On the 1st November, 1748, the Wills, Inventories and Bonds from the five western deaneries of the Archdeaconry of Richmond were sent from Lancaster to Richmond, and in 1861 they were removed to the Probate Registry at Somerset House. The list of the Lancashire portion of these Wills has already been printed in the 10th and 13th volumes of the Society's publications. From 1748 the Wills for North Lancashire continued to be proved at Lancaster until the passing of the Probate Act in 1857.
The present volume completes the list to 1792 inclusive. In addition to the ordinary Probate Courts, there were formerly in many parts of the country a number of ancient manorial and other courts which had a testamentary jurisdiction. These were often called "Peculiars."
According to the Government Return of the Jurisdiction, Records, &c., of Ecclesiastical Courts, the only one of these Peculiar Courts in Lancashire was that of Halton, which is co-extensive with the parish of that name.