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Title: A History of Chester Cathedral - with biographical notices of the Bishops and Deans
Author: Hicklin, John
Language: English
As this book started as an ASCII text book there are no pictures available.

*** Start of this LibraryBlog Digital Book "A History of Chester Cathedral - with biographical notices of the Bishops and Deans" ***

Transcribed from the [1852] George Prichard edition by David Price, email
ccx074@pglaf.org.  Transcribed from British Library scans.

                          [Picture: Book cover]

                                A HISTORY
                            CHESTER CATHEDRAL:


                                AND DEANS.

              A Member of the Chester Archæological Society.

                                * * * * *

    “On entering a Cathedral, I am filled with devotion and with awe; I
    am lost to the actualities that surround me, and my whole being
    expands into the infinite; earth and air, nature and art, all swell
    up into eternity, and the only sensible impression left is, _that I
    am nothing_.”—COLERIDGE.

                                * * * * *

                       AND SOLD BY ALL BOOKSELLERS.

                                * * * * *

                                  TO THE


                       THE FOLLOWING HISTORY OF THE

                             Cathedral Church



                        HIS MOST OBEDIENT SERVANT,

                                                            THE PUBLISHER.


WHEN we reflect upon the momentous and happy results which have always
followed the introduction of Christianity amongst a people;—how it has
ever proved an up-lifting and progressive power; influencing man in the
holiest affections and most inward laws of his moral being; extending its
benign agency through all the relationships of social life, and acting in
various methods as a living principle in the community;—we think that in
ascribing to our religious history a deeper significance and importance
than appertains to any other department of inquiry, we are only claiming
for it a position which may be established by a wide induction of facts.

The condition of a nation, socially and politically, is to a great extent
decided by the character of its religious teaching and worship.  The
history of our own country, and that of every other in the world, affords
many striking illustrations of the fact.  Many instances might be quoted
where the connection is remarkably verified, and we venture to ascribe
the proud position of England mainly to the operation of its Christian

The churches of Britain were the outbirths of its religious life.  They
were reared by the earnest piety of our forefathers.  Their history
presents an inviting sphere of investigation, from the valuable aid they
furnish, in tracing the successive incidents and onward development of
Christianity; which soon after its first promulgation, diffused a welcome
light over the Pagan darkness, which enveloped the primeval inhabitants
of our country.

The subject of the first introduction of Christian truth into Britain,
and who was the first herald employed by Providence in proclaiming it, is
one of deep interest, and has long engaged the investigation of the
learned.  The theories which have been offered are conflicting, as to the
time, and by whom, this great boon was conferred upon our country.  But
as all the varied traditions seem to point to the apostolic age, we may
the more readily acquiesce, in not being able to fix upon the exact
period and the actual instrument; especially when we remember, how many
of the world’s benefactors have been unknown to those who are most
indebted to them.  There is an unwritten biography of the great and the
good; though their names and heroic deeds are not recorded by the pen of
the historian or the chisel of the sculptor, they have not the less nobly
fulfilled their mission to their age and posterity.  Their record, though
not with men, is “on high.”  And as there is a law surrounding us, which
permits no disinterested deed or true thought to perish, but immortalizes
them, in their effects on the minds of men and the developments of
life;—so certainly as that law governs human experience, have we reaped
the advantage of many a noble life’s devotion, albeit unchronicled and
unknown.  The results of their achievements are nevertheless with us

The foundation of the Church in Britain has been ascribed, by many
eminent authorities, to St. Paul; and the learned Dr. Burgess, Bishop of
St. David’s, goes so far as to say, that this interesting point is
established by as much substantial evidence as any historical fact can
require; and he proceeds to give the testimony of the first six centuries
in support of the doctrine.  The first and most important testimony is
that of Clemens Romanus, “the intimate friend and fellow-labourer of St.
Paul,” who says, that in preaching the gospel the apostles went _to the
utmost bounds of the west_, which seems to have been the usual
designation of Britain.  Theoderet speaks of the inhabitants of Spain,
Gaul, and _Britain_, as dwelling in the _utmost bounds of the west_.  In
the second century, Irenœus speaks of Christianity as propagated to the
utmost bounds of the earth by the apostles and their disciples; and
Tertullian, at the beginning of the third century, gives a kindred
testimony.  In the fourth century, (A.D. 270–340), Eusebius says, that
some of the apostles passed over the ocean to the British Isles; and
Jerome, in the same century, ascribes this province to St. Paul, and
says, that after his imprisonment, having been in Spain, he went from
ocean to ocean, and preached the gospel in the _western parts_.
Theodoret, in the fifth century, and Venantius Fortunatus in the sixth,
are also quoted as witnesses to the same effect.

The learned bishop has conducted the argument with consummate ability;
and in the judgment of many has demonstrated the point.

Gildas, a Briton, called the wise, very positively ascribes the first
mission to Britain to St. Joseph of Arimathea, who, according to his
account, evangelized Gaul.  This opinion is supported by Bede, William of
Malmesbury, and many eminent divines of the Church.

Sammes, in his ‘Antiquities of Britain,’ inclines to the same idea, and
gives an illustration of the first church supposed to be built by him;
but it does not appear to be based upon sufficient evidence to entitle it
to acceptance.

The conversion of Britain to the Christian faith has also been ascribed
to St. Peter, St. James the Great, and to Simon Zelotes.  Bishop Taylor
and Dr. Cox are disposed to award the honour to the latter.  Southey is
of opinion that the Gospel was first introduced here by the family of
Caractacus, who propagated it among the British tribes; and he is
certainly upheld in this by many weighty considerations.

As there is existing such contrariety of belief among those master
intellects, who have deeply studied the subject, we should certainly
regard it as vain presumption, to record any dogmatic judgment.

Previous to the Roman conquests, the Britons were accustomed to celebrate
the rites of Druidism; but as it was the custom of the Romans to carry
into the lands they conquered, not only their civil polity but also their
religion, the gods of their Pantheon became consequently the gods of our
ancestors.  Near the existing memorials of Druidical superstition, there
arose the majestic fanes of a more polished mythology.  At Bath there is
said to have been a temple dedicated to Minerva, while on the site now
occupied by the splendid cathedral of St. Paul there was a temple to
Diana.  It appears from a passage in _King’s Vale Royal_, there was a
tradition generally accepted in his day, that on the present site of
Chester Cathedral, was a temple dedicated to Apollo, during the period
that the city was inhabited by the Legionaries.

“I have heard it,” he says, “from a scholar, residing in the city, when I
was there, anno 1653, that there was a temple dedicated to Apollo in old
time, in a place adjoining to the Cathedral Church, by the constant
tradition of the learned.”

We are not aware that the supposition is capable of being verified by any
existing record, but when we take into consideration the policy generally
pursued by the Romans in subjugating a country, it seems to be
countenanced by strong probability.  With this form of Paganism, however,
there came zealous men, of true apostolic stamp, whose earnest
inculcation of vital principles, accelerated the progress of a better
faith.  So conspicuous had that progress become early in the third
century, that Tertullian, in his work written against the Jews, A.D. 209,
states that “even those places in Britain, hitherto inaccessible to the
Roman arms, have been subdued by the gospel of Christ.”

Early in the fourth century, Christianity had become so extensively
diffused throughout the land, that Maximius and Galerius, themselves
bigoted Pagans, recommended to the Emperor Diocletian the enforcement of
extreme measures, in order to crush the growing religion; and the
ever-memorable persecution under his reign was the result, when
Christians were indiscriminately slaughtered, and churches wantonly

Under the empire of his successor, Constantine Chlorus, persecution was
extinguished; churches were re-built, the offices of religion generally
resumed, and the people enjoyed a long tranquillity.

The recall of the Romans to the defence of the integral parts of their
empire, in conjunction with the laborious teaching of the early
Christians, led to the speedy decline of their mythology in Britain,
where indeed it appears never to have taken any deep root.  The growing
power of truth supplanted Pagan superstition, and the zeal of the
Christian converts, speedily destroyed the statues and altars of its
deities, which yet existed in this Island as memorials of its conquest by
Roman arms.  “Here had been within the bounds of Britain, saith our
stories, before the time of King Lucius, whose reign began about the year
179, flamines and arch-flamines, who were governors over others, the
priests of that religion, which the people in their Paganism did profess,
as idolatry hath ever made a counterfeit show of the true service of God;
and when Lucius was converted to the Christian faith, to enlarge the
power of Christian knowledge and settle a government in the Church of
Christ, abolishing those seats of heathenish idolators, he took advantage
of the temples and other conveniences, wickedly used by them, to turn
them to the true service of God and Christ; and therefore ordained in
England three Archbishops and twenty-eight Bishops; one of which
Archbishops he placed at London, to whom was subject Cornwall, &c., &c.,
and the third was the Archbishop Caerleon, that is Chester.  Thus far I
note only to show that when Lucius began the Christian religion, it may
appear that both Chester had been a place for the Arch-flamines in the
time of Paganism, and was also an Archbishop’s see at the first
plantation of the truth.”

The ground on which the temple of Apollo once stood (if the tradition be
trustworthy) was occupied early in the second century by a monastery
dedicated to St. Peter and St. Paul, “which was the mother church and
burial place to all Chester, and seven miles about Chester, and so
continued for the space of 300 years and more.”  To this monastery
(according to Bradshaw the monk) the relics of St. Werburgh, daughter of
Wulphere, King of Mercia, were removed from Hanbury in 875, for fear of
an incursion of the Danes, and here re-buried with great pomp; a ceremony
usually called “the translation of the body.”  The same author informs us
that the army of Griffin, King of Wales, was stricken with blindness for
their sacrilegious boldness, in attempting to disturb these sainted
remains.  This and other reputed miracles of St. Werburgh appear to have
induced the celebrated Ethelfleda, Countess of Mercia, to translate the
monastery of St. Peter and St. Paul, to the centre of the city, and to
erect on its site a convent or monastery of secular nuns, dedicated to
St. Werburgh and St. Oswald.  Earl Leofric was a great benefactor to this
foundation, having repaired its decayed buildings at his own expense: and
in 1093, when (says Rodolphus Glaber) “princes strove _a vie_ that
cathedral churches and minsters should be erected in a more decent and
seemly form, and when Christendom roused as it were herself, and, casting
away her old habiliments, did put on every where the bright and white
robe of the churches,” Hugh Lupus expelled the canons secular, and laid
the foundation of a magnificent building, the remains of which are still
existing; it was established by him as an Abbey of Benedictine Monks from
Bec in Normandy, to pray (as the foundation charter expresses it) “for
the soul of William their King, and those of King William his most noble
father, his mother Queen Maud, his brothers and sisters, King Edward the
Confessor, themselves the founders, and those of their fathers, mothers,
antecessors, heirs, parents and barons, and of all christians as well
living as deceased.”  The confirmation charter by the second Ranulf
(surnamed De Gernon or Gernons), Earl of Chester, in which the grant of
Hugh Lupus is recapitulated, is in the possession of the Marquis of
Westminster, by whose kindness, this most important and interesting
instrument, has been lent for the use of the Archæological Association,
and has just been published in the pages of their journal.  It is most
beautifully written in columns or pages, for the facility of reading.
The charter occupies nine, and commences with the copy of the original
grant of “Hugone Cestreasi comite, anno ab incarnatione Domini milesimo
nonugesimo” to the Abbey of St. Werburgh, which was witnessed by Anselm,
Archbishop of Canterbury, followed by the grants of several of the other
witnesses, and it concludes by the confirmation of them all by the second
Ranulf: (“Ego secundus Ranulfus comes Cæstrie concedo et confirmo hos
omnibus donationes quos mei antecessores vel barones eor’m dederunt,”)
with additional grants from himself.  Anselm, Abbot of Bec, afterward
Archbishop of Canterbury, regulated the new foundation and appointed
Richard his chaplain the first abbot.

Hugh Lupus, following the example of most of his predecessors, lived a
life of the wildest luxury and rapine.  At length, falling sick from the
consequence of his excesses, and age and disease coming on, the old
hardened soldier was struck with remorse; and—an expiation common enough
in those days—the great Hugh Lupus took the cowl, retired in the last
state of disease into the monastery, and in three days was no more.

The Abbey was so richly endowed by the founder and his successors, that
at the dissolution, its revenues amounted to no less a sum than £1,073
17s. 7d. per annum.

Peter of Lichfield appears to have been the first Bishop who fixed his
seat at Chester, having removed hither from Lichfield in 1075.  But his
successor, Robert de Lindsey, removed the seat of the see to Coventry in
1095, from whence it was brought back to Lichfield in the reign of Henry
1st.  From this latter period until the dissolution, the Bishops of this
diocese took their titles from Coventry, Lichfield, or Chester, according
as they fixed their residences, those cities being then all included in
the same bishoprick.  In the year 1540, in the reign of Henry 8th,
monasteries were suppressed, and that of St. Werburgh shared the fate of
the others.  An impartial examination into this eventful period of our
history, gives a painful exhibition of the precipitate haste and
questionable motive with which these measures were carried into
execution, while at the same time we are fully alive to all the important
advantages in which they resulted.  “It is painful to read, or to
imagine, the ruthless violence and wanton waste with which the measures
of the Reformation were carried into effect; and we must long mourn for
what we lost on that occasion, while we rejoice in what we gained.
Recognizing to the largest extent the blessings of the Reformation,
believing that it was the source of civil as well as of religious
liberty, and that the present proud position of England arises from the
effort then made by men to burst the bonds in which it had been
held;—admitting all this, it is impossible to deny that the work of
reformation was often urged forward by motives of a baser kind than the
love of truth; and it is impossible not to regret the unsparing zeal and
brutal violence with which it was carried on.”  Before proceeding to
describe the important changes which transpired under the reign of Henry
the 8th, it may not be unsuitable or without interest, to introduce a
biographical list of the lordly abbots who presided over this ancient

    _Richard_, 1st Abbot, had been monk of Bec, in Normandy, and chaplain
    to Anselm.  He died April 26, 1117, and was buried in the east angle
    of the south cloister.

    _William_, 2nd abbot, is stated in the charlutary to be elected abbot
    in 1121, the government of the church having been perhaps
    intermediately confided to Robert the prior, who died in 1120.  He
    died 11th non. Oct. 1140, and was buried at the head of his

    _Ralph_, 3rd abbot, elected 11 cal. Feb. in the same year.  He died
    Nov. 16, 1157, and was buried at the head of abbot Richard, and at
    the left side of abbot William.

    _Robert Fitz-Nigel_, 4th abbot, supposed to be of the family of the
    barons of Halton, elected 1157, received the bishop’s benediction at
    Lichfield on the day of St. Nicholas.  He died in 1174, and was
    buried in the east cloister under a marble stone to the right hand of
    the entrance to the chapter-house.

    _Robert_, 5th abbot, elected on St. Werburgh’s day, 3 non. Feb. 1174,
    received the benediction in the church of St. John, at Chester, on
    the day of St. Agatha the Virgin.  This abbot obtained a bull from
    Pope Clement, confirming the possessions of the abbey, and granting
    various privileges; and died 2 cal. Sep. 1184, on which the king took
    the abbey into his hands, and committed the custody of it to Thomas
    de Husseburne.

    _Robert de Hastings_, 6th abbot, in 1186, was placed in this abbey by
    Henry II. and Baldwin, archbishop of Canterbury.  He received the
    benediction at Canterbury, from the hands of Baldwin, whom he had the
    honour of entertaining as legate, at Chester, in the next year, from
    St. John’s-day to the following Sunday.  This appointment was opposed
    by earl Randal, and after much controversy before Hubert, archbishop
    of Canterbury, Hastings was deposed, on the condition of Geoffry, who
    was elected in his room, paying him an annual pension of xx. marks.
    This abbot was buried at the head of his predecessors, William and
    Ralph, in the south cloister.

    _Geoffrey_ 7th abbot, was confirmed on the deposition of Hastings in
    1194.  The situation (from a document contained in the red book of
    the abbey) appears not to have been particularly enviable at this
    period.  The greater part of the church was in ruins, and the
    rebuilding had proceeded no further than the choir, from want of
    money.  The inroads of the Welsh had deprived the monks of a valuable
    rectory and two manors, and the inundations of the sea had been
    equally fatal in Wirral and Ince.  Abbot Geoffry died May 7, 1208,
    and was buried in the chapter-house, on the left hand of the
    entrance, near the door.

    _Hugh Grylle_, 8th abbot, was elected 1208.  He occurs as a witness
    to the marriage covenant of John, Earl of Chester, with Helen,
    daughter of Llewelyn, Prince of Wales; and many grants to the
    monastery were made in his time.  The repairs of the church were
    probably completed, and their affairs in a more prosperous state
    generally, as Earl Randal grants to this abbot and his convent a
    permission to extend their buildings in the direction of the
    Northgate.  Grylle died April 21, 1226, and was buried in the
    Chapter-house, under the second arch from the door, on the left hand
    side of the feet of Geoffry.

    _William Marmion_, 9th Abbot, succeeded in 1226, and died in 1228.
    His place of interment is stated to be in the cloister, close to
    Robert Fitz-nigel, on the left hand side of him.  The name of this
    abbot occurs in a very curious document, relative to the office of
    hereditary cook of the abbey.

    _Walter Pincebech_, 10th abbot, received the benediction in London,
    on Michaelmas-day, 1228.  This abbot is witness to the contract
    between Randal Blundeville and Roger de Maresey, respecting the lands
    between Ribble and Mersey, anno 1232.  He continued to hold the abbey
    till 1240, when he was interred in the Chapter-house, at the head of
    Hugh Grylle.  A short time before his death, he appropriated the
    rectory of Church Shotwick to support the increase of the kitchen
    expenses of the convent, occasioned by adding six monks to the
    previous number.

    _Robert Frind_, 11th Abbot, was consecrated at Coventry, by Hugh de
    Pateshul, bishop of that see, on St. Matthew’s day, 1240.  He died
    1249, and was buried in the Chapter-house, under the second arch, on
    the right hand of the door.  This abbot added the appropriation of
    the chapel of Wervin to the funds of the kitchen, in consequence of
    having increased the number of his monks to forty.

    _Thomas Capenhurst_, 12th abbot, succeeded in 1249.  He was of the
    family of the mesne lords of Capenhurst, and had to struggle with a
    series of powerful enemies of the convent.  The first was Roger de
    Montalt, justiciary of Chester, who endeavoured by means of the
    additional power which he enjoyed by his office, to wrest from the
    abbey restitution of the manors of Lawton, and Goosetrey, and the
    churches of Bruera, Neston, and Coddington, which had been given by
    his ancestors to the abbey.  A portion of these possessions was
    occupied by an armed force, and the business was only compromised by
    severe sacrifices on the part of the monks.  The resignation of
    Bretton manor is the only one noticed in the chronicle of the abbey,
    but the chartulary mentions several other losses, to which may
    certainly be added, that of Lea, in Broxton hundred, of which the
    Montalts had afterwards possession.  The chronicle does not fail to
    notice the judgments of heaven on Roger de Montalt, that his eldest
    son died within fifteen days after the compromise, and that Roger
    himself died of want, his burial place remaining unknown unto the
    common people.  A similar attempt to recover Astbury, was made by
    Roger Venables in 1259, and according to the Chronicle, was attended
    with an equal interposition of Providence, the Baron of Kinderton
    dying the year after.  In 1263, another contest arose between the
    abbot and William la Zuche, justiciary, who occupied the abbey with
    an armed force, and proceeded to extremities of insult, which
    occasioned all the churches in Chester to be laid under an interdict.
    In the next year the gardens and buildings of the abbey in “Baggelon”
    were destroyed to facilitate the strengthening of Chester against a
    siege, which was apprehended from the barons and the Welshmen.
    Capenhurst survived this last grievance only one year, and dying 4
    cal. May, 1265, was buried at the head of his predecessor, on the
    right hand of the entrance into the chapter-house.  It is observable
    that however violent the measures were, to which the laity resorted
    at this period, for the purpose of wresting back from the church the
    possessions which the liberality of their ancestors had bestowed on
    it, the regular clergy themselves were little more scrupulous;
    witness the circumstances noticed in the contest between the abbots
    of Basingwerk and Chester, for the rectory of West Kirby, in which
    Ralph de Montalt, presented by this abbot, is positively stated to
    have been put into possession of his rectory in war time, by absolute
    force of arms.

    _Simon de Albo Monasterio_, or _Whitchurch_, who had previously been
    a monk of this abbey, succeeded as 13th abbot, and if we may judge
    from the frequent occurrence of his name in the abbey chartulary, was
    one of the most active heads this monastery ever enjoyed.  He was
    regularly elected by the entire convent xv. cal. May, 1265, in the
    45th year of his age, and the 22nd after assuming the cowl, Simon de
    Montford being then usurper of the Earldom of Chester.  His admission
    was opposed by Lucas de Taney, Justiciary of Chester, who kept the
    abbey open for three weeks, and taking the revenues into his hands,
    wasted them by the most scandalous profligacy.  Simon de Montfort,
    however, much to his honour, on hearing the circumstances, admitted
    the abbot, and directed Lucas de Taney to make ample compensation to
    the abbey, after which Roger de Menland, then bishop of Coventry and
    Lichfield, confirmed his election at Tachebrook, on Whit-Monday, and
    Simon de Montford having invested him with the temporalities at
    Hereford the Monday following, the new abbot received the benediction
    from his before-mentioned diocesan at Tachebrooke, on Trinity Sunday.
    On this same day the partizans of Prince Edward laid siege to Chester
    Castle, and a reverse of fortune speedily taking place, the election
    of the abbot was declared void by the lawful earl, as having been
    unratified by himself.  The abbot, however, made his peace with
    Prince Edward at Beeston, and compensation was made him at the
    instance of James de Audley, Justiciary, even to the replacing from
    the stores in the Castle, two casks of wine, which had been consumed
    by the Prince’s attendants, during his deposition.  The struggles
    between the laity and the clergy, which are particularly observable
    in the documents of Vale Royal and this monastery, about this period,
    and had so peculiarly disquieted the abbacy of Thomas de Capenhurst,
    were continued in that of his successor.  Philip Burnel, and his wife
    Isabella, baroness of Malpas, attempted to recover the manors of
    Saighton, Huntington, Cheveley, and Boughton, a domain as desirable
    to the abbey, from its richness as its contiguity to Chester.  After
    a protracted contest, the claimants released their right to abbot
    Simon in the king’s court at Westminster, in 1281, in the royal
    presence, but the monks purchased the compliance by a bond for the
    payment of £200 sterling.  The chartulary states that the influence
    of Robert Burnel, bishop of Bath and Wells, and uncle to the
    claimant, was corruptly used in obtaining this bond: payment was,
    however, never made, for the abbot had shortly afterwards the address
    to procure a release, on stipulating for the maintenance of two
    chaplains to pray for the soul of the said Philip Burnel for ever.
    Among the following donations by the family of Burnel, was the grant
    of a fountain at Christleton, which was doubtless of high importance.
    A cistern twenty feet square was made at Christleton, and another
    formed within the cloisters, and a communication established by
    pipes, which a patent from Edward I. enabled the monks to carry
    through all intervening lands, permitting even the city walls to be
    taken down for the purpose.  It is observable that a forester of
    Delamere, Randle de Mereton, whose estate was trespassed on in
    consequence of this order, ventured on cutting off the pipes which
    the abbots had laid, for which he was ordered to make reparation by a
    royal mandate, 13 Edward I.  This abbot departed this life April 24,
    1289, aged 69, and was interred in the chapter house, on the south
    side, under a marble stone, within an arch supported by six marble
    pillars.  During this abbacy, the monastery, or a considerable
    portion thereof, was re-built, as appears by precepts directed to
    Reginald de Grey, 12 Edward I. to allow venison from the forests of
    Delamere and Wirral for the support of the monks then occupied “on
    the great work of the building of the church.”  Abbot Simon also
    appropriated a large share of the revenues of the abbey to the
    several uses of the infirmary, the kitchen, the refectory, and the
    distribution of alms, as specified in the chartulary.  After the
    death of Simon de Whitchurch, the king retained the abbey in his
    hands for two years.

    _Thomas de Byrche-Hylles_, a chaplain of his predecessor, succeeded
    as 14th abbot, Jan. 30, 1291.  He died 1323, and was buried on the
    south side of the choir, above the bishop’s throne, nearly in the
    line of the pillars.  On his gravestone was a brass plate with his
    effigies, and in this spot his body was found in almost complete
    preservation, on opening a grave for the remains of dean Smith, in

    _William de Bebington_, 15th abbot, previously prior of the
    monastery, was elected abbot Feb. 5, 1324.  In 1345, he obtained the
    mitre for himself and his successors, and in the year following, an
    exemption from the visitation.  He died Nov. 20, 1349, and was buried
    on the right side of his predecessor.

    _Richard Seynesbury_, 16th abbot, was elected 1349.  In 1359, he
    stated the privileges of his abbey in plea to a writ of quo warranto.
    In 1362, about the feast of the Annunciation, the abbot of St.
    Alban’s, provincial president of the Benedictines, the prior of
    Coventry, and the superior of St. Alban’s, visited Chester Abbey as
    commissioners, deputed by the abbot of Evesham.  In consequence of
    this visitation, Richard de Seynesbury, who (according to the
    chronicle) was fearful of a scrutiny into his offences and excessive
    dilapidations, resigned his abbey into the hands of the pope, as the
    abbey, being an exempt, was under the papal protection.  An inquiry
    into his conduct was instituted at Rome; and in the following year
    pope Urban admitted the abbot’s resignation, and conferred the office
    on his successor.  This abbot died in Lombardy.

    _Thomas de Newport_, 17th abbot, received the benediction in the
    papal court on the feast of the Annunciation, and was installed at
    Chester on the day of St. Remigius following.  This abbot died at his
    manor house of Little Sutton, in Wirral, June 1, 1385, and was buried
    in the chapter-house, within the inner door, with his effigy in brass
    upon the stone.

    _William de Mershton_, 18th abbot, formerly a monk of this convent,
    was elected abbot July 30, 1385.  He died on the 13th of January
    following, and was buried without the choir, on the right of William
    de Bebington, in the south aisle.

    _Henry de Sutton_, 19th abbot.  He occurs as abbot in 1410, which was
    the 24th year of his presiding over this monastery, as appears by the
    pleas of the abbey, holden over the monastery gate, before Nicholas
    Fare, the abbot’s seneschal.  This abbot was for a time justice of
    Chester, and in 1399 had license to fortify his three manor-houses at
    Little Sutton, Saighton, and Ince.  He was buried in the broad aisle,
    close to the north side of the south pillar, next to the entrance
    into the choir, before a painting formerly called the piety of St.

    _Thomas Yerdesley_, 20th abbot, occurs as abbot in several portmote
    pleadings 7 Henry V. and is mentioned also several times in the reign
    of Henry VI.  He was one of the justices in commission to hold
    assizes for the county, and dying 1434, was buried under a marble
    stone on the north side of the choir, above the shrine of St.

    _John Salghall_, 21st abbot, suffered excommunication in 1440, for
    not appearing in convocation after being personally cited; but
    afterwards appearing and pleading exemption, he was absolved.  This
    abbot died in 1450, and was buried in St. Mary’s chapel, between two
    pillars on the south side, under an alabaster stone, which had his
    effigy in brass fixed upon it.  The site of his interment was
    formerly called the chapel of St. Erasmus.

    _Richard Oldham_, 22nd abbot, 1452; about twenty years afterwards he
    was promoted to the bishopric of the Isle of Man, and dying Oct. 13,
    1485, was buried at Chester abbey; a short time before which he was
    indicted in the portmote court, for removing the city boundaries
    about the Northgate, and at the same time (21 Edw. iv,) ‘divers
    wymen’ were indicted, who were the paramours ‘of the monks of

    _Simon Ripley_, 23rd abbot, rebuilt the nave, tower, and south
    transept of the abbey, and probably commenced the great plan of
    alterations and improvements which were interrupted by the
    reformation.  This abbot also rebuilt or considerably improved the
    great manor-house at Saighton, the embattled tower of which is still
    remaining.  He died at Warwick, August 30, 1492, and was buried in
    the collegiate church there.  On the north side of the north-east
    large pillar, supporting the central tower, was formerly painted the
    history of the transfiguration, in which was introduced a figure of
    this abbot under a canopy, with a book in one hand, the other lifted
    up in the act of blessing, and the ring upon the fourth finger.

    _John Birchenshaw_ was appointed 24th abbot by the Pope, Oct. 4,
    1493.  He is supposed by Willis to have been a native of Wales, from
    his name appearing in an inscription on the great bell of Conway
    church.  His attention, like that of his predecessor, was turned to
    restoring the magnificence of the buildings of the abbey.  The
    beautiful western entrance is his work, and he doubtless intended to
    have added two western towers to this great entrance, of one of which
    he laid the foundations in 1508.  The half of Ince manor-house is
    apparently in the style of this abbot’s time; and for the further
    improvement of Saighton manor-house, which had already been
    sumptuously restored by his predecessor, he obtained, 6 Henry VIII.
    the royal licence to impark 1000 acres in Huntington, Cheveley, and
    Saighton.  At the same time he had charter of free warren granted in
    all his lands in Cheshire, not being parcel of the king’s forests.
    In the year 1511, in the mayoralty of Thomas Smith, violent
    dissensions had arisen between the city and this abbot.  Thomas
    Hyphile, and Thomas Marshall, were successively appointed, and acted
    as abbots in his room.  After a contest, however, which lasted many
    years, Birchenshaw was restored about 1530, and is supposed to have
    enjoyed his abbacy to the time of his death, which happened about
    seven years afterwards.  In 1516, a commission was issued at Rome to
    Thomas, Cardinal of York, to hear and make award between Geoffry,
    Bishop of Lichfield, and this abbot, respecting the use of the mitre,
    crosier, and other pontificals, and the giving the blessing.

    _John Clarke_, 25th and last abbot (omitting Hyphile and Marshall),
    was elected about the year 1537.  He had the good fortune to comply
    with the wishes of his sovereign at the dissolution, and accordingly
    was suffered to retain the government of the dissolved abbey of St.
    Werburgh, under the character of dean of the new cathedral, which
    King Henry established within its walls.  At the dissolution, the
    clear yearly value of the abbey was £889 18s. {21}  The monks had
    also the patronage of several rich unappropriated rectories.  Their
    lands extended over various parts of Cheshire and other counties, but
    in Wirral created an overwhelming influence, and extended in almost
    an unbroken ring round the city of Chester.  Many considerable
    families held lands by the tenure of various offices in the abbey.
    The manorial lord of Burwardsley was their champion; and a valuable
    rectory (Ince) was appropriated to the uses of the almoner.  The Earl
    of Derby was seneschal at the time of the dissolution.  By a charter
    of one of the earls of the name of Randal, the abbots were directed
    at any period to have their mansion-houses fitted up in a state fit
    to receive the abbot’s retinue and to be the seats of the courts; and
    by licence from the bishops of Lichfield, oratories were also
    established in these manor-houses.  Irby, Bromborough, Sutton, and
    Saighton, appear to have been the principal ones at an early period.
    The three first were the original seats of the courts held for the
    Wirral manor, and Saighton occurs in a licence for fortifying by
    Edward I. noticed in the chartulary.  By a subsequent licence for
    fortifying, 19 Richard II. it appears that Sutton, Saighton, and
    Ince, had then become the principal manorial residences, and these
    continued such to the dissolution.

On the general dissolution of the monasteries, Chester was erected into
an independent bishoprick, and St. Werburgh’s was converted into a
Cathedral Church, which it has ever since remained.  It was dedicated to
Christ and the Blessed Virgin Mary; and a dean and six prebendaries
installed in it, Thomas Clarke, the last abbot, being appointed the first

By charter of endowment, dated 5th August, 1541, Henry VIII. granted to
the Bishop of Chester and his successors the Archdeaconries of Chester
and Richmond, with all their appurtenances, rights, &c.; the Manors of
Abbots Cotton in the county of Chester; lands in the parishes of St.
Mary, St. Martin, St. Michael, St. Werburgh, and Trinity in the city of
Chester; city lands in Mancot, Harden, Christleton, Nantwich, Northwich,
Middlewich, Over, Wollaston, Neston, Heswell, Bidston, Sandbach,
Thornton, Eccleston, Rosthern and Davenham; parcel of the late Monastery
of St. Werburgh; the advowson of Over Rectory; pensions issuing out of
Handley Rectory, Budworth Chapel, and Bidston Rectory; parcel of
Birkenhead Abbey; the advowsons of Tattenhall and Waverton; rectories of
Clapham, Esingwold, Thornton, Stuart, Bolton-in-Lonsdale,
Bolton-le-Moors, and prebend of Bolton-le-Moors in Lichfield Cathedral;
and the Manor of Weston in the county of Derby.

But the See of Chester did not long remain in possession of these rich
endowments, for in 1546 the arbitrary and avaricious Henry despoiled the
Bishopric of the manors and real estates narrated in the above charter of
endowment, and in lieu thereof compelled the Bishop to accept of the
rectories and advowsons of Cottingham in Yorkshire, Kirby, Ravensworth,
Pabrick, Brompton, Wirklington, Ribchester, Chipping Mottram, and Bradley
in Staffordshire, Castleton in Derbyshire, and Wallasey, Weverham,
Backford, and Boden in Cheshire, paying as a chief rent £15 19s. 9d.

The endowments made by Henry VIII. to the Deanery of Chester, consisted
of manors and lands to the yearly value of £563 3s. 8d., besides
spiritualities to the value of £358 10s. 2d.  But these splendid gifts
were not destined to remain long in possession of the Dean and Chapter.
In 1550 Sir Robert Cotton, Comptroller of the Household to Edward VI.,
having procured the imprisonment of the Dean and two Prebendaries,
obtained from them a deed of surrender of the Deanery estates in his own
favour.  The estates so obtained were disposed of by Cotton in fee farm
to certain gentlemen in Cheshire at very low prices.  But the Chapter
having discovered some years afterwards that the original grant of Henry
VIII. was null through the omission of the word “_Cestriæ_” in the
description of the grantees, they petitioned the Queen to re-grant to
them the estates illegally obtained by Cotton as before mentioned; and
their petition was twice argued in the Court of Exchequer.  But the
gentlemen to whom Cotton had sold the lands, apprehensive of the issue,
bestowed a bribe of six years’ rent upon Robert Dudley, Earl of
Leicester, the then all-powerful favourite of Queen Elizabeth, who, thus
stimulated, prevailed with the Queen to put a stop to the proceedings in
the Exchequer, and _grant a commission to him_ and certain other Privy
Councillors to hear and determine the matters at issue between the
parties.  The result was, that in 1580 the charter of Henry VIII. was
recalled, and the estates confirmed to the fee farmers, on payment of
certain rents, with which, and a few impropriations, the Queen by advice
of the Earl and his coadjutors, re-endowed the Chapter.

The following is a list of the Bishops, with the date of their
consecration, from the foundation of the see in 1541, to the present
time, for which we are mainly indebted to the valuable foot notes
appended to Gastrell’s Notitia.

John Bird, D.D. descended from an ancient family in Cheshire, educated as
a Carmelite Friar at Oxford, and distinguished there by his learning and
zeal.  In 1516 he became provincial of the order of Carmelites throughout
England, which office Godwin erroneously states he held at the
dissolution of the monasteries.  Bird did not advocate the king’s
supremacy, until he found that the pope’s power was waning, when Henry
8th appointed him one of his chaplains, and thus confirmed his hitherto
wavering opinions.  He was soon after consecrated Bishop of Ossery, from
which he was translated in 1539 to Bangor, and thence to Chester in 1541.
On Queen Mary’s accession, he accommodated himself to the changes which
were introduced, but could not preserve his see, of which he was deprived
in 1553, in consequence of his being married.  Wood states that the
Bishop, after his deprivation, lived in obscurity at Chester, and, dying
there in 1556, was buried in the Cathedral.  Bishop Bird was a learned
man, and published several short discourses in Latin and English.
Posterity, however, would have thought more favourably of him, had he not
alienated some of the revenues of his see, and made leases injurious to
his successors.

George Coates was B.A. in 1522, when he was elected Probationer Fellow of
Balliol College, Oxford.  He afterwards became a Fellow of Magdalene
College in the same university; M.A. 1526, Proctor 1531, and elected
Master of Balliol in 1539.  He was also Rector of Cotgrove, near
Nottingham, and became Prebendary of Chester in 1544; and on the 1st of
April, 1554, was consecrated Bishop of Chester.  He did not long survive
his last appointment, as he died at Chester in the year 1555, very
shortly after he had condemned George Marsh to the fires of martyrdom at
Boughton.  This intrepid martyr regarded his faith as being too precious
to be sacrificed, even to save his life.  He held his principles with
unflinching steadfastness; they were the ripened convictions of his
judgment—the pabulum of his inward life—and he nobly maintained them,
even to the death.

The following account is given by Foxe of the life and persecutions of
this faithful and holy man:—

    George Marsh was born in the parish of Dean, in the county of
    Lancaster, and, having received a good education, his parents brought
    him up in the habits of trade and industry.  About the 25th year of
    his age, he married a young woman of the country; with whom he
    continued living upon a farm, having several children.  His wife
    dying, he having formed a proper establishment for his children, went
    into the university of Cambridge, where he studied, and much
    increased in learning, and was a minister of God’s holy word and
    sacraments, and was for awhile curate to the Rev. Laurence Saunders.
    In this situation he continued for a time, earnestly setting forth
    the true religion, to the weakening of false doctrine, by his godly
    readings and sermons, as well there and in the parish of Dean, as
    elsewhere in Lancashire.  But such a zealous protestant could hardly
    be safe.  At length he was apprehended, and kept close prisoner in
    Chester, by the bishop of that see, about the space of four months,
    not being permitted to have the relief and comfort of his friends;
    but charge being given unto the porter, to mark who they were that
    asked for him, and to signify their names to the bishop.

    He was afterwards sent to Lancaster castle; and being brought with
    other prisoners to the sessions, he was made to hold up his hand with
    the malefactors; when the Earl of Derby had the following
    conversation with him, which is given to us partly in his own
    expressive and unaffected language.

    “I told his lordship, that I had not dwelt in the country these three
    or four years past, and came home but lately to visit my mother,
    children, and other friends, and that I meant to have departed out of
    the country before Easter, and to have gone out of the realm.
    Wherefore I trusted, seeing nothing could be laid against me, wherein
    I had offended against the laws, that his lordship would not with
    captious questions examine me, to bring my body into danger of death,
    to the great discomfort of my mother.  On the earl asking me into
    what land I would have gone?  I answered, I would have gone either
    into Germany, or else into Denmark.  He said to his council, that in
    Denmark they used such heresy as they have done in England: but as
    for Germany the emperor had destroyed it.

    “I then said that I trusted, as his lordship had been of the
    honourable council of the late king Edward, consenting and agreeing
    to acts concerning faith towards God and religion, under great pain,
    would not so soon after consent to put poor men to shameful deaths
    for believing what he had then professed.  To this he answered that
    he, with the lord Windsor, lord Dacres, and others, did not consent
    to those acts, and that their refusal would be seen as long as the
    parliament-house stood.  He then rehearsed the misfortune of the
    dukes of Northumberland and Suffolk, with others, because they
    favoured not the true religion; and again the prosperity of the
    queen’s highness, because she favoured the true religion; thereby
    gathering the one to be good, and of God, and the other to be wicked,
    and of the devil; and said that the duke of Northumberland confessed
    so plainly.”

    And thus have you heard the whole trouble which George Marsh
    sustained both at Latham and also at Lancaster.  While at Latham it
    was falsely reported that he had consented, and agreed in all things
    with the earl and his council; and while at Lancaster, many came to
    talk with him, giving him such counsel as Peter gave Christ: but he
    answered that he could not follow their counsel, but that by God’s
    grace he would live and die with a pure conscience, and as hitherto
    he had believed and professed.

    Within a few days after, the said Marsh was removed from Lancaster;
    and coming to Chester, was sent for by Dr. Cotes, then bishop, to
    appear before him in his hall, nobody being present but they twain.
    Then he asked him certain questions concerning the sacrament, and
    Marsh made such answers as seemed to content the bishop, saving that
    he utterly denied transubstantiation, and allowed not the abuse of
    the mass, nor that the lay people should receive under one kind only,
    contrary to Christ’s institution: in which points the bishop went
    about to persuade him, howbeit, (God be thanked,) all in vain.  Much
    other talk he had with him, to move him to submit himself to the
    universal church of Rome; and when he could not prevail he sent him
    to prison again.  And after, being there, came to him divers times,
    one Massie, a fatherly old man, one Wrench the schoolmaster, one
    Hensham the bishop’s chaplain, and the archdeacon, with many more;
    who, with much philosophy, worldly wisdom, and deceitful vanity,
    after the tradition of men, but not after Christ, endeavoured to
    persuade him to submit himself to the church of Rome, to acknowledge
    the pope as its head, and to interpret the Scripture no otherwise
    than that church did.

    To these Mr. Marsh answered, that he did acknowledge and believe one
    only catholic and apostolic church, without which there is no
    salvation; and that this church is but one, because it ever hath
    confessed and shall confess and believe one only God, and one only
    Messiah, and in him only trust for salvation: which church also is
    ruled and led by one Spirit, one word, and one faith; and that this
    church is universal and catholic, because it ever hath been since the
    world’s beginning, is, and shall endure to the world’s end, and
    comprehending within it all nations, kindreds, and languages,
    degrees, states, and conditions of men: and that this church is built
    only upon the foundations of the prophets and apostles, Jesus Christ
    himself being the chief corner stone, and not upon the Romish laws
    and decrees, whose head the bishop of Rome was.  And where they said
    the church did stand in ordinary succession of bishops, being ruled
    by general councils, holy fathers, and the laws of the holy church,
    and so had continued for the space of fifteen hundred years and more;
    he replied that the holy church, which is the body of Christ, and
    therefore most worthy to be called holy, was before any succession of
    bishops, general councils, or Romish decrees: neither was it bound to
    any time or place, ordinary succession, or traditions of fathers; nor
    had it any supremacy over empires and kingdoms; but it was a poor
    simple flock, dispersed abroad, as sheep without a shepherd in the
    midst of wolves; or as a family of orphans and fatherless children:
    and that this church was led and ruled by the word of Christ, he
    being the supreme head of this church, and assisting, succouring, and
    defending it from all assaults, errors and persecutions, wherewith it
    is ever encompassed about.

    After the bishop of Chester had taken pleasure in punishing his
    prisoner, and often reviling him, giving taunts and odious names of
    heretic, &c., he caused him to be brought forth into a chapel in the
    cathedral church, called Our Lady Chapel, before him the said bishop,
    at two o’clock in the afternoon; when were also present the mayor of
    the city, Dr. Wall and other priests assisting him, George Wensloe,
    chancellor, and one John Chetham, registrar.  Then they caused George
    Marsh to take an oath to answer truly unto such articles as should be
    objected against him.  Upon which oath taken, the chancellor laid
    unto his charge, that he had preached and openly published most
    heretically and blasphemously, within the parishes of Dean, Eccles,
    Bolton, Bury, and many other parishes within the bishop’s diocese, in
    the months of January and February last preceding, directly against
    the pope’s authority, and catholic church of Rome, the blessed mass,
    the sacrament of the altar, and many other articles.  Unto all which
    in sum he answered, that he neither heretically nor blasphemously
    preached or spake against any of the said articles; but simply and
    truly, as occasion served, and as it were thereunto forced in
    conscience, maintained the truth respecting the same articles, as he
    said all now present did likewise acknowledge in the time of King
    Edward VI.

    Then they examined him severally of every article, and bade him
    answer Yes, or No, without equivocation; for they were come to
    examine, and not to dispute at that present.  He accordingly answered
    them every article very modestly, agreeably to the doctrine by public
    authority received and taught in this realm at the death of King
    Edward; which answers were every one written by the registrar, to the
    uttermost that could make against him.  This ended, he was returned
    to his prison again.

    Within three weeks after this, in the said chapel, and in like sort
    as before, the bishop and others before named, there being assembled,
    he was again brought before them.  Then the chancellor, by way of an
    oration, declared unto the people present, that the bishop had done
    what he could in showing his charitable disposition towards Marsh,
    but that all that he could do would not help; so that he was now
    determined, if Marsh would not relent and abjure, to pronounce
    sentence definitive against him.  Wherefore he bade George Marsh to
    be now well advised what he would do, for it stood upon his life; and
    if he would not at that present forsake his heretical opinions, it
    would, (after the sentence given) be too late, though he might never
    so gladly desire it.

    Then the chancellor read all his answers that he made at his former
    examination; and at every one he asked, whether he would stick to the
    same, or no?  To which he answered again, “Yea, yea.”  Here also
    others took occasion to ask him (for that he denied the bishop of
    Rome’s authority in England) whether Linus, Anacletus, and Clement,
    that were bishops of Rome, were not good men, and he answered, “Yes,
    and divers others.  But,” said he, “they claimed no more authority in
    England than the bishop of Canterbury doth at Rome; and I strive not
    with the place, neither speak I against the person or the bishop, but
    against his doctrine; which in most points is repugnant to the
    doctrine of Christ.”  “Thou art an arrogant fellow indeed, then,”
    said the bishop.  “In what article is the doctrine of the church of
    Rome repugnant to the doctrine of Christ?”

    To whom George Marsh said, “O my lord, I pray you judge not so of me;
    I stand now upon the point of life and death: and a man in my case
    hath no cause to be arrogant, neither am I, God is my record.  And as
    concerning the disagreement of the doctrine, among many other things,
    the church of Rome erreth in the sacrament.  For Christ, in the
    institution thereof, did as well deliver the cup as the bread,
    saying, ‘Drink ye all of this,’ and St. Mark reporteth that they
    _did_ drink of it.  In like manner St. Paul delivered it unto the
    Corinthians.  In the same sort also it was used in the primitive
    church for the space of many hundred years.  Now the church of Rome
    doth take away one part of the sacrament from the laity.  Wherefore
    if I could be persuaded in my conscience by God’s word that it were
    well done, I could gladly yield in this point.”  “Then,” said the
    bishop, “there is no disputing with a heretic.”  Therefore, when all
    his answers were ready, he asked him whether he would stand to the
    same, or else forsake them, and come unto the catholic church? to
    which Mr. Marsh answered, that “he held no heretical opinion, but
    utterly abhorred all kinds of heresy, although they did so slander
    him.  And he desired all to bear him witness, that in all articles of
    religion he held no other opinion than was by law established, and
    publicly taught in England at the death of Edward VI.; and in the
    same pure religion and doctrine he would, by God’s grace, stand,
    live, and die.”

    The bishop of Chester then took a writing out of his bosom, and began
    to read the sentence of condemnation; but when he had proceeded half
    through it, the chancellor called him, and said, “Good my lord, stay,
    stay! for if you read any further, it will be too late to call it
    again.”  The bishop accordingly stopped, when several priests, and
    many of the ignorant people, called upon Mr. Marsh, with many earnest
    words, to recant.  They bade him kneel down and pray, and they would
    pray for him: so they kneeled down, and he desired them to pray for
    him, and he would pray for them.  When this was over, the bishop
    again asked him, whether he would not have the queen’s mercy in time?
    he answered, “he gladly desired the same, and loved her grace as
    faithfully as any of them: but yet he durst not deny his Saviour
    Christ, lest he lose his mercy everlasting, and so win everlasting

    The bishop then proceeded with the sentence for about five or six
    lines, when again the chancellor, with flattering words and smiling
    countenance, stopped him, and said, “Yet good my lord, once again
    stay, for if that word be spoken, all is past, no relenting will then
    serve.”  Then turning to Mr. Marsh, he asked, “How sayest thou? wilt
    thou recant?”  Many of the priests and people again exhorted him to
    recant, and save his life.  To whom he answered, “I would as fain
    live as you, if in so doing I should not deny my master Christ; but
    then he would deny me before his Father in heaven.”

    The bishop then read his sentence unto the end, and afterwards said
    unto him, “Now, I will no more pray for thee than I will for a dog.”
    Mr. Marsh answered, that notwithstanding, he would pray for his
    lordship.  He was then delivered to the sheriffs of the city; when
    his late keeper, finding he should lose him, said with tears,
    “Farewell, good George;” which caused the officers to carry him to a
    prison at the north gate, where he was very strictly kept until he
    went to his death, during which time he had little comfort or relief
    of any creature.  For being in the dungeon, or dark prison, none that
    would do him good could speak with him, or at least durst attempt it,
    for fear of accusation; and some of the citizens who loved him for
    the gospel’s sake, although they were never acquainted with him,
    would sometimes in the evening call to him, and ask him how he did.
    He would answer them most cheerfully, that he did well, and thanked
    God highly that he would vouchsafe of his mercy to appoint him to be
    a witness of his truth, and to suffer for the same, wherein he did
    most rejoice; beseeching that he would give him grace not to faint
    under the cross, but patiently bear the same to his glory, and to the
    comfort of his church.

    The day of his martyrdom being come, the sheriffs of the city, with
    their officers, went to the Northgate, and thence brought him forth,
    with a lock upon his feet.  As he came on the way towards the place
    of execution, some proffered him money, and looked that he should
    have gone with a little purse in his hand, in order to gather money
    to give unto a priest to say masses for him after his death; but Mr.
    Marsh said, he would not be troubled to receive money, but desired
    some good man to take it if the people were disposed to give any, and
    give it to the prisoners or the poor.  He went all the way reading
    intently, and many said, “This man goeth not unto his death as a
    thief, or as one that deserveth to die.”  On coming to the place of
    execution without the city, a deputy chamberlain of Chester showed
    Mr. Marsh a writing under a great seal, saying, that it was a pardon
    for him if he would recant.  He answered, forasmuch as it tended to
    pluck him from God, he would not receive it upon that condition.

    He now began to address the people, showing the cause of his death,
    and would have exhorted them to be faithful unto Christ, but one of
    the sheriffs told him there must be no sermoning now.  He then
    kneeling down, prayed earnestly, and was then chained to the post,
    having a number of fagots under him, and a barrel with pitch and tar
    in it over his head.  The fire being unskilfully made, and the wind
    driving it to and fro, he suffered great extremity in his death,
    which notwithstanding he bore very patiently.  When the spectators
    supposed he had been dead, suddenly he spread abroad his arms,
    saying, “Father of heaven, have mercy upon me,” and so yielded his
    spirit into the hands of the Lord.  Upon this, many of the people
    said he was a martyr, and died marvellously patient; which caused the
    bishop shortly after to make a sermon in the cathedral church, and
    therein to affirm, that the said Marsh was a heretic, burnt as such,
    and was then a fire-brand in hell.

He was succeeded by Cuthbert Scott, S.T.P.  He was educated at Christ’s
College, Cambridge, and was appointed Master of the College in 1553;
became Vice-Chancellor of the University in 1555, and had the
temporalities of the see of Chester delivered to him in 1556.  He was an
active and zealous Romanist, and was implicated in the burning of Bucer’s
bones at Cambridge.  He was concerned in most of the political movements
of his day, and being disaffected towards Queen Elizabeth, and opposed to
the reformed religion, was imprisoned in the Fleet in London, from which
he escaped, and died at Louvain about the year 1560.

William Downham, D.D., was born in Norfolk, elected Fellow of Magdalene
College, Oxford, in 1544, and appointed chaplain to the Lady Elizabeth,
who, when queen, nominated him to a Canonry in Westminster in 1560; and
on the 4th May, 1561, he was consecrated Bishop of Chester.  He died in
November, 1577, aged 72, and was buried in the Cathedral of Chester, with
a monumental inscription, preserved by Webb, but the monument itself has
long since perished.

His sons were eminent theologians, and had the merit suitably rewarded.
George Downham became Bishop of Derry, and John Downham, B.D., a learned
writer, had various preferments.

William Chadderton, D.D., was born at Nuthurst, near Manchester.  He was
educated at the Grammar School of Manchester, and afterwards became
Fellow of Christ’s College, Cambridge.  In 1567 he was appointed Regius
and Lady Margaret’s Professor of Divinity, and the following year
President of Queen’s College.  Shortly afterwards he became a Canon of
Westminster, and was fortunate in being appointed chaplain to the royal
favourite, Dudley, Earl of Leicester, to whom he was chiefly indebted for
his subsequent promotion.  In 1568 he became Archdeacon of York, and held
the dignity for ten years.  In 1579 he was nominated to the see of
Chester, which had been for some time vacant, and in the same year he
accepted the Wardenship of Manchester, where he chiefly resided.  He was
a member of the Ecclesiastical Commission for the North; and it must be
admitted that he used considerable severity towards the Papists, fines
and imprisonments being amongst the strongest arguments he employed to
induce that body to acknowledge the queen’s supremacy.  One of the
priests executed at Lancaster, in 1584, as a traitor and rebel,
complained of Chadderton as “a Calvinist, and a false and cruel Bishop,”
charges which lose much of their severity when proceeding from the friend
of Campian and Parsons.  Antony á Wood says, that “the Bishop showed more
respect to a cloak than a cassock,” and there is no doubt that he was a
successful preacher, and a zealous puritan; although by a reference to
the Act Books of the Bishop of Chester it will be found that he was
strict in enforcing the use of clerical vestments, and both suspended and
deprived some of his clergy for their disregard of the Rubric.  On the
5th April, 1595, he was translated to Lincoln, when he resigned the
Wardenship of Manchester.  He died at Southoe, in Huntingdonshire, April
11th, 1608.

Hugh Bellot, D.D., second son of Thomas Bellot, Esq., of Moreton Hall, in
the county of Chester.  Le Neve says he was brought up in Queen’s
College, Cambridge, though Leycester gives him to St. John’s.  He was
Proctor in 1570, and afterwards Rector of Tydd, near Wisbeach, and Vicar
of Gresford, both in episcopal patronage.  He was consecrated Bishop of
Bangor in the year 1585, and translated to Chester June 25th, 1595.  He
was Bishop of Chester about seven months, and was buried at Wrexham, in
Denbighshire, in 1596, aged 54, where a monument was erected to his
memory by his brother, Cuthbert Bellot, Prebendary of Chester.

Richard Vaughan, D.D., a native of Caernarvonshire, educated at St.
John’s College, Cambridge, and one of the queen’s chaplains.  He was B.D.
in Oct., 1588, when he was collated by Bishop Aylmer to the Archdeaconry
of Middlesex.  He was also a Canon of Wells.  He succeeded Bellot in the
see of Bangor, and was also his successor at Chester, being translated
thither, according to Lee, May 16th, 1596, which is probably the correct
date, although the generality of his biographers state that he did not
become Bishop of Chester until 1597, which might be the date of his
consecration.  He was translated to London in 1604, and, dying of
apoplexy on the 30th March, 1607, was buried in St. Paul’s Cathedral.
Wood says he was accounted an excellent preacher and pious liver.  It
appears from the Bishop’s registers that, like some of his predecessors,
he was much concerned to repress the spirit of insubordination and
impatience of episcopal restraint which he found existing among his
clergy.  Failing in his attempts to act as the spiritual adviser and
comforter of his clerical brethren, and to uproot their antipathy to
certain ancient and decent ecclesiastical forms, he frequently cited them
to appear before him in the parish church of Aldford, in which village he
then resided, and publicly vindicated in their presence the polity of the
church.  The bishop did not succeed, however, in removing the scruples of
these good men, who regarded their superior as one who sought to fetter
their independence and destroy their liberty.  On the 3rd of Oct. 1604, a
large body of Lancashire dissentients appeared before the bishop at
Aldford.  They appear to have been men of holy character, laborious in
the discharge of their ministerial functions in populous parishes, and
apparently received kind and impartial treatment.  They were all publicly
admonished by the bishop, and required to conform to the liturgy and
ceremonies of the church, and also to subscribe, _ex animo_, to the three
articles in the 36th canon.  They were cited to appear again at the same
place on the 28th of November following, but only one complied with the
order.  In those days, when roads were proverbially bad, and public
conveyances unknown, a journey to Aldford must have been attended with
serious inconveniences, especially on a gloomy and boisterous November
day.  Burnet says, in reference to these dissentients, that “they were
very factious and insolent.”  During the Episcopate of Bishop Vaughan,
the cathedral was much repaired; he caused the bells to be re-cast and
hung in the great tower; the west roof he had new leaded, and the timber
work repaired.  On his translation to London—

George Lloyd, D.D., rector of Halsall, near Ormskirk, and bishop of Sodor
and Man in 1509, was translated to Chester January 14th, 1604–5.  He died
at Thornton-in-the-Moors, near Chester, of which parish he was Rector, on
the 1st of August, 1615, aged 55 years, and was privately buried in the
choir of the Cathedral of Chester.

Gerard Massie, B.D., was nominated to the bishopric on the death of
Lloyd; but died before consecration.

Thomas Moreton, S.T.P., son of Richard Moreton, of York, Mercer, born in
that city, March 20th, 1564, and educated there and at Halifax.  He
distinguished himself by his extensive classical and theological
attainments at Cambridge, and was elected a Fellow of St. John’s College.
He became B.D. in 1598, and was presented to the rectory of Long Marston,
near Tadcaster.  In 1602 he rendered himself conspicuous by his fearless
attendance on the sick during the prevalence of the plague in York; and
becoming chaplain to Lord Evers, accompanied that nobleman, in 1603, in
his embassy to the Emperor of Germany.  On his return he was appointed
domestic chaplain to the Earl of Rutland, and wrote the first part of the
_Apologia Catholica_, in consequence of the merit of which Archbishop
Matthews collated him to a prependal stall at York.  In 1608 he graduated
D.D., and was appointed chaplain to James I., from whom he received the
deanery of Gloucester; and in the following year succeeded to the deanery
of Winchester.  He was a great benefactor to Winchester Cathedral.  He
was elected Bishop of Chester May 22nd, 1616, and was consecrated at
Lambeth July 7th.  With this see he held the rectory of Stockport, and
diligently applied himself to reconcile popish recusants and scrupulous
non-conformists to the church; and his success was noticed in the royal
declaration in 1618.  He was translated to Lichfield and Coventry March
6th, 1618, and advanced to Durham June 29th, 1632.  He died at the house
of Sir Henry Yelverton, Bart., at Easton Mauduit, Northamptonshire,
September 23rd, 1659, aged 95 years, unmarried, and was buried in the
parish church there, with a long epitaph recounting his preferments and
sufferings.  He endured, with much resignation, hardships, confiscation,
and imprisonment.  Clarendon mentions Bishop Moreton as being one of the
“less formal and more popular prelates.”

John Bridgeman, D.D., the successor of Moreton, was educated at
Cambridge, and elected Fellow of Magdalen College, of which he was
afterwards chosen master, and appointed chaplain to James I.  He was also
prebendary of Lichfield and Peterborough.  He was consecrated Bishop of
Chester 9th May, 1619, at Lambeth, the revenues of the sees amounting at
that time to £420 per annum.  In 1621 he became rector of Bangor-Iscoed,
in Flintshire.  He held his see until episcopacy was suspended under the
commonwealth; and on the 15th December, 1650, his palace, with all the
furniture, was sold by the republicans for £1059.  He died at his son’s
house at Moreton, and was buried at Kinnersley church, in Shropshire,
about the year 1658.  Bishop Bridgeman maintained annually at his own
expense, hopeful young men at the University, and preferred some to
ecclesiastical honours, who afterwards assisted to deprive him of his
mitre.  He was father of Sir Orlando Bridgeman, created Baronet June 7th,
1660, who was successively Lord Chief Baron of the Exchequer, Lord Chief
Justice of the Common Pleas, and Lord Keeper of the Great Seal.  He was
also the direct ancestor of the present Earl of Bradford.

Brian Walton, D.D., a native of Cleveland, in the north riding of
Yorkshire, born in the year 1600, admitted of Magdalen College,
Cambridge, as a sizer, and removed thence to St. Peter’s College in 1616.
He graduated M.A. in 1623, and D.D. in 1639, being then a prebendary of
St. Paul’s, and chaplain to Charles I.  His persecutions and losses
during the great rebellion having driven him into retirement, he
projected his great work, the Polyglot Bible, an imperishable monument of
his learning and industry, which was first printed at London in six folio
volumes in 1657.  On presenting this work to Charles II. at the
restoration, he was made chaplain to the king, and consecrated Bishop of
Chester in Westminster Abbey, on the 2nd December, 1660.  A. á Wood gives
a minute and graphic description of the enthusiastic reception which the
bishop met with when he went to take possession of this long desecrated
see.  The joy of the people on the national resuscitation of episcopacy
was unbounded, and evinced itself by the most public and decided
manifestations.—_Wood’s Athenæ_, _Vol._ 2, _p._ 731.  He enjoyed his
dignity for a short time only, and dying at his house in
Aldersgate-street, London, on the 29th November, 1661, aged 62, was
buried in St. Paul’s Cathedral.

Henry Ferne, D.D. was born at York, in 1642, he was chaplain to Charles
I.; he was one of the king’s commissioners, along with Sheldon, Hammond,
and others, to treat at Uxbridge, in matters relating to the Church.  He
was a personal favourite of the king, and suffered much for the royal
cause; but at the Restoration, a succession of dignities and rewards were
conferred upon him.  He was consecrated Bishop of Chester, February 9th,
1661–2, and died five weeks afterwards, on March 16th, and was buried
with great honour March 25th, 1662, aged 59 years, having never been at
Chester.  In 1642, he published his “Case of Conscience touching
Rebellion,” being the first printed vindication of the royal cause.

George Hall, D.D. son of the pious and learned Joseph Hall, Bishop of
Norwich, was entered of Exeter College, Oxford, in 1628, being then aged
16 years, elected Fellow of his college in 1632, collated to a Prebend in
Exeter Cathedral, in 1639, and installed Archdeacon of Cornwall, October
8th, 1641.  He was presented by his college to the vicarage of
Menherriot, near Liskeard, but was deprived of his benefice, and
prevented keeping a school for his subsistence, during the usurpation.
At the Restoration, he became chaplain to the king, was appointed Canon
of Windsor, and collated by Archbishop Juxon to the Archdeaconry of
Canterbury in 1660, which latter dignity he held _in commendam_ with the
see of Chester, of which he was consecrated bishop May 11th, 1662.  About
the same time he was presented to the rectory of Wigan, by Sir Orlando
Bridgeman, Chief Justice of the Common Pleas.  His death was occasioned
by a wound he received from a knife which happened to be in his pocket,
as he accidentally fell from a terrace in the rectory gardens at Wigan,
on the 23rd August, 1668, aged 55 years.  He was buried in the rector’s
chancel, within Wigan church, where a marble monument was erected to his
memory, on which he is styled “Ecclesiæ Dei servus inutilis, sed
cordatus.”  He published several sermons, and a treatise against popery,
with the singular title of “The Triumphs of Romans over Despised
Protestancy.  London, 1655.”

John Wilkins, D.D., was born in 1614; and in 1627 was entered of New Inn,
Oxford, but removed to Magdalen Hall, where he graduated.  On the
breaking out of the rebellion he took the covenant; and in 1648 was
created B.D., and made warden of Wadham College by the Presbyterian
Committee for the Reformation of the University.  He afterwards
subscribed to the engagement, and complied with the various changes of
the times, though apparently steadily attached to the monarchy.  About
1656, he married Robina, sister of Oliver Cromwell, by whom he had no
issue; and in 1659 he was appointed master of Trinity College, Cambridge.
On the restoration he took the required oaths, and was appointed Dean of
Ripon, afterwards Dean of Exeter; and also preached to the Honourable
Society of Gray’s Inn.  Through the influence of George, Duke of
Buckingham, he obtained the Bishopric of Chester, and was consecrated
November 15th, 1668, holding with it the rectory of Wigan.  He died at
the house of Dr. Tillotson, who had married his daughter-in-law, on
November 19th, 1672, and was buried in the church of St. Lawrence, Jewry,
London.  He was one of the founders of the Royal Society, to which he
bequeathed £400, and a pious, learned, and scientific man.  Calamy says
“many ministers were brought in by Bishop Wilkins’ soft interpretation of
the terms of conformity.”  “He was no great read man,” says Aubrey, “but
one of much and deepe thinkeing, and of a working head, and a prudent man
as well as ingeniose.  He was a lustie, strong growne, well sett, broad
shouldered person; cheerful and hospitable.  He was extremely well
beloved in his diocese.”  Bishop Wilkins wrote several curious and
learned works, which are now scarce and of considerable value.

John Pearson, D.D., F.R.S., born at Snoring (or Creake), in Norfolk,
February 12th, 1612, educated at Eton, admitted of King’s College,
Cambridge, B.A. 1635, M.A. 1639, and shortly afterwards Prebendary of
Sarum.  During the civil war he was chaplain to Lord Goring, and
afterwards in the same capacity in the family of Sir Robert Cook in
London.  In 1650, he was minister of St. Clement’s, Eastcheap, London, at
which Church, he preached his incomparable lectures on the Creed, and
afterwards published them, as he states in the dedication to his
parishioners, at their request.  At the Restoration, he was nominated one
of the king’s chaplains, installed Prebendary of Ely, September 22nd,
1660, and on the 26th of the same month and year, appointed Archdeacon of
Surrey, and admitted Master of Trinity College, on the 14th April, 1662.
Elected F.R.S. 1667.

This great and learned man was consecrated Bishop of Chester, February
9th, 1672–3.  He died July 16th, 1686, and was buried in his own
Cathedral without any memorial.  Burnet says he was in all respects the
greatest divine of the age; a man of great learning, strong reason, and a
clear judgment.  He was a judicious and grave preacher, more instructive
than affective, and a man of a spotless life, and of an excellent temper.
He was not active in his diocese, but too remiss and easy in his
episcopal functions, and was a much better divine than a Bishop.  He was
a speaking instance of what a great man may fall to, for his memory went
from him so entirely that he became a child some years before he
died.—_Hist. Own Times_, _Vol._ 3, _p._ 109–10.

Bishop Pearson has achieved for himself a splendid fame by his able work
on the Creed, which will long perpetuate his memory.

Thomas Cartwright, D.D. son of a schoolmaster of the same name, was born
at Southampton, 1st Sept. 1634, and was educated by presbyterian parents.
He was admitted of Magdalen college, Oxford, but removed to Queen’s
college by the parliamentary visitors in 1649; he afterwards became
chaplain of his college and vicar of Walthamstow, in Essex, and in 1659,
preacher at St. Mary Magdelene’s, in Fish-street, and an active promoter
of the popular faction.  At the Restoration, he turned round and
distinguished himself by his extravagant zeal for the royal cause.  He
had many valuable preferments bestowed upon him, and was created D.D.
although not standing for it.  In 1672, being chaplain to the king, he
was installed Prebendary of Durham, and in 1675, nominated Dean of Ripon,
and was consecrated, October 17th, 1686, Bishop of Chester, “not by
constraint but willingly.”  James the Second found him a ready and expert
agent, and appointed him one of the three commissioners to eject the
President and Fellows of Magdelen college, Oxford, for nobly resisting
the king’s arbitrary attempts to restore popery.  Cartwright being an
unpopular man, found it necessary to leave the kingdom on the arrival of
the Prince of Orange in 1688.  He escaped in disguise, and joined James
II. at St. Germains, whom he shortly afterwards accompanied to Ireland,
where, being seized with a dysentery, he died on the 15th April, 1689,
aged 54, and was buried the next night by the Bishop of Meath, in the
choir of Christ Church, Dublin.  He died in communion with the Church of
England, although attempts were made by the Romanists, in his last
moments, to shake his creed, which his previous inconsistency and
constant intercourse with the agents of the Church of Rome had rendered
questionable.  His diary, from August 1686, to October 1687, has been
edited for the Camden Society by Mr. Hunter, and will increase the
unfavourable estimate which posterity has formed of the vacillating
principles of this unhappy prelate; although there still appears to be
insufficient evidence to conclude with Ormerod that the bishop, on his
death-bed, expressed his faith in equivocal terms, leaving it doubtful
whether he died in communion of the protestant or popish churches; for
even Burnet, who says he was “one of the worst of men,” adds, “bad as he
was, he never made that step, even in the most desperate state of his
affairs;” and Antony á Wood rescues him from a similar charge.

Nicholas Stratford, D.D., was consecrated Bishop of Chester at Fulham, on
15th September, 1689.  He was a firm supporter of the polity and
principles of the English Church, and was esteemed a learned and
primitive ecclesiastic.  It is recorded of him that he never admonished
or reproved others, but in the spirit of meekness and conciliation, a
testimony which appears sufficiently confirmed by the christian tone
which pervades his “Dissuasion against Revenge,” which he addressed to
the conflicting parties in Manchester on leaving that parish.  He was
appointed one of the governors of the bounty of the Queen Anne in the
first charter.  He died February 12th, 1706–7, aged 74, and was buried in
his own cathedral, his whole diocese witnessing that in simplicity and
godly sincerity he had had his conversation in the world; he was
charitable and benevolent, humble and devout.  Chester Blue Coat Hospital
was founded by this excellent bishop, and the Infirmary was founded by
his son, who bequeathed £300 to the charity.

Sir William Dawes, Bart., D.D., was appointed Dean of Bocking by Dr.
Tenison, Archbishop of Canterbury, and about 1697 was nominated chaplain
to King William III., whose favour he secured by a sermon he preached on
the 5th November.  Being disappointed of the Bishopric of Lincoln in
1705, the queen nominated him without application to that of Chester, and
on the 8th February 1707, he was consecrated.  He was very bountiful to
the poor clergy of the diocese, and augmented several small livings.  In
1714 he was translated to York; Archbishop Sharpe, who died at Bath
February 2nd, 1713–14, having obtained a promise from Queen Anne that Sir
William Dawes should be his successor, because his grace thought that he
would be diligent in executing the duties of his laborious office.

Francis Gastrell, D.D., was consecrated Bishop of Chester in 1714, a
learned and pious man, who laboured with untiring energy, and whose
episcopate was characterized by great benevolence, prudence, and wisdom.
He compiled a most valuable MSS. concerning the benefices of the diocese,
entitled “Notitia Cestriensis,” which is considered “the noblest document
extant on the subject of the ecclesiastical antiquities of the diocese.”
He is also the author of a very useful work, entitled “The Christian
Institutes.”  He died November 24th, 1725.

Samuel Peploe, S.T.P., was appointed to the see of Chester April 12th,
1726.  He died February 21st, 1752, was buried in the cathedral near the
altar, where a monument was erected to his memory.

Dr. Edmund Keene, master of St. Peter’s, Cambridge, and rector of
Stanhope, succeeded Peploe, and held the rectory of Stanhope in
commendam.  He was consecrated March 22nd, 1752.  The present episcopal
palace was re-built by him out of his own fortune, at an expense of
£2,200.  On his installation to the see of Ely in 1771—

William Markham, LL.D., Dean of Christ Church, Oxford, was elected Bishop
January 26th.  Shortly afterwards he was appointed preceptor to the
Prince of Wales, and the Duke of York.  From this See in 1776, he was
translated to the Archbishopric of York.  He died in his 89th year,
universally beloved, and was buried in the cloisters of Westminster

Beilby Porteus, D.D., was born at York, May 8th, 1731, of American
parents, and was the youngest but one of nineteen children.  He received
his early education at York and Ripon, and was afterwards admitted a
sizer of Christ’s College, Cambridge, in which University his merits and
abilities soon became distinguished, and were made more generally known
by his excellent poem on “Death,” which received the Seatonian Prize.  In
1769, he was made chaplain to His Majesty, and December 31st, 1776, was
promoted to the Bishopric of Chester, from whence he was translated to
London in 1787, on the demise of Dr. Louth, and died on the 14th May,
1808, in the 78th year of his age.  In 1772, he joined with some other
clergymen in an unsuccessful endeavour to obtain an amendment of some
portions of the Prayer Book.  In 1769, he gave his support to a measure
for enlarging the liberties of protestant dissenters, and in 1781 opposed
an effort “to lay such restrictions on the catholics as would prevent
their increase.”  He felt a deep interest in the cause of the slave, and
made strenuous efforts to improve the condition of the negroes of the
West Indies.  Among other charitable benefactions, he transferred in his
lifetime nearly £7000 stock to the Archdeaconries of the diocese of
London, as a permanent fund for the relief of the poorer clergy of that
diocese; and he also established three annual gold medals at Christ’s
College, Cambridge, and by his will bequeathed his library to his
successors in the See of London, with a liberal sum towards erecting a
building for its reception in the episcopal palace at Fulham.  This
learned and pious prelate wrote several works, which are highly esteemed.
At his own request, the inscription on his tomb simply records the dates
of his birth and death. {49}  He was succeeded by—

William Cleaver, D.D., who was advanced to the See of Chester through the
interest of his former pupil, the Marquis of Buckingham, whom he had
attended as chaplain when Lord Lieutenant of Ireland.  He was consecrated
Bishop, January 20th, 1788, and was translated to Bangor in 1799, and
from thence, on the death of Bishop Horsley in 1806, to the diocese of
St. Asaph, over which he continued to preside until his death, which took
place May 15th, 1815.

Henry William Majendie, D.D., canon of St. Paul’s, was nominated in the
place of Bishop Cleaver, May 24th, and consecrated June 14th, 1800,
translated in 1810, to the See of Bangor.

Bowyer Edward Sparke, D.D., Dean of Bristol, was consecrated January
21st, 1810, and translated to the See of Ely in 1812.

George Henry Law, Prebendary of Carlisle, was consecrated Bishop of
Chester, July 5th, 1812, and translated to the See of Bath and Wells in
the year 1824.  Bishop Law was a fine scholar, and a most able divine.

Charles James Blomfield, D.D., the present learned Bishop of London, was
consecrated to the See of Chester in 1824.  He was Fellow of Trinity
College, Cambridge, in which University his great talents and lofty
erudition secured for him high academical honours.  Upon his translation
to the See of London in 1828 {50a} he was succeeded by—

John Bird Sumner, D.D., who has been as labouring in the use of his pen,
as he was faithful and assiduous in the fulfilment of his episcopal
duties.  His voluminous writings have achieved for him great fame as an
able and eloquent divine.  His prize essay, entitled “The Records of
Creation,” is a wonderful display of learning and reasoning power, and
will doubtless long perpetuate his brilliant reputation.  His piety,
earnest zeal, and affable bearing, during the period he held the
Episcopate of Chester, secured the affection of all classes.  He was
universally beloved.  After having occupied the See of Chester for twenty
years, he was in 1848 appointed Archbishop of Canterbury.

John Graham, D.D., was consecrated Bishop of this Diocese in 1848, and is
at present, with pious earnestness and diligence, fulfilling the duties
of his high office.

When Henry the Eighth dissolved the monastery of St. Werburgh and erected
it into a Cathedral Church, he founded a Deanery, two Archdeaconries, and
six Prebendaries.  Under this new _regime_, John Clarke, the last Abbot
of the monastery, was appointed first Dean.  His successor was Henry
Mann, who was, in 1546, consecrated Bishop of the Isle of Man.  He was
succeeded by William Cliff, L.L.D. in 1547; Richard Walker in 1558; John
Peers in 1567; Richd. Langworth in 1571; Robert Dorset in 1579; Thomas
Modesley in 1580; John Rutter in 1589; William Barlow in 1602; Henry
Parry in 1605, who was afterwards made Bishop of Rochester, from which he
was successively translated to Gloucester and Worcester; he was succeeded
by Thomas Mallory in 1606, who held his appointment 38 years; he died at
Chester, April 3rd, 1644, and was buried in the choir of the Cathedral.

William Nicols, installed April 12th, 1644.  His successor, after a
vacancy of about 2 years, was Henry Bridgman, presented July 13th, 1660,
he was consecrated Bishop of the Isle of Man, with leave to hold the
Deanery, _in commendam_.  He died in Chester, May 15th, 1682, and was
buried in the Cathedral, without any memorial.  Leycester says, “he hath
beautified and repaired the Deans’ house in the Abbey court very much.”

He was succeeded by James Arderne in 1682; he died August 18th, 1691, and
was buried in the choir of the Cathedral, with the following memorial on
one of the pillars:—“Near this place lies the body of Dr. James Arderne,
of this County, a while Dean of this Church, who though he bore more than
a common affection to his private relations, yet gave the substance of
his bequeathable estate to this Cathedral, which gift, his will was,
should be mentioned, that clergymen may consider whether it be not a sort
of sacrilege to sweep all away from the church and charity, into the
possession of their lay kindred, who are not needy.  Dat. Oct. 27th,
1688.  This plain monument with the above inscription, upon this cheap
stone, is according to the express words of Dean Arderne’s will.”  His
successor was Lawrence Fogg, in 1691.  His first preferment was the
Rectory of Hawarden, in Flintshire, from which he was ejected for
non-conformity.  Subsequently, conforming, he was presented to the
vicarage of St. Oswald’s, by the Dean and Chapter, in 1672: he was buried
in the chapel of the Cathedral, and a monument was erected to his memory.
Walter Offley was installed in 1718.  Thomas Allen in 1721.  Thomas
Brooke in 1733.  William Smith in 1758.  This learned divine was
presented by the Earl of Derby to the Rectory of Trinity, Chester, in
1735.  In 1753 he was nominated one of the Ministers of St. George’s
Church, Liverpool, by the corporation.  In 1766, he was instituted to the
Rectory of Handley, Cheshire, by the Chapter of the Cathedral, and in the
following year he resigned the Chaplainship of St. George’s Church, on
which occasion the corporation of Liverpool presented him with 150
guineas, “for his eminent and good services in the said church.”  He died
January 8th, 1787, in the 76th year of his age, and was buried on the
south side of the communion table in the cathedral.  An elegant monument
was erected to his memory by his widow, with an inscription, reciting his
merits as a christian, a scholar, and a preacher.

Dr. Smith was worthily distinguished for his learning.  He was an eminent
scholar, a sound divine, and a good poet.  His elegant translations of
the Greek classics were held in great repute, and have been several times
reprinted.  He was succeeded by George Cotton, who was installed February
10th, 1787.  Hugh Cholmondley was appointed in 1806.

In this worthy Dean the poor had a generous benefactor, while the active
interest he took in every object which proposed the good of the city,
rendered him beloved by all.  He was most laborious in his attention to
the duties of his office, and many important restorations were effected
in the cathedral by him.  He was succeeded by Robert Hodgson, D.D., in
1816.  Dr. Vaughan was appointed as his successor in 1820, who was
succeeded by Edward Coppleston, D.D., afterwards promoted to the
Bishopric of Llandaff, who erected the screen which separates the church
of St. Oswald, from the south side of the cathedral, at an expense of
£600.  Henry Philpotts, D.D., was appointed Dean in 1828, and on his
promotion to the Bishopric of Exeter, in 1831, was succeeded by Dr.
Davys, the well known author of “Village Conversations on the Liturgy,”
“History of England for Children,” &c.

On his promotion to the See of Peterborough in 1839, the Rev. F. Anson,
D.D., was appointed Dean of Chester, to whose unremitting zeal, directed
by sound judgment and refined taste, we are indebted for the important
improvements which have been effected in the cathedral since his
appointment.  Through his indefatigable energy, the noble edifice has
been greatly beautified; and many essential alterations have been
introduced in the choral service and architectural arrangements, which
have added very much to its decoration and general effect.

During the siege of Chester by the republican army, the cathedral was
very much damaged by those heroic but unscrupulous men.  Notwithstanding
that one of the articles of surrender was to the effect that “no church
within the city, or evidence or writings, belonging to the same shall be
defaced,” in the face of this solemn engagement, they wantonly defaced
the cathedral choir, injured the organ, broke nearly all the painted
glass, and removed the fonts from the churches.  Although the
parliamentary forces were cemented by their renowned leader, chiefly by
religious enthusiasm, and all their extraordinary movements directed and
sustained mainly by that feeling; it nevertheless did not restrain them
from committing violent outrages on the churches of the land.  Religious
impulse banded them together, and impressed a singular unity on all their
movements.  The memorable counsel of Cromwell to his men will be
remembered,—“put your trust in the Lord, and keep your powder dry;”—to
them the counsel was opportune, and met with a deep response; but they
respected but little the dictates of conscience and the christian
associations of others, whose religious views and modes of worship
differed from their own.  Whatever judgment may be entertained respecting
their political course, and the issues in which it resulted, we apprehend
that the acts of violence they perpetrated on the sacred edifices which
others frequented and revered, as the places of their holy service,
cannot be justified on any principle.

In 1683 the cathedral was again wantonly damaged by a reckless mob,
instigated by the ambitious Duke of Monmouth.  The Cowper MSS. gives us
the following detail of the disgraceful outrages which unhappily they
succeeded in perpetrating.

    “In the middle of August, James, Duke of Monmouth, came to Chester,
    greatly affecting popularity, and giving countenance to riotous
    assemblies and tumultuous mobs, whose violence was such as to pelt
    with stones the windows of several gentlemen’s houses in the city,
    and otherwise to damage the same.  They likewise furiously forced the
    doors of the cathedral church and destroyed most of the painted
    glass, burst open the little vestries and cupboards, wherein were the
    surplices and hoods belonging to the clergy, which they rent to rags,
    and carried away; they beat to pieces the baptismal font, pulled down
    some monuments, attempted to demolish the organ, and committed other
    enormous outrages.”

It now remains for us to give a description of this venerable religious
edifice.  Although in its general external appearance, it may not present
the prepossessing attractions which appertain to some other cathedral
churches, it nevertheless has a history of peculiar interest; and in its
architectural delineations is well worthy of the study of the
ecclesiologist and the antiquary.  From whatever side the cathedral is
viewed, it presents the appearance of a massive pile, and exhibits a
pleasing variety of styles in accordance with the taste of different
ages; some parts decorated with elaborate workmanship, while others are
perfectly simple and unadorned.  The principal parts now standing are
not, perhaps, older than the 14th and 15th century, when the richly
ornamented style of Gothic architecture was at its zenith in this
country.  Its general character may be termed the perpendicular.  It has
been generally supposed that there are some remaining specimens of the
Saxon, and Lysons favours the theory; but Mr. Asphitel, in an interesting
and able lecture, delivered before the Archæological Society, stated that
he could not, from the most minute research, discover any portions of the
Saxon church.  He considered it probable there might be some portions in
the foundations, but none, in his opinion, were visible.

The west front is said to have been the work of Abbot Ripley, who was
appointed to the abbacy in 1485.  It is now in an unfinished state, and
it would seem that there was an intention to form two western towers.
The foundation of them was laid with much ceremony by Abbot Birchenshaw,
in 1508, the Mayor being then present: but the project was most likely
abandoned for want of funds.  “Had the original design been executed,”
says Winkle, “it would not have been very imposing.  The effect of it, as
it now appears, is much injured by a building which is connected with it,
and shuts out one of the turrets which flank on either side the west wall
of the nave.  The original intention seems to have been the usual one,
viz., a square tower on each side of the west end of the nave.  The
foundations of that on the north side still exist, the site of that on
the south is now occupied by a building called the consistory court, once
perhaps a chapel, in the west wall of which is a pointed window of four
lights, with perpendicular tracery, and flowing crocketted canopy with
rich finial; above the window is a belt of pannelled tracery, and on each
side of it is a niche with overhanging canopies, adorned with pendants
and pinnacles, and resting on good brackets.  The statues are gone.  The
parapet of this building is quite plain.  The west entrance is a singular
and beautiful composition.  The door itself is a Tudor arch, inclosed
within a square head, the spandrils are filled with rich and elegant
foliations, the hollow moulding along the top is deep and broad, and
filled with a row of angels half-lengths; all this is deeply recessed
within another Tudor arch, under another square head, with plain
spandrils of ordinary panelling.  On each side of the door are four
niches, with their usual accompaniments of crocketted canopies,
pinnacles, and pendants, and instead of brackets, the statues stood on
pedestals with good bases and capitals.  Above this entrance is the great
west window of the nave, deeply and richly recessed; it is of eight
lights, with elaborate tracery, of some breadth just below the spring of
the arch, and above this some simple tracery of the kind most common to
the latest age of the pointed style.  The arch of the window is much
depressed, and has above it a flowing crocketted canopy, the gable has no
parapet, but is finished off with a simple coping.  The flanking turrets
before-mentioned are octagonal, and have belts of panelled tracery and
embattled parapets.

    “Leaving the west front, and turning to the south, a rich and deep
    porch presents itself behind the consistory court.  The south face of
    that court is very similar, in all respects, to the west, already
    described.  The porch is flanked by buttresses which once had
    pinnacles.  The entrance is under a Tudor arch, within a square head,
    the spandrils richly panelled, over the square head is a broad belt
    of quatrefoil panelling, above that a hollow moulding adorned with
    the Tudor flower.  Above this are two flat-headed windows, of two
    lights each, with a deep niche between them, resting on a projecting
    bracket, the statue of course is gone, but the projecting and richly
    decorated canopy remains, on both sides of which the wall above is
    adorned with two rows of panelling, the open embattled parapet which
    once crowned the whole has disappeared.  The south side of the nave
    and its aisle is plain, but not without dignity; the windows are all
    pointed and of perpendicular character; those of the aisle have
    straight canopies, with projecting buttresses between, which still
    have niches, and once had both pinnacles and statues.  The aisle has
    no parapet.  The windows of the clerestory are unusually large and
    lofty, and their canopies are flowing in form, but perfectly plain,
    and without finials, they have no buttresses between them, and the
    parapet is very shallow and quite plain.

    “The next feature of this cathedral, which is now to be described in
    due order, is a very singular one, and indeed unique, viz., the south
    wing of the transept.  It is no uncommon case to find the two
    portions of the transept unlike each other in some respects; but in
    no other instance are they so perfectly dissimilar as at Chester.
    Here, the south wing is nearly as long as the nave, and of equal
    length with the choir, and considerably broader than either, having,
    like them, aisles on both sides; while the north, which probably
    stands upon the original foundations, has no aisles, is very short,
    and only just the breadth of one side of the central tower.  The east
    and west faces of this south portion of the transept are nearly
    similar.  The aisles have no parapet; the windows are pointed, of
    four lights each, with late decorated tracery and small intervening
    buttresses.  The clerestory has a parapet similar to that of the
    nave; the windows are pointed, large, and lofty, with perpendicular
    tracery, and two transoms.  The south front of this transept, flat at
    top, is flanked with square embattled turrets and buttresses, and has
    a large window of the perpendicular age filling up nearly all the
    space between them.  The south face of the aisles on each side have
    pointed windows, similar to those already described, and sloping tops
    without parapet, but flanked by double buttresses at the external
    angles, without pinnacles.

    “The south face of the choir, with its aisle, is in nearly all
    respects similar to the south portion of the transept; but the aisle
    is lengthened out beyond the choir, and becomes the side aisle of the
    Lady Chapel, and has an octangular turret near the east end, with
    embattled parapet, and beyond it a plain heavy clumsy buttress: the
    sloping parapet of the east face of this aisle meets at the top the
    flat plain parapet of the most eastern compartment of the Lady Chapel
    which projects beyond the aisle, to that extent.  The windows of the
    Lady Chapel are all pointed, and of good perpendicular character; the
    projecting portion has double buttresses at the external angles, and
    the eastern face has a low gable point.  This chapel is very little
    higher than the side aisles of the choir, the east face of which is
    seen over it, with a large lofty pointed window, with perpendicular
    tracery and several transoms, flanked with octagonal turrets,
    engaged, and terminated with something like domes of Elizabethan
    architecture.  The parapet of this east face of the choir is flat.
    The north side of Lady Chapel is similar to the south; the choir and
    its aisles exhibit features of early English character on this side,
    but the chapter-room conceals a considerable portion of it, which is
    a small building of an oblong form, and also of early English
    architecture.  Over its vestibule and the arched passage leading into
    the east walk of the cloister, is seen the large window in the north
    front of the transept; the arch is much depressed, the tracery very
    common and plain, and it has two transoms; the walls of this wing of
    the transept are very plain, flat at top, and no parapet.  The whole
    north side of the nave can be seen only from the cloister-yard.  The
    south walk of the cloister is gone, and in the wall of the aisle,
    below the windows, are still seen several enriched semicircular
    arches resting on short cylindrical columns, evidently belonging to
    the original church of Hugh Lupus.  The windows of the aisle are
    Tudor arched, with the ordinary tracery of this period; but, owing to
    the cloister once existing beneath, are necessarily curtailed of half
    their due length: there is a thin flat buttress between each; the
    aisle has no parapet.  The clerestory is lofty, and the windows
    pointed, and not so much depressed as those in the aisle beneath:
    they are not so lofty as those in the south side, nor have they any
    canopies.  There is a thin buttress between each, without pinnacles,
    and the parapet is quite plain, but not so shallow as that on the
    south side.

    “The central tower is perhaps the best external feature of this
    cathedral, it is indeed only of one story above the roof ridge, but
    it is loftier than such towers usually are; in each face of it are
    two pointed windows, divided down the middle with a single mullion,
    with a quatrefoil at the top, and all of them have flowing crocketted
    canopies with finials.  At each of the four angles of the tower is an
    octagonal turret engaged, all of which like the tower itself, are
    terminated with an embattled parapet.”

On entering the interior (says the same authority) through the west
doorway, into the nave, some disappointment and regret cannot but be
felt.  Here is no vaulted roof, but a flat ceiling of wood, resting on
brackets of the same material, slightly arched, which gives the nave the
appearance of having less elevation than it really possesses; for the
naves of many much more magnificent cathedrals are not so lofty as this
by several feet, but by being vaulted, their apparent height is
increased.  The stone vaulting appears to have been actually commenced,
and it is to be regretted that the desirable work was not completed, as
it would certainly have given to the nave a much more imposing effect.
The north wall of the nave, to the height of the windows, is Norman work,
and contains, on the side of the cloisters, six tombs, where, as it
appears from an old MS. written on the back of an old charter, now in the
British Museum, the early Norman Abbots are interred.  Under a wide arch,
sunk in the south wall, which from the ornaments attached to the pillar
near it, appears part of the original building, is a coffin-shaped stone,
with a cross fleury on the lid, over the remains of some Abbot.  Nearly
opposite to this, is an altar-tomb, the sides of which are ornamented
with Gothic niches, with trefoil heads, and with quatrefoils set
alternately, the quatrefoils being also alternately filled with roses and
leopards’ heads; the lid slides, and discloses the lead coffin, a part of
which has been cut away; on the lid is a plain coffin-shaped stone.  It
is highly probable that this tomb contains the remains of one of the
later Abbots.  The pillars of the nave are clustered, and have rich bases
and foliated capitals, and the arches are pointed.  In this part of the
Cathedral and the north transept, are several monuments worthy the
attention of visitors.  A pyramidical monument by Nollekins, representing
a female figure resting on a rock, against which is placed a broken
anchor, erected by Capt. John Matthews, R.N. to the memory of his wife.
One, in white marble, by Banks, representing the genius of history
weeping over an urn, having three vols., inscribed “Longinus,”
“Thucydides,” “Xenophon,” placed by it; erected to the memory of Dean
Smith, the learned translator of those works.  One to the memory of Mrs.
Barbara Dod, erected by the minor canons.  One to Capt. John William
Buchanan, of the 16th light dragoons slain at the battle of Waterloo.
One of Cavalier Sir Willm. Mainwaring, killed at Chester during the great
civil war, 1644.  Against the north wall, a handsome monument, enclosing
a bust of Sir John Grey Egerton, Bart., erected by subscriptions of the
citizens of Chester, in memory of their honourable and independent
representative.  One in memory of Major Thomas Hilton, who died at
Montmeir, in the Burmese empire, 2nd February, 1829.  One to Augusta, the
wife of the Rev. James Slade, canon of the Cathedral, and daughter of
Bishop Law.  One of Capt. John Moor Napier, who died of asiatic cholera,
in Scinde, July 7th, 1846, aged 28 years: this monument was executed by
Westmacott, the inscription was written by his uncle, the gallant Sir
Charles Napier, and is as follows:—

    The tomb is no record of high lineage;
    His may be traced by his name.
    His race was one of soldiers:
    Among soldiers he lived—among them he died.
    A soldier, falling where numbers fell with him
    In a barbarous land.
    Yet there died none more generous,
    More daring, more gifted, more religious.
    On his early grave
    Fell the tears of stern and hardy men,
    As his had fallen on the grave of others.

    To the memory of their comrade, the officers of the General Staff in
    Scinde erect this cenotaph.—[The above was executed by Westmacott.]

In the north transept is a piece of exceedingly fine tapestry, executed
after one of the cartoons of Raphael, representing the history of Elymas
the Sorcerer.  Wright, in his travels through France and Italy, after
describing the tapestry he saw in the Vatican at Rome, says “We have an
altar-piece in the choir of Chester, after one of the same cartoons (it
is that of Elymas the Sorcerer), which, in my mind, is much superior to
any of these.”  There is also a well-executed stone monument to Roger
Barnston, Esq., and a tablet in memory of good Chancellor Peploe.

The choir well merits the attention of every visitor of taste.  From the
organ loft to the Bishop’s throne, the sides are ornamented with rich
spiral tabernacle work, underneath which are massive and highly
ornamented stalls.  The choir is separated from the nave and broad aisle
by a Gothic stone screen; there are five pointed arches on each side;
above them, is an arcade of pointed arches, resting on slender shafts,
and above it are the clerestory windows.  The pavement of the choir is of
black and white marble.  At the west end of it, are four stalls on each
side of the entrance, and there are twenty others on each side of the
choir; over these are rich canopies, with pinnacles and pendants in great
profusion.  Above the stalls on the right hand, opposite the pulpit, is
the Bishop’s throne, which formerly stood at the east end in St. Mary’s
Chapel, and is said to have been the shrine of St. Werburgh, or as
suggested by Pennant, the pedestal on which originally stood the real
shrine which contained the sacred reliques.  At the Reformation it was
removed to its present position, and converted into a throne for the
Bishop.  It is a rich specimen of Gothic architecture, decorated with
carved work, and embellished with a range of thirty curious small
statues, variously habited, holding scrolls in their hands, and
originally inscribed with their names, but now defaced.  Dr. Cowper
published in 1799, an elaborate history of these figures, and was of
opinion that they represented kings and saints of the royal Mercian line,
ancestors or relations of St. Werburgh.  Very great improvements have
recently been effected within the choir.  The restoration of the bishop’s
throne was effected by the munificence of the Rev. Canon Slade, as an
obituary testimonial to his late father-in-law, Bishop Law, in memory of
whom, the following inscription, engraven upon a brass plate, is affixed
to the throne:—

    In gloriam Dei hanc cathedram reficiendam curabit A.D. MDCCCXLVI.
    Jacobus Slade, A.M. hujus ecciesiæ Canonicus.  Necuen in piam
    memoriam Georgii Henrici Law, S.T.P. per xii. annes Episcopi
    Cestriensis. dein Bathoniensis.

At the back of the throne is a magnificent stone screen, the gift of the
Archbishop of Canterbury, corresponding in style with that on the
opposite side behind the pulpit, which was erected by the Dean and
Chapter.  The altar screen was presented by the Rev. Peploe Hamilton, of
Hoole, near Chester; the larger chair within the rails of the communion
table is the liberal gift of the Dean, and the small one was presented by
the Rev. Canon Blomfield; the new lectern, of carved oak in the form of
an eagle, by the Rev. Chancellor Raikes, executed by Mr. Harris, of
Chester; the new stone pulpit, from a beautiful design by Mr. Hussey, is
the liberal gift of Sir Edward S. Walker, of this city.  The seats of the
choir have been provided with new crimson cushions, the stalls have been
re-painted, and the canopies gilded by Mr. John Morris, through the
liberality of the Dean.  Towards the restoration of the cathedral, Her
Majesty the Queen also contributed a donation of £105 in the name of the
Prince of Wales as Earl of Chester.

The execution of the alterations were entrusted to Messrs. Furness and
Kilpin, of Liverpool, and it is gratifying to add that Chester artificers
have been chiefly employed in carrying them out.  Mr. Haswell built the
organ screen, the throne, the pulpit, the stone work of the new east
window in the choir, and re-laid the marble pavement.

Mr. Harrison constructed the reredos at the back of the altar; and the
oak seats, screens and altar rails are the work of Mr. J. Evans.

Under the east window is an arch opening to the Lady Chapel, which
consists of a middle and two side aisles, the stone vaulting of which is
adorned with richly carved key-stones.  The side aisles are divided from
the middle portion of two arches, sprung from a massy pier on each side,
apparently part of the original building, cut down and crusted over with
clusters of light pillars, terminated in elegant pointed arches, with
quatrefoils inserted in the mouldings.  On the north side of the chancel,
which extends beyond the side aisles, are two elegant pointed arches; one
contains two piscinas; the other was apparently a seat for the
officiating priest: another pointed arch appears also on the opposite

The cloisters are on the north side of the church, and form a quadrangle
of about 110 feet square; originally, there were four walks, but the
south walk is destroyed.  The general style of the cloisters is that of
the fifteenth century, with carved key-stones at the intersections of the
vaulting, the arches of the windows are depressed; a lavatory projects
from the west walk of the cloisters, and did extend along the south walk;
over the east walk was a dormitory, which was sometime ago destroyed,
much to the injury of the appearance of these conventual ruins.  It is
obvious that the present cloisters are only a restoration of an earlier
one.  In the east walk of the cloisters is the entrance into the Chapter
House, or rather its singular vestibule, 30 feet 4 inches long, and 27
feet 4 inches wide.  The vaulted roof of this apartment is supported by
four columns without capitals, surrounded by eight slender shafts.  The
Chapter room itself is an elegant building, 35 feet high, 50 feet long,
and 26 broad.  The stone vaulting rests on clusters of slender shafts,
with foliated capitals; all the windows are in the latest style, those at
the east and west ends consist of five lights each.  A gallery goes round
three sides of the room, and where it passes the windows is carried
between the mullions, and a corresponding series of light shafts
connected with them, which have elegant sculptured capitals, and support
the mouldings of the lancet arches above.  Notwithstanding the soft
nature of the stone, the carving is all in an excellent state of

Pennant has ascribed the erection of this beautiful building to Randle
Meschines, on the ground of his having removed the body of Hugh Lupus,
“de cœmiterio in capitulum,” as mentioned in his charter to the Abbey;
and he is, most probably, right in supposing that the same respect would
have been paid at the time of his death, if a Chapter House had then
existed.  This argument, however, merely tends to prove that the Chapter
House was built by Handle Meschines, but as far as can be inferred from
the architecture, it may be reasonably doubted whether any part of the
present Chapter House was built long before the extinction of the local
earldom.  The learned Dr. Ormerod is of opinion that this is about the
date of its erection, and he is supported by several other competent
authorities, who concur with him on the point.

In the Chapter House are preserved some interesting local relics, among
which is a red sand stone, 24 inches by 8 inches, found on the site of
the Deanery, bearing this inscription:—

               [Picture: COH .I.C. OCRATI MAXIMINI . M . P]

Mr. Roach Smith, an eminent authority in such matters, says that this
inscription is to be ascribed to the century of Ocratius Maximus, of the
first Cohort of the 20th Legion; it has evidently been a facing stone,
probably in the city wall; it resembles in character the centurial
commemorations on the stones in the great northern wall, and like them,
apparently refers to the completion of a certain quantity of building.

There is also the head part of a stone coffin, found by persons employed
in digging in the Chapter House in 1723.  The scull and bones were
entire, and lay in their proper position, enveloped in an ox-hide.  On
the breast was a piece of cloth, the texture of which could not be
ascertained.  It has been supposed by Pennant and others, that these
remains were those of Hugh Lupus, which were removed hither from the
churchyard, by his nephew Randle, Earl of Chester.  Ormerod seems to be
of opinion that this relic designated the place of sepulchre of Abbot
Simon Ripley.  It is now generally admitted by those most competent to
form a judgment on the subject, that Ormerod has given a true
interpretation of this interesting relic.  The initials, he says, are
clearly S. R., and the wolf’s head corresponds in style of carving with a
similar one introduced by Simon Ripley on the tower of Saighton Manor
House.  There are also two shot-torn banners of the 22nd Cheshire
regiment of Infantry, which were received from India, after that gallant
corps had been presented with new colours, and were presented by the
government to the then Dean of Chester (Dr. Davys) for preservation in
the Cathedral.

The appearance of this noble room would certainly be much improved by the
removal of the unsightly bookcases, which are not in the slightest unison
with the beautiful architecture they so much obstruct.  Mr. Ashpitel
says, “he considers the Chapter House, with its singularly tasteful
vestibule, to be the finest in the kingdom of its form;” and has
animadverted, with deserving severity, upon the tastelessness of a
professed architectural critic, who could pass over the building with the
disparaging criticism, “poor enough?”  He (Mr. Ashpitel) had been told
the same story, but he found beauties which grew upon him more and more
at every visit.  The Norman remains, he says, are extremely fine—there is
work of all kinds of great beauty; and there are the most curious and
instructive transitions from style to style that perhaps were ever
contained in one building.

The north walk of the cloister contained the chief entrance into the
refectory of the convent, which still remains a magnificent apartment,
now divided by a modern passage, the eastern and greater portion being
used as the King’s School.  It was seventy-eight feet long, and
thirty-four feet high, with a roof of oak resting on brackets, which was
removed some years ago.  Six pointed windows with intervening buttresses
lighted the north side, and four the south.  At the east end were three
lancet-shaped windows, with slender detached shafts, all included within
one greater arch.  In the south east angle of this once noble room, is a
flight of steps within the wall, with a projection at the upper end like
a stone pulpit; these steps led to the ancient dormitory, and opens into
the refectory by an elegant range of pointed arches, trefoiled within,
whose spandrils are pierced with a series of quatrefoils.

  [Picture: Norman Vaulted Chamber, Chester Cathedral, date about 1095]

We now direct the visitor’s attention to a portion of the Norman edifice,
which has of late excited very deep interest, the Promptuarium, lately

    “the chamber is a sort of gallery or cloister on the ground floor,
    about ninety feet long by forty feet wide, traversed in the centre by
    a row of pillars (with one exception cylindrical), which divide it
    into six double bays, from which pillars, and four corresponding ones
    at each side, spring the intersecting arches by which the building is
    vaulted.  The side pillars are as entirely Norman in their character
    as the centre ones, being simply the square pier, on each face of
    which is the pilaster attached; the groining of the roof is without
    the finish of ribs at the joints, a finish characteristic of a later
    period.  The chamber, which has at present only a borrowed light from
    the cloisters on the east, was originally lighted from the west side,
    by a window in each bay, except the second bay from the south end, in
    which was a principal entrance.  This doorway and the windows are now
    all choked up by the adjoining garden.  On the same side, and at the
    north end, is a very large chimney and fire-place.  A glance at the
    groining and arches at the north end, informing us that the chamber
    did formerly end here, I was induced to think, by this situation of
    the fire-place, that its length was originally very much greater.  I
    have since found the termination of the chamber in the cellars of the
    present Registry, where the groining is supported by corbels, which
    shew that the vaults extended there, but no further.  One double bay,
    therefore, added to the present remains, gives us the entire length
    of the building,—about one hundred and five feet.  In this last bay,
    on the east side, is a principal doorway (four inches wider than the
    one on the west side), leading towards the refectory.  On the east
    side also, and near the north end, is a postern from the cloisters
    and a spiral staircase, partly constructed in the thickness of the
    wall, leading to the chamber above, of which there are now no
    remains.  Two small archways at opposite sides of the chamber,
    precisely similar in form and size, and rising from beneath the level
    of the floor, seemed to indicate a subterranean passage connecting
    them.  An excavation round each has, however, discovered no channel
    between them.  In considering the character and situation of this
    vaulted chamber it should be borne in mind that though now apparently
    subterranean, it is only so with reference to the west side, the
    level of the floor being four feet above the level of the nave of the
    cathedral.  The ground which now rises above it on the west side is
    all _made_ ground of late date, belonging to the Palace, the original
    level of which is identical with this chamber, as shewn by the area
    round the present Palace kitchens, and by those apartments belonging
    to the Abbot’s residence, which yet remain.” {74}

Mr. Ashpitel, in his interesting lecture on Chester Cathedral, bestowed
the name of Promptuarium on this Norman cloister, he says, “these are
vaulted apartments of early Norman work, and are described in the charter
of Henry VIII., by which he divides the properties between the bishop and
dean, _promptuaria et pannaria_, the former derived from a word denoting
a butler or steward, probably a buttery; and the latter, from _pannus_, a
cloth, probably the place for clothing.”

Mr. Ayrton, in an able paper on the Norman remains of the cathedral, read
before the Chester Archæological Association, entered into an elaborate
inquiry on the subject, stating his reasons for concluding that this is
not a _Promptuarium_, but, in his opinion, a spacious hall, where the
splendid hospitality of the Abbots was displayed to strangers, friends,
and dependents.  His arguments are marshalled with great ingenuity and
force; and as every contribution which tends to throw light on the use,
to which this remain of the ancient monastery was devoted, possesses much
importance and interest; we will here insert his observations upon it:—

    “Let us see how far we have any authority for considering this
    building a ‘Promptuarium,’ that is, a store-room or buttery.  All
    that Ormerod says of it is, that ‘it is a kind of crypt, consisting
    of a double row of circular arches, springing, with one exception,
    from short cylindrical columns.  This building was probably used as a
    depository for the imported stores of the abbey, of which we may form
    no mean idea from a charter from the King of the Isles to the Abbot
    of St. Werburgh, granting ingress and egress to the vessels of the
    Monks of the Abbey of St. Werburgh, with sale and purchase of goods,
    toll free, and right of fishing upon his coasts.’  (Vol. I. page
    218.)  But he gives us no authority for the use ascribed to it; only
    his own unsupported supposition hazarded when the building was not so
    far cleared or intelligible as at present.  The name “Promptuarium”
    was bestowed on it by Mr. Ashpitel when it was cleared out and
    restored to its present condition at the expense of the British
    Archæological Association, under the direction of the Local
    Committee, preparatory to the Congress of 1849.  He derives the name
    from a sentence in Henry the VIII’s. charter (dividing the properties
    between the Bishop and the Dean and Chapter,) and speaks of this
    building in the _plural_, which agrees with his reading of the
    charter, but does not agree with the fact.  He says, in his lecture
    on Chester Cathedral, ‘These are vaulted apartments of early Norman
    work, and are described in the charter of Henry VIII., by which he
    divides the properties between the Bishop and the Dean as
    _Promptuaria et Pannaria_, the former derived from a word denoting a
    butler or steward, probably a buttery, and the latter from _pannus_,
    a cloth, probably the place for clothing.’  The sentence to which Mr.
    Ashpitel alludes, and which he applies to this building, is the one
    describing the chamber which was called the “_secunda aula_”—“_nec
    non secundam aulam_, _seu interiorem cum suis pannariis_,
    _promptuariis_, _et ceteris ejusdem membris_.”

    “No doubt the hall, which was of great importance, had its
    Promptuaria and pannaria, with its other appropriate offices; but I
    see no ground for applying these plural designations to a single
    chamber of such extent and character.  We find the same terms used
    elsewhere in the charter with reference to other parts of the
    building, where there is no such chamber on which to bestow them.  I
    must also suggest that we do not elsewhere find in remains of this
    date, buildings of such unbroken extent, magnitude, and continuous
    design, for such a purpose.  Store-houses and offices there were
    attached to every conventual building of like importance, but we
    shall find them, I apprehend, always more equally quadrangular, more
    confined, and with a regard to convenience which predominates over
    the attention paid to style and effect.  Here we have a chamber of
    vast extent (we have now ascertained its original length to have been
    105 feet), in which the design has been kept carefully unbroken by
    the details or partitions necessary to offices such as the word
    ‘Promptuarium’ describes.  We see throughout the whole extent great
    attention paid to the arrangements, the regularity, and the
    ornamentation of the building; and we find the pillars, the capitals,
    shafts, and bases, unbroken and uninjured save by the hand of time,
    and, notwithstanding the friable nature of the stone, for the most
    part as sharp and well defined as they were left by the chisel of the
    mason.  It appears to me impossible to reconcile all these
    particulars with the purposes assigned to the building by Ormerod, or
    by Mr. Ashpitel.

    “I may now perhaps be asked, ‘If this chamber was neither a
    store-room nor a Promptuarium, what was it?’  It is not without
    hesitation that I attempt to answer that question.  From its length,
    its double bay of arches, and its situation between the church, the
    refectory, and the Abbot’s apartments, I should have deemed it a
    cloister; probably _the_ Norman cloister, when the ground occupied by
    the present cloisters was differently appropriated; but, unlike a
    cloister, it is closed on every side, and the existence of the
    fire-place does not agree with that assumption; added to which the
    original windows are all on the side belonging to the Abbot’s
    apartments, the side to the church having been entirely closed with
    the exception of the postern.  My belief is, that it was no other
    than the “Secunda Aula” itself, mentioned in Henry the Eighth’s
    charter; a sort of spacious hall for the accommodation of the Abbot’s
    friends and dependents, for the reception of strangers, and the
    exercise of that large hospitality which was dealt out so freely and
    bountifully in the eleventh and succeeding centuries in all important
    monastic establishments.  That its claim to the title of the “Secunda
    Aula” has hitherto been overlooked, may arise from its having been
    erroneously considered (as by Ormerod) a sort of crypt, or
    subterranean building; whereas a little consideration of its level,
    and the ground around it, will shew us that it has only assumed that
    character since the sixteenth century.” {78}

There is a vaulted passage at the south end of the “_Promptuarium_,” or
“_Secunda Aula_,” leading from the Abbot’s apartments to the Cathedral.
It is groined in exactly the same proportions as the bays of the Norman
chamber, and the arches are circular, springing from pillars precisely
similar, but the groining is ribbed, and not with cylindrical, but
eliptical mouldings.  These mouldings stamp a semi-Norman character on
the work, being almost a transition to the early English style.

                        [Picture: Norman doorway]

Two beautiful Norman doorways gave ingress and egress from this passage,
and still remain, though the one which opened to the present west
cloister is closed, and sadly disfigured by the alterations of the
sixteenth century.  The other doorway to the west, is perfect, excepting
the shafts of the pillars, which are gone.  The capitals supporting one
side of the architrave are foliated and of late character for Norman

At the south end of the east cloister, and forming the present entrance
from that cloister to the cathedral, is a Norman doorway, of about the
same date as the arcade adjoining it.  The architrave is very ornate,
bearing the billet ornament, accompanied by a bead which runs between the
mouldings.  Unfortunately the stone has perished more in this doorway
from exposure than in those of the vaulted passage; but still more has
been lost from the unmerciful treatment it has received at the hands of
the plasterer.  It is quite choked up with plaster and colouring, which
might, with a little care and trouble, be all removed, and the door
restored to something more like its original effect.  The capitals of the
pilasters are foliated, and identical with those already noticed in the
Norman doorway of the vaulted passage.

In 1843, a liberal subscription for the purchase of two painted windows
having been made, the Dean and Chapter made an appeal for an additional
fund, for the praiseworthy purpose of restoring some portion of the
ancient beauties of the cathedral.  The appeal was most liberally
responded to by the subscription of the munificent sum of £4000.  A new
organ has been erected at a cost of £1000., built by Messrs. Gray and
Davidson, of London; it is a large and splendid instrument, of great
power and richness of tone; the top of which is carved with tabernacle
work, in unison with that of the choir.  The instrument contains the
following stops:—

_The Great Organ_, extending from CC to F, contains Double Diapason,
sixteen feet—Open Diapason, eight feet—Open Diapason, eight feet—Stopped
Diapason and Clarabella, eight feet—Fifth, six feet—Principal, four
feet—Flute, four feet—Twelfth, three feet—Fifteenth, two
feet—Sesquialtra, three ranks—Furniture, two ranks—Mixture, two
ranks—Trumpet, eight feet—Clarion, four feet.

_Swell Organ_, from FF to F, contains:—Double Diapason, sixteen feet—Open
Diapason, eight feet—Stopped Diapason, eight feet—Principal, four
feet—Fifteenth, two feet—Sesquialtra, three ranks—Hautboy, eight
feet—Cornopean, eight feet—Clarion, four feet.

_Choir Organ_ from GG to F, contains:—Open Diapason, eight feet—Dulciana,
eight feet—Stopped Diapason, eight feet—Principal, four feet—Flute, four
feet—Fifteenth, two feet—Clarionet, eight feet.

_Pedal Organ_, from CCC to D, two octaves and two notes, contains:—Open
Diapason (wood), sixteen feet—Stopped Diapason, sixteen feet—Principal,
eight feet—Fifteenth, four feet—Tierce, three and a quarter
feet—Sesquialtra, two ranks.

_Couplæ_:—Swell to Great Manual—Swell to Choir Manual—Choir to Great
Manual—Great Manual to Pedals—Choir Manual to Pedals.

There are four Composition Pedalsr for changing the Stops in the Great

The old pews, which were sadly out of keeping with the rich Gothic
woodwork of the stalls, have been removed, and the choir has been new
seated in the Gothic style.

The whole of the choir has been vaulted, which has greatly contributed to
its improved appearance.  The walls of the choir, aisles, and Lady
Chapel, have been repaired, cleaned, and coloured.  Three beautiful
stained glass windows have been placed at the east end of the choir and
in the Lady Chapel, which have given a much more solemn and impressive
aspect to the interior.  The clerestory window of the choir has five
figures, representing our Saviour and the four Evangelists, surrounded
with their various emblems; over which are five scenes from the life of
Christ, viz., the Agony in the Garden; Bearing the Cross; the
Crucifixion; the Resurrection; and the Ascension.  This window was
executed by Mr. Wailes, of Newcastle-on-Tyne, at the cost of £200.  The
window of the Lady Chapel represents, in its lower divisions, the
following important transactions in the history of the Redeemer’s sojourn
upon earth:—The Annunciation to the Shepherds—the Nativity—the Offerings
of the Wise Men of the East—the Presentation in the Temple—Christ
Disputing with the Doctors—the Baptism—the Miracle of turning the Water
into Wine—Healing the Lame—Walking on the Sea—Feeding the Multitude—the
Transfiguration—the Raising of Lazarus—the Entry into Jerusalem—Washing
the Disciples’ Feet—and the Last Supper.  The upper division of the
window contains figures of the twelve Apostles; ranged in the order in
which their names are given in Sacred Writ.  This window was also
executed by Mr. Wailes, at the cost of £360, and of the outer guards £60.

A magnificent window by the same artist, has also been placed in the
south aisle of the choir, by the Very Rev. the Dean, in memory of three
deceased members of his family.  The inscription is as follows:—

    “Sancta Catherina—‘The souls of the righteous are in the hand of
    God.’—Catherine Louisa Anson, died and buried at Southwell, March 28,
    1832, aged 18, third daughter.”

    “Sanctus Thomas—‘Thy brother shall rise again’—Thomas Anson, Lieut.
    R.N., died and buried at Sudbury, March 17, 1845, aged 24, fourth

    “Sancta Maria—‘The Lord gave and the Lord hath taken away.’—Mary
    Blomfield, wife of the Rev. G. B. Blomfield, Canon of Chester, died
    and buried at Stevenage, August 6, 1848, aged 38, 2nd daughter of the
    Rev. Frederick Anson, D.D. Dean of Chester, by whom this memorial is

Another obituary window has more recently been erected; placed next to
the latter.  It is in memory of George Edward Anson, Esq., son of the
Dean of Chester.  The inscription is as follows:—In memory of George
Edwd. Anson, Esq. C.B., Keeper of H.M. Privy Purse; Treasurer of H.R.H.
Prince Albert, and to the Prince of Wales.  Suddenly called away from the
faithful but unostentatious discharge of high official duties to his rest
in Christ, on the 9th day of October, 1849, aged 37.  He was the 2nd son
of the Rev. Frederick Anson, D.D., Dean of this Cathedral, with whose
bereavement the inhabitants of this city and neighbourhood record their
sympathy, and commemorate his zeal in the restoration of the Cathedral
Church, by erecting this memorial window.  Mr. Hardman of Birmingham was
the artist; and the cost of the window £180.  The events represented are
the Raising of Jairus’ Daughter—Raising of Lazarus—Raising the Widow’s
Son—Entombment and Resurrection of our Lord—and, Our Lord appearing to

The service of the cathedral is performed with great solemnity and fine
taste; and the talented organist, Mr. Gunton, merits great praise for the
admirable manner in which he fulfils his important duties.

The hours of Service are:—Week-day: morning, 7 10; afternoon, 3.
Sunday:—morning, 11; afternoon, 4 o’clock.  During the winter months the
service begins at 4 in the afternoon.  There is an anthem every day in
the afternoon service.

The following is a list of the dignitaries of the cathedral:—


                              F. Anson, D.D.


Rev. J. Slade, M.A.             Rev. T. Eaton, M.A.
Rev. G. B. Blomfield, M.A.      Rev. T. Hillyard, M.A.


Rev. Henry Raikes, M.A.       Rev. H. McNeile, D.D.
Rev. C. A. Thurlow, M.A.      Rev. H. Stowell, M.A.


R. W. Gleadowe, M.A.      W. H. Massie, M.A.
W. Harrison, M.A.         E. E. Thurland, B.A., Precentor, &c.

In concluding this record of the venerable Cathedral of Chester, we think
it will have appeared, that while it has a _history_ of deep interest and
significance, it has also many architectural beauties, well deserving of
a minute and careful study.

    “Amid the imposing growth of material wealth and pride, it is not
    unseasonable to remember that _temple architecture_ is the oldest in
    the world; and to ask, after so impressive a vindication of its
    longevity, whether having been the earliest, it may not prove the
    latest term of human civilization.  I am persuaded that so it will
    be; for there is in the soul of man ‘a temple not made with hands,’
    which demands and shapes forth the visible structure as its shell of
    life; which is ever fresh amid the change and wreck of ages, and can
    build again the ruins of the past; indeed, the hidden cloister of
    whose worship will remain still open, and thrill with higher strains,
    when time and its structures shall be no more.”

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{21}  The Lysons give the income at £1003 5s. 11d.

{49}  The book is badly faded and “inscription” and “birth” are both

{50a}  The is badly faded and “London in 1828” is a guess.—DP.

{74}  Mr. W. Ayrton on the Norman remains of the Cathedral.

{78}  Since the above remarks were delivered, a chamber has been
discovered at Furness Abbey of almost identical character, and with a
similar row of columns running down the centre, by Mr. Sharpe, who gives
it the title of the Hospitium, and assigns to it purposes almost the same
as I assume for the Secunda Aula.

*** End of this LibraryBlog Digital Book "A History of Chester Cathedral - with biographical notices of the Bishops and Deans" ***

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