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Oaths of Allegiance

Oaths of Supremacy & Allegiance 1673 -1688

Beginning with Henry VIII's Act of Supremacy in 1534 and Elizabeth I's Oath of Supremacy of 1559, oaths of religious and political loyalty are a regular feature of English history in the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries. Successive governments used them to make sure of the loyalty of their subjects and also to flush out potential opponents. Landed gentry and nobility had to swear an oath of allegiance to the Crown and acknowledge its supremacy in law.

After the English Civil War (1642–49), Parliament abolished the monarchy and the House of Lords. An important step in that process was the abolition of the oath of allegiance to the monarch. With the Restoration of the Monarchy in 1660, oaths of allegiance returned, and they sometimes had a religious focus, as a way of debarring practising Catholics or secret Catholic sympathisers from holding office. The Popish Recusants Act, 1672, required office-holders to take the oaths of supremacy and allegiance. Those who did were - as with other oaths - entered on "oath rolls".

Forename Surname Status
no. in roll
Thomas EKINS Esquire
Thomas EKINS Esquire
William HOLMES clerk
George VAUX clerk

extracted from an index at NRO - original records at National Archive, Kew
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