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(DWAAC)

DEVON WILLS AND ADMINISTRATIONS: ADDITIONS AND CORRECTIONS 1595-1799

Additions Section

Transcribed by Jane Cook

The Source (DWAAC)

The 'additions' and 'corrections' listed in this DWAAC source are taken from two unique documents, entitled Bishop of Exeter: addenda 1579-1603 and Archdeaconry of Exeter: errors and omissions 1595-1799. From their appearance it would appear that both lists were compiled in the early 1800s, and that the clerk/scribe was not a Devonian. He obviously had great difficulty deciphering some place names shown in the source he was transcribing (suggesting he did not know the county well), and a good number of his surname spellings are suspect too. The lists were at one time in the possession of F.A. Crisp (1851-1922), a noted antiquary, who hoped that they would be published by the British Record Society as addenda to their two volumes of Devon Wills Calendars. Those volumes, nos 35 and 46, had been edited by E.A. Fry, and are listed in the present wills index as sources FRYA and FRYB. The additions and corrections that Crisp found already existed but were not known about when Fry compiled his calendars. Sadly, the additions and corrections were never published, but they were 're-discovered' in the 1990s by John Titford. He arranged for them to be photocopied. The photocopies of the two manuscripts were then bound into a single volume.

 

DWP's editing process

There are some 3,000 entries in these two manuscripts. Please note that there are two separate pages numbered 51.

Unfortunately all the additional wills mentioned in DWAAC were destroyed during the 1942 blitz of Exeter. So their inclusion in the present index serves only to indicate that they once existed. Some of the wills listed may well have been abstracted by Moger or Murray or others, and may therefore be listed twice in the present index.

One interesting feature of this source is that, despite the fact that the main addenda list is headed 'Principal Registry of the Bishop of Exeter', it would appear that many of the wills listed were in fact proved in the Consistory Court of the Bishop. This latter court had peculiar jurisdiction over sundry parishes in both Cornwall and Devon, and testators from these parishes appear with great frequency in the list.

 

Locating the source and acquiring copies

Volumes containing photocopies of the original DWAAC lists may be viewed at the Society of Genealogists, London (DE G/75), and the Westcountry Studies Library in Exeter (now part of the Devon Heritage Centre), and possibly elsewhere. None of the original wills they refer to have survived.