Annals Of The Bishops1

  Athelwald2, prior of St. Oswald's, and first bishop of Carlisle, confirmed to the abbot and convent of St. Mary's, in York, the churches of Wetheral, Warwick, Appleby, Kirkby-Stephen, Ormestead, Morland, Clibburn, Bromfield, Croglin, and the hermitage of St. Andrew, in Kirkland, all of which reverted again to the see at the dissolution: he died in 1155. Bishop Barnard died in 1186, after which Henry II, being then at Carlisle, offered the vacant see to Paulinus de Leeds, who refused it. In 1200, king John granted this bishopric to the archbishop of Sclavonia3, "to support him for the present; " but three years afterwards he gave it to the archbishop of Ragusa, who had been expelled from his own see. In 1216, Gualo, with the king's assent, appointed Hugh, abbot of Beaulieu, to the bishopric, which had then been vacant thirty-two years. The chronicle of Lanercost, says "Hugh, bishop of Carlisle, who alienated the possessions of the see, and made a fraudulent division thereof, returning from the Roman court, by the just judgment of God, perished miserably, at the abbey of La Ferte, in Burgundy."

Walter Malcerk4, lord treasurer and sheriff of Cumberland, was elected bishop of Carlisle in 1223. He was a witness to Henry III ratification of the great charter, and was appointed one of the three lords justices of the realm during the king's absence. He purchased the manor of Horncastle, in Lincolnshire, which has been ever since possessed by the bishops of Carlisle. He resigned the bishopric in 1246, and joined the Dominicans at Oxford, to whom, soon after their coming to England, in 1225, he had given a large plot of ground and two mills.

Silvester de Everdon, lord high chancellor, was constituted the next bishop, who, together with the archbishop of Canterbury, and others, opposed the king's encroachments on the liberties of the church, particularly in the freedom of electing bishops. He died by a fall from his horse in 1255, and was succeeded by Thomas Vipont or Veteripont, of the illustrious family of the lords of Westmorland at that time, but he died the following month, and the see remained vacant nearly three years, during which the bishop of Durham obtained all its revenues and privileges. About the same time the covetous bishop of Glasgow set up a fruitless claim that his diocese extended southward to Rerecross, in Westmorland. In 1258, Robert Chauncy, archdeacon of Bath and sheriff of Cumberland, was inducted bishop of Carlisle. He died in 1280, when the convent elected William Dean of York, but he refused the office, in consequence of which Ralph Irton, abbot of Gisburne, was elected in the same year. This bishop was one of the plenipotentiaries of Edward I in the treaty with the commissioners of Scotland, in 1290, for the marriage between prince Edward and Margaret, daughter of Eric, king of Norway, and hereditary princess and queen of Scotland. In the same year, a remarkable trial commenced between the king, the bishop, the priory, and the vicar of Thursby, respecting the right of tithes in some newly improved lands within Inglewood Forest. The right was finally adjudged to the king, who gave it to the prior and convent. Bishop Irton was one of king Edward's commissioners for adjusting the right claim to the crown of Scotland in 1291, in which year he died, and was succeeded by John Halton, who had been for some time a canon regular of Carlisle. This prelate was also employed to settle the claims of the pretenders to the Scottish crown, and was present when sentence was given against Robert Bruce, and when John Baliol did homage for the kingdom of Scotland "to his sovereign lord the king of England." He was commissioned by the pope to collect tenths, in all the dioceses of Scotland; and in 1302, was governor of Carlisle Castle, and had charge of all the Scottish hostages and prisoners of note, many of whom, as appears from his notes, died in durance." By the orders of pope Clement V, he, conjointly with the archbishop of York, in 1305, excommunicated, "by bell, book, and candle," Robert de Brus, earl of Carrick, and all his adherents, for the murder of John Comyn, in the church of Dumfries. He was present at the parliament held at Carlisle, in 1307; and in the same year was summoned to the coronation of Edward II. He was also in Carlisle, in 1314, when that city was blockaded by Edward Bruce. In 1318, Edward II, with the sanction of the pope, appropriated the church of Horncastle, in Lincolnshire, to the use of bishop Halton, as a recompense for his great services, and that he and his successors might have a place of refuge, and be able to support themselves when driven from their diocese by the invading Scots. This bishop was one of the plenipotentiaries in a treaty of peace with Robert de Brus, in 1320; but he died in 1324, having held the see thirty-two years. In 1325, John de Ross, was appointed bishop, who, after excommunicating the prior of Carlisle, died at Rose Castle, in 1332.

In 1332, John Kirby, or Kirkby, canon of Carlisle, was inducted to the bishopric. He and his retinue were assailed by a band of ruffians, in 1337, and in the same year his castle at Rose was burnt by the Scots. In 1344, both he and the bishop of Durham were required to aid and assist Edward Baliol, king of Scotland, whom Edward III had constituted his captain-general of all his northern forces. In 1348, he conveyed the princess Joan to her future husband, Alphonsus, king of Castile, during which journey he was allowed five marks per day for his expences. This prelate was inveterately persecuted by the Scots, in his diocese, nor does he seem to have been beloved by his convent nor clergy; in consequence of which he spent much of his time on the continent, and many of his ordinations were held at Durham, Horncastle, Corbridge, and London. He died in 1352, when the convent elected their own prior, but be was rejected by the pope, and Gilbert de Welton was consecrated bishop.

The king constituted this relate one of the wardens of the west marches, in 1359; and he was several times appointed commissioner to effect a peace with Scotland. He died in 1362, and was succeeded by Thomas Appleby, a canon of Carlisle, who was also made a warden of the west marches. "In 1369, the dean rural of Carlisle is required by the bishop, in obedience to the king's writ, to summon all abbots, priors, and other religious and ecclesiastical persons, to array all the fencible men, between the ages of 16 and 60, upon apprehension of a descent from France." He died in 1395, after having occupied the episcopal chair during a very troublesome period, when England was at variance both with France and Scotland.

In 1396, Robert Reed, bishop of Lismore, was appointed bishop of Carlisle, but in the same year was translated to Chichester, when Thomas Merks, a monk of Westminster, was consecrated bishop of this diocese. He was one of the five prelates appointed as executors in the will of Richard II in 1399; and when Henry IV ascended the throne, he was the only partizan of the house of Plantagenet, who dared to speak in favour of the deposed monarch, Richard II, whose cause he boldly advocated in a speech in parliament, "wherein he alleged every thing that could with any possibility be said for the king deposed, and against the king on the throne." For this manly vindication he was deprived of his bishopric, and committed for high treason, to the tower, where he remained for same time, but was afterwards, by the pope's licence, allowed to hold benefices to the yearly value of three hundred marks. He died rector of Toddenham, in Gloucestershire, in 1409.

In 1400, William Strickland was consecrated bishop of Carlisle, and shortly afterwards received a mandate from Henry IV, "setting forth that the king was informed that divers persons, as well ecclesiastical as secular, within the diocese of Carlisle, had given out that Richard II was living and abiding in parts of Scotland; he therefore requires him to arrest all such persons, and carry them to the next gaol, there to remain till the king's pleasure therein be further known." Henry IV, in order to alleviate the distress caused in the diocese, by "the late incursions and devastations of the Scots," granted a remission of all arrears of fines, amerciaments, tenths, and fifteenths. Bishop Strickland was one of the prelates who, in 1406, signed and sealed the act of succession, which entailed the crowns of England and France upon the king's four sons. He added a tower and belfrey to his cathedral, built the tower at Rose, which still bears his name, and was at the expense of cutting a watercourse from the river Petterill, through the town of Penrith.

Roger Whelpdale, provost of Queen's College, Oxford, was born near Greystoke, and elected bishop of Carlisle in the year 1420, and had restitution of the temporalities in the same year. He was a very learned man, and an excellent logician, divine, and mathematician, as is evident from his three books entitled "Samule Logicale," "De Invocato Deo," and "De Quanto and Contitnus." He bequeathed, amongst other charities, £200 to endow a chantry in Carlisle, and died in 1422, at Carlisle Place, in London.

William Barrow, D. C. L. and chancellor of Oxford, was translated from Bangor to Carlisle, in 1423. He was one of the king's commissioners for the truce concluded with Scotland in 1429, in which year he died at Rose Castle. He bequeathed some plate to the cathedral, and £200 a year to say mass for the repose of his soul. Marmaduke Lumley, of the noble family of the barons of Lumley, in Durham, was the next bishop, but in consequence of the repeated incursions of the Scots, he found great difficulty, in supporting his episcopal dignity at Carlisle: he was translated to Lincoln, in 1449. Nicholas Close, his successor, was one of the commissioners appointed in 1453 to inspect the conservators of the truce, and wardens of the marches, and to punish their negligence and irregularities. He was translated to Lichfield in 1452, and William Percy, son of the earl of Northumberland, was inducted bishop of Carlisle. It would appear that nolo episcopari was not acted up to about this period, for we find it enacted, "that if any shall go or send out of the realm, to provide for himself a benefice, he shall be out of the king's protection, and the benefice shall be void; and if any shall accept such benefice, he shall be banished for ever, and his lands and goods forfeited to the king." Bishop Percy died in 1462, and was succeeded by John Kingscott, who occupied the episcopal throne only one year, for he died in 1463. Richard Scroop, the next bishop, died in 1468, when Edward Story was appointed to the bishopric of Carlisle, which he held till 1477, when he was translated to Chichester, where he died in 1502.

Richard Bell, prior of Finchale, was consecrated bishop of Carlisle in 1478. He built the tower at Rose Castle, which is now called Bell's tower, and after presiding over the see for eighteen years, resumed a monastic life, and died in A.D. 1496. There is a rich tomb to his memory, in the choir of the cathedral, with an appropriate inscription. William Sever, the next bishop, was engaged in the treaty of marriage proposed between James, king of Scotland, and Margaret, daughter of Henry VII. This prelate was the son of a sieve maker, and was translated to Durham in 1502. He was succeeded by Roger Leyburn, a descendant of an ancient family in Westmorland, who had been master of Pembroke Hall, and archdeacon and chancellor of Durham. He died in 1508, when John Penny, L.L.D., who had been abbot of Leicester, was installed bishop of Carlisle, being translated thither from Bangor. He was succeeded by John Kyte, the twenty-ninth bishop of Carlisle, in 1521, a citizen of London, who had been sub-dean in the king's chapel, and was sent by Henry VII as ambassador to Spain. In 1513 he was made bishop of Armagh, which he afterwards resigned for the archiepiscopal see of Thebes, in Greece, and held this nominal dignity with the prelacy of Carlisle. These, and other honours and emoluments, were conferred upon him by the detested cardinal Wolsey, whose creature he was. In 1524 and 1526, Henry VIII appointed him one of his commissioners to treat for peace with the king of Scots. In 1529, he signed "an instrument approving the reasonableness of the king's scruples concerning his marriage;" and in 1530 he again disgraced his name by signing with Wolsey and the whole peerage of England, "the bold letter to pope Clement VII in the case of the king's divorce;" and yet, in 1538, we find his name amongst the list of bishops who adhered to Edward Lee, archbishop of York in opposing the change of religion which was favoured by Cranmer and his party. Wolsey made him his intimate acquaintance, conversed freely with him in his prosperity. and applied to him for aid in his adversity. Bishop Kyte made large additions to Rose Castle, and died in London in 1537. He was buried at Stepney, where an inscription upon a marble stone which is placed over his remains, records, in doggerel rhyme, virtues which it is supposed he did not possess.

Before this period, Henry VIII was a disputant on tenets of religion with Martin Luther, having written a book of controversy, still extant, entitled, "A Defence of the Seven Sacraments, by Henry VIII" for the merit of which the pope and Sacred College granted him the distinguished title of King Defender of the Faith, - "Rex Fidei Defensor." Thus it is clear, that Henry was originally a strenuous advocate of the Catholic Church; but the pope's refusal to grant him a divorce from his lawful wife, Catherine, excited his ire to such a pitch that he resolved to try whether Acts of Parliament did not possess the talismanic power of deputing or constituting himself head of the church, instead of the pope. Accordingly, in 1532, an act was passed for extinguishing the payment of annates, or first fruits, to the see of Rome, and was followed by another statute, prohibiting the pope from interfering in the nomination of bishops; and the Parliament which met in 1534 ratified and established the king's claim of Supreme Head of the Church. Acts were also passed for taking away the benefit of sanctuary; for giving the first fruits to the king, and for making a provision for suffragan bishops. Having new proved the flexibility of his parliament, and being either aware that his revenues were not adequate to gratify his insatiable propensity for diversions, feasting, gaming, and public shows; or prompted by inordinate avarice, he next turned his thoughts to the religious and charitable institutions of the country, and in 1536 obtained an Act for the suppression or the 376 smaller monasteries. He afterwards ordered Articles of Alterations in Religious Doctrines to be exhibited, and they were signed by eighteen bishops, forty abbots and priors, seven deans, seventeen proctors, and one master of a college.

Most of the larger monasteries were dissolved in 1540, and surrendered to the king, and amongst them was the priory of Carlisle. The colleges, hospitals and chantries were next dissolved, and their estates and revenues sacrificed to the crown. Thus did the foundations made by the piety and wisdom of our forefathers, for the benefit of religion, learning, and the relief of the poor, lose the stability of their settlements, and now lay at the mercy of a cruel, dissolute, and licentious monarch. No one, surely, can suppose that in Henry's newly-acquired taste for sacrilege and church plunder, he had any regard for religion or God's honour,* for as the single-minded and pious catholic bishop, John Fisher, truly said, "it is not so much the good, as the goods of the church, that is looked after." And although the confiscation was a deserved vengeance if the gifts of the pious founders were being abused, yet it "was but an increase of guilt in the king and parliament, who, by not preventing the abuse, had made themselves partakers in the sin."

Robert Aldridge, the thirtieth bishop of Carlisle, was installed in 1537, and was one of those prelates, who, with Cranmer, "set out the godly and pious institution of a Christian man, commonly called the Bishop's Book." Henry VIII gave him and his successors the house of Lambeth Marsh, called Carlisle House, in exchange for his house, near Ivie Bridge, now Beaufort's Buildings5, for which the duke of Beaufort pays an annual quit rent of £16 to the bishop of Carlisle. He died in 1555, having held the see eighteen years, during which great changes ware made both in church and state. Owen Oglethorp was appointed bishop of Carlisle, in 1556, being one of the Oxford doctors appointed by Henry in the preceding year, to dispute with Cranmer, Ridley, and Latimer, on the doctrine of the seven sacraments. In 1558, when all the other prelates refused to crown queen Elizabeth, he was reluctantly prevailed upon to do so; which act he had soon cause to lament, for Elizabeth's first care was to repeal all the acts made in Mary's reign, and to revive these of Henry VIII and Edward VI; consequently, Ogletherp, and the rest of the catholic bishops and clergy, were deprived of their benefices, and an act was passed for establishing the English common form of prayer.

John Best was the next bishop of Carlisle, and was commissioned by the queen to arm himself against the "ill dealings of papists, and other disaffected persons in his diocese." He, with fifteen other bishops, signed the Saxon homilies, then published by archbishop Parker, and died in 1570. Richard Barnes, his successor, was translated in 1577, to Durham, where both he and his brother, the chancellor, greatly distressed the people, and disgraced themselves, by their vices, extravagancy, and oppression.

John Meye, the thirty-fourth bishop of Carlisle, was appointed in 1577, but fell a victim to a dreadful plague, which raged in Cumberland, in 1597. He was succeeded by Henry Robinson, D.D., a citizen of Carlisle, in 1598, who was deemed an excellent disputant and preacher, and was, in 1581, elected provost of Queen's College, Oxford, and in 1599, was one of the queen's commissioners for ecclesiastical causes. He died in 1616, and was succeeded by Robert Snowden, of Mansfield Woodhouse, Nottinghamshire. He held the see till his death, in 1621, when Richard Milburn, of Utterbank, near Gilsland, became bishop, being translated from St. David's to Carlisle, where he died in 1624, and, it is said, left £200 to found a school and an hospital.

Richard Senhouse, called "the Cambridge Chrysostom6," was the next bishop. He was of the Netherhall family, and was a very learned and pious prelate, and considered one of the most eloquent preachers of the age. He preached several sermons at court, which are still extent. He died by a fall from his horse, in 1626, and was succeeded by Francis White, who was translated to Norwich, in 1628, when a complaint was made in parliament of the growth of Arminianism7, and that those who maintained and published that sort of doctrine, were favoured and prefered. He is said to be an Arminian himself, and was translated from Norwich to Ely, in 1631. Barnaby Potter, a puritan, held the see from 1628, until his death in 1641. The popular voice now called out "No Bishops," so imperatively, that a bill passed both houses for removing them from their seats in Parliament. The Commons also voted "that all deans and chapters, archdeacons, prebendaries, chanters, canons, petty canons, and their officers, shall be utterly abolished, and that all their lands shall be employed to the advancement of learning and piety - provision being made that his majesty be no loser in his rents, first fruits, and other duties; and that a competent maintenance shall be made to the several persons concerned, if such persons appear not to be delinquents." James Usher8, a native of Dublin, had the bishopric of Carlisle granted to him by Charles I in 1641. His revenues were nearly all eaten up by the English and Scotch armies during the civil wars, yet it is said "he made shift to support himself till the Parliament seized on all bishops' lands; and then, in consideration of his great merits, they allowed him a pension of £400, but he never received it above once or twice, at most." He died at Reigate, in Surrey, in the year 1656, and was interred with great pomp in Westminster Abbey, by the orders of Oliver Cromwell, who ordered the Lords of the Treasury to pay £200 for his funeral expences. The see was now vacant four years, until the restoration of Charles II, in 1660, when Richard Sterne was inducted bishop of Carlisle. He was born at Mansfield, in Nottinghamshire, and was chaplain to archbishop Laud, whom he attended on the fatal scaffold. He was himself a prisoner in the tower, for adhering to the royal cause. He was translated in 1664, to York, where he died, in 1683.

The next bishop of Carlisle was Edward Rainbow, of Bilton, in Lincolnshire, who was installed in 1664, and found it necessary to proceed against his predecessors for dilapidations. "Whereupon, the archbishop made a tender of £400 to repair Rose Chapel9, and pleaded the act of indemnity and oblivion, (12 Car. 2, c. 12), in bar of all other dilapidations." Bishop Rainbow expended upwards of £1100 in repairing Rose Castle, and gave £130 to augment the vicarage of Milburn, in Derbyshire. He died in 1684, and was interred in Dalston churchyard, where a plain common freestone covers his remains.

Monarchy and episcopacy were again raised to great splendour after the restoration of Charles II. All authority was acknowledged to be vested in the king, and the bishops were allowed to resume their seats in the House of Peers; and in 1661 an Act of Uniformity was passed, which required every clergyman who had not received episcopal ordination, to be ordained, declare his assent to every thing contained in the Book of Common Prayer, and take the oath of canonical obedience; and such as refused to conform to the precepts of this act were ipso facto, deprived.

Thomas Smith, a native of Whitehall. in Westmorland, suffered much for the royal cause, in the civil wars, and in consideration of which, was rewarded with several preferments. He was made a prebendary of Carlisle in 1660, afterwards removed to a prebendal stall, at Durham, advanced to the deanery of Carlisle, in 1671, and on the death of bishop Rainbow, raised to the episcopal throne, which he occupied till his death, in 1702. He was a great benefactor to the city of Carlisle and to the whole county of Cumberland, having given and bequeathed upwards of £5250 to charitable uses. He was succeeded in 1702, by William Nicholson; D.D., the learned historian, who was born at Orton, near Carlisle, and who published the first three volumes of the English Atlas, the Historical Library for England, Scotland; and Ireland, the Border Laws, and several Sermons; and left many valuable MSS. concerning the see of Carlisle. In 1715, the king made him Lord Almoner, which office was resigned in his favour by the archbishop of Canterbury. He was translated, in 1715, to the see of Londonderry, and thence to the achbishopric of Cashel, in 1726, in which year he died. Samuel Bradford was bishop of Carlisle from 1718 to 1723, when he was translated to Rochester, after the bishop of that see had been expelled. John Waugh, a native of Appleby, was created bishop of this diocese, in 1723, and died in 1734, when Sir George Fleming, Bart., of Rydal Hall, became bishop of Carlisle, where he was buried in 1747, aged 81 years, and was succeeded by Richard Osbaldiston, who was translated to London, in 1762. Charles Littleton, President of the Antiquarian Society, was the next bishop of Carlisle. He was very learned, and of a humane and generous disposition; "a friend to all mankind, and never had an enemy." He died in 1768.

Edmund Law, D.D., father of Edward, first baron Ellenborough, and of Dr. John Law, late bishop of Elphin, and of Dr. George Henry Law, bishop of Bath and Wells, occupied the see nearly twenty yews. He possessed great erudition and piety, and was eminent as a writer. He published "Considerations on the Theology of Religion"; "An Inquiry into the ideas of Space, Time, &c.," and an edition of Locke's Works, with a life of the Author. He died in 1787, and was succeeded by John Douglas, D.D. who is also well known to the literati. He was translated to Salisbury in 1791, when the Hon. Edward Venables Vernon, D.C.L. succeeded to the bishopric of Carlisle, but was translated to the archbishopric of York, in 1808. Samuel Goodenough, L.L.D. the late bishop of Carlisle, was promoted to the see on Dr. Vernon's translation to York. He was a vice-president of the Royal and Linnĉan Societies, and one of the council of the Royal Society, and was eminent for his skill in botany. He died August 14th, 1827, at Worthing, in Sussex, and was buried in the north cloister of Westminster Abbey.

The Hon. Hugh Percy, the present bishop of Carlisle, is third son, of Algernon, first earl of Beverly, and was born in 1784, and educated at St. John's College, Cambridge. He was consecrated bishop of Rochester, in 1827, whence he was translated to this see, on bishop Goodenough's death in the same year. His lordship's palace is at Rose Castle, seven miles S.S.W. of Carlisle.

The Hon. Henry Montagu Villiers10, seventh son of the Hon. George Villiers and brother of the fourth Earl of Clarendon, was consecrated bishop of Carlisle in 1856; he was translated to Durham in 1860, but died in the following year. He was formerly Vicar of Kenilworth, Rector of St. George's, Bloomsbury, and Canon of St. Paul's. He was succeeded at Carlisle by the Hon. Samuel Waldegrave, formerly fellow of All Saints', Oxford; rector of Barford, St. Martin, Wilts; and canon of Salisbury. He was second son of the eighth Earl Waldegrave. He died in 1869, and was succeeded by Harvey Goodwin, D.D. Dr. Goodwin was educated at Caius College, Cambridge, 1848-58, and dean of Ely, 1858 to 1869. He died in 1891. The present bishop, John Wareing Bardsley, D.D., was formerly archdeacon of Liverpool, and was consecrated bishop of Sodor and Man in 1887, and transferred to Carlisle in 1892.

The following is the substance of the schemes and decrees to which the Ecclesiastical Commissioners of England obtained the sanction of his Majesty, in 1836: "That all parishes which are locally situated in one diocese, and under the jurisdiction of another, be made subject to that see, within which they are locally situated; that certain new dioceses should be created, and that such apportionment or exchange of ecclesiastical patronage should be made among the archbishops and bishops, so as to leave an average yearly income of £15,000 to the archbishop of Canterbury; £10,000 to the archbishop of York; £10,000 to the bishop of London; £8000 to the bishop of Durham; £7000 to the bishop of Winchester; £5000 to the bishops of Ely, Worcester, and Bath and Wells, respectively; £5200 to the bishop of Asaph and Bangor; and that out of the funds arising in the said dioceses, over and above the said incomes, the commissioners should grant such stipends to the other bishops, as should make their average annual income not less than £4000, nor more than £5000.

The following is a list of the manors belonging to the bishop and dean and chapter of Carlisle :-

BISHOPS' MANORS

In Cumberland, Dalston, Linstock and Aspatria.
Colby in Westmorland
Horncastle in Lincolnshire


DEAN AND CHAPTER MANORS

In Cumberland, Botchergate, or Prior Lordship, Wetheral, Sebergham, Lorton, and Little Salkeld.
Morland in Westmorland.


QUEEN ANNE'S BOUNTY - FIRST FRUITS AND TENTHS

From a very early period, every bishop and clergyman has been required to pay the amount of his first years incumbency into a fund, called from thence "First Fruits," and every succeeding year as long as he is in possession of the living, he has been required to pay one-tenth part of his income into a fund, hence called "The Tenths." In 1290, a valuation for this purpose was made of all the Ecclesiastical Livings in England; and the book containing that record is preserved in the Remembrancer's office, under the title of "Valor of Pope Nicholas IV." At the time of the Reformation there was a law passed that the First Fruits and Tenths should be applied to the use of the state, and that any bishop or clergyman neglecting to pay those imposts into the public treasury should be declared an intruder into his living and should forfeit double the amount; and, in order to ascertain the full amount, an accurate and full valuation was made of all the ecclesiastical livings in England and Wales. Except during a short period in the reign of Philip and Mary, the First Fruits and Tenths continued to be paid into the public exchequer, till the reign of queen Anne, when the queen, deploring the wretched condition of many of the poor clergy, owing to the insufficiency of their livings, determined that the First Fruits and Tenths of the livings of all the bishops and clergy should be paid into a fund called "Queen Anne's Bounty," and that the amount should be appropriated to the augmentation of the livings of the poor clergy. As there was no fresh valuation instituted in the time of queen Anne, the First Fruits and Tenths continue to be paid according to that made by Henry VIII in 1535, and which was registered in what is called the king's books, Liber Regis, to which, as well as to the augmentation from queen Anne's bounty, we shall frequently refer in the accounts of the church livings. That this payment might not operate oppressively, the first year's income was to be paid by four annual instalments, and all livings of small value were entirely exempt, and hence called "discharged livings." The increase which has taken place in the value of church livings since 1535 is enormous; and were the First Fruits and Tenths collected on the present valuation, they would yield, instead of £15,000 as at present, more than £350,000, the net income of the established church in England and Wales now amounting to £3,055,654 per annum, as appears from the report of the commissioners appointed by his late majesty William IV, made on an average of the three years, ending December 31st, 1831, and presented to Parliament, 1835. The valuation of all the benefices within the limits of this work, in 1535, and in the Commissioners' Report of 1835, will be shown in the histories of the parishes and chapelries. The bishop has the patronage of thirty-three, and the dean and chapter twenty-nine, benefices: there are about one hundred and thirty benefices in the diocese, of which about one hundred have glebe houses.

* "Men gave their lands, as they declared in the deed of gift, 'for the glory of God,' and they charged what they so gave with the maintenance of masses; if reformation had been desired, this condition would have been repealed; but this would not have gorged that fatal covetousness, which, by confiscating the endowments, ran headlong into the guilt of sacrilege. But again, was all the confiscated property of the nature above described ? Our own experience can answer. Were the tithes (now impropriated) of much more than half the parishes of England, given to superstitious uses ? Were the glebe lands and glebe houses of our poor vicarages (now in the hands of laymen) superstitious and unholy things ? This part at least of the spoil was taken strictly from the clergy." - Wilberforce.

 Mannix & Whellan, History, Gazetteer and Directory of Cumberland, 1847

 

 
 

 


Notes

1. There is further information available on some of these bishops in the Worthies section.
2. Athelwald (or Athelwold) was prior of a house of Austin canons in Carlisle, on or before 1124. He was installed as bishop in 1133.
3. Sclavonia - an obsolete form of Slavonia.
4. Walter Malcerk - frequently given elsewhere as Malclerk.
5. I've been unable to find anything further on Ivie Bridge or Beaufort's Buildings.
6. Chrysostom - "golden mouthed," after St. John Chrysostom (4th century), who was noted for his preaching.
7. Arminianism - after the Dutch Protestant theologian James Arminius.
8. James Usher, or Ussher, is now best known for having calculated the date of the creation as 23rd October, 4004 B.C.
9. Rose Chapel - the chapel at Rose Castle.
10. The bishops following on from Bishop Percy are taken from Bulmers History & Directory of Cumberland, 1901.


23 March 2008

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İ Steve Bulman