"CALDBECK PARISH extends about eight miles in length and six in breadth; being bounded on the east by Castle Sowerby, on the south by Skidaw, on the west by Bassenthwaite, Uldale, and Ireby parishes, and on the north by Catlands, Brocklebank, and Warnel Fells. The soil near Hesket and Caldbeck is fertile, but the western parts of the enclosed land is cold and heavy. It ranks among its mineral treasures lead, copper, coal and limestone. It is divided into the three townships of Caldbeck Haltcliff, Caldbeck High, and Caldbeck Low which together in 1841, contained 1553 inhabitants." [Description from Mannix & Whellan's History, Gazetteer and Directory of Cumberland, 1847]
Caldbeck fell under the authority of the ancient diocese of Carlisle and wills prior to 1858 were proved in the consistory court there. Records from 1548 to 1858 include original wills, letters of administration and inventories, although there are significant gaps in the years before 1661. These are deposited with the CRO at Carlisle. Comprehensive indexes exist, at the Carlisle CRO, in card files easily accessible in the reading room. The indexes cover from 1617 to 1941, listing the year of probate and the residence of the deceased. This is extraordinarily helpful in distinguishing between many individuals of the same name. Microfilm of many of these records, and a partial typescript of the indexes, is available at the Kendal office of the CRO.
The Province of York covered most of northern England, including this parish, and anyone who died leaving property in more than one diocese within the province would have their will proved in the Prerogative Court of the Archbishop of York (PCY) or sometimes in the Chancery Court of the Archbishop of York. These records are now deposited with York University, Borthwick Institute of Historical Research.
For probate from 1858 on, and general information, see our England - Probate page. However please note registered copy probate records for Cumberland are also available 1858-1941 at the Record Office in Carlisle.