Find your ancestors in Surrey Wills, Pre-1649

Surrey Wills, Pre-1649

British Record Society volume 99

Published 1990

Introduction to Original Volume

  • Surrey Probate Jurisidtions
  • Probate Archives Covered by this Index
  • A. Greater London Record Office (GLR0)
  • B. British library
  • C. Hampshire Record Office. Winchester
  • D. Lambeth Palace Library
  • E. The Public Record Office
  • F. Surrey Record Office; G. Guildford Muniment Room; H. London Borough of Lambeth Archives
  • Department; I. Southwark Local Studies Library
  • J. Cathedral Archives and Library, Canterbury
  • Editorial Method

Note: For Map references mentioned below see the Volume images.

Surrey Probate Jurisdictions

The ancient county of Surrey extended into what is now south London, as far east as Rotherhithe. Large areas were detached from the ancient county and incorporated into London in 1889 and 1965, and in the latter year an area around Staines was transferred from Middlesex to the new administrative county of Surrey, There have been some other, more minor changes in the county boundary.

All these changes postdated the abolition of ecclesiastical jurisdiction over probate matters in 1858. The ancient county of Surrey is, therefore, what is meant whenever Surrey is mentloned here.

Surrey was in the province of Canterbury, and, mainly, in the diocese of Winchester. The Archdeaconry of Surrey consisted of that part of Surrey within the diocese of Winchester and the parish of Bentley in Hampshire, which was originally a chapelry of Farnham. Thirteen parishes in the county formed part of the exempt Deanery of Croydon, a peculiar of the Archbishop of Canterbury. For these parishes see the Map opposite, on page xii.

The probate records of the county of Surrey survive, therefore, among the records of a number of courts. The senior court for all England was the Archbishop's Prerogative Court, the superior court for all England (see Public Record Office, p.xliv), many early wills however are only preserved in the Archbishop's registers (see Lambeth Palace Library, page xliii). When the see of Canterbury was vacant, the archbishop's jurisdiction could be exercised by the Prior (later Dean) and Chapter of Canterbury (see Canterbury Cathedral Archives and Library, page xlv), Similarly, on a diocesan level, some Surrey wills appear in the medieval registers of the bishops of Winchester and many aore in his Consistory Court (see Hampshire Record Office, page xlii). After the Restoration, the bishop appointed a Comissary to act for the Archdeaconry of Surrey, and no further wills of Surrey testators are to be found in the Consistory Court. Most Surrey wills, however, are to be found in records of the Archdeaconry Court of Surrey (see Greater London Record Office, page xv) with a few strays in the British Library (see page xli). Wills proved in the Deanery of Croydon are also in Lambeth Palace Library (see page xliii). Part of the deanery together with most of south London was transferred to the diocese of London in 1845, and some Surrey wills very late in the period af ecclesiastical jurisdiction over probate matters are to be found in the records of the Consistory Court of London at the Greater London Record Office.

Probate Archives Covered by this Index

A. Greater London Record Office (GLR0)

I. Introduction

For this section of the introduction I have been especially reliant on the kindness of the GLRO for supplying me with their internally compiled interim lists of the records of the Archdeaconry Court of Surrey. These records were transferred from the Principal Probate Registry, Somerset House, Strand, London WC2 to the GLRO, The County Hall, London SE1 7PB on the 25th of March 1970. They were, of course, removed with the GLR0 itself, on its relocation in 1982 to 40 Northampton Road, Clerkenwell. I have here listed the records of this court for the period covered by this index, and I have added to the listing of the registers of wills, the notes made Mr Campbell Cooke on Registers 'Spage', 'Mathewe', 'Hychell', 'Heats', 'Pykman', 'Tully', 'Herringman', 'Berry' and 'Stoughton' [DW/PA/7/1-9] as to the physical composition etc, of the registers. However, I have updated, and in some cases substantially corrected these notes. I have added similar notes for Registers 'Peter', 'Yeast', 'Farmer' and 'Harding' [DW/PA/7/10-13], including a full listing of the years represented. In many of the registers, strict chronological order is by no means maintained.

These records have not always been stored in the conditions which they enjoy today, and they have suffered considerably from the ravages of time. While it has been possible to assign an original GLR0 reference number to every document, this should not be taken to indicate that the original is currently fit for production or available for consultation. While many of the documents have been repaired, guarded and filed, much remains to be done in this way (for example, currently, all of the original wills for 1623 are in too fragile a condition to be handled), and in any case, the documents are too precious to allow frequent consultation. Registers are large, bulky items, very prone to damage at the edges and of the binding; the original wills are, for the most part, still filed in their original bundles, and once again, frequent handling of them is most undesirable. Fortunately, there are substitutes readily available at the GLR0 (and in some cases elsewhere) which make such consultation only very rarely necessary, even where it is possible.

Firstly, most (though unfortunately not all) of the documents in the collection were microfilted by the Latter-Day Saints in the early 1950's, Copies of these films are available at Salt Lake City (and through Mormon Branch Libraries) and, of course, at the GLRO. Copies of all the films have recently been purchased by the Local Studies Library, North Street, Guildford.

Consultation of these documents even at the GLRO must in all normal circumstances be by microfilm. Accordingly, the lists which follow give the microfilm references where films are available, and searchers should convert the original document references given to the microfilm reference to examine either the original will or the register copy, or both, if both indeed survive. The first microfilm reference (beginning 1/32) is the GLRO microfilm reference. After this, in brackets (and beginning 0097) is the Mormon microfilm reference, and this should be used to locate the desired film in Mormon libraries or the Local Studies Library, Guildford.

Searchers should note that there is no surviving will register in the 1560-1594 period, and recourse has to be to the films of the original wills, but these, as described, may not be complete. In addition, inevitably, as with any filming operation, there are a few occassions when a will, or a page of a register has been missed, and it must be confessed that the film is not ideal. However, as documents were filmed regardless of their condition (deplorable as this may be by present archival standards) many appear on the film which are not currently, and are unlikely for some while to be, available in their original form in any circumstances. Wherever it has been noted in the indexing operation that the filming has missed a single will, or a folio or more of a register, a full transcript has been made of the missing material and a copy deposited at the GLR0, so that again, unnecessary consultation of the originals can be avoided. Furthermore a programe of abstracting wills has been started; these abstracts will contain all names, places, relationships and far as possible, subjects mentioned in the originals, so once again consultation of the originals should only rarely be necessary, even where possible.

Where the searcher comes across a reference which includes a register (i.e. a DW/PA/7/ reference), it will usually be easier to search for that, rather than for an original will, as the folio number, also given in this index, will be readily found in the top left hand corner on the film. Where only an original will reference (beginning DW/PA/5/) is found, or where it is necessary to consult an original as opposed to a register entry, then searchers will find it easiest to locate a will, after finding the desired year, by turning the film for each will to the frame showing the folded will, on which has been annotated in a modern hand the name of the testator, until they locate the will they want.

Two of the will registers ('Spage' and 'Herringman') have been printed in abstract form by the Surrey Record Society (Vol.4 [Herringman] and Vol.5 [Spage]) (1915-1922). Much of Register 'Pykman' has also been abstracted, and copies of the abstracts are to be found at the GLR0 and the SRO. An abstract has also been made of all the wills appearing in the will register now in the British Museum. An Indexed abstract of all unfilled wills in the period 1595-1649 is available at the GLRO and the Local Studies Library, Guildford. Wills in this abstract are denoted in this index by having a 'U' preceding their abstract number, so that a will reference followed by means that this will is unfilmed, and is the first abstract in the volume.

Furthermore, many will abstracts appear in the pages of Surrey Archaeological Society Collections. In all cases where an abstract has been noticed a note has been put in angle brackets <>, , for example means that the will concerned is the first will abstracted in the printed calendar of the register concerned. Other abstract references give the volume and page number of the Surrey Archaeological Society Collections where the abstract appears. Searchers finding references to these abstracted wills should be able to obtain all their information from the abstracts. A systematic search has been made of the S.A.C, volumes for will abstracts, of which many appear especially in the first few Volumes.

II. Document and Microfilm References

(a) Original wills [DW/PA/5/]

As stated above, the original wills are filed in annual bundles. Each bundle 1595-1649 is kept in alphabetical order by initial letter, but there has been some missorting of the bundles, so this is not always to be relied upon totally. For 1593 and before this help is generally not there, and wills are usually filed in strict chronological order within the year's bundle (except for 1558 and 1579 which have been rearranged in alphabetical order), though inevitably there has been some disturbance to this chronological order. In addition it is obvious from the current arrangement and the notes made by Campbell Cooke, together with a note on DW/PA/S/1558/302, that originally there were two sequences of unregistered wills, at least prior to 1593. It is apparent that there has been some substantial rearranged between the filling in the fifties, and the arrival of the records at the GLR0 in 1970. In any case, for the sake of the record, an asterisk appears in this list after the square bracket containing th« reference of those wills listed by Campbell Cooke as being 'Unregistered Wills I'. This is a much smaller sequence than 'Unregistered Wills II' which contains lost wills before 1593. The asterisk is not, of course, in the GLR0 reference, and should not be used in official references to the wills. Happily, one can report that only very few of the wills recorded by Campbell Cooke cannot now be traced.

Many individual wills are unfit for production within the bundles, though some years have been repaired, guarded and filed. The bundles are kept in boxes, and the wills are listed below by these boxes. Wills are occasionally found out of their correct year of probate, but the year used is fairly consistently the Old Style year, i.e. from 25 March to 24 March. The reference is in three parts, firstly DW/PA/5/ which is the overall reference for original wills of this court, secondly the year, and finally the number of the will within the bundle. Searchers are warned that they has undoubtedly been some (though hopefully limited) disturbance within the bundles, between the tlme of filming and the time of numbering each document. All the registers have been filmed, but not (as described above) all the original wills, and since the filming predated the numbering, the reference numbers which are now on original wills do not appear on the films.

For the early part of this period, both the terms original wills, and unregistered wills, though freely used herein, are misnomers. Documents in the 'Original Wills' series prior to 1595 are very rarely original wills, but in fact registered copies of original wills, even though they are not kept in registers (but often on sheets containing more than one will). Quite apart from the fact of the illiteracy of most people even of the will-making class, therefore, wills from this period do not make available the signatures of either testators or witnesses.

  • DW/PA/5/ 1534-1554 Original will Microfilm Ref. X/32/24; this film only covers wills from 1547. The Mormon microfilm reference is 0097180, and they list the film as covering all these wills.
  • DW/PA/5/ 1555-1557 Original wills Microfilm Ref. X/32/24 (0097180) (to Oct 1557); X/32/25 (0097181) (Oct 1557 - March 1557/58)
  • DW/PA/5/ 1558 Original wills Microfilm Ref. 1/32/25 (A-M) (0097181); X/32/26 (0097182) (M-Z)
  • DW/PA/5/ 1559-1560 Original wills No microfilm available for original wills, use film of register; microfilm ref, X/32/5-6 (0097153)
  • DW/PA/5/ 1561-1563 Original wills Microfilm Ref, X/32/26 (0097183) (March 1561 - March 1562/63); X/52/27 (0097184) (March 1562/63 - March 1563/64)
  • DW/PA/5/ 1564-1571 Original wills Microfilm Ref, X/32/27 (0097184) (June 1564-April 1569); X/32/28 (0097185) (1569-March 1571/72)
  • DW/PA/5/ 1572-1576 Original wills Microfilm Ref, X/32/29 (0097186-7)
  • DW/PA/5/ 1577-1581 Original wills Microfilm Ref, X/32/29 (0097187-9) (March 1578-March 1578/79); X/32/31 (0097187-9) (July 1581-March 1581/82); these films cover 1578 and 1581 only; there are no wills for 1577
  • DW/PA/5/ 1582-1587 Original wills Microfilm Ref, X/32/31 (0097191) (April 1582-Jan/March 1586/87); X/32/32 (0097192) (August 1586-March 1587/88)
  • DW/PA/5/ 1588-1591 Original wills Microfilm Ref, X/32/32 (0097192) (April-Oct 1588, March 1588/89, various 1589-1590); X/32/33 (0097193) (Oct 1588-March 1588/89, April 1591-March 1591/92)
  • DW/PA/5/ 1592-1594 Original wills Microfilm Ref. X/32/33 (0097193) (March-Oct 1592); X/32/34 (0097194) (Oct 1592-Oct 1593, Jan-March 1593/94); X/32/35 (0097195) (Oct-Dec 1593, May 1594)
  • DW/PA/5/ 1595-1597 Original wills Ko microfilm available for original wills, use film of register; microfilm ref, X/32/6 (0097154), or printed abstracts of will register
  • DW/PA/5/ 1598-1599 Original wills No microfilm available for original wills, use film of register; microfilm ref, X/32/6 (0097154), or printed abstracts of will register
  • DW/PA/5/ 1600-1602 Original wills So microfilm available for original wills, use film of register; microfilm ref, X/32/6 (0097154), or printed abstracts of will register
  • DW/PA/5/ 1603-1604 Original wills No microfilm available for original wills, use film of register; microfilm ref, X/32/6 (0097154), or printed abstracts of will register
  • DW/PA/5/ 1605-1606 Original wills No microfilm available for original wills, use film of register; microfilm ref, X/32/6 (0097154), or printed abstracts of will register
  • DW/PA/5/ 1607-1608 Original wills No microfilm available for original wilts, use film of register: microfilm ref, X/32/6 (0097154), or printed abstracts of will register
  • DW/PA/5/ 1609-1611 Original wills No microfilm available for original wills, use fill of register: microfilm ref, X/32/7 (0097155)
  • DW/PA/5/ 1612 Original wills No microfilm available for original wills, use fill of register; microfilm ref, X/32/7 (0097155)
  • DW/PA/5/ 1613-1614 Original wills No microfilm available for original wills, use fill of registers; microfilm ref, X/32/7-9 (0097155-6)
  • DW/PA/5/ 1615-1616 Original wills No microfilm available for original wills, use fill of register: microfilm ref, X/32/7-8 (0097155-6)
  • DW/PA/5/ 1617, 1619 (M) Original wills No microfilm available for original wills, use fill of register: microfilm ref, X/32/8-9 (0097156-7); no original wills survive for 1618
  • DW/PA/5/ 1619 (1-2), 1620-1621 Original wills No microfilm available for original wills, use fill of register; microfilm ref, X/32/7-8 (0097155-6)
  • DW/PA/5/ 1622-1624 Original wills Microfilm Ref, X/32/35 (0097197) (1622, 1623 A-H); X/32/36 (0097198)
  • DW/PA/5/ 1625 Original wills Microfilm Ref, X/32/37 (0097199); X/32/38 (0097200)
  • DW/PA/5/ 1626-1627 Original wills Microfilm Ref, X/32/38 (0097201); X/32/39 (0097202)
  • DW/PA/5/ 1628-1630 Original wills Microfilm Ref, X/32/39 (0097202); X/32/40 (0097203); X/32/41 (0097204)
  • DW/PA/5/ 1631-1633 Original wills No microfilm available for original wills, use film of register: microfilm ref. X/32/9 (0097158)
  • DW/PA/5/ 1634-1636 Original wills No microfilm available for original wills, use film of register: microfilm ref, X/32/9 (0097158)
  • DW/PA/5/ 1637-1638 Original wills No microfilm available for original wills, use film of register; microfilm ref, X/32/9 (0097158)
  • DW/PA/5/ 1639-1640 Original wills No microfilm available for original wills, use film of register; microfilm ref, X/32/10 (0097159)
  • DW/PA/5/ 1641-1642 Original wills No microfilm available for original wills, use film of register; microfilm rif, X/32/10 (0097159)
  • DW/PA/5/ 1643-1649 Original wills No microfilm available for original wills, use film of register; microfilm ref, X/32/10 (0097159)

There follows a list of the numbers of original wills filed in each year, with a note as to the numbering used, and of errors in numbering discovered during the compilation of this work. From 1534 to 1593 the documents are sorted chronologically within each year, except 1558 and 1579, which are sorted alphabetically.

  • 1534/1 (1) (William Upfold of Cranleigh - was originally misfiled in 1596)
  • 1535 no original wills survive for this year
  • 1536 no original wills survive for this year
  • 1537 no original wills survive for this year
  • 1538/1 (1) (Robert Richardson of St Margaret Southwark
  • 1539 no original wills survive for this year
  • 1534-1539 (2)
  • 1540 no original wills survive for this year
  • 1541 no original wills survive for this year
  • 1542 no original wills survive for this year
  • 1543/1-16 (16)
  • 1544/1-13 (no.4 is a sheet containing four wills; no.5 is a sheet containing four wills; no.6 is a sheet containing four wills; no.8 is a sheet containing three wills; no.9 has seven wills on four pages) (30)
  • 1545/1-21 (nos.19 and 20 are labels only) (19)
  • 1546/1-94 (nos.2,4,6,7,8,9,13,21,22,26,51,52,53,61,62,63,72,73,74,76,78, 79,81 and 92 are labels only; no.10 is a sheet containing three wills; no.11 is a sheet containing two wills; no.23 is a sheet containing two wills; no.24 is a sheet containing two wills; no.75 is a sheet containing four wills) (78)
  • 1547/1-29 (29)
  • 1548/1-3 (3)
  • 1549/1-3 (3)
  • 1540-1549 (178)
  • 1550/1-114 (nos.72,74 and 75 are labels only; no.76 is a sheet containing two wills) (112)
  • 1551 no original wills survive for this year
  • 1552/1-31 (nos.29 and 30 are two copies of the same will) (30)
  • 1553 no original wills survive for this year
  • 1554 no original wills survive for this year
  • 1555/1-85 (nos,17,18,20,21,23,32,41,60,61,62,63 and 64 are labels only; no.1 is a quasi-register with four wills on four pages; no, 14 is a quasi-register with five wills on four pages; no,67 is a quasi-register with three wills on four pages; no,68 is a quasi-register with three wills on four pages; no,6 is a proxy for no,33) (83)
  • 1556/1-16 (nos,1 and 2 are labels only) (14)
  • 1557/1-145 (nos,9,33,57,76,77,80-86 incl.,107 and 109 are labels only; then are two x no,60; no,72 is a sheet with two wills on it; no.75 is a quasi-register containing eight pages and ten wills; no,88 is a sheet with two wills on it; no,120 is a sheet with two wills on it; no,97 is the first will not examined by Campbell Cooke) (144)
  • 1558/1-302 (this year is arranged in alphabetical order; nos, 61,62,71,93, 96,97,99,123,130,156,164,171,176,183,199,203,235,248,251,264,265 and 302 are labels only; no,301 consists of three lists of names, but contains no will; no,76 is a quasi-register containing seven wills on four pages; no,166 is a quasi-register containing eight wills on four pages; no,186 is a quasi-register containing four wills on four pages; no,302 is a piece of cardboard on which are listed the names of testator's in the 'Supplementary' series of wills, and from which it is clear that when there was such a series, it was not kept in alphabetical order - this is in any case clear from Campbeii Cooke's notes) (295)
  • 1559/1-244 (nos, 23,24,44,103,147,169,172,184,190,191,205 and 218 are labels only; no,29 is a quasi-register having two wills on four pages (one of which is registered in 'Tully' and one is not); no. 30 is a quasi-register also having two wills on four pages; no,174 is a quasi-register having six wills on four pages; no,195 is a proxy for no,193; a few wills from 1560 are filed with, and numbered as, 1559) (238)
  • 1550-1559 (916)
  • 1560 the few original wills for this year are filed with 1559
  • 1561/1-90 (2 x no,18) (91)
  • 1562/1-88 (this year has been repaired, guarded and filed) (88)
  • 1563/1-124 (nos.54-59 incl, are labels only; no,64 is a quasi-register of twelve pages containing six wills, but three have originals filed also; no,65 is a quasi-register of sixteen pages containing ten wills; no, 120 is a sheet containing two wills) (130)
  • 1564 the few original wills for this year are filed in 1565 1565/1-12 (12)
  • 1566 no original wills survive for this year
  • 1567 no original wills survive for this year
  • 1568/1-89 (nos,4,15,16,54 and 67 are labels only) (84)
  • 1569/1-86 (86)
  • 1560-1569 (491)
  • 1570/1-104 (nos,1,3,30,31 and 36 are labels only; there are two x no,27) (100)
  • 1571/1-96 (nos,12,42,43 and 72 are labels only; no,22 is the note of a grant of adainistration in respect of four people) (95)
  • 1572/1-27 (nos,I and 24 are labels only) (25)
  • 1573 no original wills survive for this year
  • 1574/1-45 (nos,2,10,28-33 incl, and 40 are labels only; but 1574/14 is a quasi-register of twenty-six pages (six of them blank) containing nine wills) (44)
  • 1575/1-90 (nos.I,24,67 and 88 are labels only) (86)
  • 1576/1-156 (nos,1,31,84,87,88,104,105 and 139 are labels or wrappers only, while no,142 is a proxy for no,141) (147)
  • 1577 no original wills survive for this year
  • 1578/1-112 (nos,30,57 and 86 are labels or wrappers only, and nos.68 and 70, and nos,69 and 72, are the same wills) (107)
  • 1579/1-107 (nos.48,57,61 and 62 are labels only) (103)
  • 1570-1579 (707)
  • 1580/1-72 (no,9 is only a label) (71)
  • 1581/1-67 (no,l is not a will, but a note of "the names of such testaments as were delivered to William Philipps to registred [sic] for the year 1581 hereafter followeth"; nos,3 and 33 are labels or wrappers only and nos,34 and 45 are identical wills) (64)
  • 1582/1-106 (nos.l,20,54,55,87 and 103 are labels or wrappers only) (102)
  • 1583/1-4 (on no,2 a pencil note "Is this the will, one of a list of seven given on the back of Averie, 1592') (4)
  • 1584/1-3 (3)
  • 1585/1-4 (4)
  • 1586/1-45 (45) (this year's wills have been repaired, guarded and filed)
  • 1587/1-126 (nos,1,2,4 and 121 are only labels or wrappers, and no,83 is a proxy for no,88) (121) 1588/1-92 (92)
  • 1589/1-2 (2)
  • 1580-1569 (504)
  • 1530/1 (1)
  • 1591/1-115 (115)
  • 1592/1-124 (2 x no,102) (125)
  • 1593/1-208 (nos,104,111,112,140,143,145,177,192 and 205 are only labels or covers, but two x no,180) (200) (this year's wills have been repaired, guarded and filed) 1594 no original wills survive for this year

{From 1595-1649 the original wills have been, sorted within each year, into bundles for each letter of the alphabet, though there has been some limited missorting)

  • 1595/1-97 (97) (this year's wills have been repaired, guarded and filed)
  • 1596/1-67 (67) (this year's wills have been repaired, guarded and filed)
  • 1597/1-122 (122) (this year's wills have been repaired, guarded and filed)
  • 1598/1-94 (94) (this year's wills have been repaired, guarded and filed)
  • 1539/1-101 (101) (this year's wills have been repaired, guarded and filed)
  • 1590-1599 (922)
  • 1600/1-56 (56) (this year's wills have been repaired, guarded and filed)
  • 1601/1-92 (92) (this year's wills have been repaired, guarded and filed)
  • 1602/1-94 (no nos.51,57,71 or 88) (90) (this year's wills have been repaired, guarded and filed)
  • 1603/1-191 (3 x no,16) (188)
  • 1604/1-75 (2 x no,39, two x no,40 ind two x no,53) (72)
  • 1605/1-105 (nos,95 and 96 refer to the same name) (104) (this year's wills have been repaired, guarded and filed)
  • 1606/1-107 (107) (this year's wills have been repaired, guarded and filed)
  • 1607/1-110 (nos,20 and 21,2S and 26, 67 and 68 and 95 and 96 are of the same name in each case) (106) (this year's wills have been repaired, guarded and filed)
  • 1608/1-119 (119)
  • 1609/1-131 (two x no,55) (132)
  • 1600-5609 (1066)
  • 1610/1-150 (150)
  • 1611/1-126 (126)
  • 1612/1-178 (178)
  • 1613/1-144 (144)
  • 1614/1-142 (142)
  • 1615/1-146 (146)
  • 1616/1-153 (153)
  • 1617/1-142 (142)
  • 1618 no original wills survive for this year
  • 1619/1-136 (136)
  • 1610-1619 (1317)
  • 1620/1-142 (142)
  • 1621/1-136 (two x no,34) (137)
  • 1622/1-112 (two x no,52) (113)
  • 1623/1-137 (137) (all wills from this year are unfit for production)
  • 1624/1-147 (two x no,28 & two x no,29) (149)
  • 1625/1-282 (two x no,243) (283)
  • 1626/1-137 (two x no,37 & two x no,38) (139)
  • 1627/1-111 (two x no,59) (112)
  • 1628/1-115 (115)
  • 1629/1-112 (112)
  • 1620-1629 (1439)
  • 1630/1-126 (126)
  • 1631/1-122 (no,68 and 69 same item + wrapper; two x no,92) (122)
  • 1632/1-112 (two x no,7) (113)
  • 1633/1-115 (two x no,41) (116)
  • 1634/1-115 (115)
  • 1635/1-135 (135)
  • 1636/1-114 (114)
  • 1637/1-105 (two x no,41, two x no,67) (107)
  • 1638/1-160 (no nos.43-47, but two x no,138) (156)
  • 1639/1-156 (+ one due to misnumbering) (157)
  • 1630-1639 (1261)
  • 1640/1-173 (173)
  • 1641/1-148 (- one due to label; + two due to misnubering) (149)
  • 1642/1-94 (+ one due to misnumbering) (95)
  • 1643/1-98 (+ two because of misnumbering) (100)
  • 1644/1-20 (+ cover) (20)
  • 1645/1-65 (65)
  • 1646/1-60 (60)
  • 1647/1-20 (20)
  • 1648/1-46 (46)
  • 1643/1-19 (13)
  • 1640-1649 (747)
  • 1534-1649 (8,554)

(b) Registers of wills [DW/PA/7/1-13]

These ire the registers into which most but not all wills were copied. However, not only were not all wills registered during periods covered by registers, but registers either were not kept, or do not survive for several periods. There is one known early register which has strayed from archdiaconal custody, and is in the Department of Western Manuscripts, The British Library (Add,(MS,24,925) which fills a small part of the gap between Register 'Pykman' ending in 1541 and Register 'Tully' beginning in 1559, having 65 wills registered dating mainly from 1543-1544. This register contains 23 leaves and there are two leaves of an index of a later date. An abstract of the entries in it has been made and copies deposited with the British Library itself, the Greater London Record Office, the Surrey Record Office, the Guildhall Library, the Guildford Muniment Room, the Society of Genealogists and West and East Surrey Family History Society libraries.

It was the custom in some courts for will registers to be named after the first testator recorded in them, and this was the pre-Commonwealth practice in the Archdeaconry Court of Surrey: For details of probate procedure reference should be aade to Surrey Record Society number 17 (Dec 1922). At this time (1989), registers 'Spage', 'Michell', 'Pykman', 'Tully' and 'Herringman' are unfit for production; the other registers are not available for consultation, as they are fully covered by microfilms. Careful note should be taken of the folio numbers given in this index; none of the volumes are in perfect chronological order, and the later ones, from 1608 onwards, are in some considerable chronological disarray, with register 'Yeast' having some entries repeated. It would appear that these registers were compiled by a clerk working at dictation; this is the strong impression gained by the archivist who has done most work on them, though in the absence of procedural records of the court, this must remain conjectural.

For the first two registers, especially, but for all registers to some extent, the years' numbers are approximate, as the date of probate is frequently omitted, when the date of filing the will is all that can be used. The years used in these calculations are Old Style, i,e, 25 March to 25 March. In the notes on earliest and latest entries however, as in the body of the index, wherever a year appears in isolation (i,e, not where it forms part of the reference) it has been rendered in New Style. The registers are foliated in roman numerals up to and including 'Tully' and in arabic numerals thereafter.

DW/PA/7/1 Oct 1480, July 1482, July 1484-Jan 1490 Will register 'Spage' Microfilm Ref, 1/32/4 (OQ971S2); printed calendar (Surrey Record Society No, 17, alternatively known as Vol,5 of the Society's publications).

The register is 11" x 8", paper, bound in vellum but some sections now loose; the whole is boxed, with folios numbered from 1 to 101. The lower half of f,44 is torn off and missing, mutilating two wills; possibly others are missing. A folio is missing which Rodman states to be f,93. The register has suffered from damp damage.

Year FoliosNo. of wills in yrYear FoliosNo. of wills in yr
1481none 148735,47,51-8038
1483none 148990-10125
Total number of wills 276
Earliest entry; made 12 Sep 1469 (William Hooks)
Latest entry; made 26 Fab 1490 (Wllliam Woodstock)

Note: For more detail on this series see the Volume images.

B. British library

This Library's main holding of Surrey probate material is what appears to be a stray will register from the Archdeaconry Court of Surrey from the early 1540's, This document (Additional As, 24,925) came into the library from the sale room in the early nineteenth century, and its earlier provenance is unknown.

Abstracts have been made (and indexed) of all the wills appearing in this register, and copies supplied to various libraries, including the British Library itself, the Surrey Record Office and the greater London Record Office.

Entries are here referenced in the form: [BR; Add,Ms 24,925 f,17v; 1542]

As can be seen, an indication of the year has been given, as well as the number of the abstract.

This volume fills a small part of the gap between registers Pykman and Tully (Greater London Record Office refs, W/PA/7/5-6) (1541-1559), which is only very partially filled by the surviving original wills, none of which is duplicated in Add, Ms 24,925.

The register is of paper and 8" x 12", and has a late eighteenth or early nineteenth century binding of morocco leather, with ornate marbled end-papers. At the front there is a note that the register was 'purchased at Messrs Boon 12 July 1862'. Its prior provenance is unknown.

The first two folios of the register consist of a nineteenth century list of the wills it contains. This has not been copied. The main portion of the text consists of folios 3-25, and contain the details of some 60-odd wills. This modern foliation in pencil and arabic numerals supercedes the original, contemporary foliation in ink and roman numerals. At an intermediate, probably nineteenth century, date, the volume has been paginated in ink; this pagination, which follows the current order of the folloe has been ignored in this work. When the register was re-bound, the folios were not kept in the same order as the original foliation. There follows a concordance of the new and original folio numbers.

New OriginalNew OriginalNew OriginalNew Original

This rearrangement causes less disruption to the text than one might suppose, since the clerks did not frequently allow a will to run on from one folio to the next, but that there was originally more to this register than now survives is shown by the fact that folios 1 and 12 are missing and that the will of John Alynson (which is the last will on original f,25) ends in mid-sentence, and clearly continued on now-lost f .26. Most of the text is in a single hand, though then are some wills in other hands.

C. Hampshire Record Office. Winchester

The office has two holdings of Surrey-testamentary material. Firstly, it holds the registers of the bishop of Winchester in which many wills and probates were entered, presumably for security. While such registrations continued until near the end of our period, the main bulk are from the medieval registers.

Secondly, the bishop proved wills of Surrey testators in the Consistory Court of Winchester at this time. This court was superior to the Archdeaconry Court of Surrey, so tends to have the wills of testators of a standing between those proved in the Archdeaconry Court, and those proved in the Prerorogative Court of Canterbury. At the Restoration, the bishop appointed a Commissary for the Archdeaconry of Surrey, and ceased to prove the wills of Surrey testators in the Consistory Court. The records of the Commissary Court, dating from 1662, are in the Greater London Record Office. Both the Consistory Court, and its Surrey successor, the Commissary Court, were able to grant adainlstrations. The Archdeaconry Court was only able to grant administrations with will annexed, host wills and administrations proved in the Consistory Court have an inventory attached. These inventories, and the wills to which they refer are being abstracted for the Elizabethan period by Miss Marion Herridge and the Domestic Buildings Research Group, with a view to publication by the Surrey Record Society, Surrey Probate Inventories (ed, J.Holaan & R,Herridge, 1386) lists all known Surrey probate inventories.

The first series are referenced by the abbreviated name of the bishop (followed by the number of the register, if the bishop concerned had more than one) and then a page reference and year, in the form: [HRO; Reg, Edn 2 p.10; 1347]

The second series are very simply referenced at the Hampshire Record Office and this reference has been adopted here. A few wills are in class 'U' (unidentified court series), but most in class 'B', while the administrations form class 'Ad'. The reference consists of the year the class number, and the number of the docuaent within the year, in the form: [HRO; 1584 B37]

A few Surrey wills also appear in various registers and act books of the bishop; again the HRO reference has been used here.

Two problems should be noted with regard to the Hampshire Record Office holdings. Firstly, previous lists of Surrey wills proved in the bishop's courts (especially that made by Willis which went to the Surrey Record Office) have often listed testators from Hampshire parishes which have the same or similar names as Surrey parishes. The main problems lie with:

  • Banstead, Surrey and Binstead, Hampshire
  • Brailey, Surrey and Hampshire
  • Chilworth (St Martha's], Surrey and Chilworth, Hampshire
  • Ewhurst, Surrey and Hampshire
  • Farleigh, Surrey and Hampshire
  • Headley, Surrey and Hampshire
  • Kingston, Surrey and Hampshire
  • Sutton, Surrey and Bishops Sutton, Hampshire
  • Wotton, Surrey and Wootton, Hampshire

Most of these have been eliminated, but an element of doubt retains in a few cases. In any case, In Appendix I will be found a list of all wills noted by Willis as of Surrey testators not included in the main index.

Typescript calendars were made of the Consistory Court wills many years ago, directly from early manuscript ones. These calendars list a number of wills which never appear to have come into the HRO, especially for the first thirty years of the sixteenth century, though there are one or two later ones which appear to be missing, too. The reference used here for such wills is; [? HRO: 1529]

D. Lambeth Palace Library

There are two series of records of Surrey testamentary material in the Lambeth Palace Library.

Firstly, many wills, probates and administrations were entered, presumably for safe-keeping, in the registers of the archbishops of Canterbury. While this continued for most of our period, the bulk of such entries date from the medieval period, and are not duplicated in the surviving records of any other court. Printed indexes have appeared to these records in The Genealogist, later consolidated as far as wills are concerned in Index to Wills recorded in the Archiepiscopal Registers at Lambeth Palace (edited by J. Challoner Saith, 1919). Entries appear here in the form: [LPL; Reg, Abp Arundel ii f.103; Will 1408]

There are 481 early wills in a larger series, as a result of the archbishop of Canterbury's direct peculiar jurisdiction over, inter ilia, the Deanery of Croydon. This peculiar comprised the following parishes: Barnes; Burstow; Charlwood; Cheam; Croydon; East Horsley; Merstham; Mortlake; Newington; Putney; Wimbledon

Testators in these parishes could either prove in the court of the Deanery of Croydon, or in the Prerogative Court of Canterbury. Neither the Archdeaconry Court nor the Consistory Court of Winchester had jurisdiction over testators from these parishes. The records only survive from 1814, however, originally they were transferred from Somerset House (where they had been deposited since the end of ecclesiastical testamentary authority in 1858) to the Kent Archives Office, Maidstone. While they were there they, and the records of two other archiepiscopal peculiars (the Deanery of the Arches and the Deanery of Shoreham) were filled by the Mormons (film nos, 189094- 189130), They are, therefore, available at Mormon Centres. Later, however, the records of all three peculiars were transferred to the Lambeth Palace Library, which already held the bishop's transcripts and allegations for marriage licences of these peculiars. All will references are preceded by the reference VH 96/; the documents being numbered in alphabetical order. There is also an Act Book, reference VH 98/1. Finally, there are testamentary case papers c, 1629-1832 (class VH 82), however there is only one pre-Commonwealth case, and this does not concern a Surrey testator. Act book entries are in latin and give record the act of probate or grant of administration or renunciation only. Where there is no VH 96 reference, therefore, there is no original will. For ease of reference VH has been omitted in this index, entries being in the form: [LPL; 96/1160; Will 1627].

E. The Public Record Office

The vast majority of the Surrey wills in the Public Record Office are those proved in the Prerogative Court of Canterbury, which exercised superior jurisdiction over the whole country. Indexes to these wills have been printed already from their beginning in 1383 to after the end of our period, by the British Record Society and others. However, it was felt useful to have a union listing of early wills, and therefore each of the printed indexes has been searched for Surrey testators, and references inserted herein. The only exception is that Southwark testators have been omitted as they would hive unreasonably swelled this index.

It is noteworthy that a number of wills proved in local courts were also proved in the Prerogative Court, no doubt for the additional security entailed. This is not just a case of wills being referred to a superior jurisdiction, though this happens; a number of wills are proved, successively in two separate courts.

Indexes have also been printed to all the administrations granted in the Prerogative Court for our period, from their beginning in 1558. Again all Surrey references, with the exception of Southwark have been noted, and entries made in this index.

Many of these wills and administrations have surviving inventories; only this court and the Consistory Court of Winchester have surviving inventories of Surrey testators in any numbers.

Many abstracts of Prerogative Court Surrey wills have appeared in Surrey Archaeological Collections including a fairly systematic series for the first decade of the seventeenth century. Registers "Soame" (1620) and "Scroope" (1630) have been abstracted and printed. All the abstracts in this journal and these two published works have been noted here, but no attempt has been made to search for abstracts in the many other possible sources for them.

In addition to the Prerogative Court of Canterbury, there are stray Surrey wills in various of the collections at the Public Record Office. Many have been listed, and those falling within our period have been given references here, but many others, no doubt, remain to be discovered.

F. Surrey Record Office; G. Guildford Muniment Room; H. London Borough of Lambeth Archives Department; I. Southwark Local Studies Library

There are no archives of wills is such in these record offices. There are, however, a number of stray wills in collections of deeds and other muniments. Many may retain in unlisted collections. The list of those at Guildford was kindly provided by Mrs S. Cork, the archivist in charge, the others were abstracted from the lists and calendars in the two offices concerned by the editor. While most of the wills in these offices will also be found in the regular series, a number are not. For example, in the London Borough of Lambeth Archives Department (formerly called the Minet library) there is an inventory to a will preserved elsewhere without a copy of the inventory.

These wills may be copies kept by executors or they lay never have gone to probate. Alternatively, they may have been lost from the regular series, which all have gaps and missing items.

J. Cathedral Archives and Library, Canterbury

This library holds those wills proved in the Court of the Prior (later Dean) and Chapter of Christ Church, Canterbury. This court had jurisdiction during archiepiscopal vacancies in place of the Prerogative Court of Canterbury. Known therefore as Sede Vacante wills, an index to its records was printed in Kent Archaeological Society, Records Branch Vol,3 (1914).

Most of the wills date from the periods 1500-1501 and 1503, and are mainly duplicated in the records of the Prerogative Court. They are referenced here in the form: [CCAL: 1500 f ,201].

Editorial Method

1. Surnames

Surnames have been standardised as far as possible and grouped, with full cross-referencing from aberrant forms. Minor differences, such as 'i' for 'y' and 'ei' for 'ie' have been noted in the surname heading, and fully cross-referenced, but it has not been noted for which specific entries within each surname such varieties occur. In these latter cases, the manuscript form will be found in single inverted commas after the christian name. More major differences have been noted in the specific entry, some 100 (approximately two-thirds) of Surrey parishes have surviving burial records prior to 1643, and for the sixty-odd parishes for which mranscripts wen easily available to the editor, then doubtful entries have been cross-checked with the burial register and notes made.

For some surnames, it is impossible to avoid some confusion in early records between what are now distinct names. To give just one example, 'Blak' may be Black or Blake. Every attempt has been made to cross-reference these confusabilia, but undoubtedly some remain unnoticed.

Surnames of foreigners, mainly French and Dutch people in Southwark have not been modernised or grouped, as this would generally be most dangerous, unless the manuscript form of the surname also occurs for natives, and has been grouped there. Wherever a foreigner was noted during the indexing, this has been mentioned in the index entry.

Entries of testators using aliases have been been fully entered under both (or in a few cases, all) surnames, except where the alias has been used by the original clerk merely to indicate a variant of the same surname. Similarly, entries beginning with de, le, van etc, are given full entries under both elements of the surname. In the few cases of Welshten etc, where the name consists of a patronytic, again full entries have been made under all elements of the name.

2. Christian names

All Christian names have been modernised to their standard modern form, apart from foreigners. Particularly aberrant forms (and doubtful ones) have been signalled by the manuscript forms appearing in single inverted commas after the modernised forms. Few standardised forms will give rise to any problem, but it may be noted that Catherine has been consistently rendered Katherine and Jeffrey, Geoffrey. When Denis, Julian and Phillip cearly refer to women, these names have been given as Denise, Juliana and Phillipa, 'Jhon' a quite frequent name, may be either John or Joan. It has therefore been left in its manuscript form, within single inverted commas, when the will itself gives no indication of the sex of the testator.

Happily, the name almost always comes between Joan and John in the alphabetical sequence of christian names for any given surname, 'Jhone', 'Jone' have been rendered Joan in all cases, 'Johis' etc, as John. Wherever the name Frances, Francis or other variant occurs, Frances has been used for female testators, Francis for male, and the manuscript form in single inverted commas for entries where the sex is not clear. 'Betteres' etc, has been rendered into its modern form of Beatrice, but the occasional foreigner of this name has been given the more correct foreign fort of Beatrix.

In Appendix II will be found a list of unusual Christian names keyed to the appropriate surname or surnames.

3. Places

All identifiable places have been spelled in their modern forms as used in the English Place Name Society's work on Surrey placenames, or for places outside of Surrey, in their modern gazetteer spelling. Any placenames which are unidentifiable have been left in their manuscript form and enclosed in single inverted commas.

Every attempt has been made to assign minor placenames to their correct ancient parish. Where the ancient parish is not given in the will it has been given in square brackets after the minor placename. A few places give rise to minor difficulties in Surrey. For the purposes of this index, I have used ancient parish to mean any place which habitually kept its own parish registers prior to 1800. This includes several places which were not technically parishes, such as Ripley [in Send] and Bramley [in Shalford]. Wanborough ceased keeping registers in the seventeenth century, but is clearly a parish for our purposes; Cuddington kept no registers as far as is known, but again is clearly a parish. Waverley, a liberty totally surrounded by Farnha., has been treated as a place within the latter parish. Wallington and Walworth kept no registers, though they were separate from their mother parishes of Beddington and Newington for most purposes, and are thus indexed under the latter. Chilworth has always been entered as St Martha's.

For some reason, many indexers in the past have given the dedication of certain churches in south London in index entries; in particular St Hary Magdalen Bermondsey; St Mary Newington Butts; St Mary Rotherhithe and, more occasionally, and inconsistently, St Giles Camberwell and St Mary Lambeth. Since prior to 1800 these parishes only had one parish church, this is wasteful of space, and the parishes concerned have been consistently rendered Bermondsey, Newington, Rotherhithe, Camberwell and Lambeth herein. It is, of course, necessary to give the parochial dedication in the case of the Southwark churches; and as there is often some confusion as to these, a short note of explanation is appended.

For some wills, it has been possible to include every place name mentioned in the will, for most, only the testator's parish has been listed.

There were five parishes in Southwark in late medieval times; St George, St Margaret, St Mary Overy, St Olave and St Thomas. The situation was complicated, because St Mary Overy was a 'double church'. St Mary Overy itself was appropriated to the services of the priory, while the church building was also dedicated to St Mary Magdalene Overy which was the appropriated to the parish and served the people. There has additionally been some confusion between St Mary Magdalene Overy, Southwark, and St Mary Magdalen Bermondsey, a completely separate parish church. This confusion is increased by Bermondsey Monastery being dedicated to St Saviour and this dedication being given to the new parish church which was founded when the monasteries were dissolved, the priory suppressed, and the two entities of St Mary Overy and the parish of St Margaret united. The name St Mary Overy was still used in records well into the nineteenth century. St Thomas was basically a charitable foundation, then as now, a hospital, but the hospital was moved to a new site in Laabeth, and in 1898 the parish of St Thomas Southwark was merged with St Saviour. There were also a nuaber of gaols in Southwark, the Clink, the Compter, the King's Bench, the Marshalsea, and the White Lion, and occasionally testators are found who were unfortunate enough to be incarcerated there at the time of taking their wills.

With the growth of Southwarks population, new parishes were created; Christ Church in 1670 from the old Paris Garden liberty of St Saviour, and St John Horsleydown in 1733 from St Olave. St Olave is situated in Tooley Street (itself a corruption of Olave's) and is often to be found as 'St Toolies' or similar in records. In this index, there are a few early testators who give their parish as St Margaret Southwark, and this has naturally been retained, and any rendering of St Olave modernised. St Mary Overy has also been retained where found, and St Mary Magdalene Southwark, though it is to be feared that there has been some misconflation with Bermondsey testators.

4. Trades and Occupations

All identifiable trades and occupations have been rendered in their modern form. Those few not identifiable have been placed in single inverted commas. As far as possible cognate occupations have been grouped and cross-referred in the Index of Trades and Occupations.

5. References

Apart from wills and administrations in the Prerogative Court of Canterbury, which have been referenced siiply by 'PCC' followed by either 'Will' or 'Admon' and the year of probate, the call numbers of the various repositaries have been used in referencing the documents indexed herein. All references have been enclosed in square brackets. The Greater London Record Office and the Hampshire Record Office include the year of probate within the reference of original wills; in all cases where the reference does not give the year of probate, this has been noted in the index entry. In the few cases at the Greater London Record Office where the reference as given does not reflect the actual year of probate, this has been noted in the index, and estimates of the date have been made in the few cases where this is in doubt.

6. Abstracts

Where an abstract of a will is available, this has been noted in angle brackets. S.A.C. refers to the Surrey Archeological Society's Collections; for the printed calendars to registers Spage and Herringman [DW/PA/7/1 and DW/PA/7/7] merely the abstract number within the printed volume has been given, and this practice has been followed with the abstracts now being made to other will sequences. A similar practice has been followed with regard to the printed abstracts to the PCC will registers Soame (1620) and Scroope (1630).

Comprehensive notes have been made of will abstracts in the Surrey Archaeological Collections but no other journals or other secondary works have been searched for them.