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COCKINGTON - 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.

Cockington belonged to the Hundred of Haytor*

The original spelling has been preserved

Walter Adams Philip Cominge Thomas Norwood
George Atward William Cooke Barnard Osborne sen.
Henry Baker John Crooke Barnard Osborne jun.
William Baker Thomas Cullen Elias Osborne
John Ball John Cullin Samuel Painter
John Ball jun. William Davies Peter Parnell
Thomas Ball John Dingle Stephen Parnell
Batholomew Barnes John Dyer Dudley Pass
George Barnes John English John Pass
Henry Barnes John Follett John Pass jun.
Robert Barnes William Follett Christopher Pearse
Walter Bass George Grosse Michael Pearse
Thomas Belfeild Henry Grove Richard Peeter
George Bennett James Hannaver Robert Philpe
Thomas Benwin Edward Hodge John Prest
John Bickford Barnard Honywill Matthew Pulser
Richard Bickford Richard Hosegood John Quint
Stephen Bickford Robert Hosegood Christopher Rowland
William Bickford John Hutchins John Searle
William Boone John Jeffry William Squary
William Boone Henry Keene John Stevens
Simon Borton Richard Kinge Richard Stevens
Thomas Borton George Knight Richard Stone
John Bow John Lange Willian Swine
Robert Bow Thomas Lange Robert Tapley
Walter Bow Walter Lange Geofrey Trustram
John Brocke John Loome Christopher Tucker
Walter Bucher Thomas Luff Geoffrey Tucker
Edward Cary George Martyn Clement Warren
George Cary, Esq. John Martyn William Waymoth
John Cary, gent. John Martyn jun. William Waymoth jun.
Hugh Champneyes John Mathew John Widger
William Chappell George Miller John Williams
William Cleife Leonard Nock John Winsore
John Cole John Nocke William Winsore
Thomas Cole William Nocke -

Dudley Cary, Gentleman, refuses to take the protestation now till he have further command.

(The above name in the same hand, the following seven are signatures)

John Ware

Henry Aheard - Constable

John Keene - Constable

Stephen Parnell - Churchwarden

Robert Heasegood - churchwarden

Richard Pitt - Overseer

James Philpe - 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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