APLEY, Robert (by 1519-96), of Barnstaple, Devon.

Published in The History of Parliament: the House of Commons 1558-1603, ed. P.W. Hasler, 1981
Available from Boydell and Brewer



Nov. 1554

Family and Education

b. by 1519, s. of one Apley of Barnstaple. m. (1) by 1540, Agnes (d. Feb. 1555), 1s.; (2) May 1555, Kate Manning, wid. (d.1585); (3) Dorothy (d.1666); at least 3s. 6da.

Offices Held

Alderman, Barnstaple from c.1550, mayor 1554-5, 1582-3, chamberlain 1583.


Apley was one of the capital burgesses in Barnstaple’s new charters of 1560 and 1595, and in 1566 signed on behalf of the town the deed of sale by which Sir John Chichester relinquished Castle Manor. Between 1571 and 1581 he was mentioned in various local land transactions. In the 1572 Parliament, on 23 May, he sat on the committee considering weights and measures, along with Arthur Bassett. He spoke, 6 June, on a bill against imports from countries in which English wares were forbidden, and on June he was one of those named to confer with the Lords about the bill concerning the length of kerseys. He was paid 2s.8d. a day for his service in the 1563 Parliament plus 17s. for ‘searching certain writings in the Exchequer for the behalf of this town’, and 2s.6d. for the election indentures. He died 25 Nov. 1596, the town clerk noting in his diary that ‘all his time [Apley] was earnest in upholding the liberties of this town’. He was buried in the churchyard adjoining the south wall of the church Nov. 1596. Apley left the rent of a house and lands to the Barnstaple corporation for the use of the poor of the town.

Roberts thesis; N. Devon Athenaeum, Barnstaple, docs. 552, 557; Drake notes on Barnstaple MPs.; Trans. Dev. Assoc. lxxii. 253-4; PCC 61 Cobham; C142/216/23; Barnstaple Recs. i. 43, 103, 222, 239; ii. 255-7; Devon RO, Tingey 918; Cal. Ancient Deeds, vi. 440; CJ, i. 97, 103; Trinity, Dublin, Thos. Cromwell’s jnl. f. 52; J. R. Chanter, Lit. Hist. Barnstaple, 95, 103; J. Gribble, Mems. Barnstaple, 108, 122.

Ref Volumes: 1558-1603

Author: P. W. Hasler