Before 1858 the proving of wills and related testamentary matters came within the jurisdiction of courts administered by the church. There were many such courts operating at different levels. The court with overriding jurisdiction in England and Wales was the Prerogative Court of Canterbury (PCC). It was largely but not exclusively used by the wealthy.
Each diocese had its bishop's, or Consistory, court which had jurisdiction throughout the whole diocese. Below that were courts administered by bishop's Commissaries (deputies) which might have jurisdiction over one or more archdeaconries. Finally there were courts administered by archdeacons whose jurisdiction was limited to their respective Archdeaconries or parts of them.
Starting 11 January 1858, the church courts were replaced by a centralized system of civil probate registries.
The Archdeaconry Court of Middlesex had jurisdiction over the following Middlesex parishes:
Hanwell with New Brentford
Heston with Hounslow
Hillingdon with Uxbridge
St Anne Soho (Westminster)
St Clement Danes (Westminster)
St George Hanover Square (Westminster)
St James Piccadilly (Westminster)
St Martin-in-the-Fields (Westminster)
St Mary-le-Strand (Westminster)
St Paul Covent Garden (Westminster)
Staines with Ashford
Once you have found a document of interest in the free index search, you have the option of purchasing a black-and-white scanned image of the original document for Â£4.00 (approximately $6.75 in U.S. dollars). To receive your copy of a will, you need to register as a site user. This will allow you to log on and pay through a secure online facility. After paying, you will receive an email with a link to a specific URL, where you will be able to download your chosen will.
For more information, or to try a free search of the London Signatures index, go to http://www.cityoflondon.gov.uk/Corporation/wills/