Choristers i.e., boys singing in the choir. These are called in France children of the albs, or simply children of the choir. Those of pope Vitalian (657-672) were lodged and boarded in the parvise, as at Canterbury, Durham, and St. Paul's; they were known as the boys of the almonry. It is recorded of Gregory the Great, St. Germanus, and Nizier, archbishop of Lyons, that they used to attend the choir-boys music school; and children were required to be church-singers by the councils of Aix-la-Chapelle and Toledo. Pope Urban IV was once a chorister of Troyes. We find them sometimes called clerks of the first or third form, according to the manner in which the rows of seats were numbered. They were usually under the charge of the sutcentor; but at Salisbury, where they were endowed, they were intrusted to a canon, called the warden of the twelve boys. They carried the cross, censers, and tapers, and were promoted to be thuriblers, to hold minor orders, and, if worthy, advanced to the office of vicars. Their numbers varied between four and sixteen, in different churches; all received the first tonsure, and were maintained at the tables of one of the canons, whom they regarded as their master, and attended. Probably the ordinary arrangement was, that a portion of the number acted as singers, and the rest as assistants at the altar. In the 17th century, at Hereford, they. were required to be taught to play on the lyre and harp in choir. In process of time they ceased to subsist on the canons' alms; and at Lincoln they appear first to have been boarded in a house under a master; an excellent precedent which was followed at Lichfield at the close of the 15th century. Their dress was a surplice.

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