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CHAWLEIGH - THE PROTESTATION RETURN OF 1641

 

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 parishes

which are grouped in Hundreds* 

Chawleigh belonged to the Hundred of North Tawton and Winkleigh.

(The original spelling has been retained)

Hugh Arnell Nathaniel Hill Robert Screech sen.
John Baker Nicholas Hill Robert Screech
George Balkwell Robert Hill sen. George Searell
Nicholas Barry Robert Hill of Hill George Searell jun.
Robert Barry Robert Hill of Hill John Searell
Thomas Barry Robert Hill Edward Searle
Robert Berry Evan Hole John Searle
Richard Bevens Morris Howell William Searle jun.
Anthony Blackmore Richard John John Shapton
Anthony Brackland Peter Jussen (?Joslyn) Richard Shapton
William Brealy Anthony Kent William Shorte
Nicholas Buckingham Martin Kent John Shute
Hugh Butler Barnabas Keyld John Shute sen.
Anthony Byrd John Kinsman Aristobucus Singe
Gilbert Byrde Nicholas Kinsman Edward Smale
Mark Byrde Nicholas Kinsman John Smale sen.
George Callard Edward Langdon John Smale
Richard Carpenter John Langdon John Smale
Bevis Cate John Lewes Robert Smale
Robert Cate George Longford Roger Smale
John Caule Henry Mackerell Anthony Snell
George Cawle Thomas Mackerell John Snell sen.
Thomas Channter Thomas Mackerell John Snell jun.
David Clarke Thomas Mackerell jun. Robert Snell
Edmund Clarke William Mackerell William Snell jun.
John Clarke Edward May John Snowdon
John Clement James Milton Thomas Snowdon sen.
Thomas Clement Thomas Moore Richard Steward
James Coker William Morris Peter Tablet
John Coker Hugh Nott John Tapscot
Arthur Collender Philip Nott Roger Thorne
Thomas Combe William Nott sen. Hugh Tickell
Hugh Corney David Newcombe Thomas Toake (?Took)
Thomas Corney John Parker William Tooker
Anthony Corney Andrew Parsons Alexander Tossell
John Cornwall Anthony Peeke John Tossell
Hester Docket James Peeke Robert Upcote
George Down Robert Pensford Edward Webber
John Downe Christopher Perkin George Webber sen.
Vincent Downe Geoffrey Pitwood George Webber
John Durke John Pitwood Henry Webber
Roger Durke Lewis Pollard Humphrey Webber
Roger Edworthy Anthony Ponsford John Webber sen.
Philip Elston Tibilt Ponsford John Webber
Mark Fewens John Pratt John Webber
Philip Gawle Anthony Quicke John Webber
Peter Gibbings John Quicke Robert Webber
Andrew Godglands David Rabient Thomas Webber sen.
John Gosse Richard Radford Thomas Webber jun.
Robert Gosse Thomas Radford Thomas Webber jun.
John Greade William Radford William Webber sen.
Richard Greade Arthur Reede William Webber jun.
John Grendon George Reede sen. William Webber jun.
Charles Gyse George Reede jun. William Webber
Hugh Hamlin Francis Rice William West jun.
Robert Hanford John Rice Giles Wheaten
Robert Heale John Richards George White
John Heywood John Rockey Giles Woolway
Robert Heywood Lewis Rogerman Anthony Woodward
Walter Heywood John Rudatt jun. Alexander Yard
William Heywood Edward Saige John Yeoland
William Heywood John Saige Philip Yeoland
Anthony Hill John Scampe Thomas Yeoland

Signed by

John Cogan  - Rector

John Snell - Churchwarden

John Rudall - Constable

William Snell - Overseer

Arthur Reede - Constable

John Quicke - 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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