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The Seventeenth Century:
The Free and Voluntary Present, 1661*

David Clay's transcript*, from PRO document reference E179. 245/6 Free and Voluntary Present, Derbyshire, covers the whole county of Derbyshire.
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Charles II had become King of Great Britain immediately after the execution of his father, Charles I, in 1649 but he lived in exile in Europe in the aftermath of the Civil War. It was to take a further twelve years for him to be able to return to the country and be crowned.

His return, and subsequent coronation, marked the end of the period known as The Commonwealth. It was the prospect of the gift of money, known as The Free and Voluntary Present, that enabled Charles II to return to London to be crowned King. As he was without sufficient funds, Parliament gave him an additional £70,000 to pay for his coronation and Charles II was crowned on 23 April 1661, St. George's Day.

There are 45 Matlock names on the list and the sum they individually gave towards the gift to King Charles II is recorded against their name.

The subscription of the inhabitants of the hundred of Wirksworth for a free present for his Majesty, taken before us his Majesties Commissioners whose names are subscribed the sixteenth day of December in the thirteenth year of his Majesties Raigne. Anno Dom. 1661 as followeth.


Surname First Name Status Sum given
ADAMS George   10/-
BADSLEY John   8/-
BECKE John   2/6d
BOLLINGTON Anthony   2/-
BOWDEN John   2/-
BOWN Henry   8/-
BOWNE Snr Anthony   2/-
BOWNE De Lyntree Anthony   2/-
BOWNE Sen John   2/-
BOWNE Ralph   2/6d
BUNTING William   2/-
CLIFFE Robert Gent 10/-
COCKAINE John   £1/-/-
COLLOMBELL Francis   2/-
FLYNT Henry   5/-
HASLAM Anthony   2/-
HASLAM Edward   2/-
HEATH William   2/-
HENSTOCKE Edward   2/6d
JOHNS Edmund   5/-
JOHNS Thomas   2/6d
JOHNS William   5/-
KNOWLES Henry   2/-
MARTEN John   2/-
MOUMFORD Francis   2/-
OGDEN George   2/-
OXLEY Henry   2/-
OXLEY John   2/-
PIDCOCKE William   2/-
RAGG Rowland   2/-
SPENCER Thomas   2/-
STEERE Thomas   2/-
STEPHENSON William   £1/10/-
TAYLOR Anthony   2/-
TAYLOR George   2/-
TAYLOR John   2/-
WALKER John   2/-
WARD Snr William   2/6d
WIGLEY Henry Gent £1/10/-
WIGLEY John Gent 10/-
WOOD Thomas   2/-
WOODWARD Thomas   4/-
WOOLLEY Sen John   5/-
WOOLLEY Jun John   10/-
WOOLLEY William Esq £10/-/-

The collectors for the Wirksworth Hundred, which included Matlock, were:
William Fitzherbert, Jo: Milward, Jo: Lowe.

Transcribed by Clay, David (1992) "The Free and Voluntary Present 1661 Derbyshire" © Derbyshire Family History Society* - ISBN 0 947964 20 7
List typed by Ann Andrews, June 1999.
Extract reproduced here with David Clay's kind permission and the permission of the publishers, Derbyshire Family History Society, who have books of the full transcript for sale.
PRO document reference E179. 245/6 Free and Voluntary Present.
© Crown Copyright. See link to Copyright at the National Archive