RECORDS OF THE ARCHDEACONRY OF ST ALBANS

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This record is held by Hertfordshire Archives and Local Studies

Details of RECORDS OF THE ARCHDEACONRY OF ST ALBANS
Title: RECORDS OF THE ARCHDEACONRY OF ST ALBANS
Reference: ASA
Date: 1415 - 1995
Held by: Hertfordshire Archives and Local Studies, not available at The National Archives
Arrangement:

Classification and Referencing Scheme

 

ADMINISTRATIVE RECORDS

 

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

 

ASA12 Inhibitions

 

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

 

ASA20B Testimonials

 

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

 

ASA25 Inventories

 

ASA26 Probate and Administration Act Books

 

ASA27 Probate Cause and Miscellaneous Papers

 

MISCELLANEOUS

 

ASA28 Archdeacon Grant's Papers

 

Aldenham parish registers, copy

 

Lists of church plate

 

Correspondence

 

ASA29 Records of the Charity for the Relief of Poor Clergymen

 

ASA30 Architects' Reports on Churches

Language: English
Extent: 6155 files
Administrative History:

INTRODUCTION

 

Historical Note

 

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

 

Hertfordshire

 

[Chipping] Barnet

 

East Barnet

 

Bushey

 

Codicote

 

Elstree

 

Hexton

 

Abbots Langley

 

Newnham

 

Northaw

 

Norton

 

St Albans

 

St Michael

 

St Peter

 

St Stephen

 

Redbourn

 

Rickmansworth

 

Ridge

 

Sandridge

 

Sarratt

 

Shephall

 

St Paul's Walden

 

Watford

 

Buckinghamshire

 

Aston Abbots

 

Grandborough

 

Little Horwood

 

Winslow

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.

Subjects:
  • St Alban's, Hertfordshire
Creator Names:
  • Church of England, Archdeaconry of St Alban's
Copies Information:
  • [See DEX977]

     

    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

     

    [see ASA5/5]

     

    3 Calendar of Miscellaneous Papers II/Nos 254-512 1596-1598

     

    [see ASA5/5]

     

    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

     

    [see ASA5/6]

     

    6 Calendar of Miscellaneous Papers III/Nos 358-489 1701-1813

     

    [see ASA5/7]

     

    7 Extracts from Churchwardens' Presentments 1619-1817

     

    [see ASA17] and Glebe Terriers 1637-1714

     

    [see ASA3]

     

    8 Visitation Minutes 1777-1850

     

    [see ASA14/1-15]

     

    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

     

    [see ASA7/32-34]

     

    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

     

    [see ASA4/1]

     

    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

     

    ASA1/1-10

     

    ASA3/1

     

    ASA4/1

     

    ASA5/1-7

     

    ASA7/35, 37-68

     

    ASA10/1-4

     

    ASA13/1,2

     

    ASA14/1-15

     

    ASA15/1,2

     

    ASA17/1-17

     

    ASA18/1,2

     

    ASA19/2

     

    ASA20 [see note to this series explaining provenance]

     

    ASA22/1-5, 10-27

     

    ASA23/1-13

     

    ASA27/1,2

     

    ASA28/1-3

     

    From St Albans Abbey, 1941

     

    ASA2/1

     

    ASA9/20

     

    ASA10/5

     

    ASA12/1

     

    ASA14/16

     

    ASA16/1

     

    ASA17/18,19

     

    ASA19/1

     

    ASA21/1

     

    ASA22/6-9

     

    ASA27/3,4

     

    From Somerset House, 1954

     

    ASA6/1-5

     

    ASA7/1-34,36,36A

     

    ASA8/1-10

     

    ASA9/1-19,2

     

    ASA20 [see note to this series explaining provenance]

     

    ASA/AW/1-307

     

    ASA/AR/1-14

     

    ASA24/1,2

     

    ASA25

     

    ASA26/1-7

     

    ASA27/5,6

     

    From Diocesan Registry, 1963

     

    ASA1/11

     

    ASA6/6

     

    ASA10/6

     

    ASA11/1-37

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