"Stretches along both sides of the Eden, through the most picturesque part of the vale, a distance of about six miles, and has a breadth of from one and a half to three and a half miles. It is bounded on the east by the parishes of Hayton and Cumwhitton, on the west by St. Cuthbert's and St. Mary's, Carlisle, on the north by Warwick, and on the south by Wreay and Hesket. The soil is in general fertile and well cultivated . . . The parish is divided into four townships: Great Corby and Warwick Bridge, Cumwhinton and Cotehill, Scotby, and Wetheral." [Description from T. Bulmer & Co's History, Topography and Directory of East Cumberland, 1884]
Wetheral 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 in 1997 and updated 12 Jun 1999 - Don Noble]