The records in this series consist of oath rolls, mainly on parchment, of which there are three main types: oaths of allegiance, supremacy and abjuration; declarations against transubstantiation; and Papists' oaths. There are also miscellaneous rolls of Quakers' affirmations, of naturalization for Protestant refugees, and of oaths of Tax Commissioners and of Masters in the Court of Exchequer.
The rolls contain the actual signatures of persons taking an oath and most of them state the form of the oath to be taken, together with the authorising statute. While a few of the rolls give places of residence, only one roll (E 169/80) includes full addresses.
Following the Restoration in 1660, a number of statutes were passed in order to exclude Roman Catholics and dissenters from holding office. As a consequence, office holders were required to take oaths of allegiance and supremacy, and later of abjuration. This requirement was eroded over the course of the 19th century.
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