Rev. Septimus Harding is much-loved in Barchester, perhaps the most beloved citizen in the county. In addition to the work at his church, which includes a superb choir, he is also Warden of a local hospital where a group of elderly gentlemen reside and receive a small stipend from the will of a benefactor who died some 400 years ago. Dr. John Bold has been tasked to look into this will to determine if its wishes are being correctly applied. He is particularly concerned the Rev. Harding is in receipt of an annual stipend of £800 per year - a considerable increase in the original amount owing to a vast increase in the value of the property - while its residents receive only 1s6d per day. The results of Bold's investigations figure prominently in a newspaper article denouncing the practices of the Church of England. Rev. Harding takes all of the criticism in his stride, even beginning to wonder if his remuneration might in fact be excessive. His daughter Eleanor however does not and any ...