This record is held by East Sussex and Brighton and Hove Record Office (ESBHRO)

Details of PAR259
Reference: PAR259



The Chapel Royal was designed by Thomas Saunders for the Reverend Thomas Hudson. The Prince Regent laid the corner stone on 25 November 1793 and attended the first service on 3 August 1795 but he was not a regular worshipper at the church.


By an Act of Parliament of 1803 (43 Geo III c91) the chapel was constituted a perpetual curacy and made a chapel of ease to Brighton St Nicholas, the parish church; the right of nomination was reserved to the vicar of Brighton.


The building remained largely unchanged until 1876 when the Reverend C S Childer raised funds to remodel the building's interior under the superintendence of the architect Arthur Blomfield. On the demolition of the buildings along the chapel's North Street Frontage in 1880 the opportunity was taken to rebuild the exterior, with the addition of new entrances and a clock tower. The alterations, again to Blomfield's designs, were finished in 1882.


In 1896 the Revd John Julius Hannah conveyed the chapel to the Ecclesiastical Commissioners, but the vaults were reserved and were leased to a wine merchant, producing an income equivalent to the interest on the £2000 which Hannah's father had spent in buying the building. The Chapel Royal was assigned a conventual district in 1897 but was merged with St Peter's in 1978. Special services for the congregation of Holy Trinity were held at the Chapel Royal after the closure of that church in 1984.


Until 1873 the parish church of Brighton was St Nicholas, while the churches serving the newly developing urban districts in the parish were daughter churches or chapels of ease. The registers before 1873, therefore, contain entries of services performed at the various daughter churches, which were returned by the clergy concerned for inclusion in the main series. No indication is given of which church is involved, and this can only be deduced from comparison of the name of the officiating minister with the Rev G Hennessy Chichester Diocese Clergy Lists (1900) and Crockford's Clerical Directory. Some of the chapels also kept their own series of registers while continuing to make their entries in the main parish series.


In 1873 St Peter's church was constituted as the parish church of Brighton, and the parish records and administrative centre were transferred there from St Nicholas. At the same time, many of the former chapels of ease were constituted separate parish churches and began at this date, or in the following decade, to keep their own series of registers, independent of the main series.


Summary of contents:




PAR259/1/2 Baptism registers; 1823-1914


PAR259/1/3 Marriage registers; 1897-1953


PAR259/1/2 Banns registers; 1922-1970


PAR259/2 Copies of registers and related papers; 1897-1960


PAR259/3 Service registers; 1877-1997


PAR259/4 Buildings; 1776-1960


PAR259/6 Income of the benefice; 1855-1964


PAR259/7 Other records; 1818-1976




PAR259/10 Property; 1897-1952




PAR259/14 Minutes; 1920-1977


PAR259/15 Accounts; 1927-1971


PAR259/16 Other records; 1928-1967




PAR259/26 Posters and appeals; 1857-1915

Date: 1818-1977
Related material:

For a history of the Chapel Royal, see A Dale, Brighton Churches (1989), 23-30; for references to the Revd Thomas Hudson and the Chapel Royal among the Petworth House Archives, see PHA 7625-7627, 9387 and 10601; for a letter from the Revd Samuel Prosser, Sevenoaks in Kent, to the Revd Henry John Urquhart, Montpelier Place, Brighton, requesting particulars of the Chapel Royal, 22 Dec 1831, see ACC 8977/6

Held by: East Sussex and Brighton and Hove Record Office (ESBHRO), not available at The National Archives
Language: English

Church of England, Brighton Chapel Royal Parish, East Sussex

Immediate source of acquisition:

Deposited by the incumbent and PCC, 10 March 1977 (ACC 2063), 2 December 1977 (ACC 2167), 26 July 2004 (ACC 9001)

  • Brighton, East Sussex
  • Religious institutions

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