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NORTH TAWTON - 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.

North Tawton parish belonged to the Hundred of North Tawton*

(The original spelling has  been retained)

Benjamin Alleyne Alexander Grebble Christopher Rowe
Mark Amorye John Grebble Henry Rowe
Thomas Annsties Mark Grebble Hilary Rowe
Anthony Avery William Gronford John Rowe
 Mark Bande Mark Hammette John Rowe
Henry Batishill Hugh Happer John Rowe
George Bencher Christopher Harvey Richard Rowe
George Bickley Emmanuel Harvey Richard Rowe
John Blackmore Mark Hawings Simon Rowe
 Samuel Boole Benjamin Hawkings Simon Rowland
Humphrey Borrowe Henry Heard William Rowland
John Borrowe Walter Heare Thomas Sapere
Ralph Borrowe John Heawoode Scipio Saunders
Robert Boucher Thomas Hellemore Barlybyne Shore
 Richard Bourne John Heywood Pasco Shore
Anthony Bradge Stephen Hill Christopher Rowe
John Brocke Simon Hockadaye Henry Rowe
Thomas Bucher Richard Hodge Hilary Rowe
Vincent Burd Robert Hodwoode John Rowe
 William Bynford John Hole John Rowe
Robert Bythane Peter Hole John Rowe
Hugh Canne Richard Hole, gent. Richard Rowe
John Clarke William Hole Richard Rowe
Roberet Classe John Holmes Simon Rowe
 Thomas Colleynch John Hunnyworth Simon Rowland
James Collynes, gent. Richard Joseph William Rowland
Walter Collynes John Juson Thomas Sapere
Christopher Comer Leonard Kelland Scipio Saunders
William Comer William Kente Barlybyne Shore
Samuel Cornish William Kinge Pasco Shore
Mark Cottle Esq. Thomas Lange Robert Squire
Andrew Carnburye William Langebeare James Stephens
Mark Croute, gent. George Lanndrue Walter Storer
Henry Darte, gent. Joseph Lee John Stotte
 John Davey Laurence Loune Matthew Tagge
Alexander Dennore Richard Luckey John Thorne
Robert Dodridge John Lune Thomas Tickell
John Downe Laurence Lune Henry Tozer
Thomas Ducke Christopher Lupton John Tozer
Edmund Dyere John Lupton Thomas Tozer
Henry Dyere Robert Lupton William Tozer
John Dyere John Luptone George Trente
Alexander Eastabrooke William Madford Edmund Trigges
Edmund  Eastabrooke Roger Maine Henry Trigges
Henry  Eastabrooke Baldwin Mannder Paul Trigges
Henry  Eastabrooke John Marchant Tobias Trigges
John  Eastabrooke William Morchame Christopher Triggs
Mark  Eastabrooke Thomas Morrishe Michael Tucker
Mark  Eastabrooke George Mourrish Walter Tuley
 Mark  Eastabrooke Richard Mylles George Underhill
Peter  Eastabrooke Edward Nenoe William Underhill
Richard  Eastabrooke Robert Nicholls William Underhill
Roger  Eastabrooke William Parett Ambrose Upcotte
Simon  Eastabrooke Anthony Pasford John Uptone
Thomas  Eastabrooke Anthony Pasford David Vowdone
William  Eastabrooke Evan Pasford Robert Walch
John Elles John Pasford Matthew Webber
William Epwoode John Pasford John Webber
Batholomew Eybbynes John Pasford Thomas Westerne
Francis Fandafine Richard Pasford George Westrow
Thomas Farley Richard Pasford Thomas White
John Farrante Richard Pasford Roger Wilcockes
Nicholas Farwell Roger Pasford Walter Wilcockes
Thomas Farwell William Pasford Davy Williams
William Flechere William Pitwood John Wollacott
Simon Gale Hannibal Pockett Bovesse Woode, gent.
Simon Gale Geoffrey Pyttes Christopher Woode, Esq.
George Grove John Reede John Woode, gent.
George Grove Richard Reynolls John Wreaford
John Gove Geoffrey Pyttes Davy Wroscombe
Michael Gove John Reede Robert Yeo
George Gradge Richard Reynolls William Yeo
Thomas Grante Arthur Robynes -

Signed by 

John Bishoppe - Clerk

Thomas Farley - Constable

John Yeo - Churchwarden

John Lune - Overseer

Richard Bragge - 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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