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NYMPTON St GEORGE (GEORGE NYMPTON) - THE PROTESTATION RETURN OF 1641

(This parish is also known as Nymet St. George)

 

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.

which are grouped in Hundreds*

George Nympton belonged to the Hundred of South Molton

The original spelling has  been retained

Nicholas Baker Thomas Eastabrooke William Lake
Simon Baker John ap Evan John Locke
Anthony Band Morgan Evans Peter Manninge
Anthony Beere John Gamond John Marley
Edmund Bretton Robert Gamond Richard Martin
John Bretton Simon Gamond William Milton
Hugh Chappell Benedict Glowin Amos Nott
Peter Chappell Philip Gread Mark Notte
Nathaniel Chrech Christopher Harries Hugh Pattridge
John Cole John Heare Peter Rule
Robert Daine John Heliar Alexander Sampson
John Davie Philip Helliar John Snow
Nicholas Ditchet Philip Helliar John Squire
William Ditchett Samuel Hill Nicholas Tassell
Hugh Dobb William Hill Thomas Tassell
William Draper John Kingdom John Thomas
Hugh Ellice John Kingdome Roger Westcote
John Ellice Bennet Lake Robert Williams

Signed by 

John Fisher - Parson

Hugh Thomas - Constable

Roger Karslake - Churchwarden

Silvanus Bone - Overseer

Philip Beere - 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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