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BRENDON - THE PROTESTATION RETURN OF 1641

 

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 parishes

which are grouped in Hundreds*

Brendon belonged to the Hundred of Shirwell

(The original spelling has been retained )

George Baker William Keale Michael Rawle
Gregory Barne Matthew Knight Thomas Rawle
John Barne Anthony Mogridge David Sloly
Michael Barne John Mogridge Jasper Sloly
John Bishoppe Robert Mogridge John Sloly
Richard Bowden sen Henry Morrice Matthew Sloly
Richard Bowden Jun Paul Parker William Sloly
Walter Bryant John Parkyn sen John Stoate sen
Richard Burch John Parkyn John Stoate jun. 
Richard Davy Henry Parmiter Laurence Stoate
Edward Eyre John Pasmoore John Wallan
Gregory Hawkwill David Rawle Richard Wallan
John Hawkwill sen Henry Rawle Anthony Warde
John Hawkwill jun Henry Rawle jun. David Warde
Silvester Hobbs John Rawle sen John Warde
William How John Rawle jun ----

Jasper Kebby - Rector

Richard Warde - Constable

(All the above names in the same hand)

* For many centuries, Devon was divided into 32 administrative districts or Hundreds for land tax purpose.

 

 
 
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