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CORNWOOD - THE PROTESTATION RETURN OF 1641

 

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.and grouped in Hundreds*

The parish of Cornwood belonged to the Hundred of Ermington

The original spelling has been retained

Nicholas Abbut Henry Edwards Simon Roach
Nicholas Abbut   John Edwards John Rogers
Philip Abbutt Thomas Edwards John Rowse
Robert Abbutt Edward Elford John Russell
William Abbutt William Elliot Arthur Russell
Andrew Algar George Forde William Russell
Hugh Algar Andrew Foster Francis Sanders
William Algar John Foster John Savery
John Andrew Nicholas Foster Robert Savery, Gent
Christopher Baddaford Richard Foster sen. Robert Savery, Esq.
Hannibal Baddaford Richard Foster jun. Robert Scobble
John Ball Richard Foster Walter Shangwill
James Bamlet William Foster Nicholas Sheapheard
John Bamlet Fortescue Reed Esq. Alexander Sheild
Richard Bamlet William Frude John Shellabeare
William Bamlet John Gardiner Richard Shirwill
Arthur Banden Edward Gardner Robert Shirwill
George Banden sen. Peter Gill Samuel Shirwill
George Banden jun. Richard Gillard Walter Shirwill
George Banden George Greepe William Shirwill
John Banden Henry Greepe William Shirwill
Nicholas Banden John Greepe William Shirwill
Robert Banden sen Robert Greepe Thomas Skirrit
Robert Bannden Thomas Greepe Chrsitopher Snelling
Thomas Banden John Hanger John Snelling
Bartholomew Barret Arthur Hannaford Ralph Snowe
John Barret sen Edward Hannaford John Sollicke
Richard Barret James Hannaford Alexander Sprige
Thomas Barret James Hannaford Alexander Sprige
Christopher Baskervill Tristram Hannaford Solomon Sprige
Henry Baskervill William Hannaford William Steart
Thomas Baskervill William Hannford jun. William Steven
Diggory Basterwill Michael Harris Henry Stevens
James Beare Richard Harris John Stevens
William Beare Edward Hele John Stevens
Michael Bennet John Hele of Hele, Gent. John Stevens
Valentine Bennet John Hele, Gent John Stevens
Robert Blackler George Higgins Hugh Stonier
Christopher Blaze Richard Higgins Thomas Stribley
John Bowden George Hill William Sway
Arthur Brent Robert Hill Arthur Symons
John Browne Thomas Horrill Edmund Symons
John Browne jun John Huite sen Richard Symons
William Browne John Huite jun. Tristram Synmons
Peter Burch John Jane William Symons
William Burch John Junicke John Tapley
Peter Caucker James Kent Richard Tapley
Humphrey Carye Henry Kente George Thomas
Leonard Charels Hugh Knowling George Thorne
William Charels William Lakeman John Thorne
Richard Chiswell John Langdon John Tocker
Thomas Chiswell sen. Walter Langes Moses Tocker
Thomas Chiswell jun. Henry Lovecraft Simon Tocker
William Cholwich, Gent. Richard Luscombe John Tockerman
William Cholwich Richard Maddocke Stephen Tockerman
Edward Cockrum Henry Maine Arthur Townsen
Nicholas Cole Ellias Mason Henry Townsen
Richard Collaford John Mason Thomas Trenanman
Nathaniel Colling Tobias Meade William Trigs
William Colling William Meane George Turpin
Paul Colting Richard Medleton Richard Turpin
Peter Cooke John Medlon Stephen Veale
Thomas craft Thomas Miles Lionel Warring
Richard Crage Nathaniel Norcot William Warring
Tristrum Crage William Olliver Thomas Washbrooke
Robert Cree Bryant Omerassie John Webber
John Davie Paul Pearse Richard Welkey
William Deadlake Richard Pearse Andrew Were
Hugh Deane Walter Pearse Hugh Wiate
William Disting John Phillips Peter Wiate
John Dotting John Philpe Walter Wright
Arthur Edgecombe Roger Reeve Adam Williams, Gent
Geoffrey Edwards Richard Roach -

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

Henry Smith - Vicar

William Pearse - Hundred Constable

John Lavers - Constable

Thomas Browne - Constable

Richard Turrin - Churchwarden

Richard Abbut - Overseer

John Browne - 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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