ARCHDEACON. As each province is divided into dioceses, severally presided over by a Bishop, so each diocese is divided into archdeaconries, consisting of a certain number of parishes. Over each archdeaconry one of the clergy, a priest, sometimes a bishop, is appointed to preside in subordination to the Bishop of the diocese. The office dates back to very early times. In England the dioceses were divided into archdeaconries about the time of the Norman Conquest.