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GERMANSWEEK - 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.

Germansweek belonged to the Hundred of Lifton

The original spelling has been preserved

William Bande Thomas Crosse Thomas Pote
John Bartlett William Efford Nicholas Redclife
John Bartlett jun. John Fanold Thomas Reede
William Bayly John Hegdon Thomas Rendle
Anthony Bate Thomas Hockday John Risdon
John Bedlake gent. Thomas Hockday Richard Risdon
Thomas Bickle William Hockday  John Ryall
Walter Bickle Thomas Horle John Ryall
William Bickle Thomas Horle Nicholas Ryall
John Bourn William Horle Robert Ryall
Anthony Burnard John Hortop Robert Ryall
Edward Chasty John Hortop jun. Robert Ryall, jun.
Henry Chasty Roger Hortop Gregory Secham
William Cokeram William Maye Richard Secham
Richard Collins Robert Mouten Roger Secham
Emmanuel Crosse Jeremy Palmer John Singe
Jeremy Crosse Nicholas Palmer Christopher Trikle
John Crosse Nicholas Pascott Richard White
Roger Crosse John Pote -

Signed by

George Nosworthy - Curate

John Martin - Constable

John Ryall - Churchwarden

Stephen Palmer - Overseer

Lancelot Beckle - 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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