Church Commission deposit of Durham Diocese Parsonage and Benefice records

Scope and Content

Records relating to parsonage houses and to benefice and chapelry income created by or for the predecessors of the Church Commissioners

Administrative / Biographical History

The Church Commissioners for England have existed as such since 1 April 1948, at which date the amalgamation of the Governors of Queen Anne's Bounty for the Augmentation of the Maintenance of the Poor Clergy (founded 1704 - see below) and theEcclesiastical Commissioners for England (founded 1836) took effect under the provisions of the Church Commissioners Measure, 1947. In 1856 the Church Building Commissioners, constituted in 1818, had been dissolved and their remaining powers andduties transferred to the Ecclesiastical Commissioners.

Queen Anne's Bounty was established in 1704 by assigning the first fruits and tenths from benefices worth over £50 per annum (previously diverted from the church to the Crown by an Act of 26 Henry VIII [1534-1535]) in order to form a fund to beused to augment poor ecclesiastical livings by providing matching grants of capital, not income, or by loans through mortgages for repairs to parsonage houses. Under the Dilapidations Acts of 1870 and 1871 Queen Anne's Bounty also took onresponsibility for dilapidations and insuring parsonage houses.

The chief duty of the Church Commissioners and before them the Ecclesiastical Commissioners has always been to administer the secular estates and revenues of the Church of England in order to maximise financial support for the clergy. They alsoplay a role in making provision for pastoral reorganisation and dealing with parsonage houses and new and redundant churches.

Conditions Governing Access

Open for consultation.

Acquisition Information

Deposited with the Department of Palaeography and Diplomatic of the University of Durham (since 1990 part of the Archives and Special Collections department of Durham University Library) on 23 July 1981 by the Church Commissioners.

Other Finding Aids

Online catalogue available at online catalogue

Separated Material

Church of England Record Centre, London: Church Commissioners' Records.

Conditions Governing Use

Permission to make any published use of material from the collection must be sought in advance from the Sub-Librarian, Special Collections (e-mail and, where appropriate, from the copyright owner. The Library will assistwhere possible with identifying copyright owners, but responsibility for ensuring copyright clearance rests with the user of the material.

Custodial History

These papers were originally deposited in Durham County Record Office by the Church Commissioners in 1970 and 1981 (as part of a programme to transfer such material from London to local repositories) but were subsequently transferred to thecustody of the university so that they could be housed in the same repository as the Durham Diocesan Records and other related collections.


The Church Commissioners have indicated that they might in the future make further deposits of related material and in particular of items similar to those described under CCP/B-C.

Related Material

Church Commission Deposit of Durham Bishopric Financial and Estate Records.

Church Commission Deposit of Durham Dean and Chapter Estate Records.

Durham Diocesan Records: loans and mortgages for repairs to parsonage houses [DDR/EA/PHL/1-2]; parsonage-house plans, 20th century [DDR/EA/PHM/1].

Hayton, Lee & Braddock Papers.

Wood Plans and Drawings.


Best, G.F.A., Temporal pillars. Queen Anne's Bounty, the Ecclesiastical Commissioners, and the Church of England (CUP,1964)  Brown, J.R., Number One Millbank The story of the Ecclesiastical Commissioners (n.d. [ca.1944])  Hodgson, C., An account of the augmentation of small livings by the Governors of the Bounty of Queen Anne, for the augmentation of the maintenance of the poor clergy ... to the endof the year 1825 ... (London, 1826)  Hodgson, C., Supplement to the account of the augmentation of small livings, by the Governors of the Bounty of Queen Anne ... to the 31st day of December, 1834 (London,1835). See also later supplements.  Port, M.H., Six hundred new churches. A study of the Church Building Commission, 1818-1856, and its church building activities (London, S.P.C.K., 1961)  Robinson, E.J., The records of the Church Commissioners, Journal of the Society of Archivists, vol.III, no.7 (April1968), 347-356  Savidge, A., The foundation and early years of Queen Anne's Bounty (London, S.P.C.K., 1955)  Welch, C.E., The records of the Church Commissioners [re their inherited records], Journal of the Society ofArchivists, vol.I, no.1 (April 1955)