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EAST ALLINGTON - 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.

 

East Allington parish belonged to the Hundred of Stanborough*

(The original spelling has  been retained)

Nicholas Adams John Grant William Phillips
Matthew Auger George Grymes George Pooleinge
John Baker Richard Hamlyn Thomas Pope
Robert Baker Nicholas Harvell Nathaniel Porte
Benedict Bastard Thomas Harvye Crispin Putt
William Bastard Hugh Haste John Putt
William Bellfeild Nicholas Head Michael Putt
Edmond Bickford Richard Head John Reynell
George Bickford Edmund Hingston Richard Roope
Arthur Blatch John Hingston Arthur Scoble
Arthur Blatch Richard Hingston Benedict Scoble
Richard Blatch William Hingston John Scoble
William Boyed William Hingston John Scoble
John Buncker William Hingston John Scoble
Thomas Cate Nicholas Horsman John Scoble
Henry Coad Robert Kellagoe Philip Scoble
Edward Cole John King Thomas scoble
Jonathan Cole William Lange Walter Scoble
Robert Cole Nicholas Langmead Walter Scoble
William Cole William Lee Michael Sheere
William Cole Henry Lidstone Richard Shinon
William Cutmore James Lucas Thomas Smith
Thomas Dennis John Lucas Ellis Square
John Dier Richard Luke Walter Steare
John Fistayne William Luke Jerome Stephens
Michael Distayne John Luscomb Thomas Terrie
John Dodd Steven Luscombe John Tucker
John Dowden John Mill John Tucker
Nicholas Downing James Mitchelmore Ralph Tucker
George Eastright John Mitchelmore Roger Tucker
Thomas Farnell John Mitchelmore Walter Vee
Philip Fole John Mitchelmore John Wakeham
Thomas Ford Lewis Mitchelmore John Wakeham
John Fortescue, gent. Robert Mitchelmore John Wakeham
John Foxe Walter Mitchelmore Richard Wakeham
Thomas Friend Avery Mudge Robert Wakeham
Walter Friend James Mudge Davy White
Andrew Gillard Francis Neighbour John Wood
William Gillard John Norrish John Yabbacombe
John Grant Nathaniel Phillipps Nicholas Yabbacombe
All the above names in the same hand

This document has no formal signatures

 

*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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