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HOLSWORTHY - 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.

Holsworthy belonged to the Hundred of  Black Torrington

The original spelling has been preserved

Richard Abbett John Frye Thomas Palmer
Nicholas Addams Thomas Futs Nicholas Parnell
John Allyn Thomas Gaye William Parnell
Richard Allyn William Gaye Richard Pawe
Thomas Arscott George Gibbs John Pearse
Henry Ash Thomas Gist David Pender
Benjamin Band Nathaniel Gliddon Andrew Penrose
Samuel Band Arthur Hammett John Penrose
John Barnerd John Hammett Richard Penrose sen.,gent.
Henry Bartlett William Hammett Richard Penrose
John Bascavill Giles Harrigan Richard Penrose
John Bath Leonard Harrigan Thomas Penrose
Samuel Bath Abraham Harris Tristram Penrose
Edward Bawdon David Harris William Penrose
John Bawdon John Harris Simon Perce
James Beale Thomas Harris John Perne
Edmund Bealy Robert Harrison Richard Perne
John Bennett sen. Abraham Heckes William Pillavin
John Blake Matthew Herson Joshua Piper
John Bligh Samuel Hockaday John Preist
Methusalah Bligh Joshua Homiwell John Priddam
Thomas Bligh Thomas Homiwell jun. Nicholas Prideaux Esq.
Clement Boale Thomas Homiwell sen. Nicholas Prideaux jun.,gent.
John Boale Cornelius Hooper Jonas Prower
Nicholas Boale Jonas Hooper Simon Prower
Samuel Boale John Hooper sen. John Pudner
Michael Bornbery John Hooper jun. Christopher Pummery
Thomas Bort Lewis Hooper Nicholas Randell
Philip Brace Humphrey Hudell Nicholas Rile
Henry Branch Samuel James Tristram Rile
Richard Branch Diggory Jewell John Rowse
Robert Branch Jacob Jewell Henry Rude
Giles Brawne John Jewell Thomas Rudner
Thomas Browne sen. Nicholas Jewell John Rundell
Thomas Browne jun. Thomas Jewell Thomas Rundell
John Bruse John Jones Edward Sheere
John Buckpitt sen. William Jones Nathaniel Sheere
John Buckpitt jun. William Jory Gamaliel Sleeman
Ephraim Cadd George Kingford John Sleeman sen.
Erasmus Cadd John Kingford John Sleeman jun.
John Cawker Philip Kingford sen. John Slowman
Jonathan Cawker Philip Kingford sen. Richard Slowman
Samuel Cawker Thomas Kingford sen. Samuel Slowman
Daniel Ching Thomas Kingford jun. Samuel Smith
John Cleve John Lamerton Ananias Southwood
Abraham Coffin George Langman John Southwood
John Coffin Richard Larke Nathaniel Southwood
William Coffin Valentine Larke William Southwood
Philip Cole John Lemyllyn John Speere
Anthony Collins William Lillicke Stachias Starbeg
Richard Collins Humphrey Marke John Stoyle
Francis Cooke Clement Martin John Taprell
Roger Cooke Abraham Martine Michael Taylor
Robert Cornew John Martine sen. Valentine Taylor
Daniel Cory John Martine jun. William Taylor
John Cory Jonathan Martine William Thorne
Walter Cottle Robert Martine John Thrushell
John Courtis Samuel Martine John Trim sen.
George Gove Samuel Martine jun. John Trym
Nicholas Gove Thomas Martine Benjamin Upright
John Crabb Thomas Martine jun. Thomas Voysy
Joshua Crabb Timothy Martine Peter Walkely
William Crabb sen. William Martine Nicholas Webber
William Crabb jun. Samuel Mayne Roger Webber
John Crispin William Medor George Weye
Jacob Doble Richard Meger Michael White
Constantine Down John Mennard Nicholas White
Robert Draper John Meye Thomas White
Richard Drew John Mill Abraham Wickett
Thomas Drew John Morrice John Wickett
Thomas Drew Leonard Morrice Joshua Wickett sen.
John Earnell Diggory Nordon Joshua Wickett jun.
Samuel Earnall Samson Oliver Robert Wickett
Jonathan Ebott Timothy Oliver Benjamin Wiett
Josias Ebott Edward Palmer sen. Diggory Wills
John Edwards Edward Palmer jun. William Wills
Tristram Facy John Palmer -

 

* 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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