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HOLNE - 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.

 Holne belonged to the Hundred* of Stanborough

The original spelling has been preserved

Robert Adiscott Edward Hannaford Nicholas Mumford
Henry Adisoce Edward Hannaford jun Richard Norraway
John Baker George Hannaford John Nosworthie
John Barter sen. Gregory Hannaford Robert Parrye
Nicholas Barter John Hannaford John Pearce
Richard Barter Thomas Hannaford Luke Pearce
John Beard Philip Harey Edward Pearse
John Beard jun. John Harris John Pearse, jun.
John Borter jun. John Harris jun. Luke Pearse
Nicholas Butland William Hewitt John Pomerye
Peter Chase Edward Hill Rendall Reddall
William Collimore Peter Hill John Sage
Barnard Collyns John Hony Thomas Screech
Andrew Combe Sndrew Huxson Thomas Slade
Henry Combe Richard Irish Charles Stentaver
William Crappyn Richard Jacksly John Strange
Edward Creane Mark Jackson Matthew Strange
George Credford sen. Daniel Jones John Tolchard
George Credford, jun. Clement Knapman Richard Tolchard
Richard Elford Mark Knight Thomas Tolchard
William Ellicott John Langworthie Walter Toocker
Andrew Farge Roger Lanvery Robert Waldron
Ellis Ford Edward Luscombe Thomas Weekes
Edward Forster Thomas Luscombe Mark Winter
John Forstor William Maddocke Mark Wintter
Richard Goswill Stephen Malver Stephen Wintter
Edward Hannaford Thomas Middleton Bartholomew Wyndeat

(The above names are written in the same  hand; the following seven are signatures)

Richard Kaye - Vicar

Richard Webber - Constable

Edward Beard - Constable

Paul Beard - Churchwarden

John Coltomor - Churchwarden

John Tolchard - Overseer

Henry Conleigh - 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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