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COMBE MARTIN - THE PROTESTATION RETURN OF 1641/2

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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.

Combe Martin belonged to the Hundred of Braunton

The original spelling has been preserved

Edward Adams Amos Hearding William Pearce
Francis Adams John Hearding Robert Penny
Robert Adams Luke Hearding Nicholas Phillips
Thomas Adams William Hearding Thomas Phillips
Thomas Allyn Henry Heddon John Pollard Gent.
Humphrey Aysh Edward Herewill Anthony Popham
George Ayshe William Herewill Samuel Popham
Richard Baker Humphrey Herowill William Popham
Richard Bale Richard Herowill Ambrose Pugsley
Humphrey Barne John Hey Edward Ransom
Nicholas Barne Richard Hey Abraham Rattenbury
Nicholas Barne Richard Hey Thomas Reable
Nicholas Barne (tailor) William Hey Humphrey Reed
Robert Barne Alexander Hill Richard Reed
Thomas Barne David Hill William reed
Thomas Barne Richard Hill  Richard Reed
John Bennem Hugh Houlborne Tristram Reede
Joseph Blackmore Edward Hoyle William Reede
Michael Blackmore John Huckwill William Richards
Nicholas Blackmore Richard Hucstable Edward Ridd
2Richard Blackmore Lancelot Hurstell Edward Ridd
Robert Blackmore John Hutch John Ridd
Thomas Blackmore David Jacke Richard Ridd
William Blackmore Bartholomew Jerman William Ridd
Nicholas Brewer Nicholas Jerman Richard Ridmore
Richard Brooke Richard Jerman David Rogers
William Brooke Richard Jerman John Rooke
William Brooke John Johns sen. Richard Rooke
John Browne John Johns jun. Richard Rooke
David Bussacott Robert Launcy William Rooke
Edward Bussacott Hugh Laurence William Rooke
Edward Bussacott John Laurence Thomas Rother
John Bussacott Nicholas Laurence Edward Row
Richard Catley Bartholomew Lee John Row
Thomas Challcombe Bartholomew Lee Henry Rue
Thomas Chalncomb Humphrey Lerewill John Rumson
Emmanuel Clogge Arthur Ley John Searle
John Clogge John Ley Amos Slocum
Richard Clogge Nicholas Ley William Smith sen.
John Cloutman John Locke William Smith
Thomas Cogge Gabriel Lovevaren Edmund Stadler
James Colly William Lovevaren Henry Stadler
John Comer John May Robert Stadler
John Comer Pole May William Stadler
Edward Cutley Richard May Edward Start
John Cutley Edward Miller Richard Start
John Davy John Miller John Stonier
John Davy William Miller Nicholas Summer
Edward Deacon David Moggaridge Thomas Summer
John Deacon John Moone Henry Tealber
Nicholas Deacon (mason) Nicholas Moone David Thorne
Nicholas Deacon sen. Leonard Moore Edward Thorne
William Deacon Nicholas Morrice George Thorne
Walter Dennis Nicholas Morrice John Thorne
Humphrey Edwards John Natt Richard Thorne
John Edwards Anthony Neythercott William Thorne
Luke Edwards Robert Nicols David Tollen
Richard Edwards Edward Norman Richard Tollyn
Thomas Edwards John Norman Nicholas Tucker
William Fleming Nicholas Norman William Tucker
John Fosse Richard Norman Peter Vellacot
Nicholas Gammin Thomas Norman David Vaelacott
James Gill William Nott Nicholas Vellacott
John Gill Edward Nutt Michael Verney
Jonas Gill John Nutt Philip Vicery
Robert Gill John Nutt Richard Vicery
Thomas Gill John Nutt (Labourer) Edward Ward
John graddon Nicholas Nutt Nicholas Ward
Nicholas Hacham Richard Nutt Thomas Ward
William Hacham Richard Nutt William Ward
John Hancock William Nutt Edward West
John Hancocke William Nutt Richard Widdon
John Hancocke William Parkyn Erassmus Williams
Richrd Hancocke Edward Parmynter Hugh Williams
Walter Hancocke Richard Parmynter Humphrey Williams
William Hancocke Robert Parrishe Thomas Williams
Geoffrey Harris John Pasmore John Withy
John Harryes Richard Pasmore William Withy
Joans Harstell John Peake -
John Hay John Pearce -

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

John Morrice - Rector

John Peale - Constable

Henry heddon - Churchwarden

Nicholas Blackmor - Churchwarden

Richard Parmiter - Overseer

Tichard Thorne - 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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