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BURLESCOMBE - 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.

Burlescombe belonged to the Hundred of Hampton*

The original spelling has been preserved

John Addams Morris Edmonds James Rabbet
Philip Addams George Fagg Henry Rabient
Arthur Aishford Esq. George Fagg jun. Henry Rabient jun.
Henry Aishford Esq JP Thomas Ferry John Racke
John Aishford, Gent. Clement Fortiscue George Raynold
Nicholas Aishford, Gent William French Henry Reede
Thomas Aishford, Gent Edward Garndsey Edward Reese
Thomas Alford John Goolsery Arthur Reid
William Alford Robert Greene John Rew
Edward Allen Alexander Grinslade Thomas Rew
William Badcocke John Grinslade Peter Rewe
Philip Beriam John Hancocke Tobias Rewe
Edward Berry John Hart Francis Rowland
Bartholomew Bickham Robert Hart sen. Thomas Rowlands
Thomas Bishop Robert Hart jun. Thomas Sacchell
John Bishope Thomas Hart Thomas Scott
Henry Blackmore Andrew Hellen Edmund Sealy
Robert Bowbeard Martin Helliar Richard Searle
John Bowbeare sen. Thomas Helliar Lewis Shellish
John Bowbeare jun. Humphrey Henson William Shellish
Nicholas Bowbeare Roger Henson John Shepperd
Humphrey Bowdon William Henson William Shepperd
Martin Bowdon Simon Hill John Shollish
Baldwin Bowerman Thomas Hill John Sindath
Daniel Bowerman William Hill William Slick
Robert Bowerman Nicholas Hitchcock, Gent Thomas Smeath
James Bragg Thomas Hopper Thomas Snow
William Brice John Hutchings John Southedon
Thomas Burges John Hutchings sen. Edward Southwood
Nathaniel Burnard Richard Hutchings William Southwood
William Burnard Ellecke Keene John Stephens
Peter Burt William Keene John Sully
William Butler Alexander Kerswell Humphrey Sutton
Roger Calle John Langbridge John Sutton
John Cape John Laudman Thomas Temple
Peter Cape Robert Laudman Walter Temple
Thomas Cape John Lee James Templer
William Cape Henry Littlejohn Robert Thatcher
Richard Caprow Alexander Lugge Langbridge Thomas
Thomas Chamberlayne Daniel Luscombe Roger Thomas
Henry Clerke Dennis Luscombe Thomas Thomas
Thomas Clerke William Luscombe Ellis Torrill
Edward Clist Banjamin Markes Robert Tucker
Henry Clist John Markes Henry Upton sen, Gent
John Clist Daniel Marks Henry Upton jun. Gent
Reynold Clist Thomas Marks Geoffrey Vings
Thomas Cocks Edward May James Wadbery jun.
Richard Cold Henry May Richard Wadden
Jerome Cole John May James Walle
John Colle sen. Nicholas May Peter Ward
John Colle jun Richard Meere John Warren
Robert Collman Thomas meere Richard Warren
Roger Coming William Moale Thomas Wats
Edward Cooke Thomas North Thomas Wats
John Cooke Hugh Oatway Jasper Way
Hugh Corne John Omens Edward Webber
John Corner John Osmond Henry Webber
Charles Courtney John Osmond jun. Humphrey Webber
William Courton William Osmond Humphrey Webber
John Crooke John Padcocke James Webber
Hugh Crosman John Parlman John Webber
Edmund Croydon Thomas Parker Thomas Webber
Arthuhr Culine Gent. Edmund Parkhouse William Webber
Hugh Culine, Gent. Alexander Persy John Wedgwood
Lewis Culine, Gent. Bernard Persy Barnard Wedgwood
Richard Culine, Esq. Sheriff Edward Pleace Lancelot Wideslade
Richard Dalyage John Pleace sen. Geoffrey Wills
Richard Davy John Pleace jun. John Woodberie jun.
Robert Davy Thomas Pollard Anthony Woodbery
Thomas Davy Robert Poyell Edward Woodbery
Bartholomew Dealy Walter Poyton John Woodbery
Roger Dee Peter Pullen Walter Woodbery
Richard Donne Gent Robert Pullen John Woods
Robert Donne Thomas Pullen Robert Wyet
Tristram Donne John Pullon Henry Wyne
William Dyer William Pyne -

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

William Lee - Vicar

George Hellings - Churchwarden

James Woodbery - Constable

Nicholas Were - Constable

John Cress - Overseer

John Woodbery - Overseer

Thomas Cawton - 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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