Exchequer and Prerogative Courts of the Archbishop of York
For a general explanation about probate records in England, click here.
Location of These Probate Records
Borthwick Institute for Historical Research
University of York
Heslington York YO10 5DD
Telephone: (0)1904 321166 Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Opening Times: Mon-Fri 9:15am - 4:45pm
The Court of the Exchequer and Prerogative Courts of the Archbishop of York held jurisdiction over the whole of the Province of York, which consisted of the counties of Cheshire, Cumberland, Durham, Lancashire, Northumberland, Nottinghamshire, Westmoreland, Yorkshire.
Unless a person held properties in more than one diocese (within the Province of York), always first search, the local diocesan court probate records of the county in which they lived and/or died. When a search of this courts’ probate records, or a search in those of the local diocesan courts fails to provide the desired probate record, be sure to search the Court of the Peculiar of the Dean and Chapter of York as well.
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 then to the "Probate Records of This Court" section (see below) to determine what original probate records exist for this court.
3. Contact or visit the Lancashire Record Office, or, hire a professional record searcher to view these records on your behalf, citing information obtained from the index[es]. 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 microfilm copies of indexes. See the library's cataloged records for the film numbers. The information obtained from an index will help you more quickly find a copy of a probate document.
Surviving wills and admons to the Exchequer and Prerogative Courts of the Archbishop of York probate records have to some extent been indexed with the following ones:
Printed and Published Indexes
Index of Wills, etc., from the Dean and Chapter's Court at York, A.D. 1321 to 1636 [also containing] original wills, administrations and tuitions from 1524-1724, and Register copy wills from 1557-1638 in the Yorkshire Archaeological Society Record Series volume 38. There are indexes covering the years 1389-1822 in the same (above) series in the following volumes: 4, 6, 11, 14, 19, 22, 24, 26, 28, 32, 35, 49, 60, 68, 73, 89, 93. Separate indexes for the years 1688-1731 are also available covering, respectively--the Exchequer and Prerogative courts of York.
Indexes to Yorkshire wills are beginning to come online. Yorkshire will indexes online are only available at britishorigins for the following years:
- Medieval Probate Index - 1267- 1500
- Peculiar Courts Probate Index - 1383-1883
- Exchequer and Prerogative Courts of the Archbishop of York - 1842-1858
Original Handwritten Indexes
- Manuscript indexes exist from 1438-1728 and 1650-1858.
Microfilmed Indexes at the Family History Library
The indexes as listed in the above are available. In addition, filmed indexed, 1688-1731, can be viewed in the Family History Library and family history centers worldwide.
Searching for probates in this court.
This court's jurisdiction applies to persons with bona notabilia (property worth 5 pounds or more) in more than one diocese within the northern Province of York, which includes all of the dioceses of York, Carlisle, Chester, Sodor and Man (Isle of Man), Durham and Lancaster. If probate records are not found in this court, be certain to search the Court of the Dean and Chapter of York. The Family History Library Catalog shows records as follows:
- ORIGINAL WILLS, ADMINISTRATIONS (ADMONS), INVENTORIES, TUITIONS 1427-1858
- REGISTER OF COPY WILLS 1389-1558
- ACT BOOKS 1502-1858
- REGISTER OF TUITIONS AND CURATIONS 1592-1639
- REGISTER OF WILLS DECREED OUT OF COURT 1778-1833
- CAVEAT BOOKS 1521-1859
- CITATION BOOKS 1611-1695
- COMMISSION BOOKS (GRANTS OF PROBATE & ADMINISTRATION FOR CLERGY, EXECUTORS, ADMINISTRATORS, CONFERRING OF CURATION AND TUITION OF MINORS, WITNESSES) 1611-1683
- CHANCERY AND AUDIENCE RECORDS 1525-1640