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...access to local heritage

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Available transcriptions

This page contains a list of published books containing full-text transcripts of wills for various counties in England. It does not claim to be an exhaustive list - and in any case, new transcriptions are always becoming available - so if you know of a reference that should be added here, please contact us with details and we will add it.

The listing below also includes some transcripts that are available on-line, and links are given below to these.

County Document description and source
Bedfordshire Bedfordshire wills: volumes 58 and 76 published by Bedfordshire Historical Record Society
Berkshire Berkshire wills pre-1558: quarterly journal of Berks Archaeological & Architectural Socy, 1895-1920
Kent Kent wills (a huge resource) available online at this site
Lincoln & Lincolnshire Lincoln Wills, 1271-1526, Lincoln Record Society Vol. 5, Ed. Foster (1914)
  Lincoln Wills, 1505-1530, Lincoln Record Society Vol. 10, Ed. Foster (1918)
  Lincoln Wills, 1530-1532, Lincoln Record Society Vol. 24, Ed. Foster (1930)
  Lincolnshire Wills, 1500-1600, Ed. Maddison (1888)
London London Consistory Court Wills 1492-1547, London Record Society 3, available online at this site (then enter search text as 'London Consistory Court Wills')
Northamptonshire Transcripts of 556 west-Northant wills by G.W. Hatton - see download elsewhere in this section
  Transcripts of 145 early Northampton wills, Northamptonshire Record Society Vol. 62, 2005 
  Wills for Rushden are available online at this site
Oxfordshire Some Oxfordshire Wills Proved in the Prerogative Court of Canterbury, 1393-1510, Weaver and Bearwood (1958)
  Wills transcripts for Burford, Oxfordshire, available online at this site
Somerset Somerset Medieval Wills, 1st series 1383-1500s, Ed. F.W. Weaver, available online at this site
  Somerset Medieval Wills, 2nd series 1501-1530, with some Somerset wills preserved at Lambeth, Ed. F.W. Weaver, available online at this site
  Somerset Medieval Wills, 3rd series 1531-1558, F.W. Weaver, available online at this site
Suffolk Wills & Inventories from Registers of Commissioners of Bury St Edmunds, ed. Tymms, Camden Soc 1850
  Wills of Sudbury Archdeaconry, 1439-74, ed Northeast, Suffolk Record Society
  Wills of Sudbury Archdeaconry, 1630-35, ed Evans, Suffolk Record Society
  (NB: there are more volumes, a full list is obtainable from Suffolk Record Society)
Yorkshire & North Wills of North England (Surtees Society), available online at this site
  (NB: there are many more volumes in this series)

Using the data

Some of the above transcriptions have already been put to use, in a study by Gren Hatton on variation in infant mortality in English counties in the period 1400-1700. This is turn has been incorporated into a further study by the same author on the evolution of vernacular architecture over the same period. In both studies, the evidence sifted from full-text wills transcripts was of prime importance in deriving the results.