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HUISH - THE PROTESTATION RETURN OF 1641

 

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 parishes

which are grouped in Hundreds*

Huish belonged to the Hundred of Shebbear

(The original spelling has been retained )

Robert Aplin Thomas Hoare Thomas Penford
John Ball Philip Hooper sen. John Perkin
Richard Baunt John Labbott Robert Perkin
Nicholas Bayly Robert Ley Thomas Perkin
Nicholas Beale John Lond Walter Perkin jun.
Edmund Bennett Henry Nenoe George Rattenbury
Richard Davy Richard Nenoe Hugh Rattenbury
Jameds Dennis Thomas Nenoe John Rattenbury
Diggory Dier Stephen Nethaway John Tawton
John Froode Thomas Nethaway Anthony Upcott
Thomas Gill Thomas Nickell Philip Upcott
Walter Hale Walter Nickell Hugh Wyther
Hugh Hancocke William Nickell -----

George Yeo and Ellis Menheire have not taken the Protestation

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

Thomas Harrison - Clerk

Walter Perkin sen. - Constable

Philip Hooper

 

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

 

 

 
 
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