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Devon County

Devonshire Rgt.

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Parish Records




War Memorials


(See note on "Tormohun" at the foot of this page)

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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 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.

Tormohun* belonged to the Hundred of Haytor**

John Alward Simon Courtis John Pinner
William Alward William Courtis Peter Pomeroy
William Alward jnr William Dyer Richard Saterley
John Ash John Facye Henry Seaby
Thomas Ash Michael Follett Gregory Seavy
Nicholas Ball Peter Gabrick John Skearden
Robert Ball Thomas Goldbee Hortine Tapley
Bartholomew Barter William Goldbee William Tapley
James Barter Christopher Goodridge Bennet Tenant
William Barter Koble Gord Henry Thoringe
James Beere Lewis Honett Roger Tucker
Peter Bennett Anthony Hoppon Nathaniel Upton
John Benny Thomas Lange John Vittry
Edward Bickford William Lange Thomas Waymouth
George Bickford William Laugh Nicholas Webber
Archelaus Blatch Thomas Ley Ewan Weeks
Edward Bragg John March Ambrose Williams
John Burren Nicholas Mullegan Leonard Withecomb
Walter Burrow John Old Walter Woodever
John Cocke Robert Pearse William Yarde
Thomas Cocke Roger Pearse

Signed by 

John Ware - Clerk

John Doble - Constable

John Satterley - Constable

Henry Thoringe - Churchwarden

Bennet Tenant - Overseer

"All the rest of the inhabitants of this parish are now at sea."

*Torquay, in its early years, was known by a number of names. At the sea's edge, was a small quay which ultimately gave the town its modern name but in older times, the main habitation was inland, tucked in behind the ancient Abbey whose ruins can still be seen. This area was known as Tor or Torre and to this familiar name was added that of the lords of the manor - the de Mohun family, producing the name of TORMOHUN. In more recent times, carelessness produced the name TORMOHAM in some documents - a name which does not connect Torquay with its past. As the little village in the lea of the Abbey grew, its buildings spread down to the coast, eventually encompassing the quay itself. When the connections of the de Mohun family with the area were finally severed, the new name TORQUAY took over.

** 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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