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Devon County

Devonshire Rgt.

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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 king and to Parliament. 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.  An indexed transcription is available in the West Country Studies Library in Exeter.


The Protestation Returns are arranged by parishes which are grouped in Hundreds*

Aveton Gifford belonged to the Hundred of Ermington

Edward Amyott William Ellyott Arthur Lee
John Ball snr William Ellyott Thomas Liston
Richard Ball William Ellyott John Man
Robert Ball John Ewen William Maynard
Thomas Ball John Ewen George Menory
Tristram Badham John Flashman Richard Merill
James Bartlett John Gog Richard Muchill
Henry Bastard Richard Good Abraham Phillips
John Bastard John Gross Geoffrey Phillips
Thomas Bastard Richard Grunden William Poplestone
Thomas Bastard Edward Harris Ellis Port
William Bastard Hugh Harris Robert Port
John Bidwyll Ivor Harrys Thomas Pottle
Nicholas Blake John Harrys snr William Pyllining
Richard Bowhay John Harrys Nicholas Pinwill
Thomas Bowhay John Harrys Thomas Pinwill
William Brokford Richard Harrys Hugh Sander
John Campe Richard Harrys Robert Screech
George Campian Roger Harrys Thomas Searle
Richard Camwell Thomas Harrys snr Ambrose Sheryff
John Camwill Thomas Harrys snr George Sheryff
John Cave Thomas Harrys John Sheryff
Ricahrd Chapell William Harrys John Sheryff
Thomas Chapell Thomas Harwood Philip Sheryff
John Clyff Richard Hayne Richard Sheryff
Joseph Coger Thomas Heare Richard Sheryff
John Cole Arthur Hingeston Roger Sheryff
Stephen Collyn snr Arthur Hingeston Thomas Sheryff
Stephen Collyng Edward Hingeston Richard Snowdon
Andrew Cornish John Hingeston William Snowdon snr
William Coyt John Hingeston William Snowdon jnr
Laurence Coytt Hugh Hoare Hugh Stone
Thomas Coytt Thomas Hole John Stone
Arthur Crocker William Honywell Henry Tabb
Edward Crocker John Hope Walter Tuckin
Peter Cutland Robert Horne Laurence Underhill
Edmund Damarell John Horsewell Gergory Vittry
William Distyn Roger Horsewell Richard Wakeham
John Edwards Thomas Horsewell William Wakeham
Ambrose Ellyott James Horsewill John Warren
Henry Ellyott Robert Hose William Warren
Hugh Ellyott Samuel How Arthur Willyams
John Ellyott John Hyett Anthony Wyatt
John Ellyott Thomas Kinge William Wyatt
John Ellyott John Kyle Michael Wyllyn
Peter Ellyott John Lane Richard Wyllyn
Philip Ellyott John Lavers William Yabbacombe
Richard Ellyott William Laurence  

Signed by 

John Coyte - Churchwarden

Roger Saunder - Churchwarden

John Honeychurch - Overseer

Robert Hitching - Overseer

Ellis Port - Overseer

John Edwards - Constable

Roger Hingeston - Constable

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