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Devon County

Devonshire Rgt.

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Parish Records




War Memorials



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.

Dean Prior belonged to the Hundred of Stanborough

(The original spelling has  been retained)

* Robert Herrick, the great 17th century poet, was ordained in the Church of England on 25 April 1623. He arrived in Devon to become vicar of Dean Prior in 1630 where he remained until 1647 when he was expelled from his living by the Puritans. He returned to Dean Prior in 1662 after the restoration of the Monarchy, dying here 15 October 1674. The first of the signatures at the foot of this document was his. 

Benjamin Abraham Robert Ellett Giles Lowman, gent.
John Aishley John Faule, sen. James Maddock
John Aishley, jun. John Faule, jun. Thomas Maddocke
John Andrewe Austin Fox Thomas Maddocke
Edward Arscott Mordecay Fox George March
Richard Arscott Ferdinand Furse Alexander Michell
Peter Atwill Henry Furse John Michell
Simon Ball Robert Furse, gent. John Mudge, jun.
John Beard John Garnett, gent. Richard Mudge
John Beard Gabrial Gest Robert Mudge, jun.
Thomas Beard Henry Gill Thomas Mudge
William Bounser William Gill, sen. William Mudge
Isaac Bovie William Gill, jun. James Nosworthie
Daniel Brian Henry Goodman Thomas Nosworthie
Richard Britton William Goodman Francis Parnell
William Brodden Henry Gray James Parnell
Richard Came John Hamling John Parnell, sen.
Richard Casleigh Arthur Hannaford John Parnell, jun.
Richard Casleigh Hannaford (sic) Thomas Parnell
William Casleigh John Hardon Thomas Parnell, jun.
Anthony Colling Christopher Harwood Henry Putt
Edward Colling John Harwood John Rider, sen.
Ellis Colling Thomas Head, sen. John Rider, jun.
William Colling Thomas Head, jun. John Roper
Jarvis Colman John Hept John Rowdall
David Coming William Hericke, gent. George Rowe
Philip Coming John Honywill Geoffrey Scobble
Edward Could Henry Jeffery John Scobble
Edward Cowne Ralph Jeffery Adrian Sheere
John Cowne jun. Robert King James Sheere
Richard Cowne Morgan Knowling Walter Sheere
George Crusie Thomas Knowling John Stephens
John Crusie Simon Lambstead James Tarr
Richard Currie William Langmead Robert Tarr
Peter Cutmore Crispin Lavers Jasper Tolchard
Thomas Davie Henry Lavers Robert Tuckerman
James Dodd Henry Lavers John Warren
Jasper Dodd John Lavers, sen. Philip Warren
Robert Dodd John Lavers, jun. William Warren
Thomas Dodd John Lavers Richard Watts
John Drew Lewis Lavers Daniel Weatherdon
Christopher Dundridg Nicholas Lavers, jun. Henry Weeger
John Dundridg William Lavers William Weeger
John Edwards William Lavers, jun. John Wilkin
Richard Edwards Henry Legasick Edward Williams
Thomas Edwards Henry Legasick, jun. Godfrey Windiat

Signed by

*Robert Hearicke - Vicar

Robert Furse - Churchwarden

Robert Mudge - Churchwarden

John Mudge - Overseer

John Collinge - Overseer

John Cowne - Constable

Robert Mudge - Constable 

*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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