929.—North West View of Salisbury Cathedral.details

[Picture: 929.—North West View of Salisbury Cathedral.]
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929.—North West View of Salisbury Cathedral.

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The bishopric of Salisbury was created by the union of the sets of Wilton and Sherbourne, which was done by order of Lanfranc, Archbishop of Canterbury, in 1075. [...] The ceremony of laying the foundation was a gorgeous one. The young king, and all the principal nobility and clergy of the realm, were invited, and everything that could add dignity or splendour to the solemnity was provided. Henry, indeed, was absent, being engaged negotiating a treaty with the Welsh at Shrewsbury; but there was a large assemblage of lords and prelates, and a huge multitude of people collected in Merrifield on the day of St. Vitalis the Martyr (April 28), 1220, to witness and aid in commencing a structure that they hoped should be not unworthy of Him whose presence filleth the earth. The bishop, first having performed divine service in the wooden building he hail raised,— reverently put off his shoes, and, accompanied by all the clergy chanting the Litany, proceeded in procession to the place of foundation. He then consecrated the ground, solemnly dedicating it for ever to the service of the Holiest. He next turned to the people, and addressed them in a suitable sennon. Then taking in his hands the necessary instruments, he proceeded to lay the first stone for Pope Honorius, the second for the Archbishop of Canterbury, and the third for himself; William Longspee, Earl of Salisbury, who was present, then laid the fourth stone, and his wife, Elai de Vitri, Countess of Salisbury, laid the fifth. Certain noblemen added each a stone after her; and then the several officers of the cathedral did the same. The people shouting and weeping for joy, and all “contributing thereto their alms with a ready mind, according to the ability which God had given them.” (p. 255)

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