More Oswyn Murray will abstracts

Murray, Oswyn (comp.)

Transcribed by Nigel Bond, Alan Brooke, Malcolm Diggines, Brian Lake, Ann Roberts and Lindsey Withers

The Source (MUR2)

In addition to the 39 volumes of will abstracts made by Sir Oswyn Murray (MUR1), the Devon Heritage Centre holds nine boxes of further abstracts that he made. Seven boxes cover surnames alphabetically, or very nearly so. They are each marked with a letter range, e.g. N-P. A second copy was made of each the abstracts in these seven boxes, and these second copies are squeezed into two further boxes which are clearly marked "Duplicates".

The rationale behind this collection is not entirely clear. Some of these will abstracts in MUR2 did indeed get into the 39 volumes of MUR1, so those within MUR2 merely duplicate those in a more convenient source. Many of the testators represented in the MUR2 collection lived outside Devon (and Cornwall), and their connection to those counties (if any) is not clear. In addition to the abstracts in MUR2 there are some lists of wills and administrations relevant to people of a certain surname. With regards the 'Pulman' list included, it is not clear from that list whether the documents were wills or not, though interesting the probate court is given.

Furthermore, because many of the abstracts in MUR2 are of wills that were proved at the Prerogative Court of Canterbury (PCC), those wills will already be listed in our index with the source code PROB 11, and copies of each actual will can be downloaded from the The National Archives website. Other items in the seven principal boxes may well also appear in our index with other source codes, having been transcribed by people other than Sir Oswyn Murray. Despite these reservations about MUR2, among the contents of those seven boxes there are certainly abstracts of wills which don't appear in any other collection.


DWP's editing process

All the will abstracts found in the seven principal boxes are included on our index, whether they are duplicated elsewhere or not. Our index indicates in which box an abstract may be found. However, as pointed out above, the abstracts are not necessarily in exact alphabetical order. Furthermore, while checking through the two "Duplicates" boxes, it was noticed that a handful of abstracts there did not have a corresponding abstract in the seven principal boxes. For these eight items we indicate which of the two duplicate boxes the abstract can be found in.


Locating the source and acquiring copies

To obtain information about the possibility of viewing the documents listed, photographing them or acquiring photocopies of them by post, you should contact the Devon Heritage Centre, Exeter directly.