He was the second son of Richard Acton of Sutton, Worcestershire. He was knighted before 5 September 1543.
He entered court as a Groom of the Chamber in 1518, became a page in 1526, a Gentleman Usher in 1528 and an Esquire of the Body in 1539. He was appointed Constable of Haverfordwest Castle, Pembrokeshire by 1532-52 or later. In 1536 he was called to serve against rebels in the north of England, in 1540 he attended the reception of Anne of Cleves and in 1544 he fought in the French campaign.
He was appointed for life as a Justice of the Peace to the benches of Worcestershire in 1537 and Surrey in 1538. He served as High Sheriff of Worcestershire for 1538–39 and 1545–46 and High Sheriff of Montgomeryshire for 1541–42 and 1548–49 and was elected a Member of Parliament for Southwark in 1529, 1539 and 1542. he was a member of the Council of the Marches of Wales in 1551.
He married Margery, the daughter and heiress of Nicholas Mayor of Southwark, with whom he had 2 sons and a daughter. He acquired substantial property, including Ribbesford in Worcestershire, Wormington Grange in Gloucestershire and Elmley Lovett in Worcestershire, which passed on his death to his sons.
- "ACTON, Robert (by 1497-1558), of Elmley Lovett and Ribbesford, Worcs. and Southwark, Surr.". History of Parliament Online. Retrieved 2 May 2013.
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