THE CHAPTER.



Bishop Robert Reid made a new erection and foundation of the chapter, viz., seven dignities, whereof the first was a provost or dean, to whom, under the bishop, the correction and oversight of the canons, prebendaries, and chaplains was to belong; (2.) An archdeacon, who was to govern the people according to the canon law; (3.) A precentor, who was to rule the singers in the choir in the elevation or depression of their songs; (4.) A chancellor, who was to be learned in both laws, and bound to read in the pontifical law publicly in the chapter to all that ought to be present, and to look to the preserving and mending of the books of the choir and register, and to keep the common seal and key of the library; (5.) A Treasurer, who was to keep the treasure of the church and sacred vestments, and to have a care of the bread, wine, wax, oil, and lights for the church; (6.) A Subdean, who was to supply the place of the provost in his absence; (7.) A sub-chanter or succentor, who was bound to play on the organs each Lordís Day and festivals, and to supply the place of the chanter in his absence.

Likewise he erected seven other canons and prebendaries, to wit: (1.) the prebendary of Holy Cross - he was to be a special keeper of holy things under the treasurer, and was to take care of the clock and ringing of the bells at hours appointed, and to take care that the floor of the church was cleanly swept; (2.) The prebendary of St Mary - he was to have a care of the roof and windows of the cathedral, and to have them repaired if necessary; (3.) The prebendary of St Magnus - he was to be confessor of the households of the bishop, provost, canons, and chaplains, and their servants, in the time of Easter, and to administer the Eucharist to them; the 4th prebendary was to have the chaplaincy of St John the Evangelist in the said cathedral church; the 5th prebendary was to have the chaplaincy of St Lawrence; the 6th was to have the prebend of St Katharine; and the 7th prebendary was to have the prebend of St Duthac.
 

The Chapter, then, in October, 1544, consisted of:

DEAN ~  
PRECENTOR ~  
CHANCELLOR ~  
TREASURER ~  
ARCHDEACON ~  
SUB-DEAN ~  
SUB-CHANTER ~  
PREBEND ~ Holy Cross
PREBEND ~ St Mary
PREBEND ~ St Magnus
PREBEND ~ St John the Evangelist
PREBEND ~ St Lawrence
PREBEND ~ St Katharine
PREBEND ~ St Duthac


Besides these, he erected thirteen chaplains; to the first was allotted the chaplaincy of St Peter, and he was to be master of the grammar school; to the second was allotted the chaplaincy of St Augustine, and he was to be master of the singing school; the third was to be Stallarius, or the bishopís chorister; the fourth the provostís chorister; fifth, the archdeaconís; sixth, the precentorís; seventh, the chancellorís; eighth, the treasurerís; ninth, the sub-deanís; tenth, the prebendaryís of Holy Cross; eleventh, the the prebendaryís of St Mary; twelfth, the prebendaryís of St Katharine; thirteenth, the chaplain of Holy Cross. To these he added a sacrist, who was to ring the bells, and light the lamps, and carry in water and fire to the church, and go before the processions with a white rod, after the manner of a beadle.

He moreover ordained six boys, who were to be taper-bearers, and to sing the responsorial and verses in the choir as they were to be ordered by the chanter.

At present, there is no explanation why there is no mention in this list of the Archdeaconry of Zetland.

Further reading:
"History of Beauly Priory,Ē  Chisholm Batten, E.  Edinburgh.  Grampian Club.  1877.
 

 

 

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