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LANGTREE - 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.

Langtree belonged to the Hundred of Shebbear

(The original spelling has  been retained)

Nicholas Ackland Humphrey Futts William Rew
Hervard Addam John Futts Elias Scott
Roger Allyn John Gilbert John Scott sen
Nicholas Amery John Glawen John Scott
Jophn Arnold Henry Griffyn William Scott
Francis Avery Williuam Harrys Thomas Scott
Roger Bartram Roger Hayman Michael Slade
William Bate William Heddon Bartholomew Sloman
John Berryman Thomas Hethemore Thomas Smale
Valentine Berryman Rogewr Hogg Henry Southwood
Ezekiel Blatchford Thomas Hollamore John Squire
John Bowden Leonard Hopper Richard Stevens
George Bowman Nicholas Hutchings William Sticke
Richard Bowman John Hutchings Richard Tandy
Roger Bowman Geoffrey Judd Barnabus Tayler
John Bragg Richard Judd Geoffrey Tidhill
Josiah Bragg William Judd Riuchard Tome
Samuel Bragg sen. William Keene John Tomas sen
Samuel Bragg jun. Thomas Lamprey John Tone of Suddon
Nicholas Bray Thomas Langdon Thomas Toner
Richard Brocke Thomas Levie John Trenden
Samuel Brocke John Mackley Richard Trills
William Budd William Mannsey Arthur Tucker
John Budd John Mayne Walter Tucker
George Cleeve John Merrifield William Tucker
John Dunn John Mounsey Tobias Turner
William Durden Benjamin Moyse William White
Henry Eames Lewsi Mug Thomas Whitelock
Thomas Earel John Nylman John Wilkey
William Earell Robert Nanskew sen. Chris Williams
Henry Earle Robert Nanskew jun Edward Williams
John Earle Henry Nethaway Humphry Williams
Anthony Eyre Christopher Palmer John Williams
Edward Eyre Humphrey Palmer Mark Williams
Richard Eyre John Palmer sen. Richard Williams
Samuel Eyre Elnaehem Petherick Thomas Williams
John Frayne sen. John Pradham Richard Wilman
John Frayne jun. John Reeve Timothy Worden
James Fray William Rocke Henry Yolland
Thomas Frayt John Rew Matthew Yollans

The above are all in the same hand. The following seven are signatures

:John Badcock - Minister

Joseph Welsh - Constable

Samuel Bragg - Constable

Thomas Scott - Overseer

John Palmer - Church warden

Peter Netherway - Church warden

John Judd - 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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