Court of the Bishop of London (Episcopal Consistory)

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[Return to the London Probate Records page.] 

Location of These Records

London Metropolitan Archives & Library
40 Northampton Road
London EC1R 0HB
Tel 020 7332 3820
Fax 020 7833 9136

History and Background

Probate records of the Consistory Court of The Bishop of London commence from 1362 to 

Online indexes

The following websites provide online indexes to two important Greater London (including the City) probate courts:

  • Court of the Diocese of London (Episcopal Consistory) -  held some concurrent jurisdiction in the counties of Essex, Hertfordshire, Bedfordshire and Middlesex as well for all the City of London parishes. There are indexes to both registered and original wills for this court.
  • Court of the Archdeaconry of London index 1750-1800 at the Origins Network
  • Court of the Archdeaconry of Middlesex - 10,000 wills currently online

A general will index for Essex County is available online. This single index consolidates just about all Essex county wills of the various probate court jurisdictions into one database.


Printed Indexes

The Court of the Diocese of London (Episcopal Consistory) has some indexes covering the years 1492 to 1547 compiled by Ida Darlington. This index is available online.

Emmison, F. G., ed. [Index to] Wills at Chelmsford. (FHL book 942 B4b vols. 78, 79, 84; also on microfilms 0962739 and 0962740; also on microfiche 6073796, 6073797, and 6073802.)

Original Handwritten Indexes

Calendars to the Probate Acts of Wills and Administrations (Admons) exist from 1400-1858. Calendars are a kind of index to the day to day probate court procedures in which wills and admons (administrations) are processed.

In addition to the calendars, a majority of the original (unregistered) wills and the registered wills are alphabetically arranged at the Record Office and are likewise organized on the microfilmed probates for this court at the Family History Library. Visit the Essex County Archives or the Family History Library Catalog under Essex, England to determine availability of records.

Microfilmed Indexes at the Family History Library

Indexes from 1492 to 1547 are available through the Family History Library and its 4,500 satellite centers worldwide. These are available in book form only. The FHL book call number is 942.1/L1 B4L v. 3. Original (Unregistered) Wills and Registered Wills as well as extant indexes for this court are available on microfilm at the Family History Library and may be circulated to each of its satellite Family History Centers (see Court of the Archdeaconry of Essex), or go to this Family History Library Catalog page

Searching for probates in this court


1492, 1514-1520, 1540-1641; 1670-1858


1508-1646; 1661-1858


1540-1591; 1670-1858


Strategies, Tips, Other?

There are no indexes on microfilm for the years 1718-1858 for the Archdeaconry Court of Essex. See the above general countywide index online (see "online Indexes) or available through the Family History Library's (see "Printed Indexes) many family history centers worldwide for an index to this court.


To view a list of parishes and their&nbsp;respective probate court jurisdiction, see the "Essex Parishes Parishes and Their Probate Jurisdictions" on the main page for Essex Probate Records.