The Archdeacon of Canterbury has an additional role beyond that of the usual responsibilities of other archdeacons, traditionally serving as the Archbishop of Canterbury's representative at enthronement ceremonies for new diocesan bishops in his province. At these services, he or she reads the Archbishop's mandate and, taking the new bishop by the hand, conducts him on to his throne.
The archdeaconry and archdeacon of Canterbury have been in constant existence since the 11th century. There was one short-lived abortive attempt to split the role in the 12th century. In modern times, the archdeaconry has been split twice: creating Maidstone archdeaconry in 1841 and Ashford archdeaconry in 2011.