Find your ancestors in Huntingdonshire Wills 1479-1652, Introduction to Original Volume

Huntingdonshire Wills 1479-1652

British Record Society Volume 42

Published 1911

Introduction to Original Volume

The Probate Registry of Peterborough contains Wills for part of Northamptonshire, Cambridgeshire, and the Archdeaconry of Huntingdon, as well as several Peculiars.

The following Calendar is that of the Wills and Administrations for the Archdeaconry of Huntingdon, which originally included part of Hertfordshire, as well as the parish of Everton in Bedfordshire. The earlier volumes of Transcripts, Vols. 1-14 (1479-1573), embrace both divisions of the Archdeaconry, but subsequent volumes contain no Hertfordshire Wills.

The Transcripts contained in the first 20 volumes (1-12, 12-19) commence in 1479, and are continuous to 1615, with the exception of 1521-6, 1566-9, 1573-83. The following years also are missing from the general series: 1647-62 and 1677-90.

The Original Wills, mostly in year bundles, are continuous from 1615 to recent times, with the exception of 1634 and of 1653-60, when all Wills throughout the country were proved in London. There is one bundle of earlier Wills (some of them more or less fragmentary) which for convenience of calendaring is here included in the index to the Original Wills, 1615-52; these Wills are indicated by the letter "B" in the reference columns.

From 1615 onwards both Original Wills and Transcripts of some of them are to be found; against these latter the volume and page will be inserted in the Calendar.

Volume 19 contains for the most part Original Wills, but copies of many of them occur in other volumes.

There are four volumes of Act Books for the period previous to 1660, two of which refer to the county of Huntingdon, and two to that part of the Archdeaconry which was comprised in Hertfordshire. The volumes contain many references to Wills and Administrations which are given in this Calendar (pp. 204 to 216), but a very large portion of each book is occupied with records of disputes, penances, and other matters connected with the Court of the Archdeacon.

It should be noted that only parts of the parishes of Thurning, Winwick, and Stanground are in Huntingdonshire, hence wills of testators in Thurning or Winwick may be found in the Consistory Court of Peterborough, while wills of those in Stanground might be either in the Consistory or Archdeaconry Courts of Ely.

Peculiars. There were four Peculiars in the Hunts Archdeaconry : Brampton, Stow Longa, Buckden, and Leighton Bromswold. Of these only Brampton contains any wills prior to 1660; these are but three in number, and are given at the end of this Calendar (p. 217). The earliest will in the Stow Longa Court is dated 1667, and in Buckden 1661, while Leighton Bromswold has but six wills altogether, the earliest dated 1812.

Volume 2 of the Hunts Archdeaconry Act Books contains a certain number of grants of Marriage Licences for the years 1610 to 1614 (and one in 1517). Abstracts of these are given as an Appendix to this Calendar.

W. M. Noble.