History and Procedure
1. Geographical coverage
2. Areas of responsibility
2.1 Administrative business, including granting of Marriage Bonds and Induction of clergy
2.2 Causes of Office brought before the Correction court via Presentment Bills
2.3 Causes of Instance and Promoted Office causes brought before the Consistory court via Libels
3. Court procedure
3.1 Correction court
3.2 Consistory court
4. Gaps in the records
4.1. The Civil War and Commonwealth period (1643-1660)
4.2. Inhibitions during Archbishops' visitations
1. Geographical coverage
'Map of Nottinghamshire' [Bre 5]
Annotated by Manuscripts and Special Collections staff to show approximate deanery boundaries
The historic Archdeaconry of Nottingham was a jurisdiction of considerable extent within the diocese of York. It comprised almost the whole of the county of Nottingham, and was divided into the four deaneries of Nottingham, Newark, Bingham and Retford. It included the parishes of Rossington and Finningley which were later transferred to Yorkshire. It also included places like Bawtry and Austerfield, which had always been in Yorkshire but which were chapelries of the parish church of Blyth in Nottinghamshire. A total of 182 parishes and chapelries regularly reported to the Archdeaconry court.
Outside the jurisdiction of the Archdeaconry were a further twenty-eight parishes, which were attached to the Peculiar of Southwell. In addition, a few parishes answered directly to the Dean and Chapter of York, and some others were entirely responsible for their own ecclesiastical business, like Kinoulton. No records from any of these places are to be found in the Archdeaconry archive until the mid-19th century.
One of the key reasons for the power of the Archdeaconry lay in its distance from its superior court at York. Nottingham had its own Registrar, and transacted a wider range of business than the three Yorkshire archdeaconries, having a consistory as well as a correctional court.
This structure lasted well into the nineteenth century. In 1837 the Archdeaconry was transferred to the see of Lincoln, a change made the greater by the consequent transfer to the southern province. In 1841 the parishes which were formerly part of Peculiar jurisdictions were incorporated into the Archdeaconry, and the following year the number of deaneries was increased to five.
Further changes followed with the creation in 1884 of the see of Southwell, which combined the counties of Nottingham and Derby. After the formation of the diocese of Derby in 1927, Southwell reverted to the northern province.
The historic Archdeaconry of Nottingham ceased to exist in 1913, when two new Archdeaconries were formed, the Archdeaconry of Nottingham, which now covered the southern part of the county, and the Archdeaconry of Newark, covering the north. The number of deaneries was also greatly increased at this time. A small number of records from the new Archdeaconry of Nottingham, which are continuations of pre-existing series, survive in this collection, but the bulk of the archive predates the changes of the 20th century.
2. Areas of responsibility
Although there had been archdeacons of Nottingham since at least the twelfth century, the earliest surviving document in the Archdeaconry archive is an Induction Mandate dating from 1556. The series of Act Books (AN/A), the principal record of the business of the court, begins in 1565. There are twenty series of records in the archive, covering all areas of the work and administration of the Archdeaconry. The functions of the Archdeaconry can be divided into three broad sections: administrative business, the holding of a correction court to hear Office causes, and the holding of a consistory court to hear Instance causes.
2.1. Administrative business
The most extensive series of records in the Archdeaconry archive is the Marriage Bonds (AN/MB). The court of the Archdeaconry of Nottingham issued licences for marriages of people residing within its jurisdiction. Most marriages could only take place if banns were 'published' in the parish church on three consecutive weeks, or if a couple had a licence granted by the appropriate ecclesiastical authority. Marriage bonds and allegations were, in effect, 'application forms' for persons wishing to be married by licence. The licences themselves have not survived.
In order to keep track of the large volume of business relating to marriage licences, the Archdeaconry maintained Marriage Licence Books (AN/ML), which survive in a broken series from 1624 to 1809. These are administrative volumes recording the issuing and receipt of marriage licences, bonds and allegations, and noting the fees received.
Several series in the archive provide information on the careers of beneficed clergymen. The most continuous series of records in the archive is the series of Induction Mandates (AN/IM, 1556-1942). Official mandates were issued by the Archbishop of York (to 1839), the Bishop of Lincoln (1839-1884) and the Bishop of Southwell (1884-1942), instructing the Archdeacon of Nottingham to arrange for the induction of clergy into their benefices. From 1717 to 1864, the Archdeaconry maintained Exhibit Books (AN/EX), which recorded details about newly-instituted clergy, such as the dates and place of their admittance as deacon and priest. These records are supplemented by miscellaneous Lists of Clergy (AN/L), dating from 1660 to 1864.
From the mid-nineteenth century onwards, the Archdeaconry kept records of churchwardens elected in each parish. Declarations (AN/D), dated 1849 to 1938, are printed forms signed by churchwardens, signifying their willingness to perform office for the following year.
The Archdeaconry administration also sought to ensure that parish churches were in good repair and had the required fittings, furnishings and religious artefacts. Most defects in this regard were simply reported by churchwardens at the regular Visitations. In the eighteenth century, two Parochial Visitation Books (AN/PV) were centrally maintained (1718-1736), giving details of the work required on each church. No records relating to repairs and supplies survive from the mid-eighteenth century to the mid-nineteenth century, apart from occasional references to the granting of faculties, recorded in the Act Books. However, from 1866 to 1935 the Archdeaconry produced Books of Articles (AN/AR), pre-printed forms on which the churchwardens of each parish answered questions relating to the fabric of the church buildings, the conduct of the clergy, the administration of parish affairs, and the ministration of religion.
The Archdeaconry of Nottingham did not have probate jurisdiction; however, most simple wills of people who did not live in Peculiars were proved by Rural Deans, and then passed through the Archdeaconry Registry on their way up for filing in York.
Fees were payable for every transaction in the Archdeaconry court, and detailed Account Books (AN/AC) survive in a patchy series from 1603 to 1855. Accounts were drawn up for routine Archdeaconry business such as the issuing of marriage licences, or recording the fees generated for sending wills and administrations up to York. Most of the surviving account books date from the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries. Other documents which illustrate the workings of the Archdeaconry administration are Precedent Books (AN/P), which provide examples of wordings to be used in all types of business before the court; and letter books and loose correspondence found in a section of Miscellaneous papers (AN/M).
The Archdeaconry also issued licences for schoolteachers, midwives, physicians and parish clerks, and licences allowing clergy to be non-resident or hold two benefices. The granting of such licences was recorded in the Act Books, and the fees received were noted in the Account Books. Occasional further documentation survives in the Miscellaneous, and Lists of Clergy series.
2.2. Causes of Office brought before the Correction court
Besides performing the administrative tasks mentioned above, the Archdeacon also had a judicial function. He was charged with oversight of the spiritual and moral well-being of the parishioners in his archdeaconry, and for upholding canon law. Archdeaconries had their own courts in which offenders would appear and be dealt with. People were brought before the courts for a wide variety of offences, including religious dissent, non-payment of church dues, sexual misconduct, clandestine marriages, disorderly behaviour in church precincts, and superstitious practices. The terms used to describe the process used to deal with these offences include causes 'ex officio mero' (at the mere office of the judge), 'causes of Office' and 'correction cases'.
Office causes were technically brought against the offender by the office of the judge of the Archdeaconry court, who was known as the Official. The causes were usually initiated out of Presentment Bills (AN/PB) exhibited by the churchwardens of each parish or chapelry.
The causes were dealt with by summary jurisdiction – in other words, the judge of the court decided which causes should go forward for further investigation, and decided on the appropriate punishment to issue, such as excommunication or the imposition of a penance. The Act Books (AN/A) recorded all the stages in the progress of each cause. Occasionally some Office causes were taken up by a particular promoter and dealt with in the consistory court by a more complicated process also used for Instance causes [see the articles on court procedure below for a detailed description of how Office and Instance causes were dealt with].
The Presentment Bills survive only until 1756, and the last Excommunication notice dates from 1768. However, it is clear from the Act Books that Office causes continued to be brought before the Nottingham Archdeaconry court until the 1790s. The judicial functions of all archdeaconries ceased at various dates in the late 18th or early 19th centuries. In Nottingham, the last case brought against a lay person and recorded in the final ‘ex officio’, or correction Act Book, took place in February 1796. The court appears to have closed abruptly at this point, and the Archdeaconry from then on became a purely administrative body.
2.3. Causes of Instance and Promoted Office causes brought before the Consistory court
The other category of judicial business in the Nottingham Archdeaconry court was more complex. Instance causes, or causes 'ad instantiam partis' (brought at the instance of one or more parties against another party), were intended to resolve disputes of various kinds.
A large proportion of Instance causes were brought by people alleging that they had been defamed by a neighbour. Most defamation causes hinged on accusations of sexual immorality. Tithe disputes made up another substantial area of business, in which rectors brought actions against parishioners for non-payment of tithes and other ecclesiastical dues. Matrimonial causes often related to breach of contract, or illegal separation. Other causes involved disputes over the ownership of pews. Testamentary disputes usually involved failure by executors to pay legacies - anything more complicated was sent straight up from the Archdeaconry of Nottingham to the consistory court in York. Causes heard at York were recorded by the Diocese and are now held at the Borthwick Institute at The University of York. A searchable catalogue of York cause papers is available online.
Correction causes promoted by individuals on behalf of the Official were also dealt with in the court of Instance, and were known as 'Promoted Office causes'. These could include causes brought against parishioners for moral offences, for scolding or brawling in public places, or for alienation of church goods, or causes brought against clergy or churchwardens for not doing their duty - or any cause which could have been dealt with as a disciplinary offence in the court of Office, but which for some reason was privately prosecuted rather than brought to the court by the Official.
Instance and Promoted Office causes were argued by proctors, or ecclesiastical lawyers, through the means of written pleadings. The paperwork relating to each cause survives in the series known in the Archdeaconry of Nottingham as Libels (AN/LB). Details of the progress of each cause were also written up in the Act Books (AN/A). As with the Office causes, there was a break in procedure in February 1796. After this date, no new causes were recorded, indicating that the court had been abolished.
3. Court procedure
3.1. Correction court
The records of the correction court of the Archdeaconry of Nottingham begin in 1565. At this time, the court sat at St Mary's parish church in Nottingham. In the late 1570s, a circuit system was introduced, by which the court moved around between various places, so that people attending did not have to travel too far. The courts were most often held at Nottingham and Retford, with a smaller number of sessions at Newark, and occasional meetings in Mansfield. The local parish church was the location for the formal sessions, and a nearby inn was often used as a temporary office where the routine work could be handled. From 1597 onwards, St Peter's church in Nottingham was used instead of St Mary's.
Correction court procedure started with the Archdeacon's Visitation. This happened around Easter time (usually April or May) every year, and from 1619 onwards, at Michaelmas (September or October) as well. The Archdeacon initiated the proceedings by sending out Processes (AN/C and AN/PR) - instructions to rural deans and apparitors to send summonses to all the clergy and churchwardens in their areas. There were separate Visitations for Nottingham and Bingham deaneries (held at St Peter's Church in Nottingham), Newark deanery (held at the parish church in Newark), and Retford deanery (held at East Retford parish church), usually within a few days of each other. The names of the people expected to attend the Visitation were entered in Call Books (AN/CL), which were often annotated to show who had actually come, and the fees they had paid for attendance. At the Easter Visitations, new churchwardens for each parish were sworn in to act during the following year.
The Archdeacon did not always attend in person - the principal officer of the court was the Official, who was the Archdeacon's surrogate, and empowered to undertake all the Archdeacon's administrative and judicial roles of granting licences, disciplining offenders, and judging legal cases. The other main figure at the Visitation was the Registrar, who was responsible for maintaining the records of the court and collecting the fees.
Some time before the Visitation, the churchwardens were given a set of Articles of Enquiry, listing various offences. They were charged under oath with naming all those in their parish who had infringed any of the articles, and reporting defects in church buildings and any furnishings or artefacts which their parish did not have. Their Presentment Bills (AN/PB) were based on their own knowledge, and on information provided to them by apparitors. Apparitors were the court messengers, who issued citations to people summoned to court; they also acted as court ushers; and were the eyes and ears of the Archdeaconry, reporting any matter which required further investigation, either to the churchwardens or the clergy, or occasionally directly to the Archdeaconry officials.
The vast majority of Presentment Bills were made by churchwardens, although clergy could also answer the Articles if there was anything that they thought the churchwardens had not presented fully. Until the 1630s it was common for Presentment Bills to be written out by one of the churchwardens, or by the incumbent of the parish, on whichever piece of paper came to hand. Those who could not write made their presentments orally, and they were written out on their behalf by court officials. Later on, all bills were written out by court clerks in a standardised form. Once the bills had been made out, the churchwardens were asked to swear that they were full and accurate. They were also supposed to sign or mark the Presentment Bills, although this did not always happen. Most Presentment Bills were submitted to the court on Visitation days, but a small number were drawn up and sent in at other times as occasion required.
After the Visitation, a number of correction courts were held to deal with the business uncovered in the Presentment Bills. A few weeks after the Visitation, once the bills had been scrutinised and irrelevant presentments disregarded, Citations (AN/C) were issued on offenders to order them to attend court. The citations were initially sent out by the apparitors to ministers, who informed the offender of the contents of the citation and then returned the citation to the court with a certificate that it had been served. Where a number of people from the same parish were all required in court, a form of citation called a 'quorum nomina' could be issued, in which all their names were given together on one document. If an offender could not be found, the apparitor was charged with serving another citation by 'ways and means' (viis et modis), either personally on the offender, or by fixing it to his door or to a public place. The progress of each cause from this point on was recorded in the Act Book (AN/A) of the court. The offenders were examined under oath by the judge, and witnesses might be called. The proceedings were verbal, and were not always recorded in detail in the Act Books. A number of different outcomes were possible, depending on the nature of the offence, the attitude of the offender, and the decision of the Official:
The offender appeared in court and the cause was dismissed. He could be dismissed 'gratis' if there was actually no case to answer. If he had appeared in court and admitted the offence, he could be dismissed with a 'monitio' - admonition or warning - and the cost of the court fees.
A person could 'purge' himself of the accusation against him if he could produce a certain number of respected parishioners prepared to swear that he was innocent. If he was able to do this, and there were no objections, the case against him would be dismissed.
Where a person admitted failing to do something - such as not receiving holy communion, or not paying duties to the church - he could be asked to make good the omission, or to acknowledge his guilt in public, and then to certify that he had done this by bringing into court a certificate from the incumbent or churchwardens. The cause would then be dropped.
This was the standard punishment for sexual misdemeanours, but was also occasionally imposed for a variety of other offences. Penance was a ritual of repentance and reconciliation, involving humiliation, which was designed to foster contrition, deter others and give satisfaction to the good people of the community for the sin. The schedule of penance which the offender was given at the correction court detailed where, when, how often, and in what way the penance was to be performed. In the most severe cases, penances were performed in the parish church during a busy Sunday service, when all the penitent’s friends and neighbours were present. The offender was required to kneel at the front of the church, or stand on a bench so that he or she could be clearly seen. The minister would preach a sermon denouncing the sin, and the penitent then read out loud a statement acknowledging their sin, saying that they were sorry and asking for forgiveness. They were bare legged and bare headed, carrying a white rod, and dressed in a white sheet. Penances were sometimes performed two or three times in the same church, or occasionally in even more public places such as the market place of a large town. In less serious cases, penitents could appear in their own clothes, and in the 18th century, an increasing number were performed in private, in front of the minister and churchwardens only. When the penance had been satisfactorily performed, the minister and churchwardens signed the schedule, and the penitent returned it to the court and was dismissed on payment of the court fees. The Penances (AN/PN) form part of the Archdeaconry archive.
Penances could occasionally be commuted for a monetary payment at the discretion of the archdeacon. The money was normally donated to a charitable purpose. Commutations declined in number after the early 17th century.
'Greater excommunication' was the ultimate sanction which could be imposed by the Archdeaconry court, barring the offender from entering church or receiving holy communion, and forbidding him from consorting or associating with any Christian people. Excommunicate persons were also subject to legal bars: for instance, they could not administer wills or become guardians to minors. Persons who died excommunicate were not supposed to be buried in consecrated ground. In theory, people who were excommunicate for more than 40 days were liable to be arrested and imprisoned by the sheriff. For lesser offences, a punishment of 'suspension', or 'lesser excommunication' could be imposed, which merely barred the offender from entering the church and receiving holy communion. In a society where every adult was expected to attend church, these punishments set the offender apart. The humiliation involved in being excommunicated was intended to encourage him to make his peace with God and his fellow men, and restore harmony to the community.
Excommunication was routinely imposed for contumacy - non-appearance at the correction court. It was also the standard punishment for certain offences such as violence directed against clergy. Sentences of excommunication were required to be pronounced by ordained clergymen. When the Official of the Nottingham Archdeaconry court was a lay person, for instance in the time of Michael Purefey (Deputy Official, 1604-1627), he was assisted by a small number of local clergy who took it in turns to sit in court and read out the sentences.
The person was denounced in court, and also in his own parish church. The minister of the parish read out the excommunication notice during a service, so that all the parishioners would know what had happened. He then returned the notice to the court, signed by himself and the churchwardens, to certify that he had done so.
An excommunicate person wishing to be released from his sentence applied to the court to be absolved. This was sometimes conditional on the performance of a penance to atone for the original offence. When an absolution was granted, a notice to that effect was sent to the parish to be read out loud in church by the minister. Again, he certificated it and sent it back to the court. Excommunications and Absolutions (AN/E) were filed in the Archdeaconry archive.
3.2. Consistory court
The Archdeaconry of Nottingham was unusual in the diocese of York for having its own Consistory court. Nevertheless, not all causes were heard at Nottingham. Nottingham tended to deal with simple causes, while more complex or important causes were heard at the Consistory court in York. Some causes were also begun in Nottingham, and passed up to York once the local evidence had been collected. Appeals were always heard in York, as were all testamentary causes except simple non-payment of legacies.
The Consistory court kept legal terms, and during these terms usually sat every two or three weeks. The court sat at both Nottingham and Retford. The Official was the judge of the court. Causes were introduced and argued by 'proctors' - ecclesiastical lawyers. At any given time, only about two or three proctors took on the majority of causes coming before the Archdeaconry court.
Instance and Promoted Office causes were heard by the means of written plenary pleadings, producing a mass of documents known collectively in the archive of the Archdeaconry of Nottingham as Libels (AN/LB). In fact, a libel was only one of a variety of documents which could be produced in the course of a cause:
The formal process began by the issuing of a 'libel' - a preliminary paper setting out the case of the plaintiff, with all the relevant facts 'propounded' in clear numbered paragraphs. In Correction and promoted Office causes, the paper was called the 'articles'. The person bringing the cause was called, in Latin, the 'pars actrix' or 'pars agens'. The defendant was called the 'pars rea'.
- The defendant was called into court using a 'citation'. The matter could finish here if he was prepared to make amends (by admonition, penance or other means) and pay the court fees.
- The defendant replied under oath, and his denials were written down, in the same order as the paragraphs in the libel, in his 'personal answers'.
- His counter-case could be stated in a document called an 'allegation', which was also the general name given to any subsequent pleas after the initial libel or articles. A period of time, called a term probatory, was then assigned in order for the plaintiff's proctor to collect evidence.
- Proctors produced 'interrogatories', which were lists of questions to be asked of the witnesses for the opposing party.
- Witnesses were called to court using citations. Their statements, taken down verbatim by the registrar, were termed 'depositions'. Depositions were statements by neighbours, family and friends of the parties involved, relating to the issue in question. They record the witnesses' exact words, in English, sometimes gave personal details about the witnesses, such as their occupations, ages, marital status, and place of birth, and were usually signed or marked
- 'Additional positions', 'excepted material', 'articulate material', or 'declaratory material' could sometimes be generated, giving further information on behalf of either of the parties. All these documents were forms of 'allegation', and followed the general form of the initial libel or articles.
- Supporting evidence such as petitions, letters and certificates were sometimes brought into court and filed with the cause papers.
- When all the evidence had apparently been collected, the Official gave a 'term to propound all acts', which assigned a period after which no more evidence could be submitted, and which was recorded in the Act Book. The final 'term to conclude' gave a date for the cause to be judged.
- After considering all the evidence, the Official pronounced a 'definitive sentence', or 'sentence', an official document which wrapped up the cause by explaining the process and assigning punishments.
- 'Bills of costs' were drawn up listing the fees which had to be paid to the court.
The Act Book was used to keep a summary record of proceedings. Some causes were 'inhibited' or 'prohibited' - transferred up to a higher court, or across to a civil court of law - and in such cases the Archdeaconry archive would not contain any evidence of the outcome.
The punishments handed out in the consistory court were similar to those used for disciplinary causes in the correction court. People could be excommunicated for contumacy (not appearing in court) or for not paying their fees. People found guilty of defamation were usually asked to perform a 'declaration' or 'revocation' by way of penance. Schedules of penances and excommunications are sometimes found filed with the relevant cause papers rather than in the main series of Penance and Excommunication documents.
4. Gaps in the records
The records of the Nottingham Archdeaconry are fairly complete from the 1560s onwards. In common with most archives, there are some gaps or missing series, which must have been caused by loss or damage to the documents at some time in the past. However, there are also some longer and more significant gaps in the records, which can be explained by the history and procedure of the church courts.
4.1. The Civil War and Commonwealth period (1643-1660)
In the late 1630s, opposition to the church courts grew among certain sections of the population. The Parliamentary opposition to King Charles I supported measures to check the power of the church, and in July 1641 passed an Act of Parliament (17 Chas I, cap. 11) which abolished the ex-officio oath and the sanction of excommunication. The church courts themselves were not abolished, but excommunication was their ultimate punishment, and without it they had no effective power.
In Nottingham, the usual place for courts to be held was at St Peter's Church. The judge, Edward Lake, arrived there on 28 September 1641 to hold the first session of his court, but found that the puritan rector, John Goodall, and his churchwardens, had locked the door against them. The court moved to St Nicholas's church, and carried on as normal, although many churchwardens by this time were making their own protests against the church courts by refusing to present many offenders. Another Visitation happened at Easter 1642, and more offenders were presented, despite the fact that their cases could not be 'closed' by excommunicating them if they failed to appear. The Civil War formally began in August 1642, which perhaps explains why there are no records of any visitation in the autumn. However, courts were held in the Royalist areas of Newark and Retford in April 1643. The same month, the town of Nottingham came under Parliamentary control, and the next Archdeaconry court session, scheduled for May, never took place.
King Charles I was defeated in 1645, and beheaded in 1649. Parliament abolished the episcopal system of church government - bishops, archdeacons and church courts - in 1646. During the Commonwealth period, some churches formed themselves into Presbyterian associations, while many independent sects set up their own chapels.
The restoration to the throne of King Charles II in 1660 was accompanied by the restoration of the hierarchy of the Church of England. New bishops and archdeacons were elected in September 1660, and the Nottingham Archdeaconry court was re-established. The first litigation after the restoration was brought before the court in November 1661. However, it took until Easter 1663 to re-establish the system of churchwardens presenting offenders at the Archdeacon's Visitation.
4.2. Inhibitions during Archbishops' Visitations
The Archbishops of York customarily visited all parts of their diocese soon after their accession, and every fourth year. During these Visitations, all business in the archdeacons' courts was inhibited, or closed down, and was heard instead by the officials of the Archbishop's own court. After 1619 it was usual for the Archbishop's correction court to be held at Easter in the Visitation year, and for the Archdeacon to resume business at Michaelmas. There was usually a period of at least six months in which the Archdeaconry court did not sit.
Archbishops' Visitations during the active period of the Nottingham Archdeaconry court occurred in 1567/8, 1571/2, 1575, 1578/9, 1582, 1586, 1590, 1594, 1595/6, 1600, 1604, 1607, 1611, 1615, 1619, 1623, 1627, 1629, 1632 (unusually, at Michaelmas rather than Easter), 1636, 1640, 1662, 1667, 1674, 1682, 1685, 1690, 1693, 1698, 1714/16, 1717/19, 1720/22, 1723, 1726/7, 1743, 1748/49, 1759/60, 1764, 1770, 1777, 1781, 1786 and 1791.
Some inhibitions made very little difference to the Nottingham Archdeaconry routine. The courts were held locally, and the churchwardens made out their presentment bills as normal. Often, the Archdeacon's officials even deputised for the Archbishop's officials, so that the routine and the personnel were familiar to regular users of the court. In 1590, 1594 and 1609 for instance, the Official and Registrar of the Archdeaconry court acted as deputies for the Archbishop's officials, and the record of the court was written up in the Archdeaconry Act Books.
This did not always happen, and for this reason, some records relating to Archbishops' Visitations are now held with the diocesan records at the Borthwick Institute for Archives in York, others are in the Archdeaconry series of Act Books, and some have not survived.
|Borthwick reference number
|Archdeaconry of Nottingham reference number
|Archbishop Young's Visitation in 1567 and 1568 Gap in Archdeaconry of Nottingham records, Oct. 1566 - May 1568
|Archbishop Grindal's Visitation in 1571 and 1572 Gap in Archdeaconry of Nottingham records, May 1571 - March 1571/2
|Archbishop Grindal's Visitation in c.1575-1576 No Archdeaconry Act Books survive between July 1574-October 1576
|Archbishop Sandy's Visitation in 1580 and 1581 Gap in Archdeaconry of Nottingham records, December 1580 - January 1581
|Archbishop Sandy's Visitation in 1586 Gap in Archdeaconry of Nottingham records, January 1585/6 - October 1586
|Archbishop Piers' Visitation of 1590-1. Inhibition of Archdeaconry of Nottingham in force March-October 1590
|Causes recorded in AN/A 6
|Archbishop Piers' Visitation of 1594. Inhibition of Archdeaconry of Nottingham in force February 1593/4-October 1594
|Causes recorded in AN/A 8
|Archbishop Hutton's Visitation in 1595-6. Inhibition of Archdeaconry of Nottingham in force March 1595/6-October 1596
|Causes recorded in AN/A 9, AN/A 10/1 and AN/A 11/1
|Archbishop Hutton's Visitation in 1600 Inhibition of Archdeaconry of Nottingham in force March 1600-January 1600/1
|Causes recorded in AN/A 11/1-2, AN/A 24/1
|Archbishop Hutton's Visitation in 1604 Inhibition of Archdeaconry of Nottingham in force March 1603/4-November 1604.
|Causes recorded in AN/A 13, AN/A 17, AN/A 24/6-9
|Archbishop Matthew's Visitation in 1607 Inhibition of Archdeaconry of Nottingham in force March-September 1607.
|Causes recorded in AN/A 24/12/1
|Archbishop Matthew's Visitation in 1611 Inhibition of Archdeaconry of Nottingham in force January 1610/11 - June 1611.
|Causes recorded in AN/A 19-21
|Archbishop Matthew's Visitation in 1615 Inhibition of Archdeaconry of Nottingham in force February 1614/5 - November 1615.
|Causes recorded in AN/A 34
|Archbishop Matthew's Visitation in 1619 Inhibition of Archdeaconry of Nottingham probably in force April - September 1619.
|Archbishop Matthew's Visitation in 1623 Inhibition of Archdeaconry of Nottingham in force October 1622 - July 1623.
|Causes recorded in AN/A 31-33
|Archbishop Matthew's Visitation in 1627 Inhibition of Archdeaconry of Nottingham in force at least April - July 1627
|Causes recorded in AN/A 41/3/5
|Archbishop Harsnell's Visitation in 1629 Inhibition of Archdeaconry of Nottingham in force February - October 1629
|Archbishop Neile's Visitation in 1632 Inhibition of Archdeaconry of Nottingham probably in force around July 1632 - March 1632/3.
|Some causes recorded in AN/A 39.
|Archbishop Neile's Visitation in 1636-7 Inhibition of Archdeaconry of Nottingham in force April - October 1636.
|Causes recorded in AN/A 41/1/6, AN/A 44/1, and AN/A 46/7
|Archbishop Neile's Visitation in 1640 Inhibition of Archdeaconry of Nottingham in force February 1639/40 - October 1640.
|Instance causes only, recorded in AN/A 46/4/2, AN/A 46/9 and AN/A 46/11
|Archbishop Frewen's Visitation in 1662-63 Inhibition of Archdeaconry of Nottingham in force July 1662 - March 1662/3.
|Causes recorded in AN/A 50/1, AN/A 50/3 and AN/A 50/4
|Archbishop Sterne's Visitation in 1667 Inhibition of Archdeaconry of Nottingham in force April - September 1667, and possibly up to March 1668.
|No records of courts held between April and October 1667 No records for Nov. 1667 - March 1668 survive
|Archbishop Sterne's Visitation in 1674 Inhibition of Archdeaconry of Nottingham in force March - at least November 1674.
|Causes recorded in AN/A 50/12
|Archbishop Sterne's Visitation in 1682 Inhibition of Archdeaconry of Nottingham in force April - October 1682.
|Causes recorded in AN/A 53
|Visitation in 1687 during the vacancy of the See of York Inhibition of Archdeaconry of Nottingham in force April - October 1687.
|Causes recorded in AN/A 58
|Archbishop Lamplugh's Visitation in 1690 Inhibition of Archdeaconry of Nottingham in force April - October 1690.
|Causes recorded in AN/A 58
|Archbishop Sharp's Visitation in 1693-4 Inhibition of Archdeaconry of Nottingham in force June - October 1693.
|Causes recorded in AN/A 58
|Archbishop Sharp's Visitation in 1698 Inhibition of Archdeaconry of Nottingham in force April - October 1698.
|Causes recorded in AN/A 59
|Archbishop Dawes' Visitation in 1714-1716 Inhibition of Archdeaconry of Nottingham in force April - July 1714.
|Causes recorded in AN/A 67
|Archbishop Dawes' Visitation in 1717-1719 Inhibition of Archdeaconry of Nottingham in force circa April - July 1717.
|Causes recorded in AN/A 68
|Archbishop Dawes' Visitation in 1720-1722 Inhibition of Archdeaconry of Nottingham in force circa July - September 1720.
|Causes recorded in AN/A 71/3
|Archbishop Dawes' Visitation in 1723 Inhibition of Archdeaconry of Nottingham in force July - September 1723
|Causes recorded in AN/A 71/4
|Archbishop Blackburn's Visitation in 1726-1727 Inhibition of Archdeaconry of Nottingham in force circa April - August 1726
|Causes recorded in AN/A 71/8
|Archbishop Herring's Visitation in 1743 Inhibition of Archdeaconry of Nottingham in force circa May - October 1743
|Causes recorded in AN/A 75-76
|Archbishop Hutton's Visitation in 1748-1749 Inhibition of Archdeaconry of Nottingham in force March - September 1748
|Causes recorded in AN/A 77
|Archbishop Gilbert's Visitation in 1759-1760 Inhibition of Archdeaconry of Nottingham in force April - September 1759
|Causes recorded in AN/A 79-80
|Archbishop Drummond's Visitation in 1764 Inhibition of Archdeaconry of Nottingham in force March - September 1764
|Causes recorded in AN/A 80-81
|Archbishop Drummond's Visitation in 1770 Inhibition of Archdeaconry of Nottingham in force March - September 1770
|Archbishop Markham's Visitation in 1777 Inhibition of Archdeaconry of Nottingham in force April - October 1777
|Archbishop Markham's Visitation in 1781 Inhibition of Archdeaconry of Nottingham in force March - September 1781
|Archbishop Markham's Visitation in 1786 Inhibition of Archdeaconry of Nottingham in force March - October 1786
|Archbishop Markham's Visitation in 1791 Inhibition of Archdeaconry of Nottingham in force March - May 1791
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