Brotherhood of Canons Serving God (A English by David Lepine

By David Lepine

This research makes a speciality of the canons of the 9 secular cathedrals in England within the later center a while, who have been among the main capable and profitable clerics in their age. After contemplating the services of the cathedrals which supplied them with a comfy source of revenue and massive prestige, Dr Lepine turns to the canons themselves, tracing their origins and analysing their careers. He examines the canons' place of abode at their cathedrals, constructing what percentage have been resident within the shut and what kind of time they spent there. The research concludes via featuring case experiences to teach the energy and variety of capitular lifestyles within the later center a while: Salisbury among 1398 and 1458 (its so-called golden age) and Lichfield from 1490 to 1540, at the eve of the Reformation.

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Extra info for Brotherhood of Canons Serving God (A English Secular Cathedrals in the Later Middle Ages (Studies in the History of Medieval Religion)

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J. L. Kirby, in Collecteana, WRS, xii, 1956, 1634; PRO E179/4/1. 20 PRO E1 79/63/12. 21 A. K. McHardy, Clerical Poll Taxes in the Diocese of Lincoln, 137781, LRS, lxxxi, 1992, 12. 23 The numbers in cathedrals tended to decline in the fifteenth and early sixteenth centuries as financial hardship reduced the numbers of some of the minor clergy and fewer canons kept residence. 24 Cathedrals were dedicated to the perpetual worship of God. Their principal function was the performance of the liturgy, the daily offices and above all the mass.

Its continual offering was a re-enactment of Christ's Passion, a means of intercession for the living and the dead, and the pre-eminent source of spiritual benefits. 25 New lady chapels were constructed at the east end in response to the growth of the cult of the Virgin during the thirteenth and early fourteenth centuries. Simultaneously space was created for shrines for the veneration of local saints, usually behind the high altar. Room was also needed for processions and new altars as the number of masses multiplied.

One of the earliest and most serious problems chapters faced was canons' residence, which will be dealt with fully in chapter five. Many were absent, engaged in diocesan administration or in the service of kings and popes who used canonries as rewards for their officials. As a result a substantial proportion of the cathedral's wealth was lost. The solution to this problem was to distinguish between residents and non-residents and reward them accordingly. The common fund, a reserve of the chapter's property kept after the creation of individual prebends, was used to make daily payments to resident canons and thereby encourage residence by making it financially attractive.

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