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BERRYNARBOR  - 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.

Berrynarbor belonged to the Hundred of Braunton*

The original spelling has been preserved

Alexander Averie Nicholas Fleming Thomas Maior
William Baker John Frie Hugh Morgan
Thomas Beevens William Gadd Humphrey Morgan
William Bennet John Gamon James Morgan
Morgan Bennett Nicholas Gamon William Morgan
Nicholas Bennett Philip Gamon John Morish sen.
Isaac Berry George Gill John Morish jun.
Lewis Berry Walter Glen William Morrish
Lewis Berry John Goole Edward Nicholls
Philip Berry Nicholas Goole sen. George Nicholls
Thomas Berry Nicholas Goone jun. Robert Nicholls
Anthony Bettie Thomas Goole William Nicholls
Philip Bettie John Gosse Anthony Norman
John Bishop Michael Gould Nicholas Norman
David Blackmore John Greene Anthony Nutt
Edward Blackmore Philip Grindle John Padwicke
James Blackmore John Gryffin Richard Parker
Giles Carder Peter Gryffyn Walter Parker
Ferdinand Clearke William Hall sen. William Phillips
Hugh Clearke William Hall jun. Anthony Pile
James Clearke sen. Henry Hammond John Richards
James Clearke jun. William Hammond Robert Richards
John Clearke Humphrey Hancocke Humphrey Roberts
William Clearke John Hancocke John Roberts
Josias Conibeere John Hancocke Nicholas Roberts
Humphrey Courtney jun. Edward Harper Henry Rooke
Humphrey Courtney jun. John Harper Richard Rooke
James Courtney Joseph Harper John Searle
John Courtney jun. Philip Harper John Sharman
Richard Courtney Richard Harper Hugh Sleeper
Nicholas Cutcliffe Robert Harper George Smith sen.
Nicholas Cutcliffe David Harris George Smith jun.
Richard Cutcliffe Philip Harry Timothy Smith
George Dallyn sen. John Hearson George Stanbury
George Dallyn jun. George Heyward John Stanbury
George Dallyn Nicholas Hill John Standberry
Nicholas Dallyn Peter Hill John Sumer
Richard Dallyn Thomas Hill David Summer
Tobias Dallyn Robert Hodge Edward Summer
William Dallyn Henry Holland Humphrey Summer
George Davie Humphrey Horwood Humphrey Summer
William Davie John Horwood Lewis Thomas
William Davy William Horwood William Tucker
Edward Dennis Thomas Hoyle Bernard Turbett
John Dennis sen. Samuel Hubland Owen Varryer
John Dennis jun. Edmund Jones John Vellacott
John Dolbeer John Jordan John Ward
Thomas Dolbere Dennis Knight John White
Thomas Evans John Knill Matthew White
Edward Fleming William Knill John Witheridge
Humphrey Fleming Edward Langdon Thomas Witheridge
Humphrey Fleming Humphrey Lea Samuel Yeo
John Fleming Philip Maior -

Richard Berry Esq., John Sampson and John Humphry did not assent to the oath of Protestation

James Clearke - Minister

 

* 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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