Further Reading

A selection of further reading covering interpretation of consistory court records, the workings and history of the courts and examples of cause papers


Addy, John, Sin and Society in the Seventeenth Century (London, 1989).

Carlson, Eric Josef, Marriage and the English Reformation (Oxford, 1994).

Chapman, Colin R., Ecclesiastical Courts, Officials and Records (second edition, Dursley, 1997).

Gowing, Laura, Domestic Dangers: Women, Words, and Sex in Early Modern London (Oxford, 1996).

Haigh, Christopher, ‘Slander and the Church Courts in the Sixteenth Century’, Transactions of the Lancashire and Cheshire Antiquarian Society, 78 (1975), pp. 1-13.

Haigh, Christopher, ‘A Mid-Tudor Ecclesiastical Official: the Curious Career of George Wilmesley’, Transactions of the Historic Society of Lancashire and Cheshire, 122 (1970), pp. 1-24.

Heath, P., ‘The Medieval Archdeaconry and Tudor Bishopric of Chester’, Journal of Ecclesiastical History, 20 (2) (1969), pp. 243-252.

Helmholz, R. H., The Profession of Ecclesiastical Lawyers (Cambridge, 2019).

Helmholz, R. H., The Canon Law and Ecclesiastical Jurisdiction from 597 to the 1640s. The Oxford History of the Laws of England, vol. 1 (Oxford, 2004).

Helmholz, R. H., Roman Canon Law in Reformation England (Cambridge, 1990).

Helmholz, R. H., ‘Select Cases on Defamation to 1600’, Selden Society, vol. 101 (1985).

Helmholz, R. H., Marriage Litigation in Medieval England (London, 1974).

Houlbrooke, Ralph, Church Courts and the People during the English Reformation (Oxford, 1979).

Ingram, Martin, ‘Reformation of Manners in Early Modern England’, in Paul Griffiths, Adam Fox and Steve Hindle (eds), The Experience of Authority in Early Modern England (London, 1996).

Ingram, Martin, Church Courts, Sex and Marriage in England, 1570-1640 (Cambridge, 1987).

Longley, Katharine M., ‘Charles Dickens and the “Doom” of English Wills’, The Archivist, 14 (1) (1993), pp. 25-38.

Marchant, R. A., The Church under the Law: Justice Administration and Discipline in the Diocese of York 1560-1660 (Cambridge, 1969)

McIntosh, Marjorie Keniston, Controlling Misbehaviour in England, 1370-1600 (Cambridge, 1998).

McSheffrey, Shannon, ‘Detective Fiction in the Archives: Court Records and the Uses of Law in Late Medieval England’, History Workshop Journal 65 (Spring 2008), pp. 65-78.

Outhwaite, R. B., The Rise and Fall of the English Ecclesiastical Courts, 1500-1860 (Cambridge, 2006).

Outhwaite, R. B., Clandestine Marriage in England, 1500-1850 (London, 1995).

Owen, Dorothy M., The Records of the Established Church in England (British Records Association. Archives and the User, no. 1) (London, 1970).

Poos, L. R., ‘Sex, Lies, and the Church Courts of Pre-Reformation England’, Journal of Interdisciplinary History 25 (1995), pp. 585-607.

Sharpe, J. A., Defamation and sexual slander in early modern England : the church courts at York,  Borthwick Papers no. 58.

Tarver, Anne, Church Court Records, an Introduction for Family and Local Historians (Sussex, 1995).

Westcott, Brooke, Making Sense of Latin Documents for Family & Local Historians (Bury, 2014).

Woodcock, Brian L., Medieval Ecclesiastical Courts of the Diocese of Canterbury (London, 1953).

Wunderli, Richard M., London Church Courts and Society on the Eve of the Reformation (Cambridge, Mass., 1981).

The diaries of Henry Prescott, deputy registrar of the diocese of Chester from 1686 until his death in 1719, give a valuable insight into the working of the Chester Consistory Court and its officials. Thanks to Rosalind Couchman for this suggestion as an addition to the list for further reading.

J. Addy (ed.), ‘The diary of Henry Prescott, LL. B., deputy registrar of Chester diocese, volume 1’, Record Society of Lancashire and Cheshire, 127 (1987).
J. Addy and P. McNiven (eds),  ‘The diary of Henry Prescott, volume 2’, Record Society of Lancashire and Cheshire, 132 (1995).
J. Addy, J. Harrop and P. McNiven (eds), ‘The diary of Henry Prescott, volume 3’, Record Society of Lancashire and Cheshire, 133 (1997).