ID: 23805
Stone altar case.

TRIAL: STONE ALTAR CASE,, Stone altar case. The judgment of the Rt. Hon. Sir Herbert Jenner Fust, Kt. Dean of the Arches, &c. &c. &c. in the case of Faulkner v. Litchfield and Stearn, on the 31st January, 1845. Edited from the judge's notes, by J.E.P. Robertson, D.C.L., advocate. London: William Benning & Co., 1845.

8vo., (4) + 62pp., recent marbled boards lettered on spine. A very good copy.

First edition.

An interesting legal case heard on appeal in the Court of Arches (i.e. the provincial court of the Archbishop of Canterbury) before Sir Herbert Jenner Fust (1778-1852), who had been appointed official principal of the arches and judge of the prerogative court of Canterbury in 1836. (He remained Dean of the Arches until his death). The so-called "stone altar case" was an appeal by the Rector of the parish church of the Holy Sepulchre in Cambridge against a decree of the Chancellor of the Diocese of Ely granting a faculty awarded to the churchwardens to have "a stone communion table" (i.e. altar) and a stone "credence table" placed in the church. The Minister, a Mr. Faulkener, took the widely held view that a stone altar was no less than Papist: the Churchwardens for their part not only cited examples of stone altars in other Anglican churches, but also acquired the support of the Cambridge Camden Society that had assisted in the restoration of the Holy Sepulchre church. Jenner-Fust's final judgment found in favour of the Rector. Jenner-Fust's opinions and cases had considerable influence in the Church of England at a period of far-reaching change. They include Breeks v. Woolfrey (1839) on praying for the dead; Mastin v. Escott (1841) on unauthorized baptism; Gorham v. Bishop of Exeter (1849); and Cursham v. Williams and Chouler (1851). Although in the Church of England the legality of stone altars continued to be challenged in the 19th century, they have latterly become relatively common.