Catalogue description Prerogative Court of Canterbury: Original Sentences

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Details of PROB 27
Reference: PROB 27
Title: Prerogative Court of Canterbury: Original Sentences

These sentences are the original versions of the final judgments in litigation. Both parties submitted to the judge a draft sentence in their own favour, and the judge chose the appropriate one to be promulgated. The judge's sentence was then registered with the relevant registered will in PROB 11, until the end of the eighteenth century. The sentences were also entered in the calendars (PROB 12, PROB 13 and PROB 15) either under the lettter S (up to the end of the seventeenth century) or at the end of the calendar volume (up to the end of the eighteenth century). Full registration then ceased, and was replaced by the marginal note 'by sent[ence]' or 'by decree' in the calendars.

The majority of sentences are for the validity of wills (those not proved) or for the confirmation of wills already proved. Some cancel grants of probate already made, but very few concern letters of administration. Contested grants of administration seem to have been resolved by interlocutory decrees, which have not survived except in the form of marginal notes in the Administration Act Books (PROB 6 and PROB 7) and the calendars (PROB 12, PROB 13 and PROB 15).

Sentences (original or registered) are useful as a cross reference from the name of the testator to the name of the promoter (plaintiff).

The series list for PROB 27 is not yet available.

Date: 16th century-19th century
Related material:

Original wills and sentences are in PROB 10

Held by: The National Archives, Kew
Legal status: Public Record(s)
Language: English
Access conditions: Subject to 30 year closure

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