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CHULMLEIGH - 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.

Chulmleigh belonged to the Hundred of  Witheridge

The original spelling has been preserved

John Ackland Christopher Holwarde James Shepheard
John Adams Hugh Home Francis Shutt
Stephen Angell Benedict Hooper Francis Skibbowe
Anthony Anstie George Hooper Thomas Skibbowe
William Anstie John Hooper Thomas Skibow
Anthony Anstis Laurence Hooper John Skinner
Ismael Atkins Michael Hooper Nicholas Skinner
Richard Baitson John Hosgood Philip Skinner
Thomas Banfeild Christopher Huish Roger Skinner
Humphrey Banton John Hunt Sebastian Skinner
David Baple Laurence Hunt Thomas Snowe
Edward Bearman Ralph Hunt John Somerell
John Beere Roger Jewell Edmund Southwood
Anthony Blackmore John Jordan Henry Southwood
Anthony Blackmore jun John Kemp sen. John Southwood
Bartholomew Blackmore John Kemp John Southwood
James Blake Robert Kinge Samuel Southwood
John Bowdon James Lake William Southwood
Walter Bowdon Richard Lane William Southwood
Stephen Bowdon Francis Langbridg Humphrey Southwoode
Jasper Brer John Langbridg Thomas Southwoode
John Briant Samuel Langbridg John Sowdon
Robert Buck Anthony Ley Geoffrey Squire
Anthony Buckingham Simon Ley George Squire
William Buckingham Francis Loverence John Squire
William Buckingham William Loverence Nicholas Squire
John Bungton Francis Lubbons Thomas Starling
John Bunston Luke Luckham Henry Steevens
Elias Bussley Nicholas Manly Peter Stoneman
Andrew Card Emmanuel Marker Samuel Stower
Philip Card Roger Marker Anthony Swift
Robert Challocomb William Marker Richard Tagg
George Channon Thomas Mason Anthony Tallen
Thomas Chanter George Mathews Griffith Thomas
John Cheldon Nicholas Michell Richard Thomas
John Clark Christopher Milford Edmund Thomas sen
Peter Clark Lewis Moore Edmund Thomas jun
Richard Clark Richard Moore George Thorne
Anthony Clarke Richard Moore John Thorne
John Cock Thomas Morcomb John Thorne
John Cock David Morgan William Thorne
John Cock Humphrey Morgan Hugh Tome
Roger Cock Anthony Morrish John Trix
William Cock Henry Morrishe Nicholas Trix
Robert Cockshead Thomas Mould Richard Trix
Thomas Collin Edward Moysie William Trix
John Combe Henry Neale John Tucker
Walter Cookehead Richard Ninowe Michael Rucker
Diggory Cooks John Nott M ichael Tucker
Edward Coutove Robert Olding Francis Turner
Hugh Damerell Christopher Oldings James Turner
Humphrey Davie David Owen John Turner
Jenkin Davie Thomas Packer John Turner
John Davie Richard Paine John Turner jun.
John Davie Peter Passmoore jun Roger Turner
Jonas Davie Theobald Pasmoore Roger Turner
Thomas Day William Passmoore Walter Turner
Anthony Downe Peter Pasmore William Turner
Philip Dunn Humphrey PIne Richard Upham
Richard Dunn William Pine John Varrant
Henry Ford Thomas Pincombe Humphrey Venner
Edward Gaming Robert Pincombe James Venner
John German Robert Pinkcombe Robert Venner
William Gibs John PIns Thomas Venner
Matthew Golbeare Thomas Plowman Thomas Voiden
Robert Gread Leonard Priest Philip Voisie
Lyston Greenham Thomas Quantock John Wade
John Gribble Bector Radmoore John Wade
George Haine John Baser William Wade
Ambrose Handford Jonathan Reed Hopkin Watkin
John Handford George Reede Robert Watts
John Handford David Rice Robert Watts
George Harell John Robins Andrew Webber
Richard Hartnoll John Rod Anthony Webber
Nathaniel Hatherly Peter Rowe Edward Webber
Walter Haywood Thomas Roweliffe Jeremy Webber
Roberet Heale John Sagar John Webber
Roger Heale Anthony Sage John Webber
George Helliar John Sage jun. Nicholas Webber
William Helliar Philip Sarell Philiip Webber
Henry Hole Philip Sarell William Webber
Robert Hole Philip Sarell jun. Lewis Wescombe
Anthony Holmead Philip Shepcott George Williams

(The above names in the same hand, the following six are signatures)

Christopher Baitson - Rector

Roger Skinner - Churchward

Anthony Downe - Overseer

John Page - Overseer

Lewis Cheldon - Constable

William Webber - Constable

* 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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