Bell's Cathedrals: The Cathedral Church of Salisbury - A Description of its Fabric and a Brief History of the See of Sarum
by Gleeson White
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- Transcriber's Note: Inconsistent hyphenation in the original document has been preserved. Errors in the List of Illustration page numbers have been corrected. Text enclosed between equal signs was in bold face (bold). -

First Edition, December, 1896. Second Edition, revised, and with Eighteen additional Illustrations, 1898.


A Description of Its Fabric and a Brief History of the See of Sarum



With Fifty Illustrations

London George Bell & Sons 1898

Chiswick Press:—Charles Whittingham and Co. Tooks Court, Chancery Lane, London.


This series of monographs has been planned to supply visitors to the great English Cathedrals with accurate and well illustrated guide books at a popular price. The aim of each writer has been to produce a work compiled with sufficient knowledge and scholarship to be of value to the student of archaeology and history, and yet not too technical in language for the use of an ordinary visitor or tourist.

To specify all the authorities which have been made use of in each case would be difficult and tedious in this place. But amongst the general sources of information which have been almost invariably found useful are:—firstly, the great county histories, the value of which, especially in questions of genealogy and local records, is generally recognized; secondly, the numerous papers by experts which appear from time to time in the transactions of the antiquarian and archaeological societies; thirdly, the important documents made accessible in the series issued by the Master of the Rolls; fourthly, the well-known works of Britton and Willis on the English Cathedrals; and, lastly, the very excellent series of Handbooks to the Cathedrals, originated by the late Mr. John Murray, to which the reader may in most cases be referred for fuller detail, especially in reference to the histories of the respective sees.

GLEESON WHITE. EDWARD F. STRANGE. Editors of the Series.


The authorities consulted in the preparation of this book are too numerous to quote in detail. But the admirable works by the late Rev. W.H. Jones have been proved so full of useful information that the service they rendered must be duly acknowledged, although in almost every instance further reference was made to the building itself—or to officially authenticated documents. Nor must the help of one of the cathedral cicerones be overlooked, in spite of his desire to remain anonymous; for his knowledge of the building served to correct several mistakes in the first edition. One moot point concerning the bishop commemorated by an effigy in the North Choir Aisle is left an open question. Local authorities insist that it should be attributed to Bishop Poore, antiquarians of distinction affirm that it represents Bishop Bingham.

The illustrations, with the exception of a few details from Britton and Carter, are from photographs most courteously placed at my disposal by Mrs. H. Snowden Ward, or from the series published by Messrs. S.B. Bolas and Co., Carl Norman and Co. (now The Photochrom Company, Ltd.), Poulton and Sons (of Lee) and Witcomb and Son, of Salisbury, in each case duly acknowledged below the engraving.



PAGE History of the Cathedral 1

Description of the Exterior 16 Tower and Spire 18 West Front 25 North Porch 32 Nave and Choir 32

Description of the Interior—Plan 37 Nave 39 Transepts 42 Monuments in the Nave 43 Monuments of the Boy Bishop 49 Choir Screen 52 Organ 52 Choir and Presbytery 52 Roof Paintings 53 Choir 54 Choir Stalls 57 Reredos 57 High Altar 58 East Transept 61 Eastern Aisle 63 Lady Chapel 63 Monuments in Choir, etc. 65 Chapter House 71

The Cathedral Precincts 80 Cloisters 80 Library 82 Muniment Room 84 The Close 86 Bell Tower 87 Hungerford Chapel 88 Beauchamp Chapel 89 The Stained Glass 91

History of the See 95

The Diocese of Sarum 99 List of the Bishops 99

The Close and Churches 115


PAGE Salisbury Cathedral, from the Bishop's Palace Frontispiece

Arms of the Cathedral Title

Salisbury Cathedral, the West Front Face 1

Salisbury, from Walpole's "British Traveller" 1

The Cathedral from the South 3

The Cathedral and Bell Tower, from an old print 19

Portals of the West Front 27

Details of Main West Portal Face 30

One Bay of the Nave, Exterior 33

The Choir Screen 36

The Nave—looking West 38

The Nave—South Side 40

North Aisle 41

Nave Transept 42

Effigy of a Bishop 44

The Choir—looking West 55

The Reredos and High Altar 58

The Choir—looking East 59

Portion of the old Organ Screen 62

Piscina in South Choir Aisle 63

Altar and Triptych Reredos in Lady Chapel Face 64

South Choir Aisle, showing Lady Chapel 68

South Choir Aisle, showing Hungerford Chapel Face 68

Chantry of Bishop Bridport 69

The Chapter House—Interior Face 70

The Chapter House—Exterior, and Bosses 72

The Chapter House—Details of Sculpture 73

The Chapter House—Details of Sculpture 77

The Chapter House—Painted Decoration 79

Tomb of Sir John Montacute 79

The Cloisters 81

The Cloisters looking North 82

Rings found in the Lady Chapel 84

Hanging Parapet in the Close 86

Old Wall Painting, "Death and the Gallant" 88

Interior of the demolished Beauchamp Chapel 90

Fragments of old Stained Glass 92

Tomb of William Longespee, 1st Earl of Salisbury 94

Tomb of the Boy Bishop 98

Monument attributed to Bishop Poore 103

North Choir Aisle with Bingham Monument 104

Brass of Bishop Wyville 114

The High Street Gate, North and South Fronts Face 116

The Church House 117

The Poultry Cross 118

Old Plan of Salisbury 119

Plan of the Cathedral 121



There is probably no cathedral church in Europe, certainly no other English one, that has such a clear record of its history as Salisbury. Whereas in almost every other instance we have only vague legendary accounts of the original foundation of the building, in this case there is a trustworthy chronicle of its first inception and each successive stage of its progress extant.

Owing to reasons noted in another chapter, the former cathedral at Old Sarum was condemned to be abandoned, and a new site chosen for its successor; Bishop Richard Poore, through whose efforts the change of locality was effected, is said to have hesitated long before he could find one suitable. Wilton, then a place of some importance, attracted him first. There is a more or less accurate MS. extant which professes to give an account of his tentative attempts to induce the Abbess of Wilton to permit him to build his church in a meadow of her domain. An old sewing-woman (quaedam vetula filatrix) is said to have attributed his frequent visits to quite another motive; she inferred that the Bishop had a papal dispensation to marry, and was a suitor for the hand of the Abbess. The negotiations failed: "Hath not the Bishop land of his own that he must needs spoil the Abbess? Verily he hath many more sites on which he may build his church than this at Wilton," was the reply of the Abbess to his demand. During his period of indecision the Virgin appeared to him in a vision, and commanded him to build his new church in a place called Myr-field, or, as some accounts have it, Maer-field. He searched vainly for a piece of ground by that name, that he might obey the supernatural edict, until by chance he overheard a labourer (or a soldier, the legends vary,) talking of the Maer-field, and then having, as he thought, identified the place, which appears to have been within his own demesne, he commenced to plan the present building. Another tradition ignores the dream, and says the site of the cathedral was determined by an arrow shot from the ramparts of Old Sarum.

Misled by the similarity of sound, the name Maer-field has been, naturally enough, interpreted to mean Mary-field. The apparently obvious form "Miry-field,"—as, according to Leland, it appears on an old inscription,—in spite of the marshy nature of the site, is probably a mere coincidence. Nor is Thomas Fuller's "Merry-field, for the pleasant situation thereof," better worth attention. The generally accepted theory at present is that maer, the Anglo-Saxon word for a boundary, supplies the clue. A hamlet, Marton, near Bedwin, another of the same name now corrupted to Martin, near Damerham, might each be truly described as boundary-towns. In Wiltshire to-day 'mere-stone' is the local idiom for a boundary-stone. Mere is alike the name of a hundred and of a parish in Wilts, both near its borders. The site of the present cathedral is at the junction of three ancient hundreds—Underditch, Alderbury, and Cawdon—the south-east wall of the close being the boundary line which divides the cathedral precincts from Cawdon.

Not only from the fact that the site was given by the bishop may we infer that the Poores were a wealthy family; but his brother Herbert, who was his immediate predecessor in the see, is described in the Osmund Register, as dives et assiduus (rich and painstaking), and Richard Poore before his enthronement was a benefactor to the monastery of Tarrant, in Dorsetshire, his native village. Later we find he gave a large estate at Laverstock to his new cathedral. Hence the old theory that his name was derived from Poor or Pauper, as it appears in several old chronicles, is untenable. Possibly like the Irish Poer or Power, it may be traced to the word puer, used in a restricted sense to denote the sons of royal or noble families not yet in possession of their heritage. A Prince of Wales in past times has been known as Puer Anglicanus, the Spanish "Infanta," the prefix "Childe," have all been cited in support of this theory. It is said indeed that the Childes trace their descent from the Le Poers, and Childe-Okeford and Poorstock, two villages in Dorset are quoted in evidence[2].

Whatever the origin of his name there is little doubt that the Bishop was wealthy, and absolute certainty that he was a powerful and capable ruler—the whole story of his successful efforts to carry out his scheme proves this much, were other testimony wanting. Even his choice of a site is justified by results, although earlier accounts unanimously agree in saying it was little better than a swamp. That such descriptions of the place were true is evident enough; the subsidence of the tower piers show that their foundation was insecure, and the curious feature of a continuous base to the piers of the nave prove also that provision was taken from the first to overcome this obstacle. We have frequent records of floods to the extent at times of causing the daily service to be suspended owing to the water actually being within the building itself; as late as 1763 there is an account of a specially high one thus interrupting the daily ritual. The whole valley of the Salisbury Avon to its sea-mouth at Christchurch, about twenty-nine miles distant is still under water for months at a time during a wet winter.

Of course the abundance of water has evoked the usual comparison with Venice. Thomas Fuller, who for the sake of his usual sagacity may be forgiven an allusion so unfounded, says: "This mindeth me of an epitaph made on Mr. Francis Hill, a native of Salisbury, who died secretary to the English liege at Venice—'Born in the English Venice, thou did'st die, dear Friend, in the Italian Salisbury.'"

One of the reasons most frequently alleged for the abandonment of Old Sarum was its lack of water; but if it was deemed unadvisable to acknowledge the political and administrative reasons which really decided the change, it is just possible that the superfluity of water was found useful as a plausible explanation of the removal on hygienic grounds; or it may even be that the whole story of the scarcity of water at Old Sarum was a later invention to excuse its unwelcome abundance in the new locality. Bishop Douglas is credited with the saying, "Salisbury is the sink of Wiltshire plain, the close is the sink of Salisbury, and the bishop's palace the sink of the close." Certainly the site lacks the natural dignity of position such an edifice demands, and which Lincoln, Durham, Ely, and many another English cathedral, show was frequently deemed essential. Thomas Fuller, who occupied a stall at Salisbury, has written, "The most curious and cavilling eye can desire nothing in this edifice except an ascent, seeing such as address themselves hither can hardly say with David, 'I will go up to the house of the Lord.'"

The temporary chapel of wood, commenced on the Monday after Easter in 1219, must have been a modest structure, since on the next Trinity Sunday the Bishop celebrated mass, and the same day consecrated a cemetery there.

In the MS. by William de Wanda, precentor and afterwards dean of Sarum, preserved in the Cathedral Library, we have a record of the very first ceremonies connected with the Cathedral, which being probably trustworthy in the main is so curiously interesting in itself, that it deserves quoting freely, from the version given by Francis Price, clerk of the works to the Cathedral, and author of a very interesting monograph upon it, published in the latter part of the last century. We find that in the year A.D. 1220, on the day of St. Vitalis the Martyr, being the fourth of the calends of May (which was the twenty-eighth of April), the foundations were laid by Bishop Richard Poore. "On the day appointed for the purpose the bishop came with great devotion, few earls or barons of the county, but a great multitude of the common people coming in from all parts; and when divine service had been performed, and the Holy Spirit invoked, the said bishop, putting off his shoes, went in procession with the clergy of the church to the place of foundation singing the litany; then the litany being ended and a sermon first made to the people, the bishop laid the first stone for our Lord the Pope Honorius, and the second for the Lord Stephen Langton, Archbishop of Canterbury and Cardinal of the Holy Roman Church, at that time with our Lord the King in the Marches of Wales; then he added to the new fabric a third stone for himself; William Longespee, Earl of Sarum, who was then present, laid the fourth stone, and Elaide[3] Vitri, Countess of Sarum, the wife of the said earl, a woman truly pious and worthy because she was filled with the fear of the Lord, laid the fifth. After her certain noblemen, each of them added a stone; then the dean, the chantor, the chancellor, the archdeacons and canons of the church of Sarum who were present did the same, amidst the acclamations of multitudes of the people weeping for joy and contributing thereto their alms with a ready mind according to the ability which God had given them. But in process of time the nobility being returned from Wales, several of them came thither, and laid a stone, binding themselves to some special contribution for the whole seven years following."

Another account, differing from the more generally accepted version just quoted, says that: Pendulph, the Pope's legate, in 1216 laid the first five stones; the first for the Pope, the second for the King, the third for the Earl of Salisbury, the fourth for the countess, and the fifth for the bishop. This statement is wrong in date, for Bishop Poore was not translated to the see of Sarum until the year 1217. In the charter of Henry I. the first stone is mentioned as having been laid by the king, i.e., in his name.

"On the 15th of August, 1220, at a general chapter when the bishop was present, it was provided that if any canon of the church failed paying what he had promised to the fabric for seven years, that next after fifteen days from the term elapsed, some one should be sent on the part of the bishop and chapter to raise what was due from the corn found on the prebend, and so long as he should remain there for that purpose he should be maintained with all necessaries by the goods of the said prebend. But if the prebend or any person failing in the payment of what was promised be in any other bishopric than Sarum, such canon should be denounced to that bishop by the letter of the bishop and chapter for his contumacy, either to be suspended from entering the church, or from celebration of divine service, or excommunicated according as the chapter shall judge it."

In the year 1225, Richard Poore, Bishop of Sarum, "finding the fabric of the new church was by God's alliance so far advanced that divine service might be conveniently performed therein, he rejoiced exceedingly, since he bestowed great pains and contributed greatly towards it. Thereupon he commanded William the Dean to cite all the canons to be present on the day of S. Michael following, at the joyful solemnity of their mother church, that is to say, at the first celebration of divine service therein. According on the vigil of S. Michael, which happened on a Sunday, the bishop came in the morning and consecrated three altars, the first in the east part, in honour of the holy and undivided Trinity and All Saints, on which henceforth the mass of the Blessed Virgin was appointed to be said every day. And the said bishop offered that day for the service of the said altar and for daily service of the Blessed Virgin, two silver basons and two silver candlesticks which were bequeathed by the will of the noble lady Gundria de Warren to the church of Sarum. Moreover the bishop gave out of his property to the clerks that were to officiate at the said mass thirty marks of silver a year until he settled so much in certain rents, and likewise ten marks every year to maintain lamps round the said altar. Then he dedicated another altar in the north part of the church in honour of St. Peter, the prince of the apostles, and the rest of the apostles; he also dedicated another altar in the south part thereof to St. Stephen and the rest of the martyrs. At this dedication were present: Henry, Bishop of Dublin, Stephen, Lord Archbishop of Canterbury."

We read further in the same chronicle that the bishops and their retinues were entertained for a week by Bishop Poore at his sole charge.

The next day, the feast of SS. Michael and All Angels, the Archbishop of Canterbury preached to a large company including many English and foreign prelates, Otto, the Pope's nuncio, and others. On the Thursday following, "Our Lord the King and Hubert de Burgh the justice came to the church and the King there heard the mass of the glorious Virgin and offered ten marks of silver and one piece of silk, and he granted to the same place that every year there should be a fair." The same day the justice made a vow that he would give a gold text set in the precious stones and the relics of divers saints in honour of the Blessed Virgin Mary, and the service of the new church; afterwards the King went down with many of his nobles to the Bishop's palace and were entertained. On the Friday following Hubert de Burgh offered his "texte after John, gilt with gold and having precious stones and relics of divers saints."

"On the Nativity of our Lord following, the King and his justice Hubert de Burgh came to Sarum on the day of the Holy Innocents, and there the King offered one gold ring with a precious stone called a ruby, one piece of silk, and one gold cup of the weight of ten marks; and when the mass was celebrated the King told the dean that he would have that stone which he had offered and the gold of the ring applied to adorn the text which the justice had before given; and then the justice caused the text which he had given to be brought and offered with great devotion on the altar."

On the 10th of January, 1226, William Longespee, Earl of Salisbury, returned from Gascoigne, where he had resided twelve months with Richard, the King's brother, for the defence of Bordeaux (after three months on the channel between the Isle of Rhe and the coast of Cornwall, owing to the tempestuous weather, that so long delayed his landing), "and the said Earl came that day after nine o'clock to Sarum, where he was received with great joy, with a procession for the new fabric." The scandalous account of his death (as given by Stow), which occurred at the castle of Old Sarum, on the 7th of March in the same year, and the part played in the transaction by Hubert de Burgh cannot be told here, beyond the fact that the justice was strongly suspected of poisoning him. On the 8th of March, at the same hour of the day on which he had been received with great joy, he was brought to New Sarum with many tears and lamentations, and honourably buried in the new church of the Blessed Virgin. Matthew Paris gravely records that at his funeral, despite gusts of wind and rain, the candles furnished a continual light the whole of the way. Of all secular figures connected with this cathedral his is perhaps the most prominent, nor is his fame merely local. He was active in public affairs during the reign of King John, and one of the noticeable heroes in an expedition to the Holy Land in 1220, when, at the battle of Damietta, Matthew Paris tells us, he resisted the shock of the infidels like a wall. He fought both in Flanders and in France, was at his King's side at Runnymede, and a witness to Magna Charta—a copy of which famous charter, made probably for his special use, is still preserved in the cathedral library.

In 1226, on the Feast of the Holy Trinity, which was then the 18th day of the calends of July, the bodies of the three bishops, Jocelin, Roger, and Osmund (the latter not yet canonized), were brought from Old Sarum. Whether their tombs were also brought, is not said, nor is any mention made of Herman, who by popular report is credited with a monument in the cathedral.

A Charter of Henry III., dated 30th of January, 1227, gives certain powers to make new roads and bridges, to inclose the city of New Saresbury, to institute a fair from the Vigil of the Assumption of the Blessed Mary to the octave of the same feast, etc., etc. This development of the city, more especially by its roads and bridges, is held to have been fatal to the prosperity of Wilton, which from that time ceased to progress, and was over-shadowed by the now rapidly increasing New Sarum.

Bishop Poore was ably supported in his great undertaking by a group of notable men, among whom were: William de Wanda, the Dean, who threw his whole soul into the work, and traversed the diocese of London to collect alms in its behalf, besides leaving us most elaborate accounts of the various ceremonies; and the Precentor, Roger de Sarum, a man of some weight, who soon after became Bishop of Bath and Wells; Henry de Bishopston, a learned man and a scholar, should also be remembered, and, if Leland could be credited, we should need to add another member to this group, and find in Robert Hilcot, of Sarum, the author of the "Philobiblon" so generally attributed to Richard de Bury.

After Bishop Poore was translated to Durham, his three successors, Bishops Robert Bingham (1229-1246), William of York (1247-1256), and Giles of Bridport (1257-1262), continued the works of the new building with great energy. In 1258 it was consecrated—some accounts say by Bishop Giles of Bridport, "who covered the roof throughout with lead," but more probably by Boniface of Savoy, Archbishop of Canterbury. Henry III. and his queen were present at the consecration; and as indulgences of a year and forty days were offered to all who should be present during the octave of the dedication, vast crowds visited it. It was not entirely completed according to a note in a Book of Statutes, until 1266, and it has been said that with all our modern appliances we could hardly shorten the forty-six years it occupied. The cost of the whole building, according to ancient authority, was about 40,000 marks, equal to L26,666 13s. 4d., of the money of that day, and probably equivalent roughly to half a million in our own time. Among many benefactors, one, Lady Alicia Bruere, who according to Leland contributed the marble and stone for twelve years, deserves to be mentioned. The cloisters and chapter house were not commenced until the episcopate of Bishop Walter de la Wyle (1263-1271) and possibly not completed until some ten years later. From the will of Robert de Careville, the treasurer in 1267, we find that there were seven altars in the church at this date; he bequeathed seven pounds to provide fourteen silver phials (each bearing a representation of three keys) in order that each altar might have two. The erection of the spire, evidently not included in the original plan, is often erroneously assigned to Wyville (1336-1375), who certainly completed the wall of the close, and enlarged the cloisters. The King granted him a charter for this purpose, and also gave him the stones of the old Cathedral, many of which, with the Norman work upon them, may be seen plainly at the present time. (See p. 22.)

It is interesting to note that not only is Salisbury the most complete example of its period in this country, but is also the first important building carried out entirely in the style we now know as early English. Henry III. is believed to have been so enthusiastic in his admiration of Bishop Poore's new Cathedral that he set about the rebuilding of Westminster Abbey, which was commenced in 1245 and completed in 1269, as far as the east end of the choir. The early English work at Salisbury has a certain poverty of detail when compared with Westminster, and the "Angel Choir" of Lincoln undoubtedly surpasses both; yet the effect of Salisbury has a character of its own and a purity in its ornament that is in itself a distinction. The Cathedral of Amiens, of exactly the same date, covers 71,000 square feet, Salisbury but 55,000; the vault of Amiens is 152 feet high, Salisbury only 85; but, as Fergusson observes in his "Handbook of Architecture," the fair mode of comparison is to ask whether the Cathedral of Amiens is finer than Salisbury would be if the latter were at least twice as large as it is.

There has long been a tradition that Elias de Dereham was the architect of this stately pile, and the information gathered together by the Rev. J.A. Bennet, in a paper read before the British Archaeological Association at Salisbury on August 5th, 1887, certainly does much to strengthen the belief. From this account, and other sources, we find that Elias de Derham is first mentioned in the Rot. Chartarum, Ap. 6 (6 John, 1208)? where he is described as one of the King's clerks and Rector of Meauton. In 1206 he appears to have been a royal official. In 1209 he is reported to have been the architect for the repairs of King John's palace at Westminster. In 1212 he attached himself to the opposite party, but was taken again into the King's favour in the following year. We have specially interesting notice of his work in 1220, when he was engaged upon the shrine of St. Thomas at Canterbury. Matthew Paris, in his account of the translation of St. Thomas, distinctly states that the shrine was the work of that incomparable officer, Walter de Colchester, Sacrist of St. Albans, assisted by Elias de Dereham, Canon of Salisbury. Leland mentions, in an extract from an old "Martyrologie" of Salisbury, that he was rector—or director—of the new church for twenty-five years from the beginning, whether he means architect or clerk of the works is not so clear. His name, as one of the Canons of the Cathedral, occurs eleven times in the "Osmund Register" at Salisbury. There are also references to him in the "Book of Evidences" (Liber Evidentiarum) among the bishop's muniments, as the builder of the original Aula Plumbea—Leden-hall—a famous old house in the close. The document is entitled "Scriptura de domibus de Leden-hall per Eliam de Dereham sumptuose constructis," "a deed concerning the house called Leden-hall, built at great expense by Elias de Dereham." This residence house remained six centuries after in the gift of the Bishop of Sarum.

During the year in which he accompanied Bishop Poore in his translation to Durham, and from 1230 to 1238, he was employed upon some architectural work connected with Durham Cathedral, which, when Bishop Poore accepted it was a stately Norman fane with an apsidal choir; he removed this east end, and remodelled it in the early English manner. The chapel of the Nine Altars, as this portion is called, is remarkably similar in its details to much of the work at Salisbury. It is curious that two southern churches so near as Salisbury and Christchurch Priory should be found influencing or influenced by the great northern cathedral, but the likeness between Flambard's Norman work at Christchurch and the same bishop's work at Durham is as strongly marked as the Early English of Bishop Poore at both the churches in which he was enthroned. That Elias de Dereham is responsible for much of the work of both cathedrals is also a fair assumption. Curiously enough his name, hitherto hastily assumed to be equivalent to Elias of Durham, has probably no connection with that city; whether, however, his patronym should be traced to the Norfolk Dereham, or the Gloucester Dyrham, it is impossible to say with any certainty. On somewhat insufficient grounds it has been hazarded that his portrait may be found in a figure on the east side of the staircase buttress of what was formerly the great entrance to Wells Cathedral.

Owing to the fact that the original design of the building was fully carried out, with the addition of a tower and spire, its architectural history ceases just where most others begin their chequered career. At the time of the Reformation it suffered but little, except in the wholesale destruction of its stained glass. Dr. Pope, in his "Life of Bishop Ward," says that even during the Civil War, when it was abandoned, workmen were engaged to keep it in repair, who when questioned as to the authority by which they worked, said, "Those who employ'd us will pay us; trouble not your selves to inquire who they are. Whoever they are, they do not desire to have their names known." We find as evidence of the secret influence exerted in its behalf that when one of Waller's officers sent up to the Parliament certain plate and a pulpit cloth from Salisbury Cathedral, he was ordered to restore them, as it was considered that he had overstepped his commission; all that was retained being certain copes, hangings, and a picture of the Virgin.

At the Restoration, Bishop Ward, after a great thunderstorm in 1668, when fears were entertained for the safety of the spire, called in Sir Christopher Wren, who, after examining the tower, expressed his belief "that a spire was not contemplated by its builders;" that "out of fear to overburden the four piers of the tower, its inside was carried for 40 feet above the nave with a slender hollow work of pillars and arches, nor hath it any buttresses; the spire itself is but 9 inches thick, though the height be above 150 feet." This work of pillars and arches led him to conclude that the architect laid his first floor of timber 40 feet higher than the vault beneath.

Dr. Walter Pope, in his "Life of Bishop Seth Ward," 1697, describes the restorations accomplished by this excellent prelate: "There being, therefore, not much to be done as to reparation, he employ'd himself in the Decoration of the Cathedral: First, at his proper charges Paving the Cloyster. I mean that side of it which leads out of his garden into the church. At his exhortation, and more than proportinable (sic) expence the Pavement of the Church was mended where it was faulty, and the whole Quire laid with white and black squares of marble. The Bishops, Deans, and all the Prebendaries Stalls made New & Magnificent, and the whole church was kept so clean, that anyone who had occasion for Dust to throw on the Superscription of a Letter, he would have a hard task to find it there.... His next care was to repair, I might almost say rebuild his Palace, which was much ruined, the Hall being pulled down, & the Greater part of the House converted to an Inn ... what remained of the Palace was divided into small Tenements and let out to poor Handicraft-men. This dilapidation was the work of one Van Ling, a Dutchman, by trade a Taylor, who bought it of Parliament when Bishop's lands were exposed to sale."

In the minutes of the chapter for August 26th, 1789, we find instruction given to Wyatt "to make new Canopies to the Stalls, to build a new Pulpit and Bishop's Throne, to put new Iron Rails to the Communion, with coping thereon, and set new blue stone steps to receive the same, to put two Wainscot Screens across the Aisles, to lay blue stone paving in the Lady Chapel, in squares to be cut out of the old gravestones, and enrich the side walls according to the drawings, to clean and colour the church from the East end of the Transept, and make the Screen to the Western Side of the organ." They also ordered "the beam in the choir to be removed, the North and South Porches to be taken down, the south door near the Verger's house stopped up, and another opened near the Chapter Vestry, to open out the Chapel in the great North and South Transepts, and to convert the north-east transept into a morning chapel, to remove certain monuments in consequence of alterations in St. Mary's Chapel, & to take down the Beauchamp & Hungerford Chapels, on the plea that they were in a state as to greatly exceed any ordinary or possible means of repair." These formal instructions were not merely obeyed but exceeded, and the demolitions of that time confront the student of the building in all his researches. Of late years many minor alterations have been carried out, with a view to restore monuments to their original site, and, as far as possible, to obliterate Wyatt's damage; but the two superb chantries, the bell tower, the painted glass, and many other important features are hopelessly effaced, and the cathedral, spared by its avowed foes, has met with its greatest disaster from the hands of former guardians.

For the last thirty years the work of restoration has been gradually carried on until its recent completion. An arrangement was made in 1862 by which the Ecclesiastical Commissioners permitted the Dean and Chapter to spend L10,000 on the building, as part of a payment in lieu of transfer of their property. Sir G. Gilbert Scott had control of the restoration. Owing to the necessary work proving far more costly than the sum allowed was able to effect, a public meeting was held, subscriptions were started, and ultimately sufficient money raised to repair thoroughly the exterior of the building. The tower and spire were strengthened by an ingenious system of iron ties planned by Mr. Shields, the well-known engineer. The west front was restored, and more than sixty statues placed in its vacant niches. In the interior the Lady Chapel was restored, and its floor laid with encaustic tiles from the designs of ancient examples in various parts of the cathedral. The walls were cleaned, and the paintings of the roof reproduced by Messrs. Clayton and Bell. The choir was restored in memory of Bishop Hamilton, and the old choir stalls cleared. The organ-screen built by Wyatt out of fragments of the Hungerford and Beauchamp chapels was removed. Throughout the building the Purbeck marble shafts have been most carefully preserved and repolished. Besides this much decorative work of various sorts, including some excellent examples of modern stained glass and metal work, has been added from time to time. At present the interior has less obvious evidence of age than any other English building of its date, but for this the modern restorer is not entirely responsible, as Wyatt rendered much alteration needful, and the design of the work has, as we have remarked elsewhere, a curiously modern quality in its finish and symmetry which is apt to mislead a casual observer.


[1] The headpiece is from an engraving in Walpoole's "British Traveller."

[2] A paper on this subject was printed in the Wiltshire Archaeological Mag., No. lvi.

[3] So misspelt in the text quoted.


Salisbury stands alone among English cathedrals for unity of design. To own its possession of this quality, which is undoubtedly both the earliest and the most mature impression the cathedral imparts, is by no means equivalent to unqualified praise. There are buildings of equal and less importance, whence illustrations might be taken for a complete history of every period of Gothic architecture; here the examples would be limited not only to one style, but if we except the upper stories of the tower and its spire, the cloisters, and a few minor additions, to a very restricted use of Early English, as it was practised from A.D. 1220 to 1258.

Another uncommon feature not so apparent at first sight, but yet almost, if not quite as rare, is that the present building was erected on a virgin site. It is hard to find a mediaeval church of any importance in England that is not only upon the self-same site, but more often in part upon the actual foundation of an earlier edifice. Consistency is the especial character of Salisbury, and now, owing to Wyatt's iconoclastic destruction of the two later chapels at its east end, we have in Salisbury "the most typical English cathedral," which is also our most complete example of Early English.

That this artistic unity is as interesting as a design subsequently modified by other influences, may be an open question. There are those who think Salisbury "faultily faultless, icily regular, splendidly null," yet they would hardly dare to continue the quotation and say it was "dead perfection, no more." Even at a time when mediaeval art was not generally appreciated in England, this cathedral won admiration from chance visitors such as Evelyn, who saw it in July, 1654, and pronounced it "the completest Gothic work in Europe." Pepys, who also left his impressions of it, says: "The minster most admirable, as big I think and handsomer than Westminster, and a most large close about it and offices for the officers thereof, and a fine palace for the bishop." In later times Motley, the historian, thought it "too neat." Henry James calls it "a blonde beauty among churches," and even hints that it is a little banal. Another American critic, Mrs. Van Rensselaer, in a sympathetic study of the cathedral which appeared in "The Century Magazine," says: "If we think it feeble, it will be because we cannot see strength where it has been brought to perfect poise and ease. If our verdict is 'banal,' it will be because we cannot tell the commonplace from the simply and exactly right, or we do not know how rare the latter is—because we long for eccentricity as a proof of personality, and need what the French call emphase to impress us; there is no over-emphasis about Salisbury, neither in its effect as a whole, nor in any of its parts, neither in its design, nor in its treatment. But just in this fact lies its greatest merit, and just by reason of this fact, joined to its mighty size and its exceptional unity, it is intensely individual, personal, distinct from all other churches in the world."

Dean Stanley, in comparing it with Westminster Abbey, hardly overpraised it in saying: "Salisbury is all-glorious without, Westminster is all-glorious within." Canon Venables considers it "as an architectural composition, more especially as seen from the outside, the most perfectly designed building in the world." Elsewhere he speaks of it as "presenting none of those architectural problems so baffling and perplexing at Canterbury, Lichfield, or Lincoln." Its appearance from a distance has been the theme of poets, and a favourite subject for artists. Constable especially delighted to paint it. Among several of his different versions of the theme, the view from the meadows (with the rainbow), made popular by Lucas' mezzotint, is perhaps the best known.

Studying the building more closely one feels it is not accident that gives to it its peculiar charm, but pre-arranged design; the idea of one conception carried to its logical completion. This striking unity (despite the afterthought of the spire) certainly helps to impart an air of modernity to the building, that is lacking in far less ancient work, for oddly enough it is often the decaying features of the latest decorated style that impress the vulgar by their apparent age. The extreme care in the masonry has imparted a machine-like finish. As Professor Willis wrote: "The regularity of the size of the stones is astonishing. As soon as they had finished one part, they copied it exactly in the next, even though the additional expense was considerable. The masonry runs in even bands, and you may follow it from the south transept, eastward, round to the north transept, after which they have not taken such great pains in their regularity. It is almost impossible to distinguish where they could have left off, for it is hardly to be supposed they could have gone on with all at the same time."

If at first sight this regular and symmetrical detail offers a suspicion of mere mechanism, yet it is no less evident that after longer study the charms of this exquisite structure tell with a lasting power. Too subtle to extort admiration at first, it bewitches a student of architecture who notes the scholarly reticence of its detail, the masterly way in which, as a rule, the construction is legitimately ornamented and the decoration made an integral part of the whole design.

The Tower, with its famous spire, needs no apologist to justify its claim to be considered the most beautiful, not merely in England, but in Europe. From the time Leland naively wrote, "the tower of stone and the high pyramis of stone on it is a noble and memorable 'peace' of work," every critic of the cathedral praises the tower unreservedly, although Defoe was anxious to improve it, for he said: "The beauty of it is hurt by a thing easily to be remedied, which is this. The glass in the several windows being very old, has contracted such a rust, that it is scarcely to be distinguished from the stone walls; consequently, it appears as if there were no lights at all in the tower, but only recesses in the stone, whereas could the windows be glazed with squares and kept clean, which might be done, they would be plainly visible at a distance, and not only so, but from the adjacent hills you would see the light quite through the tower, which would have a very fine effect." It is curious to remember that perfectly as it accords with the rest of the pile, so that it seems the very central motive of the whole scheme, yet it is really an addition. Like the touch of genius which by one word changes a good poem to a flawless lyric, so the creator of this crown to an already beautiful building by his final touch seems to have imparted additional beauty to that which already existed. The first idea was doubtless to add a lantern after the style of Ely, or at most a wooden spire. That the lower part of the tower is part of the original design, and intended to be open to the church, is proved by the presence of a series of detached Purbeck marble columns in the style of the rest of the internal masonry, which, hidden by the groining, or half-concealed by later masonry, were obviously meant to be part of the decoration of the interior, but again, the original plan of the tower made no provision for the huge weight of a stone spire. Indeed, it is quite doubtful if in its first state it was able to support itself, for curiously designed abutments are built in the triforium and clerestory of the nave, choir, or transepts on each of its four sides. The stonework of these is Early English, which if slightly later than the first story of the tower, is yet considerably earlier than its two upper stories. Notwithstanding the faulty construction that needed additional work so soon after it was erected, about fifty years later a daring architect super-imposed two stories, and added the lofty spire, which still stands, despite an early settlement which deflected it 23 inches out of the perpendicular. But its stability can hardly be reckoned a tribute to the judgment of the architect, for many times since complex arrangements of iron bands and ties have been added to ward off such a disaster as that which lost Chichester its spire in 1861, and has caused many others to be rebuilt from the very foundations. By a report of Sir Christopher Wren made in the time of Bishop Seth Ward, two hundred years ago, it is evident that in his time the deflection was not increasing, nor do quite recent observations show any reason for serious anxiety. This haunting fear, however, has led to curiously precise experiments for ascertaining the state of the spire. Francis Price, at the end of the last century, describes many of these, especially one carried out in the presence of the bishop, on July 18th, 1717; he also illustrates an elaborate system of additional bands and ties in his time. During the restorations that were begun in 1863, a further arrangement of iron bands, planned by Mr. Shields, the engineer, was introduced into the lantern story of the tower.

Parker, in his "Glossary," believes the date of the spire to be about 1300; other authorities fix it thirty years later. Certain deeds in the "Book of Evidences" preserved among the Cathedral muniments show that in 1326 Edward III. granted a license for surrounding the close with a wall, and in 1331 authorized the bishop and canons to use the stones of the church of Old Sarum for that purpose. But against the theory that the material thus obtained was used in the tower also, there is the patent fact that while on many stones in the wall there are traces of Norman mouldings and other evidence of former use, neither in the tower nor spire do the stones betray any such origin. Modern antiquaries are wellnigh agreed upon the earlier dates; for in the Capitular Register, begun in 1329, there is no mention of the spire, which could hardly have escaped record had so important a work been then in progress. In support of this theory it is urged that from 1258 to 1297 the deans were men who took great interest in the fabric and are entered in its calendar of benefactors. Three of these became successively Bishops of Salisbury. But the deans who were appointed after 1297 were chiefly foreigners, several being cardinals and relatives of the Pope, whose duties elsewhere would have left them little but a purely temporal interest in the building. One of them, Peter of Savoy, was in conflict with his bishop, and evaded an episcopal admonition ordering him to residence.

Bishop Godwin, in his "Catalogue of Bishops," notes that in 1258 the cathedral was rehallowed by Boniface, Archbishop of Canterbury, and this fact is the basis of most of the argument for the earlier date of the spire, the completion of which, according to some, could alone have justified the ceremony.

Remembering that Winchester had lost its central tower, which fell in 1107, we can understand the reasons which induced the original architect to distrust a spire, and to adopt a lantern in its place. If, however, timidity delayed it at first, when it was undertaken, its builder left it not only the most lofty in England then and since, but in actual effect the most lofty in the world. This is claimed in spite of its 404 feet being exceeded by Amiens (422 feet), and Strasburg (488 feet), and although it might appear special pleading to urge such a theory against contradictory facts, yet since at Amiens the nave roof is 208 feet high, against the 115 feet of Salisbury, it is obvious that the apparent height of the latter exceeds its French rival. At Strasburg the excess of elaboration in the ornament is detrimental to the effect of height, and the same may be said of Antwerp or Mechlin, where the whole effect is not so much that of a spire, as of an elaborately fretted finial, insubstantial if exquisite in itself, but merely an added ornament, not appearing part of the solid structure.

Despite the somewhat ornate details of the upper stories and spire, they accord well with the rest of the building, and, although typical Early Decorated of the time of Edward III., fail to clash with the more severe Early English work. These two stories have elaborately canopied arcades running round them, the windows being pierced through two of the arches on each facade and not emphasized by any special treatment. Above each story is a traceried parapet of lozenge decoration, the same design being repeated in the two bands that encircle the spire itself. At each of the four angles of the tower is an octagonal turret with crocketed spire. Amid a coronet of decorated finials the great octagonal spire grows naturally with no abrupt revelation of its change of plan. The whole cresting of the tower, and the perfectly natural way in which its lines continue easily into the graceful spire itself, are triumphs of successful design. The silhouette of the mass against the sky so precisely reaches the ideal effect that it is difficult to restrain oneself to sober criticism in describing it, yet the result is achieved so naturally that until we compare it with others, especially with modern ones, we hardly do justice to the subtle beauty that gives it a right to the supremacy it has won. The timber framework erected as a scaffold during the progress of the building still remains inside the spire and helps to impart strength to it; those curious in such matters will find a mass of information and many plans and drawings of its internal construction in Francis Price's "Antiquities of Salisbury, 1774." In 1762, during the progress of some repairs to the capstone and the addition of a new copper vane, the workmen discovered a wooden box, and inside it a round leaden one 5-1/2 inches in diameter and 2-1/4 inches deep, which contained a piece of woven fabric.[4] This was conjectured to be a relic of the Virgin Mary, the patron saint of the church, which had been deposited there to guard the lofty spire from danger by lightning or tempest. When tested on the 600th anniversary of the building the spire showed, it is said, no further deflection from that registered two centuries earlier. Consequently the settlement in the two western piers being so long at a standstill, and the repeated additions of metal work to strengthen the spire being apparently entirely successful, there seemed no reason to doubt but that in the natural course of events it would remain for many centuries a landmark to its neighbourhood and one of the greatest triumphs of English mediaeval workmanship.[5] Richard de Farley, a Wiltshire man, is supposed to have been the architect of the spire; that his artistic instinct was right is evident to-day, but his engineering foresight seems less certain, as in all probability the settlement began almost immediately after the erection. Indeed it is said that the efforts to obtain the canonization of Osmund were started in 1387 to increase the popularity of the cathedral as a place of pilgrimage, and thereby to augment its revenue, so that funds might be forthcoming for the additional work needed to support the tower. Frequent references to miracles at his shrine show that the saint was popularly adored long before his canonization in 1456. A local superstition says the tower was builded on woolpacks. According to Pliny's account, the temple of Diana of Ephesus was made firm with coats or fleeces of wool; but it is inconceivable that bags of wool were employed in either case for the foundation. At Rouen in Normandy a similar legend refers to butter as the foundation of one of the western towers, which tradition, absurd though it be, supplies the idea of a butter tax, which in turn suggests a wool tax, that in such a district as this would have been naturally a profitable source of revenue.

Probably because of the early trouble with the foundation of the great tower, there was from the first no intention of making it a belfry. Even before the spire was decided upon, the oscillation of a mass of swaying bells was obviously too dangerous to be seriously considered. A special campanile, as at Chichester, was therefore built at the north-west corner of the close. Its style was evidently similar to that of the cloisters and the chapter house. Multangular in form, an early historian calls it, but the engravings still existing show it to have been a somewhat ordinary specimen of Early English design. Its special feature was a single central pillar of Purbeck marble that supported the weight of the bells and belfry. The spire was doubtless of wood, and, apparently, the upper lantern-like tower also.[6] Although its destruction is not ordered in the official document wherein the Chapter gave Wyatt authority to do so much mischief, on some pretext, probably his craze for what he called "vistas," it was demolished in the terrible destruction of 1789, opening up a view of the Cathedral that was entirely unnecessary, and wilfully destroying a feature of the close that could ill be spared.

The custom of climbing the spire during the Whitsun fair, to which Francis Price, in a naive description, attributes much damage to the leadwork of the roofs, has only ceased in recent times, some sixty or seventy years ago. Arnold, a watchmaker, wound up his watch while leaning actually against the vane. When a lad, during a royal visit, stood on his head on the capstone, George III. refused to reward him, saying that he was bound to provide for the lives of his people. On June 26th, 1741, the timber braces of the spire were found to be on fire. According to Francis Price, "there was, about ten o'clock the night before in a very great storm, a particular flash of lightning observed by many of the inhabitants to strike against the tower with a sort of smacking noise, and then to have been lost.... It may well be called dreadful since, had it continued half an hour longer, all the assistance on earth could not have prevented the total destruction of the pile."

The West Front of the Cathedral was, beyond doubt, the last portion of the original design to be carried out, for among its details the ball-flower, a typical feature of the decorated style, frequently occurs. The governing idea of its facade is indefensible. Not merely because in common with Wells, Lincoln, and other churches, it does not emphasize the construction of the nave and aisles, and hides them by a screen, but because the screen itself poses as an integral part of the building. Even considered solely as an architectural composition, without regard to the building it professes to decorate rather than hide, it is hardly good. The two western towers it unites are, in themselves, not sufficiently important in comparison with the rest of the edifice; in fact, they are little more than finials to the screen. In many similar structures the unity of effect gained at the expense of theoretical consistency justifies the departure; here it is merely a huge surface adapted to display a great number of statues. Rich as it appears now that its long empty niches are again repeopled, it is of no remarkable excellence either in mass or in detail. Its worst fault, however, is that unlike Exeter, it does not content itself by frankly assuming to be nothing more than a screen, but at first sight appears to be the legitimate finish of the nave and aisles. A recent critic, defending the facade in spite of its architectural isolation from the building in its rear, points out that the chief objection to the west front is that it is wanting in that repose and refinement of detail which characterize the rest of the building, and that its design is entirely out of keeping therewith, and also complains that "the ragged outline at the angles produced by the high relief and rather clumsy sections of the decorative detail has a very bad effect." It has been suggested that as from the position of the site there was never a chance of the building being seen from a distance—owing to the level country around it, the projection of the transepts and the group of the whole pile could never tell out as they would had it been on a hill, therefore the form chosen was deliberately adopted to give a factitious importance to the west front on its own merits. The continental builders with much more lofty nave and aisles, and with their habit of making the west door the principal entrance, were able, by enriching its portal and decorating the natural divisions of the building, to attain a stately form that honestly fulfilled its purpose; here the magnificence is secured by masking the low aisles of the nave with a wall that is a mere theatrical adjunct, its simulated windows and its stringcourses marking stories that do not exist. Apart from theoretical criticism, it is not quite admirable in itself; the three doorways are hardly of sufficient importance, the central window is somewhat larger than it should be to accord with the scale of the whole facade, while the apparently built up windows above the genuine windows of the nave aisles, whose roofs have their apex about on a level with the sills of the large central lancets, are as much frauds as any of those sham windows in symmetrical Renaissance work, which so excite the ire of ardent champions of Gothic purity.

It consists of five bays, of which the lateral ones are square turrets, covered with arcades, and terminated by spires. The lower story of the central bay is composed of three pedimented porches deeply recessed, each with a niche in its gable. Above these is a story of canopied trefoiled arches, with quatrefoil lozenges in their centres. Over this arcade is the large west window, a triplet of lancets with slender shafts and chevron ornament. Above this again is a band of quatrefoils at the foot of the gable, which is filled with double couplets of lancets with quatrefoils above their heads; and in the upper spandrils is a quatrefoiled aureole. The buttresses flanking this central bay have similar arcading continued around them. The side bays each have a triple porch, a two-lighted window with a quatrefoil in the head, with a window of the same form above it, and higher still the arcading continued from the towers.

In 1863 the hundred and odd niches designed to contain statues were either despoiled or had never been occupied, with the exception of eight which held figures mutilated beyond certain recognition. Mr. Cockerell conjectured that two on the buttress of the south tower represented St. Peter and St. John the Baptist, on that to the north St. Paul and St. John the Evangelist, while a figure facing north on the same buttress he believed to represent Stephen Langton, Archbishop of Canterbury. Other figures are supposed to commemorate Bishop Poore, William Longespee, 1st Earl of Salisbury, St. Stephen, and Bishop Giles de Bridport.

A sketch by Hollar, dating from the beginning of the seventeenth century, shows the niches completely filled; and Hatcher claims from this evidence that we are warranted in assuming that the figures were destroyed by Ludlow's troopers when he garrisoned the belfry. But such an assumption requires many facts to support it which are not forthcoming. We have no proof that Hollar's sketch was intended to be a literal transcript of what he saw; it is quite possible that for the sake of effect he preferred to complete the design according to the supposed intention of its builders. We are not certain that the niches were all filled originally; it is quite possible that some were purposely left vacant for future benefactors. We know also that during the Civil War the whole fabric of the Cathedral escaped serious injuries. The Hyde family, powerful at that time, had friends on both sides, and we find record of certain articles sent up to Parliament by one of Waller's officers were ordered to be restored. On the other hand, the Visitation of Cathedrals, ordered and undertaken during the reign of Edward VI., had especial instructions to remove images. In addition to these objections to attributing the destruction of the figures to the Ludlow soldiers, there is also to be considered the natural decay of carving exposed to the open air, which might reasonably account for the dilapidation of a certain number.

However, whether wantonly destroyed or not, it is certain that the present figures must be all regarded as modern, since the eight actually left have been, with the exception of St. John the Baptist, very much restored. Redfern, the well-known sculptor, is responsible for the present statues. If not possessing the vigour of the old work, which from fragments in other parts of the building was certainly superior to these modern additions, yet they are creditable in design and scholarly in treatment.

The arrangement is probably in harmony with the original scheme. It represents the orders of terrestrial and celestial beings mentioned in the four verses of the hymn, "Te Deum Laudamus." In "The Legend of Christian Art," by the Rev. H.T. Armfield, Minor Canon of Salisbury (published in 1869), the symbolism and history of the whole design is given at great length. Here it must suffice to quote a few of the more salient points.

The statues are arranged in five horizontal lines from north to south, exclusive of the figure in the "vesica," the oval above. In the principal niches of the top row is a tier of angels, below this a tier of Old Testament patriarchs and prophets, then a tier of doctors, virgins, and martyrs, and lowest of all a tier of worthies, including princes, martyrs, bishops, and founders connected with the diocese and the Cathedral.

The Vesica contains a figure of our Lord seated, known technically as a "Majesty." In the tier of angels below, noting them from left to right, are the celestial hierarchies, Seraphim, Cherubim, and Thrones; Dominions, Powers, and Authorities; Principalities, Archangels, Angels. The Old Testament prophets are: David with the harp, Moses with the Tables of the Law, Abraham with the knife, Noah with the ark, Samuel with a sceptre, and Solomon with a church. The eight vacant niches should contain figures of Isaiah, Ezekiel, Elijah, Melchizedek, Enoch, Job, Daniel, and Jeremiah. The tier with the Apostles observes this order: On the northern turret St. Jude with a halberd, St. Simon Zelotes with a saw, St. Andrew with the cross that bears his name, St. Thomas with a builder's square; on the north buttress St. Peter with the keys; on the southern buttress St. Paul with a sword (both these are restorations of ancient figures); on the southern turret St. James the Less with a club, St. James the Greater with a pilgrim's staff, St. Bartholomew with the knife of his martyrdom and St. Matthias with a lance.

The tier of the doctors, virgins, and martyrs, keeping to the same order, shows: St. Ambrose, Bishop of Milan, with a scourge in his right hand, and a bishop's staff in his left; St. Jerome in a cardinal's hat, with a church in his right hand and a bible in his left; St. Gregory in papal tiara, the legendary club on his shield, his pastoral staff doubly crossed, and a book, typical of his writings, on his left. On the smaller north buttress, near the turret, is a restored figure removed from its original place, which represents St. Augustine, wearing a bishop's mitre, and holding his hand as in the act of benediction. On the greater north buttress is the figure of St. Mary the Virgin, to whom the church is dedicated. This figure is also restored. In the eleven niches over the central door are, with their various symbols: St. Barbara, St. Catherine, St. Roche, St. Nicholas, St. George of England, St. Christopher, St. Sebastian, St. Cosmo, St. Damian, St. Margaret, and St. Ursula. On the greater south buttress is St. John the Baptist, and on the lesser an old figure unrestored, supposed to represent St. Bridget. On the southern turret are St. Mary, St. Agatha, St. Agnes and St. Cecilia, each wearing the martyr's crown. The tier of worthies comprises: Bishops Giles de Bridport and Richard Poore, and King Henry III. as a founder. Bishop Odo, with a wafer in his hand, commemorating the legend of his miraculous proof of the transubstantiation of the Blessed Sacrament; St. Osmund, Bishop Brithwold, St. Alban, St. Alphege, St. Edmund, and St. Thomas of Canterbury.

Another figure on the north side of the north-west turret, for some time assumed to be St. Christopher, is now assigned to St. Birinus, or possibly with more truth to St. Nicholas, who had an altar dedicated to him, "probably just at the back of this spot."

On the apex of the west front is an ancient carving of a bird on a scroll, which has puzzled many specialists. Mr. Armfield believes it to be intended for a dove, the emblem of the Holy Spirit, in a scroll to typify The Word, and thus with the "Majesty" near, to be a representation of the three persons of the Trinity, in a mode in accordance with English taste.

The North Porch is a massive structure of two stories. The upper, now used as the dean's muniment room, has, like a similar example at Christchurch, Hants, no certain indication of its original use. Whether it was a dwelling for sacristans, a school, or a library, was doubtful; but later opinion thinks it was unquestionably used by the sacristans, since it is said that "the sub-treasurer of Sarum, who was usually one of the vicars choral, pledged himself to see that the clerks told off for given duties slept in the church in their accustomed places; and for himself he promised that unless lawfully excused, he would sleep each night in the treasury." Against this theory, however, it might be urged that the muniment room at the angle of the south-east transept is identified as the ancient treasury.

This porch, sometimes called the Galilee, was possibly a place where penitents met, and from which they were expelled from the church on Ash-Wednesday until Maundy Thursday. Externally, although of exquisite proportions, it has no very important details, yet its pinnacles deserve notice; but the interior is very beautiful, the walls have sunk panelling, a base arcade of foliated arches, and in the upper tier large foliated circles with sub-arches, each comprising two trefoiled arches with quatrefoil heads. Mr. G.E. Street, who thoroughly appreciated this particular period of English Gothic as his work at the New Law Courts proves, just before his death restored this part of the cathedral admirably.

Another porch, formerly the entrance to the north transept, removed by Wyatt for the most trivial reason, is now in the grounds of the college which occupies the site of the secular buildings belonging to the church of St. Edmund, founded in 1268.

The Exterior of the Nave is simple, but with excellently disposed features. The triple lancets of the clerestory occur in pairs between flying buttresses with tall finials; below these, in the aisles, are two two-light windows, divided by lesser buttresses terminating in gables.

The fronts of the main transepts show four stories, the two lower being divided into three bays by buttresses, and flanked by pinnacled buttresses at each side. The doors that had a ritual use have long since been walled up both on the north and south sides. A triplet window is in the lower stage, three-light windows with quatrefoil heads occupying the second, while the third has an arcade of six lancets below a floriated circle flanked by sunk panels and quatrefoils. The windows in the gable consist of two lesser windows, two-light, with quatrefoil heads, beneath a large octofoil, the whole grouped with blank panels at the side, beneath a cinquefoil moulding. The aisle has flying buttresses reaching to the clerestory, and good angle-pinnacles. The choir transept has no dividing buttresses, and a different grouping of windows. In the lower stage is a triple lancet; there is a group of three two-light windows in the story above, and in the upper one an arcade of four lancets grouped under a comprising arch with a quatrefoil in the head. The gable is lighted by a triplet window flanked with blind lancets, and terminates in a cross.

The transepts differ slightly in detail on their north and south fronts. It has also been pointed out that while in the one transept the lancet form rules, in the other the free employment of the circle and the quatrefoil almost foreshadows the Early Decorated style. The windows of both are so singularly pure in design and beautiful in proportion, that they have often been selected as typical examples of the best work in their style.

The east front of the choir is flanked with square pinnacled buttresses. Above the Lady Chapel is an arcade with five members pierced with three windows, and in the gable a similar arrangement of five lancets, three being windows, arranged in harmony with the triangular space it fills. The flying buttresses on the south side were added by Bishop Beauchamp in 1450-58.

The east front of the Lady Chapel is divided by buttresses into three bays, and has crocketed gables to each. The aisles show a lancet in the lower story, with a blind couplet beneath a quatrefoil in the gable; the central compartment has a triplet in each story.

The south side corresponds in character to the north, but is partly hidden by the chapter house, the muniment room, the library, and cloisters. The walls of the latter are high, and the quadrangle they inclose entirely separated from the building, the long narrow space between being known as the Plumbery.

Many consecration crosses of beautiful design are to be found on the building marking the spots touched by the oil of unction at the dedication of the edifice. (See initial letter, page 1.)

The cathedral is built of freestone from the Chilmark quarries twelve miles distant, with a lavish use of Purbeck marble in its interior. The grey colour of the leaden roofs and the pure unstained tone of its walls, impart a quasi-modern aspect to it, which, no matter how little justified by facts, always presents Salisbury to one's mind, as a late addition to the superb array of English churches; yet considering that as we see it from the Close no portion (except possibly the spire) later than the twelfth century comes into the picture, there is no other cathedral that so little justifies such an impression, and one cannot escape a return to the first reason advanced, namely, that its singular unity has given it an aspect of perpetual youth.


[4] This was carefully replaced in its original position inclosed in a copper cylinder.

[5] Recently, however, anxiety has been again aroused, and the spire has been once more strengthened.

[6] This lantern story was removed in 1757 by order of the Dean and Chapter.


The ground plan of Salisbury is a well-proportioned double cross with the arms, of the choir transepts, more important than usual. Indeed, the exquisitely proportioned and balanced symmetry of every portion, as of the whole, which almost places Salisbury among classic buildings, is as marked in its ground plan as in any part of the building. As an appreciative student of the building has written: "This is the great beauty of Salisbury, the composition of its mighty body as a whole. So finely proportioned and arranged are its square masses of different heights and sizes, so splendid are the broad effects of light and shadow they produce, so appropriate is the slant of the roof lines, and so nicely placed and gracefully shaped are the simple windows, that for once we can give no thought of regret either to the circling apses of continental lands or the rich traceries and surface carvings and figures—sculptures of later generations. The whole effect is in the strictest sense architectural. Few large buildings teach so clearly the great lesson that beauty in a building depends first of all upon composition, not decoration; upon masses, not details; upon the use and shaping, not the ornamentation of features; and very few show half so plainly that mediaeval architects could realize this fact. We are too apt to think that Gothic art cannot be individual without being eccentric, or interesting without being heterogeneous ... but Salisbury is both grand and lovely, and yet it is quiet, rational, and all of a piece, clear and smooth, and refined to the point of utmost purity. No building in the world is more logical, more lucid in expression, more restful to the mind and eye."[7]

The number of its pillars, windows, and doorways is said to equal the hours, days, and months of the year; hence the local rhyme, attributed, on the authority of Godwin, to a certain Daniel Rogers:

"As many days as in one year there be, So many windows in this church we see; As many marble pillars here appear As there are hours throughout the fleeting year; As many gates as moons one year does view— Strange tale to tell! yet not more strange than true."

Fuller, speaking of these, by a curious lapse falls into the vulgar error of believing Purbeck marble to be an artificial product melted and poured into moulds, says: "The cathedral is paramount of its kind, wherein the doors and chapels equal the months, the windows the days, the pillars and pillarets of fusile marble (an ancient art now shrewdly suspected to be lost) the hours of the year; so that all Europe affords not such an almanac of architecture. Once walking in this church (whereof then I was prebendary) I met a countryman wondering at the structure thereof. 'I once,' said he to me, 'admired that there could be a church that should have so many pillars as there be hours in the year, and now I admire more, that there should be so many hours in the year as I see pillars in this church.'"

The Nave.—The first glimpse as we enter by the west door is undoubtedly impressive, notwithstanding the absence of colour and the lack of mystery for which the complete vista obtained at such a cruel cost by Wyatt is insufficient compensation. The whole scheme of decoration in its pristine state must have been extremely beautiful. "If you can imagine it with the walls and piers exhibiting strong contrasts of colour in the dark and polished Purbeck shafts and the lighter freestones, the arches picked out with colours, the groining elaborately decorated, and the whole lighted by brilliantly painted windows with a preponderance of dark blue and ruby, together with a flood of white light showing through the lancet of the centre, we may be allowed a doubt whether Tintern or York could have compared with it." Add to this picture the movable hangings and decorations of its many altars, and we cannot honestly attribute the coldness of the present effect to any fault in the original design. Elsewhere this austerity of monochrome is modified to a great extent by the variety (anachronisms though they be) of later architectural insertions. Salisbury, through the very purity of its design, especially suffers from its translation from chromatic harmony to monotone, for although possibly the architectural details are thereby rendered more apparent, yet the exaggeration of what is after all but the skeleton of the building, destroys the effect of the whole as its architect imagined it.

Clustered columns of unpolished Purbeck marble on a quatrefoil plan, with smaller detached shafts of lustrous marble at the cardinal points, support, on either side, the ten great arches of the first story of the nave. These polished shafts are generally in two pieces, with a brass ring covering the joint; Francis Price discusses, at great length, this constant feature of the whole building, and points out, that although most of the shafts were probably not in place until after the masonry was fairly set, yet frequently subsequent settlement has crushed them; although, in the nave, the main piers in small blocks laid according to the natural bed of the stone, are still perfectly sound. The large arches are gracefully moulded with masses of carved foliage at the intersections.

In the nave of this cathedral we have a very uncommon feature in the connected base of the main columns, which was doubtless introduced to aid in distributing the weight over a larger surface, and so to overcome the treacherous character of the foundation.

The triforium, which, from its style, naturally suggests comparison with Westminster, and the Angel Choir of Lincoln, is simple, but extremely beautiful. Each of its rather flat-pointed arches, equalling in span that of the main arch below, is subdivided into pairs, which again each inclose two smaller ones. These are decorated with trefoils and quatrefoils, alternately with cinquefoils and octofoils. Immediately above the carving, at the intersection of the main arches, is a corbelled head, from which rises a triple vaulting-shaft with foliated capitals, on a line with the base of the clerestory. This upper story has, in each bay of the vaulting, simple lancet windows grouped in threes. The arches here, as in almost every instance throughout the building, are supported by Purbeck marble shafts. The nave aisles are lighted by double lancet-windows in each bay. The most noticeable feature of these aisles is the stone bench which extends the whole length of the building on both the north and south sides.

The west wall is panelled in three main arches, with an upper story reaching to the height of the triforium base, and containing an arcade of four arches, subdivided each into two smaller trefoiled ones, with cinquefoil heads. Above these is the triplet lancet of the great west window. The effect of the nave looking west is clearly shown in the photograph here reproduced.

Of the chapels and altars once existing we have records in various documents. In the "Sarum Processional" twelve altars are mentioned, dedicated respectively to SS. Andrew, Nicholas, John the Baptist, Margaret, Mary Magdalene, Laurence, Michael, Martin, Catherine, Edward, Edmund the King, and Edmund, Archbishop of Canterbury. The sites of these so far as they can be traced appears to have been: St. Catherine and St. Martin in the north choir transept, St. Nicholas and St. Mary Magdalene in the south, and St. Edmund of Canterbury and St. Margaret respectively in the north and south great transepts.

Throughout the nave it is evident that the first plans were rigidly obeyed, although the severity of the early years of the style had become much modified before the work was finished. The absence of ornate decoration, the simplicity of the mouldings, and the plate-tracery of the triforium all indicate the first period of "Early English."

The dimensions of the nave are: 229 feet 6 inches long, 82 feet wide, and 81 feet high. The aisles are 17 feet 6 inches wide, and 39 feet 9 inches high.

The Nave Transepts are in three stories, with eastern aisles divided into three bays. The screens inclosing chapels in these were demolished by Wyatt. Above the entrances to the great transepts are arches inserted by Bishop Beauchamp (1450-1481) to withstand the side thrust of the great tower. These are of perpendicular work, with their spandrils panelled and their cornices battlemented, as shown in the engraving. Canterbury and Wells, in a far more prominent fashion, have similar features; in this instance the addition appears to have succeeded in its purpose to insure the stability of the tower. In the choir transepts these additional features take the form of an inverted arch, above the main arch. The vaulting of the tower roof is also in the perpendicular style and shows excellent groined work. Both Sir Christopher Wren and Francis Price, call its four main pillars the legs of the tower.

Of the transept Fuller says: "The cross aisle of this church is the most beautiful and lightsome of any I have yet beheld. The spire steeple (not founded on the ground, but for the main supported by four pillars,) is of great height and greater workmanship. I have been credibly informed that some foreign artists beholding this building brake forth into tears, which some imputed to their admiration (though I see not how wondering could cause weeping): others to their envy, grieving that they had not the like in their own land."

Monuments in the Nave.[8]—The peculiar arrangements of the ancient monuments in two long rows on the continuous plinth that connects the bases of the pillars on each side of the nave is another of Wyatt's freaks during his terrible innovations in 1789. Not only did he sever the historical associations of centuries by these arbitrary removals, but paid so little attention to consistency that portions of monuments belonging to entirely different periods were combined with curious results, and remains transferred to other "receptacles" than those designed for them. It is true that the effect of the present arrangement is not entirely bad, but it was not worth achieving at such a cost.

The first monument on the south side as we enter by the great west door, is in memory of Thomas Lord Wyndham of Finglass, Lord Chancellor of Ireland, (1) who died in 1745; the marble figure of Hibernia which surmounts it is by Rysbrack. At the western base of the first south pillar is a Purbeck marble slab, (2) coffin-shaped, probably the oldest monument in the building. This is usually assigned to Bishop Herman, whose tomb it is supposed to have covered in Old Sarum; but no evidence exists to support this theory. In the first place his original burial-place is entirely unknown, and William de Wanda, who chronicles minutely the removal of the bodies of other bishops from the old cathedral, does not even mention Herman's name.

The next (3) is an effigy of a bishop in full pontificals, also believed to have been originally at Old Sarum. The carving is rich, and the design a fine example of the early Norman style. The chasuble is decorated with stars, and the dalmatic has a rich border. Elaborately carved foliage, with birds, frames the figure, which has its right hand raised in the attitude of benediction, and grasps a pastoral staff in the left. It is usually believed that it commemorates Bishop Jocelin, who died in 1184, and was probably removed from Old Sarum at the translation of the bodies of the three bishops. The head of the effigy is evidently a much later restoration, probably, from the style of the richly ornamented mitre, about the time of Henry III. or Edward I. As the face is cleanly shaven, while the seal of Bishop Jocelin depicts him as bearded, some antiquaries hold this monument to belong to Bishop Roger, and assign to Bishop Jocelin the one formerly attributed to Bishop Herman. If, however, differences of opinion exist concerning the identity of these two effigies, they are as nothing compared to the uncertainty regarding the next, (4) which represents a bishop holding a pastoral staff. Down the front of this cope are the words, "Affer opem devenies in idem." Hatcher and Duke believe that it represents Bishop Jocelin. Britton, Gough and Planche, prefer to think that it commemorates Bishop Roger. Its inscription on the edge of the slab runs:

"Flent hodie Salesberie quia decidit ensis Justitie, pater ecclesiae Salisberiensis Dum viguit, miseros aluit, fastusque potentum Non timuit, sed clava fuit terrorque nocentum De Ducibus, de nobilibus primordia duxit Principibus, propeque tibi gemma reluxit."

A version given in the Wilts Archeo. Mag. vol. xvii. runs: "They mourn to-day at Salesberie because there has fallen the sword of justice, the Father of the Church of Salesberie. While he lived he sustained the oppressed and wretched, and feared not the arrogance of the powerful, but himself was the scourge (literally, the club) and terror of the guilty. He traced his ancestry from dukes and noble princes, who shone near thee as a precious gem." Another item of indirect evidence supplied by this inscription is worth noting, namely, the "l" in Salisberie. The period when this letter superseded the "r" was about the time of Jocelin's death. Only a single coin of Stephen's has the "l."

To Bishop Roger reference is made on page 100, and it is evident that even the fulsome praise of an epitaph would hardly go out of its way to describe him as "sprung from dukes and noble princes." Planche, despite this objection, does not deem it convincing, as poor priests were often of noble lineage. If, however, we assume it represents Bishop Jocelin, one of the house of Bohun, a great Norman family, and compare the effigy with the seal of that bishop, the later theory that deprives Bishop Roger of this much discussed monument will probably be chosen as the most acceptable. In a record at least three centuries old his burial-place is said to be near the chapel of St. Stephen; and in a plan of the Cathedral, dated 1773, and in Price's account, 1774, a plain slab with a cross upon it, in a shallow recess of the wall east of the north aisle, is assigned to Bishop Roger.

But this and the other disputed monuments are undoubtedly genuine memorials of the earliest bishops, and not merely interesting for that reason, but as (with the exception of two slabs dated 1086 and 1172 in Westminster Abbey) the earliest examples of their class in England. Although the question of their identity of the individuals they commemorate were best left to those few who are peculiarly concerned with the history of the period that includes them.

Near these effigies is a slab with faint traces of an incised figure, which may possibly have represented an abbot or prior. It can hardly be intended for a bishop, as no mitre can be traced, and the staff is held in the right hand. The monument (5) on the plinth under the next arch is also beyond identification.

Next in order comes the altar tomb (6) which now contains the remains of Bishop Beauchamp, who died in 1481. When this was removed from the aisle at the north end of the great transept it was empty, and showed no trace of its original dedication. During the wanton demolition of the Beauchamp chantry, where, "in marble tumbes," with his father and mother on either hand, the remains of Bishop Beauchamp had been unmolested for over three hundred years, his own tomb was "mislaid" and never recovered. It is pleasant to note that even the apologists for Wyatt felt this incident was beyond their sympathy. Dodsworth naively remarks, "After this the greatest possible care was taken that nothing of the kind should again occur," and so far as we know, not even a prior was subsequently lost. Of this bishop much is said elsewhere in this book, and his beautiful chantry described on page 90.

The elaborate effigy (7) beneath the next arch represents Robert Lord Hungerford clad in a superb suit of fifteenth century plate armour, with the collar of SS. round his neck, and with "his hair polled" in the fashion of Henry V. A superbly decorated sword and dagger hang from his jewelled girdle at his side, while his feet rest upon a dog wearing a rich collar. This monument was placed originally between the Lady Chapel and the (Hungerford) chantry founded by Margaret, his widow. By his will Lord Hungerford directed that his body should be interred before the altar of St. Osmund. The tomb beneath the effigy is made up from portions of the chapel.

The monument known as Lord Stourton's (8), removed from the east end of the Cathedral, is next in order. Its three apertures on each side are said to be emblematic of the six sources of the river Stour, which rises at Storrhead, the ancient family seat, from whence the name is derived. The whole shape of the tomb is so unusual that in spite of the theory that it represents the six sources of the Stour, the curious arched openings appear as if pierced to exhibit something behind them. Yet this could not have been an effigy, for the interior is divided by a solid partition of stone. The pillars which stood between the arches are gone. Lord Stourton, to whom it is attributed, was hanged with a silken cord on March 6th, 1556, in the Salisbury market-place. The tragedy is too long to give in detail, as it is told in the country histories and elsewhere, here a brief summary must suffice:—When his mother became a widow Lord Stourton attempted to induce her to sign a bond promising that she would never re-marry. The family agents, a father and son named Hartgill, sided with Lady Stourton and seemed to have influenced her in declining to assent to the scheme. The Hartgills after much physical maltreatment at the hands of Lord Stourton's mercenaries, took legal action against him, with the result that he was fined and imprisoned for awhile in the Fleet. When let out on parole he invited the Hartgills to meet him that he might pay them the fine. Upon their appearance at Kilmington Churchyard, the appointed place, they were seized by armed men, carried away and murdered in cold blood in full sight of Lord Stourton himself the same night. For this he was committed to the Tower, tried at Westminster and hanged with four of his men at Salisbury. So late as 1775 a wire twisted into a noose was suspended above his tomb.

The mutilated effigy (9) of Bishop de la Wyle (died 1271) rests on a base made up of portions of later work. The last monument on this side (10) is of the famous William Longespee, 1st Earl of Salisbury, the natural son of Henry II. by Fair Rosamond. This effigy still shows traces of the gorgeous ornament in gold and colours with which it was originally decorated. Westmacott, the sculptor, says: "The manly, warrior character of the figure is particularly striking even in its recumbent attitude, while the turn of the head, and the graceful flow of lines in the right hand and arm, with the natural heavy fall of the chain armour at the side, exhibit a feeling of art that would not do discredit to a very advanced school." The figure is clad in mail armour, which covers the mouth in a peculiar fashion, and wears a surcoat falling in simple folds, almost Greek in feeling, that are somewhat curious in connection with the rich mediaeval luxuriance of the surface ornament. On his shield are borne six heraldic leopards or lions. The slab and effigy are stone, but the base is of wood encircled by an arcade of trefoiled arches. One of its compartments protected with glass yet shows a piece of the beautiful diaper work, in silver overlaid on white linen, remains of the rich colourings of two successive periods are present on the effigy itself. (See p. 94.)

Crossing the nave, and following the northern base of the pillars, we find a very beautiful alabaster monument (11), with the effigy of Sir John Cheyney (died 1509) clad in military garb, and wearing the collar of SS. with the portcullis badge of Henry VII. suspended therefrom. Sir John Cheyney was the standard-bearer of Henry of Richmond at Bosworth Field. To quote from Hall's "Chronicle"—"King Richard set on so sharply at the first brount that he ouerthrew th'erle's standard and slew Sir William Brandon, his standard-bearer, and matched hand to hand with John Cheynye, a man of great strength, who would have resisted him, and the said John was by him manfully ouerthrowen." Wyatt, in his ghoulish explorations exhumed Sir John's bones, and confirmed the legend of his gigantic stature; the thigh-bone was found to be twenty-one inches in length, four inches more than the standard average. His original tomb was destroyed with the rest of the Beauchamp chapel, and his remains now lie beneath this effigy. Under the next arch to the westward are two tombs (12,13) deprived of the brasses they once bore, which represented Walter, Lord Hungerford, and his first wife, Catherine Peverell. The famous iron chapel has been removed to the choir by their descendant, the Earl of Radnor, who converted the monument into a family pew.

The plain altar tomb of St. Osmund, that, moved hither by Wyatt, stood until 1878 below the next arch of the nave; is now replaced in the Lady Chapel on its former site.

The effigy of Sir John de Montacute (14) (died 1389) clad in mail and chain armour, is, according to Meyrick, "a good specimen of highly ornamented gauntlets, of a contrivance for the easier bending of the body at the bottom of the breastplate, and of the elegant manner of twisting the hanging sword belt, pendant from the military girdle, round the upper part of the sword." The head of the figure reposes on a helmet, a lion couches at his feet. Armorial bearings appear on shields at the sides of the tomb. (See p. 79.)

Then we come to Chancellor Geoffrey's tomb (15), and the next (16) has not been identified. The larger effigy (17) on the last portion of the northern plinth is of William Longespee, fourth Earl of Salisbury; the figure wears chain armour, and lies with its legs crossed and hands grasped upon his sword. He was twice a Crusader, in 1240-1242, and in 1249, when he served with St. Louis of France at Damietta, he fell in battle near Cairo in 1250, and was buried in the church of the Holy Cross near Acre. The night he was killed, according to Matthew Paris, his mother, the Countess Ela, saw in a vision "the heavens opened, and her son armed at all points, with the six lioncels on his shield, received in triumph by a company of angels." Many strange marvels were reported to have been worked by his bones.

The Boy Bishop.—Near this monument is the one (18) known as the "Boy Bishop." Hidden for a long time underneath some seats near the pulpit, it was brought to light in 1680, and moved to its present position. At first it was covered with a wooden box; for which later on, owing to the great curiosity shown by the public, the strong iron grating which now protects it was substituted. (See p. 98.)

Notwithstanding that the ceremony of the Boy Bishop was observed at Salisbury for many centuries, there is no reasonable proof that this effigy has any connection therewith. Even John Gregory, whose famous treatise on the Boy Bishop is printed in "Gregorii Posthuma," 1649-1669, admits there that it might well seem impossible to everyone that either a bishop should be so small in person or a child so great in clothes. Thomas Fuller also echoes the same objection when he writes: "But the curiosity of critics is best entertained with the tomb in the north of the nave of the church, where lieth a monument in stone of a little boy, habited all in episcopal robes, a mitre upon his head, a crozier in his hand, and the rest accordingly. At the discovery thereof, formerly covered over with pews, many justly admired that either a bishop could be so small in person or a child so great in clothes; though since all is unriddled; for it was then fashionable in that church (a thing rather deserving to be remembered than fit to be done), in the depth of Popery, that the choristers chose a boy of their society to be a bishop among them from St. Nicholas' till Innocents' day." If the effigy represents a boy it is hard to explain why it is not life-size. Stothard in his "Monumental Effigies," in common with most later authorities, favours the idea that it is a miniature representation of a real bishop. Canon Jones suggests probably Walter Scammel, Henry de Braundeston, or William de la Corner. Mackenzie Walcott inclined to the belief that it represented Bishop Wykehampton, who died 1284. A small figure of Bishop Ethelman, 1260, about the same date, is in Winchester Cathedral; there is also one 14-1/2 inches long in Abbey Dore Church, Herefordshire, one at Ayot, St. Lawrence, Herts, 2 feet 3 inches, and other small effigies of knights and civilians elsewhere. According to Digby Wyatt the custom of burying different portions of the body in different places was common in the twelfth and thirteenth centuries; from which he infers that probably these figures commemorated the place of sepulture of the heart.

Whether the monument in question be connected with the Chorister Bishop or not, there are so many records of the function with which popular credence has associated it, that a short digression is almost unavoidable. The pamphlet by John Gregory is elaborately minute and much too long to be quoted fully, yet some of the facts he brought together may be briefly noted. It seems that on the feast of St. Nicholas, the patron saint of children, the choir-boys[9] elected one of their number, who from that day to the feast of the Holy Innocents, December 28th, bore the rank and exercised the functions of a bishop, the other choristers being his prebendaries. During his term of office he wore episcopal vestments. On the eve of the Holy Innocents he performed the entire office, excepting the mass, as a real bishop would have done. At Salisbury on that day the boy-bishop and his boy-prebendaries went in procession to the altar of the Holy Trinity, taking precedence of the dean and resident canons. At the first chapter afterwards the boy bishop attended in person and was permitted to receive the entire Oblation made at the altar during the day of his procession. The names of many of the choristers and the amounts of the oblations offered for the boy-bishops are the subject of many entries in the capitular registers of both English and continental churches. Bishop Mortival in his statutes, still preserved among the cathedral muniments, orders that the bishop of the choristers "shall make no visit (some commentators consider this has been misinterpreted, to infer that elsewhere he held visitations), nor keep any feast, but shall remain in the Common Hall, unless he be invited to the table of a Canon for recreation." The order of service in use in this diocese has been preserved (MS. No. 153 of the Cathedral Library); in it we find as a special collect, "O Almighty God, who out of the mouths of babes and sucklings," etc., not, however, quite in the form in which it appears in the Prayer Book of Ed. VI.

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