Court of the Peculiar of the Dean and Chapter of St Paul's Cathedral

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[Return to the Essex Probate Records page.] 

Location of Records of This Court

Guildhall Library

London EC2V 7HH

Tel 020 7332 1862 / 020 7332 1863

'Textphone 020 7332 3803'


Starting Your Search in Indexes

1. First search each index (see below) to help you more quickly find the will, writing down each detail cited in the indexed entry.
2. Proceed to the "Probate Records of This Court" (below) to determine what original probate records exist for this court.
3. Contact or visit the Guildhall Library or, hire a professional record searcher to view these records on your behalf. Officials may send upon request a list of record searchers.
4. Visit The Family History Library, or, one of its 4,500 satellite family history centers worldwide and search indexes to probate records; then with the information obtained from the index[es] you can search more quickly the original wills and admons also on microfilm via any family history centers near you.

Historical Background

Probate records of the Court of the Peculair of the Dean and Chapter of St Paul's Cathedral held jurisdiction over several parishes in Essex. Records of these probates--includes original as well as registered wills. These records date from as early as 1535-1643; and from 1660 to 1837. However, wills mostly go only to 1781 in this court. This probate court held jurisdiction over the Essex parishes of  Albury, Barling, Belchamp St Paul's, Heybridge, Navestock, Tillingham and Wickham St Paul's. 

Probate Indexes

The Archdeaconry Court of Essex probate records is well-covered with the following indexes:

Online indexes

A general will index for Essex County is available online. This single index consolidates just about all Essex county wills of the various probate court jurisdictions into one database.

Printed Indexes

The Essex County Record Office compiled and published a complete surname index covering wills and administrations from eight Essex County probate courts including this court.

  • Emmison, F. G., ed.  [Index to] Wills at Chelmsford.  (FHL book 942 B4b vols. 78, 79 & 84; also on microfilms 0962739 and 0962740; also on microfiche 6073796, 6073797, and 6073802.
  • A comprehensive will and admon index to London (including Greater L.) for the years covering 1750-1858, is Dr David Wright's London Probate Index on CDs and are on sale or he will perform "lookups" in his indexes for you.

Original Handwritten Indexes

Calendars to the Probate Acts of Wills and Administrations (Admons) exist from 1535-1837. Calendars are a kind of index to the day to day probate court procedures in which wills and admons (administrations) are processed.

In addition to the calendars, a majority of the original (unregistered) wills and the registered wills are alphabetically arranged at The Guildhall Library and are likewise organized on the microfilmed probates for this court at the Family History Library. Visit the The Guildhall Library or the Family History Library Catalog under Essex, England to determine availability of records.

Microfilmed Indexes at the Family History Library

The majority of the original (unregistered) wills and the registered wills are calendared (by first letter of the surname) from 1535 to 1837. These calendars and the Wills themselves for this court are available on microfilm at the Family History Library and may be circulated to any one of its satellite Family History Centers (see under the Peculiar Court of the Dean and Chapter of St Pauls Cathedral) in the Family History Library Catalog page online under "Essex", England to determine availability of records for this probate court.

Searching for probates in this court


Original Wills 1660-1759


1535-1643, 1660-1837 available ony at the Guildhall Library; to be digitised shortly

CALENDARS (first-letter-of-surname index)



1646-1650; 1660-1837

Strategies, Tips, Other?

There are some indexes for this court. See the above general countywide indexes online (see "online Indexes) and possible other indexes available.

To view a list of parishes and their respective probate court jurisdiction, see the "Essex Parishes Parishes and Their Probate Jurisdictions" on the main page for Essex Probate Records.