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Devon County

Devonshire Rgt.

Directory Listings





Parish Records




War Memorials



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.

The parish of Torbryan belonged to the Hundred of Haytor

The original spelling has been preserved

Giles Baker Thomas Filpe Richard Nicols
William Baker William Ford Gilbert Palke
Arthru Barne Henry Glanfill John peter
John Barne Henry Glanfill John Pethebridge
Nicholas Barne Thomas Glanfill Isaac Pittishrow
Bartholomew Baulkwill William Glanfill John Pope
Henry Berriman Isaac Godfry John Pope
Nathaniel Berriman John Godfry William Prouse
Edward Bennet John Godfry John Rendall
Henry Bennet Peter Godfry John Rendall
Gregory Bridgman William Godfry Richard Rendell
Samuel Bridgman Isaac Hanmead William Rendell
John Bully Stephen Hanmead John Sarell
Richard Bully Nicholas Hannessor Walter Sarell
Richard Bully Robert Hannessor John Standon
Peter Carell John Harris William Standon
Peter Carell Laurence Hart Andrew Symons
Richard Carell Thomas Hept John Symons
Thomas Carell Mark Hingman Matthew Symons
Jacob Chale John Holwill William Taply
William Chope Robert Holwill William Taply
John Coale Thomas Holwell Osmond Taylor
Nicholas Codner Thomas Lakeman John Tredenick
Henry Comming Nicholas Landon Howth Undry
John Coyt Clement Lavis John Venning
John Dyer John Low William Venning
Richard Edmons Walter Mearryfill William Venning
George Ewnes Henry Mearson Gilbert Wavell
George Fabing Edward Miller Edward Whidburne
John Filpe Thomas Mitchell William Windyeat
Robert Filpe Richard Moyse -

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

Edward Gouswill - Rector

John Pope - Constable

William Peter - Constable

Mark Rendell - Churchwarden

Samuel Wotton - Churchwarden

Richard Sheere - Overseer

Thomas Sparke - Overseer

"The sailors* are gone to sea before we could warn them"

(*Presumably the Torbryan men of the Newfoundland fisheries

had returned to their fishing grounds )


* 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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