Court of the Bishop of Bath and Wells (Episcopal Consistory)

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England Gotoarrow.png Somerset Gotoarrow.png Somerset Probate Records

Jurisdiction

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.

Records

Important Note:

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.

Surviving Records

The surviving original records are deposited at:

Somerset Record Office
Obridge Road
Taunton TA2 7PU
England
Tel: (0)1823 278805
Email: archives@somerset.gov.uk

These include:

  • 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."