18 January 2017

The Day Thomas Took the Oath of Fealty

After the Jacobite rebellion of 1715 there was discovered another Jacobite conspiracy in the summer of 1722, called the Atterbury Plot. An act was quickly passed requiring every person to swear loyalty oaths to King George 1 by 25 December 1723. The oaths were taken locally at the Quarter Sessions and administered by the justices of the peace.

Thomas King of Loddiswell was informed that the oaths would be taken in Kingsbridge at The George Inn on 4 November 1723. Thomas had to make his way to Kingsbridge at his own expense. Although the 3.8 miles these days is not far, in the 1700s the roads would not have been great on the best of days. Others came from even farther away.

The George Inn, on property of George French

The Oath roll began with the text of the three oaths followed by the location and date of the Quarter Session, and the names of the justices of the peace.

...sworn at The George, Kingsbridge, 4 November 1723 before Courtenay Croker, William Ilbert, William Cholwich and John Fowell esqs 

There were about 250 people there to take the oaths that day. They probably would have been given the oath to look over then sign the roll. Where many of his friends and neighbours made their mark, Thomas was able to sign his name. Some refused to sign.

Not only was it obligatory to take the oaths, or face seizure of his lands, but Thomas had to pay a fee.

Thomas King born 1684
Loddiswell, Devon, England
Thomas is my 6th great grandfather.


  1. Another interesting part of your roots Dianne.Reminds me of the Ken Follett book you recommended, "Pillars of the Earth". Such a great read especially if you can trace your roots back to that area of England as both you and I can :D

  2. Reading that book gave me an appreciation of that time in our ancestors' lives.
    Thanks for visiting Cathern.


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