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MILTON ABBOT - 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.

Milton Abbot belonged to the Hundred of Tavistock

The original spelling has been preserved

Constantine Addam John Gendle Walter Robbins
Richard Adam Roger Glawen Constantine Robins
Zachary Addams John Goodman William Robins
John Axworthie Samson Grose Henry Rowe
Samson Axworthy Abraham Ham Peter Rowe
Tristram Axworthy John Ham Philip Rowe
William Axworthy John Ham Richard Rowe
Richard Badlam Roger Ham Thomas Rundele
Roger Badlam William Ham William Rundell
John Baker William Ham Henry Rundle
Walter Balson Oliver Hart John Rundle
John Baron Philip Hart Oliver Rundle
David Baselye Philip Hart Samuel Rundle
John Bathsell Tristram Hart Edward Ryall
Oliver Beale Oliver Harte Edward Sam
Robert Beckell William Harte Henry Sam
Thomas Beill Samson Hatch John Sam
Oliver Bennet Richard Hawkins William Sam
Richard Bennet David Hawkins David Samms
George Bennett Henry Hawkins John Sargent
William Bond John Hawkins Oliver Sargent
John Borrow Philip Hawkins Richard Sargent
Thomas Borrow Richard Hawkins Oliver Scoble
Stephen Borrowe Stephen Hawton William Seldon
Thomas Borrowe Arthur Hill Arthur Skellie
William Bragge Hugh Hill Peter Skelly
William Bray Walter Hockaday Peter Skelly
Constantine Brill William Hockaday Arthur Sleman
Oliver Brill Richard Hokaday Constantine Sleman
Walter Cadlam John Horwill John Sleman
Edmund Caunter William Horwill John Sleman
Andrew Collins John Hun John Sleman
John Congdon Edward Jackman Oliver Sleman
John Cornish Henry Jackman Ralph Sleman
Richard Cornish John Jackman Richard Sleman
Richard Cornish Nicholas Jackman Richard Sleman
William Cornish Nicholas Jackman Richard Sleman
Richard Couch Richard Jackman Tristram Sleman
Richard Couch Richard Jackman William Sleman
David Cunday William Jackman Andrew Sowton
David Cunday William Jackman Edmuind Sowton
Henry Cunday John Jesoppe John Sowton
John Cunday William Jordan William Soyer
John Cunday Zachary Jordan Philip Stroute
Andrew Doidge Peter Lannder Richard Tarre
Bartholomew Doidge Roger Lannder George Toker
George Doidge John Littlejohn John Toker
Giles Doidge John Lucas John Toker
Henry Doidge Constantine Maynard Oliver Toker
James Doidge Constantine Maynard Richard Toker
John Doidge John Maynard Richard Toker
John Doidge John Maynard William Toker
John Doidge Philip Maynard Ralph Toker
John Doidge Richard Maynard Roger Toker
John Doidge Walter Maynard Samuel Toker
John Doidge Bartholomew Moncke Henry Tremore
Michael Doidge Oliver Moore Oliver Turner
Philip Doidge Richard Moore Oliver Turner
Richard Doidge Walter Moore Thomas Turner
Richard Doidge John Paidge John Upcott
Richard Doidge Thomas Paidge Christopher Vandon
Richard Doidge Walter Paidge John Veale
Richard Doidge Henry Palmer John Veale
Roger Doidge John Palmer Michael Veale
Roger Doidge John Pearse Richard Veale
Thomas Doidge Roger Pearse Thomas Veale
William Doidge John Prest James Vealle
John Edgcombe Lewis Prist Roger Ware
John Edgcombe William Randell Roger Ware
Richard Edgcombe John Richard Thomas Ware
Thomas Edgcombe Roger Richard William Ware
Daniel Egbeare Nathaniel Richards Henry Warren
Henry Egbeare Nicholas Richards Henry Webbe
Oliver Egbeare Roger Richards John Webbe
Abraham Elford Jonathan Rider James Wescott
Thomas Elford Peter Rith Alexander Whitborne
William Facie Constantine Robbins James Whitborne
James Frost George Robbins Richard Whitborne
Leonard Gearner Henry Robbins Richard Woodman
John Gendells Oliver Robbins Walter Worth

Abraham Sherwill - Pastor

(All the above names are in the same hand)

 

* 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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