Brotherhood of Canons Serving God (A English by David Lepine

By David Lepine

This learn makes a speciality of the canons of the 9 secular cathedrals in England within the later heart a long time, who have been among the main capable and winning clerics in their age. After contemplating the capabilities of the cathedrals which supplied them with a comfy source of revenue and huge prestige, Dr Lepine turns to the canons themselves, tracing their origins and analysing their careers. He examines the canons' place of abode at their cathedrals, developing what percentage have been resident within the shut and what sort of time they spent there. The research concludes by way of featuring case experiences to teach the vigor and variety of capitular existence within the later heart a long time: Salisbury among 1398 and 1458 (its so-called golden age) and Lichfield from 1490 to 1540, at the eve of the Reformation.

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As we have seen this multiplication was largely a consequence of the increasing numbers of chantries and obits being founded, which itself was a reflection of the doctrine of purgatory and a desire for intercessory prayers. 33 In the course of the later middle ages considerably more had been established but as their endowments dwindled and priests could not be found to serve them some were amalgamated or dissolved. 34 York, Lincoln and St Paul's were exceptional in the numbers of chantries they attracted.

14 The Henrician Reformation, while it plundered the wealth of the secular cathedrals, especially their shrines and some of their endowments, made few other changes to them. 15 On the dissolution of the larger monasteries the few 9Chichester Fasti, 49; CPR 141316, 767; CCR 141319, 8991. 10Lincoln Fasti, 23, 1099, 11415, 20, 712. 11 J. M. Horn and D. Smith, Fasti Ecclesiae Anglicanae, 15411857, iv York Diocese, 1975, 33, 47. 12VCH Sussex, ii, 48, 4023. 13Chichester Fasti, 524; Kitch, 'Chichester Cathedral', 277, 279.

At York, Lichfield and St Paul's city guilds operated from within the cathedral. 93 All nine cathedrals had fraternities or guilds providing spiritual benefits for their members which were open to the laity. Their roots lay in the twelfth century when they were used to raise funds for the great building projects. 95 There is some evidence to indicate that the Lichfield fraternity was particularly large and included many of the ordinary people. 96 Such a figure seems very large but may not be unreasonable.

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