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and the Monks' bakehouse, and faced the fish-ponds of the Bishop. The
said "vivarium" is in these days dwarfed to the pond which still exists
in the Palace Garden; but which probably in Bishop Balsham's time
extended much further to the east 1 .

A still earlier deed of gift of land to the Prior and Convent shows
that the line of demarcation between the property of the Bishop and
the monks, was in the 13th century the west wall of the west walk of
the Cloisters.

The donor of the gift was Bishop Eustace, and a copy of the deed
in the original Latin is given below ; but the motive of his action may
be here briefly stated, as it will serve to indicate the probable position
of the piece of land which he then alienated from the episcopal property 2 .

1 The following is the text of Bishop Balsham's deed :

"Universis Christi fidelibus ad quos presens scriptum peruenerit H[ugo] Dei gratia
Elyensis Episcopus salutem in Domino sempitemam.

" Nouerit uniuersitas vestra nos dedisse concessisse ac presenti carta nostra confirmasse
dilectis filiis nostris Priori et conuentui Elyensi bracinum nostrum in Ely, quod construitur
ex aposito viuarii nostri videlicet inter cameram Regine et pistrinum monachorum
tenendum et habendum in liberam puram et perpetuam elemosinam de nobis et
successoribus nostris in perpetuum. In cujus rei testimonium huic scripto sigillum
nostrum apponi fecimus.

"Dat. apud Ely. Anno Dni. MCCLVIII. Die lune prox. post festum Sci.
Gregorii Pape."

2 Bishop Eustace's deed of gift of the cellar to the Convent :

"Omnibus Sancte Matris Ecclesie filiis ad quos presens scriptum peruenerit : Eustachius
Dei gracia Elyensis Episcopus salutem in Domino. Dignum et justum est ut eis fauor
benignior impendatur et commoditates eorum diligencius procurentur, qui pro omnium tarn
vivorum quam defunctorum fklelium commodo et salute propriis voluntatibus renunciantes
sub religionis habitu elegerunt perpetuum Dno. impendere famulatum ad quorum vota que
ab honestate non discrepant : nos qui diuina disposicione eis presidemus in officio pastorali
in hac parte tenemur exhibere faciles et benignos, considerantes igitur sub quanta diffi-
cultate et incommoditate ad Refectorium dilectorum filiorum in Christo monachorum
Elyensium ceruisia et alia cotidie minus honeste deferebantur per claustrum et volentes ad
peticionem eorum et instanciam diligentem prefatis importunitatibus subuenire : dedimus
eisdem monachis et concessimus et presenti carta nostra confirmauimus pro anima nostra
et antecessorum et successorum nostrorum Episcoporum Elyensium locum ad celarium eis
commodius faciendum inter Refectorium et murum porticus qua itur a camera nostra ad
Ecclesiam, et viam latitudinis octo pedum a pistrino suo usque ad dictum celarium.
Hiis testibus etc."

®4>penHr (§ 137

It had been brought to his notice that the monks experienced
considerable difficulty in bringing into the Refectory the beer provided
for their repasts, and the Bishop as owner of the soil up to the Cloister
was moved to convey to them a site for a new and convenient cellar with
the addition of a strip [24] from their bakehouse to the said cellar. The
site of the plot of ground can only be guessed at by reference to the
position of the Refectory itself, we may therefore suppose that it must
have been close to the point where the Refectory and the Cloister touch.
On the plan, the No. [23] marks its probable site, and a certain con-
firmation of this suggestion may be drawn from a passage of the survey of
1649 which shows that some way down the matted passage, which is
mentioned in the account of the Dean's lodgings at that date, there existed
a room, or two rooms, of such considerable size that they could not have
been under the roof of the Cloister. These rooms may have been over the
cellar presented by Bishop Eustace.

At what period the whole of that garden (in the 17th century documents
called " the mulberry yard ") came into the possession of the Prior and
Convent we have no information [21].

One special expression in the Bishop's deed is of peculiar interest:
"murum porticus qua itur a camera nostra ad Ecclesiam" — the wall of the
porticus [25] by which the Bishop passed from his own abode to the
Cathedral. The gallery road not existing at that time as a public
thoroughfare, the Bishop would have passed from palace to church
through his own garden ; but whether the porticus is to be taken as a
covered way which provided shelter for the entire distance, or we are to
understand by it only a porch in a modern sense, we know not; but we
have reason to think that just where the west alley of the Cloister reached
to the Cathedral the Bishops of Ely in the olden time had an enclosed
space or chamber divided from the north walk of the Cloister by a door
or grille in charge of a special porter [26J.

In the Statutes of 1303 there is mention of a door into the Bishop's
locutory or parlour; "Ostium locutorii Episcopi," and in the injunctions
of Bishop Orford in 1306, one of the places at which the monks were
forbidden to hold a " parliament " in the Cloister was " ad ostium
Episcopi." A chamber in such a position might have had its conveniences
for the Bishop whether for rest or for interviews with the inmates of the
Monastery; while the nearness to it of a dignified entrance into the aisle of
the Cathedral by which he could be quickly in touch with the procession
which always moved along the eastern alley of the Cloister to the west
entry to the Ritual Choir, would make it most suitable for the Bishop
who took the abbot's stall — the first on the right hand.

The name generally given in later times to that doorway, "the prior's

138 (gtppenbir (g

Door," may at first sight seem to run counter to this suggestion ; but there
does not appear to be forthcoming any proof of the time at which, or
the reason for which, the name of the Prior was attached to that door. It
certainly had no connection topographically with the Hospice of the
Priory; and the use of it would occasion the Prior a long and circuitous
walk to his place in church. It is possible indeed that it may have
originally been used by the Abbot, and afterwards by his successor the
Bishop, and the Prior's name substituted when ancient history was losing
its authority.


&>t 3nfttmarg. £0e Camera JSacmfe* efc. +
voit§ pfan.

In the Compotus Roll of the Sacristy for the year 13 34- 133 5, being
No. vi. in the series of which the Transcripts are given in vol. II., Alan
of Walsingham enters a memorandum of the partial cost of a building
which merits special attention, not only from the proofs which have
gradually of late years been accumulated that the work still remains in
the monastery, little altered in appearance and structure; but further
because it has become evident that the purpose for which it was designed
by him, was so noble in itself and so honourable to him, that the memory
of the deed should not be lost.

On page 67 of the Transcripts of the Rolls will be found this modest
marginal note — " Custus tegularie Nove Camere" — "The cost of the
Tilery of a new Chamber." By the items which follow we seem to gather
that there had been a great " burning " of fen turves for the making of
several thousands of wall tiles, probably what we should now call bricks,
for some special parts of the construction ; all outside walls being of stone.
The chief expense is for wages (^23. 13*. nd.) and the superintendent is





Q&Winbix (§ 139

John Attegrene, a mason whose name occurs for the first time in this work.
The total cost of the "Camera" in the year is put down at jQzZ- us. iod.

Here, however, in pursuance of a design of bringing forward, one by
one, all the earlier references to this building which have been drawn from
historical documents, an extract from the ancient chroniclers of the Ely
monastery should be produced to enlarge our conception of the work
entered in Roll vj.

"The cost of the new chamber adjoining the Infirmary during three
years, ^60. 17^. n^d." Cf. Anglia Sacra, vol. i. 644.

By this entry we are advanced in knowledge concerning Alan's Camera,
in three separate points ; as to the time given to the building, as to its
total cost, as to the situation in which it was erected, "touching the

Somewhat later, in the life of Bishop Hotham, the writers of the History
of the Bishops present another account of the building of this Camera
with interesting particulars concerning the manner in which it was

"Alan constructed a stone chamber very beautiful close to the In-
firmary," and the following special features in the building are detailed.

" An upper chamber with two fireplaces."

" A lower chamber with one large fireplace."

"A well of water; a smaller cellar."

These fireplaces are evidently a remarkable feature in the "Sacrist's
Camera"; and they remind us that the word "Camera" is not to be
always regarded as " a chamber," but may also represent a house with
several distinct chambers in it ; they may also lead us to the idea that
the great burning of turves for wall tiles may have been to provide bricks
for these three chimneys ; the house itself being called a stone chamber ;
cf. plan [No. ii].

The Latin of this notice is given in a footnote 1 .

The next reference to this building is supplied by an entry left by
Bishop Wren in one of the Ely Episcopal Registers, founded as he tells
us on an earlier entry, to which in the margin he has given the date 1335.
It runs thus in a free translation, of which the original Latin is subjoined :

"A camera built by the Sacrist between the outer Hostelry and the
Infirmary of the Church, of which the use and convenience was to be
during his, Alan's, life ; but if any one of his brethren needed it for the
recreation of his mother, sister or any woman of such near and honourable

l " Construxit etiam cameram lapideam plumbo tectam pulchram valde, contiguam in
Infirmaria habentem cameram superiorem cum duobus caminis et inferiorem cum uno
largo camino et puteo aque, cum parvo celario." Cf. Anglia Sacra, i. 646.

i4-o (g,ppenbir (§

relationship as would give rise to no suspicion, or for any other person of
good name who cannot conveniently be received elsewhere he shall enjoy
the advantages there in the Camera, for that occasion but not beyond it 1 ."

All these various items of information brought together, as independent
witnesses to the position of Sacrist Alan's Camera and to the intention
which had been lying in his mind, when he paused in his work of the
reerection of the Central Tower of the Cathedral, and sent John Attegrene
to superintend this work, bring us inevitably to the conclusion, that we
have before us a noble work of thoughtful kindness for the monks who by
stress of sickness or of old age were forced to spend the last years of their
life within the Infirmary. Rough and cold would have been the sur-
roundings of the ancient Hospital of the Infirm; and grateful would be the
prospect of the genial warmth of the new fireplaces in the quiet chambers
of the new house ; and of comfortable social visits from women relatives
or friends ; and we wonder not at the name which seems to have floated
on from generation to generation over this house, "The Home of the
Happy Companions."

From these extracts which have evident reference to our Sacrist's
Camera in the Infirmary, all of which are of ancient dates, it will be
necessary to produce notices which are later than the Reformation but
which seem to centre on the same house.

The first testimony to be produced is the description by the Com-
missioners of 1541 of the house which they assigned to the second
Canonry of the new establishment, to be occupied by Dr Matthew Parker,
afterwards Archbishop of Canterbury.

"The paynted chamber from the firmarie of the south to the outer-
most part of the building northwards ; and from the churchyard westward ;
with all edifices beneath and above with the chamber annexed to the same
called Cottis Chamber with the churchyard thereto adjoining, and half the
garden with the yle adjoining thereto."

This description points to a building constructed to the north of the
Infirmary, and which itself runs out further to the northward. The assign-
ment to it of an aisle of the Infirmary with the further information that
on its west side was the churchyard or, more correctly speaking, the old
cemetery of the monks — and on the east yet more of the same which was

1 " Camera edificata per sacristam inter Hostilariam forinsecum et Innrmariam
Ecclesie habenda asiamenta ejusdem sibi pro vita ; sed si aliquis confratrum pro recreatione
matrum sororum sen aliarum mulierum conjunctarum et honestarum de quibus naturale
fcedus non shut aliquid inhonestum suspicari, vel alterius persone laudabilis que alibi
commode recreari non poterit eandem indiguat habebit asiamenta sua ibidem pro dicta
recreatione facienda, et non ultra."

E libro 3° Registr. Eliens. (Episc. Wren, page 215).

to be used as a garden — identifies the house given originally to Doctor
Parker as the one still in possession of the Canon of the second stall [ii].

One peculiarity in the construction of this house may further be
remarked. While it contains three chimneys and three only, the two
which are on the upper floor present a feature not common even in our
own days but which must have been almost unprecedented in a dwelling-
house in the 14th century when chimneys were rare.

These two on the upper floor are built back to back, but from below
them there is no wall going down to the ground. The two are sustained
by a broad arch which spans the width of the lower room, and makes a
curious feature in it • yet those who enjoy the hospitality of that Canonry
are little aware that directly over the dining table and standing as it were
over the ceiling are the two fireplaces of two Camerae, the Drawing-room
and Study.

Some difficulty has been found in the name given by the Commissioners
in 1 541 to the house which they allotted to the second stall of the new
Chapter, the Painted Chamber; but whether we suppose that they accepted
a name, by which the house was at that time popularly known in Ely, or
whether they were pleased to bestow on it a fresh name, it matters little ;
the testimony of the document in which they made their award is of
paramount authority. The painted chamber was converted to the use of
the owner of the second stall.

The term indeed was of very general use in the palaces of kings, in
monasteries, even in private houses where one part or one room was dis-
tinguished by some decoration ; the Sacrist's lodgings in Ely apparently
included under its roof "a painted chamber 1 ." And it is not an
unreasonable assumption, that some special painting was added to the
rooms prepared for the sick and aged in the Infirmary to give more
cheerful aspect to them or even to suggest by pictures suitable subjects
for their reflexion ; and certainly some change of name would be desirable
when the private lodgings of the Sacrist had the first claim to be called
the Camera Sacriste.

Other names also, it should be mentioned, have been brought forward
as asking for recognition on the northern side of the Infirmary. Canon
Stewart mentions five names for which he thinks houses should be found.
These are

1. a Hall called the Painted Chamber, which he places opposite to the

Cellarer's rooms ;

2. the Archdeacon's lodgings ;

1 Solut. pro lateys ad fenestras picte camere et granarii in Sacristaria.

Sacrist Roll, Hen. VII.

H2 glppenbir (g

3. the Lecturer's house ;

4. the Organist Master's lodgings ;

5. to the east of the Painted Chamber another hall called in the

award the Gent Hall.

Now, as there never were by the testimony of any known document
more than three houses on the north side of the Infirmary, two out of the
five must appear by some mistake ; and we have not far to look for the

The term Gent Hall must disappear, and Sent Hall takes its place ;
and further it must be removed to the southern side where it will be
located, on the next page, as the house given in the award to the sixth
Canonry [vi].

The hall called the Painted Chamber must accept the position assigned
to it by the Commission, adjoining the aisle of the Infirmary Chapel [ii].

The Archdeacon's lodgings give no difficulty when we recall the fact
that an Archdeacon of Ely, Archdeacon Wigmore, had been for more than
thirty years a Canon of Ely and resident in the Painted Chamber, other-
wise the house of the second stall.

With this knowledge of the position we are assisted in our search for
the Lecturer's house, which we are told "lieth between a Prebend's
lodging called the Archdeacon's lodging and the Organist Master's

The Organist's lodgings disappeared altogether long ago. The site of
them, as far as we can gather their position from different parts of the
surveys made in the College, will be found marked on the plan as No. [B.].
They lay at the back or east gable end of the Chapter House and con-
sisted of an undercroft with rooms over, joining at a right angle the dark
Cloister which led past the Dormitory to the entrance of the Infirmary.
This undercroft is the "Treasaunce" mentioned in a Sacrist Roll of 1487,
" De stipendio duorum carpentariorum pro reparacione de la Treasaunce
versus aulam minucionum " [B. 1]. Treasaunce being a corruption
of the Latin transitus had the signification in the middle ages of a
covered way from one place to another. The identification of the
Lecturer's house with the hall for minutions erected by Prior Powcher
in 141 6 * is made clear by the history which records the transference of
the Canon of the sixth stall to that house in 1662 [A.].

Thus there remain out of the five names which invited our attention
only three. The Painted Chamber, or second Canonry house; the
Lecturer's house, or the aula minucionum, and the Organist's house;

l "William Powcher, Prior, fecit fieri per fratrem Th. Elyngham aulam in Infirmaria
quasi de nouo pro minucionibus ibidem tenendis ad a.d. 1416."

while it will be noticed that the house which has been supposed to
be identical with the Gent Hall is the beautiful chamber built by Alan
of Walsingham with three fireplaces, which has in this paper been shown
to be in truth the Painted Chamber.

The house of the second Canonry thus identified with the Camera
built by Alan of Walsingham in 1335 is the most interesting of the houses
grouped round the Infirmary, but it may be well in this Appendix to add
some account of the four other residential houses which were in 1541
assigned to the holders of the first, third, sixth and fifth stalls and which
originally were part of the Infirmary buildings.

Of the first Canonry house [i], described by the Commissioners
as "the Cellarer's lodging," it may suffice to say that parts of the original
structure remain to-day. It was bounded on the west by the great
Dormitory of the Monks, on the north by the dark Cloister which was
apparently in the old time considered part of the Infirmary. In later days
it encroached on the Infirmary and took possession of part of the south
aisle. The Canonry was suppressed in 1854.

The third Canonry [iii], described as " the black Hostry," next to the
Cellarer's lodging, also made encroachments on the south aisle of the
Infirmary. After the Restoration it received an addition both of building
and garden by the destruction of Sent Hall [vi].

The sixth Canonry house appears thus in the Commissioners' award,
" Sent Hall with all the edifices both beneath and above from the fermary
Chapel north wall of the north, etc." [vi]. Hence it will be understood that
the Canon of the sixth Stall included in his premises what we may call the
nave of the Infirmary Chapel, and as his northern boundary had the south
wall of the Painted Chamber — that is the second Canonry residence [ii].

The history of this sixth Canonry residence has been eventful and
requires some study as it has led to perturbations in the history of other
Canonry houses. It was originally given to Mr Custons, a Monk, and was
probably built on the site of the herb garden of the Infirmary and the
residence of the Infirmarius himself; it is even open to conjecture that
Custons had been the last occupant of it as head of the Infirmary. It was
let during the Commonwealth for the annual sum of ^3. 10s. od., and was
apparently in such a bad condition at the Restoration that in 1662 the
occupant of the sixth Canonry, Dr Wo mack, was removed from it, and
the house in part pulled down, in part with the garden divided between the
third and fifth Canonries.

A Chapter order given on the 27th October, 1662, assigned to
Dr Womack, "those lodgings which were called the Lecturer's house
with the adjoyning buildings and the gardens, he resigning up his lodgings
and garden." His occupancy was to commence at Ladyday 1663, the

144 (gtppenHr (§

then occupants Mr Cadman and Bradford being warned to quit at that

Henceforth the sixth Canonry is located in the Lecturer's house which
was identical with the building erected by Prior Powcher in 141 7 for the
use of the "minuti"; and in those lodgings the holders of the sixth
Canonry kept their residences until the year 1854, when by the suppression
of the first Canonry (under the Act 3 and 4 Vic. cap. 113) on the death
of Canon Fardell, the Cellarer's house became vacant. Canon William
Selwyn, D.D., at that time residing in the Lecturer's house as sixth Canon,
then crossed over into the house of the first Canonry, and the Lecturer's
house was assigned to one of the Minor Canons, the Rev. Solomon Smith.
Thus the original Sent Hall Canonry twice crossed the Infirmary, from
south to north and from north to south.

One more Canonry house in the Infirmary group remains to be
noticed [v] ; thus described : " Mr Hamond's lodgings from the Infirmary
of the west etc., with the edifices both about and beneth with garden and
orchard annexed to the same and the little Chapel in the Infirmary, etc."
The little Chapel is the addition made in the late Norman style of the
earlier history of which unfortunately no traces remain. Mr Hamond
was apparently occupying the position of Supprior of the Monastery at
the time of the Dissolution but had the house of the Almoner assigned to
him for his residence. The garden given to the sixth Canonry had been
aforetime the continuation of the Monks' Cemetery and of the garden of
the Hostilaria.

So far it is hoped, a fairly clear account has been given of the five
Canonry houses which were originally in some way built on to the

There remain three other Canonry houses, those of the eighth, the
seventh, and the fourth Canonries, to be considered.

Of these the Priory, which has been continuously the house of residence
of the eighth Canon, will be found described in the earlier section of this
Appendix which is concerned with the Monastic Buildings on the western
side of the precincts.



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