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Devon County

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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*

Zeal Monachorum belonged to the Hundred of North Tawton and Winkleigh.

John Addams William Harvye jun. Walter Perkyn
Richard Averye William Harvye jun. Humphrey Philpe (?Phillip)
William Averye Anthony Heale Thomas Philpes (?Phillips)
John Bagbeere John Heale John Pope
George Balkwill Robert Heale Philip Pridham
Robert Bishop William Heard Ralph Rent
Mark Bond Laurence Hobbs Walter Reynold
George Bremridge James Hodge Henry Skinner
John Bremridge William Hodge Christopher Sleeman
Peter Bremridge Robert Hoile  Roger Smith
William Bremridge Robert Hole  Thomas Smith
Robert Clifford Robert Hole jun. John Starell
Thomas Clotworthie Christopher Holmes Anthony Stephens
John Colliton William Hooper George Tooker sen.
Nicholas Davye William Jane George Tooker jun.
John Downe Robert Jewell Giles Tooker
Henry Drewe John Kinge John Tooker sen.
Thomas Drake John Lendon John Tooker
Simon Easterbrooke Arthur Lethbridge John Tooker
Thomas Elston Robert Lethbridge Jonas Tooker
Richard Evans Samuel Lethbridge Richard Tooker
Peter Glasse William Lethbridge Richard Tooker
Richard Hammett John Lillicrap sen. Thomas Tooker
John Harell John Lillicrap jun. William Tooker
William Harter John Lunn William Tooker
Christopher Harvye John Martyn George Towing
Giles Harvye Andrew Meare George Tremlett
Humphrey Harvye Richard Meare John Wallin
John Harvye Samuel Meare Richard Wallin
Robert Harvye William Meare Gilbert Wallin
Richard Harvye sen. Thomas Milford William Warren
Richard Harvye jun. John Norrish Roger White
Roger Harvye Nicholas Peeke Anthony Whitpayne
Roger Harvye Richard Peeke William Whitpayne
William Harvye sen. John Peind William Woodyeath

"John Totterhall recusant**. William Toozer says he took the protestation in another parish but does not produce a certificate."

Signed by

Peter Bancke - Rector

Humphrey Harvy - Constable

John Harvye - Churchwarden


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

** A recusant was one who refused to attend the Church of England service at a time when it was compulsory. He may have been a Catholic or a dissenter.

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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