|Content Description||A Citation was an official document which was used to summon an individual to attend the Archdeaconry court at a specified date and place. This series comprises three distinct types of citation, each fulfilling different functions, and each having a separate format:|
'Office' citations followed on from the receipt of churchwardens' Presentment Bills (AN/PB), and called parishioners to court to answer for those offences which had been discovered during the visitation process. The citations were initially sent out by the apparitors to ministers, who informed the offender of the contents of the citation and then returned the citation to the court with a certificate that it had been served. Where a number of people from the same parish were all required in court, a form of citation called a 'quorum nomina' could be issued, in which all their names were given together on one document. If an offender could not be found, the apparitor was charged with serving another citation by 'ways and means' (viis et modis), either personally on the offender, or by fixing it to his door or to a public place. Up to the Civil War, the names and parishes of the people called are stated in the citation, but not their offence. From 1661 onwards, each individual citation gives the names of ever larger numbers of parishioners, but it also indicates their offence and whether they were cited or could not be found.
'Instance' citations called individual people to attend court to answer causes of grievance, usually defamation or slander, which had been brought by another individual, or to be a witness in such a cause. These citations include annotated or annexed certificates signed by apparitors, confirming delivery. The details of the cause will be found in the Libels series (AN/LB) and the official Act Books (AN/A).
'Processes' form the third type of citation in the series. These are found particularly in the post-1660 files, and are the official mandates from the Archdeacon authorising deans and apparitors to cite all the clergy or all the churchwardens in a particular deanery to appear at the next Visitation. They are in a standard form and do not give individual names of clergy or churchwardens, and are therefore uninformative beyond giving the exact date and place of a particular deanery's court sitting. Odd mandates of this nature have also been found bound up with Presentment Bills.
Once a citation had been issued, either in person or 'by ways and means', the person concerned was expected to attend court. Non-appearance, or 'contumacy' was punishable by excommunication.
The series is arranged chronologically for the most part. Office citations, Instance citations and processes dating from the 16th and 17th centuries are bundled together regardless of their form, and indeed the bundles up to the mid 17th century also include other papers such as excommunications, letters, accounts, notes and declarations of penance. Later 17th and 18th century bundles often include specialised forms of citations known as monitions, intimations or mandates, and certificates sent in to the court as proof that what was required of a person brought before the court had been carried out.
Most of the bundles AN/C 166-192 were transferred to the University of Nottingham Library at a different time from the majority of the series. The remainder were found in other parts of the archive and were re-numbered in November 2004.
Citations are in Latin until 1733, and English thereafter.