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CHURSTON FERRERS - 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.

Churston Ferrers belonged to the Hundred of Haytor

The original spelling has been preserved

John Avery Nicholas Harris John More
William Berry William Harris Francis Muddy
John Bickeford John Henly Roger Narracott
William Blackaller John Heydrish John Nicholls
Gabriel Bond Tristram Irish Peter Norman
William Cardy John Jeane John Noseworthy
John Chadder Thomas Jeoffrey Peter Pennot
William Chadder John Jey John Preter
James Churchard William Jey Nicholas Pretor
Richard Clarke William Jolliffe Matthew Pretor
John Clearke John Kelly Edward Randall
John Clearke Langlet Kennines John Randall
Edward Coxeworthy James Knapman Gawen Richards
George Coxworthy Edward Knight Thomas Sampson
Michael Cranbury Henry Knight Humphrey Sheare
John Derry Peter Lambe Jacob Silvester
Richard Downe Richard Lambshed William Skerdon
Peter Dyer sen. William Langdon Edward Sparepointe
Peter Ellyott John Langstone Richard Sparepointe
Robedrt Ewins Geoffrey Langverd Thomas Stancombe
Henry Fard James Langverd Thomas Tapley
Richard Ferris Emanuel Laverence sen Richard Tapper
Philip Ferris Emanuel Laverence jun Libbeane, Toby
Walter Ferris Richard Laverence Simon Tooker
Christopher Flack Thomas Laverence Edmund Wakeham
Giles Furneang William Laverence George Waymouth
John Gardiner John Leaman John Weekes
John Gibbes Thomas Leeky William Weymouth
Amos Gibbs John Lewes jun Henry Willy
Andrew Gotabed John Lysson Richard Willyn
James Hanes William Maddocke Robert Worthe
Peter Harry jun. Hugh Man Edward Yarde
John Harris John Martyn  Giles Yarde
John Harris jun. James Milman ----

(A surprising number of the names above are signatures

All of the name below are signatures)

John Churchard took the Protestation in the parish of Stoke Gabriel

Peter Grigge - Curate

George Yarde - Churchwarden

Jpohn Lewes - Churchwarden and Constable

Thomas Bennett - Overseer

Thomas Blackaller - Constable and Overseer

Robert Skerdon - Overseer

John More - Overseer

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

 

 
 
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