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ASHWATER - THE PROTESTATION RETURN OF 1641/42

 

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.

Parishes are grouped in Hundreds*

Ashwater belonged to the Hundred of BlackTorrington

(The original spelling has been retained)

John Aishe Edward Crober William Lashbrooke sen.
Philip Aishe Thomas Crosman John Lose
Robert Aishe Thomas Cruse John Martin
Thomas Aishe, sen. William Cruse sen. John Martin
Thomas Aishe William Cruse jun. Richard Martin
Thomas Aishe Nathaniel Darke William Martin
William Aishe Clement Davie Nowell Mathew
William Aishe George Davie Richard May
Andrew Allin John Davie John Metchell
Anthony Ball Robert Davie Thomas Methrell
Edward Ball Diggory Ding Daniel Morton
Emmanuel Ball Andrew Dirrant Thomas Norcott
Henry Ball John Dodge Anthony Olliver
John Ball Robert Dune Edmund Olliver
Ralph Ball Thomas Dune Thomas Olliver
Richard Ball John Elford David Pearse
William Ball Peter Eyne Richard Pearse
William Ball Charles Feature Robert Pearse
John Baskerfield John Fennamoore Richard Pengelly
John Bassett William Fennamoore Robert Pepprell
Richard Bassett Philip Foord Richard Phillips
Thomas Bassett of Northend Anthony Gliddon Humphrey Quance
Thomas Bassett John Gowen John Quance
Michael Bayly Anthony Hall William Quance
Clement Beare Anthony Hall jun Robert Rackly
John Beare Richard Hall Arthur Riche
John Beare William Hall Clement Riche
William Beare Henry Ham Thomas Sheer, gent.
William Beare jun. Hugh Hambly Amos Short, gent.
Richard Bishopp John Hambly John Short sen., gent.
John Blewett George Harris John Short jun.,gent.
Thomas Blewett William Harris John Smyth
Thomas Blewett jun Oliver Heddon Thomas Smyth
Thomas Boskarfield John Hockaday William Smyth
George Browne Philip Hockaday Sidrach Stephens
Thomas Bryant William Hockaday Henry Treble
James Buckingham sen. John Holman William Treble
James Buckingham jun. John Horne Olver Trowte
Roger Burman John Horrell John Turner
Gregory Buse William Horrell John Turner
Richard Buse Humphrey James William Turner
William Buse Humphrey Jery Richard Tyllin
William Clym Richard Jery John Veale sen.
George Collins George Jilbark John Veale jun.
Thomas Colwill Richard Jilbert Richard Veale
John Combe Thomas Jinger William Webb
Samson Combe John Jorden John West
Tristram Combe David Lane David White
Anthony Coocker Richard Lang George White
Anthony Courtis Thomas Lang John White
John Courtis William Lashbrook jun. Robert White
William Courtis John Lashbrooke sen. Richard Wyther
John Crabb John Lashbrooke jun. -
William Crispin Samuel Lashbrooke -

Signed by 

John Hocry - Clerk

William Pallmer - Constable

Sidrach Stephens - Constable

Anthony Wither - Churchwarden

Anthony Hockworthy - Overseer

Thomas Hockaday - 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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