Prerogative Wills and Administrations
An estate was dealt with by the Prerogative Court, rather than a Consistorial Court, if it covered property worth more than £5 in a second diocese. In general, then, Prerogative wills and administrations tend to cover the wealthier classes, merchants with dealings in more than one area, and those who lived close to diocesan borders.
Up to 1816, the Prerogative Court was not housed in a single place, with hearings generally held in the residence of the presiding judge. From 1816 on, the King's Inns building in Henrietta St. provided a permanent home. For this reason, the records of the Court before 1816 cannot be taken as complete.
After 1857, all of these records were transferred to the Public Record Office, where the original wills and grants of administration were transcribed into Prerogative Will and Grant Books, and indexed. The indexes survived 1922, but all of the original wills and grants, and almost all of the Will and Grant Books were destroyed. Details of those Books which survived are included in Ancestor Search.