Old St. Paul's Cathedral eBook

This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 115 pages of information about Old St. Paul's Cathedral.

[Footnote 1:  The Grey Friars Monastery was on the site of Christ’s Hospital, this year removed.  The Chronicler was one of the expelled monks, and, naturally enough, was shocked at the whole business.]

[Footnote 2:  Robert Machyn was an upholsterer of Queenhithe, whose business, however, was chiefly in the way of funerals.  He kept a diary, which is much used by Strype in his Annals, but has been reprinted in full by the Camden Society.  It is very amusing, very illiterate, and full of gossip.  He was a hot partisan of the Roman faith, and so never loses the opportunity of a fling at the Reformers.  He died of the plague in 1563.]

[Footnote 3:  Milman’s Annals of St. Paul’s, pp. 280-1.]

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St. Paul’s a Cathedral of theOld Foundation”—­The Dean —­The Canons—­The Prebends—­Residentiaries—­Treasurer —­Chancellor—­Archdeacons—­Minor Canons—­Chantries —­Obits—­Music in Old St. Paul’s—­Tallis—­Redford—­Byrd —­Morley—­Dramatic Performances—­The Boy Bishop—­The Gift of the Buck and Doe.

We have recorded the building of the Cathedral and some of the principal national events of which it was the scene.  But it is also necessary, if our conception of its history is to aim at completeness, to consider the character of its services, of its officers, of its everyday life.

We speak of St. Paul’s as “a Cathedral of the Old Foundation,” and of Canterbury and Winchester as of “the New Foundation.”  What is the difference?  The two last named, along with seven others, had monasteries attached to them.  Of such monasteries the Bishop was the Abbot, and the cathedral was immediately ruled by his subordinate, who was the Prior.  Other monasteries also had Priors, namely, those which were attached to greater ones.  Thus the “Alien” houses belonged to great monasteries at a distance, some of them even across the sea, in Normandy.  These houses became very unpopular, as being colonies of foreigners whose interests were not those of England, and they were abolished in the reign of Henry V. When Henry VIII. went further and dissolved the monasteries altogether, it became needful to reconstitute those cathedrals which were administered by monks.  St. Paul’s not being such, remained on the old foundation; Winchester, of which the Bishop was Abbot of the Monastery of St. Swithun, was placed under a Dean and Canons, as was the great Monastery of Christchurch, Canterbury.  The last Prior of Winchester became the first Dean.  It is clear, therefore, that the Dean of Winchester stands on a somewhat different historical footing from the Dean of St. Paul’s, and it becomes necessary to say something about the latter.

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Old St. Paul's Cathedral from Project Gutenberg. Public domain.
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