"The town Whitehaven is a large and important seaport, market town, and municipal and Parliamentary borough on the Irish sea, about three miles to the north of the lofty promontory of St. Bees Head. The town is built around a small creek or inlet, which forms the harbour and is overlooked on the other sides by green hills which rise abruptly from the outskirts of the town. . . In 1633 Whitehaven was still an obscure village of some nine thatched cottages, whose name was scarcely known beyond the precincts of the parish. It was about this period the manor became the property of the Lowthers of Westmorland, and they were not slow to detect the value of the immense beds of coal in the locality." [Description from T. Bulmer & Co's History, Topography and Directory of Cumberland, 1901]
Church records are available at the Whitehaven and Carlisle offices of the Cumbria Archive Service. There were, and are, many chapels and places of worship whose records have not been deposited with the Archive Service, have been deposited elsewhere, or have not survived Church of England
For Anglican church records, see the parishes listed individually. In addition, Anglican records are available for: Christ Church (CRO Reference: PR104)
Whitehaven fell under the authority of the ancient diocese of Chester and wills prior to 1858 were proved in the consistory court there. Records are deposited at the Lancashire Record Office.
The Province of York covered most of northern England, including Whitehaven, 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.