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ALPHINGTON - 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.

Alphington belonged to the Hundred of Wonford

The original spelling has been preserved

William Adams Bennet Gillard Richard Pottbury
Gilbert Anthony Robert Gillard John Powdnye
John Baker John Gously John Pridam
William Baker Lewis Greenslad Robert Pridman
William Baker William Greenslad Christopher Pullman
John Bande Robert Greenslade Samuel Pullman
Clement Banfild John Gregorie William Pullman
John Barrene William Hakes John Puttner
Edward Barter Amos Halstase Richard Puttner
Roger Barter Francis Hancoke Roger Reed
Charles Basse Richard Harris John Rich
Edward Bennett Henry Hatherly Thomas Rich
Robert Bennett Walter Hawke Edward Richards
Benjamin Bent John Hayne Gilbert Richards
Hugh Bent John Hayne William Richards
Nicholas Bicknall Richard Hayne Peter Ridgwaye
George Bicknoll Thomas Hayne Peter Ridgwaye
Humphrey Blisse Thomas Hayne John Rode
John Blisse William Hayne John Rowe
Richard Blisse Daniel Hrttin Walter Salter
Thomas Blisse Emmanuel Hodge George Searle
Thomas Blower George Hussye Richard Searle
John Brage George Hussye Thomas Seger
William Brage William Hussye Peter Sheere
Robert Brooking John Kimble Henry Smale
Francis Browne George Kinge Philip Smart
John Browne George Lacke William Smith
William Buneye James Lamshead Thomas Somers
John Burnell Edward Leach Walter Stadan
Tobias Burnell Charles Lee James Stevens
Nicholas Bynford John Lee Richard Stevens
George Carpinter Matthew Liffoot Joseph Stone
George Carpinter jun. Anthony Lowcom Richard Stone
John Carpinter James Ludg Henry Street
John Carter Robert Madge John Tayler
Thomas Chaple Henry Madocke Thomas Temlet
Anthony Chubb William Maiger Siprid Toser
Nicholas Clampitt Richard Manington Thomas Tosser
George Cocke Richard Manington William Tosser
Humphrey Cocke John Mare William Tothell
John Cocke William Maye John Tothill
Roderick Cocke Greorge Meadland Zachary Tottel
Nicholas Combe Thomas Meadland Peter Tredwyne
Robert Commons George Mitchell John Triggs
Richard Cooles George Mitchell Richard Turner
John Crasse John Mitchell William Vaghame
Charles Cutteford John Mitchell Francis Vinicombe
David Cutteford William Mitchell Gilbert Vinecombe
Hugh Cutteford Richard Moore John Vinecombe
Christopher Dayment William Nicks Richard Vinecombe
Henry Dendinge Henry Norligh William Vinecombe
Henry Downe Thomas Palmer Michael Walker
Robert Drew William Palmer Thomas Walker
George Drewe John Parker Simon Weeks
Thomas Ellard John Parler James Westcott
Andrew Endecott William Parr Thomas Westcott
Robert Farrant Michael Peereman Laurence West
Jacob Fetherby Jonas Pidslye Nicholas Whiddon
Robert Foxwill Michael Pidslye Thomas Willes
Thomas Francis Andrew Pidslye William Wills
William Gale Nicholas Playe William Wills
John Gilbert Stephen Poope John Wolcott

(The above names are written in the same  hand; the following  are signatures)

Mr. Thomas Alden - Minister

Edward Turner - Constable

Thomas Ellard - Constable

Wiliam Paulling - Churchwarden

John Pridam - Churchwarden

Robert Stone - Overseer

John Ellard - 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 County Council

 

 

 
 
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