21 January 2021

Self Reinvention (4).

But you are wondering what became of the Feudal Property which Athelstan Riley bought in Jersey, so as to secure a quasi-noble status. It was at a place called La Trinite. And, here again, Riley rewrote History. The House had previously been distinctly ordinary ... Riley substantially rebuilt it to look like a ... you guessed ... a traditional Norman Manor House. Indeed, it is probably the finest such 'typical' property within the ancient Duchy! So fine that, during the Occupation, the German CO occupied it and the Rileys had to remove themselves to an estate cottage. But it was important to the entire 'Project Riley'. So, in 1918, in his new Coat of Arms, Riley got the Heralds to include (on a canton) the arms used by previous families which had held the property and the seigneury (a red canton with nine golden billets).

Did I mention that Riley was not short of money? I am going to conclude by plagiarising the The Liturgical Arts Journal (March 6, 2018) to add a few words about his London Residence, Number 2 Kensington Court (by 2018, the Milestone Hotel). It was built for him (did I mention that he employed the best, most expensive people to do such work for him?) in 1895 by the Sir Thomas Jackson who also built a great deal of Oxford in the last part of the nineteenth century. It included a little Oratory by Kempe (Did I ...er ...) the altar piece of which was subsequently removed so that the little room could become part of the hotel's dining complex. Riley's daughter Morwenna Brocklebank gave it in 1950 to Cavendish Church in Suffolk, where it still languishes although no longer used as a Altar piece. (Such pre-modern fripperies can play no role in modern feminised Anglican liturgical extravaganzas such as Messy Church!)

It is a medieval Flemish carving restored by Ninian Comper, and defiantly bearing Riley's first Coat of Arms, impaled with Molesworth for his wife).



Peter said...

I am not sure that the manor looks like a traditional Norman Manor House. Readers can see and read about it here: https://www.theislandwiki.org/index.php/Trinity_Manor and here https://www.theislandwiki.org/index.php/Trinity_Manor%27s_rebuilding
It is certainly impressive and the grounds are very well kept. There is also a farm.
I suspect that St' Ouen's manor is more typical as a manor. https://www.stouensmanor.com/
The chapel at St Ouen's Manor used to have a regular Extraordinary Form Mass said by an Oxford educated Priest Fr A Amy. The seigneur used to serve. In his absence I occasionally did my best.

William Tighe said...

I seem to recall a passage in Colin Stephenson's Merrily on High (1972) in which Fr. Stephenson recounts how Riley, deaf and towards the end of his life, addressed a group of Church of England bishops, and in the course of that address observed that in the Early Church many of them would have been excommunicated for having wives!

Commissioner said...

To an armorist and romantic getting heartily fed-up with Lockdown, you could not, dear Father, have provided more delighted diversion. And in four parts too! We are spoilt.

I have 'googled' Comper's screen, it is truly a delight.

Albrecht von Brandenburg said...

Well, Professor Tighe,

That all depends on how allegedly early.

I Cor 9:5 is clear that the infant episcopate was clearly staffed by (mainly) married men, including the first pope.

I suggest as a remedy to such fantasies about the alleged ancientry of a supposed requirement of celibacy as were entertained by Riley, that every serious canon lawyer or theologian's first port of call should by "Celibacy - Gift Or Law?" by Dr Heinz-Jurgen Vogels. Of course, whether such Anglican prelates actually were bishops is a matter of sacramental provenance.


Banshee said...

The Jewish priests had been mostly married (so as to produce priest sons and priest-marrying-suitable daughters), but observed continence during Temple service periods. Bishops said Mass, and were supposed to maintain continence before doing so -- and that was very hard on any unenthusiastic early Christian bishop's wife, particularly if the bishop was some random Christian nobleman/scholar who had been grabbed up by some provincial or faraway town needing one.

For example, Synesius of Cyrene, the student of Hypatia. He and his wife had had no plans to settle down in Ptolemais, much less for him to become its bishop, but he got grabbed. And then his new congregation started to object to his wife living in his house, even if they were both continent all the time.

It was a lot easier if a town could grab a monk, who was guaranteed to have no wives around if you made him a bishop, and who presumably would be continent all the time already.

Albrecht von Brandenburg said...

Banshee, the evidence in favour of a law of clerical contince is far from overwhelming - cf. Clement of Alexandria. Besides, the assumption of ritual purity, upon which such an alleged law rests, has been falsified by the New Testament.