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ARCHCHANCELLOR—ARCHDEACON

other offences, the legality of the sentence being finally confirmed by the House of Lords on the 25th of January 1705. It was proved in the course of the long argument in this case that the archbishop of Canterbury had undoubtedly exercised such independent power of visitation both before and after the Reformation; and it was on this precedent that in 1888 the judicial committee of the privy council mainly relied in deciding that the archbishop had the right to cite before him the bishop of Lincoln (Dr Edward King), who was accused of certain irregular ritual practices. The trial began on the 12th of February 1889 before the archbishop and certain assessors, the protest of Dr King, based on the claim that he could only be tried in a provincial synod, being overruled by Archbishop Benson on the grounds above stated. The main importance of the “Lincoln Judgment,” delivered on the 21st of November 1890, is that it set a new precedent for the effective jurisdiction of the archbishop, based on the ancient canon law, and so did something towards the establishment of a purely “spiritual” court, the absence of which had been one of the main grievances of a large body of the clergy.

It is the privilege of the archbishop of Canterbury to crown the kings and queens of England. He is entitled to consecrate all the bishops within his province and was formerly entitled, upon consecrating a bishop, to select a benefice within his diocese at his option for one of his chaplains, but this practice was indirectly abolished by 3 and 4 Vict. c. III, § 42. He is entitled to nominate eight chaplains, who had formerly certain statutory privileges, which are now abolished. He is ex officio an ecclesiastical commissioner for England, and has by statute the right of nominating one of the salaried ecclesiastical commissioners.

The archbishop exercises the ordinary jurisdiction of a bishop over his diocese through his consistory court at Canterbury, the judge of which court is styled the commissary-general of the city and diocese of Canterbury. The archbishop holds a visitation of his diocese personally every three years, and he is the only diocesan who has kept up the triennial visitation of the dean and chapter of his cathedral.[1] The archbishop of Canterbury takes precedence immediately after princes of the blood royal and over every peer of parliament, including the lord chancellor.

The archbishop of York has immediate spiritual jurisdiction as metropolitan in the case of all vacant sees within the province of York, analogous to that which is exercised by the archbishop of Canterbury within the province of Canterbury. He has also an appellate jurisdiction of an analogous character, which he exercises through his provincial court, whilst his diocesan jurisdiction is exercised through his consistorial court, the judges of both courts being nominated by the archbishop. His ancient testamentary and matrimonial jurisdiction was transferred to the crown by the same statutes which divested the see of Canterbury of its jurisdiction in similar matters. It is the privilege of the archbishop of York to crown the queen consort and to be her perpetual chaplain. The archbishop of York takes precedence over all subjects of the crown not of royal blood, but after the lord high chancellor of England. He is ex officio an ecclesiastical commissioner for England (see further England, Church of).

The Church of Ireland had at the time of the Act of Union four archbishops, who took their titles from Armagh, Dublin, Cashel and Tuam. By acts of 1833 and 1834, the metropolitans of Cashel and of Tuam were reduced to the status of diocesan bishops. The two archbishoprics of Armagh and Dublin are maintained in the disestablished Church of Ireland.

The title archbishop has been used in certain of the colonial churches, e.g. Australia, South Africa, Canada, and the West Indies, since 1893, when it was assumed by the metropolitans of Canada and Rupert’s Land (see Anglican Communion). Archbishops have the title of His (or Your) Grace and Most Reverend Father in God.

See Hinschius, System des katholischen Kirchenrechts (Berlin, 1869), also article “Erzbischof,” in Hauck, Realencyklopädie (1898); Phillimore, The Ecclesiastical Law of the Church of England, and authorities there cited.  (W. A. P.) 

ARCHCHANCELLOR (Lat. Archicancellarius; Ger. Erzkanzler), or chief chancellor, a title given to the highest dignitary of the Holy Roman Empire, and also used occasionally during the middle ages to denote an official who supervised the work of chancellors or notaries.

In the 9th century Hincmar, archbishop of Reims, in his work, De ordine palatii et regni, speaks of a summus cancellarius, evidently an official at the court of the Carolingian emperors and kings. A charter of the emperor Lothair I. dated 844 refers to Agilmar, archbishop of Vienne, as archchancellor, and there are several other references to archchancellors in various chronicles. This office existed in the German kingdom of Otto the Great, and about this time it appears to have become an appanage of the archbishopric of Mainz. When the Empire was restored by Otto in 962, a separate chancery seems to have been organized for Italian affairs, and early in the 11th century the office of archchancellor for the kingdom of Italy was in the hands of the archbishop of Cologne. The theory was that all the imperial business in Germany was supervised by the elector of Mainz, and for Italy by the elector of Cologne. However, the duties of archchancellor for Italy were generally discharged by deputy, and after the virtual separation of Italy and Germany, the title alone was retained by the elector. When the kingdom of Burgundy or Arles was acquired by the emperor Conrad II. in 1032 it is possible that a separate chancery was established for this kingdom. However this may be, during the 12th century the elector of Trier took the title of archchancellor for the kingdom of Arles, although it is doubtful if he ever performed any duties in connexion with this office. This threefold division of the office of imperial archchancellor was acknowledged in 1356 by the Golden Bull of the emperor Charles IV., but the duties of the office were performed by the elector of Mainz. The office in this form was part of the constitution of the Empire until 1803 when the archbishopric of Mainz was secularized. The last elector, Karl Theodor von Dalberg, however, retained the title of archchancellor until the dissolution of the Empire in 1806. H. Reincke in Der alte Reichstag und der neue Bundesrat (Tübingen, 1906) points out a marked resemblance between the medieval archchancellor and the German imperial chancellor of the present day.

See du Cange, Glossarium, s. “Archicancellarius”; and Chancellor.

ARCHDEACON (Lat. archidiaconus, Gr. ἀρχιδιάκονος), a high official of the Christian Church. The office of archdeacon is of great antiquity. So early as the 4th century it is mentioned as an established office, and it is probable that it was in existence in the 3rd. Originally the archdeacon was, as the name implies, the chief of the deacons attached to the bishop’s cathedral, his duty being, besides preaching, to supervise the deacons and their work, i.e. more especially the care of the sick and the arrangement of the externals of divine worship. Even thus early their close relation to the bishop and their employment in matters of episcopal administration gave them, though only in deacons’ orders, great importance, which continually developed. In the East, in the 5th century, the archdeacons were already charged with the proof of the qualifications of candidates for ordination; they attended the bishops at ecclesiastical synods, and sometimes acted as their representatives; they shared in the administration of sees during a vacancy. In the West, in the 6th and 7th centuries, besides the original functions of their office, archdeacons had certain well-defined rights of visitation and supervision, being responsible for the good order of the lower clergy, the upkeep of ecclesiastical buildings and the safe-guarding of the church furniture—functions which involved a considerable disciplinary power. During the 8th and 9th centuries the office tended to become more and more exclusively purely administrative,

  1. The court of Peculiars is no longer held, inasmuch as the peculiars have been placed by acts of parliament under the ordinary jurisdiction of the bishops of the respective dioceses in which they are situated.