which consists of the villages of Crich, Fritchley and Whatstandwell

Free and Voluntary Present 1661

Dr Alan Wilcockson

The second parliament of Charles II opened on 8 May 1661, and on 8 July 1661 royal assent was given to the 'act for a free and voluntary present to his Majesty'. This tax was granted by parliament to aid the king in 'this suddain exigencie as a testimony of theire affections...and in ease of the poorer sort of [the king's] subjects'. Commissions were to be issued under the Great Seal to appropriate persons in the counties, cities and towns who were 'fit for the receiving of such subscriptions as [the king's] subjects shall voluntary offer'. The commissioners were directed to organise themselves and hold meetings which were to be publicised. No commoner was to contribute more than £200, and no peer more than £400.

The piece, Ref E179/245/6 at the National Archives consists of lists of subscriptions made by those promising to contribute. All were made at Derby, that for Morleyston and Litchurch on 6 November 1661. The list for Crich is shown below:-

Chrich Mr Thomas Wright tenn shillings
  Richard Hard*n two shillings and six pence
  Mr Anthony Wood tenn shillings
  John Wilde ffive shillings
  Roger Woodhouse ffive shillings
  John Oates three shillings
  John Wotton two shillings six pence
  John Ellott two shillings six pence
  Thomas Low absent two shillings six pence
  Henry Johnson two shillings six pence
  Henry Low two shillings
  William Smith one shilling
  William Burgaine two shillings six pence
  Robert Wilcockson one shilling
  Richard Johnston two shillings
  John Goray Senior two shillings
  Widd Browne de Carr one shilling
  John Smith Hollins one shilling six pence
  Ffrancis Phepound one shilling
  Thomas Radford one shilling
  George Browne de Chrich two shillings
  John Beardall one shilling six pence
  George Haworth one shilling six pence
  Henry Wilcockson one shilling
  William Wood two shillings
  John Wood two shillings
  Sum total three pounds tenn shillings six pence

The following document is reproduced with permission from The National Archives, ref. E179/245/6

Free voluntary present for Crich

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