Court of the Bishop of Salisbury

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Return to the Wiltshire Probate Records page.

Step By Step [edit | edit source]

1. First search each index (see below) to help you more quickly find the will or administration (admon), writing down each detail cited in the indexed entry.
2. Proceed to the "Probate Records of This Court" (below) to determine what original probate records exist for this court.
3. Contact or visit the Wiltshire Record Office or, hire a professional record searcher to view these records on your behalf. Officials may send upon request a list of record searchers.
4. Visit The Family History Library, or, one of its 4,500 satellite family history centers worldwide and search indexes to probate records; then with the information obtained from the index[es] you can search more quickly the original wills and admons also on microfilm via any centers near you.

Indexes[edit | edit source]

Online Indexes[edit | edit source]

Printed and Published Indexes[edit | edit source]

Search indexes before you search the records.

The Wiltshire and Swindon Archives has an online database index to probate records of the Diocese of Salisbury, for 1540-1858, pertaining to Wiltshire and Berkshire and parts of Dorset and Devon.

Original indexes are found with the original records as above.  Microfilmed indexes are available through the Family History Library as above.

Records[edit | edit source]

Archive Locations[edit | edit source]

The original records are deposited at the Wiltshire and Swindon Archives and History Centre

Archive Records [edit | edit source]

They include:

  • Original wills, administrations and inventories, 1584-1857
  • Register copy wills, etc., 1526-1598, 1697-1804

You may contact the archives for assistance.  Also see their online index below.

Family History Library Records[edit | edit source]

Many of the records have been microfilmed and are available at the Family History Library and through family history centers.  They include:

Jurisdiction[edit | edit source]

This court was also known as the Court of the Bishop of Sarum (Episcopal Consistory). 

The Court of the Bishop of Salisbury (Sarum) held jurisdiction over: The Archdeaconry Courts of Berkshire, Salisbury, Wiltshire and the Sub-Dean of Salisbury, during triennial inhibition; all rectors in the diocese, Bishop's Peculiars of Berwick St. James, Devizes St. John and St. Mary, West Lavington, Marlborough St. Mary and St. Peter, Preshute, Potterne, Stert, and Trowbridge with Staverton. (This information came from Wills and their whereabouts by Anthony J. Camp.)