The Exchequer Court of York: Records in Nottingham

The Archdeaconry of Nottingham was the principal court in the diocese of York. Wills proved in the Archdeaconry of Nottingham are divided into one of four deaneries: Nottingham, Bingham, Newark and Retford.

Nottinghamshire Archives   

The Nottinghamshire Archives of Wills, Admons. and Bonds, for all four deaneries, 1589 – 1858; inventories, c1688 – c1750 (reference: PR/NW)

There is an index of cards available for these wills, arranged alphabetically by surname. The wills themselves are available on microfiche, arranged according to deanery. The booklet How to Find Archdeaconry Wills on Fiche explains which parish is in which deanery. Within each deanery they are arranged according to the date probate was granted.

The Nottinghamshire Archives also holds Probate Act Books, which list wills proved in the Archdeaconry (reference: PR/NV):
Nottingham and Bingham deaneries, 1705 – 1858;
Retford deanery, 1719 – 1858;
Newark deanery, 1735 – 1858.

Registered copies of wills often survive in probate registers, so if there is no surviving original will (especially before c1630) then there may be a copy in the probate register. Probate registers for the period 1389 – 1858 are held at the Borthwick Institute in York, and are available from 1267 until 1500 on the British Origins web site at

Nottinghamshire Archives reference library

The Nottinghamshire Archives reference library holds Wills in the York Registry 1389 – 1688, (Yorkshire Archaeological Society Record Series), Vols. 6 – 89 (various volumes held)

Calendar of Nottinghamshire Wills in the Yorkshire Registry 1514 – 1619 (1890), which extracts the Nottinghamshire wills from the above volume
Calendar of Nottinghamshire Probate Records, 1688 – 1731 (typescript)

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