Court of the Bishop of Bath and Wells (Episcopal Consistory)
The Diocese of Bath and Wells included the two archdeaconries of Bath and of Wells and several peculiars. The episcopal consistory court had probate jurisdiction over the eastern half of the county of Somerset, basically everything east of the River Parrot.
The records of the Court of the Bishop of Bath and Wells, all of which were deposited at the Probate Registry at Exeter, were destroyed by enemy action during World War II. The following is information on the few records that survive.
The surviving original records are deposited at:
- Register copy wills, loose leaves from between the years 1558-1626 (about 105 wills total)
- Original wills, 1575-1640
- Inventories, 1575-1640 (and a few to 1682)
- Administration bonds, 1570-1680
- Act books 1817-1823, 1827-1835, 1837, 1842-1850
- Other miscellaneous records
The Family History Library has very few original probate records for Somerset on microfilm. Most of the what the library has is various volumes of published abstracts. These include:
The Society of Genealogists in London has copies of published abstracts of wills and other probate documents for Somerset. To see a list of titles, search their library catalogue for the Subject of "Somerset - General:Wills."