecclesiastical arrangement was not understood. It
would have been far better to have let the church remain in its old
state, wretched as that state was, for twenty or thirty years longer.
As it was, the change was made in one sense so badly as to make the
whole thing a by-word, in another sense so well that I fear there is
little chance of undoing it for a good while to come. Some things were
done which were deeds of sheer havoc, deeds worthy of no one but of
Protector Somerset himself. What had those Bishops done whose figures
may be seen in the undercroft of the Chapter-house, that they should
be torn away from their places and shut up as it were in a posthumous
dungeon? What had our famous Beckington done that his canopy should
be carried away, and set up where, as covering nothing, it is simply
ridiculous and unmeaning? To be sure even that was not the lowest depth
in store for the great benefactor. His canopy had yet to be mutilated
and moved backwards and forwards in order the better to display the
most hideous stoves with which human perversity ever disfigured an
ancient building.[53] When we think of the havoc of last year, one
is half inclined to forgive the havoc of twenty years back. Yet one
cannot help asking why the long continuous ranges of stalls which give
such dignity to the choirs of Winchester, Ely, and Manchester, were
forsaken for the absurd arrangement which sticks the stalls piecemeal
between the pillars, and which so lessens their numbers that, if the
whole Chapter were ever to assemble, some less lucky Canons must sit
on the laps of others?[54] Why was all this done? I know the answer
well. It was to provide room for the congregation; it was thought a
great feat to give a little more width to the choir, and so to gain a
few more sittings, by putting the stalls between the pillars instead
of in their proper place in front of them. Now to provide for the
congregation is an excellent object, but the wisdom of our forefathers
had already found ample room for the congregation in quite another
way. Did those who planned the last arrangements of Wells Cathedral
know that there was a nave, and, if they did know it, for what end
did they suppose that that nave was built? A Bishop, coming in by the
cloister door, might possibly never find out that there was a nave at
all; but a Dean, coming in at the west end, must have seen that there
was a good deal of building between that door and his own stall, and
one would have thought that he must sometimes have stopped to think
for what end that building was set up. Was that long array of arches,
that soaring vault, made simply as a place for rubbing shoes before
the service begins or for chattering after the service is ended? I
think that Robert and Jocelin had better notions of the adaptation of
means to ends than to rear so great a work for such small purposes.
When the last changes were made at Wells, these elementary questions
seem not to have presented themselves to men's minds. Had the work
waited till now, Wells might not have been, as it now is, a reproach
and a proverb among the minsters of England, but we might have held
our place alongside of our fellows at Chichester and Hereford and
Lichfield and Llandaff. The truth, simple as it is, though it seems so
strange to many minds, is that the nave of a cathedral, no less than
of any other church, is nothing in the world but the place for the
congregation. There is something wonderful in the kind of difficulty
which some people seem to have in taking in so plain a fact. It is a
thing which I have said over and over again, and people stare and seem
not to know what I mean. Yet I am not putting forth any dream of my
own; I am saying what is a sober fact in many other places, and what
might easily be made a sober fact at Wells also. I do not ask you to go
to the ends of the earth; I do not ask you even to go to places like
Ely and Durham in distant parts of our island. A short trip will take
you to Llandaff, and a trip a little longer will take you to Hereford,
and there you will see English cathedral churches as they ought to be,
but as the church of Wells is not. Enter the church of Wells, you find
yourself in a vast empty space; a solid wall in front of you, with
an organ on the top of it, blocks off the small part of the church
which alone is used for divine worship. Into that small part, designed
originally for the clergy and choir only, the whole congregation
is rammed, jammed, crammed without distinction; or rather there is
distinction, and too much distinction, but it is distinction wholly
of the wrong kind. Can the small space in which we find ourselves be
the common church of the diocese, the church of the Bishop, the church
of his flock? Alas! it looks far too much like the private chapel of
some half-dozen clergymen and their private friends. Think too of the
burning shame of appropriated seats in a cathedral choir. The gold
ring and the goodly apparel soon find their way to the chief seats of
the synagogue, while the poor man in vile raiment is bidden by an
unconscious irony to go and further crowd up the space which should be
left void to give dignity to the approach to God's altar. Is this the
way to make the whole people of the diocese feel at home in the temple
which was built for them? Is this the way to strengthen a Church which
seems to shrink from proclaiming itself as the Church of the People,
and which seems to clutch at the shadowy dignity of being the Church of
the exclusive few? Ten arches of nave stand empty, and the worshipper
seeking a place has to ask, "Is this or the other person likely to come
to-day?" before the spot sacred to exclusiveness may be safely intruded
on. Cross the Channel, and you will see another sight. Enter by the
western door of the church of Llandaff, and right before your eyes
stands the altar, raised aloft in fitting majesty. Below it, open to
all eyes, is the Bishop on his throne, the clergy and singers in their
stalls. The long nave is filled with the people, the faithful of the
city and diocese. Nothing distinguishes worshippers of higher worldly
position; nothing distinguishes the households of the dignitaries of
the cathedral from their fellow Christians of lower degree. There is
the church as it should be;[55] can we apply that name to our own
church as it is? Here is the great reform; here is the one great work
to be done. Make the church once more a church, before we trouble
ourselves with the enrichments of the building. Make clean the inside
of the cup and the platter, and the adornment of the outside may come
afterwards.[56] Do not misunderstand me; do not think I am asking for
the wretched half-and-half mockery which is called "service in the
nave." We know what that means; we see it once or twice in the year;
it means a return to chaos. It means a sham altar, sham stalls, sham
everything. At the very times when an unusual number of the cathedral
clergy are present, it is impossible for them to take their proper
places, and they are driven higgledy-piggledy into the places of the
congregation. What I want is service in the nave and in the choir at
once. Then comes the answer, "Oh, but it is impossible; the screen is
in the way." The remedy is easy; pull the screen down.[57] There are
churches where so simple a remedy could not be so easily applied. In
churches of the vast size of Canterbury, York, and Winchester, where
also the screen is often a work of great antiquity and architectural
beauty, there are no doubt real difficulties in the way of carrying
out the scheme for which I am fighting. The close screen, shutting off
the choir from the nave, was in its right place in a monastery, where
the church really belonged to the monks, where the people were present
only by sufferance, and where the monks needed some such shelter during
their midnight worship. But in a cathedral church, which exists for
the sake of the whole diocese, such screens were an abuse from the
beginning, which ought never to have been brought in. Still we should
think twice before we pulled down the ancient and splendid screens
which divide the naves and choirs of some of our greater minsters.
But at Wells there is no difficulty at all. The size of the church is
moderate, and the screen is of no architectural value. Cut it down;
why cumbereth it the ground? Break down the middle wall of partition
that is against us, and let the people of the diocese of Wells again
have their own church for their own. Did you not feel the lack at the
last great ceremony held in this place, when our new Bishop came to
take possession of his seat and to show himself as a father among his
children? That ceremony, which in its very nature ought to have been
done in the sight of the whole people of the diocese, could be done
only in the sight of a favoured few. It was a very different sight
which I saw two years back in the cathedral church of Bayeux. There
I saw the installation of a new Bishop of that see,--a Bishop, I may
add, who is at this moment bravely defending Gallican liberties against
Roman usurpations. The rite was done in the face of the world, and the
whole of that noble minster was thronged with clergy and laity from the
west door to the high altar. Tell me not of impossibilities; what has
been done at Lichfield and Hereford and Llandaff may be done at Wells
also. I remember Llandaff a ruin; go and see for yourselves what it now
is. I remember the choir of Lichfield in a far worse case than ever the
choir of Wells was. I remember it blocked off from the nave, glazed and
plastered, and room for the congregation found by throwing the Lady
chapel into it. Go and see what the model church of England is now.
"Oh, but, if we are in the nave, and if the altar is raised as it is at
Llandaff, we shall not be able to see into the Lady chapel." Certainly
you will not; but, of all the possible lawful and unlawful uses of a
Lady chapel, that of acting as a peep-show to the choir certainly never
came into the heads of its founders. But if you are not able to see
the Lady chapel, you will be able to see something much better: you
will be able to see what you never have seen; you will see the inside
of the cathedral church itself. You will see the mighty whole, from
west door to high altar, each part performing its proper function,
and, as a mere view, affording a far nobler sight than the pretty peep
into the eastern chapels which would be lost. And then comes another
objection. "Oh, but if we are in the nave, we shall never be able to
hear." _Solvitur audiendo._ If the officiating minister spouts or
mumbles, of course you will not hear; if he chants as there is at
least one among us who can chant, you might hear to the end of Saint
Alban's Abbey. The light open screen, such as you see at Lichfield and
Hereford, in no way hinders sight and hearing; and for those parts
of the service for which chanting is unfit, for the sermon and the
lessons, the preacher or reader would of course come out into the
nave. The pulpit is ready for him, the lectern is ready for him, and
the new device of a pulpit stuck so grotesquely opposite the Bishop's
throne might, I should think, be swept away without anybody weeping for
it. But from the elder pulpit, the quaint design of the seventeenth
century, I will draw a lesson. It bears the legend, "Be instant in
season, out of season," and instant in season, out of season, I will
be, and let every one who thinks with me be also, till we have broken
down the dull mass of prejudice and ignorance which stands in our way.
We must work till we have given new life to what is not dead but only
sleeping--till we have reformed our ancient institutions on their
ancient principles--till we have swept away all traces of the days
of greediness and ignorance--till pluralist Deans and non-resident
Residentiaries have become things of the past--till the mother-church
of the diocese has again become the church of the Bishop and the church
of his flock, open to all, free to all, whose doors are never shut
against any, and where every inch from western door to rood-screen
stands ready for men not only to admire but to worship. Thus let us
reform, lest others destroy. The true conservative is ever the true
reformer, and the true reformer is ever the true conservative. If we
would preserve the essence of our institutions, we must sweep away
their abuses. And none of our institutions are nobler in their theory,
none have more sadly fallen away in their practice, than our ancient
cathedral churches. The Church of England is at this moment on her
trial, and, above all her institutions, her cathedral foundations are
pre-eminently on their trial. There never was a moment when a little
more sleep and a little more slumber was less fitted to be the order of
the day. Those who, with me, love and venerate those ancient fabrics
and foundations, those who, by seeking their reformation, are thereby
seeking their preservation, are bound to be up and doing. The work
has begun; wherever there is a will, there is a way; many an ancient
minster has put on a new garb, alike in its material fabric and in the
worship carried on within it. Why should we lag behind our neighbours?
Why should the mistakes of twenty years past be hung like a clog around
our necks? Some needful reforms indeed could not be done without the
legislative help, but it needs no Act of Parliament to make the nave
of Wells Cathedral as truly a living thing, as truly a place of real
and living worship, as the naves of Llandaff and Lichfield. A zeal not
according to knowledge condemned us to the mischiefs of a restoration
which was done too soon. Whenever zeal accompanied by knowledge appears
in authority among us, as it has already appeared among others, the
work will be done.



[1] "Domus eleemosynaria nobilis paupertatis" is the style of
the Hospital of Saint Cross near Winchester, as enlarged by Cardinal
Beaufort. See the Licence of Incorporation in the Monasticon, vii. 724.

[2] I refer to the debate in the House of Commons on the
Scotch Reform Bill of 1868, when it was discussed whether Wells or
Evesham should be disfranchised.

"Sir Lawrence Palk argued on behalf of Wells that it is 'a cathedral
city of great antiquity.' This appeal on behalf of the seculars was
at once met by the monastic zeal of Sir John Pakington, who daringly
answered, that if Evesham 'cannot boast of a cathedral, it can of
one of the most beautiful abbeys in England.' We should be sorry
to suspect the good town of Evesham of any Anabaptist tendencies,
but it is certain that, if it makes the boast which the member for
Droitwich puts into its mouth, it belongs to the class of those who
do falsely boast ... Mr. Gladstone had never been at Evesham; we know
of no particular call of duty likely to take him there; but Sir John
Pakington, a Worcestershire man, must surely have visited a borough
in his own shire. How then about the beautiful abbey, one of the most
beautiful in England? Any one who has been both at Wells and at Evesham
must know that Wells Cathedral is still standing, while Evesham Abbey,
saving its bell-tower and a small piece of wall, has long ceased
to exist. But one might ask both disputants whether Sir Lawrence
Palk, in his zeal for cathedrals, would enfranchise Ely and Saint
David's--whether Sir John Pakington, in his zeal for abbeys, would
restore Saint Alban's and enfranchise Romsey."--_Saturday Review_, July
11, 1868.

[3] This Lecture was given in the time between the election
and installation of the present Bishop, Lord Arthur Hervey.

[4] In strictness the West-Saxon Bishoprick was first placed
at Dorchester in Oxfordshire in 635, and the see was not finally
settled at Winchester till 670. The time between these years was
one of great confusion. See Bæda, Hist. Eccl. iii. 7. Florence of
Worcester, i. 235. Stubbs, Registrum Sacrum Anglicanum, 161.

[5] See Bæda, v. 18, and the Chronicle A.D. 709. The first
Bishop at Sherborne was Ealdhelm. See his life by William of Malmesbury
in Wharton, Anglia Sacra, ii. 20.

[6] See Florence of Worcester, i. 236. Will. Malm. Gesta
Regum, ii. 129. Gesta Pont. in Scriptores post Bædam, 144 _b_;
Canonicus Wellensis in Anglia Sacra, i. 554; Stubbs, 13.

[7] In 710 Ine won a victory over the Cornish King Gerent; in
722 Taunton is spoken of as the town which Ine had built. This fixes
the foundation of Taunton within that time. See the Chronicles under
these years.

[8] On this whole matter, see Anglia Sacra, i. 553, and
the Historiola de Primordiis Episcopatûs Somersetensis in Hunter's
Ecclesiastical Documents, p. 10. The alleged charter of Cynewulf will
be found in Kemble's Codex Diplomaticus, i. 141.

[9] Ceawlin conquered to the Axe in 577; Cenwealh to the
Parret in 658; Ine, as we see, as far as Taunton. On Ceawlin see Dr.
Guest in the Archæological Journal, xix. 193.

[10] That is, the modern shires of Monmouth and Glamorgan.

[11] This is shown in various passages of the Laws of Ine. See
Thorpe's Laws and Institutes, i. 119, 131, 147, 149.

[12] See the whole history of the early church of Glastonbury
in the first chapter of Professor Willis' Architectural History of
Glastonbury Abbey.

[13] See Willis' Architectural History of Canterbury, p. 20;
ditto Winchester, p. 34.

[14] It is not said in so many words that the church of
Dunstan was of stone, but it is plain that it was so, both because
the "lignea basilica" or wooden church is distinguished from it, and
because Osbern the biographer of Dunstan (Anglia Sacra, ii. 100) speaks
of him as laying the foundations, which could hardly be said of a
wooden church.

[15] See the account of the Canons of Waltham in the book De
Inventione, and those of Rheims in Richer, iii. 24.

[16] I have discussed this in full in my History of the Norman
Conquest, ii. 571, Ed. 2.

[17] When a Bishop is to be elected by the Chapter, two quite
distinct documents are sent; there is first the _congé d'élire_, which
recognizes the undoubted right of the Chapter to elect and gives them
full leave to elect, only with a little good advice as to the sort of
person to be chosen. With this, as a kind of after-thought, comes the
_letter missive_ or _letter recommendatory_, recommending a particular
person for election.

[18] The names of the early Bishops, of whom but little is
recorded, will be found in the Canon of Wells, Anglia Sacra, i. 556,
and Godwin's Catalogue of English Bishops, 290.

[19] He was "natione Saxo," says his successor Gisa in
the Historiola de Primordiis Episcopatûs Somersetensis. See Norman
Conquest, ii. 583.

[20] See Godwin, p. 291.

[21] Anglia Sacra, i. 559.

[22] See Historiola, 15-18; Mr. J. R. Green in the
Transactions of the Somersetshire Archæological and Natural History
Society, 1863-4, p. 148; and Norman Conquest, ii. 674.

[23] For examples see Norman Conquest, ii. 549.

[24] See the writ, the only writ of Harold's which is
preserved, in Kemble's Codex Diplomaticus, iv. 305.

[25] After mentioning Harold's promise, Gisa (Historiola, p.
18) adds, "præoccupante autem illum judicio divinæ ultionis," and goes
on to speak of Harold's two battles and his death.

[26] Historiola, p. 19, "publice vivere et inhoneste mendicare
necessariorum inopia antea coegerat."

[27] For the story of Hermann, see Norman Conquest, ii. 401.

[28] On these places see Historiola, pp. 18, 19. But it is as
well to say that the well-known charter of Eadward to Gisa, printed in
Cod. Dipl. iv. 162, is undoubtedly spurious, though it is useful as
giving the names of places in the neighbourhood, in older, though not
always their oldest, forms.

[29] The rule of Chrodegang will be found at length in
D'Achery's Spicilegium, i. 565; and see Norman Conquest, ii. 84.

[30] This was about 969. Adalbero's changes are described at
length by Richer, iii. 24, in Pertz's smaller collection.

[31] See Norman Conquest, ii. 84.

[32] In Domesday Book, pp. 89-89 _b_, the land of the canons
is put under that of the Bishop; "Canonici Sancti Andreæ tenent de
Episcopo." This is much the same with the Canons of Exeter in p. 101
_b_. In the Exon Domesday, (71) "Isaac præpositus Canonicorum Sancti
Andreæ" is mentioned by name.

[33] Historiola, 21: "Sepultus est in ecclesiâ quam rexerat,
in hemicyclo [a semicircle or round arch] facto in pariete a parte
aquilonali prope altare, sicut Duduco prædecessor ejus sepultus est a
meridie juxta altare."

[34] Will. Malms. Gest. Regg. iii. 300. "Pronunciatum est
secundum dicta canonum ut episcopi transeuntes de villis constituerent
sedes suas in urbibus dioecesium suarum." This was in 1072, but the
change at Wells did not take place just yet.

In his other book, the Gesta Pontificum (144 _b_), he says that John
"minoris gloriæ putans si in villâ resideret inglorius, transferre
thronum in Bathoniam animo intendit."

[35] William of Malmesbury, in the place last quoted, says,
"Cessit enim Andreas Simoni fratri, frater major minori."

[36] See the Chronicles under 577, and note 9.

[37] The charters are given in Dugdale's Monasticon, ii. 66,
67. In the second charter of Henry the First he speaks of "Batha ubi
frater meus Willielmus et ego constituimus et confirmavimus sedem
episcopatûs totius Summersetæ, quæ olim erat apud villam quæ dicitur
Wella." The grant of the town which is confirmed in this charter of
Henry is made in a charter of William Rufus on the same page.

[38] So says William of Malmesbury in the passage last quoted:
"Aliquantum dure in monachos agebat, quod essent hebetes et ejus
æstimatione barbari."

[39] The Historiola mentions the destruction of Gisa's
buildings, and the Canon of Wells adds (Anglia Sacra, i. 560),
"Fundum in quo prius habitabant sibi et suis successoribus usurpavit,
palatiumque suum episcopale ibidem construxit."

[40] See Willis' Architectural History of Winchester, 34, 35.

[41] Historiola, p. 22. "Canonici foras ejecti coacti sunt cum
populo communiter vivere."

[42] The story of Hildebert, John, and the Provostship is
given both in the Historiola and by the Canon of Wells. Several letters
discussing the matter appeared in the Gentleman's Magazine in the year
1864 in the numbers for February, July, August, September, October,
November, and December, especially one by Mr. Stubbs in November.

That Hildebert was the brother of Bishop John appears from a charter of
Bishop Robert (which I shall have to quote again) in the Monasticon,
ii. 293, where Bishop John is called the uncle of Precentor Reginald.

[43] This comes afterwards in the Historiola, p. 24.

[44] The Canon (p. 560) says, "Licet ipse confractus senio
inde poeniteret, tamen ædificia canonicorum destructa minime
reparavit, nec fundum eis injuste ablatum restituit." But the
Historiola seems to imply at least a purpose of restitution, as its
words are, "Poenitentiâ ductus de sacrilegio perpetrato, resipuit et
poenituit, et poenitentiam suam scriptam reliquit. Johannes vero
Archidiaconus terras quas pater suus obtinuerat per hæreditatem et
præposituram canonicorum nihilominus sibi usurpavit."

[45] The Charter is printed in the Monasticon, ii. 268.


[1] The Historiola and the Canon both call Godfrey simply
"Teutonicus;" but it appears from the Continuator of Florence of
Worcester (ii. 78) and from the Annals of Waverley (Ann. Mon. ii. 219)
that he was Chancellor to Queen Adeliza. We can hardly doubt that he
was one of her countrymen from the Netherlands.

[2] This account of him is given both by the Historiola and by
the Canon (Angl. Sacr. i. 561), who gives as a reason for his mission
to Glastonbury, "eo quod non recte eorum aratra incedebant." His birth
comes from the Continuator of Florence (ii. 95), who says that he was
"Flandrensis genere, sed natus in partibus Angliæ."

[3] Historiola, p. 25.

[4] See the agreement in Wharton's note, Anglia Sacra, i. 561.

[5] The Act is printed in the Monasticon, ii. 293.

[6] Historiola, p. 24: "Ipse ecclesiam Beati Petri Apostoli de
Bathoniâ magnis c[=u] expensis construi fecit."

[7] Angl. Sacr. i. 561: "Complevit fabricam ecclesiæ
Bathoniensis per Johannem Turonensem inchoatam." This seems to be
confirmed by the words of John himself in the charter which I have
already quoted (Monasticon, ii. 268), which is dated in 1116, and
where he says that he sets aside the revenues of the city of Bath "ad
perficiendum novum opus quod incepi."

[8] Historiola, p. 24: "Capitulum quoque et claustrum,
dormitorium et refectorium et infirmatorium, nihilominus ædificari

[9] Historiola, p. 24. See above, p. 39.

[10] The Historiola (p. 25) mentions only the Deanery and
Precentorship as founded by Robert. "Decanatum in ecclesiâ constituit,
et Decanum et Præcentorem primos ordinavit." But the Canon (p. 561)
says, "Ordinavit etiam in ecclesiâ Wellensi Decanum et Subdecanum,
Præcentorem et Succentorem, Thesaurarium et Cancellarium, _quem vocavit
Archiscolam_ in statutis ecclesiæ Wellensis, quæ ipse primus edidit
omnium in eâdem." (Robert, the first to make the Chapter a distinct
corporation, was naturally its first lawgiver.) He adds, "Tum Decanus,
Subdecanus, etc. non habebant tunc temporis illa beneficia eis annexa,
quæ eorum successores nunc habent in ecclesiâ antedictâ." But in the
deed by which Bishop Robert founds the Deanery and divides the estates
of the church into prebends (Monasticon, ii. 293), no dignitary is
mentioned except the Dean and Precentor; and the church of Wookey,
which afterwards belonged to the Sub-Dean, is specially mentioned as
belonging to the Dean. This certainly looks as if Robert had founded
the Deanery and Precentorship only. But, if they were not founded
by Robert, they were founded by Jocelin, for the Canon says (564),
"Jocelinus fundavit multas præbendas in ecclesiâ Wellensi de novo,
dotavit etiam omnes dignitates, personatus, et officia dictæ ecclesiæ,
in formâ adhuc durante."

The duties of the different officers of the church cannot be better
described than they are by Bishop Godwin (p. 294): "He also it was
that first constituted a Deane to be the President of the Chapter,
and a Subdeane to supply his place in absence; a Chaunter to governe
the quier, and a Subchaunter under him; a _Chauncellour to instruct
the yoonger sort of Cannons_: and lastly a Treasurer to looke to the
ornaments of the church." He adds, "The Subchauntership togither with
the Provostship an. 1547. were taken away and suppressed by Act of
Parliament, to patch up a Deanry, the lands and revenewes of the Deanry
being devoured by sacrilegious cormorants."

[11] He did what he did "consilio et auxilio illustris Regis
Stephani et venerabilis Episcopi Henrici," says the Historiola, p. 24.

[12] That is, in the churches of Bangor and Saint Asaph, and
now in those of Saint David's and Llandaff. But, till the late changes,
there were no Deans at Saint David's and Llandaff, beyond a vague
tradition that the Bishop was Dean. At Saint David's the Precentor was
President of the Chapter and at Llandaff the Archdeacon. The collegiate
church of Southwell had no Dean or President under any title.

[13] A _sinecure_ is strictly an office _sine curâ animarum_,
without cure of souls, not necessarily an office where there is nothing
to do of any kind.

[14] See the quotation in note 10.

[15] I here alluded to the Theological College, where the
offices of Principal and Vice-Principal are held by the Sub-Dean of the
cathedral and another Canon, who are therefore really resident, but who
are not admitted to any share in those rights and revenues which go to
those nominal Residentiaries who stay away nine months in the year.

[16] _Beneficium_ is the word constantly used for a lay fief
as well as for an ecclesiastical living. The most curious instance of
this use will be found in the dispute between Pope Hadrian the Fourth
and the Emperor Frederick Barbarossa. The Pope speaks of his coronation
of the Emperor as a "beneficium" conferred on him. The German Bishops
were very indignant, as if the Pope meant that the Empire was a fief
of the Papacy. The Pope then explains that "beneficium" means both
_benefit_ and _benefice_. He thought that he had done the Emperor a
_benefit_ by crowning him, but he did not pretend to invest him with a
_benefice_. See the History of Frederick by Otto (continued by Radevic)
of Freisingen, ii. 15, 16, 22. Most likely the Pope used an ambiguous
word on purpose.

[17] Compare the account in the Historiola, p. 24, with
Robert's charter quoted above.

[18] See the Historiola, pp. 26, 27. The story begins in a
marked way. "Quum ... deinceps, glorioso Rege Stephano decedente, Rex
præpotens Henricus secundus regni gubernacula suscepisset."

[19] Domesday Book and the Codex Diplomaticus are full of such

[20] His words (Monasticon, ii. 293) are: "Quum igitur
ecclesiam Wellensem indebitis præposituræ oppressionibus supra modum
afflictam invenimus et gravatam, communicato consilio archiepiscoporum,
episcoporum, aliarumque religiosarum Angliæ personarum, exigentibus
quoque ejusdem ecclesiæ canonicis, Decanum illic ordinavimus, concessis
sibi dignitatibus, libertatibus, et consuetudinibus canonicis
ecclesiarum Angliæ bene ordinatarum, et ne in eâdem ecclesiâ pristina
tribulatio locum denuo vendicaret, possessiones et prædia quæ ad eam
fidelium sunt donatione devoluta in præbendas taliter distribuimus."
"Rogerus Witene," who must, one would think, have been one of the same
stock, appears in the Exeter Domesday, p. 75, as a tenant of the Church
of Glastonbury.

[21] See the letter of Bishop Rowland Lee to Lord Cromwell
in the Monasticon, iii. 199. He prays that it might be "browghte to a
college churche as Liche [Lichfield]."

[22] On this point, and on other points touching the relations
of Bishops and Chapters, there was much disputing between Robert
Grosseteste, the great Bishop of Lincoln, contemporary with our
Jocelin, and his Canons. See on the Chapter's side, Matthew Paris, pp.
485, 522, 572; and, on the other, Robert's own letter to his Chapter in
Mr. Luard's collection of his Letters, p. 357.

[23] The words of the Historiola, p. 24, are, "Porro non est
oblivioni tradendum quod ecclesia Welliæ suo consilio fabricata est et
auxilio." The Canon (561) says only, "Multas ruinas ejusdem ecclesiæ
destructiones ejus in locis pluribus comminantes egregie reparavit."

[24] "Ecclesiam sedis meæ perspiciens esse mediocrem," he says
in the Historiola, p. 16.

[25] The consecration and the presence of the three Bishops is
mentioned both in the Historiola and by the Canon.

[26] William of Malmesbury, writing not very long before
Robert's time, says of the church of Eadward at Westminster (ii. 228),
"Quam ipse illo compositionis genere primus in Angliâ ædificaverat
quod nunc pene cuncti sumptuosis æmulantur expensis." Matthew Paris
(2), evidently copying this, alters the tense, because in his day
another style of architecture had come in. His words are, "Quam ipse
novo compositionis genere construxerat, a quâ post multi ecclesias
construentes, exemplum adepti, opus illud expensis _æmulabantur_

[27] The Canon of Wells (Angl. Sacr. i. 562) says of him,
"Multas præbendas in ecclesiâ Wellensi fundavit de novo, multaque alia
bona fecit tam Bathoniensi quam Wellensi ecclesiis." He mentions also
his gift of the manor of North Curry and other lands to the Chapter,
and speaks of him as granting the first municipal rights to the
citizens of Wells, a point which I must leave to Mr. Serel.

[28] See Mr. Stubbs' account of Savaric in the Gentleman's
Magazine for November 1863, p. 621, and Mr. Green's notice in the
Transactions of the Somersetshire Archæological and Natural History
Society for 1863, p. 39.

[29] The whole history is given at length by Adam of
Domersham, a monk of Glastonbury, in Anglia Sacra, i. 578.

[30] See Anglia Sacra, i. 579. The Dean was Alexander, the
third Dean.

[31] See the disputes about the "advocatio" or "patronatus"
of the Abbey in Anglia Sacra, i. 584, and the correspondence between
Bishop Beckington and Abbot Frome, translated by Mr. George Williams
in the Somersetshire Proceedings, 1863, p. 17. On the terms of the
composition see pp. 564, 585.

[32] See Roger of Wendover, iii. 222.

[33] Anglia Sacra, i. 564. "Capellas etiam cum cameris de
Welles et Woky notabiliter construxit." In the Palace at Wells,
Jocelin's chapel has been reconstructed, and many buildings added by
later Bishops, but the greater part of the house is still his. In
Wookey Court, now a farmhouse and alienated from the see, only a single
doorway, probably that of the chapel, remains of Jocelin's work, but it
is in exactly the same style as the Palace and the West Front of the

[34] See Matthew Paris, p. 756, ed. Wats. He describes the
earthquake as happening four days before Christmas, and says that he
had the account of what happened at Wells from the Bishop himself. This
must be William Button the First, who however could not have been at
Wells at the time, as he was consecrated at Rome on June 14 in that
year and did not come back to England till the next year. His account
of the damage at Wells stands thus, "Tholus quoque lapideus magnæ
quantitatis et ponderis, qui per diligentiam cæmentariorum in summitate
ecclesiæ de Welles ponebatur, raptus de loco suo, non sine damno, super
ecclesiam cecidit, et quum ab alto ruerit, tumultum reddens horribilem
audientibus timorem incussit non minimum. In quo etiam terræ motu hoc
accidit mirabile; caminorum, propugnaculorum, et columnarum capitella
et summitates motæ sunt, bases vero et fundamenta nequaquam, quum
contrarium naturaliter debuit evenire." Yet in the repairs of the nave
of Wells, a greater change seems to have been made in the bases of the
pillars than in their capitals.

[35] Matthew Paris gives the list, p. 522, Abingdon, Wells,
Evesham, Gloucester, Tewkesbury, Winchcomb (?), Pershore, Alcester, "et
multæ aliæ per regnum Angliæ."

[36] These were various works in the church and dormitory,
done in the time of Abbot William, 1214-1235. Matthew Paris, in the
_Gesta Abbatum_ (i. 280), after describing them, adds, "Quippe ista
conquæstu et industriâ Ricardi de Thidenhangaer, monachi nostri
conversi ac camerarii, sine obedientiæ suæ defectu vel diminutione,
sunt perfecta: _quæ tamen Abbati ob reverentiam sunt adscribenda_. Ille
enim facit, cujus auctoritate quippiam fieri dinoscitur."

[37] In the Historia Monasterii S. Petri Gloucestriæ (i. 29)
we read, "Et anno Domini MCCXLII. completa est nova volta
in navi ecclesiæ, non auxilio fabrorum ut primo, sed animosâ virtute
monachorum item in ipso loco exsistentiam."

[38] See especially Gervase's account of the architects
employed at Canterbury, William of Sens and William the Englishman;
Willis, 35, 51.

[39] Mr. Serel gives me a reference to the Close Rolls of
Henry the Third, October 3, 1225, in which "the King grants to the
Bishop of Bath five marks towards the works in the church of Wells, the
same payment to be continued for the eleven following years according
to the King's gift."

[40] The extract is given in the Monasticon, ii. 278. It
consists of a series of regulations touching the keeping open and shut
of various doors. The door of which I speak is described as "magnum
ostium ecclesiæ _sub campanili_ versus claustrum." This must mean the
door in the transept, under the great central tower, rather than the
door opening into the cloister from the south-western tower. But the
existence of the cloister is proved by the mention of either, and it is
equally odd to call either of them "magnum ostium ecclesiæ."

Another doorway in the cloister is also spoken of in the same document;
"Ostium _versus capellam Beatæ Virginis in claustro_ propter cameram
necessariam." This door, I imagine, may still be traced in the east
walk of the cloister, near the remains of the Lady chapel in the
cloister. This chapel must be carefully distinguished from the Lady
chapel at the east end of the church. Mention is also made of "duo
ostia _de la Karole_, ex utrâque parte chori," one of which is further
described as "ostium _de la Karole versus librariam_." The word
_Karole_ or _Carel_ has several meanings; but it generally implies a
small recess or chamber of some kind. Were the books kept in one of the

Another mention of the Lady chapel in the cloister is found in Anglia
Sacra, i. 566, when Bishop William Button the First, who died in 1264,
is said to have buried "in novâ capellâ B. Mariæ Virginis." On this
Professor Willis (Somersetshire Proceedings, 1863, p. 21) remarks: "As
his chantry was in the 'Capella B. Virginis infra claustrum' (Liber B,
p. 62), the above passage does not apply to any Lady chapel at the
east of the cathedral, but to the building of the other Lady chapel,
which was in the east walk of the cloister in the position usually
given to a chapter-house." By "usually" the Professor must mean in
monastic foundations. "Liber B" is one of the books in possession of
the Chapter.

[41] See the extract in note 10.

[42] The whole passage (pp. 65, 66) is most remarkable. The
writer is inveighing against Hugh, Bishop of Chester (or Lichfield),
who had removed the monks from the church of Coventry, and put in
secular canons. "Ædificaverant certatim etiam absentes canonici circa
ecclesiam ampla et excelsa diversoria, ad usus forte proprios, si
vel semel in vitâ locum visitandi caussam casus offerret. Nullus ibi
ex præbendariis, sicut nec alibi faciunt, religiose resedit, sed
pauperibus vicariis ad insultandum Deo modicâ mercede conductis,
pro foribus palatiorum facientes magnalia, sanctum eis chorum
victosque Penates et nudos ecclesiæ parietes crediderunt. Hæc est
vere vera religio, hanc omnis imitari et æmulari deberet ecclesia.
Canonico sæculari ab ecclesiâ suâ, quamdiu libuerit, licebit abesse,
et patrimonium Christi ubi, et quando, et in quascumque voluerit
voluptates absumere. Id tantum provideant, ut audiatur vociferatio
frequens in domo Domini. Si ad fores talium pulsaverit advena, si
pauper clamaverit, respondebit qui pro foribus habitat, (et ipse satis
pauper vicarius,) 'Transite, et alibi alimoniam quærite, quia dominus
domûs domi non est.' Hæc est illa gloriosa clericorum religio, cujus
gratiâ Cestrensis episcopus monachos suos de Coventreiâ expulit, primus
hominum tantum nefas ausus admittere. Caussâ clericorum irregulariter
regularium, scilicet canonicorum, ad placitum monachos eliminavit;
monachos, qui non vicario, sed ore proprio laudabant Dominum, qui
habitabant et ambulabant in domo Domini cum consensu omnibus diebus
vitæ suæ, qui præter victum et vestitum nihil terrenum noverant,
quorum panis semper præsto fuit pauperi, quorum porta cuilibet viatori
quolibet tempore patuit: nec tamen taliter placuerunt episcopo, qui
numquam dilexit monachos vel monachatum."

[43] The account is given by William Fitz-Stephen, Giles,
i. 257. The officiating priest is described as "quidam vicarius,
Vitalis nomine, homo timoratus et honestus sacerdos." Berengar,
the Archbishop's emissary, addresses him, "Non est his hujus sedis
Episcopus, sed neque Decanus: video te hic ministrum Jesu Christi."

[44] Angl. Sac. i. 564: "Vicarios in ecclesiâ singulis
Præbendariis ordinavit, tribus exceptis quibus non provisit morte

Mr. Haddan, in the new collection of Councils and Ecclesiastical
Documents (i. 393), prints an account of the Church of Llandaff,
1193-1218. Bishop Henry of Abergavenny founded fourteen prebends, the
duties of eight of which were to be discharged ("defungi debent") by
Priest Vicars ("Vicarii Sacerdotes"), four by Deacons, and two by
Subdeacons. The fourteen Vicars have now dwindled to two.

[45] Ang. Sacr. i. 563. "Hic erexit ecclesias parochiales de
Ilmestre et Longe-Sutton in præbendas ecclesiæ Wellensis; quarum primam
Abbati de Muchelney, secundam Abbati de Athelney et eorum successoribus
contulit in perpetuam possidendas." These prebends no longer exist,
having vanished along with the monasteries by whose Abbots they were

[46] This most important statute is printed in the Monasticon,
ii. pp. 291, 292. Its date is 1242, the thirty-seventh year of
Jocelin's episcopate. He records what he had done for the fabric of
the church, which he found dangerous by reason of age ("periculum
ruinæ patiebatur pro suâ vetustate." See above, p. 67). He had built,
enlarged, and consecrated it ("ædificare coepimus et ampliare, in
quâ ... adeo profecimus, quod ipsam ... consecravimus"). Then he goes
on to say that the common ("communa") revenues of the ministers of the
church had hitherto been scanty ("tenuis et insufficiens"), and that he
had done much to enlarge it. It would seem then that the greater part
of the estates of the church had been cut up into separate prebends,
and that, before Jocelin's gift, the Chapter as a body kept but little.
He then recites the consent of the Dean and Chapter to his ordinance
in words which mark a very different relation between the Bishop and
his Chapter from what had been in the days of Gisa and John of Tours.
The change is made "consensu Johannis Sarraceni, Decani, et Capituli
nostri Wellensis, qui pure et simpliciter et absolute, de merâ et
spontaneâ voluntate suâ, nostræ super hoc se supposuerunt ordinationi
et statuto." Then come the rules by which the Bishop, the Dean and
the other dignitaries, the other Canons, and the Vicars, were on each
day of residence to receive certain sums of money. They had hitherto
received their daily portion, partly in money, partly in bread. The
amount was now raised, and it was paid wholly in money. The Bishop
had thirteen pence, the Dean and other dignitaries twelve pence, each
simple Canon sixpence, each Vicar a penny, for each day of residence.
At the end of the year the overplus was to be divided among those
Canons who had kept the prescribed residence, which is thus defined:
"Residentes autem interpretamur quoad participationem residui in fine
anni omnes illos Canonicos qui _per medium annum_, sive continue sive
interpolatim, fecerint in villam [sic] residentiam, præter Decanum,
Præcentorem, Cancellarium, et Thesaurarium, quos interpretamur
residentes si _per duas partes anni_ fecerint residentiam sive continue
sive interpolatim."

Each Canon had thus three available sources of income, his own prebend,
the daily distribution, and the distribution at the end of the year.
The first was irrespective of residence, the latter two depended on

[47] I have to thank Mr. Serel for a manuscript extract
containing some details of this strange practice, as it stood at
Wells. In the fourteenth century the custom was that each Canon, at
the beginning of his residence, should feast the Bishop, Dean, Canons,
Vicars, and all other officers of the church ("quoscumque alios dictæ
ecclesiæ ministros"), at a cost which often reached two hundred marks
(133_l._ 6_s._ 8_d._), or even a hundred and fifty pounds; sums which,
at the then value of money, must have been enormous, and which contrast
strikingly with the pence and loaves of the older daily distribution.
In a bull of Pope Boniface the Ninth, in the year 1400, this custom is
condemned; it is pronounced to be "consuetudo quæ corruptela potius
est dicenda," and he speaks of the cost as "inutiles sumptus ac
expensæ." Instead of this waste upon eating and drinking, each simple
Canon, on his admission to residence, is to pay a hundred marks, and
each dignitary a hundred and fifty, to the maintenance of the fabric,
and the support of the other burthens of the church ("in subsidium
sustentationis fabricæ et relevamen supportationis aliorum onerum").
This was a very heavy tax, and might hinder many from residing;
still, at least, the money went to a good end. This was presently so
interpreted that the Dean and Residentiaries gave out of each sum so
paid ten marks to the fabric, ten to the Vicars, and divided the rest
among themselves. This practice was confirmed by a second bull of Pope
Nicolas the Fifth, in 1433; and these regulations were confirmed by
Henry the Eighth in 1539, at the advice of Lord Cromwell, who, it is
not to be forgotten, would, as Dean (see p. 148), receive a share of
the spoil.

Notwithstanding the commutation of the burthen from a feast to a fixed
sum of money, it appears that it again became usual, "not only to pay
these sums of money upon admission to a Canonry [that is, on admission
to residence], but also to make a prodigious entertainment for the
Bishop, Dean and Chapter [meaning the Dean and Residentiaries], the
Prebendaries in town, Vicars, Proctors of the Court, and Officers of
the church, _and their wives_, and also for the Mayor and Corporation,
and other principal inhabitants of the Liberty and City."

The Canons' and Vicars' wives were certainly not contemplated either by
Pope Boniface or by King Harry.

[48] This and all other points in the constitution of the
Chapter of Saint David's has been treated of by Archdeacon Jones,
in our History of Saint David's, p. 310, et seqq. The Saint David's
history is throughout worth comparing with the Wells' history.

[49] In the Charter of Elizabeth, of which I shall have to
speak again, each of eight Residentiaries is required to reside three
months in the year; and, if a Dignitary, four. This arrangement would
always give two Canons at least in residence at once.

[50] The round, rather than polygonal, chapter-house at
Worcester, where the style is still Romanesque, is probably the
earliest example, and that at Howden the latest. Lincoln, Westminster,
Salisbury, Lichfield, and Margam, are also examples. The earlier and
later chapter-houses, as at Canterbury, Durham, Bristol, and Exeter,
are oblong, sometimes with an apsidal end.

[51] The grandest example of these undercrofts that I know of
is under the dormitory of Battle Abbey. The arrangements of the church
were ruled by the position of the high altar, which marked the site
of the English standard. The result was that the dormitory was driven
over the side of the hill, and had therefore to be supported by an
undercroft, which at the extreme southern end rises to a prodigious

The undercroft of the Wells chapter-house is no more a crypt than the
undercroft of the palace, or than the chapter-house at Llandaff, which
simply consists of four bays of vaulting, with a central pillar, just
like many undercrofts of this kind.

The undercroft of the palace at Wells has its parallel at an earlier
time in the magnificent example of Romanesque date in the Bishop's
palace at Angers.

[52] I must here quote Professor Willis, as reported in the
Bristol Volume, p. xxviii. "The first thing to be noticed is under
date 1286, when a Chapter was called together, and there was laid
before them the urgent necessity which appeared from the state of
the church, not only that the new structure, which had been a long
time begun, should be finished, but that the whole fabric might be
repaired and sustained, and such new constructions as were requisite
be carried out. In 1286, however, comparing the probable date of the
building which I suppose to be called the new structure, it can only
be the chapter-house; and the lower part of it, commonly called the
crypt, was, as I conclude, then completed.... The structure of the
chapter-house consists of two parts, and it is quite evident that
the crypt was separated from the upper part by a very considerable
interval. I conceive, therefore, that in 1286 the portion of the
chapter-house called the crypt was completed." In the Somersetshire
Transactions, xii. 19, the Professor adds that "it was agreed that each
Canon should pay a tenth of his prebend yearly for five years."

Bishop Godwin says (p. 300) of Bishop William of March, "In this mans
time [1293-1302] the chapter-house was built, by the contribution of
well-disposed people; a stately and sumptuous worke." Godwin wrote,
I suppose, from local tradition, as there is nothing like it in the
Canon's history in Anglia Sacra. His date quite falls in with the
Professor's extracts.

[53] The Early English fragments which have been built up in
the chapel in the Vicars' Close, as well as those which are lying about
in the undercroft of the chapter-house, can hardly fail to belong to
the destroyed east end. Yet the fragments in the Vicars' chapel agree
rather with the style of the west front than with that of the other
parts of the church; and they agree with the fragments built into the
rectory-house at Wookey (now called, without any reason, Mellifont
Abbey), which can hardly fail to have been parts of Jocelin's house
there. The fragments in the undercroft have the tooth-moulding, which,
I think, is not found anywhere else in the church, though it is in the
undercroft of the chapter-house.

As for the actual form of the east end, it is plain that it was not an
apse, nor yet a square east end of the full height, like York, Ely,
and Southwell. It will be seen on the ground-plan that the aisles of
Jocelin's work run a bay to the east of the site of his high altar.
This shows that there was a procession-path and most likely a chapel
beyond it on the site of the present presbytery, though it is possible
that it ended in a mere retrochoir, like that at Abbey Dore, or that
carried round the northern apse at Peterborough.

[54] The church of Glastonbury is, I need not say, of far more
ancient foundation than that of Wells; it was its junior simply as a
cathedral church. Bath is immeasurably older than Wells as a city,
and as a church also, if we accept the foundation of Osric in 676.
Even the foundation of Offa in 775 comes before Wells had gained any
importance. See Monasticon, ii. 256, though it is hard to understand
how a monastery could be destroyed by Danes before the time of Offa.

[55] Angl. Sacra, i. 564. "Hic sibi similem anteriorem non
habuit, nec hucusque visus est habere sequentem."

[56] Ib. "Tandem defunctus, in medio chori Welliæ honorifice
sepelitur." Godwin adds, "He was buried in the middle of the Quier
that he had built, under a Marble tombe of late yeeres monsterously


[1] The story, as given by the Canon of Wells, may be read at
length in Anglia Sacra, i. 564, with Wharton's note, and more briefly
in Godwin's quaint English, p. 297. It is summed up in the Tewkesbury
Annals (Ann. Mon. i. 133): "Magister Rogerus Cantor Sarum eligitur
in Episcopum Bathoniæ. Confirmatur a Domino Papâ, non obstantibus
cavillationibus Canonicorum Wellensium. Consecratur, intronizatur, et
Dominus Rex reddidit ei omnia temporalia, in Junio." This annalist,
as a monk, looks on the complaints of the seculars of Wells as

[2] Anglia Sacra, i. 565. "Unde Episcopus Rogerus in tantum
ita instantius penes Papam procuravit, quod ipse pacem fecit inter
partes prædictas, et formam apposuit in eorum mutuis electionibus de
cætero faciendis, quæ usque hodie observatur."

[3] The chief of these were the _custodia_ or wardship of the
Deanery, _i.e._ the profits of the decanal estate during a vacancy,
which had no doubt hitherto gone to the Bishop as superior Lord, as
those of the Bishoprick itself went to the King. He also gave them
two-thirds of the profits of all the parish churches in the diocese
during their vacancies, which had hitherto gone to the Bishop; the
remaining third he gave to the Archdeacons.

[4] Godwin gives the list in p. 298. His burial in the Lady
chapel in the cloister has been already mentioned; see above, p. 17.

[5] Anglia Sacra, i. 566. "Ubi ad præsens multis fulget

[6] Ib., 567. "Ad cujus tumbam olim multa præclara fiebant
miracula." The wonders at the tomb of William of March seem to have
ceased when the Canon wrote, while those at the tomb of William
Button still went on. This agrees with what Godwin says, p. 299:
"Many superstitious people (especially such as were troubled with the
tooth-ake) were wont (even of late yeeres) to frequent much the place
of his buriall, being without the North side of the Quier, where we see
a Marble stone, having a pontificall image graven upon it."

[7] His building of the hall is mentioned in Anglia Sacra, i.
567, as also the advancement of his own family. So Godwin, 299, who
speaks of "That goodly hall of the pallace at Welles, pulled downe
some fifty yeeres since by a knight of the court, that for a just
reward of his sacrilege, soone after lost his head." This means Sir
John Gates, of whom more anon. Robert Burnell was first Treasurer
and then Chancellor of England, and in 1278 was elected Archbishop
of Canterbury, but the election was annulled by Pope Nicolas IV. In
Rymer's Foedera, vol. i. part ii. p. 559, will be found a letter of
Edward I. to the Pope on behalf of his Chancellor. He speaks of the
"fidelitatis suæ constantia quam ad recolendæ memoriæ dominum, Henricum
Regem Angliæ, illustrem genitorem nostrum, et nos ac totam ecclesiam
Anglicanam semper hactenus habuit incorruptam, et a quâ nullo umquam
tempore nubulo vel sereno flecti potuit seu etiam deviare." He also
calls him "vir tam in temporalibus quam in spiritualibus circumspectus,
vir mitis, affabilis, vir benignus, vir etiam misericordiæ,
mansuetudinis, caritatis, et pacis." Two of his brothers were drowned
in 1282, in the Welsh war; see Trivet, p. 305.

On the works of Gower at St. David's, see the History of St. David's,
pp. 190-194.

[8] I must again quote Professor Willis, in the Somersetshire
Proceedings, xii. 19. "In 1326 a grant of the land at the east end of
the Cathedral by the bishop to one of the canons, measures its length
of fifty feet eastward from the wall of the _newly-constructed chapel_
of the Blessed Mary." This plainly means the Lady chapel at the east
end, distinguished as a new building from the older Lady chapel in
the cloister. The Bishop is, of course, John Drokensford, Bishop from
1309-1329. In the Bristol report of Professor Willis (p. xxix.) he is
strangely called _Tokenfield_, which I am sure is not the Professor's
own description of him.

[9] Of the coved or waggon roofs of the West of England and
South Wales, which modern church-restorers generally think it such a
great feat to get rid of, I have written and spoken till I am nearly
tired of the subject. The arch employed is of all manner of forms, but
in a wooden construction the semicircular arch has the best effect. A
roof of this sort is the same thing in wood which a barrel-vault is in
stone, and the vault of the choir at Wells is a barrel-vault, modified
by the clerestory windows. Earlier barrel-vaults of Romanesque date,
identical in principle with the Somersetshire wooden roofs, may be
seen in Saint Sernin at Toulouse and the chapel in the White Tower of
London, and, to come nearer home, in the priory church of Ewenny in

[10] Somersetshire Archæological Proceedings, xii. 19. "In
1325 the bishop gave half the proceeds of his visitation to the '_novum
opus_' of the church at Wells, and an order was made that, because the
stalls were ruinous and misshapen, every canon should pay for making
his own new stall, and the dean sent to Midelton for boards to make the
new stalls." Midelton is what we now call Milton. The Dean was John
Godele, Dean from 1308 to 1333. The Bishop was of course Ralph.

[11] Anglia Sacra, i. 569. "Sepultus in presbyterio ecclesiæ
Wellensis inter gradus chori et summum altare in tumbâ de alabastro,
cui imago supponitur valde conforma figuræ illius."

[12] Godwin, p. 302. "His body was buried before the high
altar under a goodly monument of Alabaster, compassed about with grates
of yron. About a 60 yeeres since (for what cause I know not) it was
remooved to the North side of the presbytery, but lost his grates by
the way."

[13] Somersetshire Archæological Proceedings, xii. 19. "In
1318 receivers were appointed for the tenths, given in aid of the _new
campanile_, and for the oblations to Saint William.... In 1321 we find
a grant from the clergy of the Deanery of Taunton in aid of the roofing
of the _new campanile_," meaning, not improbably, a wooden spire. By
Saint William is meant Bishop William of March; see p. 107.

[14] Ib., 21. "In 1337 a convocation was summoned to consider,
among other matters, the raising of money by the non-residents for
paying a debt of 200 li. incurred for the restoration of the greatest
part of the fabric. In 1338 another Convocation was summoned, because
the church of Wells is so enormously fractured and deformed ('enormiter
confracta ... totaliter confracte et enormiter deformate'), that its
structure can only be repaired, and with sufficient promptitude, by the
common counsel and assistance of its members." This evidently means,
as the Professor explains it, the damage done by the weight of the new
tower, and the props which we now see are evidently the result of the
repairs then ordered.

[15] The likeness had struck myself independently, but I see
that Professor Willis (p. 22) quotes the same name as applied by Leland
to the props of the same kind afterwards inserted under the central
tower at Glastonbury.

[16] Anglia Sacra, i. 570. "Iste ad constructionem
occidentalis turris in parte australi Wellensis ecclesiæ duas partes
expensarum apposuit; ac pro vitro occidentalis fenestræ ejusdem
ecclesiæ centum marcas persolvit; duasque magnas campanas in dictâ
turri australi pendentes fieri fecit propriis sumptibus." Godwin (302)
adds to the account of the bells, "The bigest of which being cast
fower times since I was of this church, now at last serveth for the
greatest of a ring, the goodliest for that number (being but five) (I
thinke) in England."

[17] Godwin, 304. "It is supposed he was a great benefactor
and contributor toward the building of the North-west tower at the West
ende of the Church, which his armes fixed upon divers places of the
same doo partly shew."

[18] "He built our Library over the Cloysters," says Godwin,
in his account of Bubwith, p. 304. But I do not see how this is to be
reconciled with what he says in the next page; "He [Beckington] built
(as to me at least wise seemeth) the East side of the cloyster."

[19] There are others of the kind, the west front of Exeter
for instance, where I suppose that most people would allow that the
shape is positively unsightly. The earliest English instance I know of
was the Romanesque west front of Malmesbury Abbey. It is now in ruins,
owing to the fall of the western tower which was afterwards added. But
it is easy to make out that the oldest front had a blank wall between
turrets, instead of either towers or the natural endings of the aisles
without towers.

[20] This arrangement gives the church of Wells and Rouen
a sort of western transept. There is also a western transept at
Lincoln and at Peterborough, but it is formed in a different way by a
projection beyond the towers.

There is something analogous to Wells and Rouen in the west front at
Ripon. The towers are now at the ends of the aisles, but, as they were
at first without aisles, they must have been built as a projecting

[21] This custom of a sham gable or other finish between the
towers, having no reference to the gable of the nave, is common both in
French and German churches. It is carried to its furthest extreme in
the churches of Brunswick, where any one coming from the due west would
take each church to be nearly double the height that it really is.

[22] I am here speaking of polygonal apses only. In our
large Romanesque churches the round apse was commonly used, but their
choirs have commonly been altered or destroyed, so that the only round
apses that we now have on a very large scale are those of Norwich and
Peterborough. In Normandy many more have been preserved, and they are
also much more common in smaller churches. Canterbury Cathedral has an
apse to the choir of intermediate date, besides the round chapel at
the extreme east end, answering in some measure to our polygonal Lady

[23] The Wimborne arrangement of a central and western tower
was once much more common than it is now, but in many cases one of
the towers has either never been carried up or has been afterwards
destroyed, as at Hereford, Shrewsbury, Malmesbury, Bangor, and Christ
Church in Hampshire. The arrangement still remains on a vast scale at
Ely, and on a smaller at Purton in Wiltshire and in the two lesser
churches at Coutances.

[24] Anglia Sacra, p. 569. "Episcopale palatium apud Welliam
forti muro lapideo circumcinxit, et aquam undique circumduxit;"
and again, "Palatium episcopale Wellense muro lapideo batellato et
cornellato cum fossatis claudere fecit."

[25] Bishop Godwin tells the whole story in his quaint way (p.
301). "This man is famous for the first foundation of our Vicars close
in Wels. The memory of which benefit is to be seene expressed in a
picture upon the wal at the foot of the hall staires. In it the Vicars
kneeling, seeme to request the Bishop in these words

  Per vicos positi villæ, pater alme rogamus,
  Ut simul uniti, de [te?] dante domos maneamus.
  _Disperst about the towne, we humbly pray,
  Together, through thy bounty, dwell we may._

He answereth them thus:

        Vestra petunt merita, quod sint concessa petita,
        Ut maneatis ita, loca fecimus hic stabilita.
  _For your demaund, deserts do plead, I will do that you crave,
  To this purpose established, here dwellings shall you have._

This picture being now almost worne out; at what time of late yeeres
the Vicars by the gratious favour of her Maiesty had their revenues
confirmed to them, being in danger to be spoyled of them by certaine
sacrilegious cormorants; they likewise caused a picture of excellent
workmanship to be drawen, contayning a memoriall of both the one and
the other. These buildings being erected; toward the maintenance of
some hospitality in them, he gave unto that new Colledge, the mannor
of Welsleigh, and allotted them twenty nobles yerely to be paid out of
the vicarage of Chew. He built moreover a house for the Queristers and
their master."

[26] See above, p. 173.

[27] I must again quote Godwin, p. 306. "To his successor
he gave 100_l._, upon condition he would accept it in lieu of all
dilapidations, otherwise willing his executors to spend it in lawe
against him: and lastly unto his executors he left onely 20_l._ a
piece, requiring them to imploy all the rest of his goods to good uses
at their discretion. They answered very justly, the trust reposed in
them, and that with such discretion as well as fidelity, that I should
do them wrong not to remember them. The one was Richard Swanne, Provost
of Welles and parson of Yevelton, that heretofore had beene executor
after the same sort unto Richard Praty Bishop of Chichester (this man
dwelt in the cannonicall house that is neere the market place). Another
was, Hugh Sugar Doctor of lawe and Treasurer of Welles (he built the
chappell all of free stone, which was of wood before, adjoyning to the
great pulpit, and dwelt where I now do, in the middle house of the
three that joyne upon the Cambray). And the third was John Pope Doctor
of Divinity Prebendary of Saint Decumans and parson of Shyre. These
three (as I have beene told by old men) lye buried in a ranke together,
over against the great pulpit under three marble stones of one fashion.
The Bishops goods that remained unbequeathed, they bestowed for the
most part, in building the Vicars close at Welles, which had beene
begun by Bishop Ralfe long before; a sumptuous and beautifull worke."

[28] Some remarks of Mr. Dimock's on this subject will be
found in the Proceedings of the Somersetshire Archæological and Natural
History Society, lxii. 33.

[29] At Hereford some of the Priest Vicars bore the title of
Minor Canons. I do not know in what they differed from the rest of the

[30] He seems not to have done anything for the fabric, though
the north-west tower was still unfinished. But he gave tithes and other
property to the Chapter for various purposes, one of which was keeping
a common table; "ad mensam capitularem et alia onera in ecclesiâ
Wellensi supportanda." Anglia Sacra, i. 570.

[31] Anglia Sacra, i. 570. "Fecit etiam construi per
executores suos in vico vocato _la Mounterye_ mansiones pro xiv
capellanis in dictâ ecclesiâ Wellensi indies celebrantibus." Godwin
calls it "a colledge at Welles for fowerteene priests, at the ende of
the lane now called Colledge-lane." On the history of this foundation,
see Monasticon, viii. 1465.

[32] In the account of the Deans in Anglia Sacra, i. 590,
we read of him. "Vir impense literatus, postquam in utrâque academiâ
Anglicâ bonis studiis operam dedisset, in Italiam profectus, Guarini
Veronensis disciplinæ se tradidit."

[33] See Mr. Parker in the Somersetshire Archæological
Society's Proceedings, xi. 144 and xii. 25. Mr. Parker may be
implicitly trusted on all architectural points, but he has quite failed
to grasp the history of the foundation.

[34] When I wrote this passage and an earlier passage in p.
23, I did not think how near my worst fears were to being accomplished.
The organist's house at Wells, more strictly the house of the
_Informator Puerorum_ (see above, note 25), a house of the fifteenth
century, stands to the south-west of the church, and was connected
by some smaller buildings with the west wall of the cloister. The
north gable, with a singularly elegant window of two lights, formed
a striking object in crossing the Cathedral green, and held no mean
place among the general group of buildings of which the church was the
centre. For a long time past the building had been in a disgraceful
state, and a munificent private offer to repair it was, for what
reasons no man can guess, refused. Since that time, the buildings
which connected the main body of the house with the cloister have been
pulled down. This was a senseless act; for, though they had been much
patched and mutilated, ancient portions still remained, and, in any
case, their presence kept the house in its proper position as part of
a whole. At last, on the night of April 12th, 1870, the ancient roof
of the house, which still remained, fell in, damaging the gable and
shattering the tracery of the window. How this came to pass there is
no distinct evidence, but it is believed on the spot not to have been
wholly accidental. Thus it is that our antiquities are daily perishing,
because, while a taste for them and an appreciation of their value is
daily spreading, those whose duty it is to preserve them are often
those who have the least feeling for them. In the present case the
damage which has been already done is the result of wilful neglect,
but the complete destruction of the building would be a further act of
wanton barbarism. I am by no means certain that the house could not
even now be saved by a careful repair; but even if destruction has gone
too far for that, what remains ought to be kept as a well-preserved
ruin, and not to be swept away for any frivolous private purpose.

[35] In this point of view the history of Wells is well worthy
of the care of students of municipal history. The number of boroughs
which arose under the shadow of abbeys, as at Saint Alban's and Bury
Saint Edmund's (on which last see Mr. Green's papers, published in
Macmillan's Magazine in the course of 1869), is not small; but of
_Bishops' boroughs_ there are not many. Durham and Salisbury (see
above, p. 3) are the nearest examples, but their history is not exactly
the same as that of Wells. Coventry, a still greater city, grew up
under the shadow of an Abbey which became a Bishoprick.

[36] Catalogue of Bishops, p. 307.

[37] This was done in the year 1526 by authority of a bull of
Pope Clement the Seventh; see, for instance, the account of Daventry
Priory, in Northamptonshire, in the Monasticon, v. 176.

[38] This was in 1414. A list of the houses suppressed is
given in the Monasticon, viii. 1652. Among them was the Priory of Stoke
Courcy, in our own county, which was a dependency of the Abbey of
Lonley in Maine. Most of the estates of these monasteries went to the
various foundations which grew up in the fifteenth century, as several
of the Colleges at Oxford and Cambridge, the College of Eton, to which
Stoke Courcy went, and Saint George's Chapel at Windsor. It should be
noticed that this suppression took place under King Henry the Fifth
and Archbishop Chicheley, than whom there certainly never was a more
religious King or Primate in England. We have here the closest parallel
to the disestablishment and disendowment of the Irish Church.

[39] The suppressions under Henry the Eighth were the most
complete contrasts to the suppressions under Henry the Fifth. The small
portion of the monastic estates which went in any way to the public
service, in the foundation of bishopricks and colleges and in providing
for the defence of the coast, was a trifle compared with the boundless
wealth which was squandered and gambled away among Henry's minions,
to say nothing of the wanton and brutal desecration of churches and
consecrated objects.

[40] We should always distinguish between the two suppressions
of Henry the Eighth's reign. The suppression of the lesser monasteries
was done legally by Act of Parliament. The greater monasteries were
suppressed by extorting from each Abbot and Convent an illegal
surrender, which surrenders were afterwards confirmed by Act of
Parliament. But Abbot Whiting never surrendered, so that the seizure of
Glastonbury Abbey was simple robbery. The Abbot was of course really
hanged for refusing to betray his trust. The nominal charge on which
he was condemned by commissioners sent to "try and execute" him--the
thing being thus arranged beforehand--was a ridiculous pretence of his
having robbed the goods of the monastery, that is, having tried to
save them from those who wished to rob them. This should be borne in
mind, as I have seen it said over and over again that the Abbot was
hanged for denying the King's supremacy, which the Abbot and Convent
of Glastonbury, like other Abbots and Convents, had acknowledged long

[41] See above, p. 46.

[42] The list of Deans in Anglia Sacra, i. 590, says, "vir
laicus, decanatum Wellensem ab anno 1537 pessimo exemplo tenuit. Capite
plexus est 1540. 28. Julii."

[43] See Hook's Lives of Archbishops, viii. 18.

[44] Saint George's Chapel at Windsor was not suppressed;
otherwise the few collegiate churches which still survive, including
those of Ripon and Manchester, which have become cathedral, were
refounded under Elizabeth and James the First. It was now that Beverley
and several other great churches, as well as some smaller ones, like
Stoke-sub-Hamdon in our own county, ceased to be collegiate.

[45] The deed of pretended exchange is printed in the
Monasticon, ii. 294. See also Godwin, p. 311; and Collinson's
Somersetshire, iii. 395.

[46] It was now that the Palace at Wells was restored to the
Bishoprick. After the execution of Somerset it had passed to Sir John
Gates, the destroyer of Stillington's Lady chapel, who was beheaded
along with John Dudley, Duke of Northumberland, in 1553. He is the
knight of the court, of whom Godwin speaks in his account of Bishop

[47] On the history of the so-called Priory, see the
Monasticon, vii. 664.

[48] See note 44.

[49] See above, p. 50.

[50] See Godwin, p. 311.

[51] This strange document, dated in 1592, has, as far as I
know, never been printed, and I have only seen an English translation.
It first recites the doubts as to the legal position of the Chapter,
arising out of the surrender made by Dean Fitz-Williams in the time of
Edward the Sixth, and the consequent establishment of a new Deanery
by Act of Parliament. The Queen then founds the cathedral church
anew, with all its dignities and prebends as they existed before.
She then goes on to found "certain other dignities or offices,"
namely those of the Canons Residentiary. The names of the existing
Residentiaries are recited, and the Dean and Canons Residentiary are
constituted a corporation, by the title of the "Dean and Chapter of
the Cathedral Church of Wells." To this newly-founded corporation
the Queen grants the cathedral church, its appurtenances and movable
goods, the Chapter-house and other lands and property, namely such
as had been the common property of the Chapter. She then grants to
them power to make, under certain conditions, statutes "for the good
rule, government, and ordering of the Canons Residentiary and _other
Prebendaries_ in the said Cathedral Church." She then prescribes
the number of Residentiaries, who are not to be fewer than six nor
more than eight, and the manner of their election. They are to be
chosen from the Prebendaries, a strong preference being given to the
Dignitaries, including the Archdeacons, and the Dean having a right to
a Residentiary's place if he chooses to claim it. The term of residence
is fixed at four months at least yearly for a Dignitary being a
Residentiary, and at three months at least for a Residentiary not being
a Dignitary. These, it will be remembered, are exactly half the terms
of residence fixed by Jocelin; see above, p. 90. The document then
goes on to regulate the visitatorial powers of the Bishop, which are
taken for granted. Then follow grants to the different Dignitaries and
Prebendaries of their several corpses, and provision is made for the
payment of certain customary sums to the fabric, the Vicars, and other
purposes. Then come the names of the existing Prebendaries; and it is
ordered that the Prebendaries "shall for ever be joined and combined
with the aforesaid Dean and Chapter and their successors, to the ends,
intents, and purposes following only, that is to say, the Prebendaries
aforesaid, every of them and their successors, and the successors of
every of them, shall have a stall in the choir of the Cathedral Church
aforesaid, and that they and every of them shall have a place and voice
in the Chapter of the said Cathedral Church only to elect a Bishop to
the Episcopal See of Bath and Wells aforesaid, whenever it shall be
needful." The Bishop's right of appointing to dignities and prebends is
then renewed, saving only that the right of appointing to the Deanery
is reserved to the Crown. The remaining provisions are merely formal.

The evident object of this document is to legalize a certain state of
things which had gradually grown up by abuse. It had probably become
customary for the non-resident Canons to be summoned to meetings
of the Chapter only when a Bishop was to be elected. They were now
formally deprived of their right to vote at other times. The Dean and
Residentiaries, who had hitherto been simply certain of the Canons
or Prebendaries selected for a certain purpose, were now themselves
made the corporation, and the corporate style of Dean and Chapter was
transferred to them. From this some grotesque results follow. The
Chapter is first of all defined as a body of which the non-residentiary
Canons are not members, and then the non-residentiary Canons are
defined to be members of that body for one particular purpose; and the
old formula, according to which each Canon had "vocem in capitulo et
stallum in choro," is preserved, with the restriction that the voice is
to be used only at the election of a Bishop. Then the practice by which
the consent of the existing Residentiaries was needful for any Canon
to keep valid residence is stiffened into an actual election by the
existing Residentiaries. Lastly, the custom by which the Chapter always
elected a nominee of the Crown to the Deanery is changed into an actual
nomination of the Dean by the Crown. In all these cases the object is
to legalize by royal authority an existing vicious practice.

It is curious to mark how, in the teeth of all this, some ancient
customs are still retained as matters of form. The Canon, on his
first appointment to his prebend, is solemnly installed in choir
and chapter-house, but no such ceremony follows on his election to
a residentiaryship, when he is simply put in possession of a house.
This is of course because, under the older state of things, the
Residentiaries were not a distinct body, but simply those among the
Canons on whom the duty of residence fell on behalf of the whole. When
a Canon began to reside, he was not invested with any new office;
he therefore needed no new installation. By the Elizabethan Charter
the Residentiaries were changed into holders of distinct dignities
or offices, but no form of installation was prescribed, or could be
prescribed, because the Residentiary retained the stall which he held
before, and had no special stall as Residentiary. With the careless
modern practice of Residentiaries or other Canons occupying stalls
which belong to others of their brethren neither ancient order nor the
Elizabethan Charter has anything to do.

It is worth noticing that in the list given in Collinson's
Somersetshire, of the Chapter as it stood in his time, the Dignitaries
and Prebendaries are all put in their proper order, with the words
"Canon Residentiary" added to those who happened to be so. It is now
the fashion to print the Residentiaries first in larger type, and the
other Canons after them in smaller type. Such are the straws which show
the way of the wind, and thus does oligarchy grow in all times and

[52] The actual rights of the non-residentiary Canons, both
at Wells and elsewhere, is a question of law, to be settled by a legal
examination of various local statutes and general Acts of Parliament.
The result would probably not be exactly the same in every church.
But it is certain that, if our capitular bodies are to be of any use
at all, they must be restored to their old broad basis. A body of
forty or fifty clergymen, the pick of the diocese, partly resident at
the cathedral, partly elsewhere, might be trusted to do many things
which an oligarchy of four or five cannot be trusted to do. In the New
Foundations the object would be gained by giving votes in Chapter to
the Honorary Canons.

[53] It would hardly be believed, except that the same havoc
has been wrought in some other churches, that in an English cathedral
church, in the year 1869, four stoves of incredible ugliness were set
up, _with chimneys driven through the vaulted roof_! For the better
display of one of them, part of Bishop Beckington's canopy, already
moved from its place, was cut away; but, on the coming into residence
of a Canon of better taste, it was put back. If the church wanted
warming, the object might surely have been gained in some other way. In
Bristol Cathedral there are stoves which are no disfigurement whatever.

[54] They would, however, have a precedent in the famous
scene between Archbishops Richard and Roger in the time of Henry the
Second, which I will describe in the words of Godwin, p. 51. "At the
time appointed the Legate came and tooke his place, and the Archbishop
of Canterbury sate him downe next unto the Legate upon the right hand.
After this in came Roger Archbishop of Yorke and would needes have
displaced Canterbury to sit above him: that when the other would not
suffer, he sate him downe in his lap. The other Bishops present, amased
at this strange behavior of the Archbishop of Yorke, cried out all upon
him; the Archbishop of Canterburies men by violence drew the other out
of his ill chosen place, threw him downe, tare his robes almost from
his backe, trode upon him, beate him, and used him so despitefully, as
the Legate, whether for shame or for doubt what might happen to him
selfe in such a tumult, got him out and went his way."

On the tomb of the doer of this havoc is written, with an unconscious
sarcasm, "Multum ei debet ecclesia Wellensis." The words seem happily
borrowed from Lucan's address to Nero:

  "Multum Roma tamen debet civilibus armis,
  Quod tibi res acta est."

Dean Jenkyns, however, did not employ fire; the stoves were reserved
for the next æra.

[55] There is much in the details of the work at Llandaff
which is fairly open to censure, but the principle of arrangement is
thoroughly good throughout, and the general effect is admirable.

[56] It is proposed to "restore," as it is called, the west
front at a cost of many thousand pounds, while there are no signs of
any movement towards getting rid of the crying abuses in the inside
of the church. I believe there is no fear of the wanton destruction
of any of the ancient work, or of any such absurdities as putting up
new statues. Still it seems to me to be a strange putting of the cart
before the horse to spend such a sum, or indeed to spend a single
farthing, on purely ornamental work, while the arrangements of the
inside are such that the church does not properly fulfil its first
duty as a place of worship. When the nave of Wells Cathedral is again
applied to its proper use, it will be time enough to think of canopies
and carved work on the outside. And I am by no means clear that purely
ornamental work of this kind ought to be restored at all. Anything that
is really needed for the safety of the fabric should be done with all
boldness, and all really essential features should be made good. If
the western towers were likely to fall, it would be a matter of duty
to support or to rebuild them, as the case might call for. And as the
doors and windows are essential parts of the building, I should without
scruple restore their decayed bases, mouldings, and other portions.
But as to the purely ornamental work, the statues and their canopies,
it seems to me that their value comes wholly from their being genuine
parts of the original work, and that any modern repair is out of place.
I should take every means to preserve them and keep them in their
places; but, if they fall or crumble away, I should not replace them.
I therefore greatly regret, on every ground, to see a work undertaken
which can hardly fail to have the effect of putting off the real
restoration of the church of Wells for many a day.

[57] If the screen is, which I do not believe that it is, of
any constructive use in keeping up the piers of the eastern arch of the
tower, the obvious thing is to build a fourth Saint Andrew's cross in
the eastern arch as in the other three.



  _Abbeville Collegiate Church_, west front of, 125.

  _Abbey Dore_, east end of the church, 177.

  _Adalbero_, Archbishop, his changes in the Church of Rheims, 32, 165.

  _Adam of Domersham_ quoted, 170.

  _Adeliza of Löwen_, wife of Henry the First, 43.

  _Ælfsige_ detains lands of the Bishoprick, 29.

  _Ælfsige_, last Abbot of Bath, 36.

  _Æthelhelm_, first Bishop of Somersetshire, 26.

  _Alby Cathedral_, absence of transepts in, 116.

  _Alexander_, third Dean of Wells, 170.

  _Alien Priories_, suppression of, 147.

  _Amiens Cathedral_, its great height, 116.

  _Andrew, Saint_, his wells, 19;
    yields to his younger brother, 36.

  _Angers_, undercroft of the Bishop's palace at, 176.

  _Apses_, various kinds of, 130;
    their rarity in England, 130;
    use of, in Romanesque times, 181;
    more common in Normandy than in England, _ib._

  _Archdeacon of Wells_, ancient house of, 142;
    its alienation, 150;
    recovery of the other property of, 150.

  _Archdeacons_, their rights under the charter of Elizabeth, 188.

  _Architects_, employment of professional, in the middle ages, 81.

  _Athelney_, prebend attached to the Abbey, 88.

  _Augustine_, his mission to Britain, 12.

  _Avalon_, see Glastonbury.

  _Axe_, the English frontier in 597, 13, 17.


  _Bangor Cathedral_, arrangement of towers at, 182.

  _Banwell_, history of the lordship, 27, 29, 31;
    Bishop's house at, 37.

  _Barlow, William_, Bishop, alienates the lands of the see, 149, 186;
    partly recovers them, 149.

  _Bath_, its Roman origin, 13, 36;
    taken by the West-Saxons, 36;
    church of, founded by Offa, 36, 177;
    monks brought in by Eadgar, _ib._;
    burned, 36, 47;
    bought by Bishop John, 36, 37, 166;
    see of Somersetshire removed to, _ib._;
    church rebuilt by Bishop John, 37;
    settlement between the Churches of Bath and Wells, 45;
    suppression of the Monastery, 46, 148;
    restoration of the Church in the seventeenth century, _ib._;
    works of Bishop Robert at, 46-48, 167, 168;
    date and style of the present church, 48;
    monks of, illegally elect Bishop Roger, 105;
    gradually neglected by the Bishops, 107;
    form of the west front, 125;
    alleged foundation of Osric, 177.

  _Bath and Wells_, origin of the title, 10, 45.

  _Battle Abbey_, lofty undercroft under the dormitory, 176.

  _Bayeux_, installation of the Bishop at, 158.

  _Beaufort, Cardinal_, enlarges the Hospital of Saint Cross, 163.

  _Beauvais Cathedral_, remains of the old church at, 79, 80;
    its great height, 116.

  _Beckington, Thomas_, Bishop, works of his executors;
    his various works, 145;
    removal and mutilation of his canopy, 153;
    his work in the cloisters, 181;
    his will, 182, 183;
    his gifts to the Chapter, 183.

  _Benefice_, meaning of the word, 59, 169.

  _Berengar_, agent of Archbishop Thomas, 173.

  _Beverley Minster_, compared with Wells, 124, 130;
    unreality of its west front, 128;
    east end of, 130;
    compared with Wells, 132.

  _Bird, Prior_, his works at Bath, 48.

  _Bishop_, his share in the daily distribution, 174;
    his right of visitation saved by the Elizabethan charter, 187;
    election of, under the charter, 187, 188.

  _Bishops_, their relations to their cathedral churches, 10, 11, 45;
    difference between their position in England and elsewhere, 12;
    their ancient territorial style, 12;
    how appointed in early times, 25;
    Norman and French Bishops after the Conquest, 35;
    number of, increased by Henry the Eighth, 53;
    their greater power in the old cathedrals, 54;
    plunder of, under Edward the Sixth and Elizabeth, 149.

  _Bishopricks_ moved from small towns to larger, 35, 166.

  _Bishopstool_, meaning of the word, 12.

  _Boniface the Ninth_, Pope, his bull about entertainments, 175.

  _Bourges Cathedral_, absence of transepts in, 116.

  _Bourne, Gilbert_, Bishop, recovers the lands of the see, 149.

  _Bridgewater_, more modern than the other Somersetshire towns, 14.

  _Bristol_, Church of St. Mary Redcliff, internal effect of height
   in, 133.

  _Bristol_, position of the Cathedral, 2;
    harmless stoves at, 189.

  _Brunswick_, sham fronts in the churches of, 181.

  _Bubwith, Nicholas_, Bishop, his share in building the north-west
   tower, 122;
    his gift of the Guild-hall to the citizens, 123;
    his buildings in the cloister, _ib._

  _Bury Saint Edmund's_, its municipal history compared with Wells, 184.


  _Canon_, title of, not to be confined to the Residentiaries, 50;
    meaning of the name, 51.

  _Canons_, honorary, unknown in the old foundations, 140.

  _Canons_, non-residence of, 89;
    their share in the daily distribution, 174;
    their three sources of income, ib.

  _Canons_, residentiary and non-residentiary, origin of the
   difference, 85 et seqq.

  _Canterbury Cathedral_, propping of the central tower at, 119;
    its double apse, 182.

  _Carlisle Cathedral_ compared with Wells, 134, 135.

  _Carol_, see Karole.

  _Cathedral Churches_, their clergy sometimes regular, sometimes
   secular, 21;
    distinction of old and new foundations, 53;
    foundations under Henry the Eighth, _ib._;
    held to be the freehold of the Chapter or Convent, 64;
    urgent need of their reform, 160.

  _Cathedral_, meaning of the word, 8-10.

  _Century_, thirteenth, its special historical importance, 103;
    fourteenth, character of its architecture, 111, 113.

  _Chancellor of the Church_, foundation of the office, 50, 168;
    its duties, 57.

  _Chancellor of the Diocese_, distinguished from Chancellor of the
   Church, 57.

  _Chantries_, suppression of, 149.

  _Chantry Priests_, incorporated by Bishop Erghum, 141, 142, 183;
    suppressed, 142, 150.

  _Chapter-house_, different character of, in regular and secular
   churches, 96;
    building of that, at Wells, 96-98, 176;
    polygonal type of, 97;
    style and date of, at Wells, 98;
    examples of the polygonal shape, 176;
    of the oblong shape, _ib._

  _Chapters_, origin of, 21;
    their relation to their Bishops, 45;
    their increased independence of the Bishops, 63, 64;
    need of their reform on the old basis, 189.

  _Chartres Cathedral_, its great height, 116.

  _Chester Cathedral_, crumbling nature of its stone, 135.

  _Chester_, position of the Cathedral, 2;
    foundation of the Bishoprick, 53.

  _Chew Magna_, pension from the vicarage to the Vicars of Wells, 182.

  _Chicheley_, Archbishop, his character, 185.

  _Chichester Cathedral_, fall of the spire at, 117.

  _Choir_, meaning of the word, 78;
    its original extent at Wells, _ib._;
    in Somersetshire churches often unworthy of the nave, 80;
    practice of lengthening in the thirteenth century, 108;
    change in the site at Wells, 110;
    recasting of clerestory and triforium, 111;
    character of the roof, 112;
    objectionable arrangements of, at Wells, 155, 167.

  _Choristers_, house of, see Organists' house.

  _Christ Church_, Hampshire, arrangement of towers at, 182.

  _Chrodegang_, Bishop of Metz, his rule for canons, 32, 165.

  _Cities_, their greater importance on the Continent than in England, 12.

  _Clement the Seventh_, Pope, his bull for the suppression of
   monasteries, 185.

  _Cloister_, difference of, in regular and secular churches, 83;
    date of that at Wells,
  83, 84;
    needed in a monastery, but not in a secular church, 31, 32.

  _Cloister_, originally of wood, 84;
    Lady chapel in, rebuilt by Bishop Stillington, 144;
    original building of, 172;
    orders of Chapter about, _ib._

  _Close_ wall, destruction of, 143.

  _Cnut_, King, his favour to Bishop Duduc, 26, 28.

  _Collegiate Churches_, meaning of the word, 10;
    suppression of, 149.

  _Collinson's_ History of Somersetshire, its misrepresentation of
   the story of Harold and Gisa, 27;
    list of canons in, 188.

  _Combe_, bought by Gisa, 31;
    Prebends of, 51, 60.

  _Congé d'élire_, meaning of the word, 16, 164;
    distinguished from the letter missive, 25, 164.

  _Congresbury_, fabulous Bishoprick at, 14;
    history of the lordship, 28, 29.

  _Corporate Isolation_, spirit of, its effects, 62.

  _Corps_, meaning of the word, 51.

  _Coventry Cathedral_, canons substituted for monks at, 173.

  _Coventry_, apse of Saint Michael's Church at, 130;
    crumbling stone used in the church of, 135;
    origin of the city, 185.

  _Coventry and Lichfield_, joint Bishoprick of, 46;
    destruction of the Church of Coventry, 64.

  _Crediton_, see of, removed to Exeter, 35.

  _Cromwell, Thomas_, Lord, his share in the suppression of
   monasteries, 147;
    holds the Deanery of Wells, 148;
    enforces the payments of Residentiaries, 175.

  _Crypt_, see Undercroft.

  _Cynewulf_, spurious charter of, 15, 164.


  _Daventry Priory_, suppression of, 185.

  _Dean_, foundation of the office, 50, 168;
    how appointed in various churches, 54;
    its duties, 55, 56;
    effects of its foundation, 63;
    office at Wells held by Thomas Cromwell, 148;
    estates alienated under Edward the Sixth, 150, 168;
    re-endowed and the old estates recovered, 150;
    rights of, under the charter of Elizabeth, 187;
    appointment of, transferred to the Crown, 188.

  _Deaneries_ held by laymen, 148.

  _Deanery House_ built by Dean Gunthorpe, 142.

  _Dignities_, origin of, 50, 168;
    duties of, 55-57;
    difference among, in different churches, 66.

  _Dimock, Mr._, 77;
    quoted, 140, 183.

  _Domesday_, its account of the lands of the Church of Wells, 33, 166.

  _Dorchester_, Bishoprick of, 163.

  _Drokensford, John_, Bishop, deed of his quoted, 179.

  _Duduc_, Bishop of Somersetshire, his favour with Cnut, 26, 28;
    his bequests to his church, 28;
    a Saxon by birth, 165;
    his tomb, 166.

  _Dunstan, Saint_, builds the stone church of Glastonbury, 24, 164.

  _Durham_, analogy of its history with that of Wells, 3.


  _Eadgar_, King, brings in monks at Bath, 36.

  _Eadgyth_, wife of Eadward the Confessor, her grants to Gisa, 31.

  _Eadward the Confessor_, his favour to Bishop Duduc, 26;
    his grants to Gisa, 31, 165;
    introduces the Norman style into England, 48;
    his church at Westminster the great model, 69.

  _Eadward the Elder_ founds the Bishoprick of Somersetshire, 13.

  _Ealdhelm_, first Bishop of Sherborne, 164.

  _Early Gothic Style_, two forms of, in Wells Cathedral, 74-77;
    peculiar character of, in Somersetshire and South Wales, 75.

  _East Ends_, various kinds of, 130.

  _Edward the Sixth_, act of, for the suppression of colleges and
   Chantries, 142, 149;
    robbery of ecclesiastical bodies under, 148.

  _Elizabeth_, Queen, her charters to the Vicars, 140;
    to the Chapter, 151.

  _Ely Cathedral_, style of, 75;
    loss of the spire at, 129;
    east end of, 130;
    size of the triforium, 134;
    arrangement of tower at, 182.

  _Embezzlement_, various instances of, 39.

  _Erghum, Ralph_, Bishop, incorporates the College of Chantry
   Priests, 141, 142.

  _Eton College_, receives lands of Alien Priories, 185.

  _Evercreech_, Bishop's house at, 37.

  _Evesham_, its parliamentary rivalry with Wells, 4-5, 163.

  _Ewenny Priory_, roof of the Church, 179.

  _Exeter_, history of the city and Bishoprick, 2, 35;
    Bishop Leofric's changes at, 33;
    history of the Deanery of, 54;
    loss of the spires at, 129;
    form of the east end, 130.


  _Fitz-Williams_, Dean, surrenders the estates of the Deanery, 186.

  _Fontanenses Episcopi_, Bishops of Somersetshire, so known at Rome, 45.

  _Frederick Barbarossa_, Emperor, his dispute with Pope Hadrian the
   Fourth, 169.


  _Gates, Sir John_, dismantles the hall of the palace, 179; beheaded, 186.

  _Gerent_, King of Cornwall, defeated by Ine, 164.

  _Gervase_, historian of Canterbury, quoted, 172.

  _Gisa_, Bishop of Somersetshire, his quarrel with Earl
   Harold, 27-29, 165;
    his birth in Lorraine, 30;
    increases the revenues of his church, 31;
    makes his canons follow the rule of Chrodegang, 31-33;
    his buildings, 33.

  _Gisa_, his gifts to the canons, 33;
    his death and burial, 34;
    his account of the Old-English church, 67.

  _Glastonbury_, its whole history gathers round the Abbey, 3;
    permanence of the British Monastery at, 18;
    its original wooden church, 19, 164;
    stone church of Dunstan, 24;
    annexed to Bath by Savaric, 70, 71;
    formed part of the style of the Bishops, 70, 71;
    again separated from Bath and Wells, 71;
    surrenders estates to Jocelin, 71;
    style of the Early Gothic of the Abbey, 75;
    cloister of wood, 84;
    goodness of the stone at, 135;
    suppression of the Monastery, 147;
    destroyed by Edward, Duke of Somerset, 149;
    relation of the Bishops to, 171;
    antiquity of the foundation, 177;
    central tower propped as at Wells, 178.

  _Gloucester Abbey_, vault in, built by the Monks' own hands, 81, 172;
    west front of, 125.

  _Gloucester and Bristol_, joint Bishoprick of, 46.

  _Godele, John_, Dean, his share in repairing the choir, 180.

  _Godfrey_, Bishop of Bath, his birth in Lower Lorraine, 43;
    his character, _ib._;
    he tries to recover the canons' lands, _ib._

  _Godwin, Bishop_, his catalogue of Bishops quoted. 28, 56-57, 113-134.

  _Gower, Bishop_, his works at Saint David's, 179.

  _Green, Mr. J. R._, quoted, 165, 170, 184.

  _Grey of Wark_, Lord, preserves Wells Cathedral in Monmouth's
   rebellion, 4.

  _Grosmont_, Monmouthshire, state of the church at, 8.

  _Gunthorpe, John_, Dean, builds the Deanery, 142, 183.

  _Gwent_, meaning of the name, 17, 164.


  _Haddan, Mr. A. W._, quoted, 173.

  _Hadrian the Fourth_, Pope, his dispute with the Emperor Frederick, 169.

  _Harewell, John_, Bishop, his share in building the South-west
   Tower, 122.

  _Harold_, Earl, his quarrel with Bishop Gisa, 27, 29, 165;
    his writ as King to Gisa, 165;
    Gisa's view of his death, _ib._

  _Henry the First_, his charters to John de Villulâ, 36, 37;
    his opposition to Bishop Godfrey, 43.

  _Henry the Third_, character of his reign, 105;
    promotes the illegal election of Bishop Roger, 106;
    his grant to the Church of Wells, 172.

  _Henry the Fifth_, suppression of monasteries under, 147.

  _Henry the Eighth_, character of his reign, 145-147;
    suppression of monasteries under, 147;
    enforces the payments of Residentiaries, 175.

  _Henry of Blois_, Bishop of Winchester, holds the Abbey of Glastonbury
   with the Bishoprick, 44;
    helps Bishop Robert in his reforms at Wells, 52.

  _Hereford Cathedral_, loss of the spire at, 129;
    character of the east end, 130;
    loss of the western tower, 131;
    position of the Vicars and Minor Canons at, 140, 141;
    present good arrangement of, 158;
    choir screen at, 159;
    its arrangement of towers, 182.

  _Hermann_, Bishop, joins the sees of Sherborne and Ramsbury, and removes
   the see to Old Sarum, 31, 165.

  _Hildebert_, Provost, embezzles the property of the canons, 39, 166.

  _Historiola_ de Primordiis Episcopatûs Somersetensis, quoted, 28, 47.

  _Honorary Canons_, proposed extension of their rights in the new
   foundations, 189.

  _Howden Collegiate Church_, octagonal Chapter-house at, 176.

  _Hugh_, Bishop of Chester, substitutes canons for monks at Coventry, 173.


  _Ilminster_, lost prebend of, 174.

  _Ine_, his victories over the Welsh, 14;
    founds Taunton, _ib._;
    probably founds the
    church of Wells as collegiate, 15;
    defeats Gerent of Cornwall, 164;
    founds Taunton, _ib._;
    his laws, _ib._

  _Innocent the Fourth_, Pope, corruptly confirms the election of
   Bishop Roger, 106.

  _Installation_ of Canons, 188.

  _Isaac_, Provost of Wells, 33, 166.


  _Jenkyns_, Dean, his doings in the Cathedral, 189.

  _Jocelin of Wells_, his episcopate, 70;
    his style during the union with Glastonbury, 71;
    his compromise with Glastonbury, _ib._;
    his works at Wells, _ib._;
    his banishment, 72;
    his special connexion with the church and city, _ib._;
    first founder of the Vicars, 72, 84;
    extent of his building, 74-76;
    his domestic works at Wells and Wookey, 76;
    consecrates the church, 77, 174;
    character of his works, 78;
    how far the designer of the church, 81;
    probable nature of his relations to it, _ib._;
    increases the dignities and prebends, 84;
    his statute of residence, 90, 174;
    his position among the Bishops of Wells, 104, 177;
    destruction of his tomb, _ib._

  _John de Villulâ_, first French Bishop of Somersetshire, 35;
    buys the town of Bath and removes the see thither, 36, 37, 166;
    his government and buildings at Bath, 37, 166;
    his oppression of the Canons of Wells, 37, 38;
    builds himself a house at Wells, _ib._, 166.

  _John, Provost and Archdeacon_, his dealings with the canons, 39, 166;
    his repentance, 49.


  _Karole_, meaning of the word, 172.

  _King, Oliver_, Bishop, his works at Bath, 48.


  _Lady_, proper title of a West-Saxon King's wife, 31.

  _Lady Chapel_, character of, at Wells, 109;
    date of, 179.

  _Lady Chapel_ in the cloister, 83.

  _Leases_ for three lives, early cases of, 61.

  _Lee, Roland_, Bishop of Coventry and Lichfield, tries to save the Church
   of Coventry, 64, 170.

  _Le Mans_, Cathedral of, 69;
    its date, 100.

  _Leofric_, Bishop, his changes in the Church of Exeter, 33;
    moves the see of Crediton thither, 35.

  _Letter missive_, see Congé d'élire.

  _Lichfield Cathedral_, apse of, 130;
    east end compared with Wells, 132;
    present good arrangement of, 158;
    choir screen at, 159;
    octagonal Chapter-house at, 176.

  _Lincoln Cathedral_, style of, 75;
    said never to have been consecrated, 77;
    residence kept by the dignitaries at, 92;
    effect of lowness in the inside, 116;
    loss of the spires at, 118, 129;
    unreality of the west front of, 125, 128;
    arrangement of the east end, 131;
    effect of lowness in the interior, 133;
    octagonal Chapter-house at, 176.

  _Llandaff Cathedral_, style of, 75;
    no Residentiaries ever founded at, 85;
    west front of, 125, 126;
    present good arrangement of, 156-158, 190;
    system of Prebendaries and Vicars, 17;
    the Archdeacon President of the Chapter, 169;
    form of the Chapter-house, 176.

  _Long Sutton_, lost prebend of, 174.

  _Lorraine_, or Lotharingia, meaning of the name, 30;
    canonical rule of, 32.


  _Malmesbury Abbey_, original west front of, 181;
    arrangement of tower at, 182.

  _Manchester_, collegiate church becomes cathedral, 16;
    suppressed and restored, 186.

  _Margam Abbey_, octagonal Chapter-house at, 176.

  _Mark_ granted to the Church of Wells by the Lady Eadgyth, 31.

  _Mary_, Queen, property of the Church recovered under, 149, 150.

  _Master of the Fabric_, office of, 5-7.

  _Master_, technical use of the name, 88.

  _Matthew Paris_, his account of the Church of Westminster, 170;
    of the earthquake at Wells, 171;
    of the consecration of various churches, _ib._

  _Mendip_, its early state, 17.

  _Midelton_ or _Milton_, timber fetched from, 180.

  _Minor Canon_, title unknown at Wells, 140;
    use of, elsewhere, 183.

  _Monasteries_, suppression of, 21;
    effects of, at Ely, Peterborough, and elsewhere, 22.

  _Monks_, original character of, 20.

  _Monmouth, James_, Duke of, doings of his followers at Wells, 4.

  _Morganwg_, meaning of the name, 17, 164.

  _Mounterye, College of_, see Chantry Priests.

  _Muchelney_ prebend attached to the Abbey, 88.

  _Mudgeley_, granted to the Church of Wells by the Lady Eadgyth, 31.


  _Nave_, proper place for the congregation, 154, 155;
    plea for its proper use at Wells, 157-160.

  _New Foundation_, Cathedral Churches of, meaning of the name, 53;
    greater influence of the Crown in, 54.

  _Nicolas the Fifth_, Pope, his bull about payments made by
   Residentiaries, 175.

  _Non-residence_, origin of, 58;
    growth of, 87.

  _Non-residentiary Canons_, origin of, 89;
    value of the class, 89, 90, 150;
    defrauded of their rights at Wells by the charter of Elizabeth, 151;
    retention of their rights at York, 152;
    their position under the Elizabethan charter, 187, 188;
    general question as to their rights, 189.

  _Norman Architecture_, spread of, after the Conquest, 67.

  _Norman Conquest_, its effects on the Church, 35.


  _Offa_, King of the Mercians, founds the Church of Bath, 36.

  _Old Foundation_, Cathedral Churches of, meaning of the name, 53;
    closer connexion of the Bishops with, 54;
    general likeness of their constitutions, 66, 85.

  _Old Saint Paul's Cathedral_, loss of the spire at, 129;
    minor canons of, 140.

  _Old Sarum_, see Salisbury.

  _Organist's House_, foundation of, 182;
    neglect and ruin of, 184.

  _Osbern_, his life of Saint Dunstan, quoted, 164.

  _Ottery Saint Mary_, spire of lead remaining at, 129.

  _Oxford_, position of the Cathedral, 2;
    foundation of the Bishoprick, 53.


  _Pagan_, origin of the name, 11.

  _Palk, Sir Lawrence_, his championship of Wells against Evesham, 163.

  _Pakington, Sir John_, compared with Saint Dunstan, 5, 163.

  _Parker, Mr._, house restored by, 68;
    quoted, 129, 183.

  _Payne of Pembridge_, claims the Provost's estate, 60.

  _Perpendicular style_, its characteristics in Somersetshire, 121, 122.

  _Pershore Abbey_, apse of, 130.

  _Peterborough Cathedral_, the west front an addition, 76;
    its perfection, 125.

  _Petty Canons_ distinguished from Priest-Vicars, 140.

  _Pluralities_, early instances of, 44;
    causes of, in the Middle Ages, 5-8.

  _Pole, Reginald_, holds two Deaneries as layman, 148.

  _Pope, John_, Prebendary, executor of Bishop Beckington, his works, 138.

  _Prebendaries_, become corporations sole, 65;
    their exempt jurisdictions, _ib._

  _Prebends_, origin of, 50, 168;
    meaning of the name, 51;
    their position, 52;
    refounded by Elizabeth, 187.

  _Precentor_, foundation of the office, 50, 168;
    its duties, 56.

  _Priest-Vicar_, title of, 139.

  _Provost_, origin of the office, 33;
    becomes hereditary, 39, 166;
    suppression of the office, 150.

  _Purton Church_, Wiltshire, arrangement of tower at, 182.


  _Ralph of Shrewsbury_, importance of his episcopate, 108;
    his place of burial, 113;
    his connexion with the eastern reconstruction, 114;
    fortifies the palace, 137;
    founds the College of Vicars, 137, 182;
    portions of his work remaining, 138;
    treatment of his tomb, 177.

  _Ramsbury_, poverty of the church of, 31.

  _Reformation_, the, its real character in England, 145, 146.

  _Reginald_, son of Hildebert, restores the canons' lands, 49;
    appointed precentor, 60, 167;
    withstands the claims of his nephews, 6.

  _Reginald_, Bishop, founds new prebends, 70.

  _Regular Clergy_, their distinction from the seculars, 20.

  _Residence_, Jocelin's regulations as to, 90;
    devices to hinder, 91.

  _Residentiaries_, origin of, 89;
    number not originally fixed, 90;
    their number and mode of appointment, 92;
    growth of their powers, 93;
    necessity of their constant residence, 94, 95;
    their encroachments by virtue of the charter of Elizabeth, 151, 152;
    necessity of their residence, 152;
    great entertainments required of, 175;
    commuted for a payment, _ib._;
    use of entertainments restored, _ib._;
    their new position under the Elizabethan charter, 188;
    not installed, _ib._

  _Restoration_, principle on which it should be carried out, 190.

  _Rheims Cathedral_, its great height, 116;
    grandeur of the doorways at, 127.

  _Rheims_, Church of Saint Remigius at, 69.

  _Rib_, meaning of the word, 91, 138.

  _Richard_, Archbishop of Canterbury, story of, 189.

  _Richard of the Devizes_, his account of the non-residence of
   canons, 86, 173.

  _Richard of Tittenhanger_, monk of Saint Alban's, designs
   buildings in the Abbey, 171.

  _Ripon_, collegiate church becomes cathedral, 16;
    suppressed and restored, 186;
    its west front, 181.

  _Robert_, importance of his episcopate, 40;
    becomes Bishop of Bath, 43;
    of Flemish descent, but born in England, 44, 167;
    his early history, _ib._;
    represents Bishop Henry of Blois at Glastonbury, 44, 167;
    settles the controversy between Bath and Wells, 45;
    his works at Bath, 46, 48, 161;
    he recovers the lands of the canons, 49;
    founds the dignities and prebends, 50, 52, 167;
    increases the number of canons, 57, 162;
    his description of his objects, 61;
    his buildings at Wells, 66-69;
    single fragment of them remaining, 68;
    grants North Curry to the Chapter, 190;
    grants municipal rights to the city, _ib._

  _Robert_, Bishop of Hereford, present at the consecration of Robert's
   church at Wells, 68.

  _Robert Burnell_, Bishop, his place in the history of England, 107, 179;
    his works at Wells, 108.

  _Robert Grosseteste_, Bishop of Lincoln, his dispute with his
   Chapter, 170.

  _Roger_, Archbishop of York, story of, 189.

  _Roger_, Bishop, elected by the monks of Bath only, 105;
    confirmed by Innocent the Fourth, 106, 177;
    his gifts to the canons of Wells, _ib._;
    last bishop buried at Bath, 106.

  _Roger_, Bishop of Salisbury, opposes Bishop Godfrey, 43.

  _Roger Witing_, claims the Provost's estate, 60;
    cf. 170.

  _Romanesque_ style of architecture, its character, 48.

  _Roofs_, character of, in Somersetshire, 112.

  _Rouen Cathedral_, analogy of its west front to that of Wells, 127.

  _Rouen_, Saint Ouen's Abbey Church at, union of French and English
   merits in, 117.


  _Saint Alban's Abbey_, work at, designed by a monk of the House, 81;
    arrangement of the Lady chapel at, 131;
    its municipal history compared with Wells, 184.

  _Saint Cross_, Hospital of, its title, 163.

  _Saint David's_, constitution of the Residentiary body at, 93;
    absence of a Dean at, 169;
    history of, compared with Wells, 176;
    works of Bishop Gower at, 178.

  _Saint Quentin_ Collegiate Church, its great height, 116.

  _Salisbury_, analogy of its history with that of Wells, 3;
    origin of the Bishoprick, 31;
    style of, 75;
    the spire constructively a mistake, 118;
    mode of propping, 119;
    unreality of the west front of, 125, 128;
    its doorways compared with Wells, 127;
    octagonal Chapter-house at, 176.

  _Savaric_, Bishop, attaches prebends to two abbeys, 68;
    unites the church of Glastonbury to the see of Bath, 70, 78.

  _Saxon_, meaning of the name, 26.

  _Screens, close_, an abuse in secular churches, 157.

  _Screens, open_, their good effect at Lichfield and Hereford, 159.

  _Secular Clergy_, their distinction from the regulars, 20.

  _Serel, Mr._, quoted, 170, 175, 177.

  _Sham Fronts_ common in France and Germany, 181.

  _Sherborne_, foundation of the Bishoprick, 13;
    division of the diocese, _ib._;
    see removed to Old Sarum, 31;
    Ealdhelm, first Bishop of, 164.

  _Shrewsbury Abbey_, arrangement of towers at, 182.

  _Sinecure_, meaning of the word, 55.

  _Slymbridge Church_, Gloucestershire, style of, 75.

  _Somerset, Edward_, Duke of, appropriates the lands of Wells and
   Glastonbury, 149.

  _Somersetshire_, mainly Welsh in 597, 13;
    lack of any central town, _ib._;
    picture of, in the time of Ine, 16, 17;
    gradually becomes English, 18;
    local architecture of, 48;
    Early Gothic style of, resembles French work, 75;
    characteristics of the Perpendicular style in, 121, 122.

  _Southwell_, Chapter-house at, 97;
    changes in the west front at, 128;
    loss of spires at, 129;
    form of the east end, 130;
    compared with Wells, 131;
    no President of the Chapter at, 176.

  _South Wales_, likeness of its Early Gothic to that of Somersetshire, 75.

  _Spires_, often covered with lead, 129.

  _Stalls_, each canon makes his own, 113;
    wrong arrangement at Wells, 153.

  _Stephen_, King, helps Bishop Robert at Wells, 52, 168.

  _Stillington, Robert_, Bishop, rebuilds the Lady chapel in the
   cloister, 144;
    destruction of his tomb, _ib._

  _Stoke Courcy Priory_, suppression of, 185.

  _Stoke-sub-Hamdon College_, suppressed, 186.

  _Stone_, early use of, in building, 23.

  _Stoves_, intrusion of, at Wells, 153.

  _Sub-Chanter_, foundation of the office, 50, 57;
    its suppression, 150, 168.

  _Sub-Dean_, foundation of the office, 50, 57, 168;
    its property and jurisdiction, 65, 168.

  _Sugar, Hugh_, Treasurer, executor of Bishop Beckington, his works, 138.

  _Sumorsætas_, give their name to Somersetshire, 12;
    obtain a Bishop of their own, 13.

  _Supremacy, Royal_, accepted by both regular and secular clergy, 146.

  _Swan Inn_ laid open to the Cathedral, 143.

  _Swan, Richard_, Provost, executor of Bishop Beckington, his works, 138.


  _Taunton_, founded by Ine, 14, 17, 164.

  _Tewkesbury Abbey_, apse of, 130.

  _Tewkesbury Annals_, quoted, 178.

  _Theological College_, proposal for its union with the Vicars'
   College, 139;
    position of its officers, 169.

  _Thomas of Canterbury_, Saint, his life quoted, 87.

  _Toulouse_, roof of the church of Saint Sernin at, 179.

  _Towers_, Old-English, character of, 24;
    central, a peculiarly English and Norman feature, 115;
    absence of, in the great French churches, 116.

  _Treasurer_, foundation of the office, 50, 168;
    his duties, 57.


  _Undercroft_, under the Chapter-house, 97, 176;
    other instances, _ib._


  _Vicars' Close_, first built by Ralph of Shrewsbury, 138;
    recast by Beckington's executors, _ib._;
    modern changes in, 139.

  _Vicars_, origin of, 84;
    account of, by Richard of the Devizes, 86, 173;
    story of a vicar at Saint Paul's, 87, 173;
    their original duties, 89;
    lived originally in the canons' houses, 87, 138;
    Jocelin's legislation about, 88;
    incorporated by Ralph of Shrewsbury, 137;
    change in their position consequent on the institution of
     residentiaries, _ib._;
    their petition to Ralph, 138;
    building of the Vicars' Close, _ib._;
    their collegiate manner of life, 139;
    question as to its possible restoration, _ib._;
    distinction between vicars and petty canons, 140;
    admission of laymen to the college, _ib._;
    distinction between lay-vicars and singing-men, 141;
    charter of Elizabeth for their share in the distribution, 174;
    property given them by Ralph, 182;
    payments secured by the charter of Elizabeth, 187.

  _Vitalis_, Vicar at Saint Paul's, 173.


  _Waltham_, mode of life of the Canons, 164.

  _Wardship_, meaning of, 178.

  _Wedmore_, granted to the Church of Wells by Eadward the Confessor, 31;
    prebends of, 51.

  _Wellesley_, manor of, granted to the Vicars, 182.

  _Wells, Chapter of_, its original foundation, 14, 15;
    older than the Bishoprick, 15;
    original number of the canons, 24, 39;
    increased by Gisa, 31;
    their original manner of living, _ib._;
    compelled to live together by Gisa, 32, 33;
    their first property distinct from the Bishop, 33;
    oppression of, by Bishop John, 38;
    embezzlement of their property by the Provosts, 39;
    breaking up of Gisa's discipline, 40;
    settlement of the controversy with Bath, 45;
    becomes the sole Chapter under Henry the Eighth, 46, 148;
    property restored by Reginald, 49;
    new constitution of under Bishop Robert, 49-52;
    nature and use of the different offices in, 54;
    increase in the number of canons, 57;
    connexion with the Bishoprick weakened through Robert's
     changes, 62-64, 173;
    part played by in the dispute with Glastonbury, 71;
    its constitution fixed by Jocelin, 72;
    distribution of its revenues, 90, 174;
    regulations as to residence, 90, 174, 176;
    origin and number of residentiaries, 92;
    their mode of appointment, _ib._;
    rules as to their residence, 94;
    grants of Bishop Roger to, 106;
    untouched by the suppression of monasteries, 148;
    lands lost by and recovered by Bishop Bourne, 150;
    charter of Queen Elizabeth to, 151, 186;
    its effect on the relations of the two classes of
     canons, 151, 152, 187;
    its rules as to residence, 176, 187;
    its new foundation of the Chapter, 186;
    held to consist only of the Dean and Residentiaries, 106, 188;
    inconsistency of the new system, 188.

  _Wells Cathedral Church_, its general effect as compared with other
   churches, 5;
    always a church of secular canons, 6, 8;
    founded as a collegiate church by Ine, 15;
    becomes cathedral under Eadward the Elder, 16;
    analogy of Ripon and Manchester, _ib._;
    character of the oldest building, 24;
    tombs of the early bishops,
    works of Bishop Robert in, 66;
    long retention of the old English church, 66-70;
    consecrated by Robert, 67;
    character of his building, 68, 69;
    beginning of the works of Jocelin, 71;
    lectures of Professor Willis on, 72, 73;
    extent of the work of Jocelin, 74;
    two styles of Early Gothic in, 74-76;
    date of the west front, 76;
    fall of the vault and consequent repairs, 76-77;
    its arrangement and appearance under Jocelin, 78-70;
    breaks and stoppages in the nave, 79, 80;
    its condition at the end of the thirteenth century, 98-100;
    gradual reconstruction of its eastern portions, 103-114;
    addition of the Lady chapel, 109;
    changes in the choir and presbytery, 100-112;
    its completion in the fourteenth century, 114;
    raising of the towers, 115-123;
    dangerous state of the central tower, 118;
    the danger remedied by props, 119-121;
    finishing of the western towers, 122;
    position of Wells among English churches, 124, 136;
    essentially a second class church, 124;
    criticism on the west front, 125-128;
    excessive smallness of its west doors, 126;
    lack of finish to the Western towers, 129;
    character and special beauty of the east end, 130-132;
    marked horizontal lines in the nave, 132, 133;
    treatment of the Arcades, 133, 134;
    little damage suffered by, 135;
    excellence of the stone, 135;
    its connexion with the surrounding buildings, 136;
    the church and its appurtenances, completed in the fifteenth
     century, 145;
    modern changes in, 152;
    objectionable arrangements in, 153-156;
    necessity of reform, 157-161;
    Henry the Third's grants to, 172;
    fragments of the older east end, 177;
    its probable form, _ib._

  _Wells, Historian of_, known as the _Canon of Wells_, quoted, 28, 47.

  _Wells, Palace of_, built by John de Villulâ, 37, 166;
    its original position, 38;
    present building built by Jocelin, 76;
    its style, 76, 81;
    great hall added by Robert Burnell, 108, 178;
    moat and wall added by Ralph of Shrewsbury, 137, 182;
    alienated to Edward Duke of Somerset, and recovered, 149, 186;
    undercroft in, 176;
    the hall dismantled by Sir John Gates, 177.

  _Wells_, peculiar character of its history, 1-4, 143;
    its interest purely ecclesiastical, 3;
    relations of the city to the Bishops, _ib._;
    parliamentary rivalry of Wells and Evesham, 4, 163;
    general effect of its buildings, 5, 6;
    the oldest seat of the Somersetshire Bishoprick, 11;
    why chosen as such, 14;
    contrast with Glastonbury, 19;
    origin of the name, 19;
    preservation of ancient buildings at, 22, 136;
    destruction of ditto, 23, 142, 143;
    never a walled town, 36;
    position of, under John de Villulâ, 37;
    grant of municipal rights by Bishop Robert, 40;
    analogy of its history with that of England, 101-104;
    practically restored to its old position, 106;
    gift of the Guildhall by Bishop Bubwith, 123;
    grant of municipal rights by Bishop Robert, 170;
    interest of its municipal history, 184.

  _Wells, Saint Cuthbert's Church_, its peculiar constitution, 4;
    disproportion of its nave and choir, 80.

  _Wells, Saint John's Priory_ not a monastery, 150;
    its suppression, _ib._

  _Welsh_, their position in Somersetshire, 17.

  _Westminster_, history of the Church of, 53, 170;
    Norman Church of, the great model in the twelfth century, 69, 170;
    octagonal Chapter-house at, 176.

  _West-Saxons_, their conversion to Christianity, 13;
    their first Bishoprick, _ib._

  _Whitchurch Church_, style of, 75.

  _White Tower_, roof of the chapel in, 179.

  _Whiting, Richard_, Abbot of Glastonbury, his martyrdom, 61;
    its cause, 147, 185.

  _William_, Abbot of Saint Alban's, his works, 171.

  _William Button the First_, Bishop, his nepotism, 107;
    consecrated at Rome, 171.

  _William Button the Second_, Bishop, his holiness, 107;
    alleged miracles in his tomb, _ib._

  _William Fitz-Stephen_, quoted, 173.

  _William of Malmesbury_, quoted, 35;
    his account of the Church of Westminster, 170.

  _William of March_, Bishop, alleged miracles at his tomb, 109;
    oblations at his tomb, 171.

  _William of Sens_, architect of Canterbury Cathedral, 172.

  _William of Wykeham_, designs the nave of Winchester, 81.

  _William the Conqueror_, his grants to Gisa, 31.

  _William the Englishman_, architect of Canterbury Cathedral, 172.

  _William Rufus_, grants the Abbey of Bath to John de Villulâ, 36;
    sells the town to him, _ib._

  _Willis, Professor_, his lectures on Wells Cathedral, 72, 73;
    his opinion of the date of the west front, 76;
    of the Chapter-house, 98, 176;
    of the Lady chapel, 110, 179;
    his remarks on central towers, 118, 180;
    his account of the choir, 113;
    of Glastonbury, 164.

  _Wimborne Minster_, grouping of towers at, 131, 182.

  _Winchester Cathedral_, nave of, designed by William of Wykeham, 81;
    west front
  of, 125;
    arrangement of the Lady chapel, 129.

  _Winchester_, foundation of the Bishoprick, 13, 163;
    division of the diocese, _ib._

  _Windsor, Saint George's Chapel_, receives lands of Alien Priories, 185;
    escapes at the suppression of Colleges, _ib._

  _Winesham_, history of the lordship, 29, 31.

  _Wolsey, Cardinal_, his suppression of monasteries, 147.

  _Wookey_, Bishop's house at, 37;
    its connexion with the Sub-Deanery, 65, 168;
    Jocelin builds the manor at, 76, 171;
    its style, 76, 81, 177.

  _Worcester_, plan and date of the Chapter-house, 176.

  _Wormestor_, or Worminster, lands at, bought by Gisa, 31.

  _Wrexham Church_, apse of, 130.


  _Yatton Church_, disproportion of its nave and choir, 80.

  _York Minster_, burning of, 47;
    residentiaries at, how appointed, 92;
    chapter-house at, 92;
    architecture of the nave, 111;
    west front of, 125;
    grandeur of its doorways, 127;
    arrangement of the east end, 131;
    loss of height in the nave, 133;
    position of the Vicars at, 141.

    THE END.


  Transcriber's Notes

  Variations in spelling, punctuation and hyphenation have been retained
  except in obvious cases of typographical errors.

  Italics are shown thus _italic_.

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