Dorchester village lies nine miles south of Oxford, and was the seat of the bishopric from the 7th to the 11th century.
From the early middle ages until 1846, Dorchester was head of a peculiar jurisdiction, which consisted of eleven parishes. The parish of Dorchester includes the hamlet of Overy, and that of Burcot, which has had its own chapel since 1869. In 1939, a suffragan of the Bishop of Oxford was created with the title Bishop of Dorchester.
The majority of the documents were deposited with the Bodleian Library in 1973 and 1976, and were transferred to Oxfordshire Record Office during the 1980s. PAR87/1/R1/2 was deposited as accession number 4976 in 2002. Re-catalogued by Ruth Imeson in April 2003.