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FREMINGTON - 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 king and to Parliament. 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.  An indexed transcription is available in the West Country Studies Library in Exeter.

 

The Protestation Returns are arranged by parishes which are grouped in Hundreds*

Fremington belonged to the Hundred of Fremington

(Even for the times, the spelling in this list is varied and colourful to say the least. Richard Giner = Richard Joiner, Thomas Ginkin = Thomas Jenkin, "Passiwell" is probably an attempt at "Percival", "Murgin" = "Morgan" etc. - if in doubt, try applying a rich Devon accent to the names as you read them!)

Richard Adames John Fishly William Norcott
Thomas Adames Thomas Fodsell John Oynes
Davie Allin William Franklyn Thomas Palmer
John Babacombe Thomas Gebes Robert Palsar
John Badcocke Thomas Geefrey Nicholas Parker
Hannibal Baddcocke John Gibes Richard Parker
Nicholas Baker John Gilbart Hugh Parkes
Philip Baker John Gile John Parkman
George Ball Richard Giner Robert Parslew
Roger Ball Thomas Ginkin Bartholomew Paslaye
Roger Balle John Gregorye Nicholas Pasline
John Band Walter Grible Passiwell Pawlyn
Thomas Banson Oanes Griefeye John Pearse
Walter Bard Geoffrey Grifeye George Peekes
John Bargg William Grow Robert Penrose
James Barnacott Thomas Hack Robert Penrose
John Barnacott John Hallse William Penrose
John Barnacott John Halse Robert Perkins
John Barnacott John Hancott William Plamer
Arthur Barnard Humphrey Hamant Edward Poughley
James Barnet Hugh Haries William Preist
Robert Barrock Robert Harkman Thomas Price
George Beare John Harte George Punchard
John Beare John Harte Richard Rade
William Beare Nicholas Harte Robert Reed
John Beder Oliver Harte John Remes
George Bellow Richard Harwith Thomas Retlye
George Beople John Harthy Ambrose Rice
William Berie Ciprian Hartnell John Rice
George Bernacott Robert Hartnoll Richard Rice
Walter Berrill Geofrrey Heatherew John Riche
Hugh Bevens Henry Heechard Edmund Ricke
William Bevens John Heel Richard Robartins
William Beyley George Hele John Rocliffe
Richard Blake Diggory Heman William Rotlige
James Blayley Moris Heyen Christopher Rowe
John Boyen Robert Hill William Rude
Philip Braving John Hoalle Stephen Saunders
Nicholas Bray John Hoges Christopher Saunders
John Brayley Richard Holle John Seager
Hugh Brayly William Holle John Sharland
John Brayly James Horne William Sharland
John Brayly Peter Howe Robert Sharman
Richard Buclycom John Hutchins Richard Sheapherd
John Burne Roger Isaac Robert Sherman
John Cabe Roger James Anthony Singe
Samuel Cade Thomas James Robert Skinner
George Caldon Davie Janes John Slowly
John Canarn John Janes Henry Smalle
John Carder Thomas Jenken Edward Sparch
Christopher Chaldon John Jenkin William Spare
George Chamberlin William Joanes Robert Sparman
Samuel Chappell John Johnes William Sparman
John Chope Richard Jones Richard Stevenes
Peter Clamper Roger Jones Nicholas Stevens
Roger Colenes Thomas Jones James Stuckly
Richard Collibare Christopher Joslin Richard Sweete
Richard Collibare Arthur Kellie John Symons
Richard Colmer Lewis Kericke William Tamline
Thomas Colmer John Knebone Philip Tammas
John Combe Richard Knill William Taton
Peter Comber John Lacke Henry Tawton
John Comer Thomas Lancomb Roger Tewth
Thomas Cooper Richard Lang John Thomas
Simon Copner James Langdon William Tocker
William Courtes Lewis Langdon John Treblin
John Crocombe Ellis Larythy Richard Treblin
Robert Crocombe John Laten Philip Triplate
Walter Croddacot John Lee Thomas Vellacott
Robert Crosse Simon Leworth Edmund Venson
Tarler Daking Henry Ley Francis Waldon
William Darke Hugh Ley James Walter
John Davie Thomas Ley John Walter
William Davie Walter Ley Roger Walter
John Dawkins James Limbey Andrew Walterman
William Demon William Limbray Alexander Warde
George Dichett David Lindge Thomas Waslake
Robert Dichet Ginkin Louse Henry Watacot
James Dichett Arthur Luckombe Laurence Wates
George Downe Robert Mallacott Anthony Wats
Robert Downe Nicholas Marchant William Welche
John Drewe Thomas Mase William Weslad
Henry Dune Robert Mattecott John Weslade
Andrew Dur Roger Medron James Westlake
Richard Eashe Richard Michell Lewis Whoad
John Elieas Gabriel Mickel Nathaniel Whyte
Arthur Elies John Milles Luke Wilke
William Elies Hugh Moll James Wilkey
William Ellis Justin Morish John Wilkey
William Elworthy George Morne John Wilkey
John End John Moulle Murgin Williams
Ambrose Ende Anthony Nealle Henry Williames
Robert Epethe Richard Nicholas William Witheridge
John Evines Richard Nicholl Joseph Wollacombe
John Exeter William Nichols  
Robert Exeter Anthony Nickell  

Signed by 

William Blanchard - Vicar

Andrew Haine - High Constable

John Brayley - Constable

Anthony Fishley Constable

George Barrick - Churchwarden

Hugh Slowly - Churchwarden

 

* For many centuries, Devon was divided into 32 administrative districts or Hundreds for land tax purposes.
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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