Lichfield Consistory Court Wills, 1650-1700

Discover your ancestor’s will from the diocese of Lichfield and Coventry, including parts of Staffordshire, Warwickshire, Derbyshire and Shropshire. You will find the name of the testator, occupation and residence. Wills are valuable resources for your family tree.

Locating the original documents

The original wills are held at Lichfield Record Office. To obtain a copy of the original will or administration, download a copyright/order form from Lichfield Record Office. Complete this and post with the remittance for the cost of the will etc. to Lichfield Record Office. A copy of Lichfield Record Office’s Fees and Charges is also available online. Currently there is a standard charge irrespective of the number of pages.

Each record includes a transcript of the original court record. The amount of information in each transcript can differ, but most will include a combination of the follow:

  • Name of testator
  • Occupation
  • Entry date
  • Testator’s place and county of residence
  • Court
  • Document type
  • Additional notes

Discover more about these records

This record set is an index to wills and other testamentary documents recorded in the Lichfield Consistory Court 1650-1700. The index includes the name of the testator plus occupation, place of residence and type of document.

Prior to 1858, probate was handled by the ecclesiastical or church courts with jurisdiction in archdeaconries, dioceses of bishops (consistory courts) and provinces of the archbishops of Canterbury and York. There were also areas exempt from archdiaconal and episcopal jurisdictions known as "peculiars".

Ecclesiastical court jurisdiction was by archdeaconries and dioceses, which often - but not always - coincided with county boundaries. Between 1541 and 1836 the diocese of Lichfield and Coventry was extensive, covering the entire counties of Staffordshire and Derbyshire, north Shropshire and north Warwickshire. The bishop of Lichfield and Coventry had general jurisdiction over probate within this area, which was exercised through the Lichfield Consistory Court.

Types of Documents

The types of documents found within the index include:

  • Adm. – Administration If a person died without leaving a will (intestate), someone (usually a relative) could apply to the probate court for a grant of administration, which would allow them to deal with the estate.
  • Inv. - A list of the testator's property.
  • Will - A written statement by which a person sets out how he/she wishes their property etc. to be distributed after their death.

To read more about the Church of England Courts or read the original introduction to these records written by Cliff Webb explore the Useful Links and Resources section on the Lichfield Consistory Court Wills search screen.