Document referenceQDO(P)
TitlePapists' oaths : North Riding Quarter Sessions
DescriptionThis sub-series consists of records relating to papists' oaths, including:

- a register of papists refusing the oaths of allegiance, supremacy etc. It is arranged by wapentake and gives names, places of residence, with some registrations of recognizances, and some lists of arms and horses [1690/1-1745]

- lists of papists (by wapentakes) appearing before the Justices and refusing the oaths of allegiance and supremacy etc, with lists of arms and horses found in papists' houses. It contains similar information to the above register [1743-1745]

- recognizances for good behaviour, to appear at Sessions and to stay within five miles of their homes, entered into by papists refusing the oaths. These give names and abode of recognizor, amount of bond and names of sureties [1743/4]

- constables' certificates naming papists who had refused the oaths, whose houses were searched for arms and horses [1744/5-1745]

- register of papists' oaths of allegiance with original signatures. Some places of residence and style are given [1778-1820]

- list of papists who had taken oaths of allegiance, giving names and places of residence only [1778]

- draft certificate of the taking of an oath in 1839, under the Catholic Emancipation Act of 1829. This gives name, place of residence and style [1851]
Catalogue statusCatalogued
Administrative historyOaths were required under the Test Act and later Acts. Under the Acts of 1688 (1 William & Mary, session 1, cap. 15) "for the better securing of the government by disarming papists and reputed papists" and of 1714 (1 George I, st. 2, cap. 13, ss. 10-11), those not appearing to take the oaths or refusing them were adjudged papists and their names were to be certified to Quarter Sessions to remain of record. The Act of 1688 contained provisions relating to papists' arms and horses. Under the Act of 1778 (18 George III cap. 60) papists were relieved of certain penalties by taking at Quarter Sessions an oath of allegiance, abjuring any allegiance to the Young Pretender and denying the Pope's temporal authority. Toleration was extended further by the Act of 1791 (31 George III cap. 32) while the Catholic Emancipation Act of 1829 (10 George IV cap. 7) opened most civil and military offices to Roman Catholics.
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