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About Association Oath Rolls
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Collection includes Association Oath Rolls for:
  • City of London Livery Companies, 1696
  • Surrey, 1695
Oath rolls are an underused (though often difficult to use in their original formats) source of individuals' names in the 16th to early 18th centuries. They could contain the names of a substantial proportion of the adult male population within the areas which they covered, and so offer a valuable pre-19th century "census substitute".

Oaths of allegiance were used to secure the loyalty to the sovereign and to help identify potential opponents. They were relatively common in in post-Reformation and revolutionary England. For example, the Jacobean loyalty oath of 1606 was intended to expose disloyal Catholics; during the Civil War years signatories to the Protestation Oath (1641) promised to defend 'the true reformed religion expressed in the doctrine of the Church of England' and confirmed their 'duty of allegiance' to 'maintain and defend His Majesty's royal person and estate, as also the power and privilege of Parliaments'.

In response to one of many actual or suspected Jacobite plots, in 1696 all substantial people and office-holders were 'invited' to subscribe to an Association Oath of loyalty to William III. They swore vengeance if any harm came to him. The Quakers refused to countenance any threat of violence or indeed to swear an oath at all, but most Protestants were only too eager to subscribe. No doubt many felt obliged to sign, regardless of their feelings.

For more infornation see Cliff Webb's Background to the Documents.


Association Oath Rolls for City of London Livery Companies, 1696
This collection contains the names of over 21,500 members of 77 livery companies, and is searchable by Last name, First name and Livery Company.

It is likely that for most London Livery Companies the great majority of members would have signed the Oath Roll. Exceptions are: the Watermen's Company, whose list of 1,445 signatories notes that at least 4,000 members were already in the King's Service and so could not sign the roll; and the Musicians, whose roll contains 34 names while the rest of the members are in the King's Service and could not be found.
More on London Livery Companies

Association Oath Rolls for Surrey, 1695
The Surrey part of this collection is searchable by Last name, First name and Parish.


See also:  Help searching Association Oath Rolls
  Background to the Documents
  Abbreviations used
  London Livery Companies included in collection
  About Cliff Webb
  About London Livery Companies
  Logged in users search Association Oath Rolls for City of London Livery Companies, 1696
  Logged in users search Association Oath Rolls for Surrey, 1695