The Protestation Roll was created in the unsettled period before the Civil War. Parliament were keen to ensure that the Protestant religion took precedence over the Catholic favoured by the king and thus ensure their superiority of jurisdiction. Those that refused to sign were barred from holding office of any kind. This was sent down via the sheriffs of the county to the hundreds and parishes starting from 19 Jan 1641 [note: Julian Calendar]. In practice it was signed in the early part of 1642, generally either the last week in February or the first week in March.
A variation of this preamble was prefixed to each list
A note of the names of the inhabitants of the said parish above the age of 18 who have freely and willingly (in the presence of the Minister, Constables, Churchwardens and Overseers) taken this protestation as the Minister, Constables etc did formerly before the justices.
The justices lists are extracted and added to the end of this transcript where they differ from the parish return.
People who refused to sign are often listed and it could be assumed that they were declared Catholics though in some cases it is possible that they were from the opposite end of the spectrum and were dissenters from either organised religion. This was in the following form
We humbly certifye that on Sundaye last the ___ of the Present our vicar, Mr ____ gave notice to our parishioners that all such as had nott formerly heard and firmed should attend the same afternoune when hee the said Vicar in the Church did Reede the Protestation after Divine serves, when one ___ was present but hee the said ___ Refused to firme, neither has indeavoured to att any tyme since, in wettness of the truth wee herunto firme the ___ ___ 1642.
As it turned out, no further action was taken against those who refused to sign.
The + sign indicates that the person used a mark but caution should be excercised in interpreting the presence of absence of this mark to indicate literacy as often the whole of the list was written by a single scribe and there were other variations of procedure.
To use these returns to assess the population is a dubious calculation, but over the county of Cornwall as a whole a multiplier of 3.5 gives a reasonably true figure, though this will vary considerbly by parish due to inaccuracies in recording.
The return for St. Levan
|Thomas Tresilian||John Tonkine +||Bernard Bennett +|
|John Tresilian G||James Jeffrye +||John John +|
|Pascow Tresilian||Bennet Symon +||William George +|
|John Bosustow||John Richards +||Wm Wms +|
|Thomas Robert||Robert Coosen +||Wm Pascowe +|
|John Robert||Nicholas Letheby +||Dannall Blundon|
|Christopher Stephen +||Bennett Pawle +||Edward Bottrell +|
|Thomas Wm +||John Baynerd +||Marten Hodge +|
|Peter Weaver +||William Wms +||Frances William +|
|Richard Ellis +||James Wms +||Wm Carowe +|
|Mathias Mathew +||James Harvye +||John Robert +|
|John Nowell +||Sandrie Wms +||Ralph Carowe +|
|John Wm +||Ralph John +||Sampson Harvye +|
|James Jenken +||James Treweeke +||Wm baragwanath +|
|Edward Wm +||Josias Mathew +||Richard Peares +|
|John Gendoll +||Wm Rowe +||Nowell Rowe +|
|Valarius Russell +||Nowell Wm +||Ricahrd Knuckie +|
|Thomas Gendoll +||Thomas Jenkyn||Rogier Baynerd +|
|William Robart +||John Rogier +||John Ellis +|
|Thomas William +||Wm. Nicoll +||James John +|
|Robbart George +||Frances Mathew +||John Michell +|
|Mathias Penrose +||Mathias John||Wm Michell +|
|Mathew Gaire +||Henry Hodge +||Humphrie Jenken +|
|John Harvi +||Richard Pascowe +||James Randall +|
|John William +||marten Bodennar +||John Angove +|
|John Rowe||Pascow John +||Wm Chirgwine +|
|Robert Pascowe +|
The following names are taken from the justices list
|Richard Trevren +
Oliver John +
|John Mathew +
|Robt Weaver +