subfonds YDA/7 - Bishops Suffragan

Identity area

Reference code



Bishops Suffragan


  • 1889-1983 (Creation)

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Extent and medium

Approximately 1 cubic metre

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Scope and content

Suffragan bishops existed in the medieval and early modern period, when their roles were mainly concerned with assisting the diocesan bishop with administration. But since 1870 the church has appointed full-time assistant or suffragan bishops with a primarily pastoral purpose. In most dioceses the diocesan bishop now has the assistance of one or more suffragan bishops who reside in the diocese. The authority of a suffragan bishop extends only to that licensed or limited to him by the diocesan bishop. He may be elected to the Upper House of Convocation and thus have a seat in the House of Bishops of the General Synod and he also has a seat in the house of bishops of the diocesan synod.

Three suffragan bishoprics in the Diocese of York were created during the late nineteenth and early twentieth century: Hull (1891), Whitby (1923), and Selby (1939). Each of these suffragan bishops now takes informal responsibility for one of the three archdeaconries in the diocese: the Bishop of Hull is thus responsible for the Archdeaconry of the East Riding, the Bishop of Whitby for the Archdeaconry of Cleveland and the Bishop of Selby for the Archdeaconry of York.

From 1889 to 1923 there was a Suffragan Bishop of Beverley in the diocese. This see was then left in abeyance until it was revived following the passing of the Episcopal Ministry Act of Synod, 1993. The Bishop of Beverley is now a Suffragan Bishop in the Province of York, and a Provincial Episcopal Visitor, providing alternative episcopal oversight for those parishes in the Province of York who are unable to accept the sacramental ministry of bishops who have participated in the ordination of women.

Records in this section are all nineteenth or twentieth century in date: a day book of the Suffragan Bishop of Beverley [in the first creation of the see] (1889-1892) and the working papers of the Suffragan Bishop of Selby (1972-1983).


Further accruals are expected

System of arrangement

This is part of the new arrangement of the York Diocesan Archive which is currently being prepared.
The new arrangement draws on the earlier arrangements of 1973 and 2003-2005 but will also incorporate some reorganisation, based on a comprehensive survey and inventory of the archive, and much new cataloguing.

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Language of material

  • English

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Finding aids

Until the new arrangement of the York Diocesan Archive is complete, the online finding aids to series level on the Archives Hub, should be consulted. These reflect the 1973 arrangement as modified in 2003-2005.

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Created by K. Webb April 2016




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