Ref noEP/J
TitleJudicial records
DescriptionThe Bishop of Bristol exercised jurisdiction over the parishes known as the 'city and deanery of Bristol' in his consistory court there. In this section almost all the records relate to these parishes.

For the archdeaconry of Dorset there was a 'Dorset division' of the consistory court at Blandford. In testamentary matters jurisdiction was exercised in the Archdeacon of Dorset's court, and the 'Dorset division' of the Bishop's court functioned only during inhibition of the former. This was presumably the case in all other court business, but the absence of records (even for the period after the great fire at Blandford in 1731) makes this statement nothing more than conjecture.

Some knowledge of ecclesiastical court procedure is essential before the documents it produced can be profitably studied. J. S. Purvis, An Introduction to Ecclesiastical Records (1953), pp. 64-95, will be found useful.
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