Dictionary of National Biography, 1885-1900/Stapleton, Thomas (1805-1849)

632891Dictionary of National Biography, 1885-1900, Volume 54 — Stapleton, Thomas (1805-1849)1898Thompson Cooper

STAPLETON, THOMAS (1805–1849), antiquary, born in 1805, was the second son of Thomas Stapleton of Carlton Hall, Yorkshire, by his first wife, Maria Juliana, daughter of Sir Robert Gerard, bart. On the death of his father in 1839 he succeeded to some landed property near Richmond, Yorkshire. He was elected a fellow of the Society of Antiquaries on 15 Jan. 1839, and, being the intimate friend of John Gage Rokewode [q. v.], the director of that body, he took a zealous interest in its operations. He was appointed one of its vice-presidents in 1846. His most valuable literary production was the prefatory exposition of the rolls of the Norman exchequer, printed at the expense of the Society of Antiquaries under the title of ‘Magni Rotuli Scaccarii Normanniæ sub Regibus Angliæ,’ 2 vols. 1841–4. He also contributed several learned papers to the ‘Archæologia.’ At the meeting of the Archæological Institute at York in 1846 he read a long memoir (pp. 230) entitled ‘Historical Details of the Ancient Religious Community of Secular Canons in York prior to the Conquest of England, having the name of the Church of the Holy Trinity, otherwise Christ Church, showing its subsequent conversion into a Priory of Benedictine Monks … with Biographical Notices of the Founder, Ralph Paynell, and of his Descendants.’ Stapleton became a fellow of the Royal Society. He was also one of the founders of the Camden Society, and undertook one of its earliest works, ‘The Plumpton Correspondence,’ 1839, which, as a collection of fifteenth-century letters, is inferior only to that of the Pastons. He afterwards edited, for the same society in 1846, the chronicle of London, extending from 1178 to 1274, entitled ‘De Antiquis Legibus Liber.’ His last work for the Camden Society was the edition of the ‘Chronicon Petroburgense,’ 1849. He died at Cromwell Cottage, Old Brompton, on 4 Dec. 1849. His ‘Historical Memoirs of the House of Vernon’ (pp. 115), an incomplete work, was privately printed in London about 1855, 4to.

[Index to the Archæologia; Bruce's Pref. to Chronicon Petroburgense, 1849; Gent. Mag. 1850, i. 180, 322; Lowndes's Bibl. Man. (Bohn), Suppl. pp. 39, 42, 43; H. E. Chetwynd-Stapylton's Stapeltons of Yorkshire, p. 105 n.; Nichols's Cat. of the Works of the Camden Soc. pp. 3, 27, 37.]

T. C.