Documents relating to cathedrals and churches are of immense value and are relatively scarce compared with the written evidence available to historians of other periods. During the period of study for my PhD thesis Secret spaces: English sacristies, vestries and treasure rooms, 1066-1300 I became aware of the potential of the rich field of sources housed in the Lincolnshire Archives, St Rumbold Street | Lincoln | LN2 5AB. These are the Chapter Act Books of Lincoln cathedral beginning in 1306 and the Accounts of the Common Fund, beginning in 1304.
This paper will consist of three parts. The first will show how the recorded minutes of a chapter meeting held in 1324 provided proof of the original function of the cathedral’s thirteenth century annex (known as the Song School). The second will show how the same minutes raise questions about the date of St Hugh’s golden shrine. The third part will examine puzzling evidence about the Great Seal of the dean and chapter contained within an early fourteenth-century annual account of chapter expenditure and will discuss the twelfth-century matrix in terms of its replication into seals during the pre-Reformation period, together with its conservation and preservation during that period.
Dr Lesley Milner is an Art and Architectural Historian specializing in the Medieval Period.
Organised by the Society For Lincolnshire History & Archaeology (SLHA).