Introduction

As its title makes plain, the Clergy of the Church of England Database 1540–1835 is designed as a research tool for those inquiring into the lives of the clergy of the Church of England. A major part of the project team’s efforts have been concentrated on attempting to establish reliable links between individual career events and particular clergymen. However, although perhaps at first sight an easier task, another and equally important element of the project has been attempting to link events and clergymen with particular ‘locations’. This process is in fact far from straightforward: indeed, it has proved far more taxing than the team originally anticipated. Just as with linkage to persons, some of the links established in the published Database will of necessity be provisional or tentative. While still a work in progress, the CCEd will offer the fullest and most accurate guide to the location structure of the Church of England now available. This location structure, published as part of the Database, is designed to be as clear and helpful as possible, but many users will require some guidance in this area if they are to make effective use of its resources. What follows sets out to provide such guidance.

 

Defining Location

For the purposes of the database, ‘location’ has a particular meaning that must be established at the outset. We employ the term to indicate:

  1. a parish or other ecclesiastical jurisdiction in which an ‘office’ is held (e.g. ‘Islington’, ‘archdeaconry of Middlesex’);
  2. an ecclesiastical or secular institution in which an 'office' is held (e.g. 'Chichester Cathedral', 'Gloucester Gaol', 'Portsmouth Workhouse');
  3. churches which are not parochial churches, in which case the location element of a record includes both the name of the church and the name of a parish or settlement as appropriate (e.g., 'Exeter Chapel', a proprietary chapel situated in London; 'St Martin-in-the-Fields, St Paul's Covent Garden' a parochial chapel in the parish of St Martin-in-the Fields).
  4. an oddity: in the offices of domestic chaplains 'location' is defined as the person to whom the cleric is chaplain.

In each case, 'location' is only employed in the context of the description of an ecclesiastical office: thus a bishop or nobleman is not a 'location' when present in the database as a patron or as a clergyman whose career is recorded in it. At the same time, some elements in the database that might be expected to be designated 'locations' in the common-sense meaning of the term are not described as such for our purposes. Thus we do not regard events as having a 'location': an ordination record in the database does not contain a location element, even though the place where it occurred may be recorded.

When we are dealing with cathedrals or collegiate churches, in order to allow the entry of the 'office' element of an appointment to be readily searchable, one element of the location is the title of the position to which someone has been appointed: thus 'Prebend of Peatling Magna', '3rd canonry of Rochester Cathedral'.

 

The different types of locations

 

Parishes

These represent by far the greatest number of locations in the Database. The nature of the parish is discussed elsewhere in the CCEd website. Here we should note that a parish location may well contain subordinate location records relating to parochial chapels and schools, although other locations physically within a parish, such as workhouse, gaol, or more commonly a grammar school or religious institution such as a hospital or proprietary chapel, are recorded independently: they were not jurisdictionally subordinate to the parish. Secondly, parishes are among those locations most likely to have undergone significant changes in the course of the period covered by the Database, and may consequently be represented by several location records, as explained in the section 'How changes in location are presented in the database; how to trace a single location through such changes'.

 

Parochial Chapels

Chapels that were formally part of the parochial structure (such as chapels of ease), rather than merely physically located within a parish but with no formal relationship with it (such as proprietary chapels), have their own location records. These are recorded as sub-entries under the parish locations, and are described in a formulation in which the parish name precedes that of the chapel itself. Where clergy were allocated specific responsibility for the chapel, records relating to this will be linked to the chapel location record. In other cases curates associated with the parish as a whole may have served the chapel, in which case their records are linked to the main parish location record. Like parishes, chapels are in many cases likely to have undergone changes of status in the course of the period covered by the CCEd which are reflected in their location records (see the section 'How changes in location are presented in the database; how to trace a single location through such changes'): in many cases they will have been established at a date after 1540; they may subsequently have disappeared once more, or achieved independence from the mother church as an independent parish; in some cases they were transferred from one parish to another.

 

Non-parochial Chapels

Proprietary chapels, etc., which were not part of the parochial structure in which they were situated, but which might be run effectively as private enterprises - indeed profit-making concerns - by their owners or leaseholders (sometimes the ministers of the chapels themselves), are not recorded as part of the parochial structure but are given separate entries of their own. They can be identified from their individual location records by the fact that before the name of the chapel is given its status is identified, and they appear in a separate section of the diocesan location list for each diocese on the left side of the location screen. Details of their foundation and/or closure can be elusive, and sometimes their 'Location History' may offer dates corresponding to the start and end of the period covered by the Database rather than more precise dating.

The CCEd also contains records of extra-parochial chapels, those located on ground not within the boundaries of any parish, and often proprietary chapels.

 

Schools

Depending on the nature of the school, the structure of the location record may vary. Endowed grammar schools, and other well-established institutions, are given independent location records, not subordinate to those of the parishes in which they stood. In many cases, however, schools that were operating in individual parishes had a more transitory or archivally more elusive existence. We may know of their existence in the database only through the issuing of a licence to teach to an individual (who may or may not be a cleric), and have no idea what the 'name' of the school was, or the varying incarnations through which it passed in what may have been a far from uninterrupted history. In these instances a generic 'school' location is created for each parish subordinate to the main parish location, to which any records associated with the appointment of schoolmasters other than to the schools already mentioned may be attached. It is under this generic 'school' location that the records relating to most charity and Sunday schools will be found.

 

Diocesan offices

Those clerical offices which formed part of the diocesan hierarchy but which were not attached to particular parishes have been allocated to the category of diocesan offices, which appear as a separate section in the diocesan location lists. This is where the user will find archdeacons, rural deans and chancellors, as well as those clerical offices that were not limited to one parish, such as preachers licensed to preach throughout the diocese. In the case of archdeacons, these officers often held a cathedral stall in right of their diocesan office, and records relating to the installation to that stall and its vacation will appear under the relevant cathedral location.

 

Domestic chaplaincies

These are the most irregular 'locations' we have created. We have effectively decided to regard the employer of the domestic chaplain as the institution to which he was attached and in this sense parallel to the churches and institutions that provide our other locations. The most important difference, of course, was that the tenure might end suddenly with the death of the individual who had employed the chaplain, and that there might be periods in which no appointment was made to office. Each individual who is known to have appointed chaplains has been treated as a single location. At the moment no chaplains to lay figures are included; the domestic chaplains of bishops are grouped together in a separate group.

 

Locations in Cathedrals and Collegiate Churches

Offices associated with cathedrals and collegiate churches are treated in two different ways in terms of location. In all cases, except Windsor and Westminster, they are placed in a section of cathedral and/or collegiate church locations that forms a subsection of the diocesan location list for the relevant diocese. For major offices in which it is possible to identify a sequence of holders, such as the deanery, named prebends or numbered prebends, or cathedral offices such as precentor, each office is allocated an individual location record within the cathedral section. For minor offices, where establishing such a succession in individual positions is more difficult, a single generic location is used: for example for minor canons or vicars choral. Westminster Abbey and St George's Chapel, Windsor, are treated in the same way, except that they appear in the Royal peculiars, exempt jurisdictions section of the extra-diocesan location list.

 

The Chapel Royal

The chapel royal, while superficially similar to a collegiate church, needs to be treated sui generis, as it is not a building but rather a body of priests and singers appointed to minister to the spiritual and temporal needs of the sovereign and the royal household. It appears in the chapel royal section of the extra-diocesan location list. Major offices, such as dean of the chapel and royal chaplain, are allocated individual location records within the chapel royal section. Minor offices, however, tended to be linked to a particular royal chapel - chaplains at Kensington Palace, for example, or Whitehall preachers. Thus, named chapels - Whitehall, St James's, Kensington, Hampton Court, etc. - have also been created within the chapel royal section, to which these offices have been allocated.

 

Secular institutions and semi-ecclesiastical institutions

Particularly in the later part of the period covered by the Database, many institutions under the control of local government began to acquire a formally affiliated chaplain. This was the case, for example, with gaols and workhouses. Both the army and navy also employed chaplains. Other clergy were attached to institutions with ecclesiastical origins but which were engaged in medical or other philanthropic institutions, such as hospitals, which often had a clerical master. Again, the nature of Database sources means that in many cases no dates of foundation or closure can be supplied from our sources, and these will be added as and when they become available. Although many such institutions were located wholly within parishes, or in the case of hospitals were closely associated with cathedral churches, they are treated as independent institutions for the purposes of the Database with their own records grouped separately in the location list for each diocese

 

Understanding a CCEd location record

Each location record in the CCEd has a common structure, although the contents of each element vary according to the nature of the location being recorded.

 

Parish, parochial chapel and parochial school records

Parish and sub-parochial locations are the first group to be listed in the diocesan location list on the left side of the location screen. Each parish record is headed by the 'preferred name' employed for the parish in the database (see the section 'How names of locations are recorded in the CCEd' for details on how this is selected, and how to trace records starting from an alternative version of the name). The heading of each record is prefaced by a prefix indicating the type of location being examined.

The county(ies) in which the parish was situated in the period covered by the database is then given; it is not possible to search for parish locations using the post-1974 counties. If in doubt, a good place to find out which county a particular location was situated in before 1974 is smit1984. If you know the name of the parish but are unsure where it was, you can also consult the CCEd's consolidated alphabetical list of parish locations.

The next two entries indicate the diocese in which the parish was situated, either for the whole duration of the period covered by the database or for a specified period within it indicated further on in the record (see 'How changes in location are presented in the database; how to trace a single location through such changes' for the treatment of changes in jurisdiction). Any one parish formed part of one diocese at a time, but none the less the complexity of the geography of the Church of England has led the CCEd team to break down the diocesan element of the location description into two parts. 'Diocese (Jurisdiction)' indicates the diocese whose bishop exercised ordinary jurisdiction over the parish (instituting its incumbents, licensing its curates and schoolmasters, and exercising visitatorial authority over it), and this is the diocese to which for the purposes of the database the parish is situated for the period covered by the location record. However, the existence of peculiar jurisdictions ensured that parishes of which all this was true might physically be extremely remote from the main body of the diocesan territory. Thus, for example, the bishop of Rochester, whose diocese was situated in the north-western portion of Kent, also exercised ordinary jurisdiction over parishes on the Cambridgeshire/Suffolk border, entirely surrounded by parishes in the diocese of Norwich. Depending on the requirements of the user, there may well be occasions that it is desirable to count such a small peculiar jurisdiction as if it were part of the diocese in which it is physically situated, and we have therefore designated each parish as having a 'Diocese (Geographic)' description which can be used to make such a search: in the case of the Rochester peculiar just mentioned, this would be 'Norwich'.

In the case of parochial chapels and schools whose location records are subordinate to that of the mother parish, the name of the parish is then given at 'In Location' with a link to take the user to the parish's location screen: this will be particularly useful in the case of those chapels served by curates licensed to the parish in general rather than the chapel in particular.

There then follows the 'Location History', which delimits the chronological coverage of the location record and provides further detail on the jurisdictional and geographical situation of the location. The chronological aspect of this element of the record is covered elsewhere; here we need to consider the jurisdictional and geographical elements. Each location is allocated to a 'CCE Region' and to an 'archdeaconry'.

The 'archdeaconry' is almost self-explanatory, in that it indicates the archidiaconal or other sub-diocesan jurisdiction to which the parish/chapel or institution belonged, for example being subject to visitation by its archdeacon. However, just as with the diocese, the geography of archdeaconries was complex and illogical. Even more than is the case with dioceses, archdeaconries might possess little islands of jurisdiction scattered across other jurisdictions; indeed in some cases there might be several substantial disconnected blocks of territory (as was the case in the diocese of Norwich, for example). Just like the dioceses, archdeaconries were riddled with peculiar jurisdictions and such islands of jurisdiction under others' control. It is in the 'archdeaconry' box, in addition, that we identify parishes and churches which were under peculiar jurisdiction, the name of the peculiar being specified wherever possible. This classification marks the current limit of the CCEd's attempt to describe the jurisdictional position of its locations. No attempt has been made to classify each location in terms of deaneries, although this might be possible in the future. While there might be advantages in doing so in that it would enable sampling of small or highly localised groups of parishes, for the moment the project team believe it not to be a high priority, not least because the deaneries could change over time and moreover with the office of rural dean being in abeyance over much of the period covered by the CCEd in many dioceses, there is no effective jurisdictional significance attached to this territorial unit.

The 'CCE region' represents a rough-and-ready attempt to address some of the difficulties the complexity of jurisdictional geography. It presents to researchers who are interested in pursuing regional inquiries at a more local level than the diocesan search makes possible, but who are interested in a predominantly 'ecclesiastical' rather than a secular geography (for which the county provides an alternative approach). The CCE region represents a parallel to the geographical diocese location element, in that it smoothes out some of the anomalies and intricacies of the archidiaconal map. Thus peculiars if of modest size will be included, and small islands of alternative jurisdictions of all kinds ignored to produce a territorially coherent block that can be used to identify a sub-diocesan region. Consequently where the archidiaconal map is simple, it may virtually or entirely reproduce the archdeaconry location units; elsewhere it may be strikingly different. An account of both the archdeaconries and CCE regions associated with each diocese forms part of the diocesan resources made available on the CCE website.

After the Location History element of the CCEd Location record, any information recovered by the project relating to the parish, chapel or school but not easily accommodated elsewhere is recorded under 'Notes'.

 

Diocesan Offices

These locations follow the parochial and sub-parochial locations in the diocesan location list at the left side of the location screen. Their location records are identified by the prefix 'Diocesan Office' in the heading.

Diocesan office have no county location element, belonging as they do to a diocesan hierarchy that may transcend county boundaries. The first information provided in a diocesan office location record therefore relates to its diocesan context. In this case, ‘Diocese (Jurisdiction)’ indicates the diocese of whose hierarchy they form a part; the ‘Diocese (Geographic)’ element indicates a category of ‘Diocesan officers' which groups these positions together.

The Location History records not only a chronological frame for the location record (for details of which see here), but also through CCE Region and archdeaconry elements further defines the context of the office. For archdeacons or rural deans, whose jurisdiction was confined to an archdeaconry or rural deanery, the archdeaconry element will describe the jurisdictional context; for an office with diocesan-wide responsibilities this may state 'diocese of "x"'. The function of the CCE region element here differs from that in a parish or chapel: here it offers a more detailed breakdown by type of office of the 'Diocesan officers' element of Geographic Diocese.

After the Location History element of the CCEd location record, any information recovered by the project relating to the diocesan office but not easily accommodated elsewhere is recorded under 'Notes'.

 

Cathedral and Collegiate Church Location records

These are listed in the diocesan location list at the left-hand side of the location screen following the diocesan offices. Each location record of this type is identified by the prefix ‘Cathedral office’ or ‘Collegiate stall’ in the header. In most cases the individual location will be described by the name of the cathedral or collegiate church, followed either by a generic office name (in the case of minor offices) or a specific office title (see here for more on this distinction). In the case of collegiate churches such as Wolverhampton, which also had parochial responsibilities, a second and separate entry is made in the parish location list.

Cathedral and collegiate locations have no County element. The first information provided in a location record therefore relates to the diocesan context of the office. In both cases Diocese (Jurisdiction) relates to the diocese (or for some collegiate churches the type of peculiar) in which they were situated in terms of clerical hierarchy, while Diocese (Geographic) is used to group cathedral and collegiate offices into two distinct categories.

The Location History records not only a chronological frame for the location record (for details of which see here), but also indicates through CCE Region and archdeaconry elements further defines the context of the office. Cathedrals were outside archidiaconal jurisdiction, and could have differing relations with episcopal authority, and so for cathedral offices Archdeaconry will simply reproduce the cathedral name; for collegiate churches it will reflect their relation to archidiaconal jurisdiction. As in the case of diocesan offices, the CCE Region has been employed in the case of cathedrals to offer a more detailed breakdown by type of office of the ‘Cathedral’ or ‘Collegiate church’ element of Geographic Diocese.

After the Location History element of the CCEd Location record, any information recovered by the project relating to the cathedral office but not easily accommodated elsewhere is recorded under 'Notes'.

 

Domestic chaplaincies

These are identified in the heading of each location record by the prefix 'Domestic chaplain'.

For obvious reasons these locations have no County element, and the Diocese (Jurisdiction) and Diocese (Geographic) entries are in practice also largely meaningless, although for convenience's sake and to bind them to the bishop's own records they are allocated in the first instance to the diocese of which the bishop involved was diocesan. It should be noted, however, that chaplains were the personal chaplains of bishops and tended to accompany their bishops when they were translated from one diocese to another, though sometimes a bishop reappointed chaplains to predecessors who had died. Diocese (Geographic) is used to group domestic chaplaincies into a single category of ‘Domestic chaplains’.

The Location History records not only a chronological frame (in this case a nominal span coinciding with that of the Database as a whole; see here), but also CCE Region and archdeaconry. Since, as has already been indicated, domestic chaplains were not in fact truly part of the diocesan structure, the CCE region is employed simply to separate the Geographic Diocese grouping into ‘lay’ and ‘episcopal’ subgroups. The archdeaconry record is left blank.

After the Location History element of the CCEd Location record, any information recovered by the project relating to the chaplaincy but not easily accommodated elsewhere is recorded under 'Notes'.

 

Chapel Royal

As yet, there are no records relating to the chapel royal in the publicly accessible section of the Database. A description of the location history will be added when such records are incorporated.

 

Proprietary chapels and extra parochial chapels

Proprietary and extra-parochial chapel locations are listed in the diocesan location list on the left side of the location screen following cathedral offices. The status of the chapel is indicated in a prefix to the heading, which also contains the 'preferred name' employed for the chapel in the Database (see the section 'How names of locations are recorded in the CCEd' for details on how this is selected, and how to trace records starting from an alternative version of the name). The title allocated to the chapel will, however, where appropriate include an indication of the settlement in which it was physically located - thus London chapels will be described for example as 'Exeter Chapel, city of Westminster, London' and not by reference to the particular parish in which it was situated.

The county(ies) in which the chapel was situated in the period covered by the database is then given; it is not possible to search for chapel locations using the post-1974 counties. If in doubt, a good place to find out which county a particular location was situated in before 1974 is The Phillimore Atlas and Index of Parish Registers, ed. Cecil Humphrey Smith (Chichester, Phillimore, 1984 edn.). If you know the name of a location, you can also search for it in the consolidated, alphabetical list of all chapel locations in the website.

The next two entries indicate the diocese in which the chapel was situated, either for the whole duration of the period covered by the Database or for a specified period within it indicated further on in the record (see 'How changes in location are presented in the database; how to trace a single location through such changes' for the treatment of changes in jurisdiction). Any one chapel was situated in one diocese at a time, but none the less the complexity of the geography of the Church of England has led the CCEd team to break down the diocesan element of the location description into two parts. 'Diocese (Jurisdiction) indicates the diocese whose bishop exercised ordinary jurisdiction over the chapel (licensing its ministers, and exercising visitatorial authority over it), and this is the diocese to which for the purposes of the database the chapel is situated for the period covered by the location record. However, the existence of peculiar jurisdictions ensured that chapels of which all this was true might physically be extremely remote from the main body of the diocesan territory. Depending on the requirements of the user, there may well be occasions that it is desirable to count such a small peculiar jurisdiction as if it were part of the diocese in which it is physically situated, and we have therefore designated each chapel as having a 'Diocese (Geographic)' description which can be used to make such a search.

There then follows the 'Location History', which delimits the chronological coverage of the location record and provides further detail on the jurisdictional and geographical situation of the location. The chronological aspect of this element of the record is covered elsewhere; here we need to consider the jurisdictional and geographical elements. Each location is allocated a 'CCE Region' and to an 'archdeaconry'.

The 'archdeaconry' is almost self-explanatory, in that it indicates the archidiaconal or other sub-diocesan jurisdiction to which the chapel belonged, for example being subject to visitation by its archdeacon. However, just as with the diocese, the geography of archdeaconries was complex and illogical. Even more than is the case with dioceses, archdeaconries might possess little islands of jurisdiction scattered across other jurisdictions; indeed in some cases there might be several substantial disconnected blocks of territory (as was the case in the diocese of Norwich, for example). Just like the dioceses, archdeaconries were riddled with peculiar jurisdictions and such islands of jurisdiction under others' control. It is in the 'archdeaconry' box, in addition, that we identify chapels which were under peculiar jurisdiction, the name of the peculiar being specified wherever possible. This classification marks the current limit of the CCEd's attempt to describe the jurisdictional position of its locations. No attempt has been made to classify each location in terms of deaneries, although this might be possible in the future. Although there might be advantages in doing so in that it would enable sampling of small or highly localised groups of locations, for the moment the project team believe it not to be a high priority, not least because the deaneries could change over time and moreover with the office of rural dean being in abeyance over much of the period covered by the CCEd in many dioceses, there is no effective jurisdictional significance attached to this territorial unit.

The 'CCE region' represents a rough-and-ready attempt to address some of the difficulties the complexity of jurisdictional geography. It provides a way of classifying locations for researchers interested in pursuing regional inquiries at a more local level than the diocesan search makes possible, but interested in a predominantly 'ecclesiastical' rather than a secular geography (for which the county provides an alternative approach). The CCE region represents a parallel to the geographical diocese location element, in that it smoothes out some of the anomalies and intricacies of the archidiaconal map. Thus peculiars if of modest size will be included, and small islands of alternative jurisdictions of all kinds ignored to produce a territorially coherent block that can be used to identify a sub-diocesan region. Consequently where the archidiaconal map is simple, it may virtually or entirely reproduce the archdeaconry location units; elsewhere it may be strikingly different. An account of both the archdeaconries and CCE regions associated with each diocese forms part of the diocesan resources made available on the CCE website.

After the Location History element of the CCEd Location record, any information recovered by the project relating to the chapel but not easily accommodated elsewhere is recorded under 'Notes'.

 

Non- and semi-ecclesiastical institutions, including non-parochial schools

Non- and semi-ecclesiastical institutions are listed at the end of the diocesan location list on the left side of the location screen. Each institution record is headed by the 'preferred name' employed for the institution in the database (see the section 'How names of locations are recorded in the CCEd' for details on how this is selected, and how to trace records starting from an alternative version of the name). The heading of each record is prefaced by a prefix indicating the type of location being examined.

The county(ies) in which the institution was situated in the period covered by the database is then given; it is not possible to search for institution locations using the post-1974 counties. If in doubt, a good place to find out which county a particular location was situated in before 1974 is smit1984. If you know the name of a location, you can also search for it in the consolidated, alphabetical lists of such locations in the website.

The next two entries indicate the diocese in which the institution was situated, either for the whole duration of the period covered by the database or for a specified period within it indicated further on in the record (see 'How changes in location are presented in the database; how to trace a single location through such changes for the treatment of changes in jurisdiction). Any institution formed part of one diocese at a time, but none the less the complexity of the geography of the Church of England has led the CCEd team to break down the diocesan element of the location description into two parts. 'Diocese (Jurisdiction)' indicates the diocese whose bishop exercised ordinary jurisdiction over the cleric associated with the institution or in some cases (such as some schools and hospitals) the institution itself, and this is the diocese to which for the purposes of the database the institution is situated for the period covered by the location record. However, the existence of peculiar jurisdictions ensured that institutions of which all this was true might physically be extremely remote from the main body of the diocesan territory. Thus, for example, the bishop of Rochester, whose diocese was situated in the north-western portion of Kent, also exercised ordinary jurisdiction over parishes on the Cambridgeshire/Suffolk border, entirely surrounded by parishes in the diocese of Norwich. Depending on the requirements of the user, there may well be occasions that it is desirable to count such a small peculiar jurisdiction as if it were part of the diocese in which it is physically situated, and we have therefore designated each institution as having a 'Diocese (Geographic)' description which can be used to make such a search: in the case of the Rochester peculiar just mentioned, this would be 'Norwich'.

There then follows the 'Location History', which delimits the chronological coverage of the location record and provides further detail on the jurisdictional and geographical situation of the location. The chronological aspect of this element of the record is covered elsewhere; here we need to consider the jurisdictional and geographical elements. Each location is allocated a 'CCE Region' and to an 'archdeaconry'.

The 'archdeaconry' is almost self-explanatory, in that it indicates the archidiaconal or other sub-diocesan jurisdiction in which the institution was situated. However, just as with the diocese, the geography of archdeaconries was complex and illogical. Even more than is the case with dioceses, archdeaconries might possess little islands of jurisdiction scattered across other jurisdictions; indeed in some cases there might be several substantial disconnected blocks of territory (as was the case in the diocese of Norwich, for example). Just like the dioceses, archdeaconries were riddled with peculiar jurisdictions and such islands of jurisdiction under others' control. It is in the 'archdeaconry' box, in addition, that we identify institutions which were under peculiar jurisdiction, the name of the peculiar being specified wherever possible. This classification marks the current limit of the CCEd's attempt to describe the jurisdictional position of its locations. No attempt has been made to classify each location in terms of deaneries, although this might be possible in the future. Although there might be advantages in doing so in that it would enable sampling of small or highly localised groups of parishes, for the moment the project team believe it not to be a high priority, not least because the deaneries could change over time and moreover with the office of rural dean being in abeyance over much of the period covered by the CCEd in many dioceses, there is no effective jurisdictional significance attached to this territorial unit.

The 'CCE region' represents a rough-and-ready attempt to address some of the difficulties the complexity of jurisdictional geography. It provides a way of classifying locations for researchers interested in pursuing regional inquiries at a more local level than the diocesan search makes possible, but interested in a predominantly 'ecclesiastical' rather than a secular geography (for which the county provides an alternative approach). The CCE region represents a parallel to the geographical diocese location element, in that it smoothes out some of the anomalies and intricacies of the archidiaconal map. Thus peculiars if of modest size are included, and small islands of alternative jurisdictions of all kinds ignored to produce a territorially coherent block that can be used to identify a sub-diocesan region. Consequently where the archidiaconal map is simple, it may virtually or entirely reproduce the archdeaconry location units; elsewhere it may be strikingly different. An account of both the archdeaconries and CCE regions associated with each diocese forms part of the diocesan resources made available on the CCE website.

After the Location History element of the CCEd Location record, any information recovered by the project relating to the institution but not easily accommodated elsewhere is recorded under 'Notes'.

 

How changes in location are presented in the database; how to trace a single location through such changes

During the course of the period covered by the CCEd, the structure of the Church of England underwent numerous changes, although save for the period between 1646 and 1660 when episcopacy was abolished by the Long Parliament, no root and branch reform. Some of these were centrally determined as part of a grand strategy, such as the creation of new dioceses in the first years of the Database (no more were created until after its terminal date of 31 December 1835); others reflected more piecemeal, localised and sometimes chance developments: the building of new churches and chapels, the subdivision of parishes, a change in the status of a particular church, the uniting of parishes, the ruination of a church and the consequent effective abolition of a parish or chapel, and sometimes the change of jurisdiction over a peculiar. The database takes account of such changes by effectively treating each incarnation of a location as a 'new' location. Thus, if one is seeking to examine all the records relating to a parish which was transferred from one diocese to another at the outset of the period, and later was united to another, there will be three separate 'location' records relating to that parish: one in the original diocese, one independent record in the diocese to which it was transferred, and one recording the united parish. Similarly if one is considering a chapel which was created during the course of the period, and later was formally separated from the parish to which it was originally subordinate to create a new parish, there will be two separate records, one accessible under the 'mother' parish record, the other independently.

 

The ' Location History'

The location record in each case provides the information users need to trace any prior or subsequent incarnations of the location in which they are interested. Each location record is given a 'location history', displayed in the location screen associated with the location. Alongside jurisdictional and geographical elements discussed in the section on 'Understanding a CCE location record', this consists of two dates, each of which is coded. The 'start date' indicates the date at which the location record on the screen commences, either because the location did not exist prior to this date, or because it underwent a significant transformation; the 'end date' the date at which the location on the screen expires, either because the location ceased to exist at this date, or because it underwent a significant transformation. The codes used to accompany these dates are as follows.

(A) In the case of a start date this indicates that the location existed on or before 1 January 1540, the date at which the coverage of the database commences; in the case of an end date, that the location existed on or after 31 December 1835, its terminal date.
(C) This indicates a date at which the location was created.
(D/X) This indicates the destruction of a location or the absorption of one parish into another with no change to the latter's name.
(S) This indicates the separation of a chapel from a parish to form a new parish.
(T) This indicates the transfer of a chapel from one parish to another, or a parish from one (usually) diocesan jurisdiction to another.
(U) This indicates the date of a union between parishes.

Where required any location screen may contain a section after the 'Location History' entitled 'Notes' likely to include information shedding further light on (or perhaps in places obfuscating!) the history of the development of the location over the period of the database. The third column of the Location History indicates whether any such notes exist.

 

How names of locations are recorded in the CCEd

The names of locations have inevitably undergone many changes over the period covered by the database. This is most obviously the case with the names of parishes and chapels. The version of the name selected for the location list available to users of the database is that preferred as the 'definitive' version in the period of the database in Frederic A. Youngs Jr.'s Guide to the Local Administrative Units of England (2 vols., London: Royal Historical Society, 1980, 1991), except in those cases not covered by Youngs. Where Youngs cites alternatives, these are entered on the location screen relating to that place or institution. In the records linked to these locations, however, the spellings and formulations found in the sources have been preferred (it is hoped variants revealed in this way will later be highlighted in the location screens; in the meantime it is quite possible to search for a parish using any variant that has actually been employed using the search facility for recovering individual records which contain it). Some parishes were commonly known by titles that included a variant (eg Rumbaldswyke alias Wike Church); in these instances the variants form part of the location name, and are not listed as alternatives.

Problems of selection when it comes to the 'definitive' location name for parishes are at their most acute in Wales, where the politics of language ensure that this is more than a straightforwardly academic decision and compound the difficulties caused by the absence of an account from Youngs. The project team are still uncertain as to how to proceed here: one suggestion is to adopt a strictly historical source, for example the Report of the Commissioners appointed by His Majesty to inquire into the Ecclesiastical Revenues of England and Wales (PP Eng. 1835, xxii (54)) as a fixed point of reference; the team would welcome any comments on this issue. To send your comments to the Project team, please click here.

In the case of secular institutions, we have followed our sources; in the case of cathedrals, where possible the Fasti Ecclesiae Anglicanae 1541-1857; for collegiate churches our sources and the 1835 report. There are some institutions, notably small parochial schools, where it is hard to establish a definitive name; here a generic one will be adopted (as in 'Eastown, school').

 

Sources for locations as described in the CCEd

 

Parishes

Surprising as it may seem, it is remarkably difficult to compile a definitive list of the parishes of the Church of England. One reason for this is, of course, that the parochial map of England and Wales was never set in stone, and throughout the period covered by the database parishes were united, created, abolished and subdivided. Secondly, the names by which parishes were familiarly known frequently changed, not merely in terms of preferred spelling, but sometimes to completely new formulations. Thirdly, there could be disputes or simply uncertainty about the place of the parish within the jurisdictional hierarchies of the Church, particularly when it came to parishes in peculiar jurisdictions. Moreover, as with the parochial structures themselves, this hierarchical structure underwent significant alterations (notably in the case of the creation of new dioceses in the first years covered by the database).

The CCEd has drawn on several sources for its account of the parishes and their jurisdictional and geographical context. It was decided at an early stage to create a locational structure beginning with a framework established without reference to the data being collected for the project or the surveys carried out by the project directors. This would not only provide an independent measure of the data being collected and so help identify possible anomalies, but also ensure a degree of consistency in the creation of the structure which the project directors' early experience of diocesan archives indicated might not be forthcoming from the records they contained.

For England the basis for the parish list has been Frederic A. Youngs Jr.'s Guide to the Local Administrative Units of England (2 vols., London: Royal Historical Society, 1980, 1991). This has provided the default 'preferred name' for each parish, its county and ecclesiastical jurisdiction, as well as alternative names. Youngs also provides dates for the creation of new parishes during the course of the period covered by the database, changes in ecclesiastical or secular jurisdiction, or the abolition or merger of parishes . The volumes also provides a list of parochial chapelries found in each parish, as well as the dates at which these were created in and/or separated from the parish.

Youngs' data has been cross-referenced with that in the most easily accessible account of the parish structure of the church for the general public, The Phillimore Atlas and Index of Parish Registers, ed. Cecil Humphrey Smith (Chichester, Phillimore, 2nd edn 1984; 3rd edn. 2003), which has in some cases provided the basis for an emendation of the data provided by Youngs. Where there is a straight conflict between the two sources (most commonly on ecclesiastical jurisdiction, predictably enough above all on whether or not a parish lay in a particular peculiar jurisdiction), this has been recorded in the note box on the location screen for the relevant parish. The Phillimore Atlas also covers Wales, unlike Youngs, and has been particularly important in the construction of the location lists for the four Welsh dioceses.

A third important source has been the Report of the Commissioners appointed by His Majesty to inquire into the Ecclesiastical Revenues of England and Wales (PP Eng. 1835, xxii (54)). This magnificent source includes a tabulated account of the parishes of each diocese in turn, and once more this has been particularly useful in constructing a parish list for Wales.

The Welsh parish list also draws on Melville Richards, Welsh Administrative and Territorial Units. Medieval and Modern (Cardiff: University of Wales Press, 1969). However, the way in the information is structured in this source is not directly compatible with the approach adopted in the CCEd, so it has not been adopted as the 'lead' source in the way Youngs has been for England.

Inevitably, the list compiled from these sources has had in many instances to be revised in the light of the experience of both the project directors' surveys of archives and record linkage. It is clear that all contain errors as to jurisdictional structures, and also omissions. In some cases it is difficult to resolve issues without investigations beyond the scope of the CCEd, and the project team would welcome advice and corrections from those with the necessary expertise. (Please click here if you have any comments or suggestions that you would like to send us.) Thus in many cases it is hard to reconcile the account of the date of foundations of parishes and chapels or separations of chapels from parishes in Youngs with the records and descriptions we have encountered. This may reflect errors on the part of Youngs (perhaps most likely in cases of dates of foundations); it may reflect the fact that record keeping lagged behind developments in jurisdiction (perhaps most likely in cases where according to the records chapels appear to continue as subordinate to parishes after the date of separation specified in Youngs); it may be the product of a legal dispute over the status of a parish or chapelry; or it may reflect simple confusion about the status of some livings, especially in the administrative confusion that followed the civil war and interregnum. Nevetheless, the fact that modifications have been necessary to the account of parochial locations derived from our sources in the light of the data recovered for the database means that this now represents a further independent source for those seeking to chart the development of elements of the parochial structure of the Church of England in our period.

 

Cathedral churches

Here the project team are greatly indebted to the accounts of the office holders in English cathedrals, contained in the ongoing Fasti Ecclesiae Anglicanae 1541-1847, ten of which have now been published: I, St Paul's London; II, Chichester; III, Canterbury, Rochester and Winchester; IV, York; V, Bath and Wells; VI, Salisbury; VII, Ely, Norwich, Westminster and Worcester; VIII, Bristol, Gloucester, Oxford and Peterborough; IX, Lincoln; X, Coventry and Lichfield. These volumes provide an invaluable guide to the positions associated with each cathedral, although they are not comprehensive, omitting, for example, minor canons, and - perhaps more surprisingly, in the case of St Paul's at least - canon residentiaries. To establish a location structure in such instances the project team have drawn on the Report of the Commissioners appointed by His Majesty to inquire into the Ecclesiastical Revenues of England and Wales (PP Eng. 1835, xxii (54)), local sources listed in the diocesan bibliographies, and the results of data retrieval and the project surveys.

 

Collegiate churches

Here the project team have drawn extensively on the Report of the Commissioners appointed by His Majesty to inquire into the Ecclesiastical Revenues of England and Wales (PP Eng. 1835, xxii (54)), local sources, and the results of data retrieval and the project surveys.

 

Chapel royal

Here the project team has relied on its own researches and advice from David Baldwin, serjeant of the vestry at the chapel royal, who has written its history, The Chapel Royal ancient and modern (London: Duckworth, 1990).

 

Proprietary chapels and extra-parochial chapels

Much of the location material for such locations is drawn from the data recovered from the CCEd.

 

Schools

One source for the location and identity of schools has been the ‘Library History Database’ compiled by R Alston, which includes a list of schools at http://www.r-alston.co.uk/school.htm.

 

Secular institutions

In this instance the project team have relied chiefly on the results of their own investigations.

 

Chaplaincies

Again, the nature of these locations ensures that our own data sources are the most practical basis for a location list.

Interpreting Location Data in an Evidence Record

It is important for users to be aware of the significant differences between the location data contained in evidence records and that to be found in the location records and lists.

The location records and lists provided in the Database are the product of a serious effort to give as accurate an account as possible of the geographical and jurisdictional structure of the Church of England over the course of the period covered by the Database. As explained above, in order to this the project team adopted a strategy of building the location structure primarily on the basis of sources independent of the data gathered by the project, employing the latter to modify the structure or furnish those areas in which other sources were either unavailable or unhelpful.

In contrast, the location data contained in individual evidence records is that recovered by our researchers from the diocesan archives and other sources that they have entered into the collection databases. The researchers were given very clear and explicit instructions concerning the way in which they were to treat such information. (For a full account of the principles adopted by the Project in extracting data from the original sources, please click here.) Where a record contained no location information, or what there was was illegible, researchers were instructed to enter that data was missing or undecipherable, and confine any suggestions or firm allocations to the correct location to the problem box or comment box on the entry screen. The project team have drawn on this information in linking the data, but have not intervened by changing the content of the location boxes in the evidence record.

Researchers were also instructed to record the spelling of parish, chapel and school names as found in the source material, and to include aliases as part of the name. The only exception to this was in the case of records where the location name had been latinised but where the standard form was English (i.e, not cases such as Bognor Regis). In such instances the translation was entered and the Latin form recorded in comment field. Cathedral and diocesan office titles, however, were entered in standardised forms. Users therefore need to be aware that the spelling of a location name found in an evidence record may not only represent a variant of the usual or preferred form, but may of course also reflect mistranscriptions made by the project researcher or the clerk responsible for the original record (and there were plenty of such errors). Where the project directors are certain that an entry reflects a researcher's error (as where the oddity is related to a Qwertyuiop keyboard rather than the substitution of one vowel for another, for example) they have on occasion intervened, noting this in the problem field for their own reference; but on many occasions it is impossible to ascertain the source of any mistranscription or to distinguish it from a variant. It is always possible for the user to see the 'preferred' version of a location name, or other variants, by using the link in the evidence record to the relevant location record.

The other significant difference between location as recorded in evidence records and that in the location record is that in the former the location name is broken down into several distinct elements represented by the numbered location boxes on the record. The instructions which were issued to researchers concerning the use of the location boxes in data entry can be consulted elsewhere in the Database website, but a summary account of the use of the boxes follows. The single most important point to note is that the relation between the numbered location boxes is hierarchical, and does not indicate alternative formulations of location names.

 

Records relating to appointment, resignation, vacation of office, and tenure at specified dates of benefices, curacies, and other offices.

In the bulk of the records, the location boxes in entry screens are employed as follows:

  • LOCATION 1: This contains the name of the parish, or where only a chapel name is provided without reference to a mother parish, the name of the chapel.
  • LOCATION 2: Where a chapel is referred to in a source and the mother parish is mentioned, this is where the name of the chapel is entered.
 

Records relating to appointment, resignation, vacation of office, and tenure at specified dates of offices in cathedrals or collegiate churches.

In these records the location boxes are used in the following way:

  • LOCATION 1: This contains the name of cathedral or collegiate church.
  • LOCATION 2: This contains the title of the individual office to which the person involved is being appointed.
 

Records relating to appointment, resignation, vacation of office, and tenure inproprietary chapels andextra-parochial chapels.

In these instances both the name and where provided situation of the chapel are entered in LOCATION 1 (e.g., 'Exeter Chapel, London'). LOCATION 2 is left blank.

Records relating to appointment, resignation, vacation of office, and tenure in offices attached to hospitals, gaols, schools, workhouses and other such non- or semi-ecclesiastical institutions. In these instances both the name and where provided situation of the institution are entered in LOCATION 1 (e.g., 'Gloucester Gaol'). LOCATION 2 is left blank.

 

Records relating to appointment, resignation, vacation of office, and tenure indomestic chaplaincies.

In these cases LOCATION 1 records the employer's generic title (e.g. 'Duke of York', Archbishop of York'); the individual name is entered in the PATRON section of the screen. LOCATION 2 is left blank.