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LIFTON - 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.

Lifton belonged to the Hundred of Lifton*

(The original spelling has  been retained)

Mark Addams, James Hambley Thomas Penter
Gregory Anstis Laurence Hancock George Pidler
 John Anstis James Hancocke Robert Prance
 Richard Anstis Henry Hancocks John Pyne
 John Arscott Roger Harrye Peter Recorde
 John Baker Thomas Hayne Stephen Reede
Thomas Bate  Tobias Hill Christopher Roberts
 Thomas Batten Adam Holman Laurence Roberts
Henry Battishhill  Arthur Holman William Roberts
John Battishill  Arthur Holman William Roberts
 Humphrey Belly Arthur Holman John Roe
 Oliver Bickell George Holman John Roe
George Bickham   John Holman Petherick Roe
John Bittoe  John Holman William Roe
John Blachforde  Richard Holman George Rogers
Anthony Blagdon Thomas Holman James Rowell
John Blagdon  John Honycombe John Ryder
Nicholas Blagdon John Hooper Andrew Salter
Richard Bowsely  John Horne George Salter
Walter Buckton  Peirce Horne John Salter
 George Budge  John Holwill John Salter
 John Bunnye Joseph Hunking, gent. Richard Sargint
 John Burkett  Bartholomew Jeffery James Saunders
 Petherick Burkett  Thomas Kitto John Scoble
 Robert Birkett William Marks Robert Secombe
 William Burkett Ambrose Martyn John Sheer
 William Burkett Arthur Martyn Edward Shipherd
William Burkett  Edward Martyn Arthur Skelly
 William Christopher Henry Martyn William Skellye
 John Collyns Henry Martyn Arthur Sknishe
 Richard Countyer Henry Martyn Gregory Smale
John Courtier  James Martyn William Smale
 Clement Courtis James Martyn Henry Smalecombe
William Cruse John Martyn Luke Smalecombe
 Thomas Deasant John Martyn Richard Smalecombe
Thomas Doble  John Martyn John Smalecombe, gent.
Richard Doidge  Luke Martyn Henry Soper
 Humphrey Downe Robert Martyn Adam Southwoode
Arthur Dynham Stephen Martyn John Southcombe
 ChristopherDynham  William Martyn William Sprye
 George Dynham William Martyn Thomas Stevens
 James Dynham Robert Masse Henry Stodden
 John Deynham John Maye Roger Stodden
 Richard Dynham,gent. Walter Maye Henry Swen
 James Eastcott John Measant Tristram Swen
William Eastcott  Richard Measant Philip Symons
 Augustine Egber William Measant John Tayler
John Egber Thomas Mouetyn Richard Toomson
 Tobias Fetherstone John Mourton Robert Trigs
Thomas Foote Thomas Mychell John Troote
Thomas Foote Richard Nychole John Turner
John Frost James Nicholes Arthur Tynnye
Richard Fursman Richard Oliver John Tynnye
 William Gale William Oliver Ciprian Vawden
 William Galsworthy Anthony Palmer William Walkey
Thomas Geach James Palmer John Walkeye
 Thomas Gerry John Palmer Timothy Walter
James Gerrye John Palmer Thomas Warde
 Nicholas Glasse Walter Palmer George Westlake
 George Glawen James Pearce Robert Whitinge, gent.
 Justin Gregory Tristram Pearce thomas Williams
William Grigg Tristram Pearce Henry Willye
 Edward Gyles Walter Pearce Robert Wolridge
Thomas Hach William Pello William Wolridge
Nicholas Ham George Pelloe Oliver Wortha
John Hambly James Pelloe

Signed by 

Bernard Hernaman - Rector

William Burkett - Constable

Arthur Holman - Constable

*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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