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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 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*

Marychurch belonged to the Hundred of Haytor

(The original spelling has been preserved)

Marychurch (or St. Marychurch as it is now known) was a thriving fishing village when this Protestation was made. The core of village life was down  on the little beaches and in the coves which lay at the foot of the Downs. More men were away at sea fishing than remained present on shore to affirm their oaths at the time of the Protestation.

Baker, John Donne, Martin Parker, James
Barter, Michael, sen. Eales, William Peler, John
Barter, Michael, jun. Earle, Thomas Prout, William
Barter, Thomas, sen. Edwards, Robert Row, John
Bickford, Thomas Eynoll, John Shaplye, Silvester
Bickford, William Fyer, Richard Taylor, John
Bodlake, George Gibb, Alexander Taylor, William, sen.
Browne, John Gord, John Taylor, William, jun.
Bullye, Thomas Gord, Robert Varder, John
Chaple, Henry Hart, Jacy Varder, John, jun.
Codner, Christopher Haywood, Thomas Varder, Robert
Codner, Henry Hoare, Philip Waymouth, Christopher
Codner, Roger Lane, Mr. Richard Waymouth, John
Cowle, Christopher, sen. Lee, Richard Waymouth, robert
Cowle, Christopher, jun. Major, Hugh Waymouth, Stephen
Cowle, Christopher, jun. Martine, Richard Wheaton, Edward
Cowle, John, sen. Merigame, William Wilcockes, Thomas
Cowle, Robert, sen. Necke, Stephen Williams. Thomas
Cowle, Robert, jun. Newcombe, Andrew Williams, Thomas
Coxe, John Newcombe, Peter Woolcott, Richard


"The following are at sea and did not take the protestation"
Ameray, John Courtis, William Reatle, William, jun.
Ashlye, Erochias Cowle, Bonaventure Row, Gregory
Baker, Richard Cowle, Thomas Rowland, Andrew
Barter, Robert Crockwill, William Saunder, Edward
Barter, William Crosse, Davy Seavye, Richard
Base, John Drew, Thomas Sheman, Richard
Bennett, Peter Edwards, Stephen Sherman, Roger
Bennett, Philip Escott, Nicholas Streemer, John
Bennett, Philip, jun. Gildon, Thomas Taylor, John
Bennett, William Good, John Taylor, John, jun.
Bickford, John Gowle, Richard Varder, Anthony
Bickford, Robert Haywood, John Varder, Edward
Bickford, Thomas Hoare, Thomas Varder, John
Bickford, William, jun. Hoare, William Varder, Sidrach
Blanke, George Husway, Bartholomew Vening, Henry
Bluett, John Husway, Thomas Vening, Henry, jun.
Bond, Richard Luce, Richard Vening, Robert
Bowden, Peter Martine, john, jun. Waymouth, Christopher
Browne, Richard Marwood, Alexander sen. Waymouth, Stephen
Clampitt, Christopher Marwood, William, jun. Waymouth, William, jun.
Clyffe, William Millar, Thomas Wichalls, John
Codner, Nicholas Newcombe, Anthony Williams, Gregory
Cooper, Robert Newcombe, William  
Courtis, John Philpe, John  

Signed  by

Robert Ball - Vicar

William Jackson - Constable

Henry Vening - Constable

William Cole - Churchwarden

Martin Usher - Churchwarden

William Barnes - Overseer

William Peatle - Overseer

John Varder - Overseer

Aubrey Codner - Overseer


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


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