This collection of wills and inventories is a companion volume to publications of probate documents for Sowerby and Soyland, and also for Midgley.

The documents offer vivid insights into life and death among the people of the Upper Calder Valley townships of Erringden, Langfield and Stansfield at the end of the seventeenth century. Many were involved in the dual economy of the domestic textile trade and farming. Intriguing insights into family relationships are revealed through bequests, property transfers and the choice of executors. The documents show the desire of the testators and the efforts of the probate courts to ensure that the estate was administered as intended.

The inventories not only describe household goods and personal possessions, titles of books in one case, but also trade tools and farming implements. Small details like the names given to cows bring us closer to the people. The wealth of these families was the basis for building the mills in the next century.

The volume contains a description of the probate process, extensive indexes of persons and places, and a thorough glossary of usage for this period.