Hereford Diocese

Available Data

Hereford Bishops' Registers

The Cantilupe Society was created to translate and publish the registers of the bishops of Hereford from 1275 onwards. The society was named after Thomas Cantilupe (Thome de Cantilupo) who was bishop of Hereford from 1275 to 1282. Each available original register was transcribed, parts translated where appropriate (most were in Latin), and published as books in the early 20th century. In most cases, each book included the register of more than one bishop. Each published register usually included one or more appendices of ordinations, institutions (appointment of a priest to a benefice), collations (institution when the bishop was also the patron), exchanges (exchange of benefices between two holders), and resignations. It is the lists of institutions, collations, exchanges and resignations that are of most interest to local and family historians because they provide a history of people and benefices, including local parishes.

The Cantilupe Society was disbanded on the publication of the final work in the Society's objectives - "Hereford Institutions, 1539-1900", edited by A.T. Bannister - which is a list of all institutions made in Hereford Diocese in that period. A.T. Bannister, canon of Hereford, and Master of St. Katherine's, Ledbury, was a member of the Cantilupe Society and is buried in Donnington churchyard.

The Process

It was decided to convert all institutions, collations, exchanges, and resignations (where available separately) to a spreadsheet format to enable easy extraction of the history of any parish or other benefice. The lists of institutions, collations, exchanges and resignations as published by the Cantilupe Society have been digitised, converted to text, formatted and stored in spreadsheets. The exception is the register of Thomas Cantilupe which, when published by the Cantilupe Society, did not include an appendix of institutions and collations, and the Cantilupe data has therefore been extracted by hand from the text of the published register. Registers of the vicars general (appointed to act on behalf of a bishop during his absence) have been included with the relevant bishop's register but the start of the vicar general's register has been marked. The footnotes provided by the original editors of the Cantilupe Society have been included but moved to the same spreadsheet line as their reference point.

The data from the registers of each bishop in post from 1275 has been placed in separate spreadsheets. A single, combined, spreadsheet is also available and therefore includes data from many bishops' registers, although the data from a specific bishop's register is identifiable and separable. All spreadsheets are in the same format.

The List of Institutions

In addition, the single spreadsheet covering the period 1275 to 1900 has also been converted into a set of web pages each of which provides the history of one benefice. This has been done by extracting all the data relating to one benefice and its synonyms from the spreadsheet and converting it to an HTML table. These web pages are available via the list of Institutions.

The Spreadsheets

The spreadsheets have been made available for download via a list of bishops. This list provides not just access to the spreadsheets but also, for each bishop, the status of their register. Some registers have been lost and some are so short as to not include institutions or exchanges. The resulting list of the bishops of Hereford therefore contains the current transcription and web publication status of each register, and provides direct access to the spreadsheets.

The Benefices of Hereford

Finally, it was also necessary to maintain an index of all benefice names and their aliases mentioned in the registers. This Benefice Index has been augmented with other related information, and might prove useful to readers.

Corrections and Comments

Despite my best attempts to ensure the data is accurate, the processes involved are prone to error and it's quite likely there are some mistakes. I would therefore be grateful if users who are aware of a mistake and know how to correct the information would contact me with their correction. To do so, please use my contact details.

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