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Partick Coat of Arms
Partick Coat of Arms

Scottish Musical Review 1896
Scottish Musical Review 1896

Vicars' Choir Stone

Mitchell Library, Glasgow Collection

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Vicars' Choir Stone

Inscribed stone from the "place" (the house, or manse) of the Vicars Choral, which was situated north of the Cathedral to the east of Vicars' Alley. The Vicars Choral were the vicars responsible for providing music at services in the Cathedral. The stone was discovered in the wall of 122 Saltmarket, presumably having been removed from its original location after the Reformation. The inscription reads, Has pater Andreas antistes condidit edes; Presbiteris choro Glasgu famulantibus almo.

"Pater Andreas" is Andrew Muirhead, who was Bishop of Glasgow from 1455 to 1473. He took a keen interest in the musical services of Glasgow Cathedral. Singing had been part of services since the 13th century, but was of variable quality. Muirhead founded the College of Vicars of the Choir of Glasgow in 1467.

The vicars choral were trained in singing, to keep up the tone and quality of the services. They came out from their stalls in the choir and grouped themselves round the lectern to lead the praise. There were originally twelve of them, later increased to eighteen.

Reference: Mitchell Library, GC 941.435 REN

Reproduced with the permission of Glasgow City Council, Libraries Information and Learning

bishops, carvings, choirs, College of Vicars of the Choir of Glasgow, Glasgow Cathedral, music, priests, singing, vicars choral

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