Court of the Bishop of Carlisle (Episcopal Consistory)
For a general explanation about probate records in England, click here.
Probate is the legal court process by which the estate of a deceased person is distributed to his or her heirs. The term probate refers to a collection of documents, including wills, administrations (also called admons), inventories, and act books. The Church of England ecclesiastical courts had authority for this process until to 1858.
Printed and Published Indexes
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.
- Original wills, administrations, and inventories, 1558-1644, 1661-1858
- Register copy wills, 1727-1858
- Act books, 1661-1858
Family History Library Records
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 Western Deaneries - Copeland).