Classification and Referencing Scheme
ASA1 Induction Mandates
ASA1A Appointment of Archdeacon
ASA2 Sequestration Mandates
ASA3 Glebe Terriers
ASA4 Convocation of Canterbury
ASA5 'Miscellaneous Papers'
REGISTRARS' WORKING RECORDS
ASA6 Sealing registers, precedent books, etc.
COURT RECORDS - GENERAL
ASA7 Act Books
ASA8 Deposition Books
ASA9 Court Papers
COURT RECORDS - VISITATIONS
ASA10 Visitation Processes
ASA11 Visitation Call Books
ASA13 Visitation Articles
ASA14 Visitation Minutes
ASA15 Charges to Clergy by Archdeacons
ASA16 Churchwardens' Declarations to Perform Office
ASA17 Churchwardens' Presentments
ASA18 Church Repair - Injunctions and Certificates
ASA19 Inventories of Church Goods
ASA20 Transcripts of Parish Registers
ASA20A Excommunication and Absolution
COURT RECORDS- NON CONTENTIOUS
ASA21 Dissenters' Meeting House Certificates
ASA22 Marriage Bonds and Allegations
ASA23 Marriage Licences
ASA23A Faculty Papers
ASA23B Surrogates' Bonds
COURT RECORDS - PROBATE
ASA/AW Filed Wills and Administrations
ASA/AR Registers of Wills
ASA24 Indexes of Wills
ASA26 Probate and Administration Act Books
ASA27 Probate Cause and Miscellaneous Papers
ASA28 Archdeacon Grant's Papers
Aldenham parish registers, copy
Lists of church plate
ASA29 Records of the Charity for the Relief of Poor Clergymen
ASA30 Architects' Reports on Churches
|Copies held at:
List of Calendars and Transcripts by W R Wilton Hall
1 Transcripts of Church Register Transcripts [transcripts by Hall of the transcripts of parish registers not underlined in ASA20 below, including those for Buckinghamshire parishes of which the originals are now in the County Record Office, Aylesbury. In seven volumes with a table of contents of all seven volumes in volume I]
2 Calendar of Miscellaneous Papers II/Nos 1-253 1582-1595
3 Calendar of Miscellaneous Papers II/Nos 254-512 1596-1598
4 Calendar of Miscellaneous Papers II/Nos 513-630 1599-1638
[see ASA5/5] and III/Nos 1-150 [see ASA5/6]
5 Calendar of Miscellaneous Papers III/Nos 151-357 1643-1700
6 Calendar of Miscellaneous Papers III/Nos 358-489 1701-1813
7 Extracts from Churchwardens' Presentments 1619-1817
[see ASA17] and Glebe Terriers 1637-1714
8 Visitation Minutes 1777-1850
9 Calendar of Miscellaneous Papers, Third Series [unnumbered and incomplete, 1683-1786] (The documents which Hall collected to form this Third Series have been dispersed since his compilation of the calendar.) and of Visitation and Court Books (Act Books) 1678-1702
10 Certificates of repairs of churches 1757
11 Calendar of Visitation Articles 1757-1802
[see ASA13/1], of Visitation Processes 1672-1819
[see ASA10/1-3], of Induction Mandates 1672-1777
[see ASA1/1], and of papers relating to Proctors in Convocation 1620-1807
12 Transcript of Inventories of Church Goods 1638
[see ASA19/2: this volume in Hall's handwriting was received from the late R L Hine].
13 Calendar of Marriage Licence Bonds 1714-1830
[see ASA22/7-9, 11-23: three unnumbered files]
|Immediate source of acquisition:
Provenance of Archdeaconry of St Albans Records
From St Albans Abbey, 1932
ASA20 [see note to this series explaining provenance]
From St Albans Abbey, 1941
From Somerset House, 1954
ASA20 [see note to this series explaining provenance]
From Diocesan Registry, 1963
|Unpublished finding aids:
Additional Finding Aids
Wilton Hall's transcripts and calendars have already been mentioned and are listed in Appendix A.
A former member of the staff of the Hertfordshire Record Office compiled an extensive index to the causes in the Act Books now listed as ASA7 and to the court papers now listed as ASA9. This index is tied to a system of numerical references now superseded, and users of this index, available in the Record Office, should read the explanatory note to it carefully. Despite its limitations, it is an invaluable finding aid.
The manuscript indexes to wills proved in the Archdeacon's Court, compiled in the office of the Archdeacon's Registrar, are defective and have been replaced by a card index of testators, giving references to both registered and original wills, which also includes references to inventories and grants of administration. This index is available for consultation in the Record Office Search Room.
|Administrative / biographical background:
The modern archdeaconry of St Albans is co-terminous with the geographical county of Hertfordshire and lies within the Diocese of St Albans.
The earlier history of the Archdeaconry is involved. In 1157 during a visit by Robert de Gorham, Abbot of St Albans, to Rome, Pope Adrian IV (Brakespear), himself a native of Hertfordshire, granted extensive privileges to the Abbey of St Albans. The Abbot of St Albans was made a bishop with the right of appointing his own archdeacon and was exempt from the jurisdiction of the Bishop of Lincoln, within whose diocese the abbey lay. After considerable dispute this exemption was recognised by Henry II, and henceforth, until the dissolution of the Abbey in 1539, those Hertfordshire and Buckinghamshire parishes - 26 in all - which formed the old Archdeaconry of St Albans (see list at end of this introduction) remained subject to the authority of an archdeacon appointed by the Abbot.
On the dissolution of the abbey in 1539, under the terms of 31 Henry VIII, c.13, the archdeaconry should have become subject to the Bishop of Lincoln within whose jurisdiction it nominally was. It appears, however, that until 1550, when Edward VI by Letters Patent annexed it to the Diocese of London, it remained independent of episcopal surveillance.
From 1550 to 1845 the Archdeaconry remained within the Diocese of London. In 1845, by an Order in Council dated 8 August under the provisions of 6 & 7 Wm IV, c.77, the whole county of Hertford was annexed to the Diocese of Rochester and the Archdeaconry of St Albans became co-terminous with the county, the Buckinghamshire parishes being transferred to the Archdeaconry of Buckingham, annexed to the Diocese of Oxford.
By the London Diocese Act, 1863 (26 & 27 Vict, c.36, s.3), the Archdeacon of St Albans acquired jurisdiction over the city and deanery of Rochester and became Archdeacon of Rochester and St Albans. The Act of 1863 cited above had envisaged that when the Archdeaconry of Rochester next became vacant it should be suppressed and the next and every future Dean of Rochester should become Archdeacon of the City and Deanery of Rochester. As the Archdeaconry of Rochester had been vacant for some time prior to 1863 but no vacancy in the Deanery had occurred, no one exercised archidiaconal jurisdiction over the City and Deanery. This provision, extending the jurisdiction of the Archdeacon of St Albans into Kent, met the urgent need.
On the foundation of the Diocese of St Albans in 1877 under the Bishopric of St Albans Act, 1875 (38 & 39 Vict, c.38) and an Order in Council of 30 April 1877, the Archdeaconry of St Albans together with the Archdeaconries of Colchester and Essex were formed into one diocese. The Archdeacon's jurisdiction over the city and deanery of Rochester was suppressed and his jurisdiction since then has covered the whole county of Hertfordshire (except for Flaunden, which in 1876 was consolidated with Latimer, Bucks and transferred to the Diocese of Oxford).
Provenance of the Records
The records of the old and new Archdeaconries of St Albans, now for the first time listed here, have had a varied life. Until the changes of the 19th century, they appear to have been kept in the Abbey of St Albans and in the offices of successive Registrars and Officials of the Archdeaconry. There may have been some disturbances as a result of the transfer to the Diocese of Rochester, but there was no major disturbance until a large segment of the records was transferred in 1868 to the custody of the Principal Probate Registry under the Wills Act of 1857.
On that occasion, the registers of wills, original filed wills, inventories, administration bonds and accounts, probate and administration act books, together with the act books of the archdeacon's court and other papers not entirely or specifically connected with the jurisdiction of the Archdeacon in testamentary matters were removed to Somerset House. The rest of the records remained at St Albans in the Watching Loft of the Abbey and in a small muniment room.
In 1906, W H R Wilton Hall, Sub-Librarian of the Abbey, began his extensive work of arranging and listing the by now truncated and greatly disordered archives of the Archdeaconry. This work he continued until 1921. The results of this work may be seen in the records themselves and in the series of transcripts and calendars he made. A list of these will be found at Appendix A to this introduction and they are mentioned at appropriate places throughout this inventory (See DEX977).
In 1932 the bulk of the records still at St Albans was transferred to the Hertfordshire Record Office, and in 1941 a further small quantity overlooked at the time of the first transfer came to Hertford. In 1954 the records transferred in 1868 to Somerset House were reunited with the rest of the archives of the Archdeaconry. In 1963 a further quantity of more recent visitation records was received from the Registrar of the Diocese amongst the Diocesan archives transferred in that year to the custody of the Hertfordshire Record Office. Appendix B to this introduction lists, by reference number only, the provenance of the archives dealt with in this inventory, up to 1963. Later deposits have been received from the Archdeacon or his office unless otherwise noted.
PARISHES COMPRISING THE ARCHDEACONRY OF ST ALBANS PRIOR TO 1845
St Paul's Walden