Open main menu

HILL, ROGER (1605–1667), judge, of a family long settled at Houndstone, Somerset, son of William Hill of Poundsford, near Taunton, and Jane, daughter of John Young of Devonshire, was born at Collaton, Devonshire, at the house of Mrs. Sampson, his father's sister, on 1 Dec. 1605. He was admitted a member of the Inner Temple 22 March 1624, was called to the bar 10 Feb. 1632, and became a bencher of his inn 10 June 1649. In March 1644 he was the junior of five counsel against Archbishop Laud (Wood, Athenæ Oxon. iii. 130), and was elected in 1645 to parliament for Bridport, the sitting member having adhered to King Charles (Parl. Hist. ii. 608). In 1646 he received a grant of the chambers in the Temple of Mostyn and Stampe (Whitelocke, Memorials, p. 201), and was named in the commission of judges to try the king, but did not act. In May 1649 he was appointed to assist the attorney-general for the Commonwealth against Lilburne, Walwin, Prince, and Overton, and was again assistant to the attorney-general in the trials in the west in the spring of 1655. On 29 June of that year he became a serjeant-at-law, was a judge of assize in Northamptonshire in August 1656, and is named as a baron of the exchequer in Easter term 1657 in Hardres's ‘Reports.’ He was present at the Protector's investiture in June 1657, and was a judge attendant on the House of Peers in January 1658 (Burton, Diary, ii. 240, 512). In 1658 he went the Oxford circuit (Wood, Athenæ Oxon. iii. 754), and in August 1659, with Chief-baron Wylde, held assizes in Gloucestershire, with instructions to proceed to Monmouth ‘if it be safe, but otherwise to forbear.’ Lambert being on the march from Chester, and the country becoming pacified, the judges were able to proceed (Greene, Cal. State Papers, Dom. August 1659). On the restoration of the Long parliament he resumed his seat, and on 17 Jan. 1660 was transferred from the court of exchequer to the upper bench (Siderfin, Reports; Whitelocke, Memorials, p. 693; Parl. Hist. iii. 1548). He received a parliamentary grant of the reversion of the Bishop of Winchester's manor of Taunton Dean, of the value of 12,000l. a year. On the Restoration he was not confirmed in his degree with the other serjeants. He died on 21 April 1667, and was buried in the Temple Church. He married first, in 1635, Katherine, daughter of Giles Green of Allington, Isle of Purbeck, who died in 1638, by whom he had one son and one daughter; secondly, in 1641, Abigail, daughter of Brampton Gurdon of Assington Hall, Suffolk, who died in 1658, by whom he had one son, Roger, knighted in 1668; and, thirdly, in 1662, Abigail, daughter and coheiress of Thomas Barnes of Aldborough Hatch, Essex, who had already been twice a widow.

[Foss's Lives of the Judges; Collinson's Somerset, iii. 233; Parl. Hist.; Greene's Cal. State Papers, Dom.; family memorials cited by Foss.]

J. A. H.