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Though the original records are in a fragile state, their reproduction in microform makes them widely available opening up a rich primary source to researchers in social, economic, legal, ecclesiastical, architectural and genealogical history.
The microform edition is in two parts:
The Process Books of the Court of Arches 1660-1911
Most cases came to the Court of Arches on appeal from the lower courts. The process books contain certified copies of the proceedings in the lower court submitted by the plaintiff. They cover four main types of case:
-matrimonial disputes - including much intriguing circumstantial and background information
-testamentary cases - revealing a great deal about patterns of inheritance and family relationships
-parochial cases - many bearing on the complexities of land ownership
-manners and morals cases - including both clergy and laity with prosecutions for defamation (slander) especially prominent.
12,437 microfiche with index
Index of Cases in the Records of the Court of Arches at Lambeth Palace Library 1660-1913 Edited by Jane Houston, Index Library British Record Society vol. 85 (1972)
Proceedings in the Court of Arches 1554-1875
These records consist of a wide range of documents including the Act Books - formal records of the proceedings of each court sitting - supporting documents such as the depositions of witnesses, copies of exhibits shown in court, sentences and details of the stages of each appeal.
The records of nearly 10,500 cases are readily accessible though a comprehensive index also reproduced on microfiche.
308 microfiche and 105 reels of microfilm with index