The Bishopric of Gloucester, at present united with that of Bristol under the same episcopate, is one of the six new Sees founded in the year 1541, during the reign of King Henry VIII. Previously to that date the district formed part of the Diocese of Worcester. By the charter of foundation of the Bishopric of Gloucester it was ordained that the new See should consist of the city and whole county of Gloucester, but at some subsequent period certain Gloucestershire parishes were added to the Bristol Deanery, and are now considered part of the Bishopric of Bristol.
With the exception of about sixty Wills recently discovered in the Registry, ranging in date from 1508 to 1540, there are none known to be extant at Gloucester of an earlier date than 1541. It might be thought that the ancient Gloucestershire Wills would be found at Worcester, but unfortunately such is not the case, for though the records in the Registry there go back to the latter part of the fifteenth century there are very few Wills amongst them belonging to this county.