- England & Wales Published Wills & Probate Indexes, 1300-1858 volumes available
- Wills & Administrations at Lincoln Vol. I 1320-1660, Introduction to Original Volume
- Wills & Administrations at Lincoln Vol. I 1320-1660, Introduction to Original Volume
- Wills & Administrations at Lincoln Vol. II 1601-1652, Introduction to Original Volume
- Wills & Administrations at Lincoln Vol. III 1540-1659, Introduction to Original Volume
- Wills & Administrations at Lincoln Vol. IV, Introduction to Original Volume
Wills & Administrations at Lincoln Vol. I 1320-1660
British Record Society volume 28
Introduction to Original Volume
Calendar No. 1
Wills and Administrations recorded in the Episcopal Registers of the Ancient Diocese of Lincoln, 1320-1547
During the period covered by this calendar the diocese of Lincoln extended from the Humber to the Thames, and included no less than nine counties, namely, Lincoln, Leicester, Rutland, Northampton, Huntingdon, Bedford, Buckingham, Hertford, and Oxford.
The references are to the folios of the registers of the following Bishops of Lincoln:
|Wo. and At||Wolsey and Atwater, 1514—1520.|
These large folio volumes with parchment leaves commence in 1290, in the episcopate of Bishop Sutton, and record matters of every kind of diocesan business; but it is not until 1320, in the episcopate of Bishop Burghersh, that the wills and administrations are registered. Before that date, as well as after it, there are numerous commissions for granting probate, which give little, if any, information beyond the name of the testator and the approximate date of probate.
There are no wills in Bishop Rotherham's register, 1472 to 1480, and the last wills of this series are recorded in Bishop Longland's register, which ends in the year 1547. The later wills for the county, which in those days was a very different area from the diocese, of Lincoln, are deposited in the Lincoln District Registry of the Probate Division of the High Court of Justice. Abstracts of these wills and administrations, and also of a selection of the commissions for probate, were printed, in 1888, under the title of "Early Lincoln Wills," by Mr. Alfred Gibbons, who has kindly allowed me to prepare the present calendar from his volume. In many instances Mr. Gibbons' abstracts have been compared with the registers, and in some cases errors (unavoidable in such a work) have been corrected and omissions supplied. Unfortunately, I have been unable to spare time for searching the registers folio by folio in order to prepare a calendar directly from them. It has been thought best to omit from the calendar the commissions for probate given by Mr. Gibbons, since they are, as stated above, only a selection from a large number. In several other respects the present calendar will be found a useful supplement to "Early Lincoln Wills," for much labour has been bestowed in identifying the testators and the places mentioned in the wills.
Notes and remarks, where they have been supplied, are enclosed in square brackets. The modern forms of place-names have been added enclosed in parentheses; and the names of the counties in which they are situated have been supplied, without, however, being bracketed. It will be observed that when places in different counties occur in the same entry, the places in one county are marked off from the places in another county by a semicolon instead of a comma. The dates on the left-hand side of the page give the year of probate; and when this is not forthcoming, the date of the will is given in italic type.
Calendar No. II
Miscellaneous Wills in tbe Episcopal Registers of tbe Ancient Diocese of Lincoln, 1489-1588.
The references in this Calendar are to the following manuscripts, which are preserved in a portfolio in the Alnwick Tower of the Old Palace at Lincoln:
|Ael.—||A section consisting of folios 1-8, and containing wills proved before Master John Aelmer [or Aylmer], Archdeacon of Lincoln [a.d. 1562-1577]. He afterwards became Bishop of London.|
|Bell.—||A section consisting of folios 1-27, folio 27 being an index. It contains "Wills proved and registered, a.d. 1578," before Master John Belley and his deputies. Belley was Chancellor of the diocese of Lincoln.|
|Lyle.—||A section consisting of pages 74, 75, 78-112, and part of page 113, with the title, "Book of the Wills from 9 Nov. 1528 to the same day 1529. W. Beller." I have called this section 'Lyle' after the first testator whose will appears in it.|
|Po. i.—||A section consisting of folios 1-74 and 80-83, the missing folios, 75—79, having evidently been written upon. It bears the title, "Register of Wills proved within the Archdeaconry of Lincoln from 21 Nov. 1529 to 24 Nov. 1540." '1529' is clearly a mistake for '1539,' and the probate of the last will in the section is dated 21 October, 1540. The probates describe Pope as "doctor of decrees, commissary and official of the Archdeaconry of Lincoln." He was Rector of Epworth, and also Vicar of Belton in the Isle of Axholme. He became Chancellor of Lincoln in 1543; Archdeacon of Bedford in 1554; and died in 1558.|
|Po. ii.—||A section consisting of folios 1-50 (numbered by a modern hand), containing wills proved before Master John Pope, commissary.|
|Po. iii.—||A mutilated section consisting of folios 1 and 3-9, containing wills proved before Master John Pope.|
|Pryn.—||A section consisting of pages 1-45, with the title, Wills proved in the Archdeaconry of Lincoln 1525 a.d." The probates show them to have been proved before "Master John Pryn, doctor of decrees, commissary and official of the Archdeaconry of Lincoln." He became Treasurer of Lincoln Cathedral in 1532, Sub-dean in 1535, and died in 1558.|
|Ra. i.—||A section consisting of pages 1-110 (numbered by myself) and containing wills proved before Thomas Randes, M.A., official of the Archdeacon of Stow. He held the prebend of Langford Ecclesia in Lincoln Cathedral from 1563 to 1609.|
|Ra. ii.—||A section consisting of folios 283-287 and an index, which refers to other pages than those in the section. It contains wills proved before Thomas Randes, commissary and official of the Archdeacon of Lincoln.|
|Var.—||Twenty-four wills on loose sheets, which I have numbered for this calendar. No. 24 is missing at present: see page 26, note.|
These "Miscellaneous Wills" have been calendared for the first time for this work. There is also a considerable number of similar wills, belonging to the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries, which, it is hoped, may be calendared for another volume. Most of the wills in Calendar No. II, as appears above, refer to Lincolnshire, while a few belong to Leicestershire. Here, as in Calender No. I, notes and remarks have been enclosed in square brackets, and the modern forms of place-names in parentheses, the counties in which they lie having been added without brackets. The year of probate has been given on the left-hand side of the page; failing which, the date of the will has been printed in italic type.
Calendar No. III
Wills proved in tbe Consistory Court of Lincoln, 1506-1000.
This series contains some thirty-two thousand sixteenth-century wills, which were proved in the Consistory Court of the Bishop of Lincoln, the Court of the Commissary of the Bishop within the Archdeaconry of Lincoln, and the Court of the Archdeacon of Lincoln ¦within his Archdeaconry. The records of these three Courts have not been preserved separately. The references in this calendar, which give the approximate date of probate, are to the Books deposited in the Lincoln District Registry of the Court of Probate. In the following instances the titles of the Books have been shortened in the Calendar :
- 1506, etc. stands for 1506 and subsequent years.
- 1534, etc. stands for 1534 and divers subsequent years.
- 1545-6, etc., ii stands for 1545 and 1546 and others, Book ii, (This book contains some wills proved in 1559 and 1560.)
- Var. stands for Various years.
- 1566, etc.stands for Divers years bound in a Book marked '1566.'
The roman numerals refer to the several volumes into which some of the Books are divided.
The Book marked "1595, Book ii" is said to be missing.
It should be mentioned that Calendar No. III has been prepared from the manuscript calendars in modern handwriting in the Lincoln District Registry, but in cases of doubtful readings or other obscurities the Books have been carefully referred to.
The Rev. Canon A. R. Maddison, F.S.A., has printed two volumes of abstracts of "Lincolnshire Wills," 3 most of which are registered in the Consistory Court. The first series of these abstracts covers the same period as this calendar, and contains, together with other wills, most of the wills of gentle families recorded in this Court. The second series extends from 1600 to 1617.
Courts of probate at Lincoln.
The following is a complete list of the Wills and Administrations at Lincoln, so far as can be ascertained. Except where it is stated otherwise, the records are deposited in the District Probate Registry in the Exchequer Gateway at Lincoln.
I. Wills and Administrations recorded in the Episcopal Registers of the Ancient Diocese of Lincoln, deposited in the Alnwick Tower of the Old Palace at Lincoln. These extend from 1320 to 1547, and are calendared in this volume. See pp. v, vi.
II. Miscellaneous Wills in the Alnwick Tower, dating 1489. The wills prior to 1600 are calendared in this volume. See pp. vii, viii.
III. The Consistory Court of the Bishop, with which are incorporated the Court of the Commissary of the Bishop within the Archdeaconry of Lincoln, and the Court of the Archdeacon of Lincoln within his Archdeaconry. The wills commence in 1506, and continue till 1858, when the Lincoln District Registry of the Probate Division of the H.M. High Court of Justice was established. There are no wills from 1653 to 1659 inclusive. The wills from 1506 to 1600 are calendared in the present volume, and those from 1601 to 1652 are in course of preparation for a second volume, of which it is intended to issue an instalment next year. The administration bonds commence about 1550, but the manuscript calendar only extends from 1700 to 1858. There are also three books of wills marked "A" (1672-1676), "B" (1638-1639), and "C" (1700-1730), with a separate manuscript calendar.
IV. The Commissary Court of the Bishop of Lincoln within the Archdeaconry of Stow and the Court of the Archdeacon of Stow within his Archdeaconry, which comprised the wapentakes of Manlake, Aslackhoe, Corringham, Well, and Lawres. The wills extend from 1530 to 1834, and the administrations from 1582 to 1829, with, however, almost a blank from 1650 to 1660.
V. The Court of the Dean and Chapter of Lincoln, the jurisdiction of which extended over the parishes of St. Margaret and St. Mary Magdalen in the Close of Lincoln; St. Nicholas and St. John in the City of Lincoln; Asgarby, Binbrook St. Gabriel, North and South Carlton, Dunholme, Dalby, Friesthorpe, Glentham, Hainton, North Kelsey, Melton Ross, Searby, Scamblesby, Scredington, Skillington, Southrey, Strubby, Thurlby, Welton, Wellingore, all in the County of Lincoln; together with a few wills of persons dying within the Peculiars of the Prebendaries of Lincoln. A few early wills from 1271 to 1534 are in the Muniment Room of the Dean and Chapter, and the wills and administrations from 1534 to 1834 are in the District Probate Registry, where there is a good manuscript calendar. Mr. Gibbons has printed part of a calendar of these wills and administrations from 1534 to 1780, including the letters A to R, in his "Notes on the Visitation of Lincolnshire, 1634" (Williamson: Lincoln, 1898).
VI. Biggleswade, co. Bedford, Prebendal Court, wills and administrations from 1639 to 1740. Other wills proved in this Court are deposited at Northampton. (See Marshall's "Ancient Courts of Probate," P. 5)
VII. Bishop's Norton, co. Lincoln, Prebendal Court, with jurisdiction over the parish of Bishop's Norton and the town of Atterby; wills and administrations from 1613 to 1814.
VIII. Caistor, co. Lincoln, Prebendal Court, with jurisdiction over the parishes of Caistor and Clixby and the town of Holton le Moor; wills and administrations from 1636 to 1833. The calendar of this Court has been printed in the "Northern Genealogist," vol. i (1895), pp. 42-45.
IX. Corringham, co. Lincoln, Prebendal Court, wills and administrations from 1632 to 1833.
X. Duddington, co. Northampton, Peculiar Court, wills and administrations from 1740 to 1830.
XI. Empingham, co. Rutland, Peculiar Court, wills and administrations from 1669 to 1744. Other wills proved in this Court are deposited at Peterborough (Marshall's "Ancient Courts of Probate," p. 18).
XII. Gretton, co. Rutland, Prebendal Court, with jurisdiction extending over the parishes of Gretton and Duddington; wills and administrations from 1684 to 1832. There is also a small bundle of Gretton, Duddington, and Liddington wills in the District Registry.
XIII. Heydour with Walton, co. Lincoln, Prebendal Court, with jurisdiction extending over the parish of Heydour and the towns of Kelby and Culverthorpe; wills and administrations from 1669 to 1836.
XIV. Kirkstead, co. Lincoln, Manorial Court, with jurisdiction extending over Kirkstead, Kirkby on Baine, Mearbooth, Tattershall, Tattershall Thorpe, and Woodhall. The wills, which are said to commence in 1752 and end before 1800, have not yet been found at Lincoln, and enquiries at Horncastle, etc., have met with no success.
XV. Kirton in Lindsey, co. Lincoln, Peculiar Court, wills and administrations from 1535 to 1834.
XVI. Louth, co. Lincoln, Prebendal Court, with jurisdiction extending over Louth; wills and administrations from 1659 to 1859, of which a calendar has been printed by Mr. Gibbons in the "Northern Genealogist," vol. i (1895), pp. 80-87 and 162-164, and vol. ii (1896), pp. 172-175. Dr. Marshall says that there are ten wills belonging to this Court, between 1612 and 1725, in the Registry of the Bishop and Dean and Chapter of Lincoln ("Ancient Courts of Probate," p. 36).
XVII. Nassington, co. Rutland, Prebendal Court, with jurisdiction extending over Nassington, Yarwell, Apethorpe, and Woodnewton; wills and administrations from 1660 to 17S8. There are other wills, proved in this Court, deposited at Peterborough.
XVIII. New Sleaford, co. Lincoln, Prebendal Court, wills and administrations from 1610 to 1834. According to Dr. Marshall, some of the wills belonging to this Court are in the Muniment Room of the Dean and Chapter of Lincoln.
XIX. Stow in Lindsey, co. Lincoln, Prebendal Court, with jurisdiction extending over the parish of Stow and the towns of Sturton and Normanby by Stow; wills and administrations from 1610 to 1833.
XX. Probate and Administration Act Books, commencing about 1568, in four portfolios and several volumes in the Alnwick Tower.
XXI. Lincoln City Wills of the fourteenth century in the Minster Library.
XXII. A small bundle of Bedfordshire, Buckinghamshire, Hertfordshire, Huntingdonshire, and Northamptonshire wills, belonging for the most part to the earlier half of the seventeenth century.
C. W. FOSTER.