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Before 1858, in England, Wales and Ireland the probate of wills and granting of letters of administration (admons.) were matters for the church courts. The making of wills was not usual before the mid-16th century. Wills were normally made by the testator when on his deathbed or perhaps before taking a dangerous journey. It was relatively uncommon to make wills among the population in general, certainly less than ten per cent of the population. But the question of inheritance was often settled long before death. Letters of administration were obtained in the absence of a will.

In England, wills before 1858 were normally proved in the archdeaconry in which the testator died. If however, his possessions fell across two deaconries, or two bishoprics, or two archbishoprics then the will would be taken to the relevant consistory, diocese or prerogative court of the archbishop respectively. The highest church courts were the Prerogative Court of Canterbury (P.C.C.) for England and Wales and the Prerogative Court of York for the northern English provinces. But in practice the exception was almost as common as the rule. The wealthier the testator, the more likely their executor would take the will to the highest courts where records were better maintained and where the possibility of disputes was minimised.

There were also 'peculiar' jurisdictions of parishes and groups of parishes which were exempt from the archdeacon's and frequently the bishop's authority.

For Wills and Letters of Administration proven in England and Wales since 1858, see the National Probate Calendars.

The following index has links to the transcribed will. [Source: Wills 1384-1858: The National Archives UK; PCC Acts and Administrations-British Record Society:vols 1-12]


STERRY, Thomas, citizen and goldsmith, St Peters in Chepe, London, 1578
STIRREY, Arthur, Hawkherst, Kent, 1587
STIRRY, Jas, Fremington, Devon, 1637
STERREY, John, bachelor, Leinthall Starkes, Herefordshire, 1650
STERRY, Thomas, Faversham, Kent, 1653
STARIE, Richard, of Knighton, Worcestershire, Tanner, 1655
STARIE, Anne, Widow, Cleobury Mortimer, Shropshire, 1659
STERREY, Frances, widow, London, 1682
STERRY, Joseph Lee, dyer, London, 1682/90
STERRY, Ann, 1684 [Admon-BRS only]
STERRY, William, mariner, Bristol, 1685
STERRY, George snr, Naylor, St Saviour, Southwark, Surrey, 1686
STERRY, John, shipwright, St Mary Overs, Surrey, 1691
STERRY, Elizabeth, Surrey, 1704
STERRY, Peter, London, 1704
STERRY, Samuel, Surrey, 1705
STERRY, Benjamin, Surrey, 1708
STERRY, Ann, Surrey, 1718
STERRY, William, Surrey, 1720
STERRY, Abraham, 1720 [Admon]
STERRY, Peter, Middlesex, 1724
STERRY, Dorothy, Middlesex, 1731
STERRY, John, Surrey, 1735
STARYE, Poston, Apothecary, London, 1735
STAREY or STARYE, Ann, Widow, London, 1736
STERRY, George, Surrey, 1736
STERRY, Elizabeth, Surrey, 1740
STERRY, Joseph, London, 1742
STERRY, Henry, London, 1744

1750 - 1800

Year Name   County Month Ref No
1750 Richard STARYE
Lindridge [Worc.]    
1750 John STERRY   London Oct 337
1751 Elizabeth STERRY   London Sep 266
1754 Cornelia STERRY   Surrey Feb 58
1759 Joseph STERRY   London May ---
1770 Samuel STERRY   Surrey Feb 77
1774 Nuce STERRY   Surrey Sep 350
1776 William STERRY   Middlesex Feb 94
1778 Wasey STERRY   Surrey Oct 419
1778 Jane STERRY   Surrey Nov 464
1786 Richard STERRY   Surrey Feb 120
1787 Henry STERRY   Middlesex Dec 573
1791 Mary STERRY   Middlesex May 253
1790 Wasey, Rev., STERRY   Essex May 154
1797 Hannah STERRY   Surrey Mar 205
1797 Thomas STAREY   Tenbury [Worc.] Jan ---


STARIE, Thomas, Cutler, Leominister, Herefordshire, 1804
STERRY, George, Wool Stapler, Saint Nicholas, Worcester, 1807
STAREY, Peggy, Spinster, Tenbury, Worcestershire, 1808
STERRY, Mary, Widow, Hertford, Hertfordshire, 1809
STAREY, Samuel, Croydon, Surrey, 1810
STERRY, Benjamin, Southwark, Surrey, 1811
STARIE, Joseph, Surgeon of the Ship Essex East Indiaman, Portsmouth, Hampshire, 1812
STERRY, Mary, Widow, Finsbury, Middlesex, 1816
STERRY, Thomas Johnson, Gentleman, Saint Mary Newington, Surrey, 1817
STERRY, Robert, Merchant, Lowestoft, Suffolk, 1818
STAREY, Benjamin, Wholesale Linen Draper, Poultry, City of London, 1824
STERRY, Anthony, Newington Butts, Surrey, 1826
STERRY, Martha, Spinster, Worcester, Worcestershire, 1828
STERRY, Benjamin Wasey, Romford, Essex, 1830
STERRY, Charles, Waterman, Westbury upon Severn, Gloucestershire, 1831
MARKS, Sterry, Gentleman, Saint Paul Shadwell, Middlesex, 1833
STERRY, Henry, Merchant, City of London, 1835
STARIE, Mary, Widow, Hereford, Herefordshire, 1835
STERRY, Wasey, Romford and Upminster, Essex, 1842
STERRY, Hester, Widow, Fonthill Place, Surrey, 1847
STERRY, Robert, Master Mariner, Bermondsey Surrey,1849
STERRY, Thomas, Mariner, Westbury on Severn, Gloucestershire, 1850
STERRY, Mary, Croydon, Surrey, 1853
BRIDGMAN Margaret, late Starie, Burford, Shropshire, 1855
STERRY, Frances, Widow, Southampton & Upminster Essex, 1856
STAREY, Samuel, Bleacher, Croydon, Surrey, 1856
STERRY, George, Worcester, 1856
STERRY, Samuel Henry, Gentleman, Bermondsey, Surrey, 1857
STERRY, Joseph, Gentleman, Hertford, 1857