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Diocese of Norwich; 1095-
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Diocese of Norwich: Visitations: Consignation Books

  • DN/VSC
  • Fonds
  • 1602-1852

Books prepared for use at Visitations in which were entered particulars of licences which the clergy were required to exhibit, detailing such things as their dates of ordination as deacon and priest and the name of the ordaining bishop, the dates of institution and induction, and also noting the details of licences of schoolmasters, surgeons and midwives.

Diocese of Norwich; 1095-

Diocese of Norwich: Visitations: Visitation Books

  • DN/VSB
  • Fonds
  • 1706-1894

Books prepared for use at visitations in which were entered notes of matters presented or detected. Documents exhibited before the visitor such as glebe terriers, parish register bills and presentments were noted, but not their contents. The names of old and new churchwardens were entered as well. Occasionally the dates of institution and induction of a beneficed clergyman are recorded, though these were more usually entered in the consignation books: see list DN/VSC. Lists of citations of parishioners and clergy summoned to appear before the visitor record the reason for the summons and can include schoolmasters, surgeons, physicians, midwives, and executors of wills or administrators of goods and chattels.

Diocese of Norwich; 1095-

Diocese of Norwich: Visitations: Processes etc.

  • DN/VIS
  • Fonds
  • 1555-1980

Up to 1686 the documents listed under this head consist of Consignation books and Visitation books which are not included in the series of those books listed separately (see DN/VSC and DN/VSB).

From 1686 there are, for most Visitation years, Visitation Processes which include Mandates to hold Visitations, Citations to appear etc., and, for some years, Presentments and proceedings thereon and Comperta books recording the further stages of proceedings for the correction of faults discovered or presented during a Visitation.

From 1777 the Visitation Papers consist mainly of printed Questions addressed to the incumbents of each parish. From 1813 these were accompanied by another series of printed questionaires or Articles of Enquiry addressed to the churchwardens, which were returned to the rural deans for those years when an episcopal visitation did not take place. These Questions and Articles were filed by deanery and have been listed alphabetically by Visitation Centre or Court. In 1837 the archdeaconry of Sudbury with the exception of the deaneries of Stow and Hartismere were transferred to the diocese of Ely.

Diocese of Norwich; 1095-

Diocese of Norwich: Testimonials

  • DN/TES
  • Fonds
  • 1660-1794

Testimonials for holy orders, for schoolmasters, surgeons and midwives and for curates' licences.

Diocese of Norwich; 1095-

Diocese of Norwich: Glebe Terriers

  • DN/TER
  • Fonds
  • 1585-1955

In the late sixteenth-century, the ecclesiastical authorities became increasingly concerned to record, and thus preserve, church land, income and rights from lay encroachment. A canon of 1571 required bishops to ensure the compilation, and deposit in their registry, of terriers of glebe land. This requirement was repeated and enlarged by the 1604 canons (number 87). A few terriers date from the sixteenth-century (see list ANW 15), but the regular series of terriers for most parishes in the Diocese of Norwich begin in the early seventeenth-century.

Terriers describe the land belonging to the living and often refer to the parsonage house, where it exists, tithes and other sources of income or privileges claimed by the incumbent. Inventories of church goods, recording such things as the communion plate, books and vestments can also be found amongst the terriers. A terrier was drawn up by the incumbent and churchwardens, often with the assistance of the leading or elder parishioners. In later years, the terrier may simply confirm the previous version.

The terrier was normally exhibited before the Bishop or Archdeacon at their respective visitations and then sent to their registry for filing. Most of those held by the Archdeacons were later transferred to the Bishop, but a large number of the earlier terriers found their way into the records of the Archdeaconry of Norwich (see list ANW 15). Terriers received by the Diocesan Registry were bundled together by parish up to 1955 (see DN/TER 1-175) whereafter they remain in yearly bundles arranged alphabetically by benefice (see list DN/TER/A).

Some register transcripts are amongst the terriers.

Diocese of Norwich; 1095-

Diocese of Norwich: Subscription Books

  • DN/SUB
  • Fonds
  • 1637-1969

The subscription books are numbered as far as possible in accordance with the numbering used in E.H. Carter, 'The Norwich Subscription Books'. Usually the subscriptions are intermingled but where they can be distinguished a note has been made.
From 1558 all clerks were required to swear an oath of allegiance to the crown and in 1571 (formalised in 1604) all clerks before their ordination or institution to a new benefice were to declare their assent to the three Articles of Religion: recognition of royal supremacy; use of the Book of Common Prayer and adhesion to the 39 Articles of 1562. To these requirements was added an oath against simony and other oaths before institution. Schoolmasters, physicians, surgeons, and midwives were required to subscribe to the 39 Articles and royal supremacy before being granted a licence.

Diocese of Norwich; 1095-

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