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Roope

Roope of Warfleet in Dartmouth

Nicholas Roope was  member of an ancient family from Dartmouth Nonconformist, he  married Jane Pomeroy daughter of Valentine Pomeroy by his 1st wife Jane Reynell in 1643

 A Rental of Warfleet, 1600-1615: Four Mills and a Ropewalk.

A rental from the time of Sir George Southcote for 1600-1615 has survived, showing that there was by this time a sizeable community living in Warfleet. The  leading family were now the Roopes, a family with several branches who though not yet freeholders were wealthy farmers, merchants and shipowners. They held farms at Week, and Little Dartmouth farm which included the whole of Gallants Bower.

Nicholas Roope th

e Younger held "A very fair new built house and quay at Walflete". As a merchant trading extensively to Europe and Newfoundland, he could use his own quay and avoid paying dues to Dartmouth Corporation. It must have been busy with ships unloading their cargoes.

The Roopes were buried in St. Petrox church, where there are fine brasses of John Roope who died in 1608, and his married daughters Barbara Plumleigh and Dorothy Rous.

 The Civil War in Warfleet, 1642-9.

At the outbreak of the Civil War in 1642 Ambrose Roope son of the above John owned Little Dartmouth while his cousin Nicholas Roope owned Warfleet Quay, the new house on it and the two farms at Week. Ambrose took no part in the war and may have been a Royalist, but Nicholas strongly supported Parliament as did Dartmouth Corporation. Having helped with building defences in Dartmouth, Nicholas then raised and armed a troop of 200 soldiers which he took to help defend Plymouth.

While he was away, his property was attacked and plundered. When Dartmouth prepared for the expected attack by the Royalist forces under Prince Maurice the area round Warfleet and the Castle was of vital importance. A road block was built above Warfleet mills. The old fort at Paradise was strengthened with ironwork and guns mounted there. The castle was manned, and guns supplied with powder, while the chain was stretched across the river to Godmerock on the Kingswear side.

 Prince Maurice besieged the town for a month before attacking it along the Warfleet valley in October 1643. Clearing the roadblock by the mills he next seized Paradise Fort, from where his guns could fire on the castle. The town was forced to surrender, and for three years was occupied by the Royalists.

Nicholas Roope was never a member of the Corporation after the Restoration, when Charles II’s Cavalier Parliament made a law that only Anglicans could serve on town councils, and he died in 1681.

When James II fled from England in 1688 and William of Orange landed at Brixham  it was Nicholas Roope his son who claimed that he was the first gentlemen to pledge his allegiance to the new King from Germany.
 In January 1689 Nicholas Roope was rewarded by William III as soon as he was accepted as king, who  appointed  Roope as Governor of Dartmouth Castle.

'William and Mary, 1688: An Act for a Grant to Their Majestyes of an Ayd of Two shillings in the Pound for One Yeare. Statutes of the Realm: volume 6: 1685-94

  

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