Court of the Bishop of Carlisle (Episcopal Consistory)
For a general explanation about probate records in England, click here.
This court covered the northern part of Westmorland and all of Cumberland expect the Deanery of Copeland in the southwest of the county (see the Court of the Archdeaconry of Richmond for coverage over the Deanery of Copeland).
Comprehensive indexes are available through the Cumbria Archive Services in the Carlisle and the Kendal offices. 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 indexes, 1563-1858, on film. Some indexes are on films containing wills, administrations and inventories.