Dictionary of National Biography, 1885-1900/Roper, Samuel

ROPER, SAMUEL (d. 1658), antiquary, was eldest son of Thomas Roper of Heanor, Derbyshire, by his second wife, Anne, daughter and coheir of Alvered Gresbrooke of Middleton, Warwickshire. About 1615 Dugdale made the acquaintance of Roper, and afterwards became connected with him by marriage. Roper, who lived for some time at Monk's-Kirby, Warwickshire, aided Dugdale in his history of the county, making investigations which resulted in the discovery of ‘foundations of old walls and Roman bricks.’ Dugdale, in his ‘Antiquities of Warwickshire,’ mentions him as ‘a gentleman learned and judicious, and singularly well seen in antiquities.’ Roper also had chambers in Lincoln's Inn, and there Dugdale first met, in 1638, Roger Dodsworth [q. v.], his future collaborator in the ‘Monasticon Anglicanum’ (Life of Dugdale, ed. Hamper, p. 10). Roper worked out the genealogy of his own family with great industry, and his pedigree fills several pages in the ‘Visitation of Derbyshire’ of 1654. It is illustrated by numerous extracts from deeds and drawings of seals; but the proofs are usually taken from private muniments, which are seldom corroborated by public records. It satisfied Dugdale, who repeated it in his ‘Visitation of Derbyshire’ of 1662. In the ‘Visitation’ of 1654 Roper is called ‘collonell for the parlament.’ He died on 1 Sept. 1658.

Roper married Elizabeth, daughter and coheir of Sir Henry Goodere of Polesworth, Warwickshire, and had issue two sons and four daughters. The eldest son, Samuel Roper (1633–1678), who inherited his father's antiquarian tastes (cf. Life of Dugdale), died unmarried.

[Dugdale's Life, ed. Hamper, pp. 8, 10, 103, 166–7, 286, 287, and Antiquities of Warwickshire, ed. Thomas, pp. 74, 286–7 n.; Chester Waters's Chesters of Chichely (giving Roper pedigree).]

G. Le G. N.