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KINGS NYMPTON PROTESTATION RETURN

 

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.

Kings Nympton belonged to the Hundred of Witheridge

The original spelling has been preserved

Henry Alforde Thomas Hill John Reed
William Alforde James Hodge John Reed (blacksmith)
Richard Babidge Richard Hodge Nicholas Reed
Richard Bartlett Thomas Hodge John Richards
Edmund Beere Francis Isake Faithful Roucklife
John Beere Lewis Isake Ferdinand Roucklife
John Beere Nicholas Joyce John Roucklife
John Beere William Joyce Thomas Rouclife
Richard Beere David Keene Anthony Rowdon
Roger Beere Edmund Keene Hugh Rule
Thomas Beere John Kelley John Rule
William Beere John Kinge sen Lewis Rule
William Bright John Kinge jun. Nathaniel Rule
Edward Britton Edmund Ley sen John Rumbelow
James Callworth Edmund Ley jun John Sanger
Francis Causey John Ley sen. Francis Skibbow
John Causey John Ley jun. John Smith
William Causey Thomas Ley John Southwood
Gabriel Chapple Christopher Limebeere John Squire
John Cole sen. George Locke Roger Stevens
John Cole jun . George Luccum John Tapp
John Collie Roger Molland David Thomas
Edward Cornish Richard Moore Edmund Thorne
John Dallin Morgan Mores Francis Thorne
George Deane William Muxworthy John Thorne
William Ditchett Nicholas Norris John Thorne
Roger Doune Anthony Parkin Lewis Thorne
John Furse Nicholas Pearce Richard Thorne
George Gibbs Nicholas Pearde Roger Thorne
Philip Gibbs Robert Phillips John Tickle Gent
John Glasse Samuel Picke George Tom
Hugh Gosse Hugh Pollard Thomas Tom
Rice Griffith William Pollard Gent John Tossell
Robert Griffith Rice Prist John Tossell
John Halse Edward Rade John Tossell jun
William Halse Hugh Rade John Trace
John Hammett John Rade sen Peter Trace
Francis Heale John Rade jun. Philip Viccarie sen
Robert Heale Thomas Rade sen. Philip Viccarie jun
William Heale Thomas Rade jun. William Warde
Christopher Heaman Andrew Ratcliffe John Whiddon sen
Edmund Heaman John Ratclife sen. John Whiddon jun
John Heaman sen. Thomas Ratclife  Pincott Whiddon
Edward Heawood John Rauclife Robert Whiddon
Henry Heawood Philip Raucklife Thomas Whiddon
Hugh Heawood Daniel Rauklife Christopher Yeo
John Heawood William Rauklife Hugh Yeo
John Heawood Francis Reed John Yeo
Richard Heawood Hugh Reed ------
Thomas Hitchcock John Read sen. ------

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

James Smith - Rector

Richard Babidge - Constable

John Cawsey - Churchwarden

Philip Bidgood - Cchurchwarden

John Cole - Overseer

John Rade - Overseer

Francis Isake - Overseer

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

 
 
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