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John Chandler was appointed Dean of Salisbury Cathedral in 1404, a post he held until 1417 when he was elected Bishop of Salisbury.

During this time he presided over the cathedral chapter, and presided over a large number of places across the south of the country, including Bedwyn and Ramsbury in Wiltshire, and the chapels of Hungerford and Wantage in Berkshire, which formed part of the large prebend of Ogbourne.

During his time as Dean, John Chandler kept a detailed Register - his official record of the legal business transacted by him personally or by deputy. Much of the Register relates to his personal visitations to prebendal parishes, and the subsequent legal proceedings. There are also detailed inventories of ornaments, books and vestments of churches and chapels visited.

The Register, edited by T C B Timmins, was published by the Wiltshire Records Society, Devizes, in 1984. The Introduction to the transcript of his Register is available by the following link: Register of John Chandler, Dean of Salisbury 1404-17, Introduction.

Visitation had become am important means of spiritual supervision in England during the 13th century. At first, visitations possessed a general, somewhat ill-defined pastoral function: while visitors may have preached sermons, they were chiefly concerned to inspect the fabric of the churches and to see that there were sufficient books and ornaments.

By the middle of the century, however, the lives and conduct of the clergy, and later the morals of the laity, had been brought under the scrutiny of visitors.

In due course, visitors enlarged their functions and took to suspending during the visitation all other courts with the jurisdiction, and absorbing their business. Visitation had become a means of ensuring not only that churches were maintained and properly equipped, but also that 'delinquents' might 'be recovered from their sin and the proficient encouraged in good work.'

There were frequent complaints about the clergy, most notably sexual incontinence, adultery, and even rape. Other offenses included saying the Mass too slowly or too rapidly, failure to preach, habitual drunkenness, illegal charging for weddings, and neglect of the dying.

Amongst the copious records are many referring to Hungerford. Abstracts of these can be found in Register of John Chandler, Hungerford abstracts. They include:

(83) 22 Sept. 1405. Hungerforde. Dean shall visit Hungerforde and Shaldeburne chapels in Hungerforde chapel. Abbot of Bekharlewyn, R. Robert Nappere, V., promised obedience. John Franke, warden of St. John's House, did not come; contumacious, penalty reserved. William Broun, cantarist, promised obedience etc. William Coleyng, chapl., did not come; contumacious, penalty reserved. John Botiller, chapl. of Southstaunden, offered obedience etc. John Franke, R. of Northstaunden, did not come; contumacious, penalty reserved. Prior of St. Frideswide, Oxford, did not come for his portion at Hydden; contumacious, penalty reserved; John Lenton showed letters of proxy. William, the clerk, offered obedience. John Demiton, Henry Denys, William Mathew, William Parker, Walter Pynell, Hugh Dyer, William Webbe, John Dighton, Thomas Warnwell, Robert Fisshere, Thomas Webbe, Robert Smyth, parishioners, say that ch. is dedicated to St. Laurence. Parishioners should receive all sacraments and sacramentals there. Rectory is endowed with tithes of grain, except in gardens and tofts where they belong to V., 2 carucates, 22 a. meadow, 14 a. wood, 6 tenants at Sandon [paying] 36s. a year, and 9 cottagers paying 40s. a year. There is a hall with a room, a granary, stable, barn, and hay-house. Vic. is endowed with tithes of wool, lambs, hay, all other lesser tithes except tithe of rectory meadow, and altar offerings. V. should receive tithe from Stokmede meadow. Prior of St. Frideswyde pays R. 40s. a year. High altar in chapel of St. John's House is dedicated to St. John Baptist. Warden should receive the poor leaving and living in town in time of need. Duke of Lankastre appoints warden who shall say Mass there 3 times a week. House has a carucate of glebe, 2 a. of meadow, 6 cottagers paying 40s. a year, and offerings made on 24 June.

(84) Northstaunden. Duke of Lankastre is patron of free chapel whose high altar is dedicated to St. Michael. Chapel is endowed with 16 a. land, 2 a. wood, a rood and virgate of meadow, separate pastures for 60 sheep on the lordship and 60 sheep on the common with tenants' sheep. R. should receive all hay tithe from lord's meadows and half tithe of wool, lambs, etc.; V. of Hungerforde receives the other half. Tenants within jurisdiction (curia) should receive all sacraments in chapel. Burial is at Hungerforde. Other inhabitants should receive all sacraments and burial at Hungerforde.

(85) Southstaunden. Chapel's high altar is dedicated to St. Faith. Inhabitants should receive all sacraments in chapel. Burial is at Hungerforde. It is a free chapel whose patron is abbot of Dereforde. It has 2 a. glebe, 7s. rent at Riser by Shaldeburn, and a third of tithes within jurisdiction (curia). R. shall say Mass on Sun.

(86) [Hungerford. ] Through R.'s fault chancel roof, celure, and door are defective, a portas and a set of weekday vestments are lacking, and every part of rectory is ruinous except granary and barn. Nave roof is defective through fault of parish; William Ferrour and William Parkere ordered by commissary in Hungerforde ch. on 3 Feb. 1406 to repair it before Whitsun day on (pain) of 20s. William Pyke left 7m. for a chapl. to say Mass for his soul for a year in ch. and residue of his goods to ch. fabric and Henry Amyce and Philip Pyke, executors, refused to pay; they denied it on 3 Feb.; have 16 April 1406 to show his will in cath. Chyard enclosure is defective through fault of John Trycere and Walter Pynell; ordered on 3 Feb. 1406 to repair it before Easter on (pain) of 20s. Will of William Kyng proved; admin, granted to Christine, his wife, and Robert Touke, executors, being sworn; later accounted; dismissed.

(88) [Hungerford]. Juliana Fareman assaulted Alice Saucer in ch. on 8 Sept. 1405; confessed before commissary on 3 Feb. 1406; has 19 Feb. in cath. to do penance; did not come; contumacious; excomd. William Ferrour smashed Juliana Fareman's pew (cathedram); asserted on 3 Feb. 1406 that it was fixed to ground and obstructed entrance and was removed with consent of V. and parishioners but not by him; purged same day. Juliana Farman snatched a mandate directing V. to solemnize matrimony between William Ropere and Alice Saucer from M. William Hildeslee, official of Hungerford, and tore it up; confessed on 3 Feb.; has 19 Feb. as above in cath. to do penance; did not come; excomd. Sir William Goldyng for fornication with Joan Tryppes by whom he begot a child; Joan denied it on 3 Feb.; purged with court's indulgence; dismissed. Same man for adultery with Joan Symmes; John Boteler, chapl., paid a fine for her on 3 Feb. Same man for adultery with Margaret Domiton; she denied it on 3 Feb.; purged with court's indulgence; dismissed. William Ferrour, Roger Bocher, John Redhede, William Parkere, William Ropere, John Dyghton, and William Peye ejected certain robbers from chyard who were holding ch. door-ring seeking sanctuary (humanitatem dicte ecclesie petentes) and delivered them to secular arm to detriment of ch. liberties; Ferrour, Redhede, Parkere, and Ropere denied it on 3 Feb.; each has 19 Feb. as above in cath. to purge with 12 hands; Ferrour, Redhede, and Bochere purged. John Smyth for adultery with Joan, Simon Dyere's wife; denied it on 3 Feb.; purged with court's indulgence. Same man for adultery with Juliana Farman, Agnes, John Dyghton's former servant, Emma, his servant, Agnes, William Frensman's wife, and Magota, William Hoppegras' servant; denied it on 3 Feb.; purged with court's indulgence. William Ferrour for adultery with Maud, his former servant, and Alice and Maud, his servants; denied it in cath. on 20 March 1406; purged with court's indulgence; dismissed. William Whytyate kept 320 sheep in parish and refused wool tithes for last 2 years; on 4 Feb. 1406 in Hungerforde ch. confessed that he kept 200 sheep there in the first year and 260 in second and refused V. tithe but was obliged to do so by written bond for £100 with prior of St. Frydeswide, Oxford; commissary assigned him 19 Feb. as above in cath. to show why he ought not to pay tithe; did not come; excomd.; submits on 10 April 1406 in cath.; to be beaten thrice through ch. for contumacy; on 23 April in cath. John Lenton, prior's proctor, paid a fine for William's contumacy; on 24 Sept. 1406, at promotion of V., William was called for 22 Oct. to show why he should not pay tithe; V. appeared by Richard Willesden; William did not come; contumacious, penalty reserved.

(183) Hungerforde. A silver chalice, gilt inside, with crucifix at base with hand on paten; another gilt cross [recte chalice] with a cross at base and hand on paten; 3 corporals with their burses; 2 missals; 2 antiphonaries; a portas; 3 graduals; a troper; a manual; an ordinal; a martyrology; a bright blue gold silk cloth with golden roses; a set of bright blue vestments powdered with crescents (cressauntis); a bright blue striped set with albs but no cope; a green ferial set; an ivory pyx; 3 altar-cloths with frontlets. Relics: a tooth of St. Laurence; hair (crines) of St. Mary; St. Thomas of Canterbury's chasuble; a bone of St. Laurence; a silver box (pixis) containing a stone from Our Lord's Tomb; 4 latten crosses; 2 latten candlesticks; 2 tin cruets (fiole); a handbell; 2 surplices in poor condition.

(184) Hungerforde. Holy Trinity Chantry. A silver-gilt chalice; a missal; a portas; a whole set of bright blue vestments; a black set; 3 altar-cloths; 2 cruets (fiole); a surplice.

(185) Hungerforde. St. Mary's chantry. A silver chalice, gilt inside; a missal; a set of red vestments powdered with golden birds, in poor condition.

(247) 24 April 1409. Hungerforde. Dean visited ch. Abbot of Beckharlewynne, R. Robert Nappere, V., did not come; excused because on ch. business. William Broune, Holy Trinity cantarist, came and was excused etc. John Botelere, St. Mary's cantarist, promised obedience etc. John Trumpelynne, chapl. of North Staunde, cited; did not come; suspended. William Ferrour, John Dyghton, William Parkere, John Smyth, Hugh Dyere, Roger Bouchere, John Dyere, Thomas Knolle, parishioners, say that William Whytyat, St. Frydeswyche's prior's farmer at Hydden, refuses V. tithe of lambs and wool from 250 sheep for last 3 years; cited for 9 July 1409 at Hungerforde ch.; did not come; suspended. Margery Coterell and Juliana Farman took a chalice, a missal, a set of vestments, 3 altar-cloths, a superaltar, 16 sheep, and 10m. from St. Katherine's light; cited for 9 July; did not come; both suspended.' William Goldyng withholds a missal belonging to the light. Juliana Farman assaulted William Pye, chapl. Juliana Farman and Margery Coterell have not attended ch. for 5 years. They ate flesh on Easter Day and did not receive the Eucharist. William Ropere commits adultery with Agnes Coterell; cited; did not come; suspended. Chyard enclosure is defective by vie. through fault of 'Longe Stephene' and Adam Coupere of North Staunden; cited; neither came; both suspended, [f. 105v.] Chancel roof is defective through R. 's fault. Chyard enclosure is defective through fault of parish. Magota Coterell has not attended ch. for 7 years. Nave roof is defective through fault of parish; official assigned 24 May 1409 in cath. for chwdns to show why penalties previously imposed should not be exacted and ordered them to repair it in a year on pain of 100s. William Frerour [sic] appointed John Warham his proctor. Robert Whytyat previously suspended for adultery with Marion Holte. Roof of St. John Baptist's chapel is defective through fault of Sir John Orum, prior. William Knolle allowed John Clitere and Edith, his wife's sister, to come to his house to have intercourse; confessed on 9 July; to be beaten thrice through ch. John Snowe for adultery with one Denise; did not come; suspended. William Barbour for fornication with one Margaret; both confessed on 9 July; both to be beaten thrice through ch.; he paid a fine for both of them; both dismissed. John Blachye for adultery with Alice Goldyng; he paid a fine for both of them; both dismissed. Joan Hykkes is a scold; did not come; suspended. Sir John Trumpelyn says Mass twice a day and fornicates with Margaret Osteler; paid a fine on 9 July; dismissed. John Sadeler, defamed of stealing 2 bushels of corn from Edith Langebrygg, purged. John Smyth for adultery with Margaret Esteler; denied it on 9 July; purged. Robert Wylsche for adultery with one Alice whom he married to a man who is still alive; denied it on 9 July; purged. Sir John Trumpelynne for adultery with John Marche's wife and he is godfather to their child. John Marche for adultery with Margaret Ostelere. John Trumpelyn for adultery with wife of Philip Smyth who is abroad.

(377) 20 July 1412. Hungerford. Dean visited ch. Abbot of Bekharlewynne, P. Robert Nappere, V., showed nothing. Richard Harold, cantarist, promised obedience and showed letters of inst. and ind.; has 19 Nov. 1412 to show letters of ord. and submit copies. John Boteler, chapl., came and was excused etc. William Hoppegras, William Ferrour, Henry Goldsmyth, John Smyth, John Dyghton, junior, John Hildeslee, William Mathewe, William Cherleford, parishioners. Alice Saucer came on 20 July 1412 defamed of fornication with William Goldyng, chapl. and purged and abjured on pain of 100s. Goldyng came same day similarly defamed and purged. M. John Orum, prior of St. John's House, did not attend visitation; dean sequestrated revenues. St. John's chapel is ruinous through fault of prior; V., his proctor, came in Hungerford ch. before commissary on 19 Nov.; to mend it before Mich, on pain of 40s. V. put his wood in chyard to detriment of parishioners going to ch. John Hondles or Wyche died without sacraments through V.'s fault; V. denied it on 19 Nov.; has 23 Dec. 1412 in cath. to purge with 8 hands; purged. V. farms St. John's chapel which has no services through his fault. Sir John Trumpelyne was indicted at V.'s request for stealing a horse. Chyard gate and enclosure are defective through fault of inhabitants of Northstaunden, Southstaunden, and V. Sir William Goldyng commits adultery with Agnes, John Buttekyn's wife. V. did not execute dean's official's mandate to cite Henry Tricere at Maurice Homydewe's request in defamation action; submitted to the office on 19 Nov. V. did not execute a mandate directing him to denounce Richard Muleward excomd. at William Goldyng's request in a tithe action. Action for tithe between Sir William Goldyng, plaintiff, and Richard Muleward or Carperenter, defendant; plaintiff appeared personally on 20 July; defendant did not come; suspended. John Blachie for fornication with Margaret Thele; denied it at Hungerforde ch. on 20 [recte 19] Nov.; purged with court's indulgence.

(385) 26 Sept. 1404, indiction 13 in 15th year of Boniface IX. Principal consistory of M. John Chaundeler, dean, held in cath. by his official, M. John Shirbourne, B.C.L. Official fixed next consistory for 24 Oct. 1404.
Hungerforde. Matrimonial and divorce action between Cecily Borde, plaintiff, represented by Richard Holte, her proctor, and Hugh Dyere and Alice Broune, defendants, represented by Thomas Rylee, their proctor; day for plaintiff to put positions and articles and bring evidence the third time; plaintiff appeared by Holte, defendants by John Dunham, substituted for Rylee; no articles were offered or witnesses produced; by mutual consent next consistory assigned for this.

(388) 30 April 1406. Dean's cath. consistory. Official fixed next consistory for 28 May 1406.
Hungerforde. Action for refusal of tithe between Robert Nappere, V., plaintiff, represented by Willesden, and John Smyth, Thomas Knolle, and William Clitere, defendants; plaintiff appeared by his proctor; defendants did not come; official pronounced them contumacious and excomd. them.

(463) 13 Feb. 1408. Dean inst. M. John Orum to chapel of Staunden by Hungerforde and chapel or House of St. John Baptist, Hungerforde, pat. king as duke of Lancastre, on resig. of Sir John Frank, last R. Official to induct.

With thanks to Nick Griffiths

Abreviations and Definitions:

a. acre
admin. administration
B.C.L. Bachelor of Civil Law
B.Cn.L. Bachelor of Canon Law
cath. cathedral
ch.(s) church(es)
chapl. chaplain
chyard churchyard
chwdn(s) churchwarden (s)
d. pence
D.C.L. Doctor of Civil Law
excom. excommunication
excomd. excommunicated
I.C.L., I.Cn.L. Inceptor in Civil and
Canon Law
inst. instituted, institution
ind. induction
lb.(s) pound(s)
M. Master (a graduate)
m. mark (13s. 4d.)
Mich. Michaelmas Day (29 Sep)
ord. orders
P. prebendary
pat. patron
preb.(s) prebend(s)
proc. procuration
R. rector
resig. resignation
s. shilling(s)
Sir a knight or non-graduate
St. saint
V. vicar
v. versus
Vc. vicar-choral
vic. vicarage

See also:

- Register of John Chandler, Dean of Salisbury 1404-17, Introduction

- Register of John Chandler, Dean of Salisbury 1404-17, Hungerford abstracts

- Chantries

- Parish Church of St Lawrence