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DENBURY - 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.

Denbury belonged to the Hundred of Haytor

The original spelling has been preserved

Bartholomew Bab John Fox Jacob Pope
James Balkwill Barnard Game Richard Pope
William Balkwill John Game Thomas Pope
George Baker Richard Giles John Prater
William Baker Thomas Giles Leonard Prater
John Bery Giles Gosswill Thomas Rendell
Anthony Bickford James Gosswill Richard Roch
Richard Bickford John Gosswill John Satabeck
Ellis Boochers William Gosswill Daniel Sheriff
John Bowden William Gosswill jun Richard Smyth
Thomas Boyes Marmaduke Hacker Richard Stabecke
William Browne John Hooman James Stankum
David Carsleigh Robert Hooper John Stankum
Thomas Carsleigh William Horwill John Stankum jun
William Charles John Hunt Richard Stephens
Robert Cole Luke Hutchens Richard Stephens
William Collinges Richard Jane Michael Stibbert
Andrew Cooke John Kenwood Alexander Stiggens
John Cooke Edmund Lambert George Stone
John Cookery Stephen Langmeade William Stonman
John Cowell James Latch Andrew Symons
Richard Crossinge James Latch jun Paul Symons
John Davy Tristram Latch Sidrach Tapper
Christopher Drew Michael Littell Richard Taverner
Robert Dynninge John Man Matthew Tavernor
Edward Eales Peter Man sen John Tooker
John Earell Peter Man jun William Tooker
Simon Edwards John Martyn Thomas Tuck
John Endell sen Christopher Moore Emmanuel Westcot
John Endell jun Walter Moore James Westcot
John Evens James Mydwinter Stephen Wills
Giles Fox Christopher Osborne Henry Winser
Joseph Fox Edward Palte John Wootton
Joseph Fox jun Edward Peeke William Wotton

Henry Browne, Robert Midwinter and Thomas Crosewell are absent from home

Signed by

Walter Moore - Rector

John Searle - Churchwarden

Richard Stephens - Churchwarden

Christopher Osborne - Constable

Richard Jane - Constable

Matthew Taverner - Overseer

George Baker - 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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