Event Factfile -

Wills at the Borthwick

Great Broughton Village Hall

Monday 14th March at 7.30pm

Illustrated Talk

Gary Brannan


This lecture, delivered with passion owing to the quantity of material that Gary had felt was his remit, gave the audience much to think about and absorb. We could have been there for hours! However, Gary took us, with descriptive slides, through the history of the Borthwick Institute, its present function as a research facility and consequently its value as a resource to anyone interested in either their own personal northern based family history or broader research through the many different church probate courts prior to 1858. It was interesting to learn just how many wills survive from the 16th century and just how much one can learn about a life from this ultimately personal document. As an establishment soon to be accessible 24 hours a day (!) it should not be ignored but used for purpose. There are  Archdeaconery Records, Parish Records, Archbishop Transcripts, Archbishop Visitations, and Cause (Court) papers for the various different courts of the Northern Province not forgetting the wills themselves.


The evening drew to a close leaving many in the audience eager to take on another research challenge.


A small sample of the old wills held at the Borthwick