Find your ancestors in Cornwall Archdeaconry Wills & Administrations 1569-1799, Introduction to Original Volume

Cornwall Archdeaconry Wills & Administrations 1569-1799, Introduction to Original Volume

The Archdeaconry of Cornwall comprised the greater part of Cornwall, and five parishes in Devon (Broadwood-Widger, St. Giles on the Heath, North Petherwin, Virginstow, and Werrington).

Thirty parishes in Cornwall and part of another parish were without the jurisdiction of the Archdeacon. Of these:

  • Twenty-two and a part of another were under the immediate jurisdiction of the Bishop of Exeter, and the Wills, etc., are recorded in the Consistory Court: (Calendar of the Consistory Court is in Vol. 46 of the series "Devonshire Wills, Vol. II")

    St. Anthony in Roseland, St. Breock, Budock, Egloshayle, St. Erney, St. Ervan, St. Eval, Falmouth, St. Germans, Gerrans, Gluvias, St. Issey, Landrake, Lawhitton, Lezant, Mabe, St. Merryn, Mylor, Padstow (in rure'), Penryn, Little Petherick, South Petherwin, Trewen.

  • Five under the Dean and Chapter of Exeter: (Calendar of the Dean and Chapter is yet to be completed).

    St. Agnes, Boconnoc, Braddock, Perranzabuloe, St. Winnow.

  • And three in the Deanery of St. Burian: (Wills of the Deanery of St. Burian are consolidated with the records of the Archidiaconal Court)

    St. Burian, St. Levan, Sennen.

All documents mentioned in this Calendar are Wills except those marked A which are Administrations and those marked C which are accounts. The asterisks shew that the document is lost. Unfortunately very few entries from the sixteenth century exist.

Wills and Administrations of persons dying in Cornwall before the final suppression of Ecclesiastical Testimentary jurisdiction in 1858 are also to be found in:

  • The Prerogative Court of Canterbury
  • The Principal Registry of the Bishop of Exeter

The Calendar for the latter Court down to 1799 is printed (also under the title Devonshire Wills) in the first part of Vol 35.

This Calendar was compiled some twenty years ago under the guidance of Mr W H L Shadwell FSA, formerly District Registrar at Bodmin, and is in every way a model of what an Index to documents should be. Not only are the names arranged in strict alphabetical order, but every document of the period was carefully examined so that nothing was missed and all variations and aliases were noted.

Cornwall Archdeaconry Wills & Administrations Vol. II 1700-1799

In two points the Calendar differs from Vol I:

  • the surnames are arranged lexicographically as before, but the Christian names are arranged chronologically
  • the documents of the Peculiar Court of St. Burian are listed separately

The thanks of the Society are again due to Lieut. Col. Ronald Maclear, O.B.E., M.C., late Registrar of Bodmin, for allowing facilities for the compiling of the Calendar.