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CHUDLEIGH - 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.

Chudleigh belonged to the Hundred of Exminster*

The original spelling has been preserved

William Abbot Richard Far Nicholas Par
John Alford Richard Farges William Par
John Arther William Faryn Hugh Parsmore
John Ascote John Fathers Richard Peryman
William Assery Richard Fathers Jerome Peter
John Avent William Feris Robert Pidston
Benjamin Baker Robert Foord Henry Pinfold
Gilbert Baker Henry Ford James Plinfold
Peter Baker John Ford James Plymsould
William Baker Charles French George Pooke
Bennett Ball Peter French John Poter
Hercules Ball John Frewin Thomas Pranse
John Ball Zachary Frewman John Raclife
John Ball William Frier John Reeve
John Ball William Frye John Relinson
William Ball Philip Full Henry Relish
William Ball William Geard James Remell
Zachary Bande John Gilford Ellis Rowe
John Barosey George Glanfield John Rowe
Stephen Bawde Andrew Goodin John Rowland
John Bawden Michael Gorsow Henry Russell
John Baylise Robert Greene Benjamin Same
Hugh Beard Robert Hall Robert Samford
Robert Bennett Francis Halse Benjamin Sapton
Christopher Bickold Francis Halse John Sapton
John Bightfoate Jihil Hardin Nicholas Sham
John Blackford William Harsam Andrew Shaper
John Blisse Thomas Hawle Peter Shines
William Blisse James Haywood Gilbert Smyth
William Bodie John Helier Thomas Smyth
Andrew Bond Robert Hellier Gilbert Soper
Gregory Bond William Hellier sen. Peter Soper
Thomas Bracer John Hermand John Speacer
Henry Bright John Hernand James Spencke
Austin Buckenham Philip Hewood Matthew Splat
Robert Bucker Michael Hill John Squier
Andrew Bulford Richard Hill John Stephyn
John Bulford William Horsam Andrew Stowker
Richard Bulford George Horway William Scombe
Richard Burges James Jasop James Sewtland
William Burges Henry Kingwill Zachary Swetland
Valentine Carlynd Christopher Langaler ? Swetland
James Casley John Langler William Symes
John Cerswill John Langlid Richard Symons
Peter Chubb John Langlin John Taylor
John Clampe Feris Lanmead John Taylor
Thomas Clogg John Landmeade John Thatcher
William Clogg Richard Lee David Thomas
George Cocke Richard Lee John Tothill
Henry Cocke Samuel Lenord Thomas Tothill
Henry Collyns John Luscombe William Tothill
William Coombe Edward Luscombe John Trages
Richard Cooper William Lyle Philip Veale
Richard Cooper Isacke Mabel Hugh Wadland
John Coshe Benjamin Mabell Sidrach Wakham
John Cramer Richard Maninge Edward Waller
Robert Cramer James Mansell Hugh Wallice
Robert Cramer Richard Manter William Wannell
Thomas Cramer Peter Marishe William Waye
John Crocombe John Marten Philip Wellaton
William Curcot Philip Marten Henry Westcot
John Delury Richard Marten Edward Wetan
John Dige John Maye Peter White
Zachary Disten John Mayne Henry Wilkin
Richard Dod William Millar Michael Widicom
John Downe John Mole Christopher Wilson
William Dreaton Richard Moore Roger Wilson
Roger Drueman Adrian Norman Christopher Winch
John Ealop John Orchard John Windsor
Michael Earden Andrew pabyn Roger Windsor
Mr. Thomas Eastworthy Jasper Packell Mr. John Wolcomb
Matthew Edmond James Par John Worthie
Thomas Elsson John Par John Wotan

Robert Wolcom - Vicar

(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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