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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.

 Bridgerule belonged to the Hundred of  Black Torrington

The original spelling has been preserved

Edmund Bande John Eldry Nicholas Nicholl
Diggory Bishopp John Facye Jeremy Partridge
Thomas Bishopp John Facye Melangton Sanguine
Thomas Bond Mark Facye (husbandman) Nicholas Sargent
Methusalah Branche Mark Facye Walter Sheire
Nicholas Byshop William Facye George Shere
Tobias Bishopp John George Nicholas Shere
Thomas Carwethie Richard Gilbert Walter Shere jun
William Collinge Samuel Gilbert John Vawdon
Josias Cory Diggory Grigg John Veale
William Cory William Gubin Richard Veale
William Cory (miller) Samuel Gyle William Veale
Daniel Corye John Hoccadaye William Wakely
Isaac Corye John Horkopp John Wallis
Thomas Corye Jacob Horrell - - - -
William Cuttinge Robert Keene - - - -

(All the above names written in the same hand - the following five are signatures)

Thomas Snellinge - Vicar

Samuel Gyle - Churchwarden

John Coxy - Constable

Tobias Byshoppe - Overseer

Jeremy Partridge - Overseer

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


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