Fonds DN/EST - Diocese of Norwich: Records of the Estates of the Bishop of Norwich

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Diocese of Norwich: Records of the Estates of the Bishop of Norwich


  • nd [? 1186]-1959 (Creation)

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35 Series

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Administrative history

The Diocese of Norwich was established when Bishop Herbert de Losinga transferred the see from Thetford to Norwich in 1095 or 1096. At that time the diocese contained Norfolk (except Emneth, which was in the diocese of Ely), Suffolk (except for parishes in the peculiar deanery of Bocking) and part of south-east Cambridgeshire. This remained the case until 1837 when the Cambridgeshire portion along with the Archdeaconry of Sudbury (comprising West Suffolk) and the Liberty of Bury St Edmunds passed to the Diocese of Ely. In 1914 the Archdeaconry of Suffolk (except the deanery of Lothingland, i.e., the area around Lowestoft in north-east Suffolk), became part of the newly-created Diocese of St Edmundsbury and Ipswich whilst at the same time the Fincham and Lynn Marshland deaneries were transferred to the Diocese of Ely.

Archival history

Immediate source of acquisition or transfer

Received by the Norfolk Record Office in 1998 (ACC 1998/227 numbered DN/EST 100). All other material received on dates unknown.

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Scope and content

DN/EST 1-14: Records of St Benet's Abbey

DN/EST 1-6: Records of St Benet's among the Diocesan Archives

DN/EST 1. Bailiff's Account Rolls

DN/EST 2. Manor Court Rolls

DN/EST 3. Obedientiary Rolls

DN/EST 4. Rentals, Surveys, Extents

DN/EST 5. Miscellaneous

DN/EST 6. Papal Bulls

DN/EST 7-13: Records restored to the Diocesan Archives in 1962

DN/EST 7. Title Deeds

DN/EST 8. Manor Court Rolls, Thurne and Ashby

DN/EST 9. Bailiff's Accounts, Flegg

DN/EST 10. Bailiff's Accounts, North Walsham

DN/EST 11. Bailiff's Accounts, Heigham, Potter Heigham, Scottow and Shotesham

DN/EST 12. Obedientiary Rolls

DN/EST 13. Miscellaneous

DN/EST 14: Records restored to the Diocesan Archives in 1981

DN/EST 15: Records relating to the Bishop's estates before the exchange with St Benet's

DN/EST 16-99: Records relating to the Bishop's estates after the exchange with St Benet's

DN/EST 100: St Benet's Obedientiary Rolls restored to the Diocesan Archives in 1999

Records of the estates of St Benet's passed into the diocesan archives and are listed here as DN/EST 1-6.

Few estate records of the bishop of Norwich before the exchange survive: these are listed here as DN/EST 15.

Records of the bishop's estates after 1535 are listed here as DN/EST 16 onwards: little in fact survives earlier than 1641.

In the Middle Ages, the bishop of Norwich held estates in about 50 parishes in Norfolk, 30 parishes in Suffolk and a small number elsewhere. These are listed in Blomefield's 'History of Norfolk', vol. 4, pp 530-539. In 1535, almost all of these estates were granted to the king and the bishop received in exchange the estates of St Benet's abbey, mainly in the north and east of Norfolk (listed in Blomefield's 'History of Norfolk', vol. 4, pp 539-542).

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A place index is available.

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Many records of the bishop's estates, including manor court books, passed into the hands of the Church Commissioners, see Church Commissioners (bishopric) Records.\r\nA few records relating to these estates are among the Dean and Chapter archives\r\nRecords of St Benet's Abbey in Dean and Chapter Archives: for Cartulary (mainly of title to churches), see DCN 40/8; tenants of the abbey in Worstead, 14th century, see DCN 95/32; and Bailiffs accounts for Hellesdon, 1459-1460, see DCN 95/33.\r\nRecords of Bishop's Estates in Dean and Chapter Archives: for bailiffs accounts, see DCN 95/4-7, 9-14, 19-23, 23a; castleward account, see DCN 95/8; royal charters pertaining to the bishopric, see DCN 41/16-22; title deeds relating to episcopal properties, see DCN 44/14, 73, 74, 111, 112, 114, 128, 150, 151, 153, 154, 157, 158; and leases of episcopal estates, see DCN 49/24, 33, 34, 36, 72.

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Dates of creation revision deletion

Created 12/03/2003 by Droip. Modified 17/07/2019 by Droip.


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