Woodborough’s Heritage

Woodborough, a Sherwood Forest Village, recorded in Domesday

Protestation Returns - From 1641/1642

The Protestation Returns of 1641/1642 are lists of English males over the age of 18 who took, or did not take, an oath of allegiance “to live and die for the true Protestant religion, the liberties and rights of subjects and the privilege of parliaments”. These lists were usually compiled by parish, or township, within hundred or wapentake. They are of importance to local historians for estimating populations, to genealogists trying to find an ancestor immediately before the English Civil War and for scholars interested in surname distributions.

In May 1641, reacting to scares, rumours of plots and anxiety that the Protestant reformation was in danger of being undone, a 10-men committee of the House of Commons, in the ‘Long Parliament’, was appointed to draught a National declaration. It was the first of three oaths of loyalty imposed by the Long Parliament, between May 1641 and September 1643. The others were the Vow and Covenant and the Solemn League and Covenant.

All males about the age of 18 were asked to sign the declaration by order of the House of Commons, all adult men to swear the oath to the Protestant religion. In each parish, their names were inscribed in a list and sent back to parliament. Typically a local official wrote out all the names, although in some areas the signees wrote their own names.

Source: Wikipedia

Woodborough’s Protestation Return of 1641/1642 showed there were 79 men, 77 of whom signed the Protestation, none refused and two were bedridden. Assuming the average family consisted of parents plus two children living, this would bring the population to 316. However, as the age of signature was 18 a number of the younger men would still be single, and probably there would be a similar number of single women of the same age.

From the records of the parish register and from wills of the period, the husband in many cases died whilst the children were comparatively young. In these cases the widow would have difficulty in providing for the young children, causing susceptibility to illness and therefore also dying at a young age. It is considered, to be reasonable to guess that the actual village population was around 200 at this time.


"Those who neglected the taken of it one Richard Glover and Radulph Cooke who are two aged bed-rid persons and none else refused”.

Aldridg, Henry

Alvie, Christopher

Alvie, Christopher (church warden)

Alvie, John

Alvie, Richard

Alvie, Thomas

Ap-john, Edward

Beardsley, William

Benet, William

Brown, Thomas

Buck, John

Clark, George

Clark, John sen.,

Clark, John jun.,

Clarke, Christopher

Clarke, Christopher

Clarke, Thomas

Clifre, Henry

Cliff, William (overseer)

Crofts. Thomas sen.,

Crofts, Thomas jun.,

Cumming, Henry

Fitget, Richard

Foster, Christopher

Foster, Christopher sen.,

Foster, Christopher jun.,

Foster, John

Glover, Richard jun.,

Glover, Thomas

Glover, William

Godfrey, James

Harrop. William (constable)

Hather, Mark

Jackson, Thomas

Jeb. Francis

Jeb, James

Jebb, Richard

Jebb, Robert

Jempson, William

Johnson, Christopher sen.,

Johnson, Christopher jun.,

Johnson, William

Lee, Nicholas sen.,

Lee, Nicholas jun.,

Lee, Walter

Marsh, William

Martiall, John

Morlay, Thomas

Naylor, Benjamin (minister)

Ouzell (Owsell or Ouseley)?, Richard

Ouzell (Owsell or Ouseley)?, Robert (church warden)

Parkinson, William

Perkinson, Gabriel

Pickard, William (overseer)

Pickard, William jun.,

Rowbottom, John

Selby, Richard

Sellars, Christopher

Sheapard, James

Sheapard, William

Sheapard, William

Sheapard, William sen.,

Sheapard, William jun.,

Shipman, George

Smith, Matthew

Smith, Radulph

Spurr, Lawrence

Stafford, Francis

Stafford, William

Stubbing, William

Stubbings, William jun.,

Trueman, William

Widnel, William

Wilde, Christopher

Woolley, William

Wood, Mountague Mr



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At the time of the Protestation Return the following held Parish Office in Woodborough:-

Churchwardens: Christopher Alvie, Robert Ousell

Overseers: William Cliff, William Pickard

Constable: William Harrop

Minister: Benjamin Naylor