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Archives in London and the M25 area


Identity Statement

Reference code(s): GB 0074 CLC/320
Held at: London Metropolitan Archives
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Date(s): 1870
Level of description: Collection
Extent: 72 production units.
Name of creator(s): Jurisdiction of North and Central Europe | Church of England


Administrative/Biographical history:

The precise origin and extent of the jurisdiction of the Bishops of London over Anglican communities overseas remains a matter of debate and is discussed in 'A Case Without Parallel: The Bishops of London and the Anglican Church Overseas 1660-1740', by Geoffrey Yeo in Journal of Ecclesiastical History, vol.44, 1993" available in the Printed Books Section of Guildhall Library.

No provision for episcopal oversight of the English abroad had been made at the time of the Reformation but an order in council of 1st October 1633 required the Merchant Adventurers to be under the jurisdiction "of the lord bishop of London as their diocesan". After the Restoration it was assumed that the Anglican clergy overseas were in some way reponsible to the Bishop of London, although the precise authority remained undetermined. Successive bishops exercised their authority to differing degrees.

In the early nineteenth century Michael Luscombe, chaplain in Caen, became concerned about the lack of episcopal supervision. In 1825 he was consecrated by Scottish bishops, with the tacit consent of the Archbishop of Canterbury and Bishop of London, not as a diocesan bishop but to meet a pastoral need. He took up residence in Paris, was appointed embassy chaplain in 1828 and erected a church in Rue D'Aguesseau in 1834. After his death in 1846 the experiment was not repeated as few chaplains had accepted his offer to confirm or his licence.

In 1840-41 Charles Blomfield, Bishop of London, raised the question of the establishment of a new diocese in the Mediterranean. The need for effective episcopal supervision, ministry for congregations and clergy in south east Europe and the desire to promote relations with the Orthodox churches led to the establishment of the Diocese of Gibraltar in 1842 to cover the southern part of Europe bordering on the Mediterranean with the Bishop of London retaining jurisdiction over the rest of Europe. The Bishop of London retained some links with southern Europe, as a trustee of some chaplaincy buildings, and a number of chaplaincies apparently continued to send register transcripts to the London Diocesan Registry even after 1842.

In 1884 the Bishop of London gave his permanent commisson to Bishop Titcomb to serve in north and central Europe with financial responsibility being borne by the Colonial and Continental Church Society. The Bishop of London continued to appoint in this way until Bishop Batty was appointed suffragan bishop with the title of Bishop of Fulham in 1926.

The 1968 Lambeth Conference called for consideration to be given to parallel jurisdictions, especially in Europe, and in October 1970 the office of the Bishop of Gibraltar was combined with that of the Bishop of Fulham with the appointment of John Satterthwaite. From 1970 to 1980 the jurisdictions of Gibraltar and North & Central Europe remained separate, although administered by the same bishop of "Fulham and Gibraltar". In 1980 the Bishop of London divested himself of all his jurisdiction overseas (see DL/E/A/004/MS20876) and a new Diocese of Gibraltar in Europe, known as the Diocese in Europe, was established to supersede both former jurisdictions.


Scope and content/abstract:

The records of the Jurisdiction of North and Central Europe are those of successive Bishops of Fulham rather than of the Bishops of London and are mainly concerned with the administration of the Jurisdiction, the oversight of chaplaincies and relations with other organisations working within north and central Europe and with other churches on the Continent. With a few exceptions the records date from the 1940s and 1950s.

It should be noted that many of the records are general files and contain information on a variety of topics e.g. administration, finance and chaplaincy. This is especially true of the large series of correspondence between the diocesan administration and the chaplaincies (MS32699/1-624). The latter series is part of the records of the Diocese in Europe but includes correspondence between the Bishops of Fulham and chaplaincies within the Jurisdiction.

Access & Use

Language/scripts of material:

System of arrangement:

The catalogue has been arranged in sections each with an archival classification code as follows:
CLC/320/A Extent of the Jurisdiction;
CLC/320/BA Administration. Correspondence;
CLC/320/BB Administration. Staff;
CLC/320/BC Administration. Finance;
CLC/320/BD Administration. Conferences;
CLC/320/BE Administration. Visitation;
CLC/320/BF Administration. Other;
CLC/320/C Ecclesiastical;
CLC/320/D Chaplaincy;
CLC/320/E Photographs;
CLC/320/F Relations with other organisations.

Conditions governing access:

These records are available for public inspection, although records containing personal information may be subject to access restrictions.

Conditions governing reproduction:

Copyright to this collection rests with the depositor.

Finding aids:

Please see online catalogues at:

Archival Information

Archival history:

Immediate source of acquisition:

The records of the Jurisdiction of North and Central Europe were deposited in the Manuscripts Section of Guildhall Library by the Diocese in Europe in April 1994 and catalogued by Guildhall Library staff over a number of years. The Guildhall Library Manuscripts Section merged with the London Metropolitan Archives in 2009.

Allied Materials

Related material:

Material relating to the 1970s when John Satterthwaite was Bishop of Fulham and Gibraltar has been catalogued as part of the Diocese in Europe (CLC/318). The records of the Diocese of London include material relating to appointment of chaplaincies, consecration of churches and confirmations in the Jurisdiction and readers are advised to search the Diocese of London catalogue (reference DL).

Details of records relating to the Jurisdiction held at Lambeth Palace Library are available in A Catalogue of Manuscripts in Lambeth Palace Library: MSS 1222-1860 by E.G.W. Bill, 1972, in the Printed Books Section of the Guildhall Library.

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:
August to October 2010.

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