Bishop West's Chantry Chapel

Nicholas West was Bishop of Ely between 1515 – 1534:

Although in his undergraduate days he had a reputation as a trouble maker, Nicholas West made good. He was employed by King Henry VII as his Chaplain, and by King Henry VIII as a diplomatic envoy, until he took up the cause of Queen Catherine and opposed the divorce. It is recorded that ‘he lived in the greatest splendour of any Prelate in his time’, yet he fed ‘warm meat and drink to the excess of 200 people per day’ (recorded by Robert Steward, Prior of Ely). He was a learned man who, despite his largesse, died a very rich man; on his death he was recorded as having 250 books and 5,000 ounces of silver and silver gilt – more than Ely Monastery had on its dissolution.

He gave large gifts to King’s College where he had been an undergraduate and he built this Chantry, on the walls of which he cause do be carved ‘Gratia Dei sum id quod sum’ (By the grace of God I am what I am) I Corinthians 15:10.*

Bishop West's Chantry Chapel

Bishop West's Chantry Chapel

‘When anyone is joined to Christ, there is a new creation: the old is gone, the new has come.’ 2 Corinthians 5:17*

Bishop West's Chantry Chapel

Bishop Woodford, whose memorial I showed in my recent post is buried within Bishop West’s Chapel:

Bishops Greene (d. 1738), Keene (d. 1781), Sparke (d. 1836), and Woodford (d. 1885) are all buried in this chapel. On the south side, within a shrine-like receptacle, have been placed the relics of seven early benefactors of the church. Originally buried in the Saxon church, they have been several limes removed. They were placed here in 1771. The names are carved in seven shallow niches. One was an archbishop, five were bishops, and the seventh was Alderman Brithnoth. The dates range from 991 to 1067.

*From an information board next to the Chapel

10 Comments CherryPie on Nov 28th 2018

10 Responses to “Bishop West’s Chantry Chapel”

  1. No wonder Bishop West appeared to be VERY rich! If it is true that he had 250 books (at a time when books were still expensive) and 5,000 ounces of silver and silver gilt on his death, he must have been from a very noble family. Or he was a very clever business man.

  2. Shabana says:

    very interesting history my friend!

    money is power and any kind of power provoke people to live eternal life so did he
    he lived majestically and left such glorious tomb to keep him existing in history

  3. Shabana says:

    the chapel is really beautiful !
    carnation on windows is so nice

  4. Ayush Basu says:

    your first shot here had my eyes glued, CP.

  5. That entrance looks like an entrance to a quire!
    So posh :)