List 8: Archdeacons, Introduction / without territorial title

Fasti Ecclesiae Anglicanae 1066-1300: Volume 6, York. Originally published by Institute of Historical Research, London, 1999.

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'List 8: Archdeacons, Introduction / without territorial title', in Fasti Ecclesiae Anglicanae 1066-1300: Volume 6, York, (London, 1999) pp. 30-31. British History Online [accessed 19 April 2024]

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In a passage describing the earlier years of the pontificate of abp. Thomas I, Hugh the Chanter records that the abp. introduced archdeacons: 'he apportioned wise and diligent men to be archdeacons in the diocese'. (fn. 79) This must refer to the period between 1070 and c. 1090. The wording indicates that by the time Hugh was writing, in the 1120s, the archdeaconries were territorial. A probably genuine witness-list to a spurious charter suggests that by c. 1121 × 1128 five archdeacons were in office at the same time, (fn. 80) corresponding with the five archdeaconries of York, East Riding, Cleveland, Nottingham and Richmond. The designation commonly given to these archdeacons, however, was 'archidiaconus Eboracensis' or 'archidiaconus Eboracensis ecclesie', and territorial titles appear late and relatively infrequently: East Riding by 1133, Cleveland in the 1160s, Nottingham in the 1150s, and Richmond after 1164. (fn. 81) In the lists 9-13 below, where the appropriate archdeaconries are not explicit in the sources but may be deduced, the entries for the individual archdeacons are placed in square brackets; where this is not possible, the archdeacons are arranged in list 8 in chronological order.



prebs. [Fridaythorpe, list 26; Sherburn, list 25]

First archdcn. to be named, occ. at abp. Thomas I's cons. of abp. Anselm at Canterbury 4 Dec. 1093 (Hugh the Chanter pp. 12-13). Also occ. at kg.'s council at Gloucester Christmas 1093 (Mon. Ang. III 546 (i), cal. Regesta II no. 338). Occ. among witnesses of a spurious ch. of abp. Thomas I for Durham, just possibly preserving the conflation of genuine witness-lists from chs. of abp. Thomas II and Thurstan (EEA V no. 3 and note; see also note above, list 4, Sirus). Occ. holding lands of the abp. either 1070 × 1100 or 1109 × 14 (EEA V no. 8; see also lists 25, 26). Prob. father of Nicholas son of Durand and William son of Durand, cans. (unident. prebs., list 51). Presum. to be identified with 'Dinand' archdcn. who d. before Feb. 1114 (Rouleaux des morts p. 199).


preb. unident., list 50

H. archdcn. sent by chapter of York with letter to abp. Anselm 1108 (Hugh the Chanter pp. 34-5). Occ. as Hugh archdcn. 5 May 1112 × 24 Feb. 1114 (EEA V no. 19) and c. 1115 (EYC I no. 530), and is perhaps to be identified with Hugh the archdcn. who occ. 27 June 1109 × 1135 (EEA V no. 27). Not impossibly the Hugh archdcn. who occ. c. 1121 × 1128 (ibid. no. 43), but this is more likely to have been Hugh Sottovagina archdcn. [of Cleveland] (list 10).


preb. unident., list 50

D. before Feb. 1114 (Rouleaux des morts p. 199).


preb. unident., list 50

Occ. c. 1100 × c. 1115 (EYC II no. 676). D. before Feb. 1114 (Rouleaux des morts p. 199).


preb. unident., list 50

Occ. c. 1120 × 1135, perhaps before 1133 (EYC XI no. 93). Presum. to be identified with one of the two following men.

William of Beverley

preb. unident., list 50

Can. from before 1135 (list 50). Occ. as archdcn. c. 1121 × 1135 (EYC VI no. 9, cal. EEA V no. 73). Not one of the five archdcns. named in c. 1121 × 1128 (EEA V no. 43; see lists 9-13), so prob. ceased to be archdcn. before 1128. Therefore not to be identified with William son of Tole (below).

William son of Tole

preb. unident., list 50

Occ. without title 1121 × c. 1128 (EEA V no. 31, which is to be dated later than the witness-clause of no. 43, see Thurstan archdcn. of Nottingham, list 12). Occ. as archdcn. twice: c. 1125 × 1133 and c. 1125 × 1135 (EEA V nos. 70, 74).


  • 79. Hugh the Chanter pp. 18-19: 'archidiaconos quoque sapientes et industrios per diocesim diuisit'.
  • 80. EEA V no. 43 and note; see also Geoffrey, list 12.
  • 81. For discussion of the emergence of territorial titles, see also Clay, 'Archdeacons' esp. pp. 270-2; C. N. L. Brooke, 'The archdeacon and the Norman Conquest,'in Tradition and Change: Essays in honour of Marjorie Chibnall, ed. D. Greenway, C. Holdsworth and J. Sayers (Cambridge, 1985), pp. 1-19, at 13-14, 18-19; also Burton in EEA V 123-7.