Court of the Bishop (Episcopal Consistory) of Chichester for the Archdeaconry of Chichester
1. Search each index listed below. If you find a reference to a probate record, write down all details cited in the index entry.
2. Proceed to "Accessing the Records" below to determine what probate records exist for this court and how to obtain them from the nearest possible research facility to you.
- Calendar of wills in the Consistory court of the Bishop of Chichester, 1482-1800 online at HathiTrust - free.
If you have not already done so, also search the online indexes listed on the main Sussex Probate Records page.
Printed and Microfilmed Indexes
The following indexes for this court have been published and are available at the Family History Library in Salt Lake City:
- Calendar of wills in the Consistory court of the Bishop of Chichester, 1482-1800 (British Record Society publication, volume 49); also online - free.
- Calendar of administrations in the Consistory court of the Bishop of Chichester, 1555-1800, etc. (British Rec. Soc. pub., vol. 64)
- Index to West Sussex probate records, 1483-1858 (including this court; those probates not included in volumes 49 and 64 above)
- Card index to additional West Sussex probate records, 1483-1858 (including this court)
These indexes are also available at the West Sussex Record Office (see below).
Accessing the Records
Original records of this court are deposited at:
West Sussex Record Office
3 Orchard Street
West Sussex PO19 1DD
Tel: 01243 753602
Fax: 01243 533959
If you are unable to visit in person, the record office provides a research service for a fee.
- Original wills 1502-1652, 1660-1857
- Registered wills 1479-1653, 1660-1858
- Inventories 1560-1653, 1662-1809, 1834
- Probate and administration act books & diaries 1556-1653, 1665-1858
- Citations & caveats 1631-1642, 1660-1683, 1726-1805
- Administration bonds 1605-1858
- Renunciations 1550-1850
- Probate accounts 1579-1700
Family History Library Records
- Bishop of Chichester. Consistory Court (Archdeaconry of Chichester) Wills and administrations, 1511-1865; indexes 1511-1857.
- See also: Diocese of Chichester. Consistory Court 1527-1858
This court had jurisdiction over the western portion of the county of Sussex, with the line between West and East Sussex running roughly from the mouth of the River Adur in the south and ending between the parishes of Rusper and Ifield in the north.
Any probate that was disputed and could not be settled by the county courts could be sent to these higher appeals courts:
The Prerogative Court of the Archbishop of Canterbury also served as an appeals court.
Estate Duty Records
Starting in 1796, a tax or death duty was payable on estates over a certain value. Estate duty probate abstracts may add considerable information not found elsewhere. Estate duty indexes may help locate a will. For more information, go to Estate Duty Records.