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Chapter

Members of a religious house used to assemble regularly to hear a chapter (Lat. capitulum) of the Rule of St. Benedict or of Scripture read publicly, and the name “chapter” became attached to their assembly and later to the people who met. Meetings of a whole province or order of monks became known as “provincial chapters” or “general chapters.”* In particular, the term became used of monks or canons in a cathedral or collegiate church, presided over by the dean and responsible for its administration, fabric, and worship. Chapter- houses were built from the ninth century, almost exclusively in England, often polygonal externally and vaulted within. In some cathedrals, the lesser chapter consists of residentiary canons, and the greater chapter comprises these and the honorary canons.