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Devon County

Devonshire Rgt.

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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 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.  A transcription is available in the West Country Studies Library in Exeter.

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

Brampford Speke belonged to the Hundred of Wonford

John Andrew Thomas Floud Edward Peane
John Andrew Edward Gowe Christopher Pearse
William Baker Jeremy Greedy Ambrose Pounsford
John Bande John Greedy John Pounsford
John Burnell Richard Greedy Robert Pounsford
John Butt Mark Hedden Thomas Pounsford
John Cleake Ambrose Helmore Thomas Pounsford
Ralph Cowse Tristram Helmore William Pyne
George Crassman Tristram Hobbs Gentle Rolstone
John Cyffine Philip Jefery Thomas Rowe
Amos Davie Diggory Keene Robert Taylor
Davy Dunn Walter Keene John Triggs
Thomas Esworthy Edward Langebeer Nathaniel Triggs
John Evans Thomas More John Tucker
Richard Evans Hugh Morrish Anthony Valley
Diggory Floud Francis Passmore Henry Walter Esq.
Diggory Floud John Passmore Nathaniel Whiddon

Signed by 

William Norie - Clerk

John Cleake - Constable

Thomas Baker - Churchwarden

John Skynner - Collector

Ambrose Vicary - Collector

* 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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