The records in this series consist of pleadings in equity suits initiated in the court of Chancery from 1801 to the end of Trinity term 1842, filed in all six divisions of the Six Clerks' Office. A seventh subseries contains stray pleadings from all six divisions, plus later pleadings relating to any suits starting before Michaelmas 1842, filed after that date (up to c1856).
The pleadings include bills, answers and other documents in the process, such as replications, depositions, examinations and affidavits. Many cases never proceeded past the initial bill (these are described as 'bill only').
Matters in dispute cover an immense variety of subject, but, especially, the execution of wills and the administration of estates.
Dates as given are usually that of the last date on the documents - either an answer or an amendment. Some of the pleadings date from the 1790s: these would usually be expected to be found in C 12. Some depositions and examinations date from as early as the 1750s.
The whole series is searchable by the suit title (surname of first named plaintiff and the surname of the defendant answering). Suit titles can vary, depending on which defendant was answering, so that one suit can have more than one title.
Work has begun augmenting the suit titles with the extra information from the Cause Books in IND 1, which provide the full name of the first named plaintiff and the full name of all the defendants.
In addition, related pleadings filed separately are being pulled together in a virtual refiling: each case is being allocated a unique identifier. This is based on the initial letter of the surname of the clerk who was at the head of the division in the middle of the eighteenth century, the year the bill was filed, the initial letter of the first named plaintiff followed by a sequential number.
If you have an entry with such an identifier, try a search using it to bring up any other references identified to date.
- Division One: Whittingham (e.g W1801 A1).
- Division Two: Collins (e.g. C1801 A1).
- Division Three: Bridges (e.g. B1801 A1).
- Division Four: Hamilton (e.g. H1801 A1).
- Division Five: Mitford (e.g. M1801 A1).
- Division Six: Reynardson (e.g. R1801 A1).
The entries also show when there are earlier or later linked cases that need to be identified and note where the plaintiff's name has changed.
For each initial entry for a suit (i.e. the one containing the bill of complaint) we are adding a code that describes the type of plaintiff, to make searching by type of plaintiff easier.
- SFP = sole female plaintiff.
- SMP = sole male plaintiff.
- JFP = joint female plaintiff plus others (e.g. Susan Jones plus others).
- JMP = joint male plaintiff plus others (e.g. Robert Jones plus others).
- XP = husband and wife as plaintiff.
- JXP = husband and wife as plaintiff plus others (e.g. Robert and Susan Jones plus others).
- CBP = Corporate Body plaintiff (e.g. Mayor, Vicar, Business company etc).
For entries where the Attorney General acts as plaintiff on behalf of an individual(s) the following is used:
- AGI = Attorney General as plaintiff.
- SFI = sole female informant.
- SMI = sole male informant.
- JFI = joint female informant plus others.
- JMI = joint male informant plus others.
- XI = married couple as informants.
- JXI = married couple as informants plus others.
- CPI = corporate body informant.