C hild Okeford

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.


Gerard Wood

Roger Wood

James Wood

John Young

Robert Scott

Thomas Reinold

Gregory Tylly

Robert Tylly

William Munk

John Munk

Jonas Moores Sen

Jonas Moores Jun

James Morris

George Gregory

Thomas Baker

James Peckham

Richard Bythewood

John Rosseter Sen

John Rosseter Jun

John Lamming

Andrew Samways

John Snooke

Thomas Snooke

Thomas Arnold Jun

John Arnold

Tristran Arnold Sen

Tristran Arnold Jun

Tristran Rossitor

Richard Holdway

Thomas ffreeman

Michael ffreeman

John ffreeman

John Stevens

John Coward Sen

John Coward Jun

William Hendy

ffrancis Marsh

John Marsh

Michaell Bylis

John Eyres

William Coward

Richard Pain

John Pain

Walter Chamberlaine

Edward Mateham

Ralfe Chamberlaine

Richard Reade

Thomas Steevens

William Freeman Sen

Arthur Freeman

William Brown

Oliv Coke

Robert Poulden

William Debben

Walter Spencer

George Spencer

Michaell Coward

Abell Lawrence

Christopher Butt

Michael Stacy

Andrew Moores

Henry Matcham

John Matcham

William Matcham

John Rogers Jun

John Ridout

Henry Young

Richard Browne(?)

John Lewis

Walter Tylly

Walter Peckham

William Plimston

William Paine

Gyles ffrench

William ffreeman Jun

Thomas Hazard

John Hazard

William Janes

Edward Jeanes

Robert Eyres Sen

Robert Eyres Jun

John Byles

George Byles

John Haysom

William ffoord

Robert Bawden

Richard Powell

William Baldwin

George Sheepheard

Joseph Butt Sen

Joseph Butt Jun

Robert Butt

Thomas Edgill

Walter Paul

John Bledding

James Haim

John Rogers Sen

John Scott

Richard Maideman

William Still

Roger Eires

Robert Brooke

Michaell Scott

Thomas Guy

John Harvy

John Markes


Wee the Churchwardens and Overseers of Chilokeford aforesed doe testify that all those whose names are abovewritten have taken the Protestation.

Thomas Arnold Churchwarden

William ffreeman Churchwarden

Benjamin Byles Overseer

John Rosseter Overseer

Absent: Rob, Dawhitt(?), John Nichols, Rob. Jeans, John Burrowes, William Hulitt.

George Jeanes refuseth.

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