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Published online by Cambridge University Press: 10 October 2014
Ever since the laying of the foundation stone of the present Norman building, Durham Cathedral has had an ambiguous relationship with Scotland – some good (the huge contribution of Dean William Whittingham through liturgy, metrical psalms and the Geneva Bible) and some extremely negative (the cathedral served as the prison for the Scottish prisoners after the battle of Dunbar). Amongst the more negative are the liturgical ideals and practices of the Durham House group, more commonly though inaccurately known as ‘Laudians’. The members of the group, which did include William Laud, were the protégés of the bishop of Durham, Richard Neile, and they met in his house in London. He promoted many as prebendaries at Durham Cathedral, and there they developed their liturgical ideals and practices. These ideals were ones which Neile shared with his contemporaries and close friends, Bishops Lancelot Andrewes and John Buckeridge. This article argues that the origin and precedent for these practices were the Chapels Royal with which most of the ‘players’ had affiliation in some way or other. Elizabeth I insisted on liturgical ceremonial and furnishings that supported or matched the grandeur of court ceremonial. It was a style which she hoped would also be adopted in English cathedrals. It was a style of worship which also appealed to James VI and through the Chapels Royal in Scotland he attempted to introduce a similar liturgical style. He also sought to conform the Church of Scotland to the Church of England, both in polity and liturgical text. The policy was continued by Charles I, who attempted to extend it to the Scottish cathedrals. Opponents of this court liturgical style and ‘Englishing’ of the liturgy found it convenient to blame the bishops who were given the task of implementing the liturgical changes rather than attack the source, namely the monarchy. The ultimate outcome was that, rather than the Church of Scotland adopting the 1637 Book of Common Prayer and Durham House ceremonial, it eventually even lost the liturgy which Scottish tradition had ascribed to John Knox, but the lion's share of which was more probably the work of Dean William Whittingham. Instead the Church of Scotland accepted the Directory of Public Worship, itself mainly the work of English divines. It became one of the few Reformed churches that did not have a set form for its public worship.
1 Sir Walter Scott, Harold the Dauntless. A Poem (1817), Canto Third.
2 See Donald Matthew, ‘Durham and the Anglo-Norman World’, and Paul Dalton, ‘Scottish Influence on Durham 1066–1214’, in Rollason, David, Harvey, Margaret and Prestwich, Michael (eds), Anglo-Norman Durham (Woodbridge: Boydell Press, 1994), pp. 1–22 and 339–52Google Scholar.
3 Field, John, Durham Cathedral. Light of the North (London: Third Millennium Publishing, 2006), p. 49Google Scholar.
4 Peter Smart, A Sermon Preached in the Cathedrall Church of Durham, July 7 1628, printed 1640. Some edns date the sermon as 27 July. Gabriel Sewell, Head of Collections at Durham Cathedral, writes: ‘Was the 27 July imprint a way of concealing the book's true origins? The 27 July is only used in the title pages of the editions printed in London but with a false Edinburgh imprint. Using a false imprint was a way of avoiding censorship etc. The first London edition of 1628 gives the date of the sermon of 7 July; the two editions also of 1628 with the false imprints of “Edenborough” both have 27 July. By the 1640 editions it is back to the 7 July.’ (Email of 5 March 2014.)
5 Sermon, p. 23.
11 Cited in Crosby, Brian, ‘“The Sacrament it selfe is turned well neare into a theatricall stage play”: Liturgical Innovations and Reactions in the 1620s’, in Conflict and Disaster at Durham: Four Talks Delivered to the Friends of Durham Cathedral 2001–02 (Durham: Friends of Durham Cathedral, 2003), pp. 15–34, 29–30Google Scholar.
12 Victoria Raymer, ‘Durham House and the Emergence of Laudian Piety’, unpublished PhD dissertation, Harvard University, 1981, p. 62; Lake, Peter, ‘The Laudian Style: Order, Uniformity and the Pursuit of the Beauty of Holiness in the 1630s’, in Fincham, Kenneth (ed.), The Early Stuart Church, 1604–1642 (Stanford, CA: Stanford University Press, 1993), pp. 161–85CrossRefGoogle Scholar; see also Lane, Calvin, The Laudians and the Elizabethan Church (London: Pickering & Chatto, 2013)Google Scholar.
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17 For example, Strype recorded that on 24 March 1560, Midlent Sunday, ‘The same day, in the afternoon, bishop Barlow, one of King Edward's bishops, now bishop of Chichester, preached in his habit before the queen. His sermon ended at five of the clock: and presently after her chapel went to evening song: the cross, as before, standing on the altar, and two candlesticks, and two tapers burning in them: and, service concluded, a good anthem was sung.’ Strype, John, Annals of the Reformation (Oxford, 1824 edn), vol. 8, p. 298Google Scholar.
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32 The Bishop of Galloway, his answeres to such as desire a resolution of their scruples against the Acts of the last Assembly holden at Perth, in the Moneth of August. 1618, in Workes, pp. 7–10.
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41 Jesus College Archives A/C 1.3, In Capella.
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46 Charles I/Walter Balcanquhal, A large declaration concerning the late tumults in Scotland (1639), pp. 15–16.
50 Rogers, History of the Chapel Royal in Scotland, pp. clxxvi–clxxvii.
51 Spicer, Andrew, ‘“Laudianism” in Scotland? St. Giles’ Cathedral, Edinburgh, 1633–39: A Reappraisal’, Architectural History 46 (2003), pp. 95–108CrossRefGoogle Scholar. Thurley, Simon, ‘The Stuart Kings, Oliver Cromwell and the Chapel Royal 1618–1685’, Architectural History 45 (2002), pp. 238–74CrossRefGoogle Scholar. See also Baldwin, David, The Chapel Royal: Ancient and Modern (London: Duckworth, 1990), ch. 9Google Scholar; Milton, Anthony, ‘“That Sacred Oratory”: Religion and the Chapel Royal during the Personal Rule of Charles I’, in Ashbee, Andrew (ed.), William Lawes (1602–1645): Essays on his Life, Times and Work (Aldershot: Ashgate, 1998), pp. 69–96Google Scholar.
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55 Gillespie, George, A dispute against the English-popish ceremonies, obtruded upon the Church of Scotland (Edinburgh, 1637)Google Scholar, no pagination.
56 Manuscript minutes of the Westminster Assembly, Dr Williams Library, London, vol. 2, p. 492.
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