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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.

Stockleigh Pomeroy belonged to the Hundred of West Budleigh

The original spelling has been preserved

William Beare William Heard Thomas Robearts
Abraham Beere Philip Hedgland Peter Robertes
Gilbert Can Arthur Hole John Roberts
Robert Can Andrew Labdon jnr. Thomas Roberts sen.
Philip Dalley Andrew Labdon Roger Rogers
Richard Dalley Emmanuel Laye Philip Rowe
John Downe Francis Laye William Squire
Roger Downe John Laye Nicholas Staplen
Robert Eliot John Lee John Stile
Edward Fursdon Philip Marshall Richard Strong
Andrew Harris William Marshall Elias Thortridge
John Harris Henry Matthew Hunphrey Varley
Richard Harris George Mathon Thomas Varley
Thomas Harris William Mogridge Philip Way
Andrew Heard John Payne Walter Webber
Robert Heard John Please Richard Wermar
Thomas Heard Peter Pyne Francis Williams

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

Robert Bowber - Rector

John Smart - Constable

John Please - Churchwarden

Robert Roberts - Overseer

Gabriel Roberts - 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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