Court of the Bishop (Episcopal Consistory) of Chichester for the Archdeaconry of Chichester

Getting Started

1. Search each index listed below. If you find a reference to a probate record, write down all details cited in the index entry.
2. Proceed to "Accessing the Records" below to determine what probate records exist for this court and how to obtain them from the nearest possible research facility to you.


If you have not already done so, also search the online indexes listed on the main Sussex Probate Records page.

Printed and Microfilmed Indexes

The following indexes for this court have been published and are available at the Family History Library in Salt Lake City:

These indexes are also available at the West Sussex Record Office (see below).

Accessing the Records

Archive Location

Original records of this court are deposited at:

West Sussex Record Office
3 Orchard Street
West Sussex PO19 1DD
United Kingdom
Tel: 01243 753602
Fax: 01243 533959
If you are unable to visit in person, the record office provides a research service for a fee.

Original Records

These include:

  • Original wills 1502-1652, 1660-1857
  • Registered wills 1479-1653, 1660-1858
  • Inventories 1560-1653, 1662-1809, 1834
  • Probate and administration act books & diaries 1556-1653, 1665-1858
  • Citations & caveats 1631-1642, 1660-1683, 1726-1805
  • Administration bonds 1605-1858
  • Renunciations 1550-1850
  • Probate accounts 1579-1700

Family History Library Records

Microfilm copies of the following records are available at the Family History Library or through one of its 4,800+ satellite family history centers worldwide.


This court had jurisdiction over the western portion of the county of Sussex, with the line between West and East Sussex running roughly from the mouth of the River Adur in the south and ending between the parishes of Rusper and Ifield in the north. 

Appeals Courts

Any probate that was disputed and could not be settled by the county courts could be sent to these higher appeals courts:

The Prerogative Court of the Archbishop of Canterbury also served as an appeals court.

Estate Duty Records

Starting in 1796, a tax or death duty was payable on estates over a certain value. Estate duty probate abstracts may add considerable information not found elsewhere. Estate duty indexes may help locate a will. For more information, go to Estate Duty Registers.