|Protestation of 1641|
The Protestation was an attempt to avert the English Civil War. In July 1641, Parliament passed a bill authored on May 3 requiring those over the age of 18 to sign the Protestation, an oath of allegiance to King Charles I and the Church of England. No one could hold a Church or state office without signing.
The speaker of the House of Commons sent a letter to sheriffs of each county. They and the Justices of the Peace had to take the Protestation. From there, each parish incumbent was to read the Protestation in church to his parishioners and have each one sign. This took place during February and March 1642, after which the returns were sent to Parliament. Those among the population who could not write marked a cross against their names. Those who did not wish to have their names used in support were also listed in the Protestation.
Transcript of the 1641 Protestation
13th February the Lords Day parish of Winsham County of Somerset.
The Protestation was performed solemnly according to the order of the House of Commons in Parliament. By all the parishioners whose names are subscribed. I as do, in the presence of Almighty God promise, vow and protest to maintain and defend, as far as lawfully may, with my life, power and state the true reform Protestant Religion expressed in the doctrine of the Church of England against all Popery and Popish Innovations within this realm, contrary to the same doctrines and according to the duty of my allegiance to his Majestys royal person honour and estate as also the powers and privileges of parliament. The lawful rights and liberties of the subject and every person that makes this protestation in whatsoever he shall do in the lawful performance of the same and to my power and as far as I lawfully 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, counsels, plots, conspiracies or otherwise, do anything to the contrary of anything in this present protestation contains and the union between the three kingdoms of England Scotland and Ireland and neither for hope, fear, nor any respect shall relinquish this promise, vow and protestation.
JOHN WYATT Vicar
Other names include -
THOMAS PAUL )
total about 145, some women were included, some made marks.
For a more complete (but slightly different) list of signatories click here