Protestation Returns 1641

Transcribed from original returns on microfilm by Tony Higgins.

(Note: Ornate letters and unusual spellings introduce uncertainties.) 

The English Revolution (1640-60) began in November 1640 when Charles 1st. summoned Parliament to help him out of a financial crisis. Charles was very unpopular and was forced to agree to radical reforms which gave Parliament a more prominent roll in the constitution.

The political crisis escalated and the "Long Parliament" split into two opposing parties in the Autumn of 1641, forming the King's party of Royalists (Cavaliers) and the Parliamentarians (Roundheads), who demanded further political and religious reforms. The events of 1640/41 led to the Civil War which began in August 1642.

It was agreed and ordered on the 3rd May 1641, that every Member of the House of Commons should make a protestation (declaration of loyalty), which the House of Lords also agreed to the following day.

The Commons ordered the printing of the protestation and preamble on the 5th May 1641 and this was distributed by the Members to their counties. The Protestation was to be made by everyone and the Rectors, Churchwardens and Overseers of the Poor had to appear before the Justices of the Peace in their Hundred to make their protestation and, on returning to their parishes, any two of them were to witness the taking of the Protestation Oath by all males over the age of 18 years. All names were listed and anyone who refused was to be noted.

The protestation itself reads:-

I,-------- do, in the presence of Almighty God, promise, vow, and protest to maintain, and defend as farr as lawfully I maye, with my Life, Power and Estate, the true Reformed Protestant religion, expressed in the Doctrine of the Church of England, against all Popery and Popish Innovations, within this Realme, contrary to the same Doctrine, and according to the duty of my Allegiance, His Majesties Royal Person, Honour and Estate, as alsoe the Power and Privileges of Parliament, the lawful Rights and Liberties of the Subjects, and any person that maketh this Protestation, in whatsoever he shall do in the lawful Pursuance of the same; and to my power, and as farr as lawfully I may, I will appose and by all good Ways and Means endeavour to bring to condign Punishment all such as shall, either by Force, Practice, Councels, Plots, Conspiracies, or otherwise, doe any Thing to the contrary of any Thing in this present Protestation contained: and further, that I shall, in all just and honourable ways, endeavour to preserve the Union and Peace betwixt the Three Kingdoms of England, Scotland and Ireland: and neither for Hope, Feare, nor other Respect, shell relinquish this Promise, Vow and Protestation.
(Note: Ornate letters and unusual spellings introduce uncertainties.)
The names of all ye Inhabitants of ye pish of Batcombe not one refusing to ye protestation


John Minterne Sen gent
John Minterne Jun gent
Samll Minterne
Thomas Minterne
Brian Legg John
Hebbert William Dyer Sen
John Long
Henry Legg Sen
Henry Legg Jun
James Legg
James Denms
Simeon Nayle
Edward Newman
John Hebditch
John Masters
William Masters
Thomas Kent
William Kent Sen
William Kent Jun
John Vine Sen
Thomas Vine
Christopher Vine
John Vine Jun
Philip fframpton
William Minterne
John Minterne
Augustine Sheere
Henry Sheere
William Dyer Jun
Thomas Huchings
Richard Huchings
John Huchings
Samll Huchings
Briant Sheere
Jasper Hebbert
Henry Nossiter
James ffooke Sen
James ffooke Jun
John ffooke
Leonard ffooke
Briant ffooke
Robert Pittman
Thomas Slade
Richard Stagg
William Hodges Sen
William Hodges Jun
Gregory Marsh
Thomas Melledge
Thomas Diker
Thomas Croker 
Those above written have taken ye pestatcon(sic) in ye psence(sic) of:
John Bishop – Rector (who himself have taken the prestacon in ye psence of both churchwardens and one of the overseers of ye poor).
Richard Handleigh – Churchwarden
Rochard ffooke – Churchwarden
Peter Maber – Overseer
John ffoze – Overseer