Parsonage Houses

Scope and Content

this sub sub sub fonds is divided into 4 series as follows:

  • Mortgages under Gilbert's Act, Certificates, bonds, estimates, commissions and returns, affidavits of condition, surveys and plans, accounts, correspondence. 1793-1976 (26 boxes) [MGA]
  • Sales of Old Parsonage Houses, Draft conveyances, papers and correspondence 1873-1923, 1972-2002. [SPH]
  • Sites for New Parsonage Houses, Draft conveyances, correspondence 1811-2004 [NPH]
  • Schedules of Fixtures, Schedules 1909-1925 (1 box) [PH.SF]

Administrative / Biographical History

Mortgages Under Gilberts Act. The Clergy Residences Repair Act, usually known as Gilbert's Act after its promoter, Thomas Gilbert MP, was passed in 1776 and under its provisions, the Governors of Queen Anne's Bounty were empowered to lend money for the repair and rebuilding of parsonage houses on the security of benefice revenues. The money was repayable over a long term by successive incumbents. The procedure laid down on Gilbert's Act was affected by subsequent legislation - notably, the Clergy Residences Repair Act 1780, the Pluralities Act 1838, the Parsonages Acts 1838 and 1865.

Sales of Old Parsonage Houses. The Parsonages Act 1838 made it lawful for an incumbent, under certain circumstances and with the approbation of the patron, the ordinary and the archbishop of the province, to sell his parsonage house and up to 12 acres of contiguous land. The purchase money from such a sale was to be paid to the Governors of Queen Anne's Bounty who would apply the sum towards the erection of purchase of a new residence house.

Sites for New Parsonage Houses. The Glebe Exchange Act 1815 and the church Building Act 1818 permitted any owner in fee simple to convey land to an incumbent, or in the latter case the church Building Commissioners, as a site for a parsonage house. In addition, under the terms of the previously-cited Parsonage Act 1838, sites could be purchased with the money received from the sale of the old residence house.

Schedules of Fixtures. The Governors of Queen Anne's Bounty were empowered to make a grant for the purpose of acquiring for a benefice with an annual value of under 200 such moveable fixtures in the parsonage house as should, in their opinion, belong to it, when such fixtures were the personal property of the incumbent.

Other Finding Aids

Hard copy finding aids are available at the Borthwick Institute for the following:

  • Mortgages under Gilbert's Act, chronological list of mortgages 1793-1976, index of place names and list of architects. [MGA]
  • Sales of Old Parsonage Houses, listed chronologically 1873-2002, 1972-1994. [SPH]
  • Sites for New Parsonage Houses listed chronologically 1811-2004 [NPH]
  • Schedules of Fixtures, Schedules 1909-1925 [PH.SF]