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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 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.

Sheepstor belonged to the Hundred of  Roborough

The original spelling has been preserved

John Andrewe sen John Elford, jun. Thomas Shullaber
John Andrewe jun Walter Elford, Gent Henry Skinner
Philip Andrewe John Elliott William Spurwill
Richard Andrewe Thomas Farleigh Mark Stuttaford
Robert Andrewe William Isacke Richard Symons
William Andrewe Stepehn Knight Thomas Tamlyn
John Baker Andrew Littletor Geoffrey Trevinan
Thomas Baker John Luscombe Jasper Wats
William Barrett John Martyn John Watts
Andrew Bounsall Walter Martyn Jonas Wats
Bartholomew Bounsall Richard May Walter Wats
Francis Bounsall William May William Wats
John Bounsall Hugh Northam Matthew Widlake
Philip Collins John Northam George Willcocks
Thomas Criber William Northam William Willcocks
William Criber John Nosworthye Mathew Windeatt
Alexander Elford Richard Pope Richard Windeatt
John Elford Esq. Robert Sherwill -

The above names are in the same hand

The following four are signatures

John Syms - Clerk

John Nosworthie - Constable

William Cudlippe + churchwarden

John Bounsill - 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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