LIVES OF THE BISHOPS OF EXETER
PETER QUIVIL was the son of Peter and Helewisa Quivil, of Exeter, and in early life found a friend and patron in Bishop Bronescombe, who in due time, viz. 28th December, 1276, collated him to the canonry and prebend of this Cathedral, void by the death of Henry Mountfort. At the time of his election to the see of Exeter, he was also Archdeacon of St. David's. King Edward I., on 7th October, 1280, signified his approbation of our chapter's choice, and restored him the temporalities four days later.
On 10th November he was consecrated at Canterbury by Archbishop Peckham; and thus was the third Exonian in succession, who rose to be the bishop of his native city. In the archives of the Dean and Chapter is his receipt to the executors of his predecessor of their delivery of the one hundred oxen, the accustomed legacy to the new diocesan. It bears date Thursday after St. Matthias (Feb.) "consecrationis nostræ anno primo?" Unfortunately his register, commencing with the 18th July, 1281, is incomplete, and has been greatly injured by the application of galls; but the fabric rolls afford abundant evidence of the zeal and taste which he manifested in the new work of his cathedral.
Towards the efficient support of its precentor, he appropriated on 5th July, 1282, the rectories of Paignton and Chudleigh ('Reg.' folio 118). On 20th April, 1283, he annexed to its chancellor the rectories of St. Newelina, in Cornwall, and of Stoke Gabriel, in Devon; and on 7th July, 1284, he had endowed the new office of its subdean or penitentiary, with the church of Egloshiel, in Cornwall ('Reg.' folio 125). To his chapter also he was a considerate and bountiful benefactor. He encouraged Sir John de Wiger, Knt., to grant to its members the manor of Thorverton, and he confirmed. its appropriation on Ash Wednesday, 1283 ('Reg.' folio 120), as well as Roger de Rous' donation to them of Wydecomb Church and St. Leonard's Chapel in Spickwich, on 3rd February following. Towards their better maintenance he granted to them the church of Constantine, in Cornwall, on 21st July, 1285; and on 27th July of the ensuing year the churches of Broadhembury and Dunsford. In the spirit of gratitude for his zeal in commencing his cathedral at great personal expense, and for his generous attention to their comforts, the chapter engaged to maintain his yearly obit, and that in the memento for the dead in the canon of the mass his name should have precedence "primum et prascipuum?'
An important synod was holden in this city in April, 1287, under the presidency of our bishop; its acts, consisting of 52 chapters, may be seen in Spelman's and Wilkins' Councils; but in most instances are declaratory of the common ecclesiastical law of England. The synod decrees the administration of confirmation shortly after baptism; it requires that the marriage contract be celebrated publicly and at the church door; that every church should keep a record of its endowment at the time of its consecration, with the date of the day and year of that event, and the name of the consecrating prelate; that no parishioner, except the patron or a noble person, could claim a fixed seat in the church; but that the first comers were at liberty to choose seats for themselves; that no brute animals, whether belonging to the parson or to others, should be permitted to graze in the churchyard; that no priest presume to celebrate mass twice on the same day, except on Christmas-day, Easter Sunday, or on the occasion of an interment in his own church; and it distinctly lays down this general rule, as to the building or repairing of churches and chapels, viz. that the building and repairing of the chancel of the mother, church appertains to its rector, and of the nave to the parishioners; but as to dependent parochial chapels, as they were originally licensed for the ease, convenience, and comfort of the distant parishioners, the whole burthen of their erection and maintenance was to rest with those in whose favour they were allowed; nevertheless they continued chargeable with assisting to the repairs, or even rebuilding of the nave of the mother-church according to such equitable proportion as the archdeacon of the place should determine.
On 13th March, 1285, Bishop Quivil united to and merged the ancient but reduced parish of St. Cuthbert's, in Exeter, into St. Paul's.
In the 'Monasticon' of this diocese, p. 331, we have refuted the accusations of Hoker and Godwin, as to the prelate's avowed hostility to the Franciscan Friars of Exeter, and their supposed malicious revenge. That he died on 4th October, 1291, appears certain, as also that he was buried before the altar of the Lady Chapel - here, under a slab inscribed
"Petra tegit Petrum, nichil officiat tibi tetrum."
ARMS: - Azure a cross argent, between two roses in chief, and two fleurs de lis in base, or.
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