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CHRISTOW - 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 king and to Parliament. 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.  An indexed transcription is available in the West Country Studies Library in Exeter.

 

The Protestation Returns are arranged by parishes which are grouped in Hundreds*

Christow belonged to the Hundred of Wonford

The original spelling has been retained

George Allerhead John Horne John Surcombe sen.
John Amerye Michael Hyll Paul Sutton
Gilbert Austen Francis Lightfoote John Symon
Richard Austen John Malland John Symon jun
William Austen John Medway jun. Christopher Taverner
Robert Basell Richard Medway Edward Taverner
George Bremelcombe Thomas Medway sen. Stephen Taverner
Matthew Broome John Medwaye jun Richard Tolle
Christopher Bussell Thomas Medwaye William Townsend
John Cash John Moore Andrew Tozer
John Cater John Moore jun. Nicholas Tozer
Gregory Clampit, sen. Matthew Mortimer Ellis Tuckett
Hannibal Clampit George Manaden Alexander Tyncombe
John Clampit Philip Northcott John Underhaye
George Clampitt George Oliver Peter Valance
John Clampitt Nicholas Oliver Christopher Vallance
John Clampitt George Osborne William Vallance
John Cole George Osborne jun Bartholomew Ward
John Cornell John Osborne sen. Walter Waye
Nicholas Cornish John Osborne jun. John Webber
Nicholas Cornish jun. Philip Osborne William Webber
John Dabanie Robert Osborne Samuel Whyte
John Delve John Payne John Williams jun
Emmanuel Dyer Philip Peeke Ambrose Wills
Christopher Flood William Philpe John Wills
Christopher Flood jun. John Pitt jun. John Wills jun.
Elias Flood Michael Pitt Christopher Wills sen.
Thomas Flood Robert Porter jun. Christopher Wills
John Grose John Potter Christopher Wills
Edward Hall Robert Potter Nicholas Wills
Edward Hall Robert Potter Richard Wills
Robert Hammett William Potter Philip Withecomb
William Hatsill Thomas Preest Michael Wreaford
William Hayer Franklyn Reynell Hugh Wyndeat
John Herret Thomas Reynell Henry Yeo
James Holman John Saccom jun. John Yeo
Roger Holman Edward Satton John Yeo
Valentine Holman George Smith John Yeo
William Holman Henry Sowden William Yeo
William Hooe John Strange William Yeo jun
John Hooe William Strange -
William Hore Augustine Surcombe -
Thomas Horman Humphrey Surcombe -

William Miller - Vicar

Nichoals Yeo - Constable

John Pitt - Chuchwarden

Christopher Townsend - Overseer

* For many centuries, Devon was divided into 32 administrative districts or Hundreds for land tax purposes.
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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