fonds PR/Y/MBps - Parish records of York, St Mary Bishophill Senior

Identity area

Reference code



Parish records of York, St Mary Bishophill Senior


  • 1598-1985 (Creation)

Level of description


Extent and medium

0.36 cubic metres

25 boxes and 4 rolls

Context area

Name of creator

(fl 1586-)

Administrative history

The church of York, St Mary Bishophill Senior was first mentioned in a quitclaim of 1202 but is believed to predate the neighbouring church of St Mary Bishophill Junior, affording it the ‘senior’ or ‘elder’ designation. The patronage of the church and parish was divided between two separate parties from this time until the end of the 18th century when it became a single rectory in the control of the Crown, who in 1868 transferred the patronage to the Archbishop of York.

In 1548 the proposal was made to unite St Mary’s with Clementhorpe, the parish attached to the priory church of St Clement’s, York, which had become redundant following the suppression of its nunnery. The two parishes were united in 1586 and comprised of an area around St Mary’s Church, now the parish church, and the townships of Middlethorpe and Clementhorpe. The benefice was further augmented in 1744, 1758 and 1760 through Queen Anne’s Bounty.

In 1853 a part of the parish was transferred to the new parish of St Edward the Confessor Dringhouses, together with parts of Holy Trinity Micklegate and Acomb, and in 1866 parts of Middlethorpe and Dringhouses were joined to the parish of Bishopthorpe.

Despite these changes, by the mid-19th century, St Mary Bishophill Senior had become the fastest growing parish in York, due largely to the growing settlement of the Clementhorpe-Bishopthorpe area outside the city walls and close to the railway works. As a result, a new church, dedicated to St Clement, was opened in Clementhorpe in 1874 as a chapel of ease. Two years later it was substituted for St Mary’s as the parish church and in 1885 the church of St Mary’s Bishophill Senior became part of the parish of St Mary Bishophill Junior in exchange for two small portions of the parish. In 1926 another chapel of ease, York, St Chad, was created; it separated from St Mary Bishophill in 1928 to form its own parish.

The church of St Mary Senior was later demolished in 1963. Today the parish survives as part of the parish of York, St Clement with St Mary Bishophill Senior, which is in a joint parish with York, St Mary Bishophill Junior.

Archival history

Immediate source of acquisition or transfer

The archive was deposited at the Borthwick Institute in 1970 by the incumbent. Further additions were made to the archive in 1974, 1976, 1983, 1987, 1988, 1991 and 2015.

Content and structure area

Scope and content

Includes register of christenings, 1598-1603, 1615-1885 (note this register uses the Dade registration scheme for the years 1777-1812); register of marriages, 1598-1603, 1615-1876; register of burials, 1598-1603, 1615-1854 (note this register uses the Dade registration scheme for the years 1777-1812); register of banns, 1963-1985; confirmations book, 1920-1957; register of communicants, 1929, 1934; other registration material, 1837; records concerning benefice income, including glebe papers, 1854-1855, 1912, correspondence and papers, 1865-1919, tithe accounts, 1885-1926, tithe papers, 1861, 1882, 1922, 1928, tithe map, 1844, and rent accounts for Rectory Farm, Aughton, 1842-1869; charity records, including minutes of meetings, 1857-1974, accounts, 1828-1974, correspondence and papers, 1789-1973, and Cameron Walker Almshouse/Walker Barstow Homes papers, 1956-1985; churchwardens’ records, including accounts, 1612-1880, rates, 1808-1861, rates correspondence and papers, 1848-69, fabric papers, 1869-1953, records, bills and receipts, 1843-1869, and papers regarding the building of St Clement's Church, 1874-1936; records of incumbents, including parsonage house papers, 1867-1884, statistical returns, 1891-1892, 1904-1905, 1908-1915, 1917-1933, benefice and incumbents' papers, 1876, 1887, rectory plans, 1867, photograph of Canon G M Argles, early 20th century, curate's papers, 1923, free-will offering circular, c.1936, and commemoration list, n.d.; overseers’ records, including accounts, 1759-1771, 1791-1807, rates accounts, 1829, 1838-42, removals accounts, 1791, 1827-1830, and papers, 1795-1851; records relating to parish rooms and societies, including mark sheets for music competition, n.d; school records, including admission registers, 1865-1874, 1882-1887, Sunday School letter, 1935, infants' school log books, 1873-1960, infants' school papers, 1885, boys' school log books, 1872-1938, admission registers, 1881-1934, papers, 1898-1927, girls' school log books, 1872-1929, admission registers, 1872-1939, visitor’s book, 1904-1929, and general school records, 1871-1944; Vestry/Parochial Church Council records, including minutes of meetings, 1812-1821, 1841-1885, papers relating to parish boundaries, 1885, accounts, c.1920, 1939-1940, 1955-1959, fund-raising papers, 1922-1936, press cuttings, 1920s-1930s, and parish magazines, 1934-1937.


Further accruals are expected.

System of arrangement

Conditions of access and use area

Conditions governing access

Records are open to the public, subject to the overriding provisions of relevant legislation, including data protection laws. 24 hours' notice is required to access photographic material.

Conditions governing reproduction

A reprographics service is available to researchers subject to the access restrictions outlined above. Copying will not be undertaken if there is any risk of damage to the document. Copies are supplied in accordance with the Borthwick Institute for Archives' terms and conditions for the supply of copies, and under provisions of any relevant copyright legislation. Permission to reproduce images of documents in the custody of the Borthwick Institute must be sought.

Language of material

  • English

Script of material

Language and script notes

Physical characteristics and technical requirements

Finding aids

A typescript finding aid, to file level, is available for consultation in the searchroom of the Borthwick Institute. This includes all material received up to and including 1991. Later material has not yet been listed.

Uploaded finding aid

Allied materials area

Existence and location of originals

Existence and location of copies

Selected records, including registers of baptisms, 1598-1906, marriages, 1598-1868, and burials, 1598-1854, churchwardens' accounts, 1612-1872, school records, 1865-1925, overseers' of the poor records, 1759-1807, and vestry minutes, 1812-1885, are available on microfilm at the Borthwick Institute (References: MF 832, 854-855, 1786 and MFB 2016-2017).

Related units of description

For related material held by the Borthwick Institute, see the parish records of York, St Clement Clementhorpe, which replaced St Mary Bishophill Senior as the parish church in 1876. See also the parish records of York, St Chad which include two photographs of rectors of St Mary Bishophill Senior, fl 1871-1930, and the parish records of York, St Mary Bishophill Junior which include correspondence relating to charity funds, 1907, and parish boundaries, 1906.

Notes area

Alternative identifier(s)

Access points

Place access points

Genre access points

Description control area

Description identifier

Institution identifier

GB 193

Rules and/or conventions used

ISAD (G): General International Standard Archival Description, International Council on Archives (2nd edition, 2000); Rules for the construction of personal, place and corporate names, National Council on Archives (1997).

Level of detail

Dates of creation revision deletion

Created 12.11.15




Accession area