APPLETON, Roger (by 1520-58), of Dartford, Kent and South Benfleet, Essex.

Published in The History of Parliament: the House of Commons 1509-1558, ed. S.T. Bindoff, 1982
Available from Boydell and Brewer



Family and Education

b. by 1520, 1st s. of Henry Appleton of Dartford and South Benfleet by Margaret, da. of John Roper of St. Dunstan’s, Canterbury and Eltham, Kent. educ. L. Inn, adm. 10 Mar. 1538. m. 28 Oct. 1537, Agnes, da. of Walter Clerke of Hadleigh, Suff., 3s. 4da. suc. fa. 15 July 1545.2

Offices Held

J.p. Essex and Kent 1554-d.; commr. oyer and terminer, Kent 1554, sewers, Essex and Kent 1554.3


Roger Appleton came of a family which had been established at Dartford for at least a century, another Roger and Henry Appleton being recorded as supporters of Cade’s rebellion in 1450. Dartford remained the family’s principal seat but by the beginning of the 16th century it had also established itself in Essex through the marriage of Roger Appleton’s great-grandfather into the leading Essex house of Tyrrell. The family residence at South Benfleet may well have been chosen as a convenient one for the export of farm produce: either Appleton or his grandfather (the case cannot be accurately dated) owned a 40-ton ship, the Mary of Benfleet, which was used for this purpose and was the subject of an action by one of them in the court of requests. In 1545 Appleton succeeded his father, becoming an executor of his will with the widow: the overseer was his ‘cousin’ Edmund Tyrrell. Appleton appears to have been a zealous Catholic who as a justice of the peace shared with Tyrrell a leading role in the proceedings under Mary against the Protestants in Essex: he had earlier manifested his loyalty to the Queen by accompanying the 3rd Duke of Norfolk on his march into Kent against Wyatt’s rebellion, in the course of which he had read out at Dartford the royal proclamation offering £100 reward for Wyatt’s apprehension. His attitude doubtless helps to explain Appleton’s election for Maldon in 1558; his fellow-Member was Tyrrell himself, who had also fought against Wyatt and who was related by marriage to Sir William Petre, one of the knights of the shire in every Parliament of the reign.4

Appleton died in June 1558, having survived his father for only 13 years. His name was marked ‘mortuus’ on the Crown Office list and he was replaced as junior Member for Maldon in the second session of the Parliament by Henry Golding. He had appointed his mother executrix of his will of 13 July 1551 if she survived him; she did so and proved the will on 13 June 1558. The solid fortune of the family seems to have proceeded from farming in Essex and Kent, and Appleton was able to leave legacies of £100 or 100 marks to each of his daughters. Like his father, Appleton appointed Edmund Tyrrell supervisor of his will and left him ‘a bill of debt which I bought of John Walles’, presumably the right to recover a sum for which judgment had already been obtained.5

Ref Volumes: 1509-1558

Author: D. F. Coros


  • 1. Did not serve for the full duration of the Parliament.
  • 2. Date of birth estimated from age at fa.’s. i.p.m., C142/72/7. PCC 38 Pynnyng, 28 Noodes; C24/37/20, f. 1; 43/6/58; M.T. Recs. i. 193.
  • 3. CPR, 1553-4, pp. 19-20, 28; 1554-5, pp. 107-8, 110; Req.2/12/156.
  • 4. Arch. Cant. vii. 235; Vis. Essex (Harl. Soc. xii), 134-5; Strype, Eccles. Memorials, iii(1), 440, 553; Tudor Tracts, ed. Pollard, 222, 229, 247; J. E. Oxley, Ref. in Essex, 226.
  • 5. C142/113/54; PCC 28 Noodes.