Guildhall Library Manuscripts Section

General Guide


Notes: gaps in dates are indicated, unless specifically stated otherwise


This list is not comprehensive. The most significant series of records only are included. Diocesan records are fully listed at L14.4 in the London subject catalogue.

Further records of the diocese are held by GLRO. Papers of individual bishops of London and certain other diocesan records, 17th century- 1973, known as the "Fulham Papers", are held by Lambeth Palace Library, London SE1 7JU. Microfilm copies of "Fulham Papers" relating to missions and chaplaincies in North America and the West Indies, 1626-1824, are held by the Printed Books Section of the Library. A catalogue of all the "Fulham Papers" may be consulted at the Manuscripts Section's enquiry desk.

At various points in its history, the Diocese of London has covered the City of London and Middx. and certain parishes in Bucks., Essex, Herts., Kent and Surrey. Explanatory notes on the extents and boundaries of the Diocese of London may be consulted at the Manuscripts Section's enquiry desk.

a) Bishops' registers. 1306-37/8, 1361-75, 1381/2-1646, 1660-1959. (Ms. 9531/1-45) Include place indexes to institutions and collations (to 1901) and place and/or subject indexes to general business.See also Ms. 9535A for a name index to ordinations in vol 16 (1660-75) and 24-28 (1809-42) and Ms. 10024 for a name index to wills and admons in vol 1-12 (1306-1559). Vol 1, 1306-37/8, is printed as Canterbury and York Society vol 7 (1911), vol 2, 1361-75, is printed as Canterbury and York Society Vol 34 and 38 (1927-8). For details of the arrangement of contents in vol 3-15 and references to pre-1633 London Sede Vacante registers at Lambeth Palace Library (London SE1 7JU) see D M Smith Guide to Bishops' Registers of England and Wales (1981).

b) Other administrative records, including:-

Vicar Generals' books. 1685-1985 (Ms. 9532/1-40) (Vicar Generals' books for 1520/1-1685 are held by GLRO). Vol 1-27 (1685-1957) are indexed by parish. Vol 1-6 (1685-1758) and vol 10-27 (1806-1957) are also indexed by name. Vol. 29 (1962-4) is indexed by parish.

Bishops' Act books. 1761-1937. (Ms. 9532A/1-15). Indexed by names and places.

Ordination papers. 1674-1985. (Ms. 10326), Restricted access to later records

Ordination registers. 1550-1628, 1675/6-1809. (Ms. 9535/1-3).

Licensing papers, 16th-20th centuries: for curates, lecturers, institutional chaplains, parish clerks, midwives, physicians and surgeons, schoolmasters etc. A detailed guide at the Enquiry Desk gives full details of the dates for which the licensing jurisdiction applied. Restricted access to later records

Marriage allegations, 1597-9, 1601-48, 1661-1971, 1974 to date (Restricted access to later records), and marriage bonds 1664, 1666- 9, 1671-5, 1677-1823.

Parish files (of church deeds, consecration papers, plans etc.). c.1750 to date, mostly 19th and 20th centuries.

Faculty papers. 1824-1994.Indexed by parish. Restricted access to later records.

Subscription books. 1627-48/9, 1660/1-1927.

Parish register transcripts, 17th-18th century, for the whole diocese, including Bucks., Essex, Herts. and Middx. (series incomplete).

Parish register transcripts, 17th-19th century, for the City of London.

c) Episcopal visitation records. 1550-1937.

d) Records of jurisdiction:-

Consistory court: a few records are held for 1598, 1622, 1669-1964; the main archive is held by GLRO.

Commissary court (Essex and Herts. division): records are held by Essex Record Office, County Hall, Chelmsford, CM1 1LX.

Commissary court (London division):

i) probate records 1374-1858, including-

original wills, 1523-1857

probate and administration act books, 1496-1858

probate inventories, 1634-1764

The will registers and probate and administration act books covering 1374-1625 have been edited by Marc Fitch, "Testamentary Records in the Commissary Court of London" (British Record Society vols.82,86,97: 1969-85), the records covering 1626-1649 and 1661-1700 have been edited for surnames A-G only in the same series, (BRS vol.102, 1992). Manuscript calendars (Ms. 9173A/1- 39) to all the will registers and administration act books are available in the Section's reading room. Probate inventories are indexed by personal name and occupation.

ii) non testamentary records 1470-1857 (covering dates).

e) Estate records of property in the City of London, Essex, Herts., Middx., Surrey, Sussex, Westminster and Worcs. 13th-20th centuries, including the following manors (see Section 19 for a full list of manorial records held):-

Acton, Middx.; Albury, Herts.; Ashwell, Herts. Bishop's Stortford, Herts.; Braintree, Essex; Bushley, Worcs. Chelmsford, Essex; Clacton, Essex; Colham Garden alias Drayton, Middx.; Copford, Essex; Crondon, Essex Datchworth, Herts. Ealing, Middx. Fanton Hall, Essex; Feering, Essex; Finchley, Middx.; Fulham, Middx.; Furneux Pelham, Herts. Greenford, Middx. Hackney, Middx.; Hadham, Much, Herts.; Hanwell, Middx.; Harringay alias Hornsey, Middx. Kelvedon, Essex Laindon, Essex; Lodsworth, Sussex Meesden, Herts. Orsett, Essex Paddington, Middx.; Patient End, Herts.; Patmore Heath, Herts.; Pattiswick, Essex; Pelham Arsa alias Brent Pelham, Herts. Rickmansworth, Herts. Southminster, Essex; Southwood, ? Essex; Stepney, Middx.; Stevenage, Herts.; Stocking Pelham, Herts.; Stoke next Guildford, Surrey; Sunbury, Middx. Takeley, Essex; Thedrisham alias Hixham Hall, Herts.; Throcking, Herts. Upwick, Herts. Wickham alias Bishop's Wickham, Essex; Wormeholt alias Wormeholt Barnes, Middx.

f) Bishop of London's jurisdiction overseas. The Bishop of London was held to exercise responsibility for Anglican churches overseas where no other bishop had been appointed. He retained responsibility for churches in northern and central Europe until 1980, but his jurisdiction in southern Europe ceased in 1842 on the creation of the diocese of Gibraltar. In 1970, the office of Bishop of Gibraltar was combined with that of Bishop of Fulham, a suffragan of the Bishop of London who had administered his remaining overseas jurisdiction since 1926. From 1970-80 the jurisdictions of Gibraltar and northern and central Europe remained separate though administered by the same Bishop of 'Fulham and Gibraltar'. In 1980, the Bishop of London divested himself of all overseas jurisdiction and a new diocese of 'Gibraltar in Europe' was established to supersede both jurisdic- tions. Records include:-

Ordination and licensing records. 1676-1980. Restricted access to later records

Consecration papers and chaplaincy deeds. 1679-20th century (mainly 19th and 20th centuries).

Foreign register transcripts. 1706-20th century (for further details see Guildhall Library, The British Overseas (3nd Edn 1994), which lists registers wherever they are known to survive.

"Gibraltar and Fulham Diocesan Gazette". 1971-80.

Foreign chaplaincy archives (these have been deposited by various bodies, including the Commonwealth and Continental Church Society (CCCS), for whose own records see Section 18 (i):-

Adelboden, Switzerland. 1937-72 (CCCS deposit)

Aix les Bains, France. 1885-1938 (chaplaincy deposit)

Alassio, Italy. 1881-1946 (Bishop of Gibraltar in Europe deposit)

Archangel, Russia. 1913-19 (Russia company deposit)

Athens, Greece. 1819-36 (chaplaincy deposit)

Bagni di Lucca see Pisa and Bagni di Lucca, Italy

Balestrand, Norway. 1966-87 (Bishop of Gibraltar in Europe deposit)

Biarritz, France. 1951-72 (CCCS deposit)

Bologna, Italy. 1887-1925 (chaplaincy deposit)

Bordighera, Italy. 1868-1982 (Bishop of Gibraltar in Europe deposit)

Boulogne, France. 1897-1940 (Bishop of Gibraltar in Europe deposit)

Bucharest, Roumania. 1862-1986 (chaplaincy deposit)

Bucharest and Lower Danubian ports, Roumania. 1899-1905 (Bishop of Gibraltar in Europe deposit)

Burgenstock, Switzerland. 1891-1911 (CCCS deposit)

Calais, France. 1939-47 (CCCS deposit)

Cannes, France. 1856-1964 (Bishop of Gibraltar in Europe deposit)

Cap d'Antibes, France. 1903-63 (Bishop of Gibraltar in Europe deposit)

Cartagena, Spain. 1910-40 (Bishop of Gibraltar in Europe deposit)

Champery, Switzerland. 1901-67 (CCCS deposit)

Chantilly, France. 1872-1973 (Bishop of Gibraltar in Europe and CCCS deposits)

Corfu, Greece. 1883, c.1910 and 1972-84. (chaplaincy deposit)

Davos, Switzerland. 1871-1977 (CCCS deposit)

Ferrol, Spain. 1913-26 (Bishop of Gibraltar in Europe deposit)

Florence, Italy. 1827-1945 (chaplaincy deposit)

Fray Bentos, Uruguay. 1871-92 (Diocese of London deposit)

Geneva, Switzerland. 1817-29 (Diocese of London deposit)

Ghent, Belgium. 1856-1989 (chaplaincy deposit)

Grindelwald, Switzerland. 1894-1966 (CCCS deposit)

Haarlem, Netherlands. 1972-89 (chaplaincy deposit)

Hamburg, Germany. 1815-1939 (FCO deposit)

Helsinki, Finland. 1920-81 (chaplaincy deposit)

Hughesovka, Russia. 1902-19 (Bishop of Gibraltar in Europe deposit)

Jerez de la Frontera, Spain. 1873-1966 (Bishop of Gibraltar in Europe deposit)

Leghorn, Italy. 1707-83 (chaplaincy deposit)

Leysin, Switzerland. 1910-65 (CCCS deposit)

Libau, Latvia. 1892-1928 (Diocese of London deposit)

Lisbon, Portugal. 1721-1807 (Diocese of London deposit)

Lucerne, Switzerland. 1863-1974 (various sources)

Lyons, France. 1854-1969 (chaplaincy deposit)

Messina, Sicily. 1891-1908 (Bishop of Gibraltar in Europe deposit)

Minas de Riotinto, Spain. 1912-58 (Bishop of Gibraltar in Europe deposit)

Monte Carlo, Monaco. 1946-51 (Bishop of Gibraltar in Europe deposit)

Moscow, Russia. 1825-1962 (various sources)

Nantes, France. 1867-79 (Diocese of London deposit)

North West France. 1964-75 (CCCS deposit)

Odessa and South Russia. 1883-1918 (Diocese of London deposit)

Oporto, Portugal. 1716-1814 (Diocese of London deposit) and 1907-90 (chaplaincy deposit)

Ostend, Belgium. 1783-94 (Diocese of London deposit)

Palermo, Italy. 1817-77 (Bishop of Gibraltar in Europe deposit)

Pisa and Bagni di Lucca, Italy. 1839-1953 (CCCS deposit)

Ponta Delgada, Azores. 1827-1955 (Bishop of Gibraltar in Europe deposit)

Riga, Latvia. 1806-1939 (Diocese of London deposit)

Rigi-Kaltbad, Switzerland. 1895-1914 (CCCS deposit)

Saas Fee, Switzerland. 1906-52 (CCCS deposit)

St Servan, France. 1883-96 (Diocese of London deposit)

Seville, Spain. 1865-1978 (Bishop of Gibraltar in Europe deposit)

Spiez, Switzerland. 1955-62 (CCCS deposit)

Stockholm, Sweden. 1855-1960 (Bishop of Gibraltar in Europe deposit)

Stresa, Italy. 1908-72 (CCCS deposit)

Syra, Greece. 1884-90 (Bishop of Gibraltar in Europe deposit)

Tamaris sur mer, Toulon, France. 1925-70 (Bishop of Gibraltar in Europe deposit)

Taormina, Sicily. 1901-20 (Bishop of Gibraltar in Europe deposit)

Trieste, Italy. 1827-44 (Diocese of London deposit)

Ulvik, Norway. 1890-1963 (CCCS deposit)

Versailles, France. 1913-38 (CCCS deposit)

Viareggio, Italy. 1881-1960 (chaplaincy deposit)

Vitznau, Switzerland. 1903-9 (CCCS deposit)

Wengen, Switzerland. 1923-74 (CCCS deposit)

Zermatt, Switzerland. 1979-81 (CCCS deposit)


Created in 1842 to administer Anglican churches in southern Europe; for details of chaplaincy records, consecration papers and register transcripts see Section f) above. Other records include:-

Subject, place and personal name indexes to the bishop's register. 1842-1903, compiled c.1916 (original register missing).

List of persons confirmed by the bishop. 1874-5.

Ordination papers. 1916-63. Restricted access to later records

Licensing papers: chaplains, 1866, 1874-1903, 1911-21; marriages, 1859-73. Restricted access to later records

Gibraltar Diocesan Gazette, 1912-70; Gibraltar and Fulham Diocesan Gazette, 1971-80; Gibraltar in Europe Diocesan Gazette, 1980-7

Pastoral letters, 1886-1903

Annual reports, 1944-55


Bishop's register. 1540-50 (bound as part of the registers of the Bishop of London).

Other records of the diocese are held by Westminster City Libraries Archives Dept., Victoria Library, 160 Buckingham Palace Road, London SW1W 9UD.


Registers of baptisms and marriages 1888-1951. (Deposited by a former bishop of West China.)

Last updated 1994

General Guide, Contents

Guildhall Library Manuscripts Section