This collection of wills and inventories is a companion volume to publications of probate documents for the Upper Calder Valley townships of Sowerby and Soyland; and of Erringden, Langfield and Stansfield. The documents offer vivid insights into life and death among the people of Heptonstall and Wadsworth 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, but also trade tools and farming implements. They also demonstrate the sizeable sums of money loaned and borrowed, and the role of widows in the economic system.

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