Court of the Archdeaconry of London
Step By Step
1. First search indexes (see below). Indexes help you more quickly find the will or admon, so write down each detail cited in an indexed entry.
2. Proceed to the "Records" (below) to determine what probate records exist for this court.
3. Contact or visit The Guildhall Library, or, hire a professional record searcher to view these records on your behalf. Officials may send upon request a list of record searchers.
4. Or, visit The Family History Library, or, one of its 4,500 satellite family history centers worldwide and search indexes see the Family History Library's Catalog providing the microfilms so you can have them circulated to the center near you for searching the wills). The information obtained from the index[es] will help you more quickly search the wills and admons which can also be circulated on microfilm via any family history .
The Archdeaconry Court of London probate records have to some extent been indexed with the following ones:
A general will index (partial) for this probate court covering much of Middlesex County, including London, is available online for a fee.
Printed and Published Indexes
The Metropolitan Archives and Library compiled and published a complete surname index covering wills and administrations from 1363 to 1786.
- 1363-1700 -
A probate index for the Archdeaconry Court of London from 1363 to 1700 has been compiled by the British Record Society in its extensive publications (vols 89 and 98). These publications are likely available in most major United States (especially university libraries) and United Kingdom Archives and libraries as well as including The Family History Library.
- 1700-1807 - Webb, Cliff. An Index of Wills Proved in the Archdeaconry Court of London, 1700-1807. London: Society of Genealogists Enterprises Ltd., 1996. FHL 942.1 P22w; digital version at British Origins ($).
- 1750-1858 - A comprehensive will and admon index to most of London's (including Greater L.) probate courts for the years covering 1750-1858, is Dr David Wright's London Probate Index
Original Handwritten Indexes:
Calendars to this Probate court exist covering acts of Wills and Administrations (Admons) exist from 1368-1786. Calendars are a kind of index (of the first letter of each surname) to the probate records and admons (administrations).
In addition to the calendars, a majority of the original (unregistered) wills and the registered wills are alphabetically arranged at The Guildhall Library and are likewise organized on the microfilmed probates for this court at the Family History Library. Visit The Guildhall Library or the Family History Library Catalog under London, England to determine availability of records.
Microfilmed Indexes at the Family History Library:
- Indexes of Wills and Admons (Administrations) are available on microfilm at the Family History Library covering the years 1368-1781 and may be circulated to each of its satellite Family History Centers (see Court of the Archdeaconry of London), or go to this Family History Library Catalog page.
- A published index (2 volumes) is available in the Library, called Index to testamentary records in the Archdeaconry Court of London, by Marc Fitch. See FHL book call no. 942 B4b vols 89 & 98.
The Guildhall Library
London EC2P 2EJ
Tel: 0171 332 1863
Fax: 0171 600 3384
Opening Times: Mon-Sat. 9:30am-4:45pm
Website: For help in the original records of this court contact The Guildhall Library.
To access these records, write to or visit this archive at the above address. Officials of this court will provide a list of record searchers if requested.
- Calendar Wills & Administrations (Admons) 1368-1781
- Origial Wills 1524-1718
- Registered Wills 1368-1807
- Probate & Admon Acts 1563-1790
- Examination & Deposition Books 1632-1692
- "Instance" Book 1636-1648
- Assignation Books 1635-1781
- Inventories 1662-1695
- Caveat Books (mainly testamentary) 1675-1821
Family History Library Records
Calendar of Wills and Administrations (admons) 1368-1781
Original Wills 1524-1781
Registered (Copied) Wills 1368-1807
Probate & Admon Acts 1563-1790
Examinations & Deposition Books 1632-1692
"Instance" Book 1636-1648
Assignation Books 1635-1781
Caveat Books (mainly testamentary) 1675-1821
Also, collection called "Wills" 1617-1807
Probate records of the Archdeaconry Court of London commence from as early as 1368 to1786; 1807. As the eighteenth century progressed, the wills of more and more residents who lived in this jurisdiction were proved in the Prerogative Court of Canterbury. The last will proved in the Archdeaconry Court of London is dated 1807. This court held some jurisdiction over 42 City of London parishes and also the following eight (8) Middlesex County parishes of Greater London (see "London Parishes and Their Court Jurisdictions" on the London Probate Records page):
- Clerkenwell St James
- Clerkenwell St John
- St John the Baptist, Savoy
- St Leonard Shoreditch
- St George the Martyr
- St Martin in the Fields, Westminster
- St Andrew Holborn above the Bars
- St Peter ad Vincula, Tower
British Origins offers a free online list of parishes included within this probate jurisdiction:
- Cliff Webb, An Index of Wills Proved in the Archdeaconry Court of London, 1700-1807 (London: Society of Genealogists Enterprises Ltd., 1996), Introduction. FHL Book 942.1 P22w