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BROADHEMBURY - 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.

Broadhembury belonged to the Hundred of Hayridge

The original spelling has been preserved

Robert Backnell John Hammett John Potter
William Bale Francis Hardinge John Potter
Thomas Balliman John Hardinge Peter Potter
Edward Bendinne John Hardinge Robert Potter
John Bennett John Hardinge Thomas Potter
Edward Berry John Hardinge Edward Pratt
Richard Besaye Michael Hardinge Francis Pratt
Daniel Bishopp Richard Hardinge Francis Pratt
Henry Bishoppe Thomas Hardinge John Pratt
John Borrough Thomas Hardinge John Pratt
Richard Bouby Thomas Hardinge Richard Pratt
Mr. John Bradford William Hardinge William Pratt
Philip Brewer Elias Haycrayt John Preston
Vincent Brewer Edward Jelman Thomas Pridioe
John Brook Roger Heringe Aaron Pringe
Daniel Brooke Henry Hill Edward Pringe
William Brooke John Hill John Pringe
Thomas Burnerd Nicholas Hill Simon Pringe
Isaac Byrch Richard Hill William Pringe
Humphrey Canniford Richard Hill William Pringe
Philip Canniford Roger Hill Christopher Reed
William Carpente Thomas Hill Alexander Reede
Edward Carpenter William Hill Thomas Richard
John Carpenter Humphrey Hoole John Richards
Robert Carpenter Thomas Holwell Peter Richards
William Carpenter William Howe Peter Richards 
John Challish William Hickway Simon Richards
Simon Challish William Huckwaye Thomas Richards
Thomas Challishe William Hue William Richards
Jasper Cheney John Humphrie Thomas Roche
Thomas Cheney Francis Hussey Edward Salter
Robert Clarke Henry Hussey John Salter
Henry Colman John Hussey John Salter
John Conier John Hussey Edward Searle
Philip Coole William Hussey John Searle
John Coram John Juell John Searle
Thomas Coram George Kent William Searle
Ellis Corford John Kent John Shorte
Thomas Corforde Nicholas Knight John Simkings
Roger Dastcott Robert Knight Henry Skinner
John Dawe Nicholas Langbridge James Skinner
Richard Dawe Richard Langbridge John Skinner
Hercules Dennes George Lomman John Skinner
William Dennes Thomas Manley Richard Smythe
Christopher Dennis John Marshall Alexander Stacke
Lewis Dennis Henry Mathew Thomas Stacy
Thomas Dodridge Roger Michell Humphrey Stevens
Robert Drens William Middledone Simon Stonne
Robert Drewe Thomas Monday Christopher Summaris
Richard Duck Esq. Thomas Monday Michael Symonds
Henry Ellis  John More Thomas Symmonds
Nicholas Ellis James More Thomas Symmonds
Robert Ellis Peter More Edward Symonts
Thomas Elis John Mountsteven Peter Symonts
George Eveleigh John Mutter Richard Tanner
Henry Eveleigh William Mutter Martin Tapper
John Eveleigh Edward Myller Thomas Troape
Thomas Eveleigh Thomas Necke Francis Venn
George Facie John Norcott Jasper Venn
Richard Facie Richard Norcott John Venn
John Farr John Norman Michael Venn
William Farrant William Norman Thomas Venn
Clement Farthen William Northonton John Walter
Edmund Flewe George Norvell William Walter
William Forman William Norwell James Watts
Reuben Foster John Osment Edward Wetney
Henry Gaye Francis Parsons William Wettney
William Geenes Francis Pearce Francis Wettney
William Gland Francis Pearce George White
Josias Gotfrie Thomas Pearce William Woode
Robert Gotfrie William Pearce Barnard Wright
Christopher Granger William Peram John Wright
Edmund Granger Bartholomew Potter John Wright
Thomas Granger Bartholomew Potter John Wright
Thomas Greens George Potter Philip Yewe
Thomas Grename George Potter Christopher Yorke
Simon Hacke George Potter -

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

Jasper Birch - Curate

Thomas Mathewe - Churchwarden

Richard Spinner - Churchwarden

John nathen - Constable

William Eveleigh

Thomas Potter - Overseer

Edward Pratt - 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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