Find your ancestors in Wills & Administrations at Canterbury 1558-1577, Introduction to Original Volume

Wills & Administrations at Canterbury 1558-1577

British Record Society volume 65

Published 1940

Introduction to Original Volume

At the time the earlier volume dealing with the wills and administrations at Canterbury (1396-1558, and 1640-1650) was being issued to members of the Society, the British Empire, France, and their Allies were engaged in a four years' fight.

Now, the lessons of the World War of 1914-18 unlearnt, the British Empire finds herself once more at war on behalf of the liberty of the free peoples of the world.

,p>The introduction to the former volume (vol. 50, 1920), by the late Henry R. Plomer, should be referred to by the present reader. Since that volume was published, an Administration Act Book has been discovered in the Probate Registry at Canterbury and the administrations therein, covered by the dates 1539 to 1545, have been included at the end of this book. In 1934 the records of the Consistory and Archdeaconry Courts of Canterbury were received, at the request of the President of the Probate, Divorce, and Admiralty Division, for safe custody in Canterbury gaol (Deputy Keeper's Report for 1934). The records are still, of course, the property of the Probate, Divorce, and Admiralty division of the High Court.

The material for this volume was presented to the Society by Mr. H. Guy Harrison, F.S.A., for whom the work was carried out some years ago by Mr. Eustace William Carver, then an official of the District Probate Registry at Canterbury. Mr. Carver wrote the slips from the registers and afterwards checked them against the Act Books and original Wills; the work being done outside official hours.

This volume deals with

  • wills in the Consistory Court from 1558 to 1576, and with administrations from 1558 to 1576-7
  • wills in the Archdeaconry Court from 1558 to 1577, and administrations from 1558 to 1576-7

It should be noted that there are no administrations to be found in the Consistory Court for the year 1570. The wills or administrations of more than 100 clergy connected with Kent, some of whom took the oath of supremacy in 1534, are given in the period of twenty years comprised in this volume. (See Arch. Cant., vol. xxii, and the original Renunciations in the Public Record Office.)

The Dictionary of National Biography includes accounts of the two following persons named in this volume, John Bale (1495-1563), and Thomas Beacon (1512-1567).

Members of the following Kent Visitation families are included :

  • Aucher
  • Brockman
  • Crisp
  • Fogges
  • Harflete
  • Hardres
  • Harlackenden
  • Honeywood
  • Horn
  • Monings
  • Norton
  • Oxinden

Among other prominent names contained in this Calendar are :

  • Coyne, William, a Dutchman Fisher,
  • William, alderman of Canterbury
  • Frenche, Thomas, citizen and alderman of Canterbury
  • Frookey (Frohoke), John, of the Middle Temple (See P.C.C. Froke (26 chayre) 1563)
  • Fuller, John, alderman of Canterbury
  • Furner, Richard, alderman of Canterbury
  • Hyll, John, citizen of London, haberdasher of Maidstone
  • Lukyn, John, mayor of Fordwich
  • Lyly, Peter, register of Canterbury and freedom of London
  • Mason, Stephen, citizen and vintner of London
  • Mulcaster, Thomas, gent., Lenham and Inner Temple
  • Normanton, William, clerk of the Castle, Dover
  • Olyff, Robert, Maidstone, late one of the Queen Majesty's retinue at Barwyche
  • Perrott, Ryce, gent., Queen's bailiff, Sandwich
  • Perrye, Thomas, alderman of Canterbury
  • Philpott, Henry, a baron of the Cinque Ports
  • Raylton, Richard, alderman of Canterbury
  • Rogers, John, surveyor of the town and works of Calais
  • Sare, Stephen, alderman of Canterbury
  • Scott, Christopher, alderman of Canterbury
  • Streitlye, Nicholas, gent., captain of Sandown Castle
  • Wood, Christopher, son of Raynolde Wood, one of the yeomen of the Queen's chamber

For references to some other printed volumes relating to wills and admons. concerning Kent, the reader may be referred to Harrison's Select Bibliography of English Genealogy (1937).

We get an echo of the dissolution of the monasteries (1539) in the entry of the will of John Foche, of whom the parish register of Sturry says, "1540 Oct. 4 Mr. John Foche sometime Abbot of St. Austin's was buried."

John Richard, clerk, whose will was proved in 1558, desired to be buried at St. Margaret's Westminster, and reference to the burial register might be expected to disclose the place of his incumbency; the entry, however, merely reads: Sir John Rychardes, priest, buried 2 Nov. 1558.

Among unusual Christian names one notices:

  • Achilles Bonwycke (1559)
  • Dunstone [Dunstan]
  • Goodhewe (1566)
  • Loye Graunt (1569)
  • Godlive Princhet (1558-9)

In conclusion, I acknowledge the help I have received from Miss Millicent Gomme; the Society owes a debt of gratitude to Mr. Frank W. Tyler, F.S.A., of Canterbury, for kindly checking some doubtful references with the original records at Canterbury.

Editorial comments are enclosed in square brackets.


120, Chancery Lane, London, W.C. 2.

4th June 1940