Archdeacons were the most senior officers in the secular church after the archbishops and bishops, and played a crucial role in diocesan administration. This book brings together for the first time the 285 surviving acta of English archdeacons in the twelfth century, representing forty-five of the fifty-one medieval archdeaconries of the English church; also included are twenty-one acta of vice-archdeacons, the main deputies of archdeacons at this time. These documents reveal archdeacons at work in various aspects of their responsibilities, such as presiding in archdeacons' synods or rural chapters, settling disputes, holding inquiries, and dealing with appointments to parish churches; they shed new light on the business and diplomatic of archdeacons' acta, the personnel of their households and staff, and the part archdeacons and their deputies played in the ecclesiastical and temporal affairs of the twelfth century. The texts are printed in the original Latin, with full editorial apparatus and notes. BRIAN KEMP is Professor of Medieval History, University of Reading.