The Clergy of the Church of England Database was created in October 1999. Its objective is to construct a relational database containing the careers of all clergymen of the Church of England between 1540 and 1835.
Throughout this period the Church of England was the single most important employer of educated males in England and Wales, and at times possessed an institutional presence which surpassed that of the state. The parish was also the major unit of local government.
The database provides an invaluable research tool for national and local, academic and amateur historians, and for genealogists, all of whom often need to discover biographical information about individual clergymen or information relating to a particular locality.
The database brings together evidence about clerical careers from all 27 dioceses of England and Wales (plus the short-lived diocese of Westminster), which are held at 28 diocesan repositories and many other archives and libraries.
It draws on a core of four types of record maintained in diocesan collections: registers, subscription books, licensing books and liber cleri or call books.