TWYSDEN, Sir Roger (1597-1672), of Roydon Hall, East Peckham, Kent

Published in The History of Parliament: the House of Commons 1604-1629, ed. Andrew Thrush and John P. Ferris, 2010
Available from Cambridge University Press



1640 (Apr.)

Family and Education

b. 21 Aug. 1597, 1st s. of Sir William Twysden* of Roydon Hall and Anne, da. of Sir Moyle Finch†; bro. of Thomas Twisden†. educ. St. Paul’s sch. London; Emmanuel, Camb. 1614; travelled abroad 1620-3; G. Inn 1623.1 m. 27 Jan. 1635 (with £200), Isabella (d. 11 Mar. 1657), da. of Sir Nicholas Saunders* of Ewell, Surr. and coh. to her bro. Henry, 3s. 3da. kntd. 1 June 1620; suc. fa. as 2nd bt. 8 Jan. 1629.2 d. 27 June 1672. sig. Roger Twysden.

Offices Held

Commr. sewers, Kent (Gravesend to Penshurst) 1622-at least 1628, (Dengemarsh and Southbrook) 1636, Kent and Suss. (Walland Marsh) 1623-at least 1632, (Wittersham level) 1625-at least 1629, (Rother level) 1629-at least 1630;3 freeman, Winchelsea, Kent 1625;4 j.p. Kent 1636-42;5 commr. oyer and terminer, Home circ. 1636-at least 1642,6 subsidy, Kent 1641, Poll Tax 1641, assessment 1641, 1660-1, 1663-5,7 array 1642;8 dep. lt. Kent 1660-8.9


After completing his formal education, in June 1620, the 22-year-old Twysden was knighted and sent on a tour of the Continent for three years. Returned for Winchelsea on the Finch interest in 1625, he left no trace on the records of the first Caroline Parliament. Re-elected in 1626, this time with his future father-in-law, he was appointed to five committees, among them the committees for legalizing payments to muster-masters (28 Mar.) and for mitigating sentences of excommunication (2 May).10 He gave way in 1628 to his father, and in the following year succeeded to an estate so encumbered with debt that the interest payments alone absorbed a quarter of his annual income. However, his minute care of his property soon restored prosperity, and by 1635 he was able to afford to marry.11 His historical studies, in which he eventually far surpassed his father, may have been originally prompted by Ship Money, which he opposed.12 He shared the view of Sir Edward Coke*, whom he much admired, that the Saxons were the ‘beginners of parliaments’, which he described as ‘the ancient custom of the Germans, brought hither by the Saxons’.13

Twysden’s sale of Honichurch manor ended the family interest in the Cinque Ports. However, by the end of the 1630s he had become one of the leaders of his county, which he represented in the Short Parliament. Imprisoned for his share in the Kentish petition of 1642, his attempted neutrality in the Civil War could not save his estate, worth £2,000 p.a., from sequestration.14 He was allowed to compound for £1,300 in 1650, and spent the Interregnum in works of scholarship, three of which were published.15 At the Restoration he was restored to local office but he opposed the levy for the militia, and was dismissed by the king’s command as ‘troublesome, unreliable, and disaffected to the royal service’.16 He drew up his will on 16 July 1670, professing his adherence to ‘the ancient apostolic faith humbly professed in the Church of England ... as most conformable to God’s holy word in the scriptures, the primitive ruins, and the good of Christian society of any in the world’. He advised his son ‘to keep constantly the allegiance and loyalty to the king; ... but, as I have done before time, to endure what any usurping power force on him’.17 He died of apoplexy in June 1672 and was buried at East Peckham.18 His son, the 3rd baronet, sat in James II’s Parliament for Kent as a Tory.

Ref Volumes: 1604-1629

Author: Peter Lefevre


  • 1. Al. Cant.; GI Admiss.; APC, 1619-21, p. 390.
  • 2. Certain Considerations upon Govt. of Eng. by Sir Roger Twysden ed. J.M. Kemble (Cam. Soc. xlv), pp. xxxviii-xl; C78/469/14; Shaw, Knights of Eng. ii. 175.
  • 3. C181/3, ff. 42, 94, 166, 255; 181/4, ff. 18v, 32, 37v, 106v; 181/5, f. 40v.
  • 4. E. Suss. RO, WIN 55, f. 298.
  • 5. C231/5, f. 192; PRO 30/26/104, f. 23.
  • 6. C181/5, ff. 36, 222.
  • 7. SR, v. 85, 107, 152, 214, 232, 460, 533.
  • 8. Northants. RO, FH133.
  • 9. SP29/11/275; HMC Finch, i. 510.
  • 10. Procs. 1626, ii. 53, 385; iii. 120, 139, 180.
  • 11. A.M. Everitt, Community of Kent, 28; F.W. Jessup, Sir Roger Twysden, 21, 26-7.
  • 12. Everitt, 64.
  • 13. Ibid. 68; Certain Considerations, 119, 121.
  • 14. Oxford DNB; SP23/173/179; Everitt, 67, 222.
  • 15. CCC, 864.
  • 16. Add. 34163, f. 8v; HMC Finch, i. 510.
  • 17. PROB 11/343, f. 307v.
  • 18. J.R. Twisden, Fam. of Twysden and Twisden, 186.