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A 17th Century Petition from North-West Devon

"A group of twelve [committeemen and magistrates in February 1648 [sic]] drew up a petition to the House of Commons and set about obtaining mass signatures. . . . The petition is to be found in the quarter sessions bundles for Midsummer 1647*. Internal evidence, however, suggests a misplacement. . . the petition circulated in at least thirty-two parishes on Black Torrington, Hartland, Shebbear, Winkleigh and Witheridge hundreds, a substantial part of North-West Devon, and doubtless reached areas nearer Exeter. . . Nearly half the adult male population of Clovelly signed . . . a sample of five parishes gives an aerage of about twenty-five per cent of the adult male population committing themselves to the sentiments of the petition."
Roberts, S.K. Recovery and Restoration in an English County: Devon Local Administration 1646-1670. University of Exeter (1985) 232p. [ISBN 0 85989 246 8] (pp.11-12.

Devon Record Office - QS/QSB - 1647 Summer onwards:

transcribed by

Brian Brassett -

To the honorable the commons in Parliament assembled att Westminster The humble petition of thousand inhabitants in the County of Devon. Humbly showeth that your petitioners seriously and heartily condole the calimityes of the kingdom in generall but by a sad and woeful experience doe specially feel and know that noe apportionable part thereof hath suffered more in ffire and plague, in free quarter plunder payments and loss of stock and trade by sea and land than this Countie and that with added to our misfortune and miseries therein and render our condition grevious and insupportable is, that notwithstanding all this our weekley assessment for the releefe of the British Army in Ireland is about three times more than all the Dominion of Wales or more than eight countys of this Kingdom two of them together being more than twice greater than this, and by another ordinance of Parliament for the raising of monies to be imployed towards the maintainance of forces within this Kingdom under the command of Sr Thomas Fairfax for the speedy transporting of and paying the forces and carrying on the war in Ireland we are thereby assessed also very neere three times more monthly than the whole dominion of Wales or more than ten counties of this Kingdom for redress whereof and having no appeal upon earth but to your Honours from whose Justice and mercie wee are confident to receive it we humblye pray that if the necessities of this miserable Kingdom shall occasion anymore supplyes of money you will be pleased to impose no more on this exhausted County being equally freeborne Englishmen then the equall and pporcionable part thereof and we further humbly pray and beg for religions sake and for the cry of the Martyred blood of so many thousand Prostestants butchered and murthered by the [severell] blooddy and Rebellious Irish onely because Protestants and Englishmen to send thither speedy and effectuall Reliefe to our forces whom God hath beene pleased soo graciously to send there And who have fought his Battles in that Kingdom in so much nakedness and distress.
Will Fry Henry Waldron Chri Wood
Rich Duke Phillip Ffrancis Will Morice
Jo Ffortescue Tho Drake E. Davyes
Joseph Hunkin Jo Quicke Will Ffowell
You are desired in respecte of the common interest of this County to take copies of this petition and cause them to be read in your severall parish Churches and to expect every man to set their handto ease that burden he is ready to sinke under and to set theor hand to this same and so speedily to send it from one to the other and you are to return it to me with your ........ subscribed two or three days before the next assises.
Milton Damerall this 22nd of Ffebruary 1647. your friend Hum: Dene
Mylton Damerill ffeb 23. 1647 - Thomas Bradford - Rector
Hum Dene Daniel Clouerdon John Hobbes
Tobias [Bligh] Abraham Lyttlejohn Clerk Eandon Ffry
Thomas Digurod John Chapman Anther Lobb
Roger Tounsend Richard Burow [James V.....]
Walter Williams Simon Browne John Qaury
Christopher Shapton Richard Goaton John [Dooft]
John Shapton Christopher Browning [Ja.ame] Colle
John Clowing Robert [.....] Thomas Bradye
P... Rogers Humphrey Langdon William Colle
Jo Colle James Hobbes T John King
[Croton] Bliyh Leonard Coarne Abbotts ...mton
Frauncis Underhill [curate] Edward Chapman Hugh Vigours
Humphrey Harding John Eddy John [.....]
Lewis Yellon George Braddon Gabriel Burr[ige]
Abraham Hoper Hugh .rkle William Walter
John Stephens Andrew Collcott John [.....]
Will Williams Thomas Ash John Hoare
John Brande William Turker Thomas Whiller
Daniel Coullcott Thomas Lewis John Bowden
George [Chotlandon] [.... Destputfore] Robert [Chortop]
John Henynyre [jnr] Hugh Mill [rector] William Trebarford
George Lemynye Thomas Hancock Stephen Shourt
John Cory Roger Lynddle Edward Handcocke
John Hommy Daniell [Ma...] Thomas Madde
William Turbarfoote John Pire Richard Pire
William Mill Franie Shourt Will Horne
Robert Mill Christopher Drymore Robert Browne
Christopher Dry[mere] William Rendeles John Mill
John Madde Hugh Braunde Thomas Walton
Thomas Drimynye John Venyuerd Walter Runeberie
Daniell Denynye Hugh Cory Thomas Stephens
Robert Badcocke
Pancrasweek March the 5:1647
James Shurtz [curate] Will Specott Phillip Boteles
John Daymon Nicholas Shoore Edmond Gifford
John Gifford Thomas Bromell Dunscont Allin
Enefimus Penrose Ralfe Bromell Robert Gliddon
John Bromell Richard Paimler Thomas Rooke
John [.....] Ciprian Moryel John Ba[rrocrd]
Phillip Phoore William Sampson
Richard Brecke Thomas Ffinney [minister] Will Brocke
William Forda[..] John Westlake Moses Brocke
Roger Westaway Walter [.....] [Marke] Brocke
John Holmes Robert Hole George Westaway
John Webber [rector] Syme Webber John Chambers
John Paddocke Richard [Liff] John Turner
John Paddocke [jnr] John Adam John Gill
Symon Luxton Edward [.....] John Whitt
William Moyse
Henry Walter Roger Chaplin Roger Turke
[Parish not named - Belshan]
Richard Yelland [clarke] John Dennaford William Allen [Constable]
Thomas Rodawaye John Paule Rychard Mungoya
Robert Lopus Rycharde Arscote
Yarnscombe [?]
Hugh Fre.... John Bayley John Bellewe [snr]
John Sher Thomas Cheeke [vicar] Arthur Coall
Richard Pollard George Ro..... George Smaldon
John Bellewe William Lavienore Thomas Spark
Richard Smaldon David [Dormive] Lewis Smale
John Currey William P..... John Snell
Thomas Day Richard Loveband George Short
Thomas denham Jo Sanndere Richard May
Thomas Cheeke Nicholas Pearce John Nycoll
Covenant Ba... Matthew Londhand James Wellington
John Shildon John Hoberon John Dynham
John Hallie Bartholomew Glasse John .hohnan
[Bernard Narron] William Campyn George Campyn
John Parsons Roger Blake Richard Heard
Christopher Chambers Richard Pearse Jonas Hawkridge
Symon Cory
Thomas Medland Anainas Eymes John Dhere
Peter Thorne [rector] George Lethbridge Tho Lethbridge
John Smale Edward Turner Marke Brocke
Richard Turner William [] Matthew Westlake
Richard Weekes John Kelland
North Lewe
William Heddon Henrie [Charman] Ffrancis Turner
David [Wallace] Wm Hutton John Holloway
John Combe Abell Berritt John Webber
John Gidley Richard Spry William Kimber
Jo Northam [...rth] Northam Thomas Wood
Jo Hopper Nathaniel Stoneman Robert Medland
John Heard John Tuke Henrie Turner
Ribert [...] Richard Tuke George Bro[wnemye]
William Spry Richard Shomeman John Willckie
Lewis Huchins John Weekes Edward Crosse
Symon Hill
Shebbeare Newton
William Battishill [vicar] John Nicolle Jo Potter [rector]
Edward Rosengrave Arthur Nickolle [..] Himkyn.
Wa Bligh Edward James John Browning
Mich Mayne Henry Martin John Johns
George Browning Charles Huchings Thomas Hutchings
Roger Allen Joan Mungey [widow] Grace Mogg [widow]
Joan Legge Robert Allmiye Emmanuel Mungey
Richard Bowman John Pott Robert [Yawmon]
John Goodings John Ffrape John Camboone
James Yeoland Leonard Morcombe Richard Goodings
John Thorne Bartholomew Gawman John [.....]
..thomas South John Collawcott Robert Paye
Edward Lewis Andrew Callowcott Edward Gawan
Edmund Brigman George [Arscott] John Goodings
Ffardinande Newcombe John Bears John Bodman
Robert Smale John Bear Sylvister Micke
Richard Willey Humphrey [.....]
Richard Northleigh John [Bypott] Tho Bridgman [minister]
William Westlake Hugh Northleigh Robert Crocker
John Bowden Nicholas Newcombe William Westaway
John Palmer Ellis Westaway Charles Char..g
Matthew Newcombe Hugh Northcott
William [..ethicke] [minister] John Arscott John Bawdon
John Whyte [jnr] John Locke George Daniells
[Jerom] Hooper John Bonsdon John Timmer
Richard Gill Henry Easterbrooke John Norcomb
Wm Easterbrooke Richard Leach Edmond Heard
John Spearce Edmond Edye Gro Bissett
William Arnell [jnr] Leonard Edye Jon Crocker
William Jarman Richard Maygar Robt Maryfield
John [H]arden Phillip Crisyen Bartholomew Hockaday
Richard Seldon Robert May [Matthew] Williams
Edward Hockaday Henry Abell Phillip Ffrye
Zachary Punchard William Fford Alex Taylor
Martyn Whyte John Yeo Jon Rockey
Michell Rooke [Gne] Gibbons John Lethbridge
[..ofer] Deacon Robert Little[ucc] John Whyte [snr]
John Mea[..] [Jespr] Dalbey Symon Whyte
John Warde Wm Joynte Jon [....]
Robert Gour John Kempe Edmond Palmer
Richard Speare Will Lashbrooke John Gould
[Giles] Hockaday John Cudmore
Robert Burdon Thomas Shute [clerk] John Burdon
Richard Averye Jophn Hillman Anthony Parish
John Limbeard William Hooper [Const] Robert Birkell
Robert Smalle Walter Blachford Edward Waterman
Robert Whitear James James Robert Hearle
William Oliver Leonard Chugge Nicholas Cruse
Tyindt. Downing William Maye Hannibal Williams
Robert Maye [Const] Humphrey Maye [1] Anthony Hooper
[Lem.] Gliddon Humphrey Maye [2]
Monkeld C.pton
[Thomas] Ffry Richard Burke Thomas Drake
Phillip Ffrancis E. Davyes Hen Walrond
[Thomas] McKive John Quirke Christopher Woode
John Ffoxteffur [Thomas] Howell Josiah Hankin
Robert Clappe Thomas Lethbridge William Armell
Thomas [Hockaday] Edward [Cowper] John Speare
[William] Copper John Chambers John [Nicks]
Richard Forde William Nicholl Richard E King
Deg Taylor [.....] William Mill
[...] Brandon Ffrancis Clifton [Milhufort] Pencomb
Humphrey Beard John Turke Thomas Prust
John [Willey] Abraham [Bayigott] Richard [Branford]
[....] Heard Ezekial Ashton Digory Ashton
Thomas Baffe Digory Bramten [Parmener Prust]
Samson [Prust] William Cleverdon John Aishton
John S Stanbry
Black Torrington
Humfry Smale George Smale John Braund
Stephen Coham John Payye Richard Maunsell
Robert Smale [Christopher Ellway] Peter Parpor
Will Stenlake John King George Oliver
Lewis Burdey John Birkett William Battin
Thomas Oliver Robert Ollyvare Hugh Braund
Samford Courtney
William Ffry William Morice Richard Duke
Christopher Wood John Duke Joseph Q
John Ffortescue Phillip Ffrancis William Ffowell
[Edward] Davies Joseph Hunkin Henry Walrond
[....Webber .....] Roger Gestwyke Thomas Lethbridge
[Digne] William Allen Anthony Legg Justinn Brell
Robbert Milford Leonard Raddan John Woode
Alexander Yelland [Constable] John Radden William Westaway
William Northcott Symon Elles John Raddon
Henry Underhill William Elles Leonard Miller
Simon Ellis [junr] Richard Shoore Richard Quirke
William Brooke Amos Ellis William Moggerage
James Northcott John Westaway John Dennaforde
William Legg George Arscott Richard [...]
William [Collis] Richard Arscott John Paddon
Edward Dubry [Henry] Burdon William Ball
Bradford Bridgerule Thornbury
William ffry Henry Waldron Christopher Wood
Richard Duke Thomas Salter [rector] William Newbury[vicar]
Thomas Salter [jnr] Walter Sheere [E. Spratt]
Richard Starms Samuel Gestelf Nicholas Downy [new minister]
John Maynard Tobyus [Bishop] John Huchings
William Troughton Josias Corye [.....] Bray
Robert Fowell Richard Gilbert John Colle
Richard Kinsman John Corye Richard Dennis [constable]
[Charles] Braunde Marke Facye Walter Bragg
William Robins John Hockaday Humphrey Male
Robert Starne William Makecoy Ralph Croker
John Bray Thomas Cory [constable] [....] [Glormye]
Humphrey Norcott Timothe Taprell
Robert Pengelley William Brent
George Browne Mel..nton Knight
Joseph Bryant John Rundell
Jonathan Squire Henry Bourogh
Richard Robins John Knight
Steven Balson John Meager
Richard Horligh James Moore
Thomas Harkinge Edmund [Cumins]
[.....] [.....] William Bremreidge
John Anderdon [constable] Emmanuel [.....]
William Paddon [.....] Knight
Henry Ay[...] [.....] James
John []
Gideon [Magededor]
John Stapleton
Richard [.....]
[.....] Moore
Robert Burkit
George Peth....
Christopher Barrow
George Aish
Cookebury Hollowcombe
Nicholas Wycott [curate] Richard Bayly [rector]
Richard Rolle Thomas Blaydon
Benjamine Jewell Gedion Allen
Richard Brimacombe Ffrancis Glawen
Michael Jeffery John Browne [constable]
John Hooper
Robert Symons
William Jeffery
Christopher Martin
Davy Griff
John Allen
Richard Denton
William Gair
Daniel Crallarke
Walter Harvy
Elizous Standon
John Haddle
Phillip Crallarke
Robert Wycombe
William Simorke
Clement Gare
John Pridham [constable]
Samuel Mayne [pastor] Thomas Taylor John Gadd
John Blight John Bennett John Reynolds
John Cocker John Sloman Robert Martin
[.....] Hooper Nichols Come Thomas Drew
John Corrye Edward Palmer Phillip Kingford
William Merrit Nicholas Webber Digory Martin
Aisiah Ebbotte Jonathan Ebbott Abraham Palmer
Thomas kennyford Joshua Crabb Edward [C]heave
Thomas Martyn Tymothy Martin Tristram Penrose
George Kingford John Penrose William Crab
Jacob Doble John Taprell Samuel Martyn
William Ffarye William Corye Leonard Harison
John Kingford William Southwood Mathusulah Whright [constable]
[Michael] White Samuell Martin
George Luxton Thomas Cruse [constables]
Joseph Maye [vicar] Bernard [.]eare Thomas Flaack
Thomas Luxton George [.]etheron John Bayley
John Haywood John Rilye James Hernaman
[.....] Heawood Roger Babbage Thomas Radford
Thomas Moore Arthur Heawood Samuel Gidley
Thomas jeffery John Rattenbury [John] Luxton
Anthony Bowden John Clatworthy Richard Charsen
Robert Haywood Christopher Whiterowe Thomas Hill
John Heywood
Bradworthy March 5th 1647
Elias Eastway [minister] Richard Cann John Averie [constable]
William Cann Richard Moore Thomas Viguers
John [Pridham] Humphrey Cann Thomas Boundie
John Pridhan [snr] Matthew Biell Richard Cann
Christopher [...] William Liell John Jolliffe
Hugh Jury John Bishopp Robert Nicholls
William Cynne Nicholaus Turker Mark Neale
Phillip Heale Theophilus Hayman Ephram Forie
Jonas Hiell John Elliott Edward Hunnacote
Arthur Lile Thomas Norcott Richard Yeo
Robert Viguers Richard Snowe
Nathaniel Crabb [rector] Humphrey Braddon William Denys
John Braddon Samuel Phaier Hugh [.....]
Matthew [.....] Thomas Browen Richard Mongroy
John Westlarke Arthur Jolliffe John Lowmand
John Leoman Roger Bane John Ma.onder
Richard Yeoman John Mill [snr] John Mill [jnr]
Edward Quance Emanuell Phajer Richard Bayley
Roger Denys John Darker William Jeffery
John Willcock Jonathan Jeffery John Ffrayne
John [Bond] William Chocombe Giles Vigares
[Parish Not Known - unidentified]
Christopher [clerk] John Drake Christopher Crowcombe [constable]
Thomas Earbury
[Parish Not Named - believed to be Clovelly]
George Cary [rector] Nicholas Chapley [snr] William Cary
Richard Keynsham William [Skrigniys] Henrie Sprey
[...] Saunders Lewis Deere John Shapley
William Saunders Robert [Prise] Thomas Snow
William Woolecot Edward Shapley James Lyden
Hugh [Pery]man Hugh Nicoll Richard [Suthard]
Lewis [.....] Thomas Way [jnr] William M[....]
Nicholas Shapley [jnr] Thomas Way [snr] Arthur Lille
John Dote [.....]Littlejohn Richard Combes
Thomas [Penkornod] Em Barrett Joane Heard
William Pollard Robert Barrett [Matthew .....]
Nicholas Prouse Samuel Shaply John Pollard
John [Marriott] Thomas [.....] [A.. Gr..worthy]
[Parish Not Named - believed to be Woolfardisworthy (West)]
Thomas Prust [H...] Hongar Thomas Cary [curate]
John Dunn John Walle [Matthew Downe]
Robert Webb Phillip Prame John Vigurs
Robert Pr... John Gre[ylard] William Hamlyn
Thomas Short Thomas Yeo [jnr] Bagriell Pickard
Edward Webb William Short Thomas Whitlock
Alexander Tremere Thomas Yeo [snr] Edward Dennis
Robert Dunn Christopher Whitlock William Dunned
John Sanders William Heanes Anthony Mayne
Robert Rogerman Anthony Wilkey Richard Warren
William Praunse Robert Horne John Nicholl
Richard Hanger William Ridd Robert Hanger
Mathew Brooke John Donne Robert Cleverdon
Richard Knill


The documents are contained in a manilla folder and consist of many pieces of paper of differing shapes/sizes/condition.

They all appear to follow a similar wording, commencing with the words: "To the honorable the commons in parliament assembled at Westminster. The humble petition of thousand inhabitants in the County of Devon". There then follows the petition, which is signed by what appears to be the originators of the said petition. Below these gentleman's names there then appear the signatures of the individual signatories of the parish presenting the petition. Not all 'signatures' are perfectly legible and in some cases difficulty has been experienced in transcription. There are also instances whereby the 'mark' of an individual has been applied to the document, and a third party has signed on their behalf. In any instance where the name/signature of an individual is in question, then the original document should be consulted.

Last updated 29 May 2005 - Brian Randell.

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