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Durham Cathedral Treasurers Books

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Jurisdiction 1: DiocesanDocument category 1: Cathedral dean and chapter accounts
From region: County DurhamFrom place:
Relevant material from 1597 to 1634
After the death of the first dean (and last prior), Hugh Whitehead, in 1548, Durham had a succession of strongly protestant deans, one of whom, William Whittingham, dean 1563-79, had even spent some years in Geneva and was married to John Calvin’s sister. It is therefore not surprising that most Treasurer’s Books from this period yield no evidence of performance, and the solitary payment to the Earl of Leicester’s players on 28th July 1580 probably reflects the unique privileges enjoyed by that company as a result of its royal patent rather than any appreciation of drama by the dean and chapter (see End Note). But a more relaxed attitude began to appear in the affairs of the cathedral after the arrival of William James (as dean 1596-1606, then as bishop until 1617), for he was famous for the quality of his entertainment. This trend was maintained under Bishop Richard Neile (1617-28) and Dean Richard Hunt (1620-38), when the Cathedral came under increasing Laudian, high-church influence.

The statutes of the Dean and Chapter also required continued annual accounts in roll form, but these continue the trend towards mere formality which is already apparent in the late rolls of the Bursar. Treasurer’s rolls survive between 1547 and 1607 and have all been searched, but they present the finances of the Cathedral in such a summarised form that they contain no material relevant to performance.

These records are offered in a pre-pub format, meaning they have not yet been through the vigorous editorial procedures for full REED publication (which will take place over the next year). Permission to use, share or quote the records must be sought from the REED: Durham editors John McKinnell and Mark Chambers.