Author Topic: A chair with long legs  (Read 608 times)

Online Forfarian

  • RootsChat Marquessate
  • *******
  • Posts: 12,705
  • Never trust anything you find online .....
    • View Profile
A chair with long legs
« on: Sunday 26 September 21 10:45 BST (UK) »
I was in Coventry yesterday, and my attention was drawn to a chair, in Holy Trinity Church, which has unusually long legs. The story is that it was made for the Reverend Walter Hook, who wished to invite his friend to church. However there was a problem. His friend was a bishop of the Episcopal Church in Scotland, and there was a Church of England law that forbade Scottish clergymen setting foot in a Church of England. So the Reverend Hook's friend was carried into the church on his tall chair, and thus avoided setting foot in the church.

See attached photos.

The Bishop of Moray, Ross and Argyll at the time was Bishop David Low (1768/1769 - 1855).

I would be very interested, just out of sheer curiosity, to know more about this curious law. How might I find out when it was enacted, and why, and in particular why it should have affected clergy of the Scottish Episcopal Church, which is the Anglican sister church in Scotland to the Church of England? And did it also apply to clergymen of other denominations in England/Wales/Ireland?

Never trust anything you find online (especially submitted trees and transcriptions on Ancestry, MyHeritage, FindMyPast and other commercial web sites) unless it's an image of an original document - and even then be wary because errors can and do occur.

Online mckha489

  • RootsChat Marquessate
  • *******
  • Posts: 6,789
  • Census information Crown Copyright, from www.nationalarchives.gov.uk
    • View Profile
Re: A chair with long legs
« Reply #1 on: Sunday 26 September 21 10:53 BST (UK) »
Side tracked to a friendís very interesting Norfolk families. MORGAN, PRATT, HORNOR, SUCKLING, GLEANE etc. And in London DOWNES, du CROZ, MORGAN (same MORGANs as the Norwich lot)

Offline GR2

  • RootsChat Marquessate
  • *******
  • Posts: 3,724
  • Census information Crown Copyright, from www.nationalarchives.gov.uk
    • View Profile
Re: A chair with long legs
« Reply #2 on: Sunday 26 September 21 11:22 BST (UK) »
I suspect this is a somewhat apocryphal tale. From what mckha489 has posted, there was no ban on Scottish Episcopal clergymen attending Church of England services. The ban was on them holding benefices in the Church of England. I doubt if the bishop had any intention of applying for the post of curate in Coventry.

The chair has long legs, but that may mean it was used with a footstool. It is also not the kind of chair you could have had made quickly for the imminent arrival of a guest. If you did want to have someone carried into church on a chair, you would adapt something smaller that could have carrying poles added.

As someone who is a descendant of a certain Godiva, I can vouch for the fact that Coventry likes its wee stories.


Online Forfarian

  • RootsChat Marquessate
  • *******
  • Posts: 12,705
  • Never trust anything you find online .....
    • View Profile
Re: A chair with long legs
« Reply #3 on: Sunday 26 September 21 11:23 BST (UK) »
Thank you, mckha489. Exactly what I wanted to know.

What an extraordinary tale. All at the devious whim of one man, if the speech by the MP introducing it can be relied on to be accurate.

And you are right, GR2. The ban apparently applied solely to clergymen of the Scottish Episcopal Church who had been ordained in Scotland, and to no other clergyman of any variety.

I'll have to hunt out Hansard from 1792 and see exactly what it says.

All of which begs the question of why the Reverend Hook so misinterpreted the actual law as to go to the length of having a special chair built for Bishop Low (or letting it be thought that he did) ???

Never trust anything you find online (especially submitted trees and transcriptions on Ancestry, MyHeritage, FindMyPast and other commercial web sites) unless it's an image of an original document - and even then be wary because errors can and do occur.

Offline GR2

  • RootsChat Marquessate
  • *******
  • Posts: 3,724
  • Census information Crown Copyright, from www.nationalarchives.gov.uk
    • View Profile
Re: A chair with long legs
« Reply #4 on: Sunday 26 September 21 12:02 BST (UK) »
A newspaper report announces Rev. Walter Farquhar Hook's move to be vicar of Leeds in 1837.

Online Maiden Stone

  • RootsChat Marquessate
  • *******
  • Posts: 5,834
  • Census information Crown Copyright, from www.nationalarchives.gov.uk
    • View Profile
Re: A chair with long legs
« Reply #5 on: Sunday 26 September 21 16:56 BST (UK) »
Something to do with this perhaps.  Itís very long winded, Iíve only read the first part.

https://hansard.parliament.uk/Commons/1864-07-13/debates/c750cd2c-3059-473d-bb3c-8e668f87e04a/ScottishEpiscopalClergyDisabilitiesRemovalBillLords

Thank you, mckha489. Exactly what I wanted to know.

What an extraordinary tale. All at the devious whim of one man, if the speech by the MP introducing it can be relied on to be accurate.

And you are right, GR2. The ban apparently applied solely to clergymen of the Scottish Episcopal Church who had been ordained in Scotland, and to no other clergyman of any variety.

I'll have to hunt out Hansard from 1792 and see exactly what it says.

All of which begs the question of why the Reverend Hook so misinterpreted the actual law as to go to the length of having a special chair built for Bishop Low (or letting it be thought that he did) ???



Lord Chancellor Thurlow, who introduced the relevant amendment to the 1792 Bill also opposed restoration of confiscated estates to heirs of Jacobites. He was a favourite subject of Gillray, the cartoonist.
Rev. Hook may have been trying to make a public point.
When the Catholic hierarchy was restored in England in 1850 a Catholic diocese wasn't supposed to have the same name as an Anglican one. 
Cowban

Online Forfarian

  • RootsChat Marquessate
  • *******
  • Posts: 12,705
  • Never trust anything you find online .....
    • View Profile
Re: A chair with long legs
« Reply #6 on: Sunday 26 September 21 18:12 BST (UK) »
Rev. Hook may have been trying to make a public point.
Yes, that's a very interesting idea. Thank you.
Never trust anything you find online (especially submitted trees and transcriptions on Ancestry, MyHeritage, FindMyPast and other commercial web sites) unless it's an image of an original document - and even then be wary because errors can and do occur.

Online Maiden Stone

  • RootsChat Marquessate
  • *******
  • Posts: 5,834
  • Census information Crown Copyright, from www.nationalarchives.gov.uk
    • View Profile
Re: A chair with long legs
« Reply #7 on: Monday 27 September 21 12:47 BST (UK) »
From what mckha489 has posted, there was no ban on Scottish Episcopal clergymen attending Church of England services. The ban was on them holding benefices in the Church of England.


"An Act for granting Relief to Pastors, Ministers and Lay People of the Episcopal Communion in Scotland" (32 George III) (1792)
Chancellor Thurlow inserted a clause:
".... or of officiating in any church or chapel .... where the liturgy of the Church of England  ... is used ... "
https://hansard.parliament.uk

"On the Civil Disabilities of the Scottish Episcopalians" publisher William Blackwood & Sons 1861
"Project Canterbury"
anglicanhistory.org/scotland/civil_disabilities1861.html
This is an account of historical background and answers the questions in the final paragraph of Forfarian's opening post.

Act 1840: A Scottish Episcopalian clergyman may in certain circumstances be licensed an English bishop to officiate in a C. of E. but only for 1 or 2 days named in the licence. 

"Scottish Episcopalian Clergy Disabilities Removal Bill" 1864
Cowban

Online Forfarian

  • RootsChat Marquessate
  • *******
  • Posts: 12,705
  • Never trust anything you find online .....
    • View Profile
Re: A chair with long legs
« Reply #8 on: Monday 27 September 21 18:33 BST (UK) »
Thank you, that's great. I'll follow it all up.
Never trust anything you find online (especially submitted trees and transcriptions on Ancestry, MyHeritage, FindMyPast and other commercial web sites) unless it's an image of an original document - and even then be wary because errors can and do occur.