Skip to main content

Language of Probate

Notes by William Gaskell

Colin Chapman is a former president of the Bath and Gloucester family history society.

In the 16th century Henry, Earl Stafford wrote in his will: “of good and perfect mind and memory”.

Wills are biographies, giving reliable genealogical data and give family, local and social history – much like a Roman era gravestone!

Wills deal with real estate whereas Testament deals with goods and chattels. Wills can be republished if Testament is invalidated. Similar documents include:
·         Letters of administration – Admons.
·         Inventory, from 1268-1750 rare afterwards.
·         Probate accounts – expenses run up by executors.
·         Law suits – contentious cases – sentences.
·         Bank of England – if Wills taxed. 1717-1850.

From 1858 Temporal Courts of Probate would hear inheritance cases. Wills were kept in Somerset House in London from 1874 to 1999. Now in High Holburn. We can access them online now through

Non Cuprative Will is a verbal Will (or a text) that is acknowledged.

Assignation – if there is no executor then an assignation assigned to execute Will of deceased.
Limited Probate – some abroad
Inhibition – were all the religious ceremonies being performed properly?
Hiatus – vacancy in office or Inhibition means no court meeting to grant probate.

Outlaws and suicides have no Testament but only legal Will.

Another example Will was an 1866 document in prose on 15 pages of A3.

A counter appeal is called a Libel.

Advice is to take Will to appropriate court, should be where the estate is based, pay the court fee if Bona Nobilis, probate granted, Will sealed and record kept and copy given to executor.
Another extract from a 19th century document: “In manner of form following: I give and bequeath to my daughter…”

If son not mentioned then we assume there was some argument of some sort but they may have been given inheritance already during lifetime of deceased.

Lambeth Palace is the highest ecclesiastical court archive.

Henry Budd’s Will: “If my said son should wear moustaches the said will be void.”


Popular posts from this blog

LETTERS TO BEN: Accessing Better Housing in Bath

Notes from Energy & Utility Forum 2017

1. Robert Symons, CEO of Western Power Distribution said: “Energy demand could rise by 100% by 2030. Smart grids will be needed to manage electric vehicle charging so that the usage does not exceed the supply capacity at any time during the day.” 2. Spoke to Harry Vickers, Business Development Manager of Camborne Energy Storage, Camborne Capital at the Energy and Utility Forum in London on October 23rd 2017. He told me his company is working with Elon Musk to bring Tesla battery grid storage solutions to the UK. 3. Spoke to Sally Barrett-Williams, Chairman of Energy and Utility Forum on October 23rd, who said subsidies for solar projects had ended and her company’s focus has shifted to energy storage schemes. 4. Spoke to Simon Dowland, PhD, at 13:00 on Sunday 29th October, Simon is now working up in Cambridge at the Cavendish Physics Laboratory at the University of Cambridge, he is working in industry for the company Eight19 Ltd a spin off from a research project to bring ne

LETTERS TO BEN: National Careers Service

Dear Ben, Please find forwarded below the helpful advice I received from the National Careers Service RE compensation, which mirrored the advice Sue and Shirley offered after our meeting today. I hope I am communicating with you clearly enough that I want more money and more satisfaction from life, I want jobs to be easier and the girls to be easier as I currently feel frustrated. I don't feel I should have to do any more work to get it other than to raise this complaint at this point. The thing I am most looking forward to is the rugby world cup in 2019 in Japan which I plan to go to with friends. Regards, William Thanks. In reply to your email, the following information might be helpful to you.   Your CV and cover letter look fine and you have some good work experience. Have you been keeping an eye on Hinkley point (near Bridgewater)? Here in the South West that is probably the biggest ongoing potential nuclear project at the moment and you could send a