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EAST OGWELL - 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 Ogwell belonged to the Hundred of Wonford

The original spelling has been preserved

Thomas Amos George Gold Robert Prouse
John Ancrie Thomas Harris Richard Proute
Richard Babbish Robert Heywood Nathaniel Rewallin
John Balkwill Christopher Hobbinge Thomas Rewallin
Thomas Balkwill Christipher Hobbinge Edward Reynell, gent.
Thomas Bardews Gregory Horsham Christopher Searle
George Biksad Richard Lambeshead George Smith Esq
Aaron Blactchford John Langhorne John Snegsonne
Christopher Blatchford Christopher Lannston William Sortlaye
Giles Blatchford Christopher Lannstone Bennet Sortleigh
Richard Border William Michaell William Sortleigh
Thomas Border Richard Moore Richard Sortleye
Thomas Bright Thomas Moore William Sortleye
John Cholditch Thomas Moore John Steephens
William Crooke Thomas Moore John Steephens, jun.
Gregory Crossinge John Odde William Steephens
Hugh Digginge Martin Odde Ephraim Thorne
Andrew Endecott Richard Odde Jacob Tucker
John Ernell Richard Palke Edward Venninge
James Ford Thomas Parker John Venninge
Michael Ford John Peeter Thomas Venninge
William Ford John Peeter Thomas Volstone
Wiliam Ford William Peeter John Walter
Robert Frost William Peeter Thomas Westabrooke
Thomas Furse John Phillips -
Andrew Godfrye Peter Prouse -

John Evans - Minister

Stephen Crossinge - Constable

William Jewill - Churchwarden

John Moull - Overseer

(All the above names in the same hand)

 

* 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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