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Obtaining more information on Court Rolls (1859)

hello. an article in the Sheffield Daily News on 5th Feb 1859 - lists a number of relatives of mine linked to Mrs Rebecca Mason (deceased) and the will of her brother Joseph Warhurst.

The report concerns proceedings at the 'Rolls Court' - and how the inheritance should be awarded to rebeccas legitimate and illegitimate children.

i have traced most of the people in the article - (birth, marriages, deaths and census) but would like to see a copy of the will or the court reports to see what decisions were reached.

any ideas where i could locate a copy of the court reports or the will (joseph warhurst died in liverpool)

kind regards


Re: Obtaining more information on Court Rolls (1859)

You can search for wills an d probate it helps to know dates- find a will

Re: Obtaining more information on Court Rolls (1859)

Thank you for replying. This is a useful link to have.

Havent managed to find this one though - perhaps he died before 1859 which is when this website records kick in from.

I dont have the date of death unfortunately and been unable to trace this through ancestry and find my past. Maybe some of the info in the article (rebecca died before joseph) is untrue, so will widen the terms of my search.

Thanks again :-)

Re: Obtaining more information on Court Rolls (1859)


Not everyone left a will and not all wills needed to be proved by a court.

Most people who left a will used the appropriate church court. The Prerogative Court of Canterbury was the highest church court in England and Wales until 1858, when the national court was established, but even in the late 1850s it was only proving about 40% of the national total of 21,653 wills.

Until 1858 there were more than 200 church courts, each of which kept separate registers of wills – there was no central index.

When looking for someone’s will or administration you will need to determine which court dealt with it. For advice on how to do this see the penultimate section of this guide.


Re: Obtaining more information on Court Rolls (1859)

Thank you for the information. I will read the National Archive guidance.

The newspaper article (if factually correct) confirmed there was a will. That it was being heard in the court rolls and that the master of rolls gave a verdict!

Would the probate date be after the hearing ?
Or be based on the year of death ( which is the vital bit of missing info)

Re: Obtaining more information on Court Rolls (1859)

A Joseph Warhurst, Cotton Dealer, died in Liverpool in 1833.

This is an entry from Lancashire OPC but Find My past has an image of the entry in the Church registers.

Burial: 22 Mar 1833 St Mary, Edge Hill, Lancs.
Joseph Warhurst -
Age: 56 years
Abode: Lowhill, West Derby
Buried by: Revd. C. L. Swainson

Find My Past has a record set - Lancashire Wills & Probate 1457-1858

There is an entry showing that his will went to probate. It gives a date of 10 Aug 1833.
There is an Archive Reference: Lancashire Archives, 971/16.

It suggests that the original will should be available at Lancshire Record office.

I think Rebecca and Joseph Warhurst could be the brother and sister born in Ecclesfield in 1775 and 1777 respectively. This would match Joseph's age at death.

Re: Obtaining more information on Court Rolls (1859)

Thank you Anne. I have all the same information... but the newspaper article said that rebecca died before Joseph... and she died 1835... journalists do make mistakes though!

This was my reason for wanting to see the will/court records to rule in or out the joseph who died in 1833... which might also rule in or out the siblings we have found too.

Thanks for your spending time on this, i appreciate it.