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MOREBATH - 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.

Morebath belonged to the Hundred of Bampton*

The original spelling has been preserved

John Badcock Walter Howell Lewis Roser
John Baker Christopher Hunt Roger Samford
Thomas Beer Evans Joanes Thomas Samford
William Blackmore Thomas Joyce Thomas Samford
Thomas Briant William Joyce jun. George Seale
George Brounford Lewis Keen Arthru Sealy
William Clattery Robert Keen John Sealy
John Cockram Lennsla Knowesonde John Sealy
Anthony Cope Thomas Lamabart Thomas Sealy
Richard Cruse William Lamberte William Sealy
Robert Cruse John Lange Daniel Smart
Thomas Cruse Lewis Lewes John Smart jun
Philip Dancre Richard Lewison John Smarte
Christopher Evans David Lidden Richard Snow
Michael Evans George Lidden John Sydenham
William Evans sen. John Lidden Walter Sydenher
William Evans jun. John Lidden jun. Thomas Syrlenhun
William Fugor David Martin William Temlet
John Gooding William Morse John Thorne
Christopher Goodinge Christopher Norman Christopher Trickhey
Nicholas Goodinge Christopher Norman jun. Nicholas Tucker
Thomas Goodinge David Norman Adrian Tymewell
Thomas Goodinge jun. Gerorge Norman Andrew Tymewell
William Goodinge John Norman Edward Tymewell
Thomas Gowerclode Silvester Norman Edwrad Tymewell jun.
John Grimstede Thomas Notman John Tymewell
William Grimstede Rite Powell Richard Walleck
Charles Harrison John Quicke Andrew Webber
John Herman William Radford John Webber
John Hill John Rice William Whiteway
Walter How John Rogers Henry Wood

Signed by 

John Marriott - Vicar

George Norman - Constable

John Greenslade - Overseer

Richar Yearne - Churchwarden

Edward Timewell = Overseer

James Fovey - Constable

John Wilson - Overseer

Andrew Cruse - Overseer

William Sealy - 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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