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NORTHLEW PROTESTATION RETURN 1641/42

 

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.

Northlew belonged to the Hundred of  Black Torrington

The original spelling has been preserved

Henry Antonye William Heddon Roger Smale
John Ball Simon Hill Hugh Soop
Tristram Banburye Lewis Horne Simon Southwoode
William Banburye Lewis Hutchings Richard Sprye
Henry Barnburye John Jackman William Sprye
John Barnburye John Kellawaye Robert Stafford Esq.
John Beare John Kimber Robert Stafford, jun. gent
William Bennett John Kimber John Stile
Abel Berrall, gent Michael Kimber Leonard Stile
John Bickle John Lange Edward Stoneman
Robert Bickle Henry Littletar Henry Stoneman
Hugh Bissitt Robert Lugge Nathaniel Stoneman
Robert Bissitt William Lugge Robert Synge
John Blackford Richard Maye Robert Tampson
William Blackford sen. William Maye John Tickle
John Blight John Meader Thomas Townesend
John Bowlane Abraham Meadier John Tucker sen.
Thomas Bowlane Oliver Medland John Tucker jun.
Lewis Bray Richard Medland Josias Tucker
John Browne Robert Medland Richard Tuke
George Browninge Alexander Newombe Henry Turner
Edward Chugge Henry Newcombe David Vallance
Henry Chugge John Newcombe John Veale
Anthony Clemmentt John Newcombe Arthur Wadland
William Cockeram John Northam John Wadland
Humphrey Combe John Northam Richard Wadland
John Combe sen. Thomas Paddon Thomas Watkin
John Combe jun. John Partridge George Webber
John Crocker Jasper Passage John Webber
Edward Crosse John Pearce Hannibal Weeke
Edmund Ellacott Richard Pearce John Weeke
John Frost Robert Pearce Richard Welsh
John Gidlye William Pearce George Weslake
Henry Gilbert Estell Pengellye John Weslake
Joseph Glowen John Pepper Richard Weslake
Henry Glowen Thomas Pepper Robert Weslake
William Glowen William Phinamore David White
Nicholas Goodlye Michael Preater Oliver Williams
William Goodlye, Gent Christopher Preator Andrew Willobye
Edward Hatch Thomas Quint Arthur Willobye
John Heard Robert Sap John Willobye
Thomas Heard Philip Shorland Edward Woode
William Heard jun. Hugh Short Thomas Woode
John Heddon William Skellye Arthur Worth
William Heddon Richard Smale -

None refused to take the Protestation except Arthur Carye, gent, William Kimber, William Heard and John Baker who are sick: and Richard Yolden and William Blackford who have taken it in the parish of Peters Marland.

Signed by

William Sutton - Rector

Abel Berrill - High Constable

John Webber - Constable

John Vallence - Constable

Henry Glowen - Churchwarden

Richard Stoneman - 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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