THE CONSECRATION OF TRINITY CHAPEL, LINCOLN’S INN[1]

1. Die Jovis in festo Ascensionis Domini existente vicesimo secundo die mensis Maii Anno Domini 1623 inter horas octavam et undecimam ante meridiem eiusdem diei Reverendus pater Dominus Georgius permissione Divina Londoniensis Episcopus Capellam intra hospitium communiter vocatum Lincolnes Inne juxta vicum communiter nuncupatam Chancery Lane in Suburbiis Civitatis Londoniensis suarum Londoniensis Diocesis et jurisdictionis (noviter erectam ac decenter et ornate extructam) bene dixit et extruxit, eamque in honorem perpetuum et servitium Dei omnipotentis dicavit.

2. Modus autem procedendi in huiusmodi negotio talis fuerat ut sequitur.

3. Reverendus in Christo pater antedictus cum multis reverendis et venerabilibus

viris accomitatus ad ostium capellae consecrandae accessit cui venerabiles                        

viri Thomas Spencer, Richardus Digges, et Egidius Tooker armigeri domini (una

cum aliis) hospitii predicti et Willielmus Ravenscrofte unus reverendorum

jurisconsultorum hospitii predicti et significarunt sese in honorem perpetuum et servitium Dei omnipotentis et usum commorantium in hospitio predicto, dictam Capellam erigi et

extrui curasse super propriis suis terris et cum suis propriis sumptibus.

4. Et juri suo in eadem cesserunt, et tam nominibus suis quam nominibus omnium aliorum in hac parte interesse habentium Capellan predictam Deo omnipotenti et summae sanctae et  individuae Trinitati unanimi assensu et consensu obtulerunt dederunt et donaverunt, et in signum liberae donationis huius modi, Claves Capellae predictae eidem Reverendo praesentaverunt et tradiderunt, humiliter petentes ut dictus Reverendus     

pater Capellam predictam in honorem perpetuum et servitium Dei omnipotentis, et usum commorantium in hospitio predicto dicaret et consecraret.

5. Quibus sic factis Reverendus pater antedictus solus Capellam vacuam (sed decenter extructam) intravit, astante foras coetu praesentium et aspiciente.  Ipseque in ipso limine ad introitum dixit et bene dixit loco ad hunc modum, videlicet:

6.   I was glad when they said unto me, we will goe in the house of the Lord.

      Peace be within theis walls and prosperetie within theis dores.                                     

      Because thou art a house for the Lord our God we will seeke to doe thee good.

      I have chosen and sanctified this place that my name may be there for ever, and myne

                              eyes and myne heart shall be there perpetuallie.                                    

7. Tunc paulatim procedens Reverendus pater genubus flexis et manibus versus orientem in caelum levatis hujusmodi orationem solus habuit, videlicet:

8. O eternall God mightie in power and of incomprehensible Majesty who fillest both heaven and earth with thy glorious presence, and therefore canst not be contained within anie the largest circuite, much lesse within this narrowe roometh, for the consecracion whereof we are nowe assembled. 

9. Notwithstandinge because it hath pleased thee to promise thine especiall presence in that place where two or three shall be gathered togither in thy name and for thine honour:  We doe heare in all humility and with readiness of heart, wholly devote and dedicate this place this day for ever unto thee (utterly seperatinge it henceforth from all prophane and domesticall uses or affaires) and are bold to consecrate it to thy service onely, for hearing thy word, celebratinge the sacrament of the Lords Supper, and offering up the sacrifices both of prayer and thankesgivinge. 

10. And although We  (miserable wretches as we are) be altogether unworthy to appoint aine  earthlie thinge to so greate a Maiesty, and I the most unfitt of all thy Ministers to appeare before thee in so honorable a service, Yet we most humbly beseech thee to forget and forgive our manifold sinnes, and to be present amongst us in this religious action : vouchsafe to accept it gratiouslie at our hands, blesse it with happie successe, and because thy holy word is heere to be preached, and thy holy Sacrament of the Lords Supper here to be administered, Lord give a blessing to thy holy word and Sacrament so ofte as thy servantes shall be here partakers of them. 

11. And we beseech thee O Lord receive the prayers and supplications of us here assembled at this present, and of all others, who       hereafter (entering into theis hallowed place)

shall call uppon thee, and give both them and us grace whensoever we come into this thy 

place and house of residence, to bring hither cleane thoughts, pure heartes, bodies undefiled and minds sanctified, to wash our handes in innocency (good Lord) and

then to come to thine Altar, that so we may present unto thee both our soules    and bodies

as holy temples of thy spirit, within this little temple, to the glory of thy holy name, and accomplishment of our desires, through Jesus Christe, to whom with the Father &c.

12. Deinde Reverendus pater antedictus convertens se ad congregationem,

ad foras Capellae adhuc stantem, Ipseque astans in conspectus congregationis,

Capellam praedictam consecravit legendo publice schedulam dedicationis

et consecrationis, sive sententiam in scriptis conceptam, et per Vicarium suum

in spiritualibus generalem tunc sibi porrectam et traditam, verbis sequentibus

videlicet: 

13. I n   D e i   N o m i n e,  Amen, Cum Reverendi et venerabiles viri jurisconsulti, ac studentes in hospitio communiter vocato Lincolnes Inne juxta vicum communiter nuncupatum Chancery Lane in suburbiis civitatis Londoniensis nostrarum Londoniensis Diocesis et jurisdictionis notorie sita et situata pia et religiosa devotione ducti hanc Capellam in hospitio predicto continentem inter muros ejusdem in longitudine ab oriente versus occidentem sexaginta octo pedes vel eo circiter et in latitudine ab aquilone versus austrum quadraginta et unum pedes vel eo circiter, ac fabricam quandam cum scalis sive gradibus pro accessu sive introito ad eandem, super propriis eorum terris cum suis propriis sumptibus in Dei honorem et usum jurisconsultorum studentium et commorantium nunc et in futurum in eodem noviter jam erexerunt edificaverunt et construxerunt, eandemque Capellam, sacra mensa, pulipito, sedibus convenientibus, campana, aliisque necessariis ad divinum cultum sufficienter et decenter ornaverunt et extruxerunt, nobisque supplicaverunt ut nos auctoritate nostra ordinaria et Episcopali pro nobis et successoribus nostris dictam Capellam ac alia premissa ab omnibus usibus pristinis communibus et prophanis quibuscumque seperaremus, et in usus sacros, et divinos dedicaremus et consecraremus:

14. Nos igitur Georgius permissione divina Londoniensis Episcopus pro et religioso desiderio dictorum reverendorum et venerabilium virorum in hac parte favorabiliter annuentes, ad consecrationem hujus Capellae, sumptibus

reverendorum et venerabilium virorum predictorum (ut prefertur) de novo

erectae, edificatae, constructae et adornatae, authoritate nostra ordinaria et

episcopali procedentes.  Hanc Capellam ac totam fabricam et ingressus ejusdem ac scalas sive gradus dictae capellae prout in praesentiarum constructa existent ac alia premissa ad dictam Capellam spectantia, ab omni communi

et prophano usu in perpetuum seperavimus, ac sic separata esse attestamur per presentes. 

15. Ac insuper eadem authoritate nostra ordinaria et Episcopali, pro nobis et successoribus nostris licentiam et facultatem in Domino concedimus                                                                    

ad rem divinam in Capella predicta faciendam, nempe preces publicas,

et sacram ecclesiae Anglicanae Liturgiam recitandas verbum Dei sincere

proponendum et predicandum et sacramentum sacrae Eucharistiae sive cena Domini in eadem ministrandum.  Ac tam presbytero juxta morem et ritum ecclesiae Anglicanae canonice ordinato, in eadem Capella deservituro, preces                                                                                        

divinas dicendo ceteraque premissa faciendo, quam dictis Reverendis                                

et venerabilibus viris jurisconsultis ac studentibus et commorantibus

in hospitio predicto, preces divinas in dicta Capella et conciones ibidem

factas audiendo ceteraque premissa percipiendo plenam in Domino

concedimus potestatem. 

16. Eandemque Capellam quantum in nobis est, et de iure legibus statutis et canonibus hujus Regni Angliae possumus, et nobis licet, in honorem Dei et sacros dictorum reverendorum et venerabilium virorum et aliorum in hospitio predicto commorantium usus, nunc et in futurum per nomen Capellae sanctae

et individuae Trinitatis in hospitio de Lincolnes

Inne consecramus et sic nuncupamus et nominamus, et sic assignatam

dedicatam, consecratam nuncupatam et nominatam esse, ac in futuris

perpetuis temporibus remanere debere palam et publice pronun-

-tiamus decernimus et declaramus.privilegiis insuper omnibus et

singulis in ea parte usitatis et requisitis, Capellis consecratis de jure

competentibus, hanc capellam  ad omnem juris effectum munitam esse volumes.

17. Et quantum in nobis est et de jure possumus sic munimus

et stabilimus per presentes; Absque prejudicio tamen ullo et salvo semper jure et interesse ecclesiarum parochialium Sancti Dunstani in Occidente

Londonii, et Sancti Andreae in Holborne, Londonii; et Rectorum Vicariorum Curatorum et Gardianorum ecclesiarum praedictarum et aliorum

Ministrorum earundem, pro tempore existentium, ac omnium aliarum ecclesiarum quarumcumque, in quarum parochiis hospitium praedictum vel limites eiusdem aut aliqua inde pars sita et situata existunt in omnibus et singulis oblationibus obventionibus vadiis feodis proficuis privilegiis juribus et emolumentis ecclesiasticis quibuscunque ordinariis et extraordinariis eisdem respective debitis vel consuetis ac intra precinctum sive limites hospitii praedicti orientibus et provenientibus et ad dictas ecclesias de jure vel consuetudine quoquo modo spectantibus et pertinentibus Rectoribus, Vicariis Curatis Gardianis et aliis Ministris earundem ecclesiarum in tam amplis modo et forma prout eisdem debebatur ante hanc nostram consecrationem hujus Capellae.

18. Quae omnia et singula premissa quantum in nobis est et de jure possumus pro nobis et successoribus nostris sic decernimus et stabilimus per praesentes.                                      

19. Quibus finitis convocabatur tota congregatio in Capellam, statimque jussu et mandato dicti Reverendi patris preces ordinariae celebrabantur ibidem                                                     

per Magistrum Thomam Wilson sacrae Theologiae batchalaureum unum Capellanorum domesticorum dicti Reverendi patris, loco tamen Psalmorum seligebantur qui legebantur Psalmi 24, 27, 84 Et pro prima lectione – 2 Chron: 6. pro secunda lectione – Johannis 10 ver: 22, ad finem. 

20. Post collectam illam in litania[2] pro Episcopis et Curatis Oratio sequens habebatur, videlicet:

21. Almightie God which dwellest not in Temples made with hands

as saith the prophet, and yet vouch safest to accept the devout services

of thy poore creatures, allotting speciall places for divine Offices, promisinge

even there to heare and graunt their requests, We humbly beseech

thee to accept our this-dayes duty and service of dedicating this Chappell                         

to thy great and dreadfull name, and fullfill, we pray thee, thy gratious promises that whatsoever prayers in this sacred place shall be made according to thy will, may be favourably accepted and returned with their desired successe, to thyne eternall glory and our especiall comforte in Jesus Christ, to whom, etc.

22.  Illam sequebatur Psalm : 23 qui canebatur post psalmum contio per

Reverendum et venerabilem virum Magistrum Johannem Donne sacrae

Theologiae Professorem Decanum Paulinum qui pro themate                                             

legebat e 10 capite Evangelii secundum Johannem versus 22 et 23 – in his verbis:

 23. And it was at Jerusalem the feast of Dedication,

      And it was winter. 

And Jesus was

      Walking in the Temple in Solomon’s porch.

24. Concione finita, dictus Reverendus pater se parans ad Eucharistiam celebrandam accensitis Reverendis et venerabilibus Dominis et aliquibus aliis

Jurisconsulti hospitii praedicti tunc ibidem presentibus coram altare.

25. Idem Reverendus pater a septentrionali mensae parte stans, decalogum recitabat, et pro collecta legebat ut sequitur: 

26. Most mercifull Saviour, which by thy bodily presence at the feast of Dedication didst approve and honour such devout and religious services

as this we have now performed, present thyself also unto us by thy holy spirit, And because that Holynes becometh thy house for ever, Consecrate us,

we pray thee, as an holy temple unto thine owne selfe, that thou dwelling in our hearts by faith, we may be clensed from all carnal and prophane

affections, and devoutly given to all good workes for the glory

of thy most holy name, To whom, etc.

27. Praedictus Capellanus legebat pro {Epistola 1 Cor: ver’: 10 / Evang:  John 2 ver’. 13, ad finem

28. Tunc dictus Reverendus pater accingit se ad caenam Dominicam,

exeunt qui non participant, manent cum Episcopo et Capellanis

Domini hospitii et aliquot alii Jurisconsulti etc. qui participant, etc.

29. Synaxi vero peracta hanc gratulationem pro Colophone addebat                                   

et alta voce pronuntiabat dictus Dominus Episcopus, videlicet: —

30. Blessed be thy name, O Lord our God for that it pleaseth

thee to have thyne habitation among men, and to dwell in

the assembly of the righteous.  Blesse wee beseech thee this

dayes action unto us, prosper thou the work of our hands                                                    

uppon us, Lord prosper those our handy worke, blesse this

house [and family] and the owners thereof into whose mindes

thou diddest putt it to have this place consecrated unto thee,

Be with them and theires in their going out and coming in and

make them truly thankfull unto thy glorious name, who

being  soe great a God and the Lord of the whole earth, vouchsafeth

to accept these poore offerings from sinfull men which are

themselves but earth and ashes And graunt that they and their

successors may faithfully serve thee in this place to the

comforte of their own soules and the everlasting praise of thy                                             

glorious Majestie, through Jesus Christe our Lord and onely Saviour.

31. Quibus finitis supra nominatis Reverendis et venerabilibus Dominis                            

et aliquibus aliis Jurisconsultis hospitii praedicti coram altare

sitis, Reverendus Pater Dominus Episcopus Londoniensis ante

dictus eos his aut similibus verbis affatus est, videlicet. –

32. It  was your most earnest desire to have this place consecrated which request you have obtained and therein            a double favour both from God that it will please him to

accepte from simple men such meane offers and to tye his presence by promise to such places as this.  And also from the Church which hath appointed the means for

performing  thereof, and this request is by me already satisfied and that duty performed. 

33. Now then you must know that this place is become an Anathema, and that in every anathema is both a consecration and an execration, a blessing and curse.  If you shall use it rightly, and to that purpose only for which it is sanctified, it will be an anathema, a blessing to you and to your house and families.  If it be otherwise that you prophane it, it will be an Anathema, a curse to you and your house, and posterity. 

34. Therefore I doe here charge you in the name of Allmighty God, in whose presence you nowe appeare, and to whose great and glorious name this place is now dedicated that neyther Yee by yourselves, or by anie permission of others, do or suffer to be done anie thing contrary to that is now intended and performed, If ye shall, I doe call the great God of heaven, before whose Altar ye nowe stand, and this congregation here present, wittnesses against the soules of you and Yours at the dreadfull day of Judgment. 

35. But my hope is you will not and yet for more assurance, I doe require you to passe me your promises before God and the company not to do or suffer it anie way to be prophaned

36. Tunc data fide per dictos Reverendos et venerabiles dominos et aliquot alios hospitii praedicti ad effectum praedictum Reverendus pater antedictus totam congregationem cum benedictione illa Apostolica dimisit, videlicet:  —

37. The Peace of God which passeth all understanding, etc.

38. Post capellam consecratam et omnia ibidem peracta Reverendus Pater Dominus Episcopus Londoniensis descendit ad fundum pro sepultura assignatum consecrandum.

39. Primo ante introitum super fundo consecrando actum et

petitum fuit ex part Dominorum hospitii, similiter ut antea actum

et petitum fuit, ad ostium capellae, et ad eorum petitiones Reverendus

Pater Dominus Episcopus Londoniensis decrevit dictum fundum consecrandum fore, et inde cepit possessionem. 

40. Tunc dictus Reverendus Pater una cum vicario suo in spiritualibus                               

generali et dominis fundi et aliis multis personis eum accomitantibus

fundum consecrandum circumdidit, et deinde ad sedem pro eo praeparatam  et decenter ornatam se contulit et ibidem aliquantulum

se reposuit. /

41. Strepite sedato Reverendus pater Dominus Episcopus Londoniensis

antedictus orationem fecit  coram congregatione presente                                                   

et tunc Magister Thomas Worrall sacrae theologiae bacchalarius Capellanus Domesticus dicti Reverendi patris publice legebat – 23 cap:  Geneseos.

42. Tunc venerabilis vir, Dominus Henricus Marten Vicarius in

spiritualibus generalis dicti Reverendi patris eidem Reverendo                                           

patri praesentavit schedulam sive sententiam dedicationis

sive consecrationis in scriptis conceptam, ex parte Dominorum

fundi praedicti humiliter petens eandem legi et promulgari.

Et ad ejus petitionem Idem Reverendus pater fundum

praedictum consecravit legendo publice schedulam sive sententiam dedicationis et consecrationis praedictam sibi (ut praefertur) porrectam

et per eum receptam verbis sequentibus, videlicet: 

43. In Dei  Nomine Amen.  Cum Reverendi et Venerabiles viri

Jurisconsulti ac Studentes in hospitio communiter vocato

Lincolnes Inne juxta vicum communiter nuncupatum Chancery 

Lane in suburbiis civitatis Londoniensis, nostrarum Londoniensis

Diocesis et Jurisdictionis, pia et religiosa devotione ducti,

hunc locum sive fundum, ad dictos Reverendos et

Venerabiles viros jure optimo nuper pertinentem, ac trans-

-itum sive accessum ad finem occidentalem ejusdem, Deo                                                  

et presenti huic Capellae modo per nos consecratae, pietatis

intuitu, et pro mortuis sepeliendis, obtulerint et dona-

-verint, quiquidem locus sive fundus, pro majore ejusdem

parte, sub arcu sive concameratione ejusdem Capellae situs, et per

extremitates fulcimentorum fabricae ejusdem, ea utroque                                                    

latere terminatus, continet ab orientali parte ejusdem versus

occidentem septuaginta et sex pedes, et a septentrionali parte

ejusdem versus austrum sexaginta et septem pedes, aut eo circiter,

et transitus sive accessus ad finem occidentalem ejusdem

continet in longitudine viginti unum pedes, et in latitudine                                                  

septem pedes, aut eo circiter, nobisque supplicaverint ut

nos authoritate nostra ordinaria  et Episcopali, dictum locum                                              

sive fundum ac transitum sive accessum ad finem occidentalem

ejusdem, ab omnibus usubus pristinis communibus et                                                          

prophanis quibuscumque, separare et ad sacros convertere dignaremus.

44. Nos igitur Georgius permissione divina Londoniensis Episcopus, pro

et religioso eorum desiderio in hac parte favorabiliter

annuentes, locum et fundum hujusmodi, ac transitum sive

accessum ad finem occidentalem ejusdem, quantitates supra                                               

specificatas continentem, a pristinis et aliis quibuscumque

usubus communibus et prophanis in usus sequentes

separandum fore decernimus.

45. Ac eisdem jurisconsultis et Studentibus in hospitio praedicto,

et commorantibus in precinctu hospitii praedicti, eorumque

successoribus, in Caemiterium sive locum sepulturae corporum

demortuorum in et pro hospitio praedicto, quantum in nobis

est, ac legibus statutis et canonibus hujus Regni Angliae                                                     

possumus, assignamus, et authoritate nostra Episcopali

dedicamus et consecramus,  ac sic assignatos dedicatos                                                       

et consecratos esse attestamur per praesentes, Ac eosdem sic

dedicatos et consecratos in futuris perpetuis temporibus                                                      

remanere debere, palam et publice pronuntiamus decernimus

et declaramus. 

46. Privilegiis insuper omnibus et singulis in ea parte

usitatis et requisitis caemiteriis sive locis consecratis, de jure

competentibus, hujusmodi caemiterium sive loca sepulturae

ad omnem juris effectum munita esse volumus, et quantum in                                            

nobis est et de jure possumus tenore presentium  sic munimus

et stabilimus.  Absque prejudicio tamen ullo et salvo

semper jure et interesse ecclesiarum parochialium

Sancti Dunstani in occidente Londonii et Sancti Andreae

In Holborne Londonii, et  Rectorum, Vicariorum, Curatorum,                                            

et Gardianorum ecclesiarum praedictarum, et aliorum

Ministrorum earundem pro tempore existentium, ac omnium

aliarum ecclesiarum quarumcumque, ac Rectorum, Vicariorum

Curatorum, et Gardianorum et aliorum Ministrorum 

earundem pro tempore existentium, in quarum

parochiis hospitium praedictum vel limites ejusdem, aut

aliqua inde pars sita et situata existunt, in omnibus et singulis vadiis feodis pro-

ficuis privilegiis juribus et emolumentis quibuscumque pro

sepulturis, eisdem ecclesiis respective debitis vel consuetis, ac premiss-

-orum ratione, ex precinctu seu limitibus hospitii praedicti

orientibus et provenientibus, et ad dictas ecclesias de jure                                                   

vel consuetudine quoquo modo specantibus et pertinentibus,

Rectoribus, Vicariis, Curatis, Gardianis et aliis Ministris earumdem ecclesiarum in tam amplis modo et forma prout eisdem debebantur, aut solvi solebant ante hanc nostram consecrationem hujus Capellae et coemiterii, sive loci vel fundi hujusmodi pro sepultura nunc assignati. 

47. Quae omnia et singula premissa, quantum in nobis est et de Jure possumus, pro nobis et successoribus nostris sic decernimus et stabilimus per presentes.

48. Quo facto idem Reverendus pater supplicationes fecit pro benedictione operis praedicti, orando prout sequitur, videlicet

49. Most mercifull Father thou hast bin pleased to teach us in thy Holy words, that the verie bodyes of thy faythfull servantes are not made in vaine, but that living and dying they have their speciall uses appointed by thy selfe.  Thou hast framed them here on earth to be the workmanship of thy handes, and to sounde out thy glory, thou hast                                                                     

fashioned them unto the shape of thy owne sonne, that by a spirituall union, they should be as boneof his bone, and flesh of his flesh.  Thou hast made them the Temples of the Holy Ghoste, that thy sacred spirit may move and worke in them those thinges

which by thy mercy are acceptable in thy sight, And when they are to rest with their fathers and to returne unto the earth from whence they were taken, thou hast appointed them not for ever to remaine there in corruption, but at the day of the generall resurrection to come forth of the graves, to be possessed with eternity and to be crowned with immortality.

50. Wee cannot therefore but take Knowledge by the examples of thy Patriarchs and holy men in all ages, and by that which thy blessed word hath revealed unto us, that it is thy gracious pleasure that when thy servants shall by thee be called out of this miserable world, their bodies should be seemly and decently committed unto Christian buryall, that in the bowells of the earth they may remaine in hope of a joyfull resurrection.  And having for that purpose made choice of this place where we  

now are, that it may be a receptable for the bodies of such of our brethren as thou dost ordaine hither. 

51. Wee beseech Thee to accept this worke of ours, and mercifully to graunt that we who be here presente may never forgett our dissolution from the Tabernacle of this flesh, but that living we may thincke on death, and dying we may apprehend life, to the everlasting comfort of our soules.  And for those whose bodies are hereafter

to be committed to this earth so guide them with thy grace while they are here in this world, that setting Thee evermore before their eyes, and accomptinge all thinges vaine in comprison of their enjoying of Thee their onely God and Saviour, they may live in Thy feare and dye in thy fayth, and soe be made heyres of thy everlasting Kingdome through Jesus Christ our Lord and blessed redeemer.  Amen .            

52. Et sic tandem Reverendus Pater antedictus totam congregacionem dimisit, cum benedictione illa Apostolica videlicet:

53. The peace of God which passeth all understandinge Etc. — 


[1] This document is a transcription of Lincoln’s Inn Ms. Archives ref J1a2,  including original spellings, punctuation, and use of capitals.  Abbreviations have been silently expanded for ease of reading.

[2] The text reads “latinia”; we are grateful to Diarmaid MacCulloch for suggesting this is a misreading for “litania,” in a reference to the Great Litany, into which the prayer that follows is to be inserted.