Ref noEP/J/4
TitleTestamentary records
DescriptionUntil 1858 the proving of wills and the granting of letters of administration were matters for ecclesiastical authority. By the Court of Probate Act (20 & 21 Vict. c. 77; 1857) testamentary jurisdiction passed to the newly-established Principal Probate Registry in London and its subordinate District Registries.
Thus the main series of Bristol testamentary records passed to the local District Probate Registry, from where they were transferred to Bristol Archives Office in 1958.
This collection also included one volume and a few papers which properly belonged to the diocesan records. Of these the volume, (EP/J/3/3/3), one parish register transcript, for St Michael, 1610, and two marriage licence bonds, 1634 and 1671, were returned to their appropriate classes; the others are listed among the testamentary 'miscellanea'.
Some Dorset wills were proved in the Archdeacon of Dorset's courts, and the records are now at Dorset Record Office, Bridport Road, Dorchester DT1 1RP
Archivist's noteEP/J/4/1-5 were originally held by the the Diocesan Registrar; EP/J/4/6 - 46 were transferred to Bristol Record Office by the Probate Registry
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