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HALBERTON - 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.

Halberton belonged to the Hundred of Halberton

The original spelling has been preserved

Alexander St Albyne, gent Richard Grey Andrew Pasmor
John Ashelford John Hadridge, sen. Francis Pasmore
Maximilian Ashelford John Hadridge, jun. James Pasmore
Edward Axe Edward Harwood Peter Passmore
Thomas Axe George Harwood Zachary Pasmore
John Baker John Harwood Humphrey Phenimore
William Bannt William Harwood John Phenimore
Francis Barnefeild John Hatswell Philip Phenimore
John Barnfeild Peter Henson Richard Phenimore
Edward Batten John Hill William Pringe
Samuel Batten John Hill Philip Rowland
Thomas Batten Thomas Hill Richard Rowland
John Baylye Thomas Hill Thomas Ryngwood
William Beedle Nicholas Holman Christopher Seaman
Christopher Beere Richard Holcombe Robert Seaman
Humphrey Beere John Holcolmbe Henry Sheperd, sen
Martin Beere sen Nicholas Holcombe Henry Sheperd jun
Martin Beere jun Robert Holcombe Roger Shereidge
Nicholas Beere Walter Holcombe Thomas Shorland
Abraham Bennett William Holcombe Nicholas Smith
Thomas Bennett Robert James William Smith
William Bennett Andrew Knight James Smyth
Richard Bidgood John Land Henry Snowe
Charles Bonadey Nicholas Land Hugh Snowe
Nicholas Bowden George Lange Humphrey Snowe
John Boyce Humphrey Lange Peter Snowe
Nicholas Burnerd Peter Lange Stephen Stabbacke
Christopher Burton James Manly William Stabbacke
Ellis Bussell John Manly Frederick Stevens
John Carnworthie John Manly John Stevens
William Carbye Robert Manly Henry Stockham
Abraham Channon Silvester Manly John Stockham
James Channon Thomas Manly sen Henry Stone
Michael Chowne Thomas Manley jun. Robert Stone sen.
Bernard Creedy Andrew Mannder Robert Stone jun.
John Creedy John Mannder William Stone
William Creedy Robert Mander George Syndercombe
John Courtney Edward Masters George Thompson. gent
Gregory Dible Baldwin Mathewe David Thowellie
Henry Drewe Richard Mathewe Henry Water
Richard Drewe Robert Mathewe Richard Webber
Richard Drewe Robert Mathew sen. Henry Were
John Ellory Robert Mathewe jun. Humphrey Were
Francis Ellorye John Mynefie Thomas Were
Christopher Elworthie Nicholas Osmond Humphrey Westerne jun
David Evans Richard Osmond John Westerne
John Ewens John Palmer John White sen.
Richard Frost Thomas Palmer John White jun
Christopher Garnesey Andrew Parker James Winsberowe
William Greens Thomas Parker Gabriel Wyatt sen.
Henry Grey sen. Edward Parkhowse Christopher Yeandall
Martin Grey George Parr ----

(All the above names written in the same hand - the following ten are signatures)

Walter Brace - Vicar

Robert Cowne - Constable

Edward Hitchcocke - Constable

Richard Crosse - Constable

John Sargent - Churchwarden

Robert Bennett - Churchwarden

William Hill - Overseer

Simon Vennicombe - Overseer

John Ellis - Overseer

Henry Eveleigh - Overseer

 

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

 

 

 
 
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