"Stapleton is encompassed by Nichol Forest, and the parishes of Bewcastle, Lanercost, Kirklinton, Arthuret and Walton. It comprises the townships of Belbank, Soloport, Stapleton and Trough although the people live in dispersed dwellings scattered over the parish, there being no village or hamlet containing more then ten or a dozen houses. It extends about three miles by five and lies about eight miles North from Brampton." [Description from T. Bulmer & Co's History, Topography and Directory of East Cumberland, 1884]
"The parish church is dedicated to St. Mary and stands near the center of the township. It stands on an ancient foundation,. a new edifice erected in 1830 on the site of the old church. In the churchyard stands a tombstone inscribed: Here lies Robert (Hob) Forrester, of Stanegarthside, 1598.(Extract from Bulmer's 1884 History & Directory, cited above)
Stapleton 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.
[Page originated by Don Noble on 24 Mar 1997 and updated 29 Aug 2004 - David Hawgood]