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Records of Gloucester Cathedral for 1885-97, Vol. 3 (Classic Reprint)

Records of Gloucester Cathedral for 1885-97, Vol. 3 (Classic Reprint)

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Excerpt from Records of Gloucester Cathedral for 1885-97, Vol. 3

The Second Volume of the Records of Gloucester Cathedral carried the work of this Society down to July 10th, 1884. On Thursday, July 24th, 1884. the Society suffered an almost irreparable loss by the death of its founder, the Rev. Canon Lyttleton. It was owing to a suggestion of his in March, 1882, that it was formed; and his personal influence and popularity enabled the Committee, in the face of many difficulties, to arrange for lectures by such able writers as the present Bishop of Durham and the late Mr. E. A. Freeman, Dean Plumptre, Sir William Guise, Mr. Gambier Parry, &c., &c. Since Canon Lyttleton died the Society has packed a leader, and death has made sad havoc amongst those who gladly accepted his invitation to act on an executive committee and assist otherwise in the work of the Society.

The Very Rev. Dean Law, who had gladly given it his support and approval, was gathered to his fathers at a ripe old age in 1884; in the first week of 1885, the Rev. E. H. Bickersteth was appointed his successor, but on the very day of his installation he received and accepted an offer of the Bishopric of Exeter.

Dean Bickersteth's place was filled by the Head Master of Harrow, Dr. Butler, and his appointment promised well for the prosperity of this Society and for the intellectual life of the Cathedral body and the citizens of Gloucester. The lectures had been discontinued since the death of Canon Lyttleton, but it was hoped that Dean Butler would give renewed energy and a wider sphere of usefulness to an organization which still remained intact.

On Monday, December 14th, 1885, the letter-press printers of Gloucester, to the number of 70, at the invitation of the Dean, visited the Cathedral and made a tour of inspection under his guidance and that of the Secretary of the Cathedral Society, the Rev. W. Bazeley, who read in the Chapter House the following notes, which he called Cameos from the History of Gloucester Cathedral.

"The history of our Cathedral Churches is an integral part of the history of our land and people, and the fact that Gloucester became the seat of a bishop only some 345 years ago makes its Cathedral no exception; for, as the Abbey of Gloucester, it held a conspicuous place in the annals of England for nine centuries.

"No part of the present structure is more ancient than the time of Edward the Confessor, the last but one of our Saxon kings; nor does it stand on exactly the same site as the Saxon Church built by King Osric in 681. But imbedded in the massive pillars of the Nave and Choir are bricks of Roman manufacture, carrying us back some six centuries before Osric's time, when Gloucester was developing from a Roman camp into a city, and the truths of Christianity were being first preached by Roman soldiers from Gaul. I shall try this afternoon to connect the foundation and successive alterations in the structure of Gloucester Cathedral with events of national interest which are known to have happened in this city, and many of them within these walls.

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