Court of the Bishop of Carlisle (Episcopal Consistory)

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England Gotoarrow.png Cumberland Gotoarrow.png Cumberland Probate Records

Records for this court exist 1548 to 1858, but there are gaps in the years before 1661. The records include original wills, letters of administration and inventories.

For a general explanation about probate records in England, click here.

Search Indexes First

Indexes will help you easily find the probate record. An index could be a strict alphabetical list, a list of all last names starting with a letter of the alphabet, a group of names for a specific number of years. References to the probate indexes in the Family History Library collection can be found by clicking here.

Online Indexes

There are no known indexes for this court.

Printed and Manuscript Indexes

Comprehensive indexes are available in the Carlisle record office and the Kendal record office. The indexes cover from 1617 to 1941, listing the year of probate and the residence of the deceased. This is extraordinarily helpful in distinguishing between many individuals of the same name.

The Family History Library has some printed indexes. These can be found in the catalog by using the Place Search for Cumberland and the topic Probate records - Indexes. Manuscript indexes for this court are cataloged with the probate records.

Search for Probate Documents

The Family History Library has probates in its collection. The film can be found in the catalog by using the Place Search for Cumberland and the topic Probate records.


  • The terms bishop's court and consistory court both refer to this court.
  • The Family History Library has a collection on film for the records and the indexes, 1564-1858. 
  • There is a difference between an index and a calendar. The index is in strict alphabetical order. A Calendar may be a list of last names starting with a certain letter of the alphabet. For instance, all the A names are together no matter how they are spelled. A person has to search through the names to find the one they are seeking

Documents related to probates

Several types of documents are part of probate. Only a few are mentioned here. Learn more about these records by clicking here.

  • Act Book
  • Administration (also known as Admon)
  • Codicil
  • Inventory