Tenison, Edward ; Farrant, Henry ; James, John
(Tenison) The true copies of some letters, occasion’d by the demand for dilapidations in the archiepiscopal see of Canterbury. Part I (Part II) ; (Farrant) A letter to Mr Archdeacon Tenison, detecting several misrepresentations in his pamphlets relating to the demand for dilapidations ; (James) The survey and demand for dilapidations in the archiepiscopal see of Canterbury, justified, against the cavils and misrepresentations, contained in some letters lately published by Mr Archdeacon Tenison.
(London), “printed in the year 1716” (first two items) ; (London), “printed in the year 1717” ; London, “printed by William Hunter in Jewin Street MDCCXVII’’ (i.e., in 1717).
Small 4to. 4 pamphlets. 8pp ; 7 + (1)pp ; 15 + (1)pp ; 16pp. First two pamphlets (by Tenison)browned and bound together in recent boards ; pamphlet by Farrant sewn as issued, with early nineteenth century engraved book label of Thomas Fisher, Hoxton, pasted to back cover ; pamphlet by James bound in recent boards. No ownership inscriptions but all derive from the library of Sir Howard Colvin.
Four scarce early eighteenth century pamphlets documenting a dispute between Edward Tenison (1673-1735), Archdeacon of Carmarthen (and subsequently Bishop of Ossory), executor to his cousin Thomas Tenison (1636-1715), Archbishop of Canterbury, and the new Archbishop of Canterbury, William Wake, over the amount of money due to Wake from Archbishop Tenison’s estate for necessary repairs to the Archiepiscopal palaces at Lambeth and Croydon. For architectural history the most important of the pamphlets is that by the architect John James (c.1672-1746), who had been called in by the new archbishop to do a survey of the palace buildings and who had subsequently agreed, as he had supposed, a list of dilapidations and the costs of putting them right with Archdeacon Tenison’s representative William Dickinson, Surveyor to the Dean and Chapter of Westminster Abbey. James’s pamphlet is of interest for documenting the procedure involved in coming to an agreed value for the dilapidations – he and Dickinson were each attended by a mason, a carpenter, a bricklayer and a plumber of their own choice (”eight artificers, all men of honest reputation”) – and for comments on the then condition of the buildings (the Lollard’s Tower at Lambeth Palace “looks rather like a part of Bedlam, than of an Archbishop’s palace”). The root cause of the dispute was that Edward Tenison wished to pay as little as possible out of Archbishop Tenison’s estate towards the cost of putting the palace buildings in order – they had evidently been allowed to deteriorate during Archbishop Tenison’s long tenure of the diocese of Canterbury, towards the end of which the Archbishop had been very aged and infirm – and with this objective in mind he rejected the initial valuation for the dilapidations agreed between James and Dickinson but eventually settled for a lower valuation arrived at by arbitrators. Tenison’s own pamphlets set out the facts from his point of view, but his contentions are effectively rebutted by the subsequent pamphlets issued by Farrant, Archbishop Wake’s lawyer, and by John James. Farrant’s pamphlet, discussing in turn all the issues in the case, incorporates a separate memorandum by Ambrose Warren, one of the late Archbishop’s employees, in which Warren attributes the failure to carry out repairs at Lambeth in 1713-4 to the avariciousness and drunkenness of Archdeacon Tenison’s uncle, another Edward Tenison, who was then acting as the Archbishop’s steward. Although the pamphlets are by different authors and are not bound together, we offer them as a group, for they present both sides of this dispute and clearly belong together. John James’s pamphlet is listed by Harris/Savage as their no. 379 (on the basis of copies in the British Library and at Yale). None of the pamphlets are in the BAL Cat.