The Devon Protestation Returns 1641 from copies by A J Howard ref 19/HOW Devon Record Office

Originals in Papers of the House of Lords, 1642 House of Lords record office

The Protestation Returns came about due to the unrest between the English Civil War during the passage of a bill for the Attainder (forfeiture of estate and extinction of civil rights without trial) of the Earl of Stafford in 1641. We are fortunate that they survive and give us a list of names of residents in Merton and Huish in 1641.
Every man of 18 and over was obliged to sign the Protestation, those that refused to sign it were held to be incapable of holding office in Church or Commonwealth, Peers who refused to sign were to be deprived of their seats in the House of Lords. Great care was taken throughout the Kingdom that every one signed it, anyone not signing, either for sickness of absence and those that would not were considered recusants (any person who refuses to attend Church of England services when ordered by law – often Roman Catholics) were listed although it is not always clear if they deliberately would not sign or just did not sign as can be seen in Huish returns, every man in Merton seems to have signed it..
It Read
I ………… in the presence of Almighty God, promise, vow, and protest to maintain and defend as far as I lawfully may, with my Life, Power and Estate, the true reformed Protestant Religion expressed in the Doctrine of the Church of England , against all Popery and Popish Innovations within the Realm, contrary to the said Doctrine; and according to the duty of my Allegiance I will maintain and defend His Majesty’s Royal Person, Honour and Estate as also the Power and Privileges of Parliament, the Lawful Rights and Liberties of the subjects, and every Person that maketh this Protestation, in whatsoever he shall do in the lawful pursuance of the same; and to my power and as far as lawfully I may, I shall oppose and by all good Ways and Means endeavour to bring condign Punishment on all such as shall by Force, Practice, Counsels, Plots Conspiraces or otherwise, do anything to the contrary in this present Protestation contained; and further that I shall, in all just and honourable ways, endeavour to preserve the Union and Peace betwixt the Three Kingdoms of England, Scotland and Ireland; and neither for Hope, Fear nor other Respect, shall relinquish this Promise, Vow and Protestation.

Those signing in Merton were,

Ball, Thomas
Balling, Christopher
Bears, John gent
Bening, Bernard
Bennet, Ananias
Berry, Philip
Brayly, James
Briant, George
Browne, John
Browne, John
Browne, Robert
Burrow, Edmund
Clarke, Bernard
Clarke, Henry
Chidly, Christopher
Chidly Philip
Clement, William
Cliff, Robert gent
Cliff, Thomas gent
Collacott, John
Collins, Roger
Cook, Nathaniel
Courtis, John
Courtis, Thomas
Currant, Henry
Davis, Anthony
Davis, John
Dawly, William
Dennis, Aninias
Dennis, Anthony
Dennis, Thomas
Dennis, William
Dobbe, John
Downe, Anthony
Downe, Arthur
Downe, Christopher
Drew, Humphrey
Fulford, Willaim
Gifford, John
Gooford, Richard
Gordan, Anthony
Goule, Robert
Goule, Samuel
Hamlin, John
Hammet, Samuel
Handford, Henry
Harris, Robert
Heard, Arthur
Heard, Thomas
Hill, John
Hogge, John
Hole, John
Hollacre, Christopher
Hoop, John
Hooper, Robert
Ivie, Francis
Johns, Acland
Johns, Richard
Johns, William
Jones, David
Kelly, John
Kelly, Thomas
Kelly, Thomas
Killard, Christopher
Kingford, Michael
Knight, John
Lake, Christopher
Lake, Humphrey
Lang, Richard
Langdon, Robert
Litlebridge, Anthony
Lubbone, Henry
Lubbone, Henry
Lubbone, Edwar
Lubbone, Philip
Mark, Thomas Esq
Martin, Elias
Melhuish, John
Melhuish, Paul
Melhuish, Philip
Parnacott, Anthony
Parnat, Nicholas
Payne, William
Pearne, John
Pearne, Leonard
Pearne, Matthew
Pearne, Philip
Pearne, Richard
Peckin, Richard
Perkin, George
Perkin, Humphrey
Perkin, William
Philips, Humphrey
Pincorne, John
Pincorne, Matthew
Pincorne, Thomas
Pitts, Thomas
Punshard, Philip
Rayall, George
Reede, Henry
Rowcliffe, Samuel
Scaner, William
Searle, John
Shepheard, Anthony
Shepheard, Humphrey
Shepheard, John
Stacy, Dunstan
Stacy, Stephen
Tawton, Edward
Tawton, Thomas
Toms, John
Trukin, John
Upcott, Thomas
Upcott, Thomas
Upcott, Thomas
Upctt, Willis
Vanstone, Humphrey
Virchild, Emmanuel
Virchild, Thomas
Voscome, Edward
Warr, Matthew
Warr, Matthew
Way, Robert
Whiddon, Vincent
White, Walter
Williams, Christopher
Wise, John

John Pitts Minister
Anthony Pincorne Constable
Thomas Melhuish Churchwarden
John Hollamore Churchwarden
George Dennis Overseer
Philip Courtis Overseer

All names in the writing of John Pitts the Minsiter
Total 133 adult Males

Those signing in Huish were,

Aplin, Robert
Ball, John
Baunt, Richard
Bayly, Nicholas
Beale, Nicholas
Bennet, Edmund
Davy, Richard
Dennis, James
Dier Diggory
Froode, John
Gill, Thomas
Hale, Walter
Hancocke, Hugh
Hoare, Thomas
Hooper, Philip sen
Labbot, John
Ley, Robert
Lond, John
Nenoe, Henry
Nenoe, Richard
Nenoe, Thomas
Nickell, Thomas
Nickell, Walter
Nickell, William
Penford, Thomas
Perkin, John
Perkin, Robert
Perkin, Thomas
Perkin, Walter jun
Rattenbury, George
Rattenbury, Hugh
Rattenbury, John
Tawton, John
Upcott, Anthony
Upcott, Philip
Wyther, Hugh

George Yeo and Ellis Menheire have not taken the protestation

Thomas Harrison Clerk
Walter Perkin sen + constable
Philip Hooper

Total 41 adult Males