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Matlock & Matlock Bath Wills Calendar
Lists of pre-1858 Wills and Wills proved within Derbyshire 1858 - 1928
  About Wills and Places to Find and / or Purchase Copies of Wills
Wills Calendar Index
Pre 1858 Wills A- B
Pre-1858 Wills C - G
Pre 1858 Wills H - R
Pre1858 Wills S - V
Pre 1858 Wills W - Z
Wills 1858 - 1928
Surnames A - C
Surnames D - G
Surnames H - L
Surnames M - R
Surnames S
Surnames T - Z
Matlock People Named in Non Matlock Wills
Will Info (please read)
& places to find & obtain these wills
Adding a will reference
(how you can help)
More information
Hatches Matches & Dispatches
Memorial Inscriptions

This page is linked to other pages elsewhere on this website. You may need to use "Back" on your toolbar to go back to where you were looking before.
Much of the information provided applies to all Wills & Administrations,
though is especially relevant to Matlock Wills.

Part of a Copy of a Grant of Probate of a Matlock resident  

Types of Will

  • Will
    Normally signed by the testator and witnessed.

  • Nun-cupative Will
    A spoken Will that was witnessed, but not signed by, the deceased person.

  • Inventory
    Early Wills may include an inventory, or list, of all goods left by the deceased.
    This can be an invaluable source of information about the goods and chattels owned by the deceased person. Items were often listed under which room they were in, so an inventory can also indicate the size of the property.
    Sometimes only an inventory has survived.

  • Probate
    Granted to the executors named in the Will.

  • Letters of Administration
    (Adm or Admons) When person had died intestate (with no Will).

  • Letter of Administration (with Will)
    Granted to someone other than an executor when the deceased left a valid will (post 1858).

Probate Before 1858

There were two main courts in which Derbyshire Wills were proved before 1858, the Prerogative Court of Canterbury and Lichfield Consistory Court. If your interest is not Derbyshire, Wills for other UK counties will be held at the County Record Office for that county or Record Office of the relevant diocese. Some Wills are also held at the Borthwick Institute, York.

1. Consistory Court Wills

Most proved Wills and Letters of Administration for Matlock and Matlock Bath are held at:

Staffordshire Record Office, Heritage and Archives (Lichfield Record Office has now closed and its records are now held here).

Please note that to obtain a copy of a Will you may also have to pay search fees unless you can provide full probate details; it is not sufficient to provide the year only. This also applies to marriage licence. If you want a copy of a marriage licence you will need to provide the date of marriage and the search for the licence will mean you have to pay a fee.

The easiest option to view these Wills is to use the online resource at FindMyPast. You will need to pay a subscription.

The Matlock names from the period 1516-1652, where the abode is known, are listed on this web site (see menu on the right).

Wishful Thinking has provided a helpful transcript of "Calendars of Lichfield Wills and Administrations, 1516-1652", (1892) ed. W.P.W. Phillimore, Index Library, British Record Society, London. But you should be aware that few entries give abode.

2. P.C.C. (Prerogative Court of Canterbury)

The Matlock names of those whose Wills were proved in the Prerogative Court of Canterbury are listed on this web site (see menu on the right).

i. During the Commonwealth period (1653 - 1660) all Wills were proved centrally, so were PCC, and are held by The National Archives (formerly called the Public Record Office).
The National Archives (TNA)

Wills from other periods may also have been PCC Wills. This was the case if people held property in more than one diocese or county. It also may have been because people wanted to show how important they were. P.C.C. Wills are not the originals but are registered copies, written into large volumes by clerks.

It is now possible to download images of many PCC wills 1670-1858 as well as some Death Duty Register entries of Wills proved elsewhere, but not adms at present.
Discovery - at the National Archives
This replaced DocumentsOnline (formerly PRO-Online) 'allows you online access to The National Archive's collection of digitised public records, including both academic and genealogical sources'.

ii. Copies for some of pre 1858 Wills may also be held by the Derbyshire Record Office

See Libraries & Record Offices, elsewhere on this site, for contact details
Probate Records for Derbyshire, Abstracts of, on Rosemary Lockie's GUKUTILS site, ares easily searchable by surname

Probate 1858 and after

Not every Matlock will post 1858 was proved within Derbyshire and what you are seeking may not be found on this web site.

The location of a complete set of Will calendars (indexes) from 1858 onwards that were available for public inspection has moved several times in London over the last forty or so years. Although the term is less frequently used now, post 1858 Wills are sometimes referred to as 'Somerset House' Wills as the calendars were held at Somerset House in the Strand, London for many years. They were then transferred to First Avenue House in Holborn, London a number of years ago but this seems to have closed.

An increasing number of places, both at home and overseas, hold microfilm or fiche copies of the calendars, though these will not provide Will information to the present day.

Search online at GOV.UK

GOV.UK Wills, probate and inheritance. Wills and Probate, including those of serving Soldiers (1850-1986), can be purchased through their site at £1.50 each (June 2023). An easy to us search facility is provided.

Applying by Post

You can purchase copies of Wills or Letters of Administration by post from:

The Postal Searches and Copies Department,
District Probate Registry,
York House,
York Place,

The fee is currently £1.50 per item required. You must supply at least the correct full name; the address and date of death should also be supplied if at all possible:
Download the Probate Service form and fill it in before you apply by post. This form shows the current fees.

Payment should be made by cheque or postal order, payable to "HMCS"- or HM Courts Service.
If you are applying from outside the UK, payment should be made by international money order expressed in pounds sterling.

Also online:
Findmypast also has the index from 1858-2019. See their England & Wales Government Probate Death Index 1858-2019

Derbyshire Record Office

If you are live in or near Derbyshire, try the Derbyshire Record Office as their catalogue has details of wills that were proved locally, i.e. at Derby. (The DRO became a new joint service with County Hall LSL on 12 Feb 2013)
They now offer a copying service, with a variety of prices depending on the number of sheets contained in the Will.
Go to Search Wills By Surname - sorry, this list still seems to be unavailable (2021).

Reminder about Matlock Wills

Please note that the Will of someone who lived in Matlock or Matlock Bath could have been proved anywhere in the country, especially if their executors did not live in Derbyshire, so probate details may not be held at the DRO as probate may not have been granted at Derby. In addition, the person may be 'of Matlock' on the Will, but their death may be registered elsewhere if they died on holiday, visiting relatives or in hospital for example.