During the nineteenth century the officers of the Prerogative Court of Canterbury (PCC) comprised one judge, three principal registrars, three deputy registrars, one record keeper, one entering clerk, one clerk for each of the five different seats in the office, examiners, one sealer and one apparitor.
The clerks of the seats of the PCC were appointed by the principal registrars. They appointed other clerks to work under their supervision. In the seat allotted to them, the clerks of the seats were employed in drawing up commissions to swear executors and administrators, drafting and attesting administration bonds, inspecting wills submitted for probate, completing probates and administrations, conducting searches to prevent the issue of duplicate grants of probate or administration, and storing wills, bonds and commissions until they were registered. The appointments of clerks of the seats were entered in the muniment books of the PCC.
The PCC record keeper (with the help of an assistant) was responsible for the custody, registration, preservation and storage of wills, administrations, depositions and answers. He was in charge of issuing copies of wills, probate acts and administration acts when applied for and keeping accounts of all such issues. The record keeper also directed the collation of registered wills and the production of bound parchment calendars (indexes) for public reference. The appointments of record keepers were recorded in the PCC muniment books.
The personal appearances of litigants in the ecclesiastical courts were relatively few. Parties in a case were usually represented by their proctors and advocates, the counterparts of solicitors and barristers in modern secular courts. Officials of the Prerogative Court of Canterbury were usually proctors. The formal admission of advocates and proctors to the civil law courts was recorded in the act books of the Court of Arches.
It should be noted that the work performed by PCC personnel in their various capacities was often combined with similar duties in other courts. There was a close relationship between the Court of Arches, the ecclesiastical court of appeal of the Province of Canterbury, the Prerogative Court of Canterbury, the High Court of Admiralty and other civil law courts. Many of the individuals whose names appear in PROB 57 were directly involved in the administrative business of several courts.