Prerogative Court of Canterbury Wills Index 1750-1800
- All Wales Counties
By 1750 the Prerogative Court of the Archbishop Canterbury (PCC) was proving Wills and granting Administrations at a rate of about 7,000 a year, and this number had grown to about 12,000 a year by 1800.
It was the supreme church court in the British Isles for the probate of wills, and because of the great prestige of its acts and the greater safety of its records it had attracted the probate of wills of men of substance at least since the Reformation.
The Bank of England acknowledged no probate other than of this court, and the wills of persons who died abroad possessing property in this country were almost invariably proved at Canterbury. Because of this the PCC wills include copies of those of numerous Irish and colonial persons who had a second probate at the PCC and whose wills have not survived in their own countries. Particularly in the period under consideration, thousands of bi-national Hollanders and other Europeans who had invested money in the British funds (again whose wills may not have survived or be easily accessible in their own countries) had their wills proven by the PCC.
The Bank of England did accept wills proved in other courts before 1812, but after that date it demanded PCC wills only.