CHARTER OF THE CHAPTER OF YORK MINISTER, in Latin on vellum, given in the Chapter House at York, 6 December 1379
470 x 355mm. One membrane with 69 lines written in brown ink in a cursive anglicana documentary hand, with cadels into the upper margin (some light soiling and minor losses to folds; contemporary annotation and later ink drawing on verso); seal of the Dean and Chapter of York with figure of St Peter, approximately 105 x 70mm (cracked and rubbed), pendant on vellum tag.
The Chapter of York Minster, the Dean being absent on business, ratifies a document of Alexander Neville, Archbishop of York, given at Cawood on 12 August 1379 -- which itself confirms the letter and will of Ralph de Hornby, citizen and merchant of York -- and a royal charter of Richard II, for the foundation of a chantry at St Helen's, Stonegate, as set out in a charter of Johanna, widow of Ralph de Hornby, Thomas de Garton, chaplain, and William Savage of London, given at York on 8 August 1379.
The chantry is to be endowed with the annual rents of a number of the deceased's properties in York, comprising a holding in Gotheruingate [Goodramgate], three messuages and a dovecote in Walmegate, all his messauges in Micklegate (the most substantial of the holdings), two messuages with a garden in Stayngate [Stonegate], lands and buildings on Stonegate, formerly the property of Alan de Alnwick, and a messuage in Walmegate; the boundaries of the properties are specified, and the annual rents given, amounting to 111s 4d. The rents are to provide a chaplain to say prayers at the altar of St Michael the Archangel at St Helen's for the soul of Ralph and for the health of his wife Johanna during her lifetime, and for her soul after her death, and for the souls of their benefactors and all the faithful departed; also for the construction of a chantry by this chaplain, subject to the consent of William of Gisburn, Rector of St Helen's, the presentation of the chaplain within six weeks of a vacancy to belong to Johanna and the heirs of Ralph de Hornby, lapsing to the Archbishop of York, and in case of a vacancy to the Dean and Chapter, or to the Chapter alone. The duties of the chaplain are to celebrate mass every day, and to be present at matins, parish mass and vespers on Sundays and holy days, also to say the prayers for the dead (i.e. the 'Placebo' and 'Dirige') according to the use of the cathedral, with a commendation of Ralph and Johanna as before and of their relatives and benefactors; to celebrate the obit of the founders each year on the Sunday before the feast of Luke the Evangelist [18 October]; and each year to spend half a silver mark on these celebrations. The chaplain is to be removed if he does not perform these requirements or if, performing them, he lives a dishonest or markedly dissolute life in a state of public infamy, or is three times convicted of an offence; he is, finally, to be responsible for the custody, maintenance and replacement of the books, chalice, vestments and other ecclesiastical ornaments conferred on his office.