Manuscripts and Special Collections

Search catalogues

Online catalogue

The entire Archdeaconry archive is described at bundle or item level in the Manuscripts Online Catalogue. You can search the archive catalogue by going to 'Search the Catalogue', and putting any search term into 'Free text search' box, and 'AN' into the 'Document Reference' box. The Presentment Bills (AN/PB) Libels or cause papers (AN/LB) and Miscellaneous (AN/M) series have been catalogued in the most detail. 

Here is a list of direct links into the catalogue for all collection and series level descriptions of the Archdeaconry archive. Once you are in a catalogue record, you can browse the collection hierarchy by clicking the hyperlinked 'Document Reference' number.



Presentment Bills Catalogues


All Presentment Bills dated 1587 to 1699 were catalogued during the Presentment Bills project (2002-2004) , supported by the Heritage Lottery Fund. More than 23,000 individual catalogue records were created.

Between 2005 and 2010, a further 4,000 catalogue records were created, describing the 18th-century Presentment Bills which refer to offences committed by people. Those returned 'Nothing to present' were not included in the project.

It was not possible to present this data in one catalogue to be browsed alongside descriptions of the rest of the Archdeaconry material. Instead, catalogue data relating to Presentment Bills has been split between five separate sections within the Manuscripts Online Catalogue. Catalogue records from all sections of the Manuscripts Online Catalogue can be retrieved together by searching for keywords using the search form.

Here is a list of direct links into the Manuscripts Online Catalogue.  The records contain overall descriptions of each section of Presentment Bills. Once you are in a catalogue record, you can browse the collection hierarchy by clicking the hyperlink next to 'Document reference number'.


Indexes for Presentment Bills, Marriage Bonds, Penances and Excommunications

In 2005 we mounted over 50,000 enhanced Archdeaconry records from the Marriage Bonds and Presentment Bills series into a separate module of the Manuscripts Online Catalogue. The main part of the Manuscripts Online Catalogue contains all descriptive records for the Archdeaconry collection, but could not at that point accommodate the extensive indexing.

In 2016, the Archdeaconry indexes were merged into the main Name index within the Manuscripts Online Catalogue. Over 180,000 personal name indexes can now be searched to find people mentioned within these series of records:

  • Marriage Bonds. All marriage bonds dated 1771 to 1790 and 1801 to 1884 (series AN/MB 167-186 and AN/MB 197-280). Earlier marriage bonds, and marriage bonds dated 1791-1800 have been indexed and published in book form. For more details about these publications, see the guide to Marriage Bonds .
  • Presentment Bills. All Presentment Bills dated 1587 to 1699, and those Presentment Bills dated 1700-1756 which give details of offences (series AN/PB 292-352).
  • Excommunications. Entries from one book of schedules of excommunication dated 1617 to 1620 (AN/E 196/1).
  • Penances. Details currently from 1717 to the end of the series  in 1794, with gaps (AN/PN/365-370). This is a continuing project, commenced in January 2011. We plan to work backwards to add index entries from earlier in the 17th and 18th centuries.

More details about how to search Archdeaconry name indexes are available in the 'Help: Catalogue' page within the Manuscripts Online Catalogue.


Printed guide

Mender of disorders: court and community in the Archdeaconry of Nottingham, 1560-1756 , ed. Kate Holland (2004), explores a diverse range of topics relating to the court of the Archdeacon of Nottingham and the communities of Nottinghamshire, including the workings of the court, attitudes towards illicit sex, and the ways in which people resolved their disputes - whether by humiliating public penance, or suing over unpaid tithes. The book includes printed versions of the lunchtime talks given in conjunction with the 2004 exhibition 'The Bawdy Court ', and a series of papers given at an associated study day. To order the book, please contact us .  


Next page: Background


Manuscripts and Special Collections

Kings Meadow Campus
Lenton Lane
Nottingham, NG7 2NR

telephone: +44 (0) 115 951 4565
fax: +44 (0) 115 846 8651