Peterborough – Peterborough Cathedral (John Chambers Tomb)

Bishop John Chambers, whose tomb is located in Peterborough Cathedral, was the last Abbot of Peterborough Abbey and the Cathedral’s first Bishop. Chambers was the only person to have been able to maintain his role during the transition between the status of Abbey and Cathedral.

Chambers seems to have been well connected to have been able to maintain his position, although the King’s decision to build a tomb to Katherine of Aragon in the Abbey is likely to have been a strong influence as well. He had originally been appointed as Abbot in 1528 by Thomas Wolsey and Chambers was sensible enough to sign the Oath of Supremacy in 1535. Chambers was also present in 1538 when Katherine of Aragon was buried in the building and he remained closely connected to senior figures in the Royal court.

There were another two memorials in the Cathedral to Chambers, although both of these were destroyed when Parliamentarian troops raided the building during the English Civil War. The memorial tomb that does exist also looked heavily worn and damaged, I assume that this damage was again caused during the English Civil War.

Chambers did financially very well out of the Dissolution arrangements and it could be argued that he sold out his principles to do so. Although, without him selling out it’s possible that Peterborough Cathedral might not exist today.