Wills for Barcombe and Hamsey can be found among the records of two probate courts. The local court was the Archdeaconry of Lewes, whose records can be consulted at East Sussex Record Office (ESRO), Lewes and West Sussex Record Office (WSRO), Chichester, where additional probate related material such as Administrations and Inventories can be found. The national court was the Prerogative Court of Canterbury (PCC) whose archives are held at The Natuional Archives (TNA), Kew, which also holds other related probate material.

Ian Hilder kindly volunteered to mastermind the massive task of listing and supervising the transcription of all 313 wills made by residents of Barcombe up to 1857 as well as the additional PCC wills for Hamsey that had not been transcribed. We thank him for his major contribution to the project.

The complete list of Barcombe wills is available on this website.

Following a brief training workshop in palaeography (ancient handwriting) a team of volunteers undertook the task of transcribing and abstracting the wills; the work is still ongoing. So far 206 have been transcribed but many still have to be checked and summarised. When the work is complete we intend to replace the present list with another that will contain summaries of the contents of the wills.

Copies of the transcripts already completed will be deposited in the Sussex Archaeological Society library, Barbican House, Lewes. Others will be added as they are completed until the archive is complete.

If you have an enquiry about a will or would like to assist the transcription team, who would welcome your help, please contact:
Ian Hilder email hildergen@aol.com; tel: 01273 400604.

Will: John Hills, 1609

Barcombe wills list