1723 oath pun

In a letter to the Earl of Oxford, Dr Thomas Tudway reported that in Sir Robert Walpole’s county (Norfolk) ‘where some gentlemen met at an adjourned sessions, for the people of those parts to take the oaths, … it being hot weather, the justices called out to have the windows opened, to let in the air, upon which a gentleman who had just taken them cried out, “Why, what the devil have we been doing all this while, I thought we had come hither to swear to keep out the h[ei]r.”’

Report on the Manuscripts of the Duke of Portland preserved at Welbeck Abbey, vol. v (Norwich, HMSO, 1899), p. 638.

In other news, I will be posting an updated version of the finding list shortly with new oath roll finds for Cumbria and Kent included.