1422

9th. May Saturday Manchester
The collegiation of the parish church is thus described by Hollinworth :- “This Thomas being Lord of the manor and parson of the church, as well as Patron, considering that the Parish was large and populous, and that the former Rectors, some never, did reside, bethoughte himself as well for the greater honor of the place, as the better edification of the people, to erect a Collegiate church in Manchester : to that purpose hee procured licence from Henry the 5th, dated Anno reg. 9, May 22, vnder the seale of the Dutchy for appropriation of the Rectory and foundation of the Colledge, for which 200 markes were payd into the Hanaper or Exchequer of the Chancery. Then the Parishioners, viz.:-
“Churchwardens:       Lawrence Hulme, Henry Bulkeley.  Knights: John le Byron, Johannes de Radcliffe. Gentlemen: Edmund Trafford, John de Booth, Radulph Longford, Thurstan de Holland, Jacob Strangewayes, Robert de Hyde, Robert de Booth, Otho de Reddich, Johannes de Barlow, Radulph de Prestwich, Petrus de Workeslie, Jacob de Hulme, Joannes de Hulton, William de Birches, John Bamford, Laurentius de Barlow, Galfridus Hopwood, Galfridus de Hilton, William de Highfeeld.

 “And all and every Parishioners gathered together at the sound of the bell, and the community and university of the sayd parish, so farre as this might any way concerne them, did for themselves, their heires and successors, give their free assent and consent thervnto, and draw up a writing to that purpose, sealed with the deeds of the Deane of Manchester and aboue twenty other seales

 “Then the sayd Thomas de la Warre made a deed of gift and feoffment of his lands and Rectory of Manchester to Thomas, Bishop of Durham (who was allso chauncelor of England, and amongst other his good workes founded two schools at Place-greene, one of Grammer, and the other of Musicke), John Heneye, Richard Lombard, Parson of Holtham church, and Richard Firth.

 “This Thomas, Bishop of Durham, &c., founded a Collegiate Church; consisting of one Keeper or Master, eight fellowes chaplaines, foure clerkes, and sixe choristers, in honor of St. Mary (to whom this Parish church was formerly dedicated, and of St. Dyonyse, Patron St. of France, and St. George, Patron St. of England (the sayd Thomas de la Warre being partly a French - man and partly an English - man); and having first resigned by Proxy, made to William Brinkley, cannon of Litchfeeld, and to Thomas Clerke, Chaplaine.

 "This was allso confirmed first, by Richard Crosby, Prior of the convent of Coventry, and Henry Hallsall, Archdeacon of Chester, and then by William, Bishop, and Thomas Strelton, Deane, and the chapter, at Litchfeeld.

Then Thomas de la Warre presented to William, Bishop of Coventry and Litchfield, John Huntingdon to bee the Master or Keeper of the sayd Colledge; and the sayd Thomas, Bishop of Durham, &c., did give, grant, and confirmed vnto the sayd John Huntingdon five Messuages and ten Acres of land, which were parcells of the manor of Manchester, one Messuage with the appurtenances with one acre and twenty foure Pearches, called Barrons hull and Barrons yerde; eight acres of land in Neder Aldport; one messuage in Gorton greene, of eleven pearches; another in Heaton, of eleven pearches.

 "This John Huntingdon, Batchelor in Degrees, and Rector of Assheton­vuder -lyme, was warden neere forty years, a man learned in the learning of those times, very devout and magnificent, hee built the Chancel or Quire, in the midst whereof and just before the high altar, as then it stood, hee lyes buried with the suitable inscription, Domine dilexi decorem domus tuae. His Rebus or name-devyse (a custome borrowed from the French) Is to bee seene on either side of the Middle arch, as it looketh Eastward: on the Syde is an Huntsman with dogges whereby hee thought to expresse the two former sillables of his name; Hunting; on the other syde, a vessell cailed a Tonne, which being joined together makes Huntington; which is as good or better than Morton, A. B. of Canterbury, a man of a prudent and publique Spirit, was content to use, viz. Mor uppon a tonne, and sometimes a mulbery Tree called in Latine, Morus, coming out of a tonne, to express his name of Morton.

"About this time, or not long before for ought appeares ended, the present large and stately stone buildinge, which we call the Churchh, being formerly a vast wooden building not much vnlike (save that probably it was more adorned) to the Boothes where the Court Leete,  Court Baron, of the Lord, and the quarter Sessions, are now kept. Credible tradition sayth the one part of the sayd wooden building was removed to Oardsall, another part to Clayton; but the maine body was remooved to Trafford, which is standing to this day, and now called the greate Barne. Who did most in the building of it is not certainly known, but the names and armes of the Stanleys Wests Radcliffes of Radcliffe (some remainder of the Alabaster  Statues (as it is said) of twoo of them are yet on the North Syde of the Quire), Byrons, Radciffes of Oardsall, and others now or lately in the windowes, doe witness their assistance: onely one Richard Bexwick did many workes of piety and charity towards the Master and fellowes, and for the decent and honorable reparation and amendment of the sayd Quire and body of the sayd church; and other Parishioners doubtless did freely contribute thereunto; hence is that vulgar mistake that ­Didsbury church is more ancient than Manchester, which ammounts to no more truth (if so much) than that the present structure of Didsbury chappell is more ancient than the present structure of Manchester church, as allso their Font was much bigger, because when dipping of children and baptizing of Heathens grew most out of vse, then the Baptisteries were lesse or lesse.

 "The windowes were richly painted, the east window of the South Isle had Michael and his Angells; the nine orders of Angells fighting with the Dragon and his Angells: the East window of the North Isle had St. Austen and St Ambrose singing Te Deum laudamus, and the other windowes represented some canonical or Ecclesiasticall story. In the middle Stanchion evry window, especially in the twenty four vppermost windowes, was the picture of the Virgine Mary. But at the uppmost end of the Outmost North ally, neere to Strangewaies chappell, was a very rich window, whereby was described our Saviors arreignement and crucifixion, with some pictures of the Trinity with these verses:

God that ys of mighty most
Fadur and Son and Holy Gost
Gyff gr* .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .
And keepe thayr soulis out of hell
That made thys wyndo as ye map se
In worshippe of the Trenite.
Thu .  .  .  .  .  .  . gode endinge
.  .  .  .  .  Ys wyndo gaff any thynge

"In this corner vnder this window, its probable there stood an altar, and that it was a place of much devotion, it is sayd it was for the countrey.

"In the chappell, where morning sermons were wont to bee preached, called St. George his chappell belonging now to John Radcliffe, of Oardsall, Esquire, was the Statue of St. George on horseback, hanged up; his horse lately in the Sadlers shop. The Statues of the Virgin Mary, and St. Dyonyse, the other Patron Saints, were uppon the two highest pillars next to the Quire, vnto them men did bow at their coming into the church.”

The reasons for the collegiation of the church have been fully investigated and stated in the supplement to Hibbert Ware’s Foundations of Manchester.(7)