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CLOVELLY - 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.

Clovelly belonged to the Hundred of Hartland

The original spelling has been preserved

Edward Ackland Thomas Jones Peter Rogerman
Anthony Ayre William Juell Thomas Rudd
Andrew Basse Richard Kensham Gent John Sander
John Beare William Lange Peter Sander
Lewis Beare Robert Lee John Sanders
Josias Beaver James Lyle William Saunder
John Bounty Thomas Lyle Edward Shaply
William Bounty Baptist Madge John Shaply
Martin Buckingham William Manninge Nicholas Shaply sen.
Baptist Burgis Hugh Nicholl Nicholas Shaply jun.
William Can Francis Parker Thomas Shortridge
George Cary John Pathericke Michael Skinner
Robert Cary Edmund Persivall Andrew Skriggins
Richard Cliddon Andrew Pollard William Skriggins
Henry Cole John Pollard John Smale
John Cole William Pollard Thomas Snow
John Ellis Nicholas Popham Richard Southwort
Laurence Folliott Gabriel prance Richard Toms
John Gennings Robert Prise William Tricke
Stephen Grater Nicholas Prouse Thomas Warren
John Hearde Simon Quance Thomas Way
Peter Hearde Franics Randle Thomas Way
William Hodge John Rew George White
William Hoop Lewis Rice John White
John Horwood Hugh Robbyns ---
Hugh Hunt John Rogerman ---

The above are all in the same hand.

The following seven are signatures

 

William Greeneway - Curate

 Henry Pruse - Constable

Reuben Lawrence - Constable

William Wollacott - Churchwarden

Hugh Rogerman - Churchwarden

Laurence Can - Overseer

Roger Glowin - 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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