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'Parish' and 'City'--a shifting identity: Salisbury 1440-1600.

The study and documentation of ceremony and ritual, a broad concern of Records of Early English Drama, has stimulated discussion about their purpose and function in an urban context. Briefly, in academic estimation their role is largely positive, both in shaping civic consciousness and in harmonizing diverse classes and interests while--as a convenient corollary--simultaneously confirming local hierarchies. Profitable self-promotion is also part of this urban picture, since ceremony and entertainment, like seasonal fairs, potentially attracted interest from outside the immediate locality. There are, however, factors that compromise this overall picture of useful urban concord: the dominance of an urban elite, for instance, may effectually be stabilized, promoted, or even disguised by ceremony and ritual; on the other hand, marginalized groups (women and the poor) have normally no place in them at all. (1)

Those excluded from participation in civic ritual and ceremonial might, nevertheless, be to some extent accommodated in the pre-Reformation infrastructure of trade guilds and religious guilds. Both organizational groups crossed social and economic boundaries to draw male and female members together in ritual and public expression of a common purpose and brotherhood --signalling again (in customary obit, procession, and feasting) harmony and exclusivity, themes with which, it seems, pre-Reformation urban life was preoccupied. But although women were welcome within guild ranks, office was normally denied them. Fifteenth-century religious guilds also saw a decline in membership drawn from the poorer members of society, with an overall tendency for a dominant guild to become identified with a governing urban elite. (2)

Less obvious perhaps, but of prime importance to those excluded from any of the above, was the parish church itself, whose round of worship afforded forms of ritual open to all. Yet each church was uniquely defined: by its history, dedication, and parish boundaries; by building form, furniture, and decoration; by memorials of its dead; and by its cult of particular saints. The individuality thus created offered a sense of belonging for even the humblest parishioner. A small offering for the Font Taper, the gift or planned bequest of a cooking vessel to be sold for the church fabric, a Whitsun dance or Hocktide meal--these all presented opportunities, particularly for the poor and for women, to participate in and belong to a community that was at once identifiable, stable, and perpetual. At the same time each stage of a parishioner's life was normally affirmed by public ritual conducted in the local church (wedding, baptism, churching for newly delivered mothers, and funeral). In addition, while the parish church provided a primary and local focus for citizens' loyalty and identity, the periodic functioning of guild and civic ritual within a parish context brought awareness of the city's business, while individuals, through municipal office, trade interests, networks of extended kin, and friendship, necessarily maintained links that stretched beyond the immediate locality. (3)

This short introductory discussion is not intended to over-emphasize the role of the parish church, but simply to point out its capacity to transform those who believed into those who belonged. Thus each local church housed a wide variety of men, women, and children, all of whom might be brought, through its functioning, to some sense of confident community, rooted in an immediate and local context, but sensible of wider municipal concerns. Drawing on material for Salisbury, I shall further argue that parish-based customary or ritual activity acted to minimize social tension, balancing parish identities and loyalties against their civic counterparts. These circumstances, however, were substantially altered in the wake of the Reformation: first, fundamental changes occurred in the nature of the parish and its community; second, there was a shift in the popular perspective from parish to city, a process set in motion in the fifteenth century but accelerated by the impact of reform on parish life. (4)

Before examining this argument, we must first look at the broader scene for other circumstances that helped to minimize or defuse tensions within Salisbury society. Of prime importance were the history and layout of parish and municipal ward. The city's eighty-three hectares, bounded by a rampart or bank to the north and east and by the river Avon to the south and west, encompassed only three parishes, roughly equal in extent and population. Their boundaries largely corresponded to those of the city's wards with whom they shared a date of origin in the thirteenth century. Thus the parishes functioned as de facto units of municipal government, electing aldermen to the common council and for one short period providing, as local units, men for the midsummer watch. Secondly, we might note that, despite evidence suggesting the concentration of trades in different areas of the city, these trades, during the period under discussion, do not appear to have become ghettoized, with one or more trades confined to any one parish. (5) Similarly, while crafts maintained lights in particular churches, those individuals whose names are linked with each of these churches came from a wide variety of occupations. (6)

Third, in general, no major, overt ecclesiastical clash of interests seems to have intruded upon the city's relations either with the bishop as diocesan, the subdean, whose peculiar the city was, or the cathedral chapter. Relationships between individual churches were similarly stable. Appropriation of St Thomas's rectory to the cathedral fabric gave the chapter a close interest in that parish, whose priests were often drawn from chapter personnel; the chapter was, in fact, the chief patron of a Whitsun parish dance for which it provided lavish refreshment. Ties between St Edmund's parish and St Martin's parish were established c 1268, when the former appropriated the latter's vicarage and thereafter provided the parish curate. Salisbury parishioners' bequests are often indicative of good relationships that existed among the parishes and with the cathedral. Bishop Poore, founder of New Sarum and its cathedral, had urged citizens to remember the cathedral fabric in their wills, and small bequests of this kind are commonly found. But testators also reveal their ties to more than one parish: for instance, Joan Story (representative of many Salisbury testators), whose will was proved in 1555, requested burial at St Martin's, to whose high altar and Holy Ghost altar she left small sums; but money also went to the high altar and Jesus altar of St Thomas as well as to the cathedral fabric. (7)

Fourth, while Salisbury's wealth is reflected in its ranking among pre-Reformation English towns, there is no sign of a permanently dominant or entrenched elite in municipal government that could so easily have become a factor in the creation of tension--whether founded on wealth, status, family, or topographical considerations. (8) The exact relationship of the pre-Reformation confraternity of St George, to which the mayor and common council belonged, to an original guild merchant is uncertain. Clearly the brethren were careful to maintain a diverse and balanced relationship with the urban population. The confraternity's presence, for instance, was manifest in all three parishes with regular obits. Two (and possibly all three) parishes possessed an image of St George, with which the brethren processed to and from church on their feast day. While the confraternity chapel was apparently at St Thomas's, the mayoral election customarily took place in St Edmund's church. (9) As we shall see, in later days pews were assigned to the mayor and mayoress in all churches.

Fifth--and probably the most important--whatever internal political or economic tension may have arisen, it had as a legitimate object the bishop's overlordship of the borough. This situation, as perceived origin of the city's woes, provided a focus for most civic frustration, that is, until Salisbury received its royal charter of incorporation in 1612. Architecturally, the city was dominated by the cathedral and its soaring spire, a constant reminder of episcopal lordship, with the Close itself confined exclusively to the bishop's jurisdiction. That the mayor had to take his oath before the bishop's bailiff was perhaps the most painful symbol of subjection. In consequence, no civic ritual evolved around this event, as it did in Bristol, for example, to signify the relationship established between mayor and citizens or to proclaim and enhance civic identity. (10) Nevertheless, despite occasional periods of friction, the bishop's real powers were steadily eroded, and by the end of the sixteenth century mayor and council had achieved de facto control in areas of taxation, musters, execution of royal writs, and regulation of city markets, as well as episodic connection with commissions of justice.

It is against these circumstances that we may now evaluate the role of the three parishes in pre-Reformation Salisbury. For their liturgical life the importance of the neighbouring cathedral was paramount. Tradition held that Bishop Osmund, second bishop of Old Sarum (outside the present city) and builder on that site of the first cathedral, had founded the widely influential Sarum Use. Of this Use, the second cathedral, in New Sarum, was true heir, continuator, and practitioner. All three parishes, then, must have been conscious of this authoritative model on their very doorstep. Most visibly, it found expression in the round of processions maintained in the parishes. The importance of this fact cannot be overemphasized. Procession was crucial in defining the identity and consciousness of each parish; at the same time it provided a periodic ritual renewal of relationships with neighbouring parishes.

Rogation and Whitsun processions are particularly significant, since they move outside the home parish. As prescribed in the Sarum sources, the Rogation litany procession proceeds from a central urban location to celebrate mass in three different churches: on Monday the procession goes from the choir through the south door to a church in the city or suburb and back the same way; on Tuesday, exiting the cathedral by the same door, leaving the city by its west gate to perambulate its north side (presumably outside or near the wall) and visit another church, thence returning through the city's east gate; on Wednesday, leaving by the city's east gate to go round the south side, visit a third church, and return by the west gate. Obviously the details of the processions were necessarily adapted to topographical circumstance. Nevertheless, the model of urban perambulation and blessing, with celebration of mass at stations on the overall circuit, provided an encompassing ritual that linked parish with parish, church with city and suburb. (11)

Thirty-one extant St Edmund's churchwardens' accounts from 1461 to 1543 show an annual round of processions at Rogation, Ascension, Corpus Christi, and (occasionally) on St Mark's Day (in four years between 1477 and 1484, and in 1521 and 1522). Whit Thursday marked the parish procession or dancing day. The sum of these occasions, spanning four consecutive weeks (between 26 April and 24 June, depending on the date of Easter), saw an efflorescence of outdoor, parish-based activity, involving clergy and laity, that preceded the full civic celebration of the summer watchnight procession. While this regularity cannot be documented for the other two parishes, stray references in St Edmund's accounts suggest that all three churches observed Rogationtide as an occasion to visit each other. Certainly the liturgy assigned a special versicle, response, and invocation to visiting Rogation processions on entering each of the three Salisbury parish churches. Each parish thus proclaimed its identity at Rogationtide, not only in the marking of its own boundaries, but in the visible expression of its procession: parish relics were carried; banners, whose order changed each day, were borne by men and children (or boys); and progress from church to church was marked by the ringing of bells. (12)

Apart from a heightened self-awareness effected within the parish community itself, the procession also enabled a cordial network to be maintained not least through that part of the ritual that called for the visiting priest to say mass in the parish visited: first, between the three urban parishes; and second, we may assume, between each of these and the mother church. This customary ritual, affirming each parish and periodically re-establishing an equable relationship with its neighbours, created unchanging ties irrelevant to transient craft and confraternity patterns, cutting across any social and economic divisions that may have worked to divide parish from parish. (13)

Similarly, apart from its fund-raising aspect, the dancing day helped to affirm parish identity. It is probable that the dance itself originated in, or was associated with, the liturgical Whitsun procession, initially confined to the parish itself. In Salisbury the apparent succession of three such dancing or procession days in Whitsun week (from Wednesday to Friday, respectively, for the parishes of St Martin, St Edmund, and St Thomas) echoes the temporal pattern established by Rogation processions. Eventually, in the early years of the sixteenth century, each Whitsun dance and procession moved beyond individual parish boundaries, making the cathedral its destination. The routes traced by these processions are not recorded, but at least the parish of St Edmund's, and possibly St Martin's, would have had to move through a neighbouring parish in order to reach the cathedral. Even a direct route, such as St Thomas's parishioners might have taken, straight down the High Street, would have encountered people from other parts of the city, and in the Close, about their daily business. Money collected from the population at large, on successive days for successive parishes, provided symbolic material support for the ties established between them.

The purpose of the enlarged Whitsun processional route was to deliver a token payment of smoke farthings (or Peter's pence, restored by Henry VIII in 1510). Carried in procession with minstrels, probably with accompanying dance, the money was brought into the cathedral for delivery to the apparitor. With this development the parish dance and procession also demonstrated in ritual form the dependent bond with Salisbury's mother church, the offerings a sign of submission of parish to cathedral. (l4)

If pre-Reformation processions (restored briefly in Mary's reign) speak of parish identity and relationships, then the whole area of church funding at this time suggests an openness in the structure of the parish community itself. In Salisbury churchwardens at St Edmund's drew income from three broad sources. Customary seasonal contributions for church works (fabric) included direct offerings together with oblations received in respect of papal indulgences granted for this purpose to the parish; special seasonal collections raised money for 'lights', while guilds or confraternities who maintained their own lights often gave any surplus to the churchwardens. Other customary monies, sometimes dedicated to fabric needs, were raised by community action (church ales, dancing days, and Hocktide gatherings after Easter). There were also various casual (basically unforeseeable) revenues from forthfares, gifts, and bequests, from payments for pews, graves, and the entering of names on the bede roll, and from the sale of donated goods; St Edmund's also had occasional small rental income from various stalls erected in its vicinity. On average, in the ten accounting years from 1475-6 to 1484-5, three-fifths of St Edmund's income came from casual revenues, two-fifths from customary sources (collections for Church Works and the Font Taper, with surpluses from lights); no money was raised through customary community activity during this period.15

A different tripartite model of income, dealing with essentially the same resources, is presented by Clive Burgess and Beat Kumin for a number of late medieval parishes. Burgess and Kumin divide income into three categories: that from the living (donations, collections, rates, entertainments, and hiring-out of goods or stock); that from the dead (burials, knells, and bede roll, with rents from properties devised to the church by parishioners where, for example, funds surplus to stipends of chantry priests went to the parish); and that from casual revenues. The authors argue that while a large slice of income from the dead took the pressure off a parish, places where a significant portion came from the living (market-town and rural parishes) showed a corresponding emphasis on shared responsibilities and lifetime commitment to funding.

These locations exhibited a consequent financial 'orientation' in parish organization, with money-raising of ever-present moment. (16) Overall, these findings are confirmed for St Edmund's parish, which had little income from the dead: churchwardens had no long-term rental income from property, and burials, forthfares, and bede roll payments accounted for a very small proportion of income indeed.

In the later fifteenth century, however, St Edmund's received substantial benefit from community fund-raising in the form of church ales, which accounted for up to 66% of annual income in the five years for which they are recorded. Ales held over twelve weeks in the summer of 1497 raised 25 [pounds sterling] 17s 2d. Groups or pairs of parishioners (sometimes man and woman) organized each occasion, presumably in the 'scotale hous', (17) Similarly, parish Hock gatherings provided a growing source of customary income for almost a hundred years, first documented in 1490 when 4s 1d was received 'one Hokked day' for church works. In 1497, 15s 10d for a new window was raised by wives and others, and in succeeding years sums of a few shillings were gathered either through women and girls 'saving themselves from binding' or through 'the devotion of the people'. In 1540 the churchmen (wardens and vestry) gathered 8s 3d, and the women, at Hocktide and Whitsuntide, 21s 4d. During this whole period Hock money formed about 2-3% of churchwardens' annual income. Sparse evidence from 1543 and from the Marian years suggests that Hock revenue accounted for about 10%. At this period male and female participants were expressly treated to some form of refreshment (drink or a meal). In eleven years between 1560 and 1581, Hock money accounted for 5-10% of income. The repeated round sums (2 [pounds sterling], then 3 [pounds sterling]) that characterize these later years suggest, at one extreme, a form of assessed levy rather than ad hoc gathering, and at the other, possible creaming-off of money to fund an event for participants. (18)

In Salisbury the eventual loss of Hocktide and Whitsun dance gatherings was a particular blow to the traditional parish. On these occasions church needs had crossed into customary, secular celebration, with churchgoers bringing non-churchgoers into a periodic cooperative relationship for parish purposes. In addition men and women participated on something approaching equal terms, as they had done in fifteenth-century church ales. There was also a convivial side to customary activity: Rogation and dancing day processions brought rewards in bread and ale for men and children (boys) who carried the banners; Hock gatherings might include a shared meal for the participants; St Thomas's Whit Friday dancers (women, girls, maidservants, and boys) were regaled with a wide range of refreshments provided by the cathedral chapter sums spent on food and drink suggest participants in the hundreds.

The bringing in of lights to church or chapel by trade guilds and fraternities on their saints' days emphasized not only occupational and religious self-interests, but loyalties to particular parishes, another factor that helped to define and strengthen parish identity. Less formal gender/age peer groupings found a practical role within the parish through fund-raising for lights, sometimes in the form of additional local dancing days; such activity gave purpose and responsibility to local men and women, and provided a means of integrating youth into the parish community, especially where these were servants or apprentices new to the city. Most important of all, details of these activities are suggestive of their 'openness'--'open' to all who wished to participate, regardless of age or gender. (19)

Henry VIlI's reformation legislation, which caused the loss of religious guilds and chantries, weakened the traditional identity of any parish that had been the focus of such ritual. At a stroke it also removed the ritual identity of female groups--the wives, daughters, and maidservants who had, as at St Thomas's and St Edmund's, maintained lights within the parish church. Almost a generation later, in 1582, Hock practices ceased in all Salisbury parishes, probably as a result of ecclesiastical disapproval of behaviour involved in the practice itself. At St Edmund' s the dancing day also disappeared though it continued in the other two parishes until put down by the Close sessions in 1624. By then, already sidelined, the dancing day had lost its purpose and vitality--at St Thomas's it ended as a children's dance 'guided' by the sexton.

In the area of customary offerings, the later sixteenth century also brought change. Formerly gathered at altar or church door during Christmas and Easter, or as tithes and oblations at confession prior to communion on Easter Day, customary offerings were almost all replaced by more standardized income. At St Thomas's customary Good Friday collections for church fabric continue through the century. In the 1560-1 churchwardens' account, however, the wardens note, under 'Tythes and Offeryngs at Est{e}r', that Easter dues are now combined with money for the Font Taper 'as by a boke of particulars'. This entry clearly points to the first of the collections recorded in St Thomas's Easter Books, whereby all Easter offerings, except Good Friday's, were rolled into one. More radically, extant Easter Books indicate that these offerings were now gathered for the first time from the territorial population of the parish rather than churchgoers. The sum thereby yielded in 1560-1 (28 [pounds sterling] 13s 10d) is almost double the total collected ten years earlier in 1550-1 (15 [pounds sterling] 14s 9d) for both the Halfpence (ie, money for the Font Taper) and Easter offerings and tithes. (20)

Money-raising within the parish, street by street, chequer by chequer, thus converted what had once been voluntary and customary into the substance of rigorous house-to-house collections. In 1533, for instance, 244 parishioners had offered tithe and oblation at confession prior to Easter communion--12 widows, 49 wives, 42 maidservants, 17 single women, 5 girls, 63 men, and 56 menservants, representing about 127 households. The average offering was 8 1/2d per person. (21) In 1599 it was 7 1/2d, but the total number of people contributing, parish-wide, had jumped four and a half times, to almost 1,100. Easter Books reflect churchwardens' efforts to round up payments from all adult household members in the parish. (22) Marginal notes on those who had died or moved prepared the ground for the next canvass, and allowed the churchwardens to keep on top of their budgets, even when, as in the later sixteenth century, Salisbury was buffeted by textile crisis, poverty, and plague. (23)

St Edmund's saw a similar shift from offering to planned levy. On 20 April 1577 the vestry's instruction that the churchwarden 'levye all kynde of Dewtyes Dew vnto the Churche for Clarkes wages fower q[ua]rter booke fantaper burialles Christninges Banses and Bequestes', summarized sources of income already established.24 While offerings for Church Works continued (generally given by the more senior and wealthy in the church), the Hawpence (or money for the Font Taper) and payments for Clark's Wages and Bread and Wine are clearly rationalized, probably on the basis described for the Bread and Wine account, where, for example, 8d per week is collected through the year from a rota of parishioners. (25) Easter tithe and oblation seem to have been subsumed under the heading 'Four Quarter Books', which appears over a more fluctuating sum, possibly collected on a territorial basis (no original Quarter Books are extant) or at least drawn up in relation to a list of households--payment for a 'booke of the house holders' was made in the 1586-7 account. (26) Throughout the period under discussion, surpluses carried over from year to year cushioned both parishes whenever annual payments exceeded annual receipts. These surpluses show periodic or annual variations but are the norm. In 1570, however, the reconciliation of St Edmund's account shows a noticeable jump in the level of surplus: over the previous ten years it ranged from 15s to 8 [pounds sterling] 2s 11d, but now it stands at 14 [pounds sterling] 10s 6d. From this time on, the sum continues to climb, unevenly but steadily, until in 1600 it stands at 42 [pounds sterling] 14s 10d.27

The suppression or sidelining of Hock and Whit fund-raising activity, viewed by the authorities as irrelevant or provocative--often inconsonant with contemporary puritan and/or municipal policy and practice--and the systematized collection of Easter offerings together reflect and effect the nature of the post-Reformation parish. (28) The open parish community is replaced by a more limited church. Here there is emphasis on what may be termed congregation, defined by attendance at services: absentees are noted and presented by diligent churchwardens at time of visitation, the more easily since pew space swells to admit and pigeonhole churchgoers. (29) In contrast to the old oblation books, which, for example, in the context of weddings, listed offerings rather than names of those who were wed, parish registers name individual parishioners when christened, married, churched, or buried, thus preserving a record of life-cycle contacts with the church--an unofficial parish census to place beside that afforded by the Easter Books. Interestingly, these rites of passage survived the Reformation as occasions for feasting and conviviality, often in a broad neighbourhood context. (30)

Fiscally, the parish church continues to generate or attract income internally, that is with some voluntary or customary contribution from those who come to church or seek out its ritual benefits. In these areas old account headings (Church Works, Pews, Graves, Bequests) are joined by new ones (Banns, Christenings, and Burials). At the same time the revenue base widens to capture money externally that is less oblation than territorial exaction, gathered by dint of rigorous centralized organization. These developments paradoxically result in a closing off of church (as congregation) from a separate and second element, the ecclesiastical parish (as territorial population); periodic folk fund-raising is no longer available at best to integrate one with the other, or at least to blur the boundary between them. (31)

A more genial view of post-Reformation funding is provided in Nick Alldridge's analysis of Chester parishes for the period 1540-1640, where, in contrast to what went before, the post-Reformation Easter rate is seen to express only 'a rather different communal relationship, less economic than social'. Like Salisbury's levy, a closely organized street collection based on households, Chester's Easter rate is characterized as neither intrusive nor unwelcome since notionally it was fair, falling on all parishioners (who could reasonably expect to support their parish ministry), while in practice it was equitable, the poor being exempt from payment. As an administrative masterlist the record it provided was also useful for other forms of assessment, including poor relief. More questionably, however, this study posits a close connection between the new rate and the old tithes, which had been 'legally binding' on all communicants. In contrast, pre-Reformation Salisbury evidence, for St Thomas's, suggests that active communicants formed a small minority of the potentially communicant population, so that a shift to a territorial levy, collected on the doorstep, represented for that parish at least a qualitative as well as a quantitative change. (32)

As casual church attendance becomes unacceptable, so space within the building is rigorously organized to exclude that possibility. The changing character of parish, and its split from church, is exemplified in the changing liturgical use of the interior space of the parish church. John Bossy sees a two-fold significance in the parish celebration of mass, focal to Latin church ritual from the end of the thirteenth century. The liturgy of the mass presents the social universe 'as a concatenation of distinct parts'; it also constitutes the embodiment of unity and wholeness. At mass each Christian prays not only for the living and the dead as constituent parts of the whole community, but more particularly for 'his/her own' (sui), that is, household members, relatives and friends. (33) Analysis of pre-Reformation oblations books for St Thomas's, recording attendance at confession, prior to Easter communion, suggests that households, rather than turning out in entirety, were in fact 'represented' by wife, husband, or servants, occasionally in limited combination. (34)

This fluctuating but representative attendance--figures for the 1530s suggest about one-fifth of parishioners at most--was once housed in a physical church space that was comparatively open, accepting, and non-differentiated --interrupted by chantry, chapel, and altar, but not by pews. When, in the early fifteenth century, as Bossy shows, the community aspect of the mass begins to be compromised, so the physical space of Salisbury's parish churches succumbs to the first pews. As seating expands to fill all available space, so by 1600 the mass itself has been replaced with a liturgy in which grace is mediated to each person, rather than to the whole present community. (35)

Fluidity of church space and the fluctuating community that once filled it give way to a rigidity of structure that incorporates parish and municipal hierarchies. Particular seats are available only to those who pay for them, and by the early 1600s every possible space in St Thomas's is filled. Church attendees are of necessity required, not just expected, to secure a seat; the result is a captive, regular, and ultimately static group, which not even parish processions now break up. Furthermore, the order in which the pews are allotted demonstrates very clearly a ranking process dictated by municipal or church office (often going hand-in-hand) and gender. Promotion in either the municipal or church sphere of activity facilitates promotion to seats closer to the front (proximity to the pulpit is what matters), with payments exacted for change of seat; women of course are, in the main, sandwiched in the body of the church flanked by front and rear rows of men. Fixed seating allows a neighbourhood tally of attendance, with empty seats translatable into formal presentment of absentees. Organization by peer group, as seen in the pre-Reformation oblations records, is replaced by organization by household, with households seated together in some cases (at least female members), emphasizing units of attendance (and, again, gaps)--units now indicative of economic reckoning as well as attendance at worship. (36)

By 1600 Salisbury parishes, like others in the kingdom, had also been drawn to observe a wider political agenda. Bells were rung on the queen's coronation anniversary, on her birthday, for the defeat of the Armada in 1588 and anniversaries thereafter, and to commemorate James I's supposed escape from the Gowries conspiracy; ringing greeted visits of royalty--on five successive days at Elizabeth's visit in 1574--and other notables, and knells tolled for their deaths. The Sarum rite, in contrast, had prescribed a particular ceremony only if an important visitor was actually received at the church door, when for instance he or she might be met with a procession. (37) Within the church building the vertical political hierarchy now extended beyond parish confines in reference to specially furnished pews for mayor and mayoress and the prominent display of royal arms. Visually this furniture displaced the horizontal, parish-based network of craft guild and spiritual confraternity, with occasional reference to prominent local citizenry or gentry, which lights, altars, chantries, and interior grave stones had formerly impressed upon parishioners' minds. (38)

As the parish moves from fluidity to rigidity, from self-consciousness to a much larger outside awareness, so, as we have seen, municipal administration achieves presence, confidence, and a fullness of activity on the urban scene. Even earlier, in the fifteenth century, there were circumstances that tended to promote and consolidate the city's identity. The nearby palace of Clarendon was a favourite royal residence until the later years of the century. Several times the city responded to royal summons for troops, the corporation ledger books detailing the common council's decisions relating to municipal assessment and levy. (39) The city also lay within the orbit of conciliar and bureaucratic activity, as is evidenced in that group of royal and aristocratic patrons whose minstrels regularly visited Salisbury in the fifteenth century; a cathedral bede roll includes several of these patrons' names. (40)

In particular, like other cities, Salisbury had long exploited activity in any royal or public context in order to promote the interests of the citizenry and its common council vis-a-vis the bishop. For instance, in 1436 and 1464 contingents of troops raised in Salisbury wore on their jacks, back and front, a scarlet and crimson cross in which was centred the letter S. Citizens were ordered to wear a green livery to greet the king in 1461 and 1466, and in 1530 scarlet liveried ex-mayors were distinguished from other members of the crimson-clad common council (the twenty-four) as they rode in the watch procession. After the duke of Buckingham's execution in or near Salisbury for rebellion against Richard III, in which the bishop of Salisbury was implicated, the city was able to proudly record that the new mayor was sworn in before the king. (41) Much later, in 1610, as pressure mounted for enfranchisement, a warm civic reception (urged by the king himself) was afforded the queen's nephew, the duke of Brunwick's son. Assiduously waited on by mayor and council, the prince was honoured with a banquet and a purse of 10 [pounds sterling] in gold, specifically for the furtherance of the city's lobby to the king. (42)

The history of Salisbury's midsummer watch also reflects the growth of civic consciousness. Assemblies, or watches, summoned by the mayor on the eves of St John the Baptist and St Peter (23 and 28 June), are first recorded in 1440. (43) Linked to militia needs, initially in the face of a threatened French invasion, and subsequently in the course of the Wars of the Roses, these gatherings seem to have served primarily as municipal musters or arrays, when the availability of men and weapons was checked. Their purpose and nature, however, saw radical change later in the century. Impetus came from the canonization of Bishop Osmund. Although Osmund was translated in 1226 to Bishop Richard Poore's newly built cathedral in Salisbury (New Sarum), with subsequent process initiated for his canonization, the city had to wait over two hundred years before its saint was proclaimed in 1457. Here at last was a fitting focus for civic pride--later common council orders for 1481 and 1503 add a third watch for 15 July, the eve of Osmund's translation. (44)

These orders now deal specifically with processions, whose participants are summoned through the crafts. Setting off from the market place, various groups of crafts are followed by weavers and tailors 'with their pageants', mayor and common council members, armed men, merchants, and others; city constables with the municipal watch, march in the middle and at the rear. Though described in Tailors' records as 'the king's watch', a term recalling its original relevance to periods of national emergency, the event as ordered in 1503 was as much about civic confidence, boosted by the acquisition of a saint, as militia strength. Indeed after 1503 the two midsummer watches in June disappear from Salisbury's calendar, and the city's summer celebration is entirely subsumed into St Osmund's watch. Orchestrated to reflect craft and municipal status, as well as municipal provision for law and order, by the middle years of Henry VIII's reign participants were summoned 'to the honour', rather than the 'safeguarding', of the city. The route of the watch procession was not specified, but it is a fair assumption that it culminated in an appropriate celebration in Osmund's honour at the cathedral. At least once a year then, on 15 July, homage to St Osmund effectually superseded local loyalties to parish and guild as the city's watch procession marshalled a representative cross-section of the population in the service of its saint. (45)

In the summer of 1536, however, an act of convocation struck from the church calendar a large number of holy days, singling out in particular those that fell in harvest time, that is from 1 July to 29 September. In May of the following year, fearing that St Osmund's watch would for this reason have to be abandoned, the mayor wrote to Thomas Cromwell:
   it hath byn accustomyd vppon the evyn of seynt Osmu{n}de beyng the
   xvth day of Iulij whiche seynt lieth in the Cathedrall churche of
   Sar{um] as seynt Edward doth in westmynst{er}on the whiche seynte
   Osmu{n}d{e}s eve a solempne watche hathe byn vsyd after the order
   of the watche kepte in London on mydsom{er} evyn to the whiche
   watche moche people hathe been accustomed to resorte vnto. And the
   morowe was wonte to be kepte holyday. (46)

This letter is significant for the comparison it asserts between Salisbury's watchnight and that held in London. Both were associated with a locally interred saint, in whose honour the watch was held, and--we can only presume, in Salisbury's case--at whose shrine the celebration culminated. The phrasing of the letter clearly shows that there was by now a well-developed link in the popular mind between civic status, Osmund's translated remains, and the cathedral where they were housed. Although the Reformation was to remove bodily one-third of this equation, popular attachment to the cathedral itself seems to have survived all such disruption.

The Tailors are the only Salisbury craft guild with extensive documentation for the period under discussion. The history of their midsummer celebration indicates a post-Reformation shift in focus from the parish to the cathedral. From 1462 the occasion had centred on ritual observances in St Thomas's church, where an obit was held on the eve of St John the Baptist. Fetched from the chandler the next morning, the guild's light was brought into the church after members' attendance at matins and before the celebration of mass. A subsequent procession accompanied the occupation's journeymen with their light, which was brought in at St John's chapel at Harnham bridge. Evensong at the cathedral preceded a feast for the whole occupation at their hall. Processional elements attended most of these activities - expressly in the form of a crocodile, going two by two from the cathedral to the hall at the close of the day. Mayor and council members were part of the assembly as it entered St Thomas's in the morning and went thereafter to St John's chapel, lending civic dignity to this display of occupation status.

Elements of the old celebration remain in the revival of the late 1560s, but reform has made its mark. The stripped-down celebration starts at St Thomas's with morning service (a sermon is stipulated), continues with dinner at the Tailors' hall, procession to Harnham bridge, evening prayer at the cathedral, and final procession to the hall for supper and dancing. The central focus of the pre-Reformation event, the guild's religious commemoration, is now fractured, and recalled only in public worship services (morning and evening prayer) of which only the first is held in the parish church. In 1611, rather than gracing the day with his presence, the puritan mayor, Bartholomew Tookey, claps the wardens in gaol for profaning the sabbath. The record of this incident graphically illustrates the contrast with the old celebration, emphasizing, furthermore, that the most visible part of the event has moved to the cathedral. Here, as they exit, guild members are greeted with carnival elements of a procession that will take them to their supper and dance--a giant, morris dancers, Maid Marian, two black boys, a devil, and a hobby horse--amidst the rowdiness of assembled onlookers. In the long term, it must be added, the Tailors' giant was to lose its parish and trade-guild origins altogether appropriated by the city it was paraded as the 'Salisbury Giant' on national thanksgivings and other holidays. (47)

In pre-Reformation Salisbury, it appears, no one occasion functioned to produce civic harmony. The benefits of the Corpus Christi procession, for example, upon which Mervyn James founds the 'wholeness' of urban society in York, Chester, and Coventry, were afforded the city in other circumstances and by other ceremonial means. (48) The midsummer watch took on the role of setting forth and integrating craft and municipal interests, balancing responsibility for turnout, mainly summoned through the crafts, with penalties for noncompliance agreed in common council. In addition, and just as important, Rogation and dancing day processions reinforced a cordial local network in which both parish and cathedral interests had a role to play. At the same time this picture of a society ritually characterized by a certain degree of balance and harmony between its component parts was gradually transformed by two developments: (1) the post-Reformation replacement of the open parish community by the more limited parish church, distinct from its territorial population, and drawn as the established church into a national agenda, and (2) the growing authority of municipal government, culminating in the charter of enfranchisement in 1612 and the transformation of crafts into chartered companies.

On the second day of his visit to Salisbury in 1610 the duke of Brunswick's son unexpectedly took time to ride over to Wilton House--much to the consternation, probably, of the mayor and council, who never wanted him out of their sight. On his return the prince was greeted at the Crane Street bridge, where he dismounted and continued on foot with the mayor and a large company to view the cathedral--a thorough tour, including the cloister and chapter house. The letter-writer makes no mention of the prince's reception by any ecclesiastical dignitary--perhaps an intentional omission given the writer's evident enthusiasm for the lobby to the king on behalf of the city's charter. What is interesting here is that we seem to glimpse a process whereby, as the reality of the bishop's overlordship dwindles, the burgeoning city lays emblematic claim to the cathedral. The way was now open, it seems, not only for the Tailors' giant to take the municipal route, but for the newly chartered corporation to appropriate the cathedral's ancient status. (49)


(1) Sheila Lindenbaum, 'Ceremony and Oligarchy: The London Midsummer Watch', City and Spectacle in Medieval Europe, Barbara A. Hanawalt and Kathryn L. Reyerson (eds) (Minneapolis, MN, 1994), 177-9, points out that money spent on London's civic ceremony sprang from the 'need to euphemize the rulers' material advantages'-watches in particular provided means of symbolically representing the rulers' institutional perpetuity.

(2) Barbara A. Hanawalt, 'Keepers of the Lights: Late Medieval Parish Guilds', Journal of Medieval and Renaissance Studies 14 (1984), 25-6; wives, widows, and single women formed a large if not equal proportion of the membership in religious guilds; the burden of fees and dues barred entry to the poor. J.J. Scarisbrick, Reformation and the English People (Oxford, 1984), 25 and 34-5, comments on the theoretical possibility of women holding office, as well as on evidence for an overall decline in membership from the 1530s.

(3) For more on parish life in medieval and early modern England, see Beat A. Kumin, The Shaping of a Community: The Rise and Reformation of the English Parish c 1400-1560 (Brookfield, VT, 1996); Katherin L. French, Gary G. Gibbs, and Beat A. Kumin (eds), The Parish in English Life, 1400-1600 (Manchester, 1997); and Katherine L. French, The People of the Parish: Community Life in a Late Medieval English Diocese (Philadelphia, 2001).

(4) Material relevant to this discussion is in the Wiltshire Record Office [WRO], including the common council's early ledger or act books, G23/1-2 (1387-1564), and Tailors' guild books, G23/1/250-253 (1444-1631) - the Tailors are the only Salisbury guild with records for the period under discussion. Churchwardens' accounts for St Edmund's, WRO: 1901/66-71 (1443-1570), with Ancient Account and Memoranda Book, 1901/65 (1473-1630), and records for St Thomas's, 1900/78 and 1900/68-76 (1546-1600), are transcribed in Henry J.F. Swayne (ed), Churchwardens' Accounts of S Edmund and S Thomas, Sarum 1448-1702 (Salisbury, 1896); St Martin's accounts, WRO: 1899/65, are extant only from c 1567. Other sources are described below.

(5) See Jennifer Kermode, 'The Great Towns 1300-1540', The Cambridge Urban History of Britain, vol 1: 600-1540, D.M. Palliser (ed) (Cambridge, 2000), 442, Table 18.1, for the area of the city. For equivalence of parish and ward, and patterns of craft activity and parish affiliation, see note 13 below. Ian Archer, The Pursuit of Stability: Social Relations in Elizabethan London (Cambridge, 1991), 83; no correlation exists between London's parish and ward boundaries, but especially in view of the parishes' reasonably small size, there is a strong case 'for asserting the primary importance of ties to the parish in the local context'.

(6) Occasional references at St Edmund's 1461 -1501, in gifts, legacies, and payments, reveal twenty-one different occupations; payments for pews from 1456-7 and at St Thomas's from 1545 are from a similarly diverse group (Swayne, Churchwardens'Accounts,8-52; 359 and 273).

(7) W.R. Jones and W.D. Macray (eds), Charters and Documents Illustrating the History of the Cathedral, City, and Diocese of Salisbury, Rolls Series 97 (London, 1981), 158; WRO: Wills, Subdean I, 44.

(8) Of 100 towns assessed to the 1524-5 tax subsidy, Salisbury ranks eighth by taxpaying population, and seventh by taxable wealth (Alan Dyer, 'Appendix: Ranking Lists of English Medieval Towns', The Cambridge Urban History of Britain, 1.761 and 1.765). For urban politics, see David R. Carr, 'The Problem of Urban Patriciates: Office Holders in Fifteenth Century Salisbury', Wiltshire Archaeological and Natural History Magazine 83 (1990), 118-35. Heated disputes in common council seem to have been dealt with promptly - see Charles Haskins, The Ancient Trade Guilds and Companies of Salisbury (Salisbury, 1912), 36 and 41.

(9) See St Edmund's Ancient Account and Memoranda Book, 1499-1500, and churchwardens' accounts, 1518-19, for the 'harness' of the saint's image; see St Thomas's accounts, 1547-8 for removal of the image (Swayne, Churchwardens' Accounts, 51 and 64; 275). A wide range of evidence for the confraternity is reviewed in Haskins, The Ancient Trade Guilds and Companies,26-47.

(10) David H. Sachs, 'Celebrating Authority in Bristol', Urban Life in the Renaissance, Susan Zimmerman and Ronald F.E. Weissman (eds) (Newark, 1989), 190-5, examines ways in which the newly elected mayor's social importance and the city's wealth and status were highlighted as he entered office 'to the honour, laude, and preysing of all Bristol' (191).

(11) Christopher Wordsworth, Ceremonies and Processions of the Cathedral Church of Salisbury (Cambridge, 1901), 172-4 and 121, for a manuscript text with variants; see also W.H.R. Jones, Vetus Registrum Sarisberiensis, Rolls Series 78, vol 2 (London, 1884), 141. Terence Bailey, The Processions of Sarum and the Western Church (Toronto, 1971), 25-6, seems to suggest that perambulation took place within the city and that specific exits from the Close, were intended, including a western gate--non-existent in Salisbury since the Close on that side is bounded by the river Avon.

(12) Payments for processions at St Edmund's are sometimes scattered through an account or summarized in one entry, eg, WRO: 1901/68 (1511-12), mb 2, under Necessary Costs, 10 1/2d is paid for bread and ale for men ringing bells and boys bearing banners in time of procession, on days of Rogation, Ascension, and Corpus Christi; see Wordsworth, Ceremonies, 121, for the observation at each parish church, including invocation of its dedication saint. St Edmund's gave 6d to banner-bearers and those who rang bells at the coming of St Thomas's Rogation procession in 1482, and bestowed ale on its own banner-bearers at St Martin's in 1518 (Swayne, Churchwardens'Accounts,29 and 64). How these processions were timed is an unresolved problem. St Thomas's procession came to St Edmund's in 1482 on the Monday of Rogation week ('secunda feria in Septimana Rogacionum'), the only recorded reference to a particular day.

(13) No evidence exists for Rogation processions in post-Reformation Salisbury but their crucial relevance to the collection of parish levies ensured their survival in London (Archer, Pursuit of Stability, 87). 'Although no very clearly defined segregation of crafts to special quarters of [Salisbury] has been detected', concentration is discernible--eg, in St Thomas's parish (New St Ward): carters, skinners, tailors, sadlers, and curriers, with fishers, butchers, smiths, ironmongers, and cordwainers in the marketplace near St Thomas; St Edmund's parish (Market Ward): dyers. St Martin's parish (Martin's Ward and Mead's Ward): largest number of weavers and tuckers, tanners, prostitutes, and bellfounders (R.B. Pugh [ed], The Victoria History of the County of Wiltshire [VCH: Wiltshire], vol 6, The Victoria History of the Counties of England [London, 1962], 82, 133, 86, 70, and 79-80). Offerings on craft festivals were not necessarily made in the work-related parish, nor was the pattern immutable: smiths or smiths' journeymen, butchers and fishers, who offered at St Thomas in the early sixteenth century (WRO: 1900/98, [1], 1523-4, and [4], 1532 -3, two oblation books), worked in the marketplace nearby; but ironmongers, also there, made offerings at St Edmund's (Swayne, Churchwardens' Accounts, xv); here the weavers, based in St Martin's parish, had their chantry. Bakers offered at St Edmund's, as did shoemakers (Swayne, Churchwardens' Accounts, xv); but at other times both offered at St Thomas's (WRO: 1900/98, [1] and [4]); cooks are associated in 1440 with barber surgeons, whose fraternity light was at St Thomas's in 1458, but they also offer with bakers at St Edmund's(VCH: Wiltshire, 6.135; 6.135 n50). At St Edmund's also, offerings from joiners and parchmentmakers (Swayne, Churchwardens' Accounts, xv); at St Thomas's, 1532-3, chandlers (WRO: 1900/98, [4]).

(14) Evidence for the dancing day is summarized in Audrey Douglas, '"Owre Thanssynge Day": Parish Dance and Procession in Salisbury', Folk Music Journal 6.5 (1994), 600-16, reprinted in English Parish Drama, Alexandra F. Johnston and Wim Husken (eds), Ludus 1 (Amsterdam and Atlanta, 1996), 41-63.

(15) The churchwardens' account for 1474-5 (English version), found in Swayne, Churchwardens' Accounts,18-20, offers standard headings: Gaderyng of Money (on Good Friday and Easter Day for Fabric, and for Font Taper at Easter), here tallied with the value of church stock; Gifts and By Quests (including payment for one pew, indulgence oblations at Michaelmas, and money for butchers' stalls outside the cemetery); Burials and Forthfares (tolling of bell at time of death); Sale of Diverse Goods (marble stones, pots and pans, pewter, remains of a brass bell); Scotales with Gifts to Great Bell. Expenses were summarized under The Maundy (chiefly payments for ale), Wax (including candle-making), Expenses Necessary (a variety of items, mainly for the upkeep of the fabric and the liturgy), and Rewards (banner-bearers, various writing tasks, and repairs); a special heading refers to Costs of the Great Bell, and there is a short note of (unexplained) costs of a legal suit. See Ancient Account and Memoranda Book, WRO: 1901/65, 24-67, for churchwardens' accounts, 1475-6 to 1484-5.

(16) Clive Burgess and Beat Kumin, 'Penitential Bequests and Parish Regimes in Late Medieval England', Journal of Ecclesiastical History 44 (1993), 618-19; London and Bristol (a provincial capital) benefited from the dead.

(17) St Edmund's held ales in 1461, which accounted for approximately 59% of total receipts; in 1469, which accounted for 66% of total receipts; in 1474, 23%; in 1490, 57%; and in 1497, 66% (Swayne, Churchwardens'Accounts,8; 12; 19; 36-7; 47). The 1469 tally includes the last entry for ales under Collecio Denar', which records 58s 4d received from William Glover and William White's wife 'for a king ale held in the week of the Nativity of St John the Baptist' (incomplete in Swayne, supplied from WRO: 1901/66/5). According to the list of Necessary Costs for 1474-5, nails were bought for the scotale house (Swayne, Churchwardens' Accounts, 19).

(18) For percentage calculation, surpluses carried over each year have been deducted from total receipts - estimates are based on income raised each year directly from the parish; surplus totals used in later calculations are taken from Ancient Account and Memoranda Book, WRO: 1901/65, 119-44 (1554-1600), a record of determination of churchwardens' accounts, and transfer of stock to incoming wardens. Difficulties in Swayne's dates for some Hock material make it advisable to cite from the manuscript record. Ranges of documents relating to Hock activities include WRO: 1901/67/6; 1901/68/3; 1901/65, 75-80; 1901/68/5-8;and 1901/69/3, 6-9,11-12 (14 years in the period 1490-1541); WRO: 1901/69/14-15; 1901/70/8-9 (4 years, 1542-58); WRO: 1901/71/3, 5, 6, 8, 10; 1901/72/1-4, 6; and 1901/73/1-2 (12 years, 1560-81).

(19) Benjamin R. McRee links the progress of urban unity to the disappearance of religious guilds, since their ceremonies were designed not to draw local communities together, but to establish themselves within the local hierarchy ('Unity or Division: The Social Meaning of Guild Ceremony in Urban Communities', City and Spectacle, 189-207). Aspects of fund-raising are detailed in A. Douglas, 'Salisbury Women and the Pre-Elizabethan Parish', in Women, Marriage, and Family in Medieval Christendom: Essays in Memory of MichaelM. Sheehan, Constance Rousseau and Joel T. Rosenthal (eds) (Kalamazoo, MI, 1998), 109-16.

(20) Collections for the Font Taper (from 1550 the Hawpence), originally made on three days in Easter week, are combined with the Deacon's Wages 1549-52 (Swayne, Churchwardens' Accounts, 276-8). The Font Taper collection is restored as a separate gathering in 1557-8, Mary's reign (279). Offerings and Tithes at Easter are recorded in 1551 -2, but not again until accounts for 1560-2 (278; 281-2). From 1567-8, the year of the next extant account (282), the Easter Book continues as a title in churchwardens' accounts. Thirteen identifiable Easter books are extant 1574-1602, some bundled together (WRO: 1900/43-51, 53-4).

(21) WRO: 1900/98, [3], headed 'liber quadragesimalis dni' Iohannis Clarke anno dni' mcxxxij' (ie, Lent 1533, modern chronology); details are discussed in Douglas, 'Salisbury Women',81-93. The parish population is normally reckoned at between 1,500 and 2,000 persons including children.

(22) WRO: 1900/43, [1], 1598-9, containing approximately 1,087 names, records husbands and wives, widows, single women, male and female servants, and occasional extended-family members present in the household (son, daughter, husband's mother/brother); the heading states that the assessment was made in 1598 and collection carried out by churchwardens over the following fiscal year.

(23) The first record in churchwardens' accounts of 'Offerings and Tithes at Easter', in 1551 -2, represents just over one-third of total receipts (Swayne, Churchwardens' Accounts, 278); by 1600-1, however, the Easter Book is bringing in almost one-half of total receipts (302). St Thomas's Holy Cake Money, described confusingly under this title in 1567-8 as a collection 'instede of holy cake monie' (282), remains thereafter at 2 [pounds sterling] 3s 4d, with a few minor variations. This income, now for Bread and Wine, represents an increase over previous customary offerings for Holy Cake; again it was collected on the territorial basis established for Easter collections, but from only about 100 persons (male or female heads of households); entries were recorded in books, two of which are extant (WRO: 1900/77, for 1594, and 1900/79, for 1599).

(24) See Swayne, Churchwardens 'Accounts, 123, account for 1576-7, and see WRO: 1901/65, Ancient Account and Memoranda Book, 129, for corroboration of Swayne's date.

(25) Revenue described above achieves definition in the 1589-90 account (Swayne, Churchwardens' Accounts, 137)--although recently reordered, some of St Edmund's accounts in the WRO (and in Swayne) are still fragmentary and/or imperfectly dated, especially for the Elizabethan years.

(26) See Swayne, Churchwardens' Accounts, 134, for St Edmund's account, 1586-7.

(27) For surplus totals in this period, see note 18 above.

(28) Ronald Hutton, The Rise and Fall of Merry England: The Ritual Year 1400-1700 (Oxford, 1994), 111-52, reviewing evidence for the decline in customary activity, concludes that it stemmed not from the bureacratization of church finances but from protestant ideology and fear of disorder, both reinforced by economic pressures.

(29) No statistics on absenteeism exist for Salisbury parishes; but see Martin Ingram, Church Courts, Sex, and Marriage in England 1570-1640 (Cambridge, 1987), 68, table 2b--of 686 presentments made at the bishop of Salisbury's diocesan visitation in 1585 about 25% were related to absence from church (excluding recusants). For growth of pews, see pages 79-80, above, and n36, below.

(30) Churching was an especially festive local-community occasion for women--the post-Reformation liturgical emphasis was on thanksgiving rather than purification or ritual cleansing; an estimated 75-93% of Salisbury women were churched c 1600 (David Cressy, 'Purification, Thanksgiving and the Churching of Women in Post-Reformation England', Past and Present 41 [1993], 114, 119, and 125, citing S.J. Wright, 'Family Life and Society in Sixteenth and Early Seventeenth Century Salisbury', PhD thesis (University of Leicester, 1982), 156 and 333-5.

(31) The ecclesiastical parish is greatly changed with the developing notion of the civil parish in attendant national policy, notably in the administration of poor law: see Paul Slack, Poverty and Policy in Tudor and Stuart England (London, 1988), 113-37, for the sixteenth-century parish's gradual assumption of responsibility for relief, provision of work, and apprenticeship schemes; and also his 'Politics and Poverty in Salisbury 1597-1666', Crisis and Order in English Towns 1500-1700: Essays in Urban History, Peter Clark and Paul Slack (eds) (Toronto, 1972), 64-203. See also Archer, PursuitofStability,93-8, who broadly argues for a move in London parishes from 'communitarian sentiments' (resulting from activity shared by people of different social status) to 'vertical relationships', or patronage ties, which developed between rich and poor as select vestries were formed and office-holding was restricted to the influential or well-off; this group, through its administration of poor relief, exercised social control over those perceived as undeserving or disorderly.

(32) Nick Aldridge, 'Loyalty and Identity in Chester Parishes 1540-1640', Parish, Church and People, S.J. Wright (ed) (London, 1988), 92-3. For St Thomas's, Salisbury, see page 77 and n21, above.

(33) John Bossy, 'The Mass as a Social Institution', Past and Present l00 (1983), 29-61.

(34) See Douglas, 'Salisbury Women', 87, for table showing 'Representation of Fifty-Four Communicant Households by Gender and Social Category'. See also D.M. Palliser, 'Introduction: The Parish in Perspective', Parish, Church, and People, 21.

(35) Bossy, 'The Mass',34-5, equates the decline of the mass as a community celebration with late medieval stress on individual spirituality, 'low' communion, and the introduction of the pax, together with a shift to other secular rituals, related to monarchy and the larger local community, aimed at social wholeness and integration.

(36) See Douglas, 'Salisbury Women', 117 and n53, citing WRO: 1900/92 (1608), St Thomas's, Pew Book, 1 -24, a diagrammatic representation of pews with names of current and past holders, and WRO: 1900/74 (1594-1673), St Thomas, Vestry Minute Book, ff 1r-9v (1594-1615), which records names of those attending vestry meetings. Approximately 300 people could be seated in the church. A different quality of wine was served to the better class of communicants at St Thomas's (Swayne, Churchwardens' Accounts, xxxviii-xxxix). Note also a developing household emphasis in Tailors' ordinances, where annual payments for the dinner in 1561 refer to member and wife (WRO: G2311/251, f 147v), but go on to include children in 1589 (WRO: G23/1/252, f 75r) and servants in 1602-3 (WRO: G23/1/253, f 39v).

(37) David Cressy, 'The Protestant Calendar and the Vocabulary of Celebration in Early Modern England', Journal of British Studies 29 (1990), 32--under Elizabeth and James I 'the calendar served as a unifying force, binding the nation to the ruling dynasty and securing it through an inspiring providential interpretation of English history'. See Bailey, Processions, 26, for the reception of an important visitor.

(38) At St Thomas's the 1573-4 account describes the removal of old gravestones, with rearrangement of the mayor's and the masters' pews; the Queen's arms had been installed in 1572-3 (Swayne, Churchwardens' Accounts, 288; 287) perhaps both operations were undertaken in view of her impending visit in 1574. See C. Pamela Graves, 'Social Space in the English Medieval Parish Church', Economy and Society 18 (1989), 297-332, for secular claims (eg, through chantries) on liturgical space. Special fabric for furnishing the mayor's pew is bought at St Thomas's in 1586-7 by express order of the mayor, Thomas Eyre, a vestry member and auditor of the account; and at St Edmund's pews of mayor and mayoress are mended in 1599-1602 (Swayne, Churchwardens' Accounts, 296; 148-9). The phasing in of municipal symbols and pews over the next century is indicated in Swayne, Churchwardens' Accounts, xxii-xxiii.

(39) Salisbury men were summoned, eg, for the defense of Southampton, probably on the outbreak ofriots there (WRO: G23/1/1, f 28r, 1456-7)--see E.F. Jacob, The Fifteenth Century: 1399-1485 (Oxford, 1961), 35; for the king's safety (WRO: G23/1/2, ff 43v-45r, 1460-1); and for Edward IV's French expedition (f 121a, 1474-5).

(40) Colin Richmond has identified seventy persons for the period 1459-61 who may be deemed members of the nobility ('The Nobility and the Wars of the Roses', Nottingham Medieval Studies 21 [1977], 73-7). Using this figure, with some adjustment, I estimate that minstrels linked to one-third of the English nobility visited Salisbury between 1439 and 1456. The king's and the chancellor's minstrels visited regularly at certain periods of the fifteenth century. Most minstrel patrons were high-ranking and/or possessed royal office. Mapping of locations at which royal or chancery documents were dated (indicative of royal or bureaucratic activity) shows that all were within striking distance of Salisbury, especially via Reading and the Thames valley. I examined these points more fully in 'Minstrels and Roses: Politics and Patronage in Fifteenth-century Salisbury', a paper given at the Leeds International Medieval Congress in 1995. See Wordsworth, Ceremonies,23-30, for the bede roll; names of minstrel patrons include William Fitz Alan, earl of Arundel, d. 1487; John Talbot, earl of Shrewsbury, d. 1453; Henry, bishop of Winchester, Cardinal Beaufort, d. 1447; Walter, Lord Hungerford, d. 1449; and his successor, Robert, d. 1459.

(41) See WRO: G23/1/1, f 107, and G23/1/2, f 72v; WRO: G23/1/2, ff 53v, 80, 268v; the mayor's oath before Richard III is cited in Haskins, Ancient Trade Guilds, 88.

(42) See WRO: G23/1/38, miscellaneous mayoralty correspondence, letter dated 18 May 1610. On departing, the prince promised 'to do vs what good he could w{i}th this that we had obliged him thervnto by acceptance of our gifte'. The reception of visiting dignitaries and their advancement in turn of municipal interests at court are discussed by Lorraine Attreed, 'The Politics of Welcome', City and Spectacle, 208-31. In the Brunswick prince's case, a fruitful triangular relationship was set up: the city welcomed the prince at the king's express bidding; the prince, in turn, agreed to carry civic leaders' lobby to the king; the king was obligated towards the city for its reception of his wife's nephew.

(43) See WRO: G23/1/1, f 119v (11 March 1440) for the city's first midsummer watch summons, consequent on a commission of array, 8 March 1440, addressed to the mayor and citizens 'on certain information that the king's enemies are about to invade the realm' (Calendar of Patent Rolls, Henry VI, vol 3: 1443-41 [London, 1907; reprt. Nendeln, Liechtenstein, 1971], 409).

(44) See WRO: G23/1/2, f 139v, 22 March 1481, and f 210r, 19 March 1503, for the order of the watches. It may be no coincidence that the 1474-5 churchwardens' account for St Edmund's, where the mayoral elections took place, mentions parchment bought for the writing of St Osmund's story (Swayne, Churchwardens' Accounts, xxxvi, 19); an inventory entered in the Ancient Account and Memoranda Book at about the same time (?1476) itemizes the saint's shirt, comb, ring and cruet [of blood] (WRO: 1901/65,14).

(45) According to WRO: G23/1/2, f 115v, 10 June 1474, 'q{uo}d vigilie h{ab}eant{ur} in hac estate p{ro} salubr{o} saluac{i}o{n}e d{ic}te Ciuitat{is}'; and f 277r, 9 June 1534, advises 'that e{uer}y occupacion do there best then to bryng for the as many harnes men as they conuenyently maye to thonor of this citie'.

(46) British Library, Ms Har1283, f 146v (7 June 1537); since St Osmund's day itself was lost, the mayor questioned whether 'it shalbe mete to haue the said watche to be kepte & vsyd or nott'. How, or if, this was ever answered is not known, but in fact the watch was not abandoned unti11545, and then by a discreet decision of the common council 'for certain reasons' (WRO: G23/1/2, f 299v [10 July 1545]). The context of the abrogation of saints' days is discussed in Eamon Duffy, The Stripping of the Altars (New Haven, CT, 1992), 394-5.

(47) For the changing nature of the Tailor's guild, see Audrey Douglas, 'Midsummer in Salisbury: The Tailors' Guild and Confraternity 1444-1642', Renaissance and Reformation 25.1 (1989), 35-51.

(48) Mervyn James, 'Ritual, Drama and Social Body in the Late Medieval Town', Past and Present 98 (1983), 3-29. In York, Chester, and Coventry, the Corpus Christi procession and play cycle promoted the wholeness of society: the procession acknowledging differentiation among urban groups but providing for their symbolic integration; the play cycle creating a sphere of equality within which informal mechanisms allowed tensions and rivalries to be resolved.

(49) WRO: G23/1/38.
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