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BRADNINCH  - 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.

Bradninch belonged to the Hundred of  Hayridge

The original spelling has been preserved

John Ackland John Hawkes Edward Rackford
Samuel Aishford Christopher Hawkins Henry Ratclief
Francis Andrew Roger Hawkins Thomas Rawlinge
John Andrew Thomas Hawkins Bawden Richards
William Andrewe Henry Headman Henry Richards
Nicholas Anstice Thomas Hellier James Richards
William Atkins Thomas Hellyer John Richards
Richard Bagbone Samuel Hewlett John Richards
John Baker Edmund Hill Robert Richards
John Baker George Hill Henry Richardson
Richard Baker Henry Hill Thomas Roade jun
Thomas Barber John Hill Philip Robins
Nicholas Beaden Nicholas Hitt John Rose
John Beard Thomas Holwell John Rose
Richard Beare Mr William Hooper Peter Rose
Ambrose Beere Henry Hugges Henry Rowe
Peter Beere jun. John Hullande John Rowe
Richard Beere Philip Hurlestone Robert Rumbelowe
Ambrose Bendell Edward Huwe Emmanuel Sage
Richard Bendell John Jacobbe Clement Salter
William Bendell Robert Jenkin George Salter
Henry Berrye Richard Jerman John Salter
John Berrye Robert Jerman John Salter
Philip Berrye Thomas Jerman Peter Salter
Ezekiel Bevell William Jerman Robert Salter sen
Thomas Bevell John Juell Robert Salter
Christopher Bicknell John Keene Robert Salter
Hugh Blackmore Henry Lake Samuel Salter
Daniel Bowden Henry Lake Thomas Salter
Thomas Bradford Humphrey Lake Michael Saunder
Ellis Bragge Mark Land Caleb Saunder
Henry Bressett Hannibal Lange Stephen Saunder
Giles Brice Gawen Langham Stephen Saunder jun
Henry Brice Gawen Langham Thomas Saunder
John Brice Thomas Lathem Thomas Saunder
Philip Brice Robert Leigh George Saverye
John Browne Henry Limington John Saverye
William Buckingham William Liscombe Amias Seaward
Stephen Burnard Thomas Loades John Selloicke
George Burte Robert Loosemore Richard Sellicke
Peter Butcher Henry Lorbe Richard Sellicke
William Carpenter John Luden Mr Gawen Senman
William Carpenter John Lugge Philip Shapton
Mr ? Challen Richard Luke Henry Sheckell
Mr. John Challis Peter Lupton Howell Shelt
Robert Chappell Richard Lynneton Henry Shind
John Chave John Maddockes John Short
John Chenoughe Thomas Maine Robert Silvane
John Chube Martin Maller Thomas Slather
Richard Clogge Nicholas Manley John Smyth
Robert Clogge sen.. Nicholas March William Smowe
Robert Clogge jun Elias Marshall William Sobier
Peter Coggane Anthony Martyn John Somer
William Cole Bennett Mashcell Richard Southwood
George Combe Bernard May Peter Sowthill Esq
Batholomew Combe Henry May Henry Spenser
John Combe Richard Maye Mark Splatt
John Combe William Maye Muchael Splatt
John Combe George Mayne Thomas Splatt
John Combe John Meaditt Richard Squier
Mark Comyns George Melhuish John Squier
Andrew Cooke John Melhuish George Stampe
Thomas Cotterell John Melhuishe John Stampe
Chrsitopher Cowyns Richard Melhuishe Francis Stand
Richard Crancklind Robert Mehuishe Roger Stephens
Robert Crispine Simon Melhuishe Thomas Stephens
John Crosse Christopher Miller Richard Stoggen
John Cudlake Henry Miller Christopher Symons
William Culmwell Henry Miller John Tampson
John Culverwell Martin Miller John Tarr
Robert Cunnynge Michael Miller Christopher Taylor
Thomas Dale Peter Miller John Taylor
William Dale Peter Miller Mr Robert Taylor
John Darke sen Robert Miller Robert Taylor
John Darke jun Robert Miller Thomas Taylor
William Davies William Miller William Taylor
Thomas Davy William Miller Chrisopher Thomas
Christopher Davye Mr ? Mills Mr Francis Togood, Mayor
Richard Davye John Moore John Togood
Walter Dawaford Philip Moore jun John Torr sen
Thomas Deaner John Morgan Hugh Toute
Mr. John Denner sen Thomas Moritmer Henry Turner
John Denver jun John Moryce Robert Tylkes
John Dennis William Mudford John Wadley
Richard Dewne Emmanuel Murch Anthony Walle
William Dimford John Murch John Walle
Edward Doumynge Clement Murche John Walle
Richard Dunsford Henry Mutter Philip Walle
Geoffrey Dunsford Lewis Neshell Henry Walter
Martin Dunsford William Norman Thomas Ward
Henry Earle Andrew Osemond Henry Warren
Nicholas Ellacott Gabriel Oxen Mr Peter Warren
Mr. Giles English Edward Oxenbeere William Warren
Peter English George Palfinestor William Warren
Thomas Ewans William Palfrey Henry Water
Lawrence Faneshyn Roger Palfry Thomas Watkin
John Farrannt Thomas Palmer Bartholomew Weekes
Henry Feere William Palmer Francis Weekes sen
Thomas Fonds jun. Christopher Parker Francis Weekes jun
Ellis Forman Robert Parkhowse James Weekes
Henry Forman John Pearse John Weekes
Robert Forman John Pearse sen John Wellande
Christopher Forse John Pearse sen Robert Wellande
John Forse John Pearse jun Thomas Were
John Forse Leonard Pearse Gawen Westcombe
John Forse jun Robert Pedricke John Whatley
Thomas Forse Richard Peeke Robert Wherry
John Fursdon Simon Pidshey Caleb Widney
William Giles John Pidsleigh Christopher Whidon
James Gill Mr Peter Pidaleigh Mr Emmanuel Whitney
Thomas Golsworthie Richard Pitfoorde William Williams
William Golsworthie John Pohill William Williams
Henry Gybbe John Potinne William Wills
John Gybbe Ellis Potmin John Withrowe
William Gybbs James Potter George Witrowe
Mr John Hancock Esq. John Prowse Anthony Woodrowe
Hugh Hanncett Matthew Pullen Peter Wright
John Hapneson Matthew Pullen sen William Wright
John Harry William Pullyn -
John Hawke Samuel Pyne -

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

John Eastbrooke - Clerk

William Taylor - Churchwarden

Thomas Jones Churchwarden

John Pearse - Constable

John Forse - Churchwarden

Thomas Hill - Overseer

Hercules Gibbeard - Overseer

Milton Leigh - 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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