STAPLES, Robert (-d.1632), of Nottingham, Notts.
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Family and Education
2nd s. of Robert Staples (d.1573) of Nottingham and Elizabeth.1 m. (1) Margaret (d.1586), 1s. d.v.p.; (2) 7 Nov. 1586, Maud Cartwright (d.1620), 2s. d.v.p.; (3) 25 June 1621, Mary, wid. of one Barrisford (d.1629), s.p.; (4) 22 Dec. 1629, Elizabeth, wid. of one Oxley (d.1641), s.p. bur. 6 Mar. 1632.2
Freeman, Nottingham by 1588, sheriff 1588-9, common councilman 1591-1600, bridge-warden 1599-1600, alderman 1600-29, mayor 1601-2, 1608-9, 1615-16, 1622-3;3 commr. and collector, aid Notts. 1609,4 collector, fifteenths 1624,5 commr. Forced Loan 1627.6
Although his date of birth is unknown, Staples was underage when his father made his will in October 1572, in which he was bequeathed £6 13s. 4d.7 He became a cordwainer, and by 1610 was sufficiently wealthy to spend £100 buying 200 acres of land at Mapperley, just north of Nottingham. Moreover, he occasionally lent money to the corporation, most notably in 1612, when he provided £100 ‘to furnish the town’s wants ... about the entertainment of His Majesty’. He sat in the second Stuart Parliament without taking any known part in its proceedings, and received £3 for expenses.8
As an alderman of Nottingham, Staples was automatically a commissioner of the Forced loan in 1627, and was active in implementing the levy.9 In April of that year he expended a further £500 purchasing more property at Mapperley, although he remained resident in Nottingham.10 In August 1629 he retired as alderman due to old age and declining health but remained active in civic affairs, endowing a charity to make loans to young freemen in 1631.11 When Staples came to make his will on 3 June 1630 he described himself as ‘gent’. Apart from his land at Mapperley he also owned property in and around Nottingham. With no surviving children the bulk of his estate went to his ‘kinsman’ Alexander Staples, although he also made various cash bequests totalling over £500, of which £240 was to the wife and two sons of James Chadwicke†, who represented Nottingham in the first and second Protectorate Parliaments. Furthermore, Staples bequeathed money to pay for two sermons a year by a ‘godly and learned preacher’, one to be delivered on the Sunday before Christmas and the other on the Sunday before Pentecost. Five pounds was also left for the repair of St. Mary’s, Nottingham and a memorial ring was given to Richard Caldwell, a Nottingham minister who had featured in a libel against puritans that had circulated in the town in 1617.12 He was buried on 6 Mar. 1632 at St. Mary’s, Nottingham. No other member of his family sat in Parliament.
Ref Volumes: 1604-1629
Authors: George Yerby / Ben Coates
- 1. Borthwick, Reg. Test. 19, f. 552.
- 2. Notts. RO, St. Mary and St. Peter, Nottingham par. regs.; PRNW, will of Elizabeth Staples of Nottingham, proved 19 Aug. 1641; A.B. Clarke, ‘Notes on the mayors of Nottingham, 1600-1775’, Trans. Thoroton Soc. xli. 39.
- 3. Recs. of Bor. of Nottingham ed. W.H. Stevenson, iv. 423-31; Recs. of Bor. of Nottingham ed. W.T. Baker, v. 149, 426.
- 4. E179/273/39.
- 5. E359/64/3.
- 6. SP16/53/86.
- 7. Borthwick, Reg. Test. 19, f. 552.
- 8. Recs. of Bor. of Nottingham, iv. 299, 303, 317, 399; Thoroton, Notts. (1790), ii. 230.
- 9. C193/12/2, f. 86; SP16/53/86.
- 10. Thoroton, ii. 231.
- 11. Recs. of Bor. of Nottingham, v. 149, 426.
- 12. Borthwick, Reg. Test. 41, ff. 697v-9; C.J. Sisson, Lost Plays of Shakespeare’s Age, 196.