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CHARDSTOCK - 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.

Hundred of Beaminster in the County of Dorset

The original spelling has been preserved

Roberte Abbott Henrye Guppye William Sellwood
Henrye Alforde Richarde Guppye William Serrye
John Alforde Edwarde Handlye Goegre Shindeier
William Alforde Gideon Harres John Smyth
Roberte Atkins jun Thomas Harres Laurence Smyth
William Atkins John Harris Walter Sober
Robarte Atkinsen John Harris jun Thomas Soper
Richarde Attkyns John Hitchcocke Edward Sorie
Phillipp Bartlett William Hobbes John Speede
John Baylye jun William Hodder Mychaell Speede
John Baylye sen Henrye Hodson Nicholas Speede
John Baylye jun William Hollande Richard Speede
John Bellett John Hooper Vyncente Spiller
John Bentlye John Hooper Christopher Spiller
Lawrence Bonde Nicholas Hooper Edwarde Sprake
Swython Bonde Richard Hooper George Sprake
Thomas Bonde Roberte Hooper John Sprake
Henrye Bowdich William Hooper John Sprake
Martyn Brock John Hoore Roberte Sprake
William Browne John Howse Azarias Staple
William Bucklonde William Howse John Staple
John Burgh Steven Jones Peter Staple
George Cate William Jones Allexandar Stevens
William Cate Constantyne Knyght Allexander Stevens
William Cate Henrye Knyght Roberte Stevens
John Charde Danyell Lake Richard Stoode
John Chubb John Larcombe James Stoodlye
John Chubb sen. John Larcombe Launcelott Stowelye
Nicholas Chubb Thomas Larcombe Henrye Stower
Ambrose Churchill William Larcombe Thomas Stronge
Thomas Clerke John Longe John Symes
Edwarde Clode George Mannynge Thomas Symes
John Cogan Nicholas Mannynge William Tobye jun
Christopher Collens John Marsh William Tobye sen
Thomas Collman John Mathew John Tucker
John Collman Henrye Meremouth Walter Tucker
John Collyer John Meremouth Davyd Turner
Nathanyell Collyer William Meremouth John  Turner
Roberte Collyer William Meremouth John Turner
Allaxander Coocke Thomas Morley Nicholas Turner sen.
George Coocke Thomas Mychell Nicholas Turner jun
John Coocke William Nossiter Roberte Turner
Andrew Coocknye Christopher Oate Roger Turner
John Coocknye Alexandar Osborne Steven Turner
John Coocknye Roberte Parres Thomas Turner
William Coombe Thomas Parres William Turner
Roberte Coosens William Parres Richard Tytherleigh
William Coslens Richarde Parris John Veryer
Anthonye Coxe William Parrocke sen Roger Veryer
Henrye Coxe William Parroke Jun John Vycars
Richarde Coxe Thomas Pearce John Vycars
Henrye Coxe William Pearce |Motlye Vycars
Thomas Crandon Richarde Peeke John Vyncente
William Crandon John Phippen Mychaell Vyncente
William Dare George Pleyer Roberte Vyncente
John Denman John Pleyer Thomas Vycente
John Denman sen John Pleyer Thomas Wakelye
Lawrence Denman Richard Pleyer Edmonde Waldron
William Denman jun Roberte Pollarde Richard Waldron
William Denman John Porrock jun. John Welsh
William Denner William Purchase Nicholas Welsh
Edwarde Dennynge John Pynnye Steven Welsh
Edward Dennynge jun Nicholas Pynnye William Welsh
William Dillinge jun Richarde Pynnye William Wescombe
William Dillinge sen Thomas Pynnye Peter Westover
William Dollman John Pytt jun John White
Edward Dunster Alleandar Rockett John Whiteman
Abraham Edwards John Sampson George Wills
Roberte Eston Thomas Samwayes Humfry Wills
Henrye Evorye Charles Saverye Davye Wills
John Fowler George Saverye Roberte Woollmyngton
Steven Fowler Hugh Saverye Andrew Woonton
Roberte Freake Henrye Saverye Laurence Woonton
James Freke John  Saverye jun Nicholas Woonton
William Fyppen John Saverye sen Thomas Woonton
William Gill Mychaell Saverye John Wyatt
William Gill Phillip Scryven John Wyatt
Thomas Grange James Seaman Thomas Wyatt
Roger Gregorye Nicholas Seamer William Wyatt
Andrew Grobham William Seller William Wyatt
John Grobham Richarde Sellwood William Wyatt

(The names are written in the same  hand)

John Pytt - Vicar

John Bowditch - Constable

William Turner - Churchwarden

Silvester Lyndon - Churchwarden

Robert Cogan - Overseer

Thomas Guppye - Overseer

Hubert Hussey JP

 

* 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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