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Civil Registration
Poor Law Records

Leicester (LEI)


  1. The majority of parishes belonged to (A) the Archdeaconry of Leicester. This court also functioned as a Commissary Court for the Bishop of Lincoln and the Vicar General. In some cases, the microfilmed records are filed in three series for a given year with the Archdeacon’s series first, followed by the documents for the Commissary Court, and then the Vicar General’s series. Be sure to search all three.
  2. The exceptions are listed below under (B) the Prebendal Court of St Margaret in the city of Leicester and (C) the Manor Courts of Evington and Rothley and the Peculiar Court of Groby. No known records survive for the Peculiar of Old Dalby.
Place Court
Anstey Peculiar of Groby (C)
Barsby Manor of Rothley (C)
Bradgate Park & Hallgate Peculiar of Groby (C)
Charnwood Forest (part) Peculiar of Groby (C)
Cropston Peculiar of Groby (C)
Evington Manor of Evington (C)
Gaddesby Manor of Rothley (C)
Glenfield Peculiar of Groby (C)
Grimston Manor of Rothley (C)
Keyham Manor of Rothley (C)
Knighton Prebendal of St Margaret (B)
Leicester, St Margaret's Prebendal of St Margaret (B)
Mountsorrel Manor of Rothley (C)
Newton Linford Peculiar of Groby (C)
Ratby Peculiar of Groby (C)
Rothley Manor of Rothley (C)
Saxelby Manor of Rothley (C)
Somerby (part) Manor of Rothley (C)
South Croxton Manor of Rothley (C)
Stanton under Bardon Peculiar of Groby (C)
Swithland Peculiar of Groby (C)
Wartnaby Manor of Rothley (C)
Wycomb & Chadwell Manor of Rothley (C)

Decision Table

For those who lived in (A) the Archdeaconry of Leicester, search:

  1. Archdeaconry Court of Leicester
  2. Consistory Court of Lincoln (Lincoln)
  3. Prerogative Court of Canterbury (London: PCC)
  4. Court of Arches, 1660- (London: Arches)
  5. Court of Delegates, 1636- (London: Delegates)

For those who lived in (B) the Prebendal of St Margaret, search:

  1. Prebendal Court of St Margaret
  2. Court of the Dean and Chapter of Lincoln (Lincoln)
  3. Do 2-5 as listed under (A) above.

For those who lived in (C) the Manors of Evington and Rothley and the Peculiar of Groby, search:

  1. The respective court
  2. Do 1-5 as listed under (A) above.

For those who lived anywhere in the county between 1653-1660, search:

  1. Prerogative Court of Canterbury (London: PCC)

For those who lived anywhere in the county between 1812-1857, regardless of what is found in the probate records of any of the above courts, consider searching also the estate duty registers (London: Estate Duty).

Printed and Card Indexes for the Archdeaconry of Leicester

  1. 1495-1649, (FHL 942 B4b) and (BYU CS 434 .B7) volume 27
    This is volume 27 of the Index Library series (BRS) published in 1902. It indexes the original and registered copy wills as well as the administration bonds. It also indexes on pages 237-240 some 234 wills and administrations that were never completed or probated for 1576-1800.
    Both BRS 27 and 51 contain some spelling errors and a certain number of omissions. Fortunately, the volumes of registered copy wills usually contain their own indexes, and the microfilms of original wills are filed roughly alphabetically. A supplement of corrections and additions for 1524-1538 appears on page 25 of a publication of the Leicestershire Archaeological Society. (FHL 942 A1, no. 7) The Miscellaneous Section for Leicester at this web site provides some further additions.
  2. 1660-1750, (FHL 942 B4b) and (BYU on fiche CS 43 .G46x LH 12311) volume 51
    This is volume 51 of the Index Library series (BRS) published in 1920. Pages 373-385 list miscellaneous records, mainly administration bonds, for 1619-1744 that were filed in eight small bundles. See the above note for BRS 27 and 51. BRS 51 is also in the system. This is a subscription site but you have free access to it when searching at the FHL or using the computers in the family history section of the BYU library.
  3. 1750-1929, Card Index (FHL 1517759-1517772)
    For an alphabetic breakdown of the coverage of each of these 14 microfilms, enter either of the above numbers in the Film/Fiche box of the main menu of the online FHL catalog. The separate index mentioned under BRS 27 for uncompleted wills is also on FHL 1517624, item 6, where it continues through 1856. An older filming is available at BYU on 194399, item 4.

Microfilmed Records for the Archdeaconry of Leicester

The probate records of the Archdeaconry of Leicester were filmed twice. Between the two, all of the probate records were filmed except for the separate series of inventories. (There is a card index to all of the inventories on FHL films 1517625-1517628.) The first filming lacks the original wills, 1749-1858. The second filming has all of the original wills but lacks many of the registered copy wills and other documents. For original wills, search the second filming starting on FHL film 1519379. The first filming starting on FHL film 194398 includes many of the other types of probate documents.

NOTE: Where an initial film number is given, use either version of the FHL catalog to see all of the films in that collection. The previous version at FamilySearch may be a little easier to use for that purpose.

Other types of probate documents of the Archdeaconry of Leicester include the guardianship bonds for 1556-1689, 1709 and 1713-1744 on FHL films 194551-194553. Amongst the records on film 194553 are several wills and administrations that have not been indexed. The administration in 1806 for John Scampton, ironmonger of Belgrave, contains a series of documents connecting the Scampton, Allen and Wormleighton families of Humberstone over a 30 year period going back to 1779.

The administrators’ accounts for 1639-1642 and 1664-1674 on FHL films 194548-194549 are particularly valuable. The second document on film 194548 is actually the bishop’s transcripts for the rural deanery of Goscott for 1640. Document 123 on film 194549 is an account made by Isabell Morton in 1672 for the administration of the property of her husband, William Conduit of Hinckley. Attached to the account is a copy of the christenings of their six children.

The uncompleted wills, 1576-1856, were filmed twice. The first filming is on FHL films 194423-194425 and the second on 1470036-1470037. The miscellaneous administration bonds filed in 8 bundles for 1619-1744 are on FHL films 194517-194523.

Card Index for the Prebendal Court of St Margaret

  • 1543-1858 (FHL 1517625, item 3)
    This is the preferred index to use as it correlates with the second filming described below and is probably more complete than any other indexes. However, BRS 27 also covers 1543-1800, and BRS 51 includes an index to some additional administrations for 1642-1720 found with the marriage license bonds.

Microfilmed Records for the Prebendal Court of St Margaret

Between the two filmings, all of the probate records except for the inventories have been microfilmed. All of the original wills are on FHL films 1470367-1470374. The administration bonds are on FHL films 1470374-1470375. The last two items on film 1470375 are marriage license bonds issued in 1668. The first is for John Beaumont, son of John Beaumont of St Margaret’s and Elizabeth Odgen. The second is for Roger Cooper of Abby Gate and Joane Dawson of St Margaret’s. There is also a caveat book, 1750-1824, for this court towards the end of FHL film 194553.

Card Index/Microfilmed Records for the Manorial Court of Evington

  • 1581-1857, Card Index (FHL 1517625, item 1)
    BRS 27 also indexes 1581-1800. The original wills and administrations are on FHL film 194538. The inventories, 1591-1749, are filed with those for the Manor of Rothley on FHL film 1469444, item 1.

Card Index/Microfilmed Records for the Manorial Court of Rothley

  • 1575-1857, Card Index (FHL 1517625, item 2)
    BRS 27 also indexes 1575-1800 and BRS 51 adds an index to some additional registered copy wills, 1626-1633. The original wills and administrations are on FHL films 194534-194537. The original wills for 1660-1724 and 1815-1857 were not filmed, but there are registered copy wills on film 194534, item 2, and 194536, item 2 for the missing time periods. The inventories, 1577-1781, are on FHL films 1469443, item 14 and 1469444, item 1.

Card Index/Microfilmed Records for the Peculiar Court of Groby

  • 1580-1858, Card Index (FHL 1517624, item 5)
    BRS 27 also indexes 1580-1800. The card index is more complete and matches with the second filming of this court’s records. Enter 1470375 into the film/fiche box of the main menu of the online catalog of the FHL for details at FamilySearch.

Miscellaneous Section

  1. 1384-1589, Abstracts
    Abstracts of the wills for eight persons were published in Leicestershire and Rutland Notes and Queries (FHL 942.5 B2Ln, volume 3) as follows:
    • Thomas de Beby of Leicester, 1384
    • James Belers of Somerby, 1421
    • Richard Belgrave of Syston, 1509
    • John Digby of Eye Kettleby, 1533
    • Edward Drewe, priest of Brawnston, 1533
    • Jeffry Johnson of Leicester, 1589
    • Sir Robert de Swyllyngton of Kirby Bellars, 1391
    • Thomas Wigston, canon of Newarke, 1537
  2. Omissions from Indexes:
    • The following documents for 1582 on FHL film 1519765 are not in BRS 27.
    • No. 93 Weston, Nicholas of Carleton
    • No. 96 Blankney, Thomas of Stathern
    • No. 97 Waldrom, J.
    • No. 98 Thompson, Edward, vicar of Hose
  3. The following appear after document 126 at the end of FHL film 234152, item 2 that are not listed in BRS 27 or are not where that printed index says they should be.
    • James, William of Grimston, inventory, 1607
    • Simpson, Henry of Caldwell, administration, 1609
    • Johnson, Roger of Rothley, administration, 1609
    • Whitehead, William of Wickham, account, about 1600
    • Gee, Eustace of Rothley, account, 1609
    • Worsdale, Thomas of Knipton, will, 1609 (BRS 27 lists it under 1583.)
    • Fletcher, Henry of Gaddesby, will, 1608
    • White, Thomas of Heather, will, 1610
    • Waite, William of Frowlesworth, will, 1745 is not listed in BRS 51. It appears at the end of FHL film 1537820.
    • Perkins, George of Barrow upon Soar, will/inventory, 1748 is listed correctly in BRS 51, but is filed towards the start of FHL film 1537890 with the entries for 1786.
  4. 1785-1851, Index to wills proven in Doctors’ Commons (FHL 1517624, item 6)
    This is a card index to wills for persons from Leicester proven in London. The PCC along with other courts met at the location referred to as Doctors’ Commons; hence, these wills are probably all filed in the records of the PCC.
  5. Read Collection
    A. William Read produced a vast collection of hand-written abstracts from Leicester probates in the 1920s. They start in the 17th century and end around 1800 for each of the courts. The abstracts for the Archdeaconry of Leicester start on FHL film 800668. Enter that number in the film/fiche box of the main menu of the online catalog of the FHL for further details at FamilySearch. The abstracts for St Margaret’s, Groby, Rothley and Evington are on films 808523-808525. The last film also contains abstracts from the uncompleted wills, 1576-1856, and the miscellaneous administration bonds, 1619-1744. Each volume is indexed. Mr. Read also made some other indexes to be found on FHL films 808526-808527, including one for the wills at Doctors’ Commons listed in number 3 above on pages 572-587 of film 808527.