Note:  Do not rely on this information. It is very old.


Cathedral, the chief church of a district or diocese, so called as containing the bishop's throne. The cathedral is managed by the dean and chapter, the chapter consisting of canons, and this body has the right of electing the bishop forced upon them by the Crown. The canons are of old or new foundation, the latter term being applied to those whose origin dates from monastic bodies changed at the Reformation. Canons are appointed either by the bishop, in which case they are said to be collated, or by the Crown, which appoints by letters patent. Sometimes the Crown holds a prebend, as is the case at St. David's in Britain and has also been the case in France and in Germany. Generally a cathedral town has the dignity of being a city, but this is not always the case, as was decided by law with regard to Manchester. In the case of a town possessing more than one cathedral, only one possesses full cathedral rights. At one period any mother church of a district was called a cathedral, and though not being the see of a bishop, it yet possessed a certain ex cathedra authority.