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NEWTON FERRERS - 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.

Newton Ferrers belonged to the Hundred of  Ermington

(The original spelling has  been retained)

John Alger Nicholas Crispin jun. Hugh Osborne jun.
Walter Angell Thomas Crispin Galvin Parker
William Archer William Damerell Edward Penhay
Hugh Atwill Richard Dearinge Edward Penhay jun.
Andrew Baker sen. Ellis Dun John Penhay
Andrew Baker sen. Edward Elliott jun. Clement Penwill
Andrew Baker jun. Orlando Elliott John Penwill
Avery Baker Richard Galhampton Gent. Edward Pitton
Edward Baker William Gan Thomas Port
Nicholas Baker Andrew Gasswick William Port
Nicholas Baker Thomas Gawen William Port
Nicholas Baker John Gee William Pulliblanke
William Baker Nicholas Gee Walter Randell
Andrew Ball Thomas Gee Richard Rich
John Beare Richard Gibb Richard Row
Robert Bennett William Gilberd Edward Sallock
Baldwin Bickford Nicholas Godfrey George Salmon
Richard Blake Humphrey Hanoford Henry Sexton
Adam Bound William Hanoford John Steven
John Brookeinge Nathaniel Hatch John Steven
John Brokkeinge Thomas Hellier John Steven
Edward Browne Baldwin Hingston John Steven jun
Gideon Browne Bartholomew Hingston Pancras Steven
William Browne Robert Hingston Samson Steven
Walter Bryant William Hingston Steven Steven
Caleb Cane Andrew Hodge John Strode
Thomas Carringdon Thomas Holberton Nicholas Taprell
John Cauker William Holberton Stephen Taprell
John Cleater Laurence Jaunson Thomas Taprell
Edward Collinge John Lakeman William  Taprell
Nicholas Corkitt Andrew Lambside John Taylor
Arthur Courties Richard Lane Ellis Toope
Baldwin Craneford Walter Light Nicholas Tucker
Baldwin Craneford Henry Loude Mark Uppeton, Gent
John Craneford John Loude Mr. Richard Uppeton
Edmund Crispin Barnard Lover Francis Wallis
John Crispin sen. Mark Moses Christopher Whitehead
John Crispin jun. Edward Osborne James Wilson
Nicholas Crispin sen Hugh Osborne Philip Winsor
(All the above names in the same hand, the following seven are signatures)

Edward Elyott - Rector

William Harris - Churchwarden

Roger Crispin - Churchwarden

John Lange - Overseer

William Browne - Overseer

Hugh Browne - Constable

Michael Brokinge - Constable

 

* For many centuries, Devon was divided into 32 administrative districts or Hundreds for land tax purpose.

 

 
 
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