Prerogative Court of Canterbury and Other Probate Jurisdictions: Bundles of Original Wills and Sentences

Prerogative Court of Canterbury and Other Probate Jurisdictions: Bundles of Original Wills and Sentences

The majority of the documents in this series are original wills signed and sealed by testators and attested by witnesses.

Includes original promulgated sentences which were bundled with original wills until the mid seventeenth century.

The rate of survival of original wills is uncertain before the early seventeenth century and particularly poor before the mid sixteenth century.

Many of the pre 1600 documents are copies, the original wills having been returned to the executors.

Late eighteenth and nineteenth century wills are often endorsed with the date of the testator's death.

Some original wills are written on printed forms which testators filled in with simple instructions as to the disposal of their estates.

Includes a few items which may once have been kept in the bundles in PROB 31 and PROB 33.

Please Note: PROB 10/639 to PROB 10/642 are available to download free of charge as part of the Digital Microfilm project.


The vast majority of the wills and sentences in PROB 10 were registered in the will registers in PROB 11, and for most purposes there is no advantage in examining an original will or sentence in this series, in addition to a registered copy in PROB 11. However in a very few cases, wills were written in other documents such as diaries and account books, and some of these documents survive in the series.

Furthermore original wills may contain more personal information such as signatures. Many of them also contain seals.

Arranged in chronological bundles order

Related Material:
Will registers are in PROB 11
Original sentences of a later date are in PROB 27
For indexes to exhibits see PROB 33
Separated Material:
Wills of some famous persons have been removed from their places in the series and now comprise PROB 1
Held by:
The National Archives, Kew
Legal status:
Public Record
Physical description:
7499 boxes and files
Access conditions:
Unpublished finding aids:
Researchers visiting the Public Record Office may consult the printed index at the end of the introduction of the printed list of PROB 10 entitled APPENDIX: PERSONAL NAME INDEXES TO PROB 10 AND LOCATING INDIVIDUAL ORIGINAL WILLS

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