1723 Oaths of Allegiance


About this web site

The web site is run and maintained by the Austrian Centre for Digital Humanities (University of Graz, Austria) and Centre for Hearth Tax Research (University of Roehampton, UK).

This digital resource offers transcriptions of the 1723 oath returns held by the City of London Corporation, London Metropolitan Archives. The transcriptions and document images were made by Dr Alex Craven.

The 1723 oaths represent the last exercise in mass-public oath taking in England. Prompted by the uncovering of a Jacobite conspiracy, the so-called ‘Atterbury Plot’, the 1723 Oaths Act required ‘every person or persons’ to take the oaths of allegiance, supremacy and abjuration by Christmas that year or register their estates in court. Those who did not swear would forfeit their estates if they had not registered them by March 1724.

In terms of scope, the surviving returns of the 1723 oaths do not match the scale of some earlier oath returns, namely the 1696 Association to William III. However, the 1723 returns have certain features which make them particularly valuable for historians.

In contrast to earlier oath returns, such as the Association, where women subscribers feature only intermittently, large numbers of women subscribers are recorded on the 1723 returns. Some returns, such as those for London, also contain considerable detail about subscribers, including their place of residence, religious identity, occupation and marital or social status. As a result, the oath returns represent a valuable resource for social and economic, as well as political historians of the period.

The advanced search facility will allow you to search for particular individuals by name or search for particular occupations, as well as filtering subscribers by gender, religion and parish.


  • Vallance, Edward. The 1723 oath rolls in England: an electronic finding list. University of Roehampton (2014) (PDF)
  • Vallance, Edward. Women, Politics and the 1723 Oaths of Allegiance to George I. The Historical Journal, Volume 59, Issue 4, pp. 975-999 (2016) (Cambridge University Press)
  • Vallance, Edward. A Democratic Culture? Women, Citizenship and Subscriptional Texts in Early Modern England, in C. Cuttica and M. Peltonen eds., Democracy and Anti-Democracy in Early Modern England, pp. 1603-1689 (2019), ch. 12. (Brill)
  • W3C: Resource Description Framework (RDF), https://www.w3.org/standards/techs/rdf#w3c_all