From Foundation to Reformation, 1421–1558
in Manchester Cathedral
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This chapter shows that the foundation of the College and its development in the following century were signs of the vitality of the late medieval Church. The dedication to St George and St Denys locates Manchester’s Collegiate Church within the reign of Henry V. Fifteenth-century religion was once assumed to have been moribund and unpopular, but recent research has uncovered a church which was remarkable in its energy, commitment, popularity, and versatility. Its founders intended for the Manchester Collegiate Church to offer the best possible religious provision for the community, as well as providing prayers for the souls of its benefactors. The chapter demonstrates how the founding ideals of piety, educational provision, and community service continued after the Reformation. The Edwardian closure of the college and the Marian re-founding illuminate Diarmaid MacCulloch’s vision of a religious cultural revolution under Edward and the reconceptualization of Marian Catholicism by Eamon Duffy and others. The chapter argues that, in the fifteenth and sixteenth centuries, the history of Manchester’s Collegiate Church is a history of the English church in miniature.

Manchester Cathedral

A history of the Collegiate Church and Cathedral, 1421 to the present

Editor: Jeremy Gregory

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