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Devon County

Devonshire Rgt.

Directory Listings





Parish Records




War Memorials




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*

Mamhead belonged to the Hundred of Exminster

(The original spelling has been retained )

Jophn Atwill Gent Thomas Estchurch Gent Thomas Oxenham
Richard Atwill John Fryer John Pope
Giles Balle, Gent Peter Fryer Philip Pope
John Bennet Robert Gorryn Andrew Tedder
Edward Bond George Groase Henry Treby
George Bowes John Groase sen. Hugh Treby
Thomas Bowes John Groase, jun Emmanuel Ward
Henry Browne Giles Harris Peter Ware
Roger Clash Richard Harris sen. Robert Ware
John Cone Richard Harris jun. John Warren
Richard Ditford Thomas Harris John Warrin
Henry Downe William Lightfoote John Warrin
John Elliot John Lowten Richard Warrin
Henry Elliott Alexander Meadet -----
John Elivill William Moyworthie -----

Signed by 

Richard Kingwell - Constable

Peter Warrin - Churchwarden

William Bond - Overseer


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


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