PCC Wills

The National Archive Discover Index covers the documents held in the National and other Archives. One set of documents is the Prerogative Court of Canterbury record of Wills. These can be isolated from other records by using the reference Prob 11. A description of which wills are covered can be found at  http://www.nationalarchives.gov.uk/help-with-your-research/research-guid... and http://www.nationalarchives.gov.uk/help-with-your-research/research-guid....

As these represent only a portion of wills any counts are inaccurate from the start. Certainly, the methodology we used is also subject to additional inaccuracy. We selected all wills recorded in "Discovery"  limited to the National Archives. These were then limited again by using the reference Prob 11, and then further limited by the term Clothier. Each count then used specific search terms and date ranges to identify the number of wills held.

e.g. select any NA document that includes the word Clothier  and the word Somerset with a reference of Prob 11. This will return wills from Somerset  for Clothiers. This can then be reviewed using the date range function.

Some obvious issues:-

1. Some people have the name Clothier, but aren't clothiers by trade
2. How many ways can you spell a place name? - we used Frome, Froome, Frome Selwood, Rode and Road for our specific searches.
3. Some people have the name Frome.
4. We did not attempt to isolate duplications in these counts so there may be individuals with more than one entry
5. Clothier Clothman Draper Mercer Dyer ...- these are the self referential terms people used - all of them may have manufactured or been directly involved in the manufacture of cloth

There will be many more issues but nevertheless  - 

    Pre 1700 1700 – 1800 1700 – 1749 1750 – 1799  
  Total   Count      
             
Clothier References 7219 3130 3041      
Clothier Probates 4563 2837 1431 928 503  
             
Frome 100 16 64 37 27 Frome Froome Selwood
             
Rode 22 4 16 8 8 Road
Beckington 24 8 16 4 4  
Nunney 5 0 5 3 3  
Buckland/Berkley 6 3 3 2 2  
Rodden 1 0 1 0 0  
Lullington 1 0 1 1 0  
Corsley 8 0 8 6 2  
Freshford 8 6 2 2 0  
Trowbridge 64 10 54 17 17  
Bradford on Avon 46 5 37 15 15  
Holt 1 1 1 1 0  
             
Warminster 23 5 18 7 7  
Heytesbury 5 1 4 3 1  
Westbury 60 21 36 22 14  
Corsham 23 7 16 5 11  
Devizes 30 14 16 4 12 includes Seend
Melksham 17 4 11 7 4  
Shepton Mallet 47 18 28 17 11  
Calne 19 8 7 3 4  
Taunton 44 42 1 0 1  
Bristol 41 30 11 9 2  
Bath 40 39 0 0 0  
             
Dursley 53 28 24 15 9  
Stroud 74 22 48 34 14  
Nailsworth 2 0 0      
Uley 11 1 8 4 4  
Gloucester 8 5 1 1 0  
Minchinhampton 75 22 47 38 9 Minchin Hampton Hampton Minchenhampton
Bisley 57 12 38 24 14  
Nibley 7 1 5 4 1  
Cam 17 5 11 8 3  
Wootton under Edge 62 34 24 16 8 Wotton
Brimscombe 2 0 1 1 0  
Nailsworth 2 0 0 0 0  
Tetbury 14 8 4 4 0  
Cirencester 24 10 14 13 1  
Avening 23 6 14 10 4  
Painswick 48 11 31 13 18  
Wickwar 9 3 6 4 2  
Stonehouse 31 17 11 7 4  
Rodborough 29 10 18 14 4  
Eastington 16 10 5 5 0  
Salisbury 57 24 31 19 12  
             
Somerset 646 356 234 139 95  
Wiltshire 588 239 289 170 119  
Gloucestershire 790 342 391 273 118  
Devon 287 231 43 30 13  
Dorset 142 86 39 24 15  
Hampshire 170 97 71 48 23  
Kent 266 230 18 17 1  
Middlesex 47 9 16 8 8  
Essex 331 261 62 34 28  
Suffolk 544 484 60 40 20  
Surrey 53 38 10 7 3  
Norfolk 11 2 8 0 8  
Berkshire 156 96 52 30 22