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EAST DOWN - 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.

East Down belonged to the Hundred of Braunton

(The original spelling has  been retained)

Lewis Ackland George Boyle Thomas Brace
Henry Beard John Boyle sen John Braggs
Hungh Bemer John Boyle jun George Brayly
William Booke Lewis Boyle John Bussacott sen
Anthony Boyle Philip Boyle John Bussacott jun
John Bussacott jun John Isaacks Edward Pyne, Gent
Miles Chaldon David Jones Edward Pyne Esq.
John Collins David Jones John Pyne
Julian Copleston Henry Jones Philip Pyne, Gent
George Cosbye Richard Jones George Randall
David Dyer Samuel Kinge Thomas Scampe
Henry Dyer David Launcy John Slee
Stephen Dymond George Launcy Lewis Slee
Francis Garland, Gent Nicholas Launcy George Slocombe
Geoffrey Gill Philikp Launcy John Slocombe
John Griffyth Walter Launcy sen. John Stanbury
Peter Gyles Walter Launcy jun. Philip Stanbury
Andrew Hammet John Ley , Gent Robert Stanbury
Edward Hammott Richard Leyse, Gent David Tawlke
John Hammet sen. Richard Leyse, Gent Robert Taylebush
John Hammet jun Nicholas Miller Anthony Tooker
Robert Hammet Thomas Moore William Virchilds
Morris Hancocke George Norman John Visicks
David Hodge Lewis Nott John Wilkey
William Hordings Morgan Owens John Williams

 

 John Pyne - Clerk

William Hammet - Constable

Hugh Hammet - Churchwarden

Edward Launcy - Churchwarden

George Slee - Overseer

NIcholas Harper - 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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