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DARTINGTON - 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.

Dartington belonged to the Hundred of Stanborough

The original spelling has been preserved

John Adam Henry Farwell  Barnard Radford
Nicholas Adames Edward Ferris Roger Reed
Hugh Adams Philip Ferris Thomas Reede
John Adams Martin Field Alexander Renolls
Richard Adams Thomas Fielde Richard Roache
William Adams Josias Fillipes Thomas Rouceser
William Andrewe Giles Ford Thomas Sadler
Edward Ascot William Ford John Salter
George Ascotte John Garrell John Sanhinge
Thomas Arrwell John Garell Thomas Rounceser
Adrian Badcoke William Garke John Salter 
Giles Badglock George Garland John Sanhinge
William Baver Robert Godefrie Andrew Sarrell
John Bawdon Abraham Grant William Sarrell
Edward Beard Samuel Gregoy Arthur Scoble
Thomas Beard Nicholas Hall John Scoble
Laurence Bearde Theophilus Halle Jonathan Scoble
James Bedlacke John Hawkings Nicholas Searell
John Beedlacke Edward Henly Philip Skinner
Nicholas Belson Nicholas Henswill Richard Skinner
Nichaols Bemoll William Herman William Skinner
Christopher Bidlocke John Hindston Cornelius Sprag
Nicholas Blackler Edward Jewell Henry Stephen
Edward Boras John Lapthorne Nicholas Stidston
Robert Braye Andrew Lavers Thomas Stidston
Thomas Broking John Lege Walter Tall
George Bussell James Leege Andrew Talle
Michael Bussell James Leigh James Tarell
William Bussell Christopher Long John Turner
John Chafe sen. John Luscombe Henry Toocker
John Chafe jun. John Luscombe John Tucker
Anthony Champnowne William Luscombe John Tucker
Henry Champnowne John Maye Nicholas Tucker
Owen Champnowne James Leege Richard Tucker
William Chastoe James Leigh Henry Twythern
John Coles Christopher Long John Ventor
Elias Collings John Luscombe John Watterman
John Coowle John Luscombe Charles Weall
James Courtis William Luscomb Henry Webber
Edward Cox Francis Macys Henry White
William Dawe Earen Martin Henry White
Alling Distinge George Martyn Walter Whitford
Alan Edwards Richard Martyn Arthur Williams
Leonard Edwards John Maye Edward Williams
Thomas Ellet John Mosey George Williams
James Emett William Murland Richard Williams
James Emmiot John Norcott Samuel Williams
Edward Even Nicholas Parston Thomas Williams
Richard Even Henry Pess Pweter Windeat
John Evenes John Penvellin John Winser
Edward Evens John Pebbell John Winser
Giles Evens Christopher Pottle Alexander Woodwoord
Peter Ewen James Pottle Nicholas Worth
William Ewens John Preston Roger Yeabaron
Hugh Farrel John Preston jun. Roger Yeard
Henry Farley Thomas Preston -----
Henry Farwell Robert Pridston ---

The following are signatures

Sigismond Hartonge _ Curate

Edmund Williams - Churchwarden

William Searle - Constable

James Searil - Constable

Christopher Edwards - Overseer

Christopher Williames Overseer

* For many centuries, Devon was divided into 32 administrative districts or Hundreds for land tax purpose.

 

 
 
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