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 list of those that have taken the protestation in the parish of Cheslebourne.

Robert Arnold

Thomas Kingsberrie

Edward White

Richard Ludloe

Henrie Vine

Henrie Harben

Thomas White

Humphrie Lock

Thomas Joyce

Robert Kingsberrie

William Childes

Mathew Dominy

Andrew Barber

William Bartlet

Thomas Kingsberrie

Thomas Vivian

John Brine

Richard Baker

Edward Baker

John Worlde

John Flower

Adam Gillet

Edward Sprage

Mathew Vivian

John Bythewood

William Vivian

Edward Miller

Thomas Phelps

John Kingsberrie

Humphry Roudan

Richard Keate

Adam Gillet

Sydrach Witle

John Kingsberrie

Mathew Vine

Hugo World

Edward Willes

Richard Bishop

Robert Wittle

Edward Rigges

Thomas Baker

Henrie Rouden

Beniamine Gillet

Daniell Gillet

Steeven Cuffe

Henrie Baker

Morgen Bythewood

Peter May

Andrew Lock

Henrie Childs

Christopher Philpott

William Comton

Richard Smith

Thomas Fry

Edward Vine

Jonadab Ludloe

John Kellaway

Beniamin Chiles

Edward Baker

Richard Hurden

Richard Keate

John Arnold

Henrie Rouden

Sydrack Vivian

Thomas White

Thomas Arnold

Richard Bythewood

John Bythewood

John Gray

William Brine

William Gray

Thomas Burt

Adam Kingsberrie

William Stickland

Robert Burt

Edward Vine

Edward Lovelas

Richard Whitle

Robert Vine

Thomas Rouden

Charity Clark

Thomas Baker

John Pryde

William Young Curat

Richard Vine Churchwarden

Henrie Vivian Churchwarden

Thomas White Overseer

Joseph Vivian Overseer

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