Select A State

Oaths of Allegiance

The following regards the Oath of Allegience taken in the English Colonies and is from "History of Plymouth Plantation" by William Bradford, Houghton Mifflin 1912. The following were found in footnotes on the pages cited:

The regulation of migration out of the kingdom had changed with the varying policy towards the Roman Catholics or with the engagements with foreign rulers. August 23, 1606, a proclamation required licenses to women and children under twenty-one years of age to cross the seas, a measure intended to control the flight of Catholics. An oath of allegiance was required of all regardless of sex, so migrating; and as the Pope (Paul V) by a Bull issued September 12 of the same year, prohibited English Catholics from taking an oath of allegiance, the intention of the measure becomes clear...." [V. I, p. 30]
The oath of supremacy, passed in I Eliz. c. I (1558) read as follows:
I, A.B. [this must be a Latin abbreviation for 'state your name'], do utterly testify and declare, that the queen's highness is the only supreme governor of this realm, and all other her highness's dominions and countries, as well in all spiritual and ecclesiastical things or causes, as temporal; and that no foreign prince, person, prelate, state, or potentate, hath or ought to have, any jurisdiction, powers, superiority, pre-eminence, or authority, ecclesiastical or spiritual, within this realm; and therefore I do utterly renounce and forsake all foreign jurisdictions, powers, superiorities, and authorities, and do promise that from henceforth I shall bear faith and true allegiance to the queen's highness, her heirs and lawful successors, and to my power shall assist and defend all jurisdictions, pre-eminences, privileges, and authorities, granted or belonging to the queen's highness, her heirs and successors, or united and annexed to the imperial crown of this realm.
The oath of allegiance, passed in 3 James I c. 4,5 (1606), was as follows:
I, A.B., do truely and sincerely acknowledge, professe, testifie, and declare in my conscience before god and the world, that our Sovereign Lord King James, is lawfull and rightful King of this Realme, and of all other in his Majesties Dominions and Countries; And that the Pope neither of himselfe, nor by any authorities of the Church or See of Rome, or by any meanes with any other hath any power or Authoritie to depose the King, or to dispose any of his Majesties Kingdomes, or Dominions, or to authorize any forraigne Prince to invade or annoy him, or his Countreys, or to discharge any of his Subjects of their allegiance and obedience to his Majestie, or to give any license or leave to any of them to beare Armes, raise tumult, or to offer any Violence, or hurt to his Majesties Royall Person, State, or government, or to any of his Majesties Subjects within his Majesties Dominions.

Also, I doe sweare from my heart, that notwithstanding any Declaration or sentence of Excommunication or deposition made or granted, or to be made or granted by the Pope or his Successours, or by any Authoritie derived, or pretended to be derived from him, or his See against the King, his Heires or Successours, or any absolution of the said Subjects from their obedience: I will beare faith and true allegiance to his Majestie, his Heires and Successours, and him and them will defend to the uttermost of my power, against all Conspiracies and attempts whatsoever, which shall bee made against his or their Persons, their Crowne and dignitie, by reason or colour of any such sentence or declaration or otherwise, and will doe my best endevour to disclose and make knowen unto his Majestie, his Heires and Successours, all Treasons and Traiterous conspiracies, which I shall know or heare of to be against him or any of them.

And I do further sweare, That I do from my heart abhor, detest and abjure, as impious and heriticall, this damnable doctrine and position, That Princes which be Excommunicated or deprived by the Pope, may be deposed or murthered by their Subjects, or any whatsoever.

And I do beleeve and in conscience am resolved, that neither the Pope nor any person whatsoever, hath power to absolve mee of this Oath, or any part there-of, which I acknowledge by good faith and full authoritie to bee lawfully ministered unto mee, and doe renounce all Pardons and dispensations to the contrary. And all these things I doe plainely and sincerely acknowledge and sweare, according to these expresse wordes by me spoken, and according to the plaine and common sense and understanding of the same wordes, without any Equivocation, or mentall evasion, or secret reservation whatsoever. And I doe make this recognition and acknowledgement heratily, willingly, and truely, upon the true faith of a Christian. So helpe me God." [V. I, pp. 79-80]

Quick Links
Contact Us

The USGenWeb Project, Free Genealogy OnlineComments and administrative-type problems should be emailed to the National Coordinator. For suggestons, concerns or complaints regarding a specific web site within the USGenWeb Project, please use the Contact Form.

Direct comments, technical difficulties or suggestions about this web site to the Webmaster.