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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.

Mariansleigh belonged to the Hundred of Witheridge*

The original spelling has been preserved

Amos Adams Richard Gould John Sanger
John Adams John Haffers Jonathan Sanger
Nicholas Adams John Harris Nicholas Sanger
Philip Bowden Andrew Heard Roger Sanger
Roger Bowden John Heard Roger Sanger
Nicholas Britten Samuel Heard John Slader
Philip Britten Humphrey Keene Thomas Slader
Richard Bulled John Kerswell Robert Southcomb
Thomas Bulled Philip Marley Daniel Sowod
George Conibeare Daniel Melhuish Tristram Sowod
Philip Conibeare John Pitford John Spencer
John Crange Daniel Richards Richard Squire
Lewis Crooke John Richards Samuel Squire
Christopher Dallinge Henry Rock Henry Thorne
Humphrey Dallinge John Rock Bartholomew Torrington
John Davie Peter Rock Henry Vicary
Roger Denman Thomas Rocke Thomas Vicary
William Edgman Henry Sanger Alexander Warrin
Robert Gawman John Sanger Michael Warrin

Signed by 

Edmund Reede - Curate

Nicholas Sanger - Constable

Andrew Heard - Churchwarden

Robert Southcomb - Overseer

Thomas Rocke - 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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