North Durham references in the Durham Bishop’s Transcripts collection 1700-1900

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The Durham Diocese registry prior to 1844 refers to several parishes and transcripts as being in “North Durham”. To understand these references it is useful to consider the position prior to the Counties (Detached Parts) Act 1844

The Counties (Detached Parts) Act 1844 (7 & 8 Vict. c. 61), which came to effect in 20 October 1844, was an act of Parliament of the United Kingdom which eliminated many outliers or exclaves of counties in England and Wales for civil purposes.

The areas involved had already been reorganised for some purposes: The Reform Act 1832 had abolished the outliers for parliamentary constituencies, the Counties (Detached Parts) Act 1839 allowed Justices of the Peace to act for exclaves surrounded by their county, and constabularies established under County Police Act 1839 had jurisdiction over detached parts of other counties.

The text of the act read:

From the twentieth day of October Eighteen Hundred and Forty Four every part of every county in England and Wales which is detached from the main body of the county shall be considered for all purposes as forming part of that county of which it is considered part for the purposes of the election of members to serve as Knights of the Shire
The Act went on to state that the parts transferred would be incorporated in an existing "hundred, wapentake, rape, lathe or other like divisions unless the Justices of the County declare it to be a new hundred or division."

The Act itself did not list the areas transferred; these had already been detailed in the Parliamentary Boundaries Act 1832 (2 & 3 Will. IV, c. 64).


County Durham
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