1) Words and phrases which were italicized in the original have been surrounded by underscores('_') in this version. Words or phrases which were in bold face have been surrounded by pound signs('#').
2) Obvious printer's errors have been corrected without note.
THE CATHEDRAL CHURCH OF EXETER
A Description of Its Fabric and a Brief History of the Episcopal See
PERCY ADDLESHAW, B.A. (Oxon.)
With XXXVII Illustrations
London G. Bell and Sons, Ltd. 1921 First Published, January 1898 Second Edition, Revised, 1899 Third Impression, 1907 Fourth Impression, 1912 New and Revised Edition, 1921.
Among various books consulted the author specially owes his acknowledgments to "The Fabric Rolls"; Leland's "Itinerary"; Holler's "History"; Izacke's "Antiquities of Exeter"; Britton's "History and Antiquities of Exeter"; "Transactions of Exeter Architectural Society"; Oliver's "Lives of the Bishops of Exeter"; Murray's "Handbook of Exeter"; Archdeacon Freeman's "Architectural History of Exeter Cathedral"; Professor Freeman's "Exeter" (Historic Towns Series); Prince's "Worthies of Devon"; Worth's "History of Devonshire"; Fuller's "Worthies of Devon"; Macaulay's "History of England"; and Green's "Short History of the English People." The author would also express his special thanks to the late Canon Hingeston-Randolph, the learned editor of the Episcopal Registers of the Diocese, for information which contributed largely to the improvement of the second edition of this book.
PREFACE TO THE THIRD EDITION
In reissuing this handbook, which during the lapse of twenty-three years had become out of date in many ways, the editor has introduced considerable alterations in the arrangement of the matter, with a view to facilitating its use as a guide to the various parts of the Cathedral. For suggestions as to this, and for numerous improvements and corrections in detail he is particularly indebted to Miss Beatrix F. Cresswell, whose published works "Exeter Churches," "Notes on the Churches of the Deanery of Ken," and "Edwardian Inventories for the City and County of Exeter" have made her an authority on the ecclesiology of the Diocese.
PAGE HISTORY OF THE CHURCH OF ST. MARY AND ST. PETER IN EXETER 1
THE FABRIC OF THE CATHEDRAL. EXTERIOR 19 The Towers 23 The Roof 24 The North Porch 24 The West Front 27
THE FABRIC OF THE CATHEDRAL. INTERIOR 31 The Nave 31 The Minstrels' Gallery 36 St. Radegunde's Chapel 36 St. Edmund's Chapel 39 Monuments in the Nave 39 The North Transept 43 Sylke Chantry 44 St. Paul's Chapel 44 The South Transept 44 Monuments in the South Transept 47 The Choir Screen 48 The Organ 52 The Choir 52 The Choir Stalls 55 The Reredos 56 The Bishop's Throne 56 The Sedilia 56 St. James' Chapel 59 St. Andrew's Chapel 61 The Ambulatory 61 Speke's Chantry 63 Bishop Oldham's Chantry 63 The Lady Chapel 65 Bronscombe's Tomb 66 Stafford's Tomb 66 Tomb of Sir John and Lady Doddridge 67 St. Gabriel's Chapel 69 Quivil's Tomb 69 St. Mary Magdalen Chapel 69
TOMBS IN THE CHOIR AND CHOIR AISLES 71
THE CHAPTER HOUSE AND CLOISTER 73
THE CLOSE AND CATHEDRAL LIBRARY 78
THE BISHOP'S PALACE 79
THE DIOCESE OF EXETER 83
ROUGEMONT CASTLE AND THE GUILDHALL 91
PAGE Exeter Cathedral—from the South-west Frontispiece Arms of the Diocese Title View of the Cathedral from the South xii Interior—Chapter House 13 Exeter Cathedral, from an old print 21 The Cathedral—from the South-east 22 The Northern Tower 25 The West Front 26 Portals of the West Front 29 The Nave—from the South Transept 30 The Nave—looking West 33 Corbels and Bosses 34 The Minstrels' Gallery 35 Bays of Nave 37 The "Patteson" Pulpit 38 The Nave—looking East 41 The Transept—looking North 45 Interior in the last century 49 The Choir Screen 51 The Choir—looking West 53 The Choir before Restoration 54 The Choir—looking East 57 The Sedilia 58 Pulpit in the Choir 60 St. James' Chapel 61 St. George's Chapel 62 The Lady Chapel 64 Bishop Bronscombe's Monument 66 Screen of St. Gabriel's Chapel 68 Tomb of Bishop Stapledon 72 Monument of Bishop Marshall 73 The East Gate (pulled down in 1784) 77 The Bishop's Palace 81 Old Houses in Fore Street 90 Rougemont Castle 93 The Guildhall, Exeter 94
PLAN OF THE CATHEDRAL at end
HISTORY OF THE CHURCH OF ST. MARY AND ST. PETER IN EXETER.
The history of any ancient cathedral must always be interesting, and that of Exeter is no exception, though "it supplies less of architectural history than those churches whose whole character has been altered over and over again." A cathedral represents not only the spiritual, but the active, laborious, and artistic life of past generations. The bishop, too, was in many ways the head man of the province, and combined, not seldom, the varied qualities of priest, warrior, and statesman. The acts of such ecclesiastics were full of importance, not for their own city only, but often also for the whole nation. As men who had frequently travelled much and studied deeply, they summoned to their aid in the building and beautifying of their churches the most skilled artists end artificers of their time; so, with the story of the lives of the bishops of a diocese, the history of a cathedral's building is inextricably woven. To be elevated to a bishopric generally meant to be put into possession of great wealth—when Veysey became bishop the revenues of the see of Exeter have, by some authors, been computed at L100,000; Canon Hingeston-Randolph puts them, with more reason and authority, at the sum of L30,000—and a large portion of this money was spent on works connected with the chief church of the diocese. It is not wonderful, therefore, this generosity being joined to marvellous skill and taste, that our old cathedrals are at once the despair and envy of the modern architect. And it is with a feeling of reverence that one recalls the history of those who built in the heart of each populous city "grey cliffs of lonely stone into the midst of sailing birds and silent air."
The story of Exeter has an unique interest, and its church, as we shall see, is in many respects without a rival. The fact that a building of such great beauty should adorn a city so situated is remarkable; for long after—as we read in Macaulay—weekly posts left London for various parts of England, Exeter was still, as it were, on the borders of territories scarcely explored, and was the furthest western point to which letters were conveyed from the metropolis. Fuller thus describes the county of Devonshire in his day (1646): "Devonshire hath the narrow seas on the South, the Severn on the North, Cornwall on the West, Dorset and Somersetshire on the East. A goodly province, the second in England for greatness, clear in view without measuring, as bearing a square of fifty miles. Some part thereof, as the South Hams, is so fruitful it needs no art; but generally (though not running of itself) it answers to the spur of industry. No shire showes more industrious, or so many Husbandmen, who by Marle (blew and white), Chalk, Lime, Seasand, Compost, Sopeashes, Rags and what not, make the ground both to take and keep a moderate fruitfulness; so that Virgil, if now alive, might make additions to his Georgicks, from the Plough-practice in this county. As for the natives thereof, generally they are dexterous in any employment, and Queen Elizabeth was wont to say of the gentry: They were all born courtiers with a becomming confidence."
The city of Exeter is of great age. "Isca Damnoniorum, Caer Wise, Exanceaster, Exeter, keeping essentially the same name under all changes, stands distinguished as the one great city which has, in a more marked way than any other, kept its unbroken being and its unbroken position throughout all ages." But though Whitaker asserts that in the middle of the fifth century it was the seat of a bishop, Professor Freeman, with more authority, declares that the city did not become a bishop's see till the latter half of the eleventh century, at which period the bishopstools were removed from the small to the great towns. Until 703 A.D. Devonshire formed part of the vast diocese of Wessex. About the year 900 A.D. the diocese of Devon and Cornwall was divided into two—the former with its bishop's seat at Crediton—only to be reunited again a hundred and fifty years later when Leofric was appointed bishop.
The first record of a church dedicated to SS. Mary and Peter in Exeter, is that of an abbey church founded by Athelstan. But Sweyn destroyed it seventy years later, and it seems frequently to have been attacked by invaders previous to its destruction. But in 1019 Canute endowed a new church and confirmed by charter their lands and privileges to the monks. This building must have been of some pretensions, for it was given to Leofric for his cathedral church in 1050. It occupied the site of the present Lady Chapel. When Warelwast and Marshall built their Norman church they placed it on the east of the old church, leaving an intervening space. Their nave occupied the site of the present nave, the transeptal towers were the same, but the choir was shorter and probably terminated in an apse flanked by smaller apses at the ends of the choir aisles. Traces of one of these have been found at the end of the third bay of the north choir aisle. Bronscombe and Quivil (see p. 5) began their reconstruction at this end, and by adding the ambulatory and Lady Chapel linked together the sites of the old and new churches.
With the episcopate of Leofric, Exeter first assumes the rank of a cathedral city. The sees of Devon and Cornwall had been held together by Lyfing, the last bishop of Crediton. But Crediton, an unfortified "vill," was an easy prey to the Irish, Danes, and other pirates, who devastated the diocese from time to time. Leofric felt the urgent necessity for a change, and fixed on the walled town of Exeter to be his cathedral city. He sent a clerk to the pope asking him to write to the king recommending the change. The king readily consented, and the church of St. Mary and St. Peter was given to the bishop as his cathedral church. The event was clearly regarded as of considerable importance, for at his installation Edward the Confessor "supported his right arm and Queen Eadgytha his left." Archbishops, bishops, and nobles also assisted at the ceremony. Leofric proved a hard-working and wise prelate, and gave generously of lands and moneys to his church. He had found it but poorly furnished, the wardrobe only containing "one worthless priest's dress." He also remembered it in his will, and the great "Liber Exoniensis" was his gift.
But if the history of the see has its birth with Leofric, the story of the cathedral begins with the appointment in 1107 of Warelwast as bishop. This noteworthy man was a nephew of the Conqueror and chaplain to both William II and Henry I. Inheriting to the full the Norman passion for building, he pulled down the Saxon edifice and began to erect a great Norman cathedral in its stead. The transeptal towers attest the magnificence of his scheme. There is nothing quite like them anywhere else, though at Barcelona and Chalons-sur-Marne may be seen something similar. But they suffice to stamp him as an architect of exceptional genius. He laboured zealously in other matters, founding at Plympton a wealthy Augustinian priory; he also represented the king at Rome in his famous quarrel with Anselm. It is said that he became blind and died, an old man, at his priory of Plympton.
The next important date to notice is 1194, when Henry Marshall, brother of Walter Earl Marshall, was made bishop. For two years the episcopal throne had remained empty, the king being absent from England in the Holy Land. But with the appointment of Marshall a most important stage is reached. King John gave to the see the tithes of the tin in Devonshire and Cornwall. This must have largely increased the episcopal income, for Marshall quickly set about completing the work Warelwast had begun a hundred years before. To this end he granted the emoluments of St. Erth's Church, near Hayle, Cornwall, to be used towards defraying the cost of repairs. He also called upon each householder to show his interest in the work by subscribing, at Pentecost, an alms of "unum obolum ad minim." For the sufficient remuneration of the choral vicars he made over to them the church of St. Swithun in Woodbury, "with all its appurtenances."
To Marshall we owe extensive additions to the nave, the north porch, and the cloister doorway. He completed the Norman church begun by Warelwast, but there is no evidence that he extended to the eastward, as is sometimes stated. The position of the tomb in the "founder's place" on the north side of the choir indicates that it terminated only a few yards farther to the east. Beyond there must have been an open space between the Norman and the old Saxon cathedrals.
For nearly fifty years there are but scant records of work done to the building. Though Professor Freeman speaks of its "not long-lived perfection," it is quite possible that Marshall's work was considered, by his own and the succeeding generation, to be final. Any interest there may be in the lives of two of the succeeding bishops, until the election of Bronscombe in 1257, is for the most part due to their labours in other matters. For example, under Simon de Apulia, the city of Exeter was divided into parishes; and by William Bruere the chapter house and stalls of the old choir were completed. He was one of the leaders of the English army at Acre in 1228. He also created the deanery of Exeter.
 "Exeter" (Historic Towns Series), by Prof. E.A. Freeman (Longmans).
But with the arrival of Walter Bronscombe a new career of architectural energy begins. Now dawns that wonderful transformation period, at the close of which the church stood pretty much as we now know it. Concerning Bronscombe's character there has been somewhat bitter dispute. It is certain that he was accused of craftiness and meanness. But William of Worcester, whose testimony is valuable, called him Walter le Good. Whatever may be the real truth of the matter, he seems to have made an admirable bishop, his election reflecting considerable credit on the acumen of those concerned in it. For he had not, surely, much to recommend him, at first sight, for so important a position. Though he was Archdeacon of Surrey at the time of his appointment, he was not a priest, and he was quite a young man. He was a vigorous supporter of learning throughout the diocese, probably because of his anxiety to give other men of humble origin a fair chance of making their way in the world. He restored the College of Crediton, and built one at Glaseney. Bronscombe may be credited with giving the first impetus to the reconstruction of the cathedral by his work in the Lady Chapel and the chapels on either side of it, viz., that of St. Mary Magdalen on the north, and St. Gabriel on the south, the latter being destined for his own tomb. To his Dean and Chapter he appropriated the church of St. Bruared in Cornwall, that the feast of his patron saint, Gabriel, might be worthily maintained.
Peter Quivil, his successor in the see, was probably working with him, as he was a canon of the cathedral before being raised to the bishopric. He invented and designed the Decorated cathedral, and transformed the transepts. He must be classed with Warelwast as the chief of the building bishops. Admirably and sympathetically as his work was continued by those who followed him, their claim on our recognition and gratitude is less. His skill, too, seems to have been almost equalled by his generosity, for out of gratitude the Chapter promised to maintain his yearly obit. In the office of the mass, in the memento for the dead, his name was ordered to be spoken primum et praecipium. He seems to have given the Franciscans some cause for anger; it is suggested that his Dominican confessor urged him to treat the followers of St. Francis with severity. Anyhow, the aggrieved ones had their revenge, for the bishop's death, which happened on the eve of St. Francis, "after drinking of a certain sirrop," was popularly attributed to the direct intervention of the saint himself. He is buried in the Lady Chapel, which he had transformed and decorated with such tender care, and a slab in the centre of the pavement, bearing the legend "Petra tegit Petrum nihil officiat sibi tetrum," is dedicated to his memory.
It has been ascertained by Canon Hingeston-Randolph that Bishop Quivil was the first to endow the office of chaunter with an adequate salary, and that the first to enjoy the benefit of it was Walter de Lecchelade or Lechlade, though he was by no means the first chaunter or precentor. A dispute that long agitated antiquaries has thus been settled. For it was contended by some that John the chaunter was the first to hold the office, by others that Quivil founded the office and that the bishop's name was really John Cauntor. But the explanation that the stipend was only increased by Quivil, and that it existed before his day, was entirely satisfactory, we may hope, to the supporters of the rival theories. The above-mentioned Walter Lechlade was murdered "about two in the morning" on his return from matins in the cathedral cloisters. The murderers escaped through the south gate of the city, which was left open. An extraordinary sensation was created, not in Exeter only but throughout England. The bishop invited Edward I. and his queen to keep their Christmas at the Palace. We are told "they were very industrious in finding out the murtherers." At last Alfred Dupont, an ex-mayor and porter of the south gate, was found guilty and executed accordingly. Perhaps, had the office of chaunter not been endowed, Walter Lechlade might have continued for many long years to chaunt in sonorous voice "matins, vespers, obits, and the like." At any rate the story is worth telling, being an interesting picture of manners in the middle ages. It will be found given, with many interesting details, in an appendix by Canon Hingeston-Randolph to his edition of the Register of Bishop Quivil (p. 438).
Quivil's successor was Thomas De Bytton, Dean of Wells. Under his guidance the work of transformation planned by his predecessor was loyally continued, for he faithfully adhered to the original design. Though Bytton appears to have been less active outside his diocese than many of the Exeter bishops, his mode of life must have commended itself to a large circle. A grant of forty days' indulgence was the reward of all those who availed themselves of his spiritual ministrations, or offered prayers for his prosperity during his life and after death. Among the signatures appended to the document notifying this singular privilege are those of numerous archbishops and bishops, among them being those of the archbishops of Cosensa and Jerusalem, and Manfred, Bishop of St. Mark's, Venice. "The seal of Manfred," Dr. Oliver says, "is perfect; he stands robed, with a piece of embroidery on his alb. The crozier is simply curved. His legend is S. MANFREDI. DEI. GRA. EPISCOP. SCI. MARCHI." It was dated at Rome in the year 1300. Possibly Bytton's great learning, by which he had risen to be Professor of Canon Law at Oxford and Pope's Chaplain, was partly the reason of so notable a compliment. But the noble work he was doing in the cathedral church of his diocese, we may hope, had not a little to do with the honour. For to him we owe the entire transformation of the choir with its aisles. Bytton's labours were, indeed, very great. We hear of large quantities of stone procured from Barley, and of sandstone from Salcombe and Branscombe. He also put a good deal of stained glass into the windows; so that in the eleventh year of his episcopate the following item is recorded: "Master Walter le Verrouer for setting the glass of the upper gable and of eight upper windows, and of six windows in the aisles of the new work, in gross, L4 l0s." Bytton was succeeded, in 1308, by Walter de Stapledon, the most famous of all the bishops of Exeter. A younger son of Sir Richard Stapledon of Annery, his appointment was the first of a succession of aristocratic nominations. He, too, had been a professor of canon law at Oxford, was a chaplain to the Pope and precentor of the cathedral church of Exeter. The feast given after his enthronement was unusually splendid, the revenues for a whole year being spent on the festivities. It seems as though, conscious of his great talents, he determined to signalize his accession to the episcopal office by some event of unusual magnificence. It must be remembered that Exeter was at this time one of the largest and richest sees in England. As Professor Freeman has pointed out, "The Bishop of Exeter, like the Archbishop of York, was the spiritual head of a separate people." Stapledon set about expediting the work of transforming the cathedral into the Decorated style in vigorous fashion. The Fabric Rolls record that he himself gave the (then) enormous sum of L1,800 towards defraying the cost. His generosity encouraged others to subscribe liberally towards the building fund. One of his first duties was to complete the choir, a payment being made to William Canon of L35 2s. 8d. for "marble from Corfe for the columns." But the choir was really Bytton's, the new bishop had only to give to it "a few final, though not unimportant, touches." Still he found plenty of work to hand that might receive the impress of his sole initiative. He designed and completed the triforium arcade above the choir arches, and directed the colouring of the choir vault, the total expenses for oil and colour being estimated at L1 9s. 73/4d. By these "final touches" the transformation of the choir into the Decorated style was completed. But Stapledon determined to further enrich his already beautiful church with accessories of surpassing splendour. He erected a high altar of silver, also the beautiful sedilia, and though there has been a good deal of dispute about the matter, the more trustworthy authorities attribute to him the bishop's throne of carved wood. At any rate, in 1312, there is a charge of L6 12s. 81/2d. for "timber for the bishop's seat." The altar, unfortunately, has disappeared, but it is reputed to have cost a sum equivalent to L7,000 of our money. Canon Freeman thus describes it: "Above, as it should seem (for the entries are very obscure), was a canopy of considerable extent, wrought with bosses internally. The whole seems to have been surmounted by a figure of our Lord." With Stapledon building seems to have been a favourite recreation; for though he gave most largely both of time and money to the cathedral work, he found opportunity to build and endow Harts Hall, Stapledon Inn—now Exeter College—Oxford, and the "very fair" Essex House in London. In 1320 he was created Lord High Treasurer by Edward II., and later in the same year received from his sovereign the power of holding pleas of "hue and cry" in the lands, tenements, and fees of the bishopric in the county of Cornwall. The neglected condition of many of the parish churches in his diocese distressed him, and almost his last public appearance in the west of England was at Lawhitton, where he spoke severely on this matter to his Dean and Chapter, and bade them see to it that in future there should be no good cause of complaint. In the autumn of 1324 he set out for France, accompanying the young Prince Edward, who was about to do homage to the French king for the duchies of Aquitaine and Poitou. But his "irreproachable integrity" made him unpopular, and his life was threatened. On his return to England he saw that a crisis was at hand, and almost immediately after his arrival Queen Eleanor landed on the coast of Suffolk. Edward II., in a brief moment of wisdom, assigned to the faithful bishop the government of London and retreated to Bristol. But it was too late to effect a reconciliation or prevent a catastrophe. With a firm hand Stapledon endeavoured to restore order and quiet, and promulgated a decree by which all rebels were excommunicated. But the citizens, wisely perhaps, sided with the conquerors, and the bishop died a martyr to duty. The story is well told in the French chronicles quoted by Dr. Oliver. "The Bishop of Exeter, riding towards his inn or hotel, in Eldeanes-lane for dinner, encountered the mob, and, hearing them shout Traitor, he rode rapidly to St. Paul's for sanctuary, but was unhorsed, taken to Cheapside, stripped and beheaded. About the hour of vespers, the same day, October 15th, the choir of St. Paul's took up the headless body of the prelate and conveyed it to St. Paul's, but, on being informed that he died under sentence, the body was brought to St. Clement's beyond the Temple, but was ejected; so that the naked corpse, with a rag given by the charity of a woman, was laid on the spot called 'Le Lawles Cherche,' and without any grave, lay there with those of his two esquires, without office of priest or clerk. His house was attacked, the gates burned, quantities of jewels and plate plundered."
In another account of his death it is stated that his head was "fixed on a long pole by way of trophy, that it might be to all beholders a lasting memorial of his attempted crime." There was a personal reason why the bishop was unpopular among the citizens, for "he procured that the justices in eyre should sit in London; on which occasion, because the citizens had committed various offences, they were heavily punished by the loss of their liberties, by pecuniary mulcts, and by bodily chastisment, as they deserved." But the queen caused his body to be rescued from the "hepe of rubische," and it was removed to Exeter, where it lies on the north side of the choir. He left behind him large sums of money and plate, a valuable library and, unique item, ninety-one rings. He was certainly one of the greatest prelates in English history, and though he may have been, as his detractors asserted, "fumische and without pite," he was revered in his diocese, and left an example of courage and honesty to succeeding generations. His executors, animated by a wish to do what he would have desired, distributed L210 8s. 8d. in charities, and gave considerable sums to other worthy objects. And the Abbot of Hartland caused the 15th of October to be solemnly observed, out of gratitude for the late bishop's bounty, and decreed that on that day "for all future times 'XIII. pauperes in aula abbatis, pro ipsius anima, pascantur.'"
To follow so redoubtable a prelate as Stapledon must have been an extremely difficult task. But Grandisson, who was appointed after Berkeley's short episcopate ended, has sometimes been called the most magnificent prelate who ever filled the see. He was nominated directly by the pope, and consecrated by his holiness at Avignon. His chief glory is that he allowed the splendour of the see in no wise to diminish, and he kept up the Stapledon traditions of princely hospitality and well-doing. His reputation of "grave, wise, and politick" seems to have been fairly earned. As a descendant of the great ducal house of Burgundy, he had lived much with princes and held the position of nuncio "at the courts of all the mightiest princes of Christendom." His election was carried out in direct opposition to the wishes of the canons of Exeter, but a wise choice had been made, and by his long episcopate of forty years he gained honour for himself and good fortune for his people. He had to face many difficulties at first that might well have appalled a weaker man. The tragic death of Stapledon had terrified all men, the great work of that giant intellect remained unfinished, and required some one of exceptional energy to complete it fitly. Added to these difficulties, the episcopal manors had been plundered and the accounts were terribly muddled. Grandisson, luckily, was a man who looked upon difficulties as things to be overcome. He applied to the members of his family for funds, and the negotiations are to his family and subsequently to the diocese at large for funds. The negotiations are interesting, for the borrower is the only person who maintained his dignity unimpaired. With courteous pertinacity and a fitting show of anger, he got the supplies he needed. With indomitable energy he managed to arrange in perfect order the confused affairs of his diocese. Turning eagerly to the task of completing the building of his church, he transformed the six west bays of the nave, vaulting, aisles, west window, and north cloister. In spiritual and temporal affairs he was equally busy. Twice at least he was the host of royalty, once the Black Prince visited his diocese with the captive king of France. The same illustrious warrior, shortly before his death, again enjoyed the bishop's hospitality.
In 1343 Grandisson was sent as ambassador to Rome, and the sound sense he had shown at Exeter was equally apparent in the conduct of his mission, so that it was written of him that "he did his message with much wisdom and honour." Certainly, few bishops have had so exalted a view of the dignity and importance of the episcopal office, and none ever dared to fight more boldly for his imagined rights. When the Archbishop Mepham determined to make a personal visitation, Grandisson's anger was kindled. Gathering round him a body of armed retainers, he met the archbishop at the north-west gate of the close. There might have been a bloody conflict, for neither prelate was likely to give way. Fortunately, sober counsels prevailed, and the quarrel was referred to the pope. His holiness decided in Grandisson's favour, and "the dispute did half break Mepham's heart, and the Pope, siding with the Bishop of Exeter, did break the other half." So writes Fuller, and the quaint sentence does not lack authority, for the archbishop died shortly after the termination of the quarrel.
Grandisson remembered his cathedral in his will. He bequeathed to his successors his crozier and mitre, and to the diocese 2,000 marks. At his funeral, in accordance with his instructions, a hundred poor persons were clothed and money was distributed among the prisoners and the sick. He remembered, too, the needs of the poorer clergy and the hospitals, while to Pope Urban and Edward III. he left splendid legacies. His funeral, as his life, was simple and economical. For his magnificent presents, his gorgeous works on the structure of his church, were made possible by his own simple, almost parsimonious manner of living. He was buried in the chapel of St. Radegunde, but the tomb was destroyed in Elizabeth's time, and his ashes lie "no man knows where."
Brantyngham, the next bishop, completed the cloisters, the east window and west front. But, as Canon Freeman has said, "the rest of the works of this and the following century are little else than petty restorations; of course in a later and inferior style, and generally to the detriment of the building." But there is still much in the history of the church and the see that deserves a passing notice. Under Brantyngham, the old feud that Grandisson had finished so satisfactorily to himself, began again. But the victory this time was with the archbishop. At Topsham, a village not far from the city, the bishop's servants attacked savagely the archbishop's mandatory. Full of zeal for the honour, as they conceived it, of their own prelate, they made the wretched creature eat the archbishop's writ and seal. But the meal of parchment and wax did not by any means settle the dispute. The bishop's cause, indeed, was irretrievably damaged, the king was furious, an appeal to the pope was unsuccessful, and Brantyngham had to make full submission to the offended primate. Henceforth the archbishop's right of visitation was not opposed. Had another than Grandisson been bishop in Mepham's day the dispute would never, probably, have arisen; for the archbishop was undoubtedly only exercising his rights, such visitations being according to canon, and of ancient usage.
The next bishop whose episcopate is important is Lacy, who glazed the nave windows and raised the chapter house. He has, too, an unique claim on our regard because of his saintly character. As yet no saint had made the cathedral venerable, and the sentimental affection and profit which saintly relics were wont to cause was still lacking. It is said that Iscanus had contrived to get some relics of Becket for his cathedral, but there was no local saint, and this want Lacy supplied. Yet the days of his episcopacy were by no means absolutely calm. At the very moment of his accession he involved himself in a dispute with the city corporation as to the liberties of his cathedral. Nor was he, though meek and holy, at all inclined to submit to any infringement of his prerogatives, even when the transgressor happened to wear a crown. Indeed, he most successfully protested against the conduct of Henry VI., who held a jail delivery in the bishop's hall. Two men were condemned to death, but the bishop remonstrated so forcibly against this exercise of temporal authority within the precincts of the sanctuary, that they were released. As an author Lacy gained a considerable reputation. His "Liber Pontificalis" is still preserved, his office in honour of Raphael the Archangel was admired and used in many cathedrals and churches. When he died miracles were performed at his tomb, and pilgrimages were constantly made to it by the common people.
From this time onward the architectural history of the cathedral becomes less important. Its great periods may thus be summed up, 1107 to 1206 Warelwast and Marshall built the Norman church; 1257 to 1280 Bronscombe and Quivil began the Decorated work; 1292 to 1308 Bytton and Stapledon completed the eastern part; 1327 to 1369 Grandisson and Brantyngham completed the nave, west front, and cloister. The fifth and last change is the introduction of Perpendicular work, chiefly noticeable in the chapter house, the west screen, and the great east window. The day of the great builders was waning fast. The old faith that inspired them was dwindling, the attraction of national concerns was too great for local effort. Moreover, the desire to make intricately beautiful, right enough in itself, had vitiated, as it was bound to do, the taste of architect and builder. The old Norman cathedrals, however rugged, were imposing in their stern and simple strength. The desire for decoration affected various transformations, which at first left the building more beautiful and not less strong. But gradually the simplicity and strength disappear altogether. Luckily, as we shall see, the great church of St. Mary and St. Peter has suffered less than most buildings that have undergone so many changes. "As it is, the church of Exeter is a remarkable case of one general design being carried out through more than a hundred years." The church is Quivil's design, and the variations, though important, do not seriously detract from it.
The events of the next five hundred years belong more to the history of the see, and even of England, than to the church. In the election of George Neville (1458) we notice the immense value put on noble birth. Only one other reason can be alleged as weighing with those responsible for the choice. And this reason is so ridiculous as to be almost incredible. None the less it had, doubtless, a good deal to do with Neville's election to the bishopric. He was not only a brother to the great Earl of Warwick, but he early showed his intention of keeping up the almost kingly traditions of his family. Here is an account of the festivities that took place at Oxford after he had performed "his exercises in the nave of St. Mary's Church, as the custom now is, and before was, for nobleman's sons." "Such entertainment was given for two days space that the memory of man being not now able to produce, I have thought it worth my pains to remember. On the first day therefore were 600 messes of meat, and on the second 300 for the entertainment only of scholars and certain of the Proceeders, relations and acquaintances." A later Oxford historian asserts that Neville was elected chancellor the very next year "by an appreciative university!" It is not at all unlikely, therefore, that this display of hospitality had something to do with his being chosen bishop, as a fitting successor to the office once filled by Grandisson. For four years after his election he was unable, owing to his youth, to be consecrated. But by one of those ecclesiastical scandals, which seem not to have annoyed or astonished his contemporaries, he was permitted to enjoy the temporalities of the see. At the age of twenty-seven he was fully ordained bishop, and a few years later was transferred to York. During the episcopate of his successor, Bothe, the city was besieged by Perkin Warbeck. In 1495 Oliver King, who was elected in 1492, was translated to the see of Bath and Wells, and to him is due the rebuilding of the abbey church of Bath which was then ruinous.
From 1504 to 1519 Oldham, a Lancashire man, was bishop. He built the Oldham and Speke chapels.
Veysey, who succeeded him, lived during the reign of Henry VIII. His courtly manners made him popular. In addition to his rich ecclesiastical office, he became Lord President of Wales and tutor to the Princess Mary. He founded the town of Sutton Coleshill, now Sutton Coldfield, and introduced there the making of kersies. On this enterprise he spent the larger part of his fortune. At the accession of Edward VI. he was left undisturbed, though suspected of favouring the old religion. But when a rising in favour of the unreformed church disturbed the western counties, he was accused of participation in the movement, and resigned his charge. But he retained the temporalities, and on Mary's accession was reinstated. But he was nearly 103 years old, and soon after died at his town of Sutton Coleshill in 1555.
Miles Coverdale, the translator, with Tyndale, of the Bible, his successor, was bishop for only two years. He was unpopular, although his life was "most godly" and virtuous. But "the common people," says Hoker, "whose bottles would receive no new wine, could not brook or digest him, for no other cause but because he was a preacher of the Gospel, an enemy to Papistry, and a married man." This dislike is easily accounted for. Exeter was very far from London, the new ideas travelled slowly, and the west was staunchly conservative. As with many reformers, too, his zeal was spoilt by indiscretion; the sternness of the Puritan militated against his success, and people preferred the old errors more becomingly supported. His successor, Turberville, was a man quite after the heart of the people, and he won praise from Protestant and Catholic alike.
He was succeeded by William Alleyn, and as a result of Veysey's extravagance and Henry's greed it may be noticed that, by royal charter, the number of canons was limited to nine.
In 1627 the see was held by Joseph Hall, a man of great distinction. Though too conciliatory to care greatly for Laud's policy, he wrote a justly famous "Defence of the Church of England and her doctrines." After his translation to Norwich he underwent a good deal of persecution, which he himself has recorded, and was for six months a prisoner in the Tower. He is buried in Higham parish church, his monument a skeleton holding "in the right hand a bond to death sealed and signed, 'Debemus morti nos nostrique,' and in his left the same bond torn and cancelled, with the endorsement 'Persolvit et quietus est.'" Fuller says of the famous satirist that he was "not unhappy at controversies, more happy at comments, very good in his characters, better in his sermons, best of all in his meditations."
John Gauden, who became bishop in 1660, was far more fortunate, though probably not more happy. He does not seem to have been over scrupulous, and his desire for "a good manger" is unpleasantly obvious. But as the author of the [Greek: EIKON BASILIKE] he is remembered. The authorship has been disputed, but Charles II. certainly recognized his claim, and Clarendon believed his assertions about it. He was clever enough to have written even a better book, and there is no sufficient ground for depriving him of this honour. It is certain that he owed his preferment to his reputed merit as its author; though, oddly enough, he had taken the covenant and preached a notorious sermon against "pictures, images, and other superstitions of popery." But he publicly recanted, later, and protested against the murder of the king, whose supposed last prayers and meditations he was skilfully inventing. After being in Exeter two years he was removed to Worcester. But he had looked to become bishop of Winchester, and it is said that his death was hastened by disappointment.
Seth Ward, who followed him, had, as dean of Exeter, distinguished himself by his zeal and courage. He drove from the cathedral precincts the buyers and sellers who had encroached thereon, and the partition wall that divided the cathedral was taken down at his request. During the Commonwealth "the building which was now formally called 'the late cathedral church' was divided by a brick wall into two places of worship, known as East Peter's and West Peter's." The east portion was used by the Independents and the west by Presbyterians. Ward spent L20,000 on redeeming the cathedral from the degradation it had suffered, and bought an organ, "esteemed the best in England," which cost him L2,000. He was translated to Salisbury in 1667. He was a man of considerable ability and was a founder of the Royal Society.
Sparrow succeeded to the see in 1667. During his episcopate the Grand Duke Cosmo visited Exeter and wondered at the worthy bishop, his wife, and his nine children. The Duke of Tuscany was spoken of in the local reports as the Duke of Tuskey, and he received from the corporation a gift of "L20, or thereabouts." Sparrow, on his translation to Norwich, was succeeded by Lamplugh, whose political acumen, at any rate, compels admiration, if not respect. He fervently bade his flock rally round the unfortunate James II, and then, posting to London, was rewarded by the grateful king with the archbishopric of York. He then without any compunction crowned William of Orange, King of England. But his smartness availed little, "for within three years continuance of that high throne of York he was summoned before an higher." Macaulay has finely described the entrance of the prince into the cathedral. "As he passed under the gorgeous screen, that renowned organ, scarcely surpassed by any of those which are the boast of his native Holland, gave out a peal of triumph. He mounted the bishop's seat, a stately throne, rich with the carving of the fifteenth century. Burnet stood below, and a crowd of warriors and nobles appeared on the right hand and on the left. The singers robed in white sang the 'Te Deum.' When the chaunt was over Burnet read the Prince's declaration; but as soon as the first words were uttered, prebendaries and singers crowded in all haste out of the choir. At the close, Burnet, in a loud voice, cried, 'God save the Prince of Orange,' and many fervent voices answered 'Amen.'" This is certainly the most remarkable, as it is also the last, of the great historical events that have happened under the shadow of the cathedral walls. There had been nothing to compare with it since the day when Grandisson with his armed retainers met Mepham at the close gate three hundred years before. Offspring Blackall is the last bishop we need mention. He was a famous preacher, and worked hard for the comfort and education of the indigent classes. To him Exeter owes her charity schools.
Of the remaining bishops there is nothing of moment to record.
It has seemed wiser in this brief sketch to devote a paragraph to each of those bishops who either architecturally or historically made their episcopates events of national importance. The early bishops, especially, busied themselves exceedingly in making beautiful their principal church. It is by knowing something of their lives and times that one can best appreciate their labours, and trace with intelligent interest the causes of the splendid result to be studied minutely in the remaining chapters of this book.
Moreover, all lovers of the great in art, all who love what is beautiful, as all may with a little trouble, will not be sorry to have even a passing acquaintance with those who have wrought so nobly. And this short notice of the most famous of the bishops of Exeter proves that they were for the most part chosen, not for their lineage, however splendid, nor the favour they had gained as gracious courtiers, but for their excellent lives, their plain living and high thinking, their taste and learning, and for qualities which, if rarer now, were not common even hundreds of years ago.
THE FABRIC OF THE CATHEDRAL.
Before examining the various details, it may be well to recall the following facts, which have already been referred to. First, the cathedral was Saxon and remained so for nearly seventy years; then came a Norman bishop who pulled down the existing building and replaced it by the foundations and towers of a finer one. For ninety-nine years, sometimes languishingly, sometimes vigorously, the work continued: so that by the end of Marshall's episcopate (1206) Warelwast's noble ambition was realized. Between this date and 1280 the church was scarcely touched, but a chapter house was built by Bishop Bruere "to God and the Church of St. Mary and St. Peter, a sufficient area to make a Chapter House in our garden near the Tower of St. John." A third style, Early English, was then introduced, to be followed by the almost complete transformation of the entire building into the Decorated style. Following on this we get some examples of Perpendicular work. Now, this series of changes is noticeable in itself, and remarkable because it has not affected the building in a way that might have been expected. The first impression, indeed, that a view of the exterior gives one, is that it is the result of one design, which is largely the case. It is only on closer inspection that the remnants of the pre-decorated periods are visible. "The Church," as Professor Freeman neatly puts it, "grew up after one general pattern, but with a certain advance in detail as the work went westward."
The second thing that strikes the visitor is that he has never seen a church quite like it. "It forms a class by itself, and can be compared with nothing save its own miniature at Ottery."
Putting aside the Saxon cathedral of Leofric it is possible to trace four distinct styles in what has been wisely called "the noblest monument of religious zeal of our forefathers in the west of England." But in discovering these the feeling of wonder increases as the building is found to be not a mere jumble but a complete whole. Though it is possible to date the separate parts of the edifice, and recognize the varying forms of workmanship, the architects laboured with so clear an understanding of a beautiful result to be attained, that there is no appearance of patchwork.
The best views of the building are those to be got from a distance. In some ways this is not without compensation; for the cathedral church was, and is, not only splendid as a building, but the centre of the spiritual life of the diocese. It is, therefore, appropriate that it should seem most beautiful to the dwellers in the villages and hamlets beyond the city, giving them, as it were, a kind of property in the building, which they might not have felt had it been less visible. Nearing Exeter by train, from the Plymouth side, the noble roof and towers are seen above the red houses of the city. The site, indeed, was well chosen. Below the hill on which the city stands are gardens gay with flowers and fair apple orchards. Above, there is a blue sky richer and deeper than is usual in England. On all sides but one stretches the beautiful Devonshire country, meadow, hedgerow, and wooded hill. On that side the Exe flows rapidly, broadening as it goes, towards the sea. Southward but a few miles, the blue channel waters creep up against the yellow sand dunes. No cathedral, not even Lincoln, boasts a more lovely and appropriate position. "In the minds of all early Christians," says Mr. Ruskin, "the church itself was most frequently symbolized under the image of a ship," There is no country so saturated with traditions of the sea as Cornwall and Devon. "Exe terra"—out of the earth—is sometimes declared to be the derivation of the name Exeter. Maybe this was only the grateful jest of some seaman who found himself, after the winter storms, gliding up the quiet river with the city walls rising up before him. Yet the remembrance of such western heroes as Raleigh and Drake, who bade their followers sit well in order, and strike—
"The sounding furrows, for my purpose holds To sail beyond the sunset and the baths Of all the Western stars until I die,"
makes one realize how fit it is that the towers of the cathedral should look across the country to the "deep waters," and be to the mariner as the masts of a vessel whereon was safety, however fierce the storm.
 Tennyson's "Ulysses."
From many parts of the surrounding country fine views may be obtained, from Waddlesdown, Alphington Causeway, and many a canal and river bank.
A closer view may seem at first disappointing. Every writer has echoed Dr. Oliver's regret that it should be surrounded "by dwelling-houses of such disparate character." But even a nearer survey is, with patience, rewarded. The towers, exquisitely traceried windows, sculptured doorways, and magnificent roof, easily persuade us to forget its mean surroundings.
The Towers.—To many these will be the most interesting portion of the building. The exterior of no other cathedral boasts so unusual a feature. Their position is extraordinary and has given rise to endless controversies. It has been suggested that they were meant to stand as western towers, and that the building was to stand east of them, and that, as an afterthought, they were converted into transepts. But Canon Freeman, in his history, dismisses this view as merely attractive. They would certainly be more elaborate, he thinks, if they had been built as western towers, but they have neither portal nor ornamental work. Indeed, up to more than half their height they have very much the appearance of fortresses. It may well be that they served as such in Stephen's time, for the northern one was severely battered. It differs somewhat in detail from that on the south side, there being an interlacing arcade half-way up, possibly being so rebuilt when the devastation caused by the siege was being repaired. There are six stages on each tower, but only the uppermost four are in any way ornamented. These have blind arcades and window openings of circular form; but the details differ slightly on each. The turrets at the angles of the summits, and the battlements were added in the fifteenth century, but the effect is not inharmonious, and the original details are well preserved. According to an old seventeenth-century print, the north tower formerly had an attic with a pyramidal roof. This was probably an addition when the great bell was first hung (see p. 74). The effect of these transeptal towers is so fine as to make us regret their rarity. A case in which they were obviously imitated is to be seen in the fine parish church of Ottery S. Mary, Devon. There are also most practical reasons in their favour, and a consideration of them tends to increase one's wonder that they should not be found more frequently. In the first place it is possible to get a continuous, uniform, stretch of vault, the roof being broken by no central tower. Also the plan is simplified, and nave and choir have more architectural continuity. Again, by building transeptal towers and discarding the usual central tower, the interior escapes a danger it is often hard to overcome, the difficulty of holding up the central tower. It is quite possible that Warelwast was far-seeing enough to anticipate this trouble. The histories of other cathedrals prove it to be a very real one. In 1107 the tower of Winchester fell in. At Salisbury the spire is still a constant source of anxiety, despite "a complex arrangement of iron bands and ties," which has been reinforced more than once. The tower of Chichester collapsed in 1861. There is a legend of the fall of a central tower at Christchurch Priory, and other warnings could be cited, such as Hereford, Selby, Peterborough, and Wells.
 "Architectural History of Exeter Cathedral," by Philip Freeman, Archdeacon and Canon of Exeter (Bell), 1888.
Originally these two towers were cut off, by two arches underneath, from the body of the church. But Quivil, wishing to enlarge the interior, did so by "throwing the Tower spaces into it."
The Roof is one of the most striking features of the building, especially as it is seen from a distance. The long line of the ridge of nave and choir, unbroken by a central tower, give it a unique distinction amongst English cathedrals. The delicate cresting of fleurs-de-lis, and the pinnacles which crown the supporting buttresses obviate any impression of heaviness, and together with the long series of clerestory windows, alike in form yet differing in their admirable tracery, give a singular impression of beauty.
The North Porch.—This was the northern entrance of the Norman church, and from the outside it is possible to trace the line where the fifteenth-century front was added to the old structure. It is decorated with seven canopied niches in the style of that period. These, however, remained vacant until 1920, when they were filled with statues, by Mr. H. Read of Exeter, representing the patron saints of England and the Allies: St. George, St. Denys, St. Joseph; SS. Cyril and Methodius; St. Vladimir, and St. Ambrose. The roof is vaulted, and on the central boss is a finely-carved Agnus Dei. Within a recess of the eastern wall are three headless figures, representing, in the centre, the Crucifixion, St. Mary and St. John standing on either side. Over the inside doorway is a niche that probably once held a figure of the Virgin.
The West Front is one of the features which gives a peculiar character to this cathedral. In the wealth of imagery on the projecting screen which forms the lowest stage of the front it is second only to Wells amongst English cathedrals. The actual west wall of the church is the work of Bishop Grandisson, who formed on the south side of the central doorway the small chapel of St. Radegunde as a burial place for himself. The greater part of the end wall of the nave is filled by a large window with remarkably beautiful tracery in its head. The date must be about 1350. Above this is a battlemented parapet sloped at each end to follow the lines of the aisle-roofs. Above this parapet appears the gable of the main roof in which is inserted a triangular window, with elegant tracery, lighting the space between the vault and outer roof. At the apex of the gable is a niche containing a small statue of St. Peter.
The screen, which forms the lowest stage of this front, must have been finished in Brantyngham's time, though it seems probable that it was designed if not begun by Grandisson. It contains eighty-eight figures, in three rows, representing angels, warriors, kings, and saints. Their costume and armour are characteristic of the fashions of Richard II.'s reign. The lowest row consists of angelic figures each sustaining a triple pilaster with capitals. On these capitals stand the statues of the second row, a long line of knights and kings, above which are the angels and apostles of the third row. Above the third row stand two figures, said to represent Athelstan and Edward the Confessor. The former once drove out the Britons from the city; the latter, as we know, founded the bishopric.
This group of statues has been the subject of a monograph by Miss E.K. Prideaux, who shows that the intention was to symbolize the Heavenly Jerusalem, where angels, saints, and monarchs unite to honour the enthroned Saviour and His Blessed Mother, who, as representative of the Church Triumphant, is being crowned by her Son. The Coronation of the Virgin was depicted in the central group immediately over the great doorway, the figures being those of St. Peter, Our Lady, Our Lord, and St. Paul. At some unknown date the statue of the Virgin was destroyed, and a figure intended to represent Richard II was substituted in 1818. Two other figures, assigned to James the Less and King William I, are modern reproductions by Alfred Stevens; some new heads were also added. Many circumstances have combined with the action of time to injure these sculptures: but the general effect is rich if somewhat heavy. Above the screen is a platform, from which the bishop probably blessed the people, and the minstrels welcomed with song the approach of royal or illustrious visitors.
The three doorways in the screen are worthy of notice, being richly decorated. That on the south side is the most beautiful, and contains two fine pieces of sculpture, one generally declared to be an angel appearing to Joseph in a dream, the other certainly recording the Adoration of the Shepherds. The central porch is decorated with sculptured foliage, and the Crucifixion is exhibited on the central boss of the groined roof tracery.
THE FABRIC OF THE CATHEDRAL.
Fine as is the exterior, the interior of the building is quite as beautiful. Restoration of an unusually careful and discreet style has done much to revive the deteriorated splendours of the place. Sixty years ago the nave was filled with hideous and cumbersome pews, and such work as had been done towards keeping the place in repair was in the worst possible taste. But a change has been wrought of the happiest kind in recent years, so that no cathedral in the country can boast a more admirable interior.
It has been the custom to deplore the lack of elevation, and its lowness has compelled comparisons with the cathedrals of France. But this objection is, surely, rather trivial. For though the long vaulted roof, uninterrupted the whole length of the building, might tend to take away from the appearance of height, the work on the roof itself, the delicate ornaments on capitals and windows, do much to atone for this effect. To the ordinary visitor, it may safely be asserted, lack of height will only be obvious when pointed out to him.
The Nave.—Little of the Norman masonry is now to be seen, yet it is clear that when Marshall completed Warelwast's design he found the nave finished. To quote Canon Freeman, whose book, too technical for the general public, is of incalculable value to the student: "On the interior face of both north and south walls of the nave aisles, disturbances of masonry occurring at regular intervals indicate the position of a series of Norman pilasters, the base of one of them having recently been found in situ beneath the stone seat. Outside, and corresponding to the position of each several pilaster, may be observed either flat buttresses of Norman form and masonry, or else traces of their removal. These remains, linking together the obviously Norman towers and the massive west wall, point to the conclusion that the Norman cathedral, as Marshall found it, included the entire nave."
When the changes began, the Fabric Rolls, if they "do not entirely desert us," give us but meagre help, so that the exact date and cost of each detail is only to be guessed at. Stapledon probably intended, as early as 1325, to begin the work of recasting the nave. In that year he made purchases of "15 great poplar trees bought for scaffolds, and 100 alder trees." Further entries tell us of seven and eightpence worth of timber "bought by the Bishop at London," and "48 great trees from Langford." The work hitherto attempted by Stapledon did not demand an outlay of this kind; so, though Grandisson gets the honour of having finished the nave, something is due to Stapledon for having given the initiative. The large balances of the preceding nine years had left a great sum of money in the latter's hands, and a donation of Stapledon's further increased that balance by the substantial sum of L600. In January, 1333, is a record of William Canon's bill for marble he had been commissioned to furnish. He had agreed to supply the Purbeck pillars for the nave, receiving L10 16s. for eleven large columns, and 5s. a-piece for bases and capitals. This is one of the most interesting items we have of the building and cost of the cathedral, and occurs fortunately at a time when such information is unusually scanty. In addition to the above-mentioned Purbeck marble, stone from the quarries of Caen in Normandy, and other places nearer home, was procured in large quantities. In 1338 the bishop gave permission to the Dean and Chapter to obtain from his agents at Chudleigh "twelve suitable oaks from his wood there." About 1350 the building of the nave was completed. It was extensively restored in recent years under the guidance of Sir Gilbert Scott. The Purbeck columns had fallen into a most dilapidated state, and were carefully repaired, the material used being obtained from those spots which had supplied the original builders.
The view of the nave as one enters the west door is most impressive. Its full height of seventy feet is not dwarfed by the unhindered stretch of roof. The groined and ribbed roof itself is of marvellous beauty and springs from slender vaulting shafts, of which the bosses are exquisitely carved with a strange mixture of religious and legendary figures, foliage and animals. The artists seem to have ransacked the whole universe for subjects, and to have interpreted their ideas with great cunning. The corbels that support the vaulting shafts are equally elaborately carved.
They consist of figures and foliage, and the variety of subjects chosen is no less surprising than the skill the artists have shown in the realization of their ideas. Whether they are peculiar to Exeter or not, it may be safely said that one could not easily find their equals either in design or execution. The subjects treated are too numerous for detailed treatment in this place, but the carving of vines and acorns and oakleaves will be readily admired.
The nave has seven bays, and the arcades are supported by clustered pillars of Purbeck marble, showing various tints of blue and grey. There are sixteen shafts in each pier corresponding with the eight subordinate mouldings in each pair of arches, and the diagonal position of each cluster adds much to its graceful appearance. In the retro-choir there are earlier examples of this kind of pier, showing how the builders experimented with the grouping of the shafts before they attained the perfect proportions of the pillars in the nave and choir. It seems that they utilized the Norman pillars as the central core round which to group the Purbeck shafts. The triforium, in groups of four arches, is unusually low, and rests on small clustered columns, broken in one place only on the north side to make way for the Minstrels' Gallery.
The Minstrels' Gallery.—This is the most beautiful gallery of its kind to be found in England, its twelve decorated niches containing figures of musicians. The musical instruments represented include the cittern, bagpipe, hautboy, crowth, harp, trumpet, organ, guitar, tambour, and cymbals, with two others which are uncertain. The tinted figures of the angels, standing out against an orange-coloured background—each in a separate niche with an elaborately carved canopy—playing upon the various instruments, are admirably carved and most graceful in form and arrangement. The two niches on either side of the gallery contained figures of St. Mary and St. Peter; the niches are supported by corbelled heads of Edward III and Queen Philippa. Edward III created the Black Prince Duke of Cornwall in 1337, and made the city of Exeter part of the duchy. "The city," according to Izacke, "being held of the said duke, as parcel of the dutchy, by the fee farm rent of twenty pounds per ann." To this connexion has been traced the erection of the gallery, for such duchies "were territorial realities," and the prince would be received by minstrels chaunting in the gallery whenever he paid a visit to his feudal dependency. It is asserted that it was first used after the battle of Poictiers, when the Black Prince brought with him to England, visiting Exeter en route for London, the captured French King. But Professor Freeman thinks the Duke did not pay a visit to Exeter at that time, and that local tradition refers really to a later date when "he came home as a sick man" not long before his death.
The lofty character of the clerestory above the gallery, and set somewhat farther back, is remarkable. The tracery of all the windows is of the best type of the fourteenth century and is unrivalled by that of any other English cathedral of similar date. In their main features the opposite windows are alike, though they vary in detail.
St. Radegunde's Chapel.—On the south side of the main entrance and within the thickness of the western wall is the chapel of St. Radegunde, one of the most interesting in the cathedral. As early as 1220 a deed belonging to the Chapter makes mention of this chapel "within St. Peter's cemetery," and is dated in the mayoralty of one Turbest and attested by the then bishop, Simon de Apulia. Grandisson, in accordance with the custom of his day, while completing the work of transforming the cathedral, looked out for a suitable place of burial for himself. He chose this chapel, and in 1350 the Fabric Rolls contain a reference to the glazing of the windows and the better securing of them with nine bars of iron. In accordance with a clause in his will, "Corpus vero meum volo quod sepeliatur extra ostium occidentale Ecclesiae Exon. ita celeriter sicut fieri poterit," his remains were placed under the low arch in the east of the chapel. Here they lay for many years, but in the later years of Elizabeth, apparently without creating any public indignation, his tomb was rifled and his ashes scattered to the "four winds." There seems to be no good reason why religious fanaticism should have caused the tomb of so great and good a man to be despoiled. Two interesting details are the carved figure of Christ on the roof and the holes in the stones from which the lamps were formerly hung.
St. Edmund's Chapel, in the north-west corner of the nave, was part of the Norman church, and was incorporated in his new work by Bishop Grandisson. In it is a large font of modern Gothic style, presented in the nineteenth century by Archdeacon Bartholomew.
The Font.—At the south-west side of the nave stands the chalice-shaped font of white marble, purposely made in 1644 for the baptism of Henrietta Anne, youngest child of Charles I, afterwards Duchess of Orleans, who was born in Exeter during the Parliamentary wars. The font is said to have been made in a fortnight, which may account for the inferior character of the sculpture. But if not of artistic merit, it is certainly of historic interest, and after being set aside for some years, was replaced in its present position in 1891, and is now always used for baptisms.
The Patteson Pulpit was placed in the nave in 1877. It is of Mansfield stone, and is a beautiful example of modern sculpture. The panels represent the Martyrdom of St. Alban, the embarkation of St. Boniface and his companions for Germany, and the natives of Nukapu, Melanesia, placing the body of Bishop Patteson in a canoe. The Martyred Bishop is shown wrapped in a native mat, a relic still preserved in his family.
MONUMENTS IN THE NAVE
The great west window was filled with stained glass in 1904 in commemoration of Dr. Temple, Bishop of Exeter 1869, of London 1885, and in 1896 Archbishop of Canterbury. Figures in the lower lights represent the most notable Bishops of Exeter from Leofric to Frederick Temple.
The monument under the west window commemorates services and losses of the 1st Battalion of the Duke of Cornwall's Light Infantry, which, as the 32nd Regiment, greatly distinguished itself during the Sepoy revolt in India in 1857-8.
On the north-west is a mural tablet with medallion portrait commemorating Richard Blackmore, the author of Lorna Doone, 1825-1900. The three lights of the small window above are filled with stained glass in connexion with this memorial. The corresponding window on the south side was filled with stained glass by Dean Cowie.
The largest monument in the north aisle is that to the memory of officers and men of the 9th Lancers who fell during long and distinguished service in India.
Farther on is a large brass, of no particular merit, to the memory of the men of the 2nd Battalion of the North Devon Regiment who fell in the Afghan War of 1880-81. It is surmounted by two regimental flags.
Above a mural tablet to Lieutenant G.A. Allen is a window of stained glass erected to the memory of the 11th Earl of Devon. The colour scheme is particularly good, and the design, representing Jacob's dream, is not unsuccessful.
A plain tablet to the memory of Samuel Sebastian Wesley, the famous musician, is the only other monument in the aisle of general interest.
In the same aisle have recently been placed the colours of those battalions of the Devons who served in the great European War, 1914-18.
To complete the examination of the nave we must cross to the south aisle, in the first bay of which is the ancient doorway, probably built by Bishop Bruere, leading into the cloister. At the end of the aisle is the monument of Colonel John Macdonald, who died in 1831, a son of the celebrated Flora Macdonald. The most eastern window of the aisle is filled with stained glass representing four bishops of the Courtenay family. Peter Courtenay, Bishop of Exeter, will be recognized as he holds the great "Peter" bell, his gift to the cathedral, which hangs in the north tower. He is the bishop alluded to by Shakespeare (Richard III., Act iv, Sc. 4):
"In Devonshire Sir Edward Courtenay, and the haughty Prelate, Bishop of Exeter, his elder brother, With many more confederates are in arms."
After the accession of Henry VII., he was translated to Winchester.
Formerly there was a Courtenay chantry in the last bay of this aisle, corresponding with Bishop Brantyngham's chantry on the north side. These became ruinous and were removed early in the nineteenth century. The Courtenay tomb in the south transept is entirely a restoration. The effigies represent Sir Hugh Courtenay, 2nd Earl of Devon, and Margaret de Bohun, his wife. The great brass of their son, Sir Peter Courtenay, also formerly in the chantry, is now in the south choir aisle: it has been sadly injured by being trodden under foot for many hundred years, and is now protected by matting. He was standard bearer to Edward III. and Richard II., and one of the first Knights of the Garter.
The centre window of the south nave aisle is filled with stained glass in memory of those of the Devon Regiment who served in the South African War, 1899-1901. The tablets with their names are in St. Edmund's Chapel. Their flags hang on either side of the window.
The large brass tablet, though, like too many of the memorials in the nave, unnecessarily large and far from meritorious in design, is not without interest. It is to the memory of Major-General Howard Elphinstone, V.C., who was drowned off Ushant in 1890.
Above a tablet of brass to Hugh, 2nd Earl of Devon, and his wife, is a window erected by Sir Edwin Watkin to the memory of Thomas Latimer. The small window to the left, erected by Dean Cowie in memory of his wife, should be noticed.
North Transept.—We have already seen that the two great towers of the cathedral were in their nature transeptal from the beginning. But they were quite separated from the body of the church, the arches connecting them being filled in with strongly built masonry, forming a complete wall. But Quivil, wishing to enlarge the interior of the building, took down these walls, and he set about altering the arches and converting them into the same Decorated style to match this work in the rest of the building. He also altered and transformed the Norman chapels that projected on the east side of each transept. In the north transept one window and two narrow doorways still betray their Norman origin. The open galleries in each transept are connected by a passage with the clerestory. This, too, is Quivil's work, and his windows in the two chapels of St. John and St. Paul, easily distinguishable by their wheel-shape, are interesting.
Here is Chantry's fine statue of the Devonshire artist Northcote, and a tablet to the memory of the men and officers of the 20th (Devon) Regiment who fell in the Crimea. Visitors will notice with interest a fairly successful mural painting representing the resurrection, the soldiers in armour being drawn with considerable spirit.
Sylke Chantry is in the north transept. Sylke was a person of considerable importance in his day, and one who deserved and obtained no little honour from his contemporaries. He administered the affairs of the diocese as vicar-general during the absence of Bishop Courtenay, and also during that of Bishop Fox. In 1499 he was made precentor, and held that office till his death. The priests, grateful for the efforts he had made to further their comfort, decided to keep his obit. The abbot and convent of St. Mary of Cleeve, in Somersetshire, willing to show their sense of obligation to him and Canon Moore, gave yearly to the Dean and Chapter the sum of L6 13s. 4d. to be spent in celebrating their anniversary. Sylke's tomb represents a very ghostly figure with the epitaph, "Sum quod eris, fueram quod es, pro me, precor, ora." The chantry is in the style of the later Gothic, and is one of those "final touches" to the cathedral Archdeacon Freeman esteems so happily imparted to it. The ancient works of the thirteenth-century clock, upon the north wall, have been placed in this chantry, the machinery being in motion though it does not now work any part of the actual clock. The various parts are of different dates; the oldest wheel has been working more or less regularly for about 700 years. The dial represents the sun and moon revolving round the earth in the centre, the varying phases of the moon being indicated.
St. Paul's Chapel is on the east side of the north transept. Attributed to the time of Marshall or his immediate predecessors. On the tiles are the arms of Henry III.'s brother, Richard of Cornwall, who was elected King of the Romans. It is used as a vestry for the lay choral vicars.
South Transept.—Opening from the east wall is the Chapel of St. John the Baptist. It corresponds with that of St. Paul in the north transept. Some of the glass in the windows was placed there at the restoration of 1870. The screen dividing it from the transept is Oldham's work. The chapel is now furnished for private meditation and prayer.
Chapel of the Holy Ghost.—This, one of the most ancient parts of the cathedral, lies between the south tower and chapter house. It occupies the place of the passage known as the slype in monastic churches. The plain stone barrel roof should be noted. It is now used as the choristers' vestry.
The south transept contains a very interesting collection of monuments.
Monuments in South Transept.—On the east wall a shallow recess, in which are set some fragments of sculpture, is traditionally described as the tomb of Leofric, first Bishop of Exeter. Hoker thus tells the story: "This Leofricus died an. 1073, and was buried in the cemetery or churchyard of his own church, under a simple or broken marble stone; which place, by the since enlarging of his church is now within the South Tower of the same, where of late, anno 1568, a new monument was erected to the memory of so good, worthy & noble a personage, by the industry of the writer hereof but at the charges of the Dean & Chapter."
In the corner at the south-east is the grave of Bishop John the Chaunter, who died in 1191. He was for thirty years precentor of the cathedral, and was consecrated bishop by Baldwin, Archbishop of Canterbury, "preacher and pilgrim of the Crusade," and a native of Exeter. Bishop John assisted at the coronation of Richard I. He held the see for six years.
Sir Peter Carew, whose mural tablet is a conspicuous feature, was buried at Waterford in Ireland. He is one of the most distinguished members of an ancient western family. On the Whitsunday of 1549, the village of Samford Courtenay rose in revolt against the new prayer-book that Edward VI. had ordered to be used in the churches, and the whole diocese speedily followed the lead. The people swore that "they would keep the old and ancient religion as their forefathers before them had done." Sir Gawain Carew, Sir Peter Carew, and Sir Thomas Dennis, the sheriff, were busy in stemming the tide of rebellion. Efforts at compromise were useless. The people bitterly demanded the old religion, and called the new form of worship "a Christian game," while the Cornishmen declared that they, since "certain of us understand no English, utterly refuse the new English." Early in July the malcontents set siege to Exeter. The wealth of the civic dignitaries stimulated the besiegers, who summoned the city to surrender three times, vowing that "they would enter by force and take the spoil of it," were their demands refused. There was discontent and plotting within the walls, and food gave out. Many were eager to let in the rebels, and Hoker records that "but two days before the delivery of the city," the malcontents paraded the streets, crying out: "Come out these heretics and twopenny bookmen! Where be they! By God's wounds and blood we will not be pinned in to serve their turn: we will go out and have in our neighbours; they be honest good and godly men." But the principal citizens, though nurtured in the old faith, held out grimly for the king. The siege was raised by John, Lord Russell, whom Sir Peter had hastily summoned from Hinton St. George, in Somersetshire. Food was supplied to the city "by the special industry and travels of a thousand Welshmen under Sir William Herbert." Sir Peter, on his arrival in London, was threatened with hanging by the Lord Protector "as having caused the commotion by burning the barns at Crediton. He pleaded the king's letter under his hand and privy signet." But he escaped with difficulty, though he obtained from Lord Russell the lands of Winislacre as a reward. Later on he opposed Queen Mary's marriage with the King of Naples, and as Fuller puts it: "This active gentleman had much adoe to expedite himself, and save his life, being imprisoned for his compliance with Sir Thomas Wyate." He lived an active, reckless life to the last, closing his career by some "signal service" in Ireland. He was a brother of the Earl of Totnes. The handsome Elizabethan monument is to Sir John Gilbert, brother of the more famous Humphrey, and his wife, Elizabeth Chudleigh. He was one of the merchant adventurers and a half-brother of Raleigh. His relations with Exeter were very friendly, the merchants being keenly interested in maritime discoveries, for they hoped in far away Asia to get a new market for their cloth.
Heroes of later days are not forgotten in this gallant company, and a tablet on the east wall commemorates the men of the 32nd Regiment (Cornwall Light Infantry) who fell in the Indian Mutiny. The colours of the regiment show the names of Waterloo and Lucknow.
The Choir Screen.—This is the work of Bishop Stapledon, and was probably completed about 1324. The Dean and Chapter anticipated the admiration which this screen would cause in after ages, and we read that they presented William Canon, the executor of the marble work, "L4, out of their courtesy." High above the screen, as we learn from the Fabric Rolls, the rood with Mary and John rested on an iron bar.
The paintings within the panels above the beautifully carved spandrils have little interest or merit, though it is thought that they date from the same period as the screen itself. It is difficult, however, to believe that they can be so old, or that such good and bad work could belong to the same period. James I. introduced into the foliage of the spandrils the rose and thistle; but this uncalled-for emendation was summarily removed in the year 1875. The side arches of the screen were at one period filled up with thick walls, and two strong doors barred the arch of entrance, but this was altered by the restorers in 1875.
The Organ was originally built by John Loosemore about 1665. In its existing form it is an enlarged reconstruction by Messrs. Willis, the old instrument being incorporated in it as a choir-organ. The organ case, which was an elegant specimen of Renaissance woodwork, has also undergone alteration and renovation.
The Choir.—If the chief glory with regard to the exterior of the cathedral remains undoubtedly with the designer and builder of the great towers, the choir, the work of Bytton and Stapledon, is no less certainly the supreme glory of the interior. The Norman choir reached no farther than the third bay, counting from the choir screen. Traces recently discovered seem to prove that it had an apsidal termination. Bishop Marshall, in completing Warelwast's work, added four bays and destroyed the triple apse. It is also possible that, as the transition period to Early English was in its birth, some of the vaulting was pointed. Bytton converted the choir as left by Marshall into the Decorated style, inspired to the work by the success which had attended Quivil's efforts in the easternmost bay of the nave. The whole work—the transformation of the choir with its aisles—took about fifteen years to complete, the speed and skill with which it was accomplished being due to the fact that the task was not entirely in the hands of one body of labourers. It seems to have been divided into two portions, at which the builders worked simultaneously. Admirable as Quivil's work in the nave had been, that of Bytton in the choir is an improvement. Doubtless he had learnt something from the difficulties his predecessor encountered, and knew how to avoid them. At any rate, he pushed forward the work with great vigour and boldness. He formed his pillars of horizontal sections of Purbeck marble from nine to fifteen inches thick: five boutelles on each side presenting "the appearance of twenty-five shafts bound in one." In the pavement of the choir more than ten thousand tiles were used. For the vaulting of the choir, also his work, though the honour due to him has till lately been denied, he procured quantities of Portland stone. Material for bases and capitals was imported also from Portland: the entry in the Fabric Rolls runs: "For the purchase of 18 great blocks of stone at Portland for the keys or bosses, together with 60 bases and capitals, including carriage by sea L4 16 8." The colouring of the keystones was due to Stapledon in the first year of his episcopate.