St Catherines Articles

Article -

Searching the records of the Prerogative Court of Canterbury

The Public Record Office at Kew holds the records of the Prerogative Court of the Archbishop of Canterbury, 1383 to 1858. A selection of the most popular of these can also be seen on microfilm at the Family Records Centre.

If you are just looking for a will or administration, and not for any further information, then the microfilms at the FRC are probably the best place to start.

In both locations, the records relating to wills and administrations are to be found under the PROB lettercode, where all the PRO's holdings from the Prerogative Court of Canterbury are held. The will registers are in the class (collection) PROB 11; administration records are in PROB 6.

At the FRC, as you come to each new class of records, you will find with it a laminated sheet of background information, which will act as a guide to understanding what you eventually find.

Visiting the Family Records Centre

Family Records Centre
1 Myddelton Street
General telephone: 020 8392 5300
Web :

You can visit the FRC in person without an appointment. If you are unable to visit the FRC yourself you may want to consider employing a freelance researcher, as FRC staff cannot carry out searches on your behalf.

Visiting the Public Record Office

Public Record Office
Surrey TW9 4DU
General telephone: 0208876 3444
Telephone number for enquiries: 02083925200

No appointment is needed to visit the PRO in Kew, but you will need a reader's ticket to gain access to the research areas. To obtain a ticket you need to take with you a full UK driving licence or a UK banker's card or a passport if you are a British citizen, and your passport or national identity card if you are not a British citizen. Note that the last time for ordering documents is 4 p.m. on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays; 4.30 p.m. on Tuesdays and Thursdays, and 2.30 p.m. on Saturdays.

Once you have your reader's ticket, you will need to go to the Microfilm Reading Room if you want to look for a will or administration, and to the Research Enquiries Room if you want to investigate some of the other records of the Prerogative Court of Canterbury.

Page 1 of 7