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(PECU2)

A LIST OF WILLS AND ADMINISTRATIONS PROVED OR GRANTED AT THE PECULIAR COURT OF THE DEAN OF EXETER (SOG)

Transcribed by Richard Grylls

Historical background and the Source (PECU2)

The PECU2 source is a list of wills and administrations proved or granted at the Peculiar Court of the Dean of Exeter, from the 1630s to 1857. The list is held at the Society of Genealogists, bound together with PECU1. It is a photocopy. The whereabouts of the original list (from which this copy was taken) have not been determined as yet. All the original probate copies of wills proved in this court were destroyed in 1942. This PECU-2 list therefore presents (with a few exceptions, where copies, transcripts or abstracts of wills have been located) the only surviving evidence that well over a thousand Devon individuals did in fact leave wills or had their estates administered.

The jurisdiction of the Dean's Court covered the parish of Braunton (north-west of Barnstaple) and the Cathedral Close. The latter area seems not to have been an actual parish, but merely the area immediately around the cathedral in Exeter. Many of those who lived in the Cathedral Close worked in or for the cathedral in some way. It is disappointing that the list is totally uncommunicative as to the occupations of the testators and intestates within it.

Two men in the list, William Langworthy and William Stone, were said to be 'of Norton' at the time of their deaths. It has not proved possible to identify the location of Norton. Men with these names were married at Exeter Cathedral some 25 years before their deaths. It is just possible that they may have maintained some connection with the cathedral without actually living in the close itself.

 

DWP's editing process

What appears in our index is as close to the original as is possible.

 

Locating the source and acquiring copies

The original wills do not survive, so there are none to copy. The Society of Genealogists, 14 Charterhouse Buildings, London EC1M 7BA (email: genealogy[at]sog.org[dot]uk) would no doubt (for a fee) provide copies of pages from the index.