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 - Brian.Brassett[at]btinternet[dot]com

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 FryHenry WaldronChri Wood
Rich DukePhillip FfrancisWill Morice
Jo FfortescueTho DrakeE. Davyes
Joseph HunkinJo QuickeWill 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 DeneDaniel ClouerdonJohn Hobbes
Tobias [Bligh]Abraham LyttlejohnClerk Eandon Ffry
Thomas DigurodJohn ChapmanAnther Lobb
Roger TounsendRichard Burow[James V.....]
Walter WilliamsSimon BrowneJohn Qaury
Christopher ShaptonRichard GoatonJohn [Dooft]
John ShaptonChristopher Browning[Ja.ame] Colle
John ClowingRobert [.....]Thomas Bradye
P... RogersHumphrey LangdonWilliam Colle
Jo ColleJames HobbesT John King
[Croton] BliyhLeonard CoarneAbbotts ...mton
Frauncis Underhill [curate]Edward ChapmanHugh Vigours
Humphrey HardingJohn EddyJohn [.....]
Lewis YellonGeorge BraddonGabriel Burr[ige]
Abraham HoperHugh .rkleWilliam Walter
John StephensAndrew CollcottJohn [.....]
Will WilliamsThomas AshJohn Hoare
John BrandeWilliam TurkerThomas Whiller
Daniel CoullcottThomas LewisJohn Bowden
George [Chotlandon][.... Destputfore]Robert [Chortop]
John Henynyre [jnr]Hugh Mill [rector]William Trebarford
George LemynyeThomas HancockStephen Shourt
John CoryRoger LynddleEdward Handcocke
John HommyDaniell [Ma...]Thomas Madde
William TurbarfooteJohn PireRichard Pire
William MillFranie ShourtWill Horne
Robert MillChristopher DrymoreRobert Browne
Christopher Dry[mere]William RendelesJohn Mill
John MaddeHugh BraundeThomas Walton
Thomas DrimynyeJohn VenyuerdWalter Runeberie
Daniell DenynyeHugh CoryThomas Stephens
Robert Badcocke  
Pancrasweek March the 5:1647
James Shurtz [curate]Will SpecottPhillip Boteles
John DaymonNicholas ShooreEdmond Gifford
John GiffordThomas BromellDunscont Allin
Enefimus PenroseRalfe BromellRobert Gliddon
John BromellRichard PaimlerThomas Rooke
John [.....]Ciprian MoryelJohn Ba[rrocrd]
Phillip PhooreWilliam Sampson 
Richard BreckeThomas Ffinney [minister]Will Brocke
William Forda[..]John WestlakeMoses Brocke
Roger WestawayWalter [.....][Marke] Brocke
John HolmesRobert HoleGeorge Westaway
John Webber [rector]Syme WebberJohn Chambers
John PaddockeRichard [Liff]John Turner
John Paddocke [jnr]John AdamJohn Gill
Symon LuxtonEdward [.....]John Whitt
William Moyse  
Henry WalterRoger ChaplinRoger Turke
[Parish not named - Belshan]
Richard Yelland [clarke]John DennafordWilliam Allen [Constable]
Thomas RodawayeJohn PauleRychard Mungoya
Robert LopusRycharde Arscote 
Yarnscombe [?]
Hugh Fre....John BayleyJohn Bellewe [snr]
John SherThomas Cheeke [vicar]Arthur Coall
Richard PollardGeorge Ro.....George Smaldon
John BelleweWilliam LavienoreThomas Spark
Richard SmaldonDavid [Dormive]Lewis Smale
John CurreyWilliam P.....John Snell
Thomas DayRichard LovebandGeorge Short
Thomas denhamJo SanndereRichard May
Thomas CheekeNicholas PearceJohn Nycoll
Covenant Ba...Matthew LondhandJames Wellington
John ShildonJohn HoberonJohn Dynham
John HallieBartholomew GlasseJohn .hohnan
[Bernard Narron]William CampynGeorge Campyn
John ParsonsRoger BlakeRichard Heard
Christopher ChambersRichard PearseJonas Hawkridge
Symon Cory  
Thomas MedlandAnainas EymesJohn Dhere
Peter Thorne [rector]George LethbridgeTho Lethbridge
John SmaleEdward TurnerMarke Brocke
Richard TurnerWilliam [...er]Matthew Westlake
Richard WeekesJohn Kelland 
North Lewe
William HeddonHenrie [Charman]Ffrancis Turner
David [Wallace]Wm HuttonJohn Holloway
John CombeAbell BerrittJohn Webber
John GidleyRichard SpryWilliam Kimber
Jo Northam[...rth] NorthamThomas Wood
Jo HopperNathaniel StonemanRobert Medland
John HeardJohn TukeHenrie Turner
Ribert [...]Richard TukeGeorge Bro[wnemye]
William SpryRichard ShomemanJohn Willckie
Lewis HuchinsJohn WeekesEdward Crosse
Symon Hill  
Shebbeare Newton
William Battishill [vicar]John NicolleJo Potter [rector]
Edward RosengraveArthur Nickolle[..] Himkyn.
Wa BlighEdward JamesJohn Browning
Mich MayneHenry MartinJohn Johns
George BrowningCharles HuchingsThomas Hutchings
Roger AllenJoan Mungey [widow]Grace Mogg [widow]
Joan LeggeRobert AllmiyeEmmanuel Mungey
Richard BowmanJohn PottRobert [Yawmon]
John GoodingsJohn FfrapeJohn Camboone
James YeolandLeonard MorcombeRichard Goodings
John ThorneBartholomew GawmanJohn [.....]
..thomas SouthJohn CollawcottRobert Paye
Edward LewisAndrew CallowcottEdward Gawan
Edmund BrigmanGeorge [Arscott]John Goodings
Ffardinande NewcombeJohn BearsJohn Bodman
Robert SmaleJohn BearSylvister Micke
Richard WilleyHumphrey [.....] 
Richard NorthleighJohn [Bypott]Tho Bridgman [minister]
William WestlakeHugh NorthleighRobert Crocker
John BowdenNicholas NewcombeWilliam Westaway
John PalmerEllis WestawayCharles Char..g
Matthew NewcombeHugh Northcott 
William [..ethicke] [minister]John ArscottJohn Bawdon
John Whyte [jnr]John LockeGeorge Daniells
[Jerom] HooperJohn BonsdonJohn Timmer
Richard GillHenry EasterbrookeJohn Norcomb
Wm EasterbrookeRichard LeachEdmond Heard
John SpearceEdmond EdyeGro Bissett
William Arnell [jnr]Leonard EdyeJon Crocker
William JarmanRichard MaygarRobt Maryfield
John [H]ardenPhillip CrisyenBartholomew Hockaday
Richard SeldonRobert May[Matthew] Williams
Edward HockadayHenry AbellPhillip Ffrye
Zachary PunchardWilliam FfordAlex Taylor
Martyn WhyteJohn YeoJon Rockey
Michell Rooke[Gne] GibbonsJohn Lethbridge
[..ofer] DeaconRobert Little[ucc]John Whyte [snr]
John Mea[..][Jespr] DalbeySymon Whyte
John WardeWm JoynteJon [....]
Robert GourJohn KempeEdmond Palmer
Richard SpeareWill LashbrookeJohn Gould
[Giles] HockadayJohn Cudmore 
Robert BurdonThomas Shute [clerk]John Burdon
Richard AveryeJophn HillmanAnthony Parish
John LimbeardWilliam Hooper [Const]Robert Birkell
Robert SmalleWalter BlachfordEdward Waterman
Robert WhitearJames JamesRobert Hearle
William OliverLeonard ChuggeNicholas Cruse
Tyindt. DowningWilliam MayeHannibal Williams
Robert Maye [Const]Humphrey Maye [1]Anthony Hooper
[Lem.] GliddonHumphrey Maye [2] 
Monkeld C.pton
[Thomas] FfryRichard BurkeThomas Drake
Phillip FfrancisE. DavyesHen Walrond
[Thomas] McKiveJohn QuirkeChristopher Woode
John Ffoxteffur[Thomas] HowellJosiah Hankin
Robert ClappeThomas LethbridgeWilliam Armell
Thomas [Hockaday]Edward [Cowper]John Speare
[William] CopperJohn ChambersJohn [Nicks]
Richard FordeWilliam NichollRichard E King
Deg Taylor[.....]William Mill
[...] BrandonFfrancis Clifton[Milhufort] Pencomb
Humphrey BeardJohn TurkeThomas Prust
John [Willey]Abraham [Bayigott]Richard [Branford]
[....] HeardEzekial AshtonDigory Ashton
Thomas BaffeDigory Bramten[Parmener Prust]
Samson [Prust]William CleverdonJohn Aishton
John S Stanbry  
Black Torrington
Humfry SmaleGeorge SmaleJohn Braund
Stephen CohamJohn PayyeRichard Maunsell
Robert Smale[Christopher Ellway]Peter Parpor
Will StenlakeJohn KingGeorge Oliver
Lewis BurdeyJohn BirkettWilliam Battin
Thomas OliverRobert OllyvareHugh Braund
Samford Courtney
William FfryWilliam MoriceRichard Duke
Christopher WoodJohn DukeJoseph Q
John FfortescuePhillip FfrancisWilliam Ffowell
[Edward] DaviesJoseph HunkinHenry Walrond
[....Webber .....]Roger GestwykeThomas Lethbridge
[Digne] William AllenAnthony LeggJustinn Brell
Robbert MilfordLeonard RaddanJohn Woode
Alexander Yelland [Constable]John RaddenWilliam Westaway
William NorthcottSymon EllesJohn Raddon
Henry UnderhillWilliam EllesLeonard Miller
Simon Ellis [junr]Richard ShooreRichard Quirke
William BrookeAmos EllisWilliam Moggerage
James NorthcottJohn WestawayJohn Dennaforde
William LeggGeorge ArscottRichard [...]
William [Collis]Richard ArscottJohn Paddon
Edward Dubry[Henry] BurdonWilliam Ball
William ffryHenry WaldronChristopher Wood
Richard DukeThomas Salter [rector]William Newbury[vicar]
Thomas Salter [jnr]Walter Sheere[E. Spratt]
Richard StarmsSamuel GestelfNicholas Downy [new minister]
John MaynardTobyus [Bishop]John Huchings
William TroughtonJosias Corye[.....] Bray
Robert FowellRichard GilbertJohn Colle
Richard KinsmanJohn CoryeRichard Dennis [constable]
[Charles] BraundeMarke FacyeWalter Bragg
William RobinsJohn HockadayHumphrey Male
Robert StarneWilliam MakecoyRalph Croker
John BrayThomas 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 [...th]
  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 TaylorJohn Gadd
John BlightJohn BennettJohn Reynolds
John CockerJohn SlomanRobert Martin
[.....] HooperNichols ComeThomas Drew
John CorryeEdward PalmerPhillip Kingford
William MerritNicholas WebberDigory Martin
Aisiah EbbotteJonathan EbbottAbraham Palmer
Thomas kennyfordJoshua CrabbEdward [C]heave
Thomas MartynTymothy MartinTristram Penrose
George KingfordJohn PenroseWilliam Crab
Jacob DobleJohn TaprellSamuel Martyn
William FfaryeWilliam CoryeLeonard Harison
John KingfordWilliam SouthwoodMathusulah Whright [constable]
[Michael] WhiteSamuell Martin 
George LuxtonThomas Cruse [constables] 
Joseph Maye [vicar]Bernard [.]eareThomas Flaack
Thomas LuxtonGeorge [.]etheronJohn Bayley
John HaywoodJohn RilyeJames Hernaman
[.....] HeawoodRoger BabbageThomas Radford
Thomas MooreArthur HeawoodSamuel Gidley
Thomas jefferyJohn Rattenbury[John] Luxton
Anthony BowdenJohn ClatworthyRichard Charsen
Robert HaywoodChristopher WhiteroweThomas Hill
John Heywood  
Bradworthy March 5th 1647
Elias Eastway [minister]Richard CannJohn Averie [constable]
William CannRichard MooreThomas Viguers
John [Pridham]Humphrey CannThomas Boundie
John Pridhan [snr]Matthew BiellRichard Cann
Christopher [...]William LiellJohn Jolliffe
Hugh JuryJohn BishoppRobert Nicholls
William CynneNicholaus TurkerMark Neale
Phillip HealeTheophilus HaymanEphram Forie
Jonas HiellJohn ElliottEdward Hunnacote
Arthur LileThomas NorcottRichard Yeo
Robert ViguersRichard Snowe 
Nathaniel Crabb [rector]Humphrey BraddonWilliam Denys
John BraddonSamuel PhaierHugh [.....]
Matthew [.....]Thomas BrowenRichard Mongroy
John WestlarkeArthur JolliffeJohn Lowmand
John LeomanRoger BaneJohn Ma.onder
Richard YeomanJohn Mill [snr]John Mill [jnr]
Edward QuanceEmanuell PhajerRichard Bayley
Roger DenysJohn DarkerWilliam Jeffery
John WillcockJonathan JefferyJohn Ffrayne
John [Bond]William ChocombeGiles Vigares
[Parish Not Known - unidentified]
Christopher Hex.man [clerk]John DrakeChristopher Crowcombe [constable]
Thomas Earbury  
[Parish Not Named - believed to be Clovelly]
George Cary [rector]Nicholas Chapley [snr]William Cary
Richard KeynshamWilliam [Skrigniys]Henrie Sprey
[...] SaundersLewis DeereJohn Shapley
William SaundersRobert [Prise]Thomas Snow
William WoolecotEdward ShapleyJames Lyden
Hugh [Pery]manHugh NicollRichard [Suthard]
Lewis [.....]Thomas Way [jnr]William M[....]
Nicholas Shapley [jnr]Thomas Way [snr]Arthur Lille
John Dote[.....]LittlejohnRichard Combes
Thomas [Penkornod]Em BarrettJoane Heard
William PollardRobert Barrett[Matthew .....]
Nicholas ProuseSamuel ShaplyJohn Pollard
John [Marriott]Thomas [.....][A.. Gr..worthy]
[Parish Not Named - believed to be Woolfardisworthy (West)]
Thomas Prust[H...] HongarThomas Cary [curate]
John DunnJohn Walle[Matthew Downe]
Robert WebbPhillip PrameJohn Vigurs
Robert Pr...John Gre[ylard]William Hamlyn
Thomas ShortThomas Yeo [jnr]Bagriell Pickard
Edward WebbWilliam ShortThomas Whitlock
Alexander TremereThomas Yeo [snr]Edward Dennis
Robert DunnChristopher WhitlockWilliam Dunned
John SandersWilliam HeanesAnthony Mayne
Robert RogermanAnthony WilkeyRichard Warren
William PraunseRobert HorneJohn Nicholl
Richard HangerWilliam RiddRobert Hanger
Mathew BrookeJohn DonneRobert 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.