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ECR 60 11

Reference code

ECR 60 11


Ecclesiastical Jurisdiction



Administrative / Biographical history

The authority of the Archdeacon of Buckingham over the College and parish of Eton was transferred to the Provost, who was also Rector of the parish, in 1443 [ECR 39/27]. By this authority the Provost could prove wills and issue marriage licences. Although the College was freed from archidiaconal supervision it remained subject to episcopal oversight. At the foundation Eton was in the diocese of Lincoln, and the Bishop of Lincoln was therefore appointed the Visitor. In 1845, however, the Archdeaconry of Buckingham (in which Eton was situated, although exempt from the Archdeacon's jurisdiction) was transferred from Lincoln to Oxford. The then Bishop of Oxford, Samuel Wilberforce, considered that he should replace the Bishop of Lincoln completely and take his place as Visitor. In this he did not succeed, although he did take over certain episcopal functions. In 1875 the parish of Eton was separated from the College and a vicar was appointed, who was subject to the archdeacon's jurisdiction. The Provost continued to be "ordinary" of College Chapel which remained exempt. Provost Cecil revived the controversy with the Bishop of Oxford by insisting that as ordinary he had the right to invite any bishop he chose to confirm in College Chapel but after his departure a compromise was reached. Now (2000) the Bishop of Lincoln, as Visitor, carries out one confirmation a year and the Bishops of Oxford and Buckingham alternately the second.


1600 - 1946

Associated material

ECR 39/27; ECR 60/3 For records relating to individual livings, see COLL/LIV and entries in the Registers

Publication note

Etoniana 82
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