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GOODLEIGH - 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.

Goodleigh belonged to the Hundred of Braunton

(The original spelling has  been retained)

George Agger Simon Harland John Rooke
William Agger Lewis Harries George Sharland
William Ball George Hartnoll Henry Sharland
Nicholas Bass John Hartnoll Robert Short
Walter Bastard John Hartnoll Garrret Skampe sen.
Miles Brayly John Hartnoll Garret Skampe jun
Giles Brother Nicholas Hartnoll Thomas Scampe
Nicholas Browne Robert Hartnoll John Skinner
William Browne Walter Hartnoll Roger Skinner
Edward Burgies William Hartnoll Thomas Skinner
Roger Burgies Stephen Hoyte John Squire
William Crocombe Thomas Hugh Hugh Stroote
Andrew Crose Thomas Hugh Anthony Stribling
William Crose William Huish Arthur Stribling
Bartholomew Davie Hugh Keale Edward Stribling
John Davie Edmund Lee George Stribling
Rice Davie George Leworthy Mark Stribling
Alnutt Dishcombe John May Nicholas Stribling
William Dishcombe Michael May Oliver Stribling
John Downe Alexander Mearsh Samuel Stribling
John Downe jun. John Millier Thomas Stribling
Thomas Downe John Nethercott Edward Symons
George Ellis Edward Pasmor Richard Toker
Oliover Ellis Francis Pasmore William Vickry
Baldwin Frost George Pasmore James Walkey
George Frost John Pasmore John Ward
Giles Frost sen John Pasmore jun. Timothy Weamouth
Michael Frost Edmund Pickard Robert Webber
Alnutt Gay Nathaniel Reed William Wheake
Davie Griffie John Ridmore ----
George Gubb Edward Rooke ----

(The above names are in the same hand)

Thomas Downe - Rector

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

 

 

 
 
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