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BEDFORDSHIRE: Bedfordshire Protestation Returns

The main records relate to the years 1641-42 just prior to, and during the start of, the Civil War. The Protestation was a form of oath of loyalty supposedly to the king but actually to Parliament and was initiated in the House of commons in May 1641 when the members themselves took it. Nine months later the scope of it was vastly widened so that it should be taken by every adult male, occasionally women were recorded. Closely associated with this return was the Collection in Aid of Distressed Protestants in Ireland. The oath was taken and the colection was made, often simultaneously, during February 1641/2 and March.

Parliament-approved taxation records recommenced, after Charles I's eleven years of personal rule, with Tudor type Subsidies, to be collected during 1641. In July 1641 a Poll Tax was voted, but few records of this survive. Thirdly, an Assessment or Grant was agreed to be collected in May and November 1642. This Assessment had a much lower tax threshold and consequently many more taxpayers are named.

For further reading details of the tax can be found in The Protestation Returns 1641-42 and other contemporary listings by Jeremy Gibson and Alan Dell published by the Federation of Family History Societies. ISBN 1 86006 006 4.

Protestation Returns (1)

Published : Stodden Hundred (and Leightonstone Hundred, Huntingdonshire), Swineshead [parish register], in Bedfordshire Parish Registers 7 page 159, editor F.G. Emminson, Bedford, 1933.

Bedfordshire Archives & Records Service, Bedford

Stodden Hundred : Swineshead, in parish register, published.

No Bedfordshire returns at the House of Lords Record Office , but Swineshead is extant under Huntingdonshire.

Collection in Aid of Protestants in Ireland (55)

Public Record Office

(Redbornstoke and Wixhamtree Hundreds in SP 28/191; others in E 179/243/4]

Barford Hundred : [Great] Barford, Ravensden, Renhold, Roxton, Wilden

Flitt Hundred : Barton [in the Clay], Caddington, Clophill [Clapwell], Haynes, Higham Gobion, Luton, Pulloxhill, Shillington [Shitlington], Silsoe, Streatley.

Redbornstoke Hundred : Ampthill, Cranfield, Elstow, Flitwick, Houghton conquest, Kempston, Lidlington, Marston Moretaine, Maulden, Milbrook, Ridgmont, Steppingley, Wil[ham]stead, Wootton

Stodden Hundred : Bolnhurst, Clapham, Keysoe, Knotting, melchbourne, Milton [Ernest]. Oakley [Okely], Pertenhall, Riseley, Shelton, [Little] Staughton, Yelden (Swineshead falls under the Leightonstone Hundred, Huntingdonshire)

Wixhamtree Hundred : Blunham, Cardington, Cople, Northill, Southill, [Old] Warden, Willington

Taxation Records

Public Record Office [E 179]

Subsidy , 1641 :
Bedford town (110). 2 manuscripts [72/281]
Bedford town (80). 1 manuscript [72/286]
Bedford (90). One list, 1 manuscript [243/3]
Barford (170), Stodden (130), Willey (300) Hundreds 3 manuscripts [72/280]
Manshead (250), Flitt (190), Redbornstoke (180) Hundreds . 7 manuscripts [72/283]
Wixhamtree (150), Clifton and Biggleswade (250) Hundreds . Poor in parts. 2 manuscripts. [72/285]
Wixhamtree (100), Clifton (200), Biggleswade (200) Hundreds . 2 manuscripts [72/282]
Wixhamtree, Clifton, Biggleswade Hundreds (50). Very poor condition. 2 manuscripts [72/288]

For other related papers see ' The ship-money of Henry chester and Sir Will. Boteler, 1637-1639 ', compiled by F.G. and Margaret Emmison, Bedfordshire Historical Record Society 18 (1936). Assessments, lists of arrears.


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