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Archives in London and the M25 area


Identity Statement

Reference code(s): GB 0074 DW
Held at: London Metropolitan Archives
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Date(s): 1480-1936
Level of description: Collection
Extent: 130.41 linear metres
Name of creator(s): Diocese of Winchester, Church of England


Administrative/Biographical history:

The diocese of Winchester has existed since the seventh century, when the episcopal seat was transferred to Winchester in 676 from the West Saxon bishopric of Dorchester-on-Thames. During this period it covered the entire West Saxon area but was reduced in size, first in the eighth century, when Dorset, Somerset, Devon and Cornwall were taken to form the diocese of Sherborne, and then again in the tenth century, when the diocese of Ramsbury, later Salisbury, was formed from Wiltshire and Berkshire.

By the tenth century the diocese of Winchester consisted of the counties of Hampshire (including the Isle of Wight) and Surrey. These boundaries remained virtually unchanged until 1877 when the area of south London administered by the diocese of Winchester, now covered by the diocese of Southwark, was added to the diocese of Rochester. The diocese of Southwark was formed in 1905. The greatest change came in 1927 when the new dioceses of Guildford, covering Surrey and some parishes in north east Hampshire, and Portsmouth, taking in south east Hampshire and the Isle of Wight were formed. The present day diocese of Winchester covers parishes in central and west Hampshire. It also includes the Channel Islands which were added to the diocese in 1568.

Up until 1927, the diocese has two archdeaconries, the archdeaconry of Surrey which included most of Surrey and the archdeaconry of Winchester which included Hampshire (and had included the Isle of Wight until 1871 when the archdeaconry of the Isle of Wight was constituted).


Scope and content/abstract:

Records of the Diocese of Winchester, 1480-1936. The archive collections relate mainly to parishes in the ancient county of Surrey, now in the dioceses of Guildford and Southwark and include: the records of the Archdeaconry of Surrey which had jurisdiction over the parishes in the ancient county of Surrey excluding 13 peculiars (administrative areas outside the jurisdiction of the bishop), including Bishop's Transcripts for parishes in the archdeaconry, the issue of licences including marriage bonds and allegations and clergy's licences, registry material, church consecrations and dedications, dissenters' meeting house certificates, and terriers of church property in each parish.

Also the records of the Archdeaconry Court of Surrey, consisting of court probate material including wills; the records of the Commissary Court of Surrey, including the bishop's commissary court probate records including wills and cause papers in court proceedings; and a small collection of office papers of the Archdeaconry of Winchester relating to parishes in Hampshire.

Access & Use

Language/scripts of material:
English Latin

System of arrangement:

The records are arranged as follows: Archdeaconry of Surrey: DW; Archdeaconry of Winchester: DW/AW; Archdeaconry Court of Surrey: DW/PA; Commissary Court of Surrey: DW/PC.

Conditions governing access:

Available for general access.

Conditions governing reproduction:

Copyright to these records rests with the depositor.

Finding aids:

Please see online catalogues at:

Archival Information

Archival history:

Immediate source of acquisition:

Received in 1968.

Allied Materials

Related material:

Further records of the Diocese of Winchester are held at Hampshire Archives and Local Studies; the British Library Manuscripts Collection; Surrey History Centre; the Bodleian Library, Oxford University, and Duke University Manuscript Department, North Carolina, USA. See The National Register of Archives database on The National Archives website for more details.

Other Diocesan records held at the LMA: the Diocese of Guildford (reference DG), the Diocese of London (reference DL), the Diocese of Southwark (reference DS), and the Diocese of Rochester (reference DR).

Publication note:

Description Notes

Archivist's note:

Rules or conventions:
Compiled in compliance with General International Standard Archival Description, ISAD(G), second edition, 2000; National Council on Archives Rules for the Construction of Personal, Place and Corporate Names, 1997.

Date(s) of descriptions:
July to October 2009

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