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Contributors & InstitutionsBorthwick Institute for ArchivesBorthwick Institute for Archives
The Borthwick Institute's archive of probate records (wills, inventories and associated records) is the largest in England outside London. The records span the period from the 14th century until January 1858, when the business of granting probate was removed from the Church of England to a new civil probate court.
England and Wales are split into two ecclesiastical provinces:
The records of the Prerogative and Exchequer Courts of York are held at the Borthwick Institute, as well as the records of 45 Peculiar Courts.
The jurisdiction of the Exchequer Court (which operated essentially as a prerogative court) covered most of Yorkshire and Nottinghamshire. It should be noted that those parts in the north-west of Yorkshire in the archdeaconry of Richmond were included in the diocese of Chester in the 16th century and these records are now held by West Yorkshire Archives in Leeds. Exchequer Court probate files for the archdeaconry of Nottingham are now held by Nottinghamshire Archives The Prerogative Court of York granted probate in cases in which the testator had goods in more than one jurisdiction within the diocese or more than one diocese within the province or in both Northern and Southern Provinces. For further details as well as information on the peculiar courts, see Pre-1858 Probate Jurisdictions: Where To Look For Wills.
The Borthwick Institute has alphabetical indexes to all its holdings of probate records, and these will be made available online exclusively through Origins.net. Hard copies of the original documents may be ordered online.
Contact Borthwick Institute for Archives
Address: Borthwick Institute for Archives, University of York, Heslington, York, YO10 5DD, UK
Phone: +44(0) 1904 321166
The York Series of Probate Indexes are presented in association with the Borthwick Institute for Archives