ROLLE, Robert (c.1677-1710), of Stevenstone, Devon

Published in The History of Parliament: the House of Commons 1690-1715, ed. D. Hayton, E. Cruickshanks, S. Handley, 2002
Available from Boydell and Brewer



Feb. 1701 - 1702
1702 - 18 Aug. 1710

Family and Education

b. c.1677, 1st s. of John Rolle of Stevenstone (d.v.p. s. of Sir John Rolle†) and bro. of John Rolle I*.  m. 19 Mar. 1705 (with £800 p.a.), Elizabeth (d. 1716), da. of Richard Duke*, s.psuc. gdfa. 1706.1

Offices Held


Rolle’s family owned no fewer than 46 manors and six advowsons in Devon, in addition to estates in Cornwall, Northamptonshire and Somerset, thus making them one of the wealthiest gentry families in England. Returned for the family borough of Callington in the two Parliaments of 1701, Rolle was chosen in 1702 for Devon, which his distant cousin Samuel Rolle I had represented during the previous reign. As a Tory he was listed by Lord Nottingham (Daniel Finch†) in mid-March 1704 as a probable supporter of the government’s actions in the Scotch Plot. Though listed as a probable supporter of the Tack in October 1704, he did not support it in the division on 28 Nov., and subsequently, in a list published shortly after the 1705 election, he was classed as ‘Low Church’. He voted against the Court candidate as Speaker on 25 Oct. 1705, and was given leave of absence for a month on 10 Nov. On his marriage earlier that year, his grandfather Sir John Rolle† settled £1,500 a year on him for life, but when he succeeded to the family estates the following year, they were found to be charged with debts, legacies and portions amounting to £15,000. To help clear these, he and other family trustees eventually obtained a private Act in 1710 enabling them to sell outlying parts of the Stevenstone estate. He was noted early in 1708 as a Tory, and in 1710 voted against the impeachment of Dr Sacheverell. He was taken seriously ill at the Exeter assizes in August, allegedly of a ‘surfeit of drinking’, and died on the 18th ‘of convulsion fits’, leaving an estate of almost £10,000 p.a. to his younger brother John. He was buried at Bicton.2

Ref Volumes: 1690-1715

Author: Eveline Cruickshanks


  • 1. Vivian, Vis. Devon, 312, 656; Collins, Peerage, viii. 527; HMC Lords, n.s. vii. 551–2.
  • 2. Collins, 526–7; HMC Lords, 551–2; CJ, xvi. 262; C115/110/8929; Luttrell, Brief Relation, vi. 620.