Archbishop Herring's Visitation Returns, 1743
In 1743, the appointment of a new archbishop of York, Thomas Herring (1693–1757), led to the creation of one of the most useful historical records of parish life in eighteenth-century England. This five-volume edition of visitation returns was first published between 1928 and 1931. It contains the responses made by hundreds of clergymen to the archbishop's enquiries as to the social and religious character of their parishes. Incorporating records detailing clerical matters and covering subjects ranging from the number of families in residence to the popularity of Methodism and the provision of schools, these volumes comprise, in the words of the editors, 'a collection of facts which are valuable for the economic and social, as well as the ecclesiastical history of England'. Volume 1 includes an introduction and a brief biography of Herring. The visitation returns open with the entry for All Saints in the Pavement, York.