Annotations and comments

Michael Zell has posted one annotation/comment since 4 March 2019.

4 Mar 2019, 2:26 p.m. - Michael Zell

Mr Foreman has not come up with a correct or useful description of the 'Prerogative Court of Canterbury' (or PCC). It was the highest church court for the province of Canterbury (i.e. most of southern England) and - for most people - its importance was that it proved (or registered and agreed) the last wills and testaments of wealthier people in the province. Historically it dealt with the wills of people who died leaving 'bona notabilia' (or goods and lands) in more than one diocese (e.g. in London and in Winchester). The wills of most ordinary people were handled by the church courts of their own diocese. However, with the collapse of the traditional church courts during the interregnum, the PCC was transformed into a semi-secular court and for a time offered probate for wills of many people who were by no means wealthy. With the Restoration, the PCC was revived in its traditional identity as the superior court of the restored Church of England. In the mid-1660s its leading official (and a practitioner of civil and ecclesiastical law - rather than a common lawyer) was Mark Cottle; with whom Pepys socialised in 1665-66.