Manuscripts and Special Collections

Personnel: Archbishops, Archdeacons, Officials and Registrars, 1560s-1894

The work of the Archdeaconry of Nottingham was carried out by a number of different people.


At the head of the organisation was the spiritual leadership, made up of the Archbishop of York (until 1837, when the Archdeaconry was transferred to the Diocese of Lincoln), and the Archdeacon of Nottingham. Administrative work was carried out on their behalf by other people.


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. At certain periods, the Official was absent, or unwilling to take on the full burden of the role, and appointed a Deputy to act in his stead.


The other main figure was the Registrar (often referred to in the records as the 'Register'), who was responsible for maintaining the records of the court and collecting the fees. Again, it was common for the work to be carried out by a Deputy Registrar.

The following is taken from an account of the procedures within the Archdeaconry of Nottingham, dated 1733 (AN/M 5/25): 

the Official constantly attends [at the Correction Visitations] and takes a Servant with Him, His Office is to swear the Churchwardens & receive their Presentment Bills and dispatch other Businesses which may happen. The Register also constantly attends at the said place with a Servant and hires a Clerk to assist Him. They are both also obliged to attend the Election of Convocation Men to serve for the said Archdeaconry... the Courts for hearing and trying Causes are held at Nottingham once in three weeks or oftener as occasion requires, where the Official and Register attend... The Official also attends at the Examination of Witnesses. The Register of the said Court or his deputy is obliged to attend all Courts and to issue all processes relating to such Courts, and to fyle & preserve the Presentments of the Churchwardens exhibited upon Oath, to be present at the expediting all Acts whether in or out of Court, and to take minutes of and enter the same and to do all other Acts incident to the Office of an Actuary Scribe or Register, and … neither the Official or Register have any other Salary, Fee or Reward than what arises from the fees … set forth in the Excecution or their said Offices.

Archdeaconry personnel

The first part of this table, giving the names of the principal Archdeaconry personnel up to the outbreak of the Civil War, is based on the table in Ronald A. Marchant's The church under the law: justice, administration and discipline in the diocese of York, 1560-1640 (Cambridge, 1969), p. 148

The names and dates of personnel from the restoration of the Archdeaconry administration in 1660 until the 1890s (by which time most business had ceased), have been deduced from the original Archdeaconry records. 

Archbishop of York Archdeacon of Nottingham Official Deputy Official or Surrogate Registrar Deputy Registrar
1561 Thomas Young 1565 John Lowth from before 1554 Robert Cressy   from before 1565 John Lee  
1568 Thomas Lowth
1569 William Newman
1570 Edmund Grindal 1571 or 1572 Robert Green
1574 or 1575 John Hacker 1574 John Martiall
1577 Edwin Sandys 1577 Zachariah Babington 1577 Humphrey Lowth
1581 Thomas Wethered
1581 Richard Byrdsall
1583 Simon Parratt 1583 Richard Gymney
1583 Thomas Petty  
1585 Remigius Booth & Thomas Petty
1589 John Piers 1589 Christopher Diggles
1589 Thomas Petty (briefly restored)
1590 John King 1590 Christopher Diggles 1590 Thomas Wilmot 1590 John Martiall
1591 Miles Leigh 1592 Christopher Diggles
1595 Matthew Hutton 1596 Matthew Weeks
1599 Michael Purefey
1600 Michael Purefey  
1601 Nicholas Langford 1601 Thomas Petty 1602 John Tibberd
1604 Michael Purefey, with a number of clerical surrogates
1606 Toby Matthew 1611 Joseph Hall
1625 Edward Copinger
1626 Hatfield Reckles
1628 Richard Baylie 1627 William Greaves 1628 Edward Farmery
1628 Samuel Harsnell 1629 Carr Coventry 1629 John Coombe
1632 Richard Neile 1635 William Robinson 1635 Edward Mottershed 1635 A number of clerical surrogates including Robert Malham, Christopher Fielding and Edmund Lacocke
1638 John Coombe
1639 Tobie Holder
1639 John Baily
1641 John Williams
1641 Edward Lake
1660 Accepted Frewen 1660 Vere Harcourt 1660 Edward Lake (reconfirmed) 1660 William Greaves and others
1660 John Coombe (reconfirmed)
1664 Richard Sterne
1666 John Aistrope and others
  1667 William Greaves
1668 George Masterson and others
1675 Edward Buxton (usually acted alone)
  (1681 Thomas Sanderson mentioned)
1680 Francis Thwaites Various Surrogates: 1680-1681 William Parker
1683-1691 William Wilson
1684-1688 Jeremiah Cudworth
1684-1688 William Wintringham
1689-1695 John Birch
1692-1706 John Simpson
1695-1707 Samuel Birch
1708-1710 Robert Dawson
1709-1711 Timothy Fenton
1683-1686 John Dolben 1683 Thomas White
1685 Samuel Crowbrow
1688 Thomas Lamplugh
1691 John Sharp 1697 Thomas Sanderson
(1710 William Rudsby and James Haynes mentioned as Deputy Registars)
1712 James Haynes
1714 Sir William Dawes 1714 Timothy Fenton Usually acted alone. Occasional Surrogates Samuel Berdmore, John Saunders and John Abson
1716 Robert Marsden (1720 Joseph Clay named as Deputy Registrar)
1724 Lancelot Blackburn 1724 William Bridges Various Surrogates:
1724-1746 John Abson 1725-1746 Edward Chappell
1734 Samuel Berdmore
1740 Thomas Berdmore
1729 Thomas Bennett
1743 Thomas Herring
1746 Joseph Milner Usually acted alone. Occasional Surrogates John Abson and Edward Chappell
1747 Matthew Hutton
1748 Hugh Thomas
1751 Scrope Berdmore Usually acted alone. Occasional Surrogates Edward Chappell, George Wakefield and George Beaumont
1757 John Gilbert 1757 Walter Thomas 1757 Benjamin Bloxsidge
1761 Robert Hay Drummond
Sep. 1770 Francis Topham
Dec. 1770 Richard Barnard Usually acted alone. Occasional Surrogate Samuel Martin
1775 Thomas Plowman
1777 William Markham
1780 Richard Kaye
1783 Thomas Bever 1783 Charles Wylde
1783 Nathan Haines
1791 Charles Wylde
1793 Robert Bigsby
1798-at least 1820 Robert Bigsby
1808-(1847) Edward Venables Vernon
1810 John Eyre
(by 1828) John Staunton (by 1828) Charles George Balguy
1830 William Barrow
1832 George Wilkins


1837, Archdeaconry transferred to the Diocese of Lincoln

Bishop of Lincoln Archdeacon of Nottingham Official Deputy Official or Surrogate Registrar Deputy Registrar
(1827)-1853 John Kaye (1832-) George Wilkins (by 1828-) John Staunton   (by 1828-) Charles George Balguy  
1835 Robert White Almond 1849 John Murray Wilkins 1849 Benjamin Hawkridge
1853-1885 Christopher Wordsworth 1854 John Murray Wilkins 1853 Benjamin Hawkridge  
1865 Henry Mackenzie   1866 John Watson junior 1866 Frederick Wadsworth
1879 Francis Morse   1878 John Watson


1884, Archdeaconry transferred to the Diocese of Southwell 

Bishop of Southwell Archdeacon of Nottingham Official Deputy Official or Surrogate Registrar Deputy Registrar
1884-1904 George Ridding (1865-) Henry Mackenzie (1879-) Francis Morse   (1878-) John Watson  
1878-1894 Brough Maltby 1891- Philip Henry Douglas 1890- Frederick Wadsworth


Next page: Parishes in Nottinghamshire until 1842


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