The York Institute is the Institute centered in York, England.


The York Institute was run and held onto by the Starkweather family for generations until 1878. Because of this, the family treated and decorated it like a family home, which is not common practice among Shadowhunters.[1]

In 1815, the Institute was informed that two warlocks, John and Anne Shade, were in possession of the Book of the White, a powerful spellbook. Enclave members were dispatched to take action. Led by Aloysius Starkweather, they retrieved the Book, killed the Shades, and took their possessions as spoils.

In 1825, Axel Mortmain, the Shades' adoptive son, filed for Reparations at the Institute for his parent's unjustifiable deaths. The account was denied and ignored.[1] Years later, Mortmain and some faeries took their revenge on Starkweather by switching out a Starkweather child with a mundane child—one that died in 1847.[2]

In 1878, Aloysius, who was by then old and senile, gave lodging to Will Herondale, Jem Carstairs, and Tessa Gray—whom Starkweather found familiar and later realized was his granddaughter—while they were investigating Mortmain. He told them of the entire ordeal with the Shades.[1] Some time after, Aloysius, then still the prevailing head of the Institute, died in a Council attack.[2]



The York Institute is in fact known to the world as the Holy Trinity Church, located in Goodramgate in York.[3][4][5] It is quite small, particularly in comparison to the London Institute. It is unremarkable and enclosed in walls. There is also a veritable "cascade of burning candles" in the front of the church.


The inside of the church is also quite small and dark, with pews that appeared as old as it was and held witchlight tapers in its blackened iron holders that (barely) lit the place. Even the dining space was barely lit, with only a few lights and a dark brown wallpaper. It has poorly maintained, stained, and discolored mirrors; gray, dimly lit, chilly rooms with fireplace grates.

The Starkweathers have also decorated the Institute like a family home: it had the family's symbol, lightning bolts, portraits of Starkweathers lining the walls of the rooms, in the corridors, and along the stairs.


Like in all Institutes, there is an archive of records that is kept by the keeper of the Institute, records that had been maintained over the years because, according to Starkweather, his father never threw anything out.

In 1878, there was a room in the Institute that held the spoils gathered by the York Enclave members before it was made illegal. It was situated behind a heavy wooden door at the end of a corridor and was the only well-lit room in the entire Institute. The spoils were kept on display, in glass-fronted cabinets, and mounted on each of was a lamp of witchlight that illuminated the displays.

The spoils included:

  • a bloody gold locket with a picture of a young girl inside;
  • vampire fangs in a bowl;
  • silver bullets pulled from dead werewolves in another bowl;
  • faerie wings;
  • cloaks taken off of warlocks;
  • mummified warlock corpses;
  • a dead goblin floating around in preservation fluids;
  • what looked like decaying human heads all around.

Known residents

In the 1870s, the servants were mostly old men and women with surly expressions.


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