Working with Probate Records - Student Masterclass with Euan Roger

When and Where

Thursday, May 30, 2024 1:30 pm to 3:30 pm
LI 301
Lillian Massey Building
125 Queen's Park


Euan Roger (Records Specialist, The National Archives, UK)


Working with Probate Records - Student Masterclass with Dr. Euan Roger (Records Specialist, The National Archives, UK)

Probate records (the documents produced to administer the management of an individual’s goods and estate in the lead up to, and after, their death) are a fascinating and rich source of information for medieval and early modern England. Records including wills, inventories, and disputed estates can shed important light on a wide variety of subjects including relationships between an individual’s family and friends, bequests, pious provisions, details of material goods and much more.

The National Archives (TNA) holds thousands of these records from the Prerogative Court of Canterbury – the largest court in England – including many which can be downloaded for free online, but the records themselves can often be tricky to piece together and interpret. Often a will alone only tells half of the story… In this masterclass we will look at and discuss a range of probate records from TNA’s collections (in facsimile) and trace the course of record creation from drafting a will to completion of probate, using examples from the fifteenth and sixteenth centuries. From copies of the Canterbury Tales to numbered bedsheets and tapestries galore, we will unveil some of the fascinating insights these documents can provide.

We will be undertaking some light palaeography as part of the workshop, but no prior expertise is required. Some documents will be in Latin, but we will also have a range of English documents for discussion.

Light snacks will be provided for attendees.


Contact Information


Old Books New Science, Hidden Stories: New Approaches to the Local and Global History of the Book


125 Queen's Park