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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.

Bickleigh (Tiverton) belonged to the Hundred of Hayridge*

The original spelling has been preserved

Christopher Addoms Christopher Homan John Pullin
Bartholomew Aishwood Andrew Huchings John Pullin
Bingeman Bond Richard Huchings William Pullin
Richard Bradmead Roger Huchings Nicholas Reede
Hugh Buckland Thomas Huchings John Rew
Robert Bussell Andrew Lovell Gawen Richards
Christopher Bussets John Lovell John Richards
Sir Henry Carew Kt. William Lovell Nicholas Rockett
John Carslake George Maygor John Sanders
John Dennis John Mogridge Clement Shepherd
Joseph Drew John More Richard Sithcott
Peter Forsdon Arthur Moyle William Sithcott
Richard Francis Peter Newcombe Christopher Skinner
Christopher Gill Thomas Pawle Robert Slocombe
Christopher Gill John Perkins Richard Sloker
Clement Gill Francis Perser Saunder Squire
Gawen Gill Emmanuel Persons Hugh Stevens
Gawen Gill Peter Persons Thomas Stronge
John Gill Robert Persons Thomas Stronge
John Gill Edward Pidgler Richard Westcott
John Grudgery John Pidgler William Werstorne
George Hedges John Pidgler Robert Westorne
Thomas Helmore Peter Pidgler Robert Wheaton
Philip Hendon Robert Pidgler Clement Whidden
John Holmes Thomas Pidgler John Whidden
Nicholas Holmes Richard Pooke Robert Whidden
Philip Holmes

Signed by 

Bartholomew Ashwood - Minister

John Gill - Constable

Thomas Huchins - warden

William Lovell - Oversee


* 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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