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CRUWYS MORCHARD - 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.

which are grouped in Hundreds*

Cruwys Morchard belonged to the Hundred of Witheridge

The original spelling has been retained

(Note "Zellack" for "Sellick" for instance)

John Asheforde Charles Gosse William Mogford
Walter Balle Hugh Grante Alexander Morris, gent.
John Beedle John Hartrudge George Morris
Philip Bentley Roger Hauxlande John Morrish
Mark Berrye Hugh Hearde John Morrish
Thomas Berrye Lewis Hearles Humphrey Moysie
John Blackmore Thomas Hearles John Muddiforde
Robert Blackmore Hugh Hedgman Roger Parker
William Blackmore Lewis Hodge William Pitt
George Bodlye Humphrey Holmeade Ambrose Pope
Thomas Bradford John Holmeade Andrew Pope
George Brooke sen. John Hugh John Pulford
George Brooke jun. Richard James John Rich
William Carde John Lane John Seacker
Richard Channter William Lane Thomas Shapcott
Thomas Clogge Humphrey Laye John Shilson
William Cockram Edward Lee William Shilson
Hugh Cooke Henry Lee Humphrey Shorte
Mr. Alexander Cruse Richard Lee John Shorte
Mr. Henry Cruse Hugh Leye Richard Shourte
Humphrey Cruse, gent. Simon Leye John Skynner
Philip Delbridge Edward Lympe Matthew Skynner
James Dodge Alexander Manleye William Squire
Alexander Drake Humphrey Manleye Robert Tanner
George Drake Robert Manleye Robert Thomas
Humphrey Drake Alexander Mawnder Walter Thomas
John Drake Alexander Mawnder Richard Uppington
Richard Drake Baldwin Maunder Robert Uppington
Robert Drake Ferdinand Mawnder Abraham Wellington
John Druson George Mawnder Edward Westerne
James Eveleigh George Mawnder George Westerne
Robert Eveleigh Humphrey Mawnder Thomas Westerne
Robert Eveleigh jun. John Mawnder Henry Wilcocks
William Fenninge John Mawnder Henry Williams
Alexander Fitsham John Mawnder George Woode
Robert Fitsham Richard Mawnder John Woode
Thomas Frogpitt Humphrey Melhuish Henry Wright sen.
John Fursdon John Melhuish Henry Wright jun.
John Fursdon jun. John Melhuish Thomas Wright
Samuel Fursdon Lewis Melhuish Thomas Wright
Christopher Furse Matthew Melhuish William Wright
Henry Furse Robert Melhuish Humphrey Zellack
William Godswill Thomas Melhuish William Zellack

Signed by 

William Franshe - Parson

Abraham Fugars

Robert Cruse - Churchwarden

William Maunder - Constable

Humphrey Brooke - Constable

Peter Lovett - 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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