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BUCKLAND IN THE MOOR - 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.

Buckland in the Moor belonged to the Hundred of Haytor

The original spelling has been preserved

Richard Audren Richard Eastabrooke Roger Wakeham
John Baker John Ferris Thomas Wescoat
Samuel Baker William Gill Thomas Wescaot
Nicholas Bennet Richard Hannaford John White
Robert Binney Nicholas Hodge Peter White
William Bovy Ralph Hodge Alan White
John Burell Robert Hodge Gregory Windeat
Peter Burwell William Hodge Gregory Windeat
John Cannter sen of Southbrooke Christopher Layman Hugyh Windeat
John Cannter jun of Southbrooke Leonard Layman John Withicomb
John Cannter sen John More Peter Withicomb
John Cater John Noseworthie Richard Withicomb
Ralph Cater John Patch Thomas Withicomb
William Cater Thomas Scietch Edward Woodleigh
John Chrispine Richard Sinderson Peter Woodleigh
Leonard Collin Ralph Varwell -

William Sainthill - Clerk

John Mosworthie - 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.

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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