John Rolle (Parliamentarian)
John Rolle (1598–1648) was a 17th-century English politician who sat in the House of Commons for Cornish constituencies variously between 1625 and 1648. He supported the Parliamentarian side in the English Civil War.
Rolle was the son of Robert Rolle (d. 1633) of Heanton Satchville, Petrockstowe, Devon (a scion of the family of Rolle of Stevenstone) and his wife Joan Hele, daughter of Thomas Hele of Fleet Devon. He became a Turkey Merchant.
Rolle was elected Member of Parliament (MP) for Callington in the parliaments of 1626 and 1628. In 1628, he refused to pay tonnage and poundage when the King continued to levy the charge in defiance of Parliament: silks and other goods, to the value of £1,517, were seized from him by the customs authorities, and he was forced into a lengthy lawsuit attempting to recover them. Writs issued by the courts on his behalf were blocked by order of the Privy Council and the Exchequer, and he was summoned before the Court of Star Chamber, which the House of Commons treated as a breach of its privilege, since it was in the process of debating the legitimacy of seizure of merchants' goods. Rolle's property was not returned, and he declined to continue his trade as a result. In 1630, Parliament having been dissolved, Rolle was once more summoned before Star Chamber, and questioned about speeches he had made in the Commons.
In April 1640, Rolle was elected MP for Truro in the Short Parliament and was re-elected in November 1640 for the Long Parliament. He adhered to the Parliamentary cause on the outbreak of Civil War. In 1641, Parliament instructed the committee of trade to investigate his case, and after some delay it reported in 1644, as a result of which he was voted full compensation for the losses he had suffered, covering his legal expenses and his losses from his refusal to trade after 1628, as well as returning the sum originally seized. The expense was met by a fine on the executors of the farmers of customs and Sheriff of London who had been in office in 1628 (Sir William Acton, 1st Baronet).
Rolle died unmarried. He was a younger brother of Sir Samuel Rolle, who was also a member of the Long Parliament (representing Devon) and of Henry Rolle, chief justice of the King's Bench for part of the Commonwealth period.
- "Rolle, John (1598-1648)". Dictionary of National Biography. London: Smith, Elder & Co. 1885–1900.
- D. Brunton & D. H. Pennington, Members of the Long Parliament (London: George Allen & Unwin, 1954)
|Parliament of England|
Sir Richard Weston
|Member of Parliament for Callington
With: Sir Clipseus Crew 1625-1626
Sir William Constable, 1st Baronet 1628-1629
Parliament suspended until 1640
Parliament suspended since 1629
|Member of Parliament for Truro
With: Francis Rous
Not represented in Barebones Parliament