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The post of Preacher was established in 1574 for Sunday morning sermons during term time and was often assigned to well-known clerics. Chapel duties were handled by the Chapel Readers (known as Chaplains until the reformation), a post which was established in 1315. Sometimes an Afternoon Preacher was also appointed if the Chapel Reader of the day refused to give the afternoon sermon on top of all his other duties. 

In 1919, when the Preachership became vacant, Pension decided the Chapel needed only one clergyman. The Chapel Reader, Revd John Phillips, took on the Preacher’s duties until resigning the next year. Revd Walter Matthews, appointed Chaplain in 1920, merged the roles in 1928, gaining the title of Preacher. 

The history of the Chapel Readers has not been recorded in the Inns History in as much detail as that of the Preacher. The Preachers were appointed to deliver showpiece sermons precisely because they were high-profile, but the Chapel Readers were lower down the social scale and, as ordinary clergy, are correspondingly more difficult to track down outside the Inn. 

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