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LANDKEY - 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.

Landkey belonged to the Hundred of South Molton

(The original spelling has  been retained)

John Acland Esq Boyesl  Hall, Gent William Pounchard
William Acland Christopher Hammett Joans Prediax
Augustine Adger Richard Hammett Richard Reanolls
John Anthonie Robert Hammett Hugh Rendell
Giells Ash Peter Harell Richard Rendell
John Barle John Harris Anthony Rooks
William Barnacott Thomas Harris Philip Rowell
Matthew Basley

Dennis Hayes servant to

Mr Boyel Hall

Giles Shearland
Peter Bayleis William Heane Michael Shearland
John Bedlen William Hearde Simon Shearland
Matthew Bennett John Hearder Christopher Slocomb
Nicholas Bishopp William Hearder Michael Slocomb
William Browne Baldwin Hearding Thomas Slocomb
Daniel Budd John Honnacott Thomas Slocomb
Thomas Budd James Howell Andrew Smale
John Burch Thomas Howell John Smale sen.
Matthew Chaple sen. William Irase John Smale jun.
Matthew Chaple jun. Walter Joanes John Smale
William Chapple Humphrey Knighth William Snell
John Clemmet John Knight Thomas Soull
Thomas Clemmett Matthew Lang sen. Hugh Southwood
Christopher Cole Matthew Lang jun John Squire
William Coniber Mr. William Lavercomb John Stmons
Diggory Cottey William Lavercomb sen. Roger Tanner
William Courtney Christopher Lewerthey Christopher Teague
Anthony Crewes Mr John Lewerthy John Thomas
George Crewes John Lewerthey sen. Nathaniel Tooker
Nicholas Crewes John Lewerthey Paul Trix
William Crewes Matthew Lewerthey William Trix
Mark Darch Pasco Lewerthey Nicholas Upcott
Matthew Dartch William Lewerthey John Venner
Clewelling Davie Macklin Lock David Waldon
Humphrey Davie Edward Lovering Matthew Walter
John Dorrocott Walter Manning Henry Ward
Robert Dorrocott Richard Martine Timothy Weamouth
Hugh Downe Thomas May John Webber
Thomas Downe John Momoy John Westacott
Ambrose Downscomb Simon Mounioy Martin Westacott
John Downscomb Christopher Mudd Philip Westacott
Hugh Facey  Hugh Mudd William Westacott
William Franklin sen. Robert Mudd Baldwin Wheitfild
William Farnklin jun. William Mudd Hugh Wheitfild
John Gill Henry Paidg Adam Wilkey
Roger Glidden John Paull Hugh Yolland
Alexandert Goule John Pope Robert Yolland
John Griffing Richard Pope William Yolland
Anthony Hales Peter Pounchard --

The above are all in the same hand. The following eight are signatures:

 

Richard Ferrett - Curate

Arthur Ackland - Constable

Matthew Budd - Constable

John Josse - Churchwarden

Robert Heddon - Overseer

Matthew Whitfield - Overseer

Matthew Chapple - Overseer

William Franklen - 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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