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MOLLAND - 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.

Molland belonged to the Hundred of South Molton

The original spelling has been preserved

John Allen Nicholas Hole Philip Moore
Thomas Allen Stephen Hole Richard Moore
John Ball William Hole Richard Moore
John Ball John Hopper Robert Moore
Richard Bickham John Hosegood John Morris
Hugh Blew Thonas Hosegood Thomas Morris
Thomas Blew Peter Kempe Roger Morris
Benjamin Bowbeere John Kingdone Thomas Norris
Edward Boweren Michael Lake Thomas Norris
Thomas Boweren Thomas Lake Walter Palferman
John Brewer John Laye Edward Parkman
William Brewer Richard Liddon John Parkman
Richard Burges Christopher Losmoor Andrew Saintabacke
Lewis Chilcoke John Losmoore John Shapcoke
Thomas Cobley William Lowerice Philip Shatticke
Anthony Cockeram George Luckis William Shute
Hugh Cockeram William Ludden Thomas Skynner
Bartholomew Courtney William May John Snowe
John Courtney Esq Philip Maye Richard Snowe
Philip Courtney Philip Maye Philip Stevens
Thomas Courtney John Mogridge William Stevens
Martin Davie John Mogridge John Sulley
John Davy Philip Mogridge Martin Sulley
John Davye Philip Mogridge William Thomas
John Day Christopher Moore Edward Tucker
John Day David Moore John Vickerey
William Dobb Edward Moore William Vickerey
Edward Downe Emmanuel Moore Sander Vickery
William Elsworthy Gregory Moore Hugh Voysey
Edward Fisher Hugh Moore Hugh Voysey
Nicholas Fisher Humphrey Moore John Warren
William Gale John Moore William Webber
Thomas Garleford John Moore John Williams
Thomas Gould John Moore Richard Williams
William Hill Philip Moore Roger Willings
William Hill Philip Moore Andrew Wood

(The above names are written in the same  hand; the following are signatures)

John Garner - Constable

Philip Hosegood - Churchwarden

Richard Moore - Overseer

Philip Mogridge - 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: Devon County Council

 

 
 
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