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ABBOTSHAM - THE PROTESTATION RETURN OF 1641/2

By the end of 1640, King Charles I had become very unpopular.  Parliament forced him to make changes in the Constitution which gave them a bigger say in how the country was governed. From then on, Parliament was split into two factions - Royalists (Cavaliers) who supported the King and Parliamentarians (Roundheads) who wanted political and religious reform.

On 3 May 1641, every Member of the House of Commons was ordered to make a declaration of loyalty to the crown. This was ratified next day by the House of Lords. They called it their Protestation against " an arbitrarie and tyrannical government" and another order was made that every Rector, Churchwarden and Overseer of the Poor had to appear in person before the JPs in their Hundred to make this Protestation Oath in person. It was to  be a declaration of their belief in the" Protestant religion, allegiance to the King and support for the rights and privileges of Parliament".

They then had to go back home to their own parish where any two of them were to require the same oath of allegiance from all males over the age of 18. The names of all who refused to make the oath were to be noted and assumed to be Catholics.

We have, in the Devon Protestation Returns, a set of amazing documents - something akin to a census even though no women or children are named.  A transcription is available in the West Country Studies Library in Exeter.

The Protestation Returns are arranged by parish.

Abbotsham belonged to the Hundred of Shebbear

The original spelling has been preserved

Henry Adger William Hartnoll Philip Pomery
Hugh Ashe Edward Heard Richard Poole
Thomas Askin William Heard Thomas Popham
Robert Avery John Hockin John Prise sen
John Babacomb Nicholas Hockin John Prise jun.
Luke Babacomb Lewis Hodge John Prower
Samuel Baker Michael Hodge James Rattenbury
John Bante Henry Hopper John Rowe sen.
George Baple Richard Horbridge John Rowe jun .
John Baple sen Arthur Horne John Rowe (of Stone)
John Baple jun Anthony Humphrey Peter Rowe
Thomas Beare Philip Humphrey Philip Rowe
James Bounty Davy Joans Richard Rowe
John Brooke Richard Joans Anthony Rudmore
John Browne John Johns Arbinell Sander
Richard Browne Thomas Jud James Sander
Roger Browne John Juell John Selly
Christopher Buse John Juell Peter Selly
Humphrey Buse Nathaniel Juell Richard Selly
Richard Buse William Juell Rese Selly
Richard Buse jun. Christopher Kitts William Selly
Charity Caddy Samuel Langman Matthew Shebber
Edward Chapman Walter Larence Robert Shebber
Henry Chipley Richard Legge Solomon Shebber
John Chollwill Simon Lealy Thomas Shebber
Richard Chollwill Richard Ley William Shebber sen
John Clarke John Limbrey William Shebber jun
John Collacott Stephen Limbrey John Shepheard
Richard Collacott William Limbrey Gabriel Snowe
William Collacott Michael Luke Thomas Solloman
John Comor John Lukey Edward Tayllor
Christopher Cooke Henry Lurdy Richard Tayllor
John Cornishe John Manninge Stephen Taylllor
William Courtes Robert Maye Arthur Thomes
John Crocker Robert Mayne John Watkins
Thomas Davy Henry Mayor Richard Watts
Orisse Dinis Philip Mirke Matthew Wellington
Samuel Dyer John More Peter Whissom
John Evans John Mugford William White
George Frost Richard Mumford John Whoe
William Fullford James Muncke Arfthur Wiett
John Furland Thomas Onion William Wilken sen
Stephen Furland Peter Orange Davy Williams
John Galsworthy Eustace Orator Peter Williams
Christopher Gaye John Osborne sen William Williams
John Gaye John Osborne jun John Wills
Thomas Gaye Richard Panter Peter Wills
William Gist Tobias Panter Ruland Wills
Thomas Glover Stephen Peard Thomas Wills
John Glowinge John Pearse Thomas Wills jun.
Christopher Gorwill Henry Pegge Robert Wish sen
Philip Gorwill Richard Pencombe sen Robert Wish jun
Robert Gorwill Richard Pencombe jun John Wood
John Hamett William Pettle Richard Wood
Richard Harnoll Humphrey Pollard Jasper Yeoman
Thomas Hartnoll John Pomery Jasper York

(The names are written in the same  hand)

Nicholas Hony - Vicar

William Shebber - High Constable

Christopher Wyeth - Constable

Philip Buse - Church Warden

John Rowe - Church Warden

John Pibbs - Overseer

John Baple - Overseer

* For many centuries, Devon was divided into 32 administrative districts or Hundreds for land tax purpose.

Taken from the transcription by A. J. Howard published in 1973 which is available in the West Country Studies Library, Exeter.                                                                                         Courtesy: Devon CountyCouncil

 

 
 
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