Did Canterbury Cathedral Library chain its books in the seventeenth century?

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The seventeenth-century library
(D. Stoker)

The Treasurer’s Book for 1676/1677 (CCA DCc/TB-13) has several records of payments relating to the Chapter Library which had been newly built ten or twelve years earlier. The half-yearly stipend for Arthur Kay the Library Keeper is recorded as £2–10–0 and that of his deputy John Sargenson as £1–0–0 (p. 61). Under the heading Expensae necessariae incertae (Necessary miscellaneous expenses, p. 77), Dr Peter Du Moulin, the Treasurer for that year, records for 19 January 1677 the payment of five shillings ‘For halfe yeares wages to ye woman that cleanseth ye Library’ together with a further two shillings ‘For mops & brooms &c for the Library’. There then follows a similar small payment of two shillings ‘For taking off the chains from the books’. Continue reading “Did Canterbury Cathedral Library chain its books in the seventeenth century?”

From prison in Philadelphia to a canonry at Canterbury Cathedral

The Rev. Dr Thomas Coombe (1747–1822) was born in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, where his father was health officer of the port of Philadelphia. He was educated at the Academy and College of Philadelphia (now the University of Pennsylvania) taking his bachelor’s degree in 1766 and master’s degree in 1768. The College’s founding president was Benjamin Franklin, a friend of Coombe’s father.

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36 Craven Street, London
(Wiki Commons)

Thomas Coombe then travelled to England to seek ordination in the Church of England, staying for a time in London with Benjamin Franklin at his house at 36 Craven Street (near present-day Trafalgar Square) when Franklin was serving as the London agent for the Pennsylvania Assembly and then as Postmaster for the British North American colonies. Continue reading “From prison in Philadelphia to a canonry at Canterbury Cathedral”

The Revd Robert Hunt of Reculver (Kent) and Jamestown (Virginia)

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The twin towers of the ruined St Mary’s church, Reculver (Wikipedia)

Robert Hunt (c. 1568–1608) was vicar of Reculver from 1595 to 1602, at which date he moved to the diocese of Chichester to become vicar of Heathfield. He was probably born around 1568/69 and educated at Magdalen College, Oxford (BA 1592; MA 1595). Continue reading “The Revd Robert Hunt of Reculver (Kent) and Jamestown (Virginia)”

Financial record-keeping at Canterbury Cathedral in the late 17th century

Unlocking the Chest: financial record-keeping at Canterbury Cathedral in the late 17th century

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Seventeenth-century chest in Canterbury Cathedral

At the St Katherine’s Audit each November, the Dean and Chapter drew up an account of its wealth in a single sheet document headed ‘The State of the Church’. The Cathedral Archives has a continuous series of these from 1679 to 1712 (DCc/SC1-32; 1680 is missing). Continue reading “Financial record-keeping at Canterbury Cathedral in the late 17th century”

Two books from the library of Sir Hans Sloane

Two books from the library of Sir Hans Sloane
The Byble in Englyshe. [London]: Edward Whitchurch, 1540/1541
(Dean and Chapter of Canterbury)
Sir Hans Sloane MD, FRS, FRCP (1660–1753), was a celebrated 18th-century physician and scientist. He was a royal physician to Queen Anne, George I and George II, and President of the Royal Society from 1727 to 1740. He was also President of the Royal College of Physicians. More importantly (if that is possible) he accumulated one of the largest collections of books of his time, particularly strong in scientific and medical works. Continue reading “Two books from the library of Sir Hans Sloane”

Rats in the organ

Rats in the organ at Canterbury Cathedral in 1674 

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Hand-blown organ (YouTube)

In 1674, the Treasurer’s Book at Canterbury Cathedral records an ongoing problem in dealing with rats who were nesting in the organ bellows.

In the days before electric motors, the wind for a church organ had to be produced by human muscle in the form of a mechanical bellows made of wood and leather, a perfect home (and food) for a family of rats. Continue reading “Rats in the organ”

Cornetts and sackbuts

Cornetts and sackbuts in Canterbury Cathedral at the Restoration (1660)

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Sackbuts and cornetts from Michael Praetorius, Syntagma musicum, 1614-1620 (Wikipedia)

In May 1660, the monarchy was restored in England after the period of Cromwell’s Commonwealth. On his return from exile in France, King Charles II stopped overnight in Canterbury on his way from Dover to London and attended a service at Canterbury Cathedral. Only two of the twelve canons were still alive at the Restoration and new appointments had to be made but the Cathedral administration was soon up and running again and its liturgy and music were revived.

Continue reading “Cornetts and sackbuts”