Prerogative Court of Canterbury and successors: Limited Probate Act Books
Probate acts and letters of administration with will annexed limited to a particular part of the testator's estate entered in the limited probate act books in the following years: 1781, 1800, 1802-1804, and 1806-1858.
After 1858 the limited probate act books continued to be annotated as a matter of routine with references to further grants of probate or administration with will annexed made upon estates subjected to limited probate acts issued by the Prerogative Court of Canterbury during the years that the limited probate act books were in use.
References to later grants of probate made upon estates subjected to such limited grants issued by the Prerogative Court of Canterbury during the years that the limited probate act books were in use were added to these act books after the abolition of the Prerogative Court of Canterbury in 1858.
The term entered at length alongside the name of a testator in a probate act book for the years 1781, 1800, 1802 to 1804, and 1806 to 1858 (PROB 8/174, 193, 195-197, 199-250) is a cross reference to the corresponding act book in PROB 9.
The act books in this series are divided into five sections corresponding to the five seats of the Prerogative Court of Canterbury. From 1719 the Prerogative Court of Canterbury organised the business of granting probate and letters of administrations according to where the deceased testator or intestate lived. Each section is subdivided into twelve monthly subsections.
Prior to 1781 limited probate acts and limited letters of administration with will annexed issued by the Prerogative Court of Canterbury were recorded in the ordinary probate act books.
In 1781 the limited grants of probate and of administration with will annexed were entered in a different act book, instead of the ordinary probate act book for this year. The experiment of using a separate act book for limited acts was repeated in 1800, and then again from 1802 to 1804. From 1806 to 1858 it was standard practice and was continued until the abolition of the Prerogative Court of Canterbury in 1858.
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