The parish churches, cathedral, and corporation of Salisbury: continuity and change c.1480-c.1650

Wadsworth, Sally Patricia ORCID: 0000-0002-1043-9987 (2021). The parish churches, cathedral, and corporation of Salisbury: continuity and change c.1480-c.1650. University of Birmingham. Ph.D.

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An analysis of the accounts of the churches of Salisbury, in conjunction with the ledgers of the civic authority, provides evidence of change and continuity in the worship of the citizens and the social role of religion for a single city in the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries. This occurred during a period when the jurisdiction and control of the bishop was reduced from the whole city to just the cathedral and its surrounding close. At the same time, the civic authorities became more involved in the business of the church, and by the time of the Civil War it was employing lecturers and providing housing for the ministers of the city churches.

Individual chapters explore lay devotion in the form of the trade guilds, and the cults of St Osmund and the Holy Name; illumination including the provision of window glass and the use of artificial illumination in which tallow became more commonly used; the interior and exterior soundscape of bells, organs and other music, and an examination of the Caroline church through the trial of the iconoclast Henry Sherfield. Both change and continuity in all of these aspects can be seen during the period of the long Reformation, along with the sensory experiences of the laity, and the construction of artefacts including windows and organs.

This study has revealed some atypical findings in the city of Salisbury: firstly, the continuation of trade guild celebrations during the long Reformation, including church worship and the memorialization of members. Secondly, through experimentation with beeswax and tallow, where evidence is provided that tallow candles may not have produced such a poor light or smoky environment as previously thought. Thirdly, it is shown that church bells continued to be rung in the city, their use evolving over time, as the number of religious services reduced, whilst ringing to announce local and national events increased. Finally, music continued to be sung and played during the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries, with the purchase of replacement organs and their continued maintenance, including the instrument in the church of St Edmund, despite the congregation being known for its puritan tendencies.

Type of Work: Thesis (Doctorates > Ph.D.)
Award Type: Doctorates > Ph.D.
Licence: All rights reserved
College/Faculty: Colleges (2008 onwards) > College of Arts & Law
School or Department: School of Languages, Cultures, Art History and Music, Department of Music
Funders: None/not applicable
Subjects: B Philosophy. Psychology. Religion > BR Christianity
D History General and Old World > DA Great Britain
M Music and Books on Music > M Music


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