Cause papers are case papers from an ecclesiastical court - in this case, from the York diocese. This church court archive commences in 1300 and dates through the Renaissance and Reformation periods and into the mid-Victorian era. It offers insight into northern English life through multiple moments of major historical change.
Church courts had jurisdiction over matrimony and probate cases, defamation and slander cases, non-payment of tithes (taxes) and internal church matters. This archive holds over 15,000 cause papers and related material. It has been organised and digitised by an expert team from the Universities of York and Sheffield and offers access to all.