York’s Archbishops’ Registers Revealed

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Scope and Content

The archbishops’ registers record the business and formal acts of the archbishop of York. The registers document the government of the Church, the management and staffing of parishes, and the Church’s oversight and regulation of the moral and spiritual conduct of the people of Yorkshire, Northern England and beyond. The series of York archiepiscopal registers begins in 1225 the registers up to 1650 have been digitised.

The registers record the appointment of clergy to parishes, chantries and hospitals, royal and papal mandates, documents relating to the inspection of parishes and religious houses (known as visitations), wills and probate records (dating from early as 1267), as well as taxation records, individual licences and indulgences, records of clergy ordinations and resignations, and general memoranda.

The images are supported by 3,721 indexed entries, including indexing for the registers of Alexander Neville (1374-1388), Edwin Sandys (1577-1588), John Piers (1589-1594), Matthew Hutton (1595-1606), Tobias Matthew (1606-1628), Samuel Harsnett (1629-1631), Richard Neile (1632-1640), John Williams (1641-1650) and a vacancy of the see in 1304-1306.


This is a description of an Online Resource. Online Resources are websites that describe, interpret and provide access to archives. They often provide access to digital content but they may also describe physical materials. They usually cover a theme or topic, such as an individual, a movement, or an important historical event.

Other Finding Aids

Archivist's Note

Publisher: Borthwick Institute for Archives, University of York

Additional Information

The registers, predominantly in Latin, are key sources for the study of medieval and early modern religious and political history, legal and economic history, and for studies of society and the historic environment. A number of the registers have also been published (commonly with English summaries of entries) by the Borthwick Institute, Canterbury and York Society and Surtees Society, enabling the images to be used alongside critical editions.