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MEAVY - 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 Meavy belonged to the Hundred of Roborough

The original spelling has been retained

Christopher Abbot Thomas Gey Thomas Palmer
Richard Bishopp John Glanvile Robert Paty
John Boden Robert Goole John Perce
Richard Bowden John Graie Joseph Perce
William Chubb Michael Graie Arthur Pendenie
Alexander Combe John Hannaford Alexander Reddacliff
Thomas Cooker John Hannaford jun Richard Richards
John Crimes Gent John Harris William Scobbe
Philip Crimes Gent Hugh Heade Robert Scobble
Philip Crimes jun. John Hearon William Shute Gent
William Crimes Gent John Hilman Nicholas Stabb
Pasco Danridge Philip Jeeles Richard Tamlinge
Peter Eastaby Philip Jeeles jun. Robert Toope
Henry Edgcombe John Jetson Philip Tor
John Edgcombe John Lavers Abraham Torr
Alexander Elford Philip Lavers Barnard Torr
John Elford William Lillicrap William Waie
John Elford Silvanus Loude Alexander Webb
John Elford jun. George Merchant Michael Webb
Thomas Elford John Moses Richard Webb
Anthony Eybeare Philip Moses William Wilcocke
John Frankeridge Richard Moses Henry Wollacott
John Frie Richard Moses jun John Wollacott
Barnard Gallant William Moses -
Thomas Gallant William Moses jun -

Joseph Shute - Rector

Thomas Dowden - Churchwarden

Richard Blanchen - Constable

Richard Bennett - Constable

John Tapson - 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: DevonCounty Council

 

 
 
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