Page:A Book of Dartmoor.djvu/351

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was an archpriesthood; there were two of these in Devon and one in Cornwall. The origin of these archpriesthoods is probably this.

In Celtic countries the king liked to have his household priest, who ministered to the retinue and to his family. On the other hand, the tribe had its own saint, who was the ecclesiastical official for the tribe and educated the young.

As the kings increased in power, and the old tribal arrangement broke down, they had their household priests consecrated bishops, and the tribal lands were constituted their dioceses. But in Devon and Cornwall this could not be, as the Saxons took all power away from the native princes, and the Latin ecclesiastics would endure the peculiar ecclesiastical organisation of the Celts. The household priests of the conquered chieftains therefore simply remained as archpriests. The Saxon and then the Norman nobles were not averse from having their own chaplains free from episcopal jurisdiction, and in some places the archpriest remained on. But the bishops did not like them, and one by one gobbled them up. Whitchurch was regulated by Bishop Stapeldon in 1332. At present only one archpriesthood lingers on, that of Haccombe. At an episcopal visitation, when the name of the archpriest is recited by the episcopal official, he does not respond, as to answer the citation would be a recognition of the bishop's jurisdiction over Haccombe. The very fine piece of screen in Whitchurch was placed there by a former Lord Devon. It comes from Moreton Hampstead. When the dunderheads there cast it forth, the Earl secured