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MARY TAVY - THE PROTESTATION RETURN OF 1641

 

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.and grouped in Hundreds*

The parish of Mary Tavy belonged to the Hundred of Lifton

The original spelling has been retained

William Bowdon John Glanvill John Reddacliffe
John Cake Trstram Glanvill John Reddacliffe
Roger Cake Christopher Goodwin Pasco Reddacliffe
Roger Cake, Gent Roger Hamlyn Pasco Reddacliffe
William Cake Walter Harragres Stephen Reddacliffe
John Chubb Bartholomew Harris Stephen Reddacliffe
William Chubb William Harris William Reddacliffe
Hugh Cole Constantine Hollack William Reddacliffe
John Cole John Hollack Rogwer Risdon
Pasco Cole Stephen Hollack William Risdon
Peter Cole Stephen Hollack Roger Sam
Thomas Cole William Hollack Roger Scobble
William Cole, Gent John Hollacke William Scobble
Robert Collyn Peter Holmes Arthur Soper
Constantine Coone Thomas Holmes William Soper
Samuel Coxworthy Peter Horwell William Sowton
Roger Dodge William James Arthur Standon
William Doidge William Jope John Standon
John Dunne Edmund Knight John Strong
John Edgecombe Walter Knight Charles Taylor
Henry Elford Richard Macye Stephen Tuddy
John Elford John Maddaford William Tuddy
Peter Elford George Nicholl Stephen Weslake
Peter Elford Gweorge Oliver John White-
Samuel Elford John Pyke Richard White
John Flose Peter Pyke John Williams
Roger Flos John Reddacliffe Walter Williams
John Fursman John Reddacliffe -
John Gill John Reddacliffe -

Signed by 

John Preston - Parson

Stephen Sowton - Constable

John Reddacliffe - Constable

John Williams - Churchwarden

 

* 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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