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Devon County

Devonshire Rgt.

Directory Listings





Parish Records




War Memorials



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.

which are grouped in Hundreds*

Bickleigh belonged to the Hundred of Roborough

(The original spelling has been retained )

John Ashe Baldwin Foot Nicholas Quicke
Richard Ashe sen. John Foot William Reepe
Richard Ashe jun. John Foote John Rogers
John Awton Christopher Gaye Leonard Soper
Nicholas Bear Abel Glanvill William Soper
Anthony Brush Edward Guy Richard Sourton
Ralph Brushe William Hedde John Spry
Robert Capsonne William Hedde William Sprye
Nicholas Carrey John Kragle David Spurrill
Andrew Clarke Nicholas Lavers John Standon
Nicholas Clarke William Lavers Nicholas Stoyle
Nicholas Clarke Ellis Leigh John Tolle jun
Nicholas Coffin William Lolsland Nicholas Toope
Nicholas Coffin Richard Lowde William Tozer
William Cole Richard Lucas Ambrose Towson
John Easton John May James Turner
James Ewstes Richard Patchcott John Twigge
James Ewstes jun Daniel Pearse Richard Twigge
Thomas Ewstis Thomas Pill William Watts
Andrew Foot Thomas Pill -

(The above all in the same handwriting)

Signed by 

Thomas Maye - Vicar

John Awton - Churchwarden

Thomas Foote - Overseer

John Tolle - Overseer

John Caron - Constable

Martin Curry - Constable


* 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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