Court of the Commissary of the Bishop of London (London Division)

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Return to the London Probate Records page.  View the Middlesex Probate Records page. 

Step By Step [edit | edit source]

1. First search each index (see below) to help you more quickly find the will, writing down each detail cited in the indexed entry.
2. Proceed then to the "Probate Records of This Court" section (see below) to determine what original probate records exist for this court.
3. Contact or visit The London Metropolitan Archives and Library, or, hire a professional record searcher to view these records on your behalf, citing information obtained from the index[es]. Officials may send upon request a list of record searchers.
4. You can also visit The Family History Library, or, one of its 4,500 satellite family history centers worldwide and search indexes (see the Family History Library's cataloged entries providing the microfilms so you can have them circulated to the center near you for searching the wills). The information obtained from the index[es] will help you  more quickly search the wills and admons which can also be circulated on microfilm via any family history .

Probate Indexes[edit | edit source]

The Archdeaconry Court of Middlesex probate records have to some extent been indexed with the following ones:


Printed and Published Indexes[edit | edit source]

  • Index to testamentary records in the Commissary Court of London (London Division) 1374-1700
  • Abstracts of copy wills, Commissary Court of London [London division], registered wills, 1750-1857
  • Index to testamentary records in the Commissary Court of London (London Division) 1374-1700  by Marc Fitch, available at Society of Genealogists, The Guildhall Library, London Metropolitan Archives and Library, The Family History Library
  • A comprehensive will and admon index to most of London's (including Greater L.) probate courts for the years covering 1750-1858 for surnames A-F, is Dr David Wright's London Probate Index on CD and is available. He will provide a search service in his indexes for surnames covering from G-Z at a set fee.

Original Handwritten Indexes[edit | edit source]

Court probate inventories, 1662-1747 with surnames alpha-arranged

Probate and administration act book, 1496-1857

Calender of Probate & Administrations acts 1660-1810

Microfilmed Indexes at the Family History Library
[edit | edit source]

The following indexes and abstracts to the wills for this court are available in the Family History Library:

Most of the above indexes are on microfilm and may be circulated to each of its satellite Family History Centers.

The Record Office and Its Probate Collections[edit | edit source]

The London Metropolitan Archives & Library

40 Northampton Road

London EC1R 0HB


Tel: (020) 7332 3820
Fax: (020) 7833 9136


Website is available:

Opening Times: Monday, Wednesday and Friday 9.30am - 4.45pm
Tuesday and Thursday 9.30am - 7.30pm

Saturday openings: 9.30am - 4.45pm


January 10         May 9         September 12
January 24         June 13       September 26

February 14       June 27       October 10
February 28       July 11        October 24 
March 14           July 25        November 28
March 28           August 8     December 12
April 25             August 22 

Archived Probate Records for This Court[edit | edit source]

Calendars of Copy Wills & Administrations 1374-1857

Original Wills 1523-1857

Register Copy Wills 1374-1857 (with gaps)

Probate & Administration Act books 1496-1857 (with gaps)

Administration 1670-1857

Inventories 1666-1667, 1672-1857 (with gaps)

Deposition Books 1537-1722

Personal Answers 1675-1736

Warrants 1660-1772

Ex Officia Assignation Books 1712-1811

Instance Act Books 1570-1675

Records of This Court in The Family History Library
[edit | edit source]

Calendars of Copy Wills and Administrations 1374-1857

Original Wills 1523-1857

Register Copy Wills 1374-1857 (with gaps)

Probate & Administration Act books 1496-1857 (with gaps)

Administrations 1669-1857

Inventories 1666-1667, 1672-1857 (with gaps)

Warrants 1660-1772

Act Books 1585-1857

Deposition Books 1537-1722

Ex Officia Assignation Books 1630-1811

Instance Act Books 1570-1675

Personal responses 1581-1593

Caveat Book 1673-1857

Historical Background[edit | edit source]

The Commissary Court of London (London Division) had jurisdiction over 94 parishes in Greater London (Middlesex)--including 50 parishes within the City of London proper and 44 out in the county of Middlesex. When a search of this courts’ probate records fails to provide the desired probate record, be sure to search the Consistory Court of the Bishop of London as well.

Strategies, Tips, Other?[edit | edit source]

See the above Indexes or those available through the Family History Library or its many family history centers worldwide for an index to this court.

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