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FRITHELSTOCK - 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.

Frithelstock belonged to the Hundred of  Shebbear

(The original spelling has  been retained)

James Abbott John Furland Oliver Mounte
John Abbott ( of Stone) Andrew Galsworthie Anthony Nethawaie
John Abbott jun. Charles Germyne John Nethawaie
Richard Abbott Samuel Germyne William Nethawaie
John Adames Methusalah Goman Matthew Nichole
Thomas Adames Roger Grant John Norman
William Astone John Hamlin George Paddon
Richard Averie Roger Harries George Palmer
Giles Ball Thomas Harries John Palmer sen
Roger Ball Thomas Hart gent. John Palmer jun
William Ball Christopher Heaman Stephen Palmer
Thomas Balson John Heaman sen Thomas Palmer
John Beere jun John Heaman jun William Palmer
Richard Beere Theophilus Heason John Pathericke
Reynold Bellew John Hockin jun Valentine Packard
Anthony Bere John Holman William Peckard
Bartholomew Berrie Samuel Holmes John Pedler
John Braie Christopher Hooe Leonard Pedler
Tristram Cane John Hooe Philip Penrose
Thomas Carle John Horne Hugh Parker
John Chollowill Thomas Howell William Polynes
Philip Clearke William Hucstable John Prater
William Clearke George Huddle Richard Ratenberie
Christopher Clement Joseph Huddle James Rawle
Christopher Clement jun Peter Hudgill Oliver Rawle
John Clement sen Richard Idde William Rod
John Clement jun John Juell Christopher Saunder
Nathaniel Clement John Lambe Edward Saunder
William Clement sen William Lambe John Scotte
William Clement jun James Lange John Shorte sen
William Cole John Lange John Shorte jun
Diggory Coude Laurence Lange Edmund Smale
Robert Courney John Lee John Smale
John Couth Thomas Lendon Thomas Smale sen
Edward Cowene William Lewes Thomas Smale jun
William Cowene Alexander Leyman John Smyth
John Cudmore John Leyman Arthur Sticke
Daniel Cupper William Leyman Robert Sticke
Hugh Cupper Christopher Lowe Philip Symons
Thomas Curties Thomas Lowren Henry Takell
Peter Dennis jun Isaac Lile Arthur Titherligh
John Dier Nathaniel Lugeshe Thomas Townesend
Peter Divis sen. William Malesh Christopher Tytherligh
John Doracott Arthur Martin John Tytherligh
William Downing Nicholas Martin Peter Tytherligh
Thomas Downinge John Martine sen Mr Francis Underhill
Roger Drew John Martine jun Michael Vigures
John Earle Robert Meane Edward Walter
John Edwardes Roger Meane Thomas Walter
Abraham Eliott John More Griffiths Williams
Leonard Fraine John Morse Thomas Williames
(All the above names in the same hand, the following seven are signatures)

 

Alexander Ley - Clerk

John Abbott - Constable

Richard Craker - Constable

Arthur Denne - Churchwarden

Philip Deiman - Churchwarden

John Hopkin - Overseer

Christopher Blanchard - Overseer

 

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

 

 

 
 
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