RepositoryLambeth Palace Library
LevelFonds
Alt Ref NoV
Extent8 series
TitleVicar General
Date1279-
DescriptionThe records of the Vicar General of the Archbishop of Canterbury relate to the ecclesiastical administration of the province, diocese and peculiars of Canterbury.
The majority of the archive dates from 1533 onwards and especially from the Restoration (1660) onwards.

For a summary see D. M. Owen, 'Canterbury Archiepiscopal Archives in Lambeth Palace Library', Journal of Society of Archivists, II, no. 4, Oct. 1961.
AccrualsThe records continue to accrue.
Arrangement8 series:

VA Archbishops' registers;
VB Act Books;
VM Marriage records;
VO Office papers.

Jurisdictional Series:
VG Diocesan;
VH Peculiar;
VX Provincial;
VZ Metropolitan.

Also VV: Visitor.
LanguageLatin
English
FindingAidsThe Vicar General records are not comprehensively catalogued and some information exists only in hard copy.

Summary index to medical licences available via Library website: www.lambethpalacelibrary.org/files/Medical_Licences.pdf
PhysicalDescriptionA few items stored as oversize (including 5 uncatalogued rolls, ref: Acc L-2019-28).
CreatorNameProvince of Canterbury; Vicar General
AdminHistoryThe vicar general is the official appointed by the Archbishop of Canterbury to administer on his behalf the provincial, diocesan and peculiar jurisdictions.

See Thomas Conigsby, "Chancellor, Vicar-General, Official Principal - A Bundle of Offices", 'Ecclesiastical Law Journal' 2 (1990-2), 273-85 [Lambeth Palace Library H5151.E2].

The following lists are from Melanie Barber's 'Directory of Medical Licences Issued by the Archbishop of Canterbury', part 1: Vicar General Series Licences, 1576-1775'.

VICAR GENERALS, 1576-1775
The dates refer to the tenure of the office of vicar general. Where there is an overlap of dates the office of vicar general was held jointly.
YALE (Thomas), (1561-1577).
AUBREY (William), (1578-1595).
CLERK (William), (1578-1581).
COSIN (Richard), (1595-1597).
STANHOPE (Sir Edward), (1597-1608).
CROMPTON (Sir Thomas), (1605-1609).
COWELL (John), (1609-1611).
RIDLEY (Sir Thomas), (1611-1628).
BRENT (Sir Nathaniel), (1629-1652).
CHAWORTH (Sir Richard), (1660-1672).
WYSEMAN (Sir Robert), (1672-1684).
EXTON (Sir Thomas), (1672-1688).
OXENDEN (George), (1688-1703).
COOKE (Sir John), (1703-1710).
BETTESWORTH (John), (1710-1714).
PAUL (George), (1714-1755).
HAY (Sir George), (1755-1764).
CALVERT (Peter), (1764-1778).

SURROGATES
The dates refer to the fiats, and not to the covering dates of their tenure as surrogates of the vicar general or, in the case of the Archbishop's peculiars, for the Dean of Arches.
ANDREW (John), (1717-1722).
AYLOFFE (Thomas), (1699-1704).
BRAMSTON (George), (1687, 1702).
BRAMSTON (William), (1729-1734).
BRANTHWAYTE (Berney), (1720).
BRICE (Stephen), (1679-1686).
BROWNE (Thomas), (1667-1689).
CHAPMAN (Robert), (1739).
CLARKE (Edward), 1681 (peculiars only).
CLEMENTS (William), (1692-1714).
COOKE (John), (1696-1700), kt. (1701), later vicar general.
COOKE (Thomas), (1706-1710).
COTTRELL (Stephen), (1734).
DIGBY (Kenelme), (1674-1675) .
EXTON (J [John]), (1710).
FAUCONBERGE (Henry), (1676-1684).
FOSTER (Philip), (1689-1690).
HARRIS (George), (1757-1768).
HEDGES (Charles), (1680-1686), kt. (1689).
HENCHMAN (Humphrey), (1730).
ISHAM (Edmund), (1725-1728).
KINASTON (Edward), (1723-1724).
KING (William), (1694-1700).
LANE (Thomas), (1693-1705).
LITTLETON (Fisher), (1684-1692).
LLOYD (Nathaniel), (1703), kt. (1710).
LLOYD (Richard), (1672-1686).
MASTER (MASTERS) (Edward), (1672-1676).
NEWTON (Henry), (1683), kt. (1715).
OLDYS (William), (1677-1687).
PAGITT (Richard), (1688-1699).
PARR (Charles), (1731).
PAUL (George), (1708-1714), later vicar general.
PENDLEBURY (John), 1685 (peculiars only).
PHIPPS (William), (1711-1717).
PINFOLD (Charles), (1708-1714).
PINFOLD (Thomas), (1676-1700).
RAINES (Richard), (1679-1684).
ST. JOHN (John), (1682).
SAYER (Exton), (1720).
STRAHAN (William), (1723).
THOMPSON (Robert), (1670).
TRUMBULL (William), (1675-1681), kt. (1684).
WALLER (Stephen), (1695).
WILLYMOTT (William), (1708).
CustodialHistoryThe Library was formally recognised as the repository for the provincial archives of the archbishops of Canterbury in the 1960s [for provenance, see Library Records: LR K/1/14]; although the records had been stored in Morton's Tower (the Vicar General's Office) before that period, they did not come within the remit of the Library.

Previous referencing system includes other codes e.g. VC [diocesan], VP [peculiars].
AcquisitionPermanent deposit, administered by Lambeth Palace Library.
RelatedMaterialThese form part of the archives of the Archbishops of Canterbury, which also comprise: Archbishops' papers (AP), Bishops' Meetings records (BM), Cartae Antiquae et Miscellaneae (Lambeth Charters) (CM), Convocation records (Conv), Court of Arches records (Arches), Faculty Office records (F), Lambeth Conference papers (LC), Temporalities records (ED and T).

275 boxes, 3 rolls and large packet of administrative, benefice, parochial, diocesan and court records transferred to Canterbury Cathedral Archives, May 1981: purely diocesan material. Summary list of these in Library files.

Some accruals to Vicar General records are not catalogued, but are logged as accessions.

The Library also holds (ref: artefact 117) a red wax seal bearing an impression of an angel on a bridge with sword and scales in her hands. On the inside lid is the inscription: “Impression of the Vicar General’s Seal, belonging to William (Laud) Archbishop of Canterbury, 1633. Recovered in digging the foundations of London Bridge in 1827 and presented by Viscount Melville to William (Howley) Archbishop of Canterbury, Feby. 1830.“ Housed in a small round box. Inherited by the donor Peter Snape from his aunt, daughter of Walter Money, the noted historian, antiquarian and archaeologist, and given to the Library in 2017.

Show related Persons records.

Related name records
CodeNameDates
GB/109/14323Province of Canterbury; Vicar General
GB/109/8351Province of Canterbury
21Howley; William (1766-1848); Archbishop of Canterbury1766-1848
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