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.


A lyst of the names of all the menkinde there, of the age of Eighteene yeares and upwards, taken the XXVIJ th day of ffebruarie AnnoDmi 1641


Lawrence Chubbe

Thomas Maisters

John Keetch

John Aimett

John Hussey Sen

John Hussey Jun

William Symmes Sen

William Symmes Jun

Phillippe Symmes

Joseph Downton

Nicholas Warren

Tristram Warren

Thomas Curtis

Ellis Cole

Thomas Griggs

Thomas Bartlett Sen

Thomas Bartlett Jun

Thomas ffraures

Thomas Warren

Edward Symmes

Tristram Bartlett

William Bartlett Sen

William Bartlett Jun

William Bishoppe

John White

Andrew Elforde

John Griggs

Henrie Lyniman

George Downton

William Jannton

Henrie Oldis

Robert Elford

John Bayne

Thomas Downton


John Stone

John Barfoote

John Standford

Robert Bartlett

Thomas Burt

Richard Cuffe

Lawrence Gast

Mathew Downton

Roger Bartlett

Lawrence Elford

Richard Aldis

Tristram Maynard

Robert Ringe

John Daggerwell

John Ringe



All these person above mencioned have taken the protestation this day and yeere first above written, in the presence of us whose names are under subscribed.

Thomas Sherringe Curate

Tristram Devenish Churchwarden

William Chubbe Overseer

Timothey Hemlet Overseer