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

Getting Started

1. Search each index listed below. If you find reference to a probate, write down each detail cited in the index entry.

2. Proceed to the "Accessing the Records" section below to determine what probate records exist for this court.


The probate collection includes a Calendars and indexes to wills, administrations and inventories. A calendar is an index arranged first alphabetically by the beginning letter of a testator's surname and second by date.

Online Indexes

This is a website for which you may request a search to be made.

Printed and Microfilmed Indexes

Manuscript indexes in The Family History Library:

These indexes are also available at the East Sussex Record Office.

Accessing the Records

Archives Location

The original records of this court are deposited at:

The East Sussex Record Office
The Maltings
Castle Precincts
East Sussex BN7 1YT
Tel 44-(0)1273 482349

If you are unable to visit in person, the record office provides a research service for a fee.

Original Records

These include:

  • Original Wills & Administrations (Admons) Early to 1731
  • Registered Wills & Admons 1531-1856

Family History Library Records

These have been microfilmed and are available at the Family History Library in Salt Lake City and through family history centers.  They include:


This court had jurisdiction over the whole of East Sussex with the exception of the peculiar parishes of South Malling and Battle.  It also had jurisdiction over the West Sussex parishes of Beeding, Crawley, Cowfold, Henfield, Ifield, Shermanbury, Old and New Shoreham, Southwick and Woodmancote.

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 abstracts may add considerable information not found elsewhere. Estate duty indexes may help locate a will. For more information, go to Estate Duty Registers.