Court of the Peculiar of the Archbishop of Canterbury for the Exempt Deaneries of Pagham and Tarring

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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 "Records" (see below) to determine what probate records exist for this court.

3. Contact or visit the Lichfield Record Office (see address below), to hire a professional record searcher to view these records on your behalf, citing information obtained from the indexes (see next heading). 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 and wills (see the Family History Library's cataloged entries providing the microfilm numbers so you can have them circulated to the center near you for searching). 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.

Indexes[edit | edit source]

The probate collection includes a Calendars and indexes to wills, administrations and inventories.  A calendar is an index arranged first alphabetically by the beginning letter of a testator's surname and second by date.

Online Indexes[edit | edit source]

This is a website for which you may request a search to be made.

Printed and Published Indexes[edit | edit source]

Manuscript Indexes

There is an index from 1670 to 1805 in manuscript form at the archives (see below for address).

The Index Library vol. 64 is an index to these probates from 1516-1670

Microfilmed Indexes at the Family History Library

The indexes as listed in the above are also available in the collection of The Family History Library and they are on microfilm and may be circulated to each of its satellite Family History Centers worldwide.

In addition, the Family History Library has a more comprehensive microfilmed Index to Probate Accounts 1572-1711

Calendars of Wills & Admons 1509-1660

Index to Original Wills 1588-1858

Index to Admons 1781-1857

Records[edit | edit source]

Archives Location[edit | edit source]

The original records are deposited at:

West Sussex County Council

County Hall

West Street


West Sussex PO19 1RQ 


Tel 44-[0]1243 777100 

Archive Records[edit | edit source]

These records include:

Original Wills 1588-1681; 1750-1773

Administrations (Admons) 1751-1857 (Admons are added in with Registered Wills after 1714)

Registered Copy Wills 1682-1858

Indexes 1588-1660; 1682-1858

Family History Library Records[edit | edit source]

These have been microfilmed and are available at the Family History Library in Salt Lake City and through family history centers.  They include:

Original Wills & Administrations (Admons) 1588-1858

Registered Wills & Admons 1588-1858

Inventories and Bonds 1730-1836

Caveat Book 1728-1858

Compotus Rolls 1722-1723

Index to Original Wills 1588-1858

Original Wills 1706-1858

Registered & Original Wills 1520-1858 

Bonds Box 1579-1689

Diaries of Wills & Admons 1568-1907

Probate Accounts 1610-1686

Probate Acts 1537-1553

Admon Acts 1576-1578

Calendar from Original Bonds 1670-1689 E-mail

Original Testaments and Wills 1580-1706

Jurisdiction[edit | edit source]

This peculiar court held concurrent jurisdiction over the following West Sussex parishes:

  • Chichester All Saints
  • Horsham (part)
  • East Lavant
  • Pagham
  • Patching
  • Slindon
  • South Bersted
  • Tangmere
  • West Tarring inluding Durrington & Heen

Appeals Courts[edit | edit source]

Any probate that was disputed and could not be settled by the county courts could be sent to these higher appeals courts:

The Prerogative Court of the Archbishop of Canterbury also served as an appeals court.

Estate Duty Records[edit | edit source]

Starting in 1796, a tax or death duty was payable on estates over a certain value. Estate duty abstracts may add considerable information not found elsewhere. Estate duty indexes may help locate a will. For more information, go to Estate Duty Registers.