RepositoryLambeth Palace Library
Alt Ref NoVB 1
Extent28 volumes
TitleAct Books
DescriptionThese volumes contain copies or summaries of acts of the vicar general, his registrars, and surrogates.
The entries relate to clergy and parishes in the diocese of Canterbury, and include records of ordinations, letters dismissory, institutions and collations, licences for non-residence, dispensations for pluralities, resignations and curates' licences. Copies of benefice papers, such as endowments, leases, augmentations, mortgages, faculties, and licences for lecturers, preachers, doctors, midwives and teachers are also recorded. The records relating to the province of Canterbury include dispensations for pluralities, and Lambeth degrees, licences for non-residence until 1677, royal and special marriage licences until 1750, bishops' appointments and commendams, and sede vacante instruments. Documents relating to the appointment of bishops in the province of York and the colonial and missionary dioceses of the Anglican Church and instruments relating to colleges and other bodies of which the archbishop is visitor are also recorded.
FindingAidsAll the volumes are indexed individually. In addition, there is a printed index of the persons and places mentioned in Act Books VB 1-17, 'Index to the Act Books of the Archbishops of Canterbury, 1663-1859', by E.H.W. Dunkin (compiler), ed. by Claude Jenkins and E.A. Fry, British Record Society, Index Library, LV & LXIII, London, 1929 and 1938. This comprises two volumes covering surnames A-K, L-Z (indexing over 20,000 names), with supplementary indexes (volume 1, personal names A-K, has supplementary indexes for place names; schools; licences to marry; Radcliffe travelling physicians; Savilian Professors of Astronomy and Geometry; conferment of degrees; miscellaneous; volume 2, personal names L-Z, has supplementary indexes for place names; licences to eat flesh, marry, and practise physic and surgery; miscellaneous; conferment of degrees). Note that there are sometimes variations in spellings of personal and place names in the indexes. The published index to place names was not exhaustive, referring rather to benefices than to places generally (e.g. when occupiers of particular lands occur). The introduction to volume 1 (pp. i-iii) includes specimen entries from the Act Books.

Catalogue records are based on this published index. A few entries in the VB 1 series are also noted in the card index to the subscription books (VG 1) at Lambeth Palace Library.

The Act Books sometimes refer to earlier documents or events than the date of the Act Book itself.

'Corrody' in the index refers to the granting of a stipend as an in- or out-brother or sister in one or other of the three Hospitals (or Almshouses) of St. John the Baptist, Canterbury, St. Nicholas, Harbledown, or Holy Trinity, Croydon. Dispensations are generally to hold two benefices.

The following volumes from this series (1663-1701) were used in Melanie Barber's 'Directory of Medical Licences Issued by the Archbishop of Canterbury', part 1: Vicar General Series Licences, 1576-1775:
VB 1/1 1663-1666.
VB 1/2 1666-1670.
VB 1/3 1670-1677.
VB 1/4 1676-1701.
Reference is only made to the act books where there is either additional information about the candidate or the licence is not recorded in the Archbishop's register.
CopiesMicropublication of the act books, 1663-1914 (VB 1/1-22), is available from World Microfilms Publications. Copies of the microfilm may be available in other libraries.

VB 1/1-22 (1663-1914) on microfilm at Lambeth Palace Library: MS Film 720-729.
RelatedMaterialFurther records relating to the province of Canterbury including dispensations for pluralities and Lambeth degrees are filed with the Faculty Office records F IV and F VI.
PublnNoteWilliam Gibson, The history of Lambeth Degrees The Burgon Society (2019)

Show related Persons records.

Related name records
DS/UK/5064St John's Hospital, Canterbury; 1084-1084-
GB/109/12907St Nicholas's Hospital, Harbledown; c.1084-c.1084-
DS/UK/3480Hospital of The Holy Trinity, Croydon; 1596-1596-
NA2929Diocese of Canterbury
GB/109/8351Province of Canterbury
GB/109/9256Province of York
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