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”

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”