Protestation Returns 1642

(The following paragraphs are extracts from the National Archives)

The National Archives have digitised all available Protestation Returns; they can be searched on this link:

2. What are the records?

The Protestation Returns are the closest record we have to a census from 1642. By order of the House of Commons, all adult men were asked to swear an oath of allegiance to the Protestant religion in 1642. Their names were duly inscribed in a list in each parish, and the list sent back to Parliament. In a few areas such as Cornwall, people wrote their own names, and women were included. But usually a local official wrote out all the names. The Protestation Returns survive for about a third of English counties.

3. What information do the records contain?

The Returns are a list of adult male residents’ names for a specific parish. Occasionally other information such as names of recusants (ie. those who refused to attend Church of England services), churchwardens and local government officials are given.

Protestation Returns 1
Protestation Returns 1
Protestation Returns 2
Protestation Returns 2

Transcript of Hickling Protestation Returns:

Hickling the 5th day of march Anno domini 1641

Mr John Hill John Smith Laurence Godfrey
Laurence Hill Robert Gill John Beeson
Samuell Mellers Nicholas Man Nicholas Frost
Anthony Musson Oliver Musson William Awod
George Gunthorpe George Pilkington Richard Hemfrey
Nicholas Holmes John Randow William Daft
Richard Winthorpe Vincent Cooke Thomas Daft
William Randowe William Fillingham Robert Hopkinson
Christopher Robbinson John Fawkes Thomas Willson
John Marriot William Daft John Daft ye elder
Ambrose Kirkman Thomas Slater Heugh Gill
Thomas Armeson Thomas Wesby Harrold Robbinson
Stephen Man Nicholas Shelton  
John Daft Harrold Smith  
Charles Collington Edward Collishaw  
Robert Marriot Robert Pritchit We whose names are underwritten
George Daft at ye towne end Thomas Husson doe testify that all the inhabitants
Thomas Beyly Robert James of Hickling above the age of
William Wallis John Robbinson eighteene yeares have taken the
Edward Hooton Kemline Fawkes protestation and all their names are herein
Oliver Gudburne Thomas Butler expressed and not any refused to take it
Joseph Awod John Daft in the presence of us
John Greasly Henry Jesson  
Thomas Awod Laurence Robbinson James Bardsey Rect ibid
Thomas Hopwell Thomas Coates John Collington Constable
Henry Slater John Rowoth Anthony Parleby churchwarden
Thomas Hart Thomas Daft Thomas Musson churchwarden
Richard Daft at ye bridge Anthony Fawkes  
Laurence Marriot Thomas Holmes The marke of Robert Daft
George Daft at ye hall John Musson The marke of William Marriot
Henry Caunt John Caunt overseers for ye poore
Francis Fawkes Thomas Daft
George Pots Richard Daft at ye hall
Robert Stokes Bartholomew Butler  
William Man Edward Blood  
Thomas Daft ye elder William Daft at Mawkin lane  
George Daft at ye dove coat Martin Kirkby  
George Daft at ye bridge Henry Daft  
William Daft at ye Hall John Pritchit  
Nicholas Townsend William Wesby  
John Musson ye elder William Baker  
William Musson George Daft at ye wire (ie weir)  
Richard Daft in ye lane Oliver Fawkes  
John Wallis Henry James  
Robert Randowe Thomas Bebe  
Edward Thornehill Richard Robbinson  
John Daft Thomas Smart  
George Daft Thomas Wease  
  George Man  
  Robert Watchorne  
William Archer
Robert Collishaw
  William Pritchit