Records of peculiar jurisdictions
Peculiar jurisdictions within the Diocese of Durham


Reference code: GB-0033-DDR/P
Title: Records of peculiar jurisdictions
Dates of creation: 1667-1890, but mainly 18th century
Extent: 1 metre
Held by: Durham University Library, Archives and Special Collections
Origination: Durham diocesan registrar, master keeper or commissary of the bishop of Durham and the official and master keeper or commissary of the dean and chapter of Durham
Language: Mainly in English; a few items in Latin

Peculiar jurisdictions within the Diocese of Durham

Background essays on the administration of the diocese of Durham generally, and on the classes of records covered within this catalogue, are in the separate guide, Administrative Histories for the Durham Diocesan Records. General bibliographies are also within the same guide, and omitted from this catalogue except for editions of specific records.

Records of ecclesiastical peculiar jurisdictions associated with the bishop and Cathedral of Durham, and a few strays, viz:
The visitation records include correction books, lists of clergy and churchwardens, admittances of churchwardens, presentments and returns to visitation articles. As with an archidiaconal visitation, these visitations concentrated on the state of church fabrics and furnishings, although there are some items relating to moral etc misdemeanours of the laity or clergy discipline. Records of York episcopal visitations of the diocese of York, including material relating to the Allertonshire parishes etc, are in the Borthwick Institute for Archives.

Some records of the various peculiars are, however, now scattered between various collections and repositories, doubtless in part as a result of the arrangements devised in the past for the administration of the various overlapping ecclesiastical jurisdictions in the North-East of England.
With the abolition of the Yorkshire peculiars, following the order in council of 1846, the situation regarding records should have become clearer because, from that year, the parishes and chapelries of those former peculiars became part of the diocese of York and material relating to them should thenceforth have ended up among the York Diocesan Archives, now in the Borthwick Institute of Historical Research in York. By and large this is the case, but the cut-off date is not always so clear, probably because the rights of existing officials were generally protected when such jurisdictions were abolished and there is likely to have been little change in the administrative arrangements for the former peculiars for some years after 1846.

Accession details

Most of these records were deposited at various dates from 1948 onwards, by the Diocesan Registrar.
Items within DDR/P/ALY (excluding DDR/P/ALY/3/1,3,4) and parts of DDR/P/ALB (1789-1806) were transferred on deposit to the Department of Palaeography and Diplomatic of the University of Durham on 7 January 1981 from Northumberland Record Office (with the agreement of the Newcastle Diocesan Registrar, 4 November 1980), where they had been found as strays among the Newcastle Diocesan Records.

Conditions of access

Items under 30 years old may only be produced if a reader has obtained permission to see them from the depositor (most often the Durham Diocesan Registrar or her/his representative), except for items in the public domain which are made available with no closure period. Longer closure periods apply for certain classes of documents, e.g. personal files are closed for up to 100 years from the date of the latest item in the file. Details are given within this catalogue: unless otherwise stated, a 30 year closure applies.

Copyright and copying

Permission to make any published use of material from the collection must be sought in advance from the Sub-Librarian, Special Collections (e-mail and, where appropriate, from the copyright owner. The Library will assist where possible with identifying copyright owners, but responsibility for ensuring copyright clearance rests with the user of the material
The items relating to peculiars of the dean and chapter of Durham are generally strays from Durham Cathedral Archives, where most records relating to these peculiar jurisdictions can still be found.
SGD 88: record of visitation of churches in the ecclesiastical peculiar of Howden and Howdenshire, Yorkshire by a commissary of the prior of Durham, 1388
Just as at episcopal and archidiaconal visitations, parish register transcripts were often handed in at visitations of peculiars. Some of these are still with the visitation returns from the Allertonshire peculiars (see DDR/P/ALB/1). Many parish register transcripts from both the bishop and the dean and chapter of Durham's Allertonshire peculiars prior to 1813, together with most surviving parish register transcripts from parishes etc in the officialty, are, however, kept with the main series of parish register transcripts under DDR/EA/PBT. Some parish register transcripts from the dean and chapter's peculiar are in the separately described collection of Durham Cathedral Muniments. Other stray parish register transcripts from parishes in both the diocese of Durham and the Durham peculiars are among the Howe MSS in Durham Chapter Library. Post-1813 parish register transcripts from both the Allertonshire peculiars are with the York Diocesan Archives in the Borthwick Institute in York (while most of the surviving original parish registers from the peculiars have now been deposited in the North Yorkshire Record Office).
Some material relating to dean and chapter's peculiar of Howden and Howdenshire is in the Durham Cathedral Archives. In addition, many post-Reformation records of the peculiar are held with the York Diocesan Archives in the Borthwick Institute in York, because the deputy registrar of the peculiar was resident in York and practised as a proctor in the York ecclesiastical courts.


Officialty of the dean and chapter of Durham
Reference: DDR/P/OFF The library's printed book collections include copies of the charges issued by Charles Thorp at his joint visitations of the archdeaconry of Durham and the officialty of the dean and chapter of Durham in 1832, 1833 and 1834.

DDR/P/OFF/1   1755-1787
Visitation correction books of the official:
/1. March 1755 - November 1757 (concerns a single case against the curate of Holy Island, Northumberland)
/2. August 1769 - June 1787 (concerns parishes in both the County Durham and the Northumberland sections of the officialty, but chiefly relating to courts held in Bamburgh, Northumberland)

2 volumes
Formerly referenced as DDR/vols. IX/1-2
A copy of Depositions and other ecclesiastical proceedings from the courts of Durham, extending from 1311 to the reign of Elizabeth, ed. J. Raine, Surtees Society, 21 (1845), annotated to show the sources of the extracts printed in it, is available within Special Collections at shelfmark SC 01815.
Bound in with the archdeacon of Northumberland's act book DDR/A/ACN/1/2, are records of acts and visitations of a commissary of the official of the officialty of the dean and chapter of Durham concerning parishes in the Northumberland section of the officialty, 1620-1622.
Durham Cathedral Library, James Raine Manuscripts: five act books, officialty of the dean and chapter of Durham, 1617-1671, viz:
Raine 130(4): 1617-1620 (with Allertonshire peculiar)
Raine 130(2): 1634-1638 (with Allertonshire peculiar)
Raine 130(3): 1661-1671 (with Allertonshire peculiar)
Raine 130(5): 1662-1669 (with inductions, sequestration and Allertonshire peculiar)
Raine 130(6): 1663-1666

DDR/P/OFF/2   1761, 1832 and 1841
Visitation papers of the official of the officialty, consisting of lists of names of the clergy and churchwardens and some visitation returns
6 folders
DDR/EV/VIS/4/2 includes (f.8r) names of the clergy and churchwardens cited to appear at the visitation of the Durham section of the officialty, 1746
DDR/EV/RET/4: archidiaconal and officialty visitation returns for 1791-1792 (incomplete set) are bound in with these clergy visitation returns
DDR/A/VPD/4: volume akin to a diocese book for the archdeaconry of Durham and the officialty of the dean and chapter of Durham, compiled by [Charles Thorp, archdeacon of Durham], ca.1861
Archbishop of York's diocesan jurisdiction over the Allertonshire peculiars in Yorkshire
Reference: DDR/P/ALY
DDR/P/ALY/1   1787-1791
Induction mandates from the archbishop of York, addressed to the official of the bishop of Durham's Allertonshire peculiar
/1. George Hewer into Cowesby, 1787
/2. Thomas Hartland Fowle into North Otterington, 1791
/3. Thomas Hartland Fowle into Thornton-le-Street, 1791

3 items
DDR/P/ALY/2   28 September 1796
NONE (reference not used)
Items previously listed under this reference are now listed under records of Convocation proctors at DDR/DA/NAT/1/2.
DDR/P/ALY/3   1743 and 1809-1849
Papers relating to visitations of both the bishop of Durham and the dean and chapter of Durham's Allertonshire, Yorkshire peculiars by the archbishop of York
/1. Relaxation of inhibition during visitation, 1743
/2. Relaxation of inhibition during visitation, 1809
/3. Names of clergy and churchwardens, with covering letter, [? April 1825]
/4. Inhibition during visitation, with relaxation and covering letters, 1849

4 folders
Birkby parish register transcripts (DDR/EA/PBT/2/28) include references to visitations by Archbishop Thomas Lamplugh in 1690, and by Archbishop Robert Hay Drummond in 1764.
Osmotherley parish register transcript in Borthwick Institute for Archives for 1668-1669 includes presentment (photocopy kept with this series)
Bishop of Durham's Allertonshire peculiar
Reference: DDR/P/ALB/1
Dates of creation: undated [temp Bishop Trevor, bishop of Durham 1752-1771], 1769-1846 and an undated draft [ca.1840]
Extent: ca.3 boxes
Records relating to visitations of the bishop of Durham's Allertonshire peculiar. These are generally described as having been carried out by the master keeper or commissary of the peculiar but also occasionally by the spiritual chancellor of Durham; the post of master keeper or commisssary in effect seems to have usually been held by the spiritual chancellor, sometimes acting through a deputy. Chiefly lists of names of the clergy and churchwardens but also some churchwardens' elections (re admittances), some presentments, occasional visitation returns and some parish register transcripts for 1788-1800
A typescript list of the parish register transcripts within this series is held with the printed catalogues in Palace Green Library.
Durham Cathedral Library: J.J. Howe Collection includes parish register transcripts plus one churchwardens's presentment at JJH 8/6.

Dean and chapter of Durham's Allertonshire peculiar
Reference: DDR/P/ALD/1
Dates of creation: 1835-1846
Extent: 6 folders
Records relating to visitations of the dean and chapter of Durham's Allertonshire peculiar (sometimes referred to as part of the officialty of the dean and chapter) by the master keeper or commissary (or sometimes the official of the officialty) of the dean and chapter of Durham. Chiefly lists of names of the clergy and churchwardens and some churchwardens' elections (re admittances), presentments and visitation returns
DPR/I/6: Probate records from the Dean and Chapter of Durham's Allertonshire peculiar, 1670-1845
A note on the Birkby parish register transcript (DDR/EA/PBT/2/28) for 1673-4 may imply that there was a Dean and Chapter visitation of Allertonshire in December 1673.
Durham Cathedral Library: James Raine Manuscripts and J.J. Howe Collection contain some items covering both Officialty and Allertonshire parishes, see entries for DDR/P/ALB/1 and DDR/P/OFF/1 for details.

Allertonshire probate records
Reference: DDR/P/ALP/1
Dates of creation: 1732-1768
Extent: 1 box
One box of stray probate bonds and a few associated documents relating to testators etc chiefly from the bishop of Durham's Allertonshire peculiar, 1732-1768, but also including six items relating to Crayke (then a detached part of County Durham but now in North Yorkshire), 1734-1737
These records were previously (before c.1990) filed with the Allertonshire marriage bonds and allegations, which are now in series DDR/P/ALM/1.
Durham Cathedral Archives, series Locellus VIII includes Allertonshire wills and inventories, ca.1444-1531
The main collection of Durham Probate Records includes records relating to Crayke in Yorkshire up to 1837, and to the bishop of Durham's Allertonshire peculiar up to 1846.

Allertonshire marriage licences
Reference: DDR/P/ALM/1
Dates of creation: 1667-1890
Extent: 2 boxes
Papers relating to marriage licence applications from residents in the bishop of Durham's Allertonshire peculiar, covering the following years:
1823-1830 (fragile, unfit for production)
1875-1881 (subsequent to the abolition of the peculiar in 1846, therefore strays from the York Diocesan Archives)
two stray marriage licence allegations relating to the diocese of Newcastle, 1890

The Allertonshire licences for 1823-1830 and 1875-1881, and the two stray Northumberland bonds of 1890, were recorded as in St Helen's Chapel (Durham Cathedral) 27 May 1960, and apparently deposited then.