Tag Archives: consistory court

‘Too common amongst young people’

These words relate to having sex outside of marriage. They were written in a letter of support, dated 3 May 1760, for a James Lacey of Scarning. The letter is just one of several thousand documents which form the archive, … Continue reading

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Shenanigans in Southrepps: Adultery in the Norwich Consistory Court Depositions

The jurisdiction of church courts used to cover many aspects of human activity. They heard causes, the church court term for cases, on such matters as marriage, defamation and probate. As part of their activity, the courts collected witness statements, … Continue reading

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Church court records at the Norfolk Record Office

Introduction Church court records, more specifically the records of the Norwich Consistory Court, are probably the most salacious at the Norfolk Record Office (NRO). Before the mid-nineteenth century, church courts had jurisdiction over many aspects of life, including matrimony, probate, … Continue reading

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She was ‘a natural, a poor fool and ideot …void of reason or sense’: A harsh judgement on Margaret Cooper of Snetterton

Recent indexing work at the NRO on witness depositions from the bishop of Norwich’s consistory court has uncovered many stories relating to everyday life from the 16th to 18th centuries in both Norfolk and Suffolk (for the ancient Diocese of … Continue reading

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Depositions: Uncovering the lives of ordinary Norfolk people through church court records

Archivists at the NRO have, among other projects, spent some time over the lockdown months of summer, indexing the contents of a representative sample of witness deposition books from Norwich Diocese, dating from the 16th-18th centuries (our reference, DN/DEP). Very … Continue reading

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