Tuesday, February 24, 2015

Henry VI's Great Chapel at King's College, Cambridge

The Choir of the Chapel of King's College Cambridge is celebrating the "completion of the stone fabric of the chapel" in 2015. You may listen to a "A SEQUENCE OF WORDS AND MUSIC" from the chapel, which included the reading of Henry VI's will re: his college and chapel:

In the name of the blessed Trinity, the Father, the Sonne, and the Holy Ghost, oure Lady St Marie mother of Christ, and all the holy companie of heaven: I, Henry by the grace of God King of England, and of France, and lorde of Ireland, after the conquest of England the Sixt, for divers great and notable causes moving me at the making of theise presents, have do my will and mine intent to be written in manner that followeth: 

As touching the dimensions of the church of my said college of our Lady and St. Nicholas at Cambrige, I have devised and apointed that the same church shall containe 288 feete of assise in length, without any yles, and all of the wideness of 40 feete, and the length of the same church from the west end to the altare at the quier doore, shall containe 120 feete, and from the provosts stall unto the greece called Gradus Chori 90 feete, for 36 stalles on either side of the same quire, answering to 70 fellowes and ten priests conducts, which must be de prima forma. And from the said stalles unto the est end of the said church 72 feete of assize: also a reredost bearing the roodelofte departing the quier and the body of the church, containing in length 40 feete, and in breadth 14 feete; the walles of the same church to be in height 90 feete, imbattelled, vawted, and chare roffed, sufficiently butteraced, and every butterace finished with finials; and in the east end of the said church shall be a windowe of nine dayes, and betwixt every butterace a windowe of five dayes, and betwixt every of the same butteraces in the body of the church, on both sides of the same church, a closet with an altare therein, containing in length 20 feete, and in breadth 10 feete, vawted and finished undre the soyle of the yle windows. 

And I will that both my said colleges be edified of the most substantiall and best abiding stuffe of stone, lead, glasse, and yron, that may best be had and provided thereto: and that the church of St. John (Zachary), which must be taken to the enlarging of my said college, be well and sufficiently made againe in the grounde in which the provost and schollars abovesayd now be lodged, or nigh by where it may be thought most convenient, to the intent that Divine service shall now be done therein worshipfully to the honour of God, our Blessed Lady Christes mother, St. John Baptist, and all saints. 

The next reading is about the seventeenth century, thus skipping the Wars of the Roses, the beginning of the Tudor dynasty, the English Reformation and all the changes of religion that followed. There are also poems, anthems, and hymns. The program may be found here and the website for the continuing celebration of the anniversary here. A new book celebrates "Art, Music and Religion in Cambridge" but does not celebrate the Oxford comma!

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