STAPLEY "clans" of Sussex

A classification of early Sussex STAPLEYs to assist genealogical research.
with acknowledgements to Dr. Brian Saunders for his development of the clan classification. Sources include Sussex Archaeological Collections (SAC), Rev. Edward Turner (Turner), and Victoria History of England-Sussex (VHE), Parish Registers (PR), Monumental Inscriptions (MI), and other STAPLEY researchers.

For earlier records of the STAPLE & STAPLEY name go to "STAPLEY HISTORY"

There were mentions of William STAPLEY 1402 at Rotherfield, 1413 at Framfield, 1427 at Buxted.

Hickstead / Twineham, clan "T"
Framfield, branch of clan "T"
Rotherfield, clan "B"

William STOLPULL c.1420 rented les Mores to farm 1458-78, named in 1478 land transaction involving Falkelegh. Sons Richard & John STAPLE

Richard of Twineham ("the elder" c. 1445-1505 ) married 1478 to Katherine widow of William HEIGH, sons 1476 Richard of Twineham,
& 1480 William (Framfield) ,

Richard buried Buxted 10 Mar 1505, probate granted 24 Apr. In his will mentions various properties including lands in Rotherfield & Ditchling.

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Framfield and Buxted are about 15 miles East of Twineham. The manor of Framfield includes the greater part of the parishes of Uckfield, Buxted, and Isfield.


John STAPLE b.c.1450 named in 1478 & 1508 land transactions. 1478+ children John, c.1480 Nicholas,c. 1485 William


Richard of Twineham ("the younger" c.1476-1546) Married c.1503 Elinore HEIGH/STROUD, children: John 1504, Richard 1505. Buried at Hickstead. (will not transcibed)

In 1525- Hickstead descended to Richard Stapley (the younger through Eleanor his wife (VHE. Sussex, VII, p. 190).
1530s- dissolution of the monasteries by Henry VIII
In 1542
- Sir Robert Southwell sold Twineham to Richard Stapley (VHE.Ssx.vii.18

William of Framfield. (c. 1480+) s/o "Richard the Elder" of Hickstead married , had sons John c.1506 of Framfield/Buxted, & Robert 1510. Death date unknown (no will).

William is Overseer of father Richard's 1505 will, beneficiary- land called Andrewes, Uppelande, Brodfield, Netherbarnes & Nogret

Nicholas STAPLEY b.c. 1480, churchwarden at Rotherfield 1519-1522. had sons John & Robert. about 1510

1509- a William STAPLEY was a benefactor of the Rotherfield church (Shirley Stapley)

John 1504 of Twineham. Married 1536 Elizabeth APSLEY Children: William 1533/37?, Richard 1539, Thomas 1540, Dorothy 1541, George 1543, Cuthbert 1544, Ann 1545, Alice 1546, George 1548, Ursula 1549. John buried Twineham St. Peter 14 Oct 1568.

In 1546- John STAPLEY Royalist inherited Twineham manor (VHE.-Sussex)

John c.1506 of Framfield or Buxted) married c.1534 to Joan THATCHER. Children's baptisms @ Framfield & Rotherfield: Elizabeth 1535, Anthonie sen. 1537, John 1539, Mabell 1540, Bennatt 1543, Edmund c.1544.

John buried 1576 or 1593/94, no will.

(John's widow Joan's 1594 will proved 1596 seems to insult her son Edmund with a bequest of 1 sh. and selectively ignores grandsons Edmund and Joseph.)

1539- Parish Registers commence (LDS film#1886241)

1539- Parish Register commences (LDS film#1067279)

John STAPLEY (c.1510-1568) "the elder1" churchwarden in 1540, married Eleanor, had sons: John "the elder2" 1538, Thomas c. 1540, Nicholas 1542, Wyllyam 1547, & Rychard 1549

William c.1533 of Twineham. Married (1) Joan CULPEPER, Children: John 1560, William 1561, Elizabeth 1562, Thomas 1564, Ann 1566, Drew STAPLEY 1568 plus 2 daughters .

Inherited Twineham manor in 1568 (VHE.-Sussex)

Also married (2) Bridget EVERSFIELD 1597.

Willima buried Twineham 1602. (will)

Anthonie senior b. c.1537 married...

(1) Mabel LEWKNOR c. 1555- (no issue), 1557- baptism of John?

(2) Anne MORLEY 1562 children: Anne 1563, Elizabeth* 1565, Margaret 1567, Richard 1569, dtr. 1572, Margaret 1579 & Antonye 1583-1586

(3) Ann THATCHER 1585, children Grace 1586, Anthonie 1590 

1563 beginning of the persecution of Roman Catholics, the first of the Penal Acts passed. 1565 Anthony Stapley identified as a "Gentleman, in favour of godly proceedings" (VHE,Ssx.ii.24).
1592- Anthony sen. given a special grant of crest by Queen Elizabeth I (extract from letter)
Anthony sen. buried 1606 PM 2 May 1606 (Chancery 291.26)

John "the elder2" c.1538- s/o John (above) married Barabara Fowle in 1561, had several sons including Nicholas 1579. Later married Margaret COMBER

Thomas c.1540 married (1) Jane 1571, (2) Anne LUCK 1573, six children including John "the younger" 1574 , Thomas died 1593, Alciston

Rychard  1549 married Margery/Margaret HILLES in 1584 at Rotherfield. Their eldest son Christofer is born in1585

1568- Buxted Parish Register commences

John 1560 of Twineham. Married 1584 to Elizabeth* STAPLEY of Framfield Children: Elizabeth 1586, John 1587. In 1584 John and brother William recorded as Jurors in the Court Rolls of the Sussex manor. In 1602 inherited Twineham manor (VHE) including Hickstead Place which became the mansion house (in lieu of Tickridge "Castle"). Buried Twineham 1606. (will proven 1608)

Edmund 1544 married 1578 to Anne DAPSONNE at Buxted. Children included Edmund 1583, Cornelius 1584, Elizabeth 1584, Joseph 1586?, Adam 1588.

Edmund died 1603 at Framfield & his will named his sons Edmund, Joseph, Cornelius, & Adam.

1590 Anthony the regicide born at Framfield.

Edmund 1583, Elizabeth & Adam were named in GM Joan's 1594 will (but not Cornelius or Joseph)


In 1578- (c.) Nicholas 1542 s/o John married Ann Weston of Litlington, had 10 children including Richard 1579, Alexander, Robert1, William1, & John

In 1593- John "the younger" (1574-1615) married (1) Mary UNDERDOWNE, (2) 1597 Elizabeth LATTER, children include John 1604, married (3) Martha children include Robert 1610

1606- Parish Register (transcripts) commence 

John 1587 of Twineham. Farmer, Captain of Train Band. Married 1612 to Mary BOYS: Children: Mary 1613, Elizabeth 1614 , John 1615, Thomas 1615, William 1617, Anthonie 1620, Jane 1621, Grace 1622, Anne 1623, Margaret 1628, Martha 1626, John 1627, Ruth 1629. 1634 visitation: Anthonie mentioned as oldest (living) son; "The Stapleys of Hickstead were typical of the unassuming hardworking farming families who set their sights on this high office (Lieutenancy) (Fletcher p.177). Buried Twineham 1638.

Cornelius had a son Christopher, and in 1631 married Mary KINGSWOOD bearing 2 daughters & son Edmund

Anthony b.1590 the regicide married Anne GORING in 1614.  (Sister of George Earl of Norwich) Children: Anne 1624, George 1627, John 1628, Anthony 1629.
1615- Anthony "came to Patcham Place" purchased from Henry Shelley Esq., parliamentarian and ancestor of the famous poet. (VHE.Ssx.vii.217) 1624-25 MP for New Shoreham (SAC), 1628 member for Lewes with Sir John Goring (SAC) , 1639-40 member of Short Parliament for County, anti-monarchist, Governor of Chichester, 1642- Civil war begins in England as Charles I sends his Cavaliers against the Puritan parliament at York. (Many records destroyed). 1648- Parliament renounces its allegiance to Charles I Covenanted 19 June 1643, 1644 Colonel in command at Chichester (VHE.Ssx.I.525), Anthonie STAPLEY was 1 of 7 Sussex landowners who signed the death warrant of Charles 1, and he became member of first council of state of Commonwealth. 1653- a burgess of the shire (SAC)
1655- Anthony buried at Hove.

Alexander c.1585 s/o Nicholas, married Anne of Selmeston in 1608, 1 son John 1611 & 3 daughters 1609-1613. Left a will proved 1615. wife Anne's will proved 1616.

1611- John of Selmeston s/o Alexander, was orphaned at age 5 possibly married Mary DAY in 1634 & moved to Bodiam , where 5 children baptised, including William 1637. John buried Bodiam 30 Oct 1652

However there is another possible John who could have moved to Bodiam: John 1609 s/o Nicholas 1579.

Anthonie - b. 1620 Mr. Justice STAPLEY of Cowfold, (Journal of Giles Moore) married 1641 (1) Rose PELLATT at Westminster Children: John & William c.1641. Anthonie also married c.1649  (2) Jenny STONESTREET c. 1649 Children: Ann 1650, Elizabeth 1652, Anthony 1654, Thomas 1656, Richard 1657 "the Diarist", Henry 1659. "Anthony ... kept up a regular marketing relationship with a London butcher John Fleer , contracting to supply oxen ... Cattle farming was his life ..." (Fletcher Sussex 1600-1660 p.17) A loyal royalist. Buried at Twineham 1667.

Cornelius' mother-in-law's Elizabeth will granted bequests to Cornelius' other children, but specifically excepted his son Christopher.

John 1604 s/o John 1574 married Dorothy LUCKE abt 1625,  children, grandchildren, and great-grandchildren, etc. In 1813- 3XG grandson Robert turned up in Framfield.

In 1620 Christofer married Joane IPPENBURY at Hunton in Kent.  In 1638 a son William is baptised at Horsmonedn. 

John b.1648 married Barbara MICHELBORNE 1669,

Anthony b.1654 inherited Hickstead as his older brothers William and John pre-deceased their father, but resided at Cuckfield. Anthony married 1675 to  Jane ALLEN in 1675, 5 children, eldest John 1677. In 1713 he moved to Hickstead to reside with his brother Richard (the "diarist") , whose health was failing, and continued a dairy (Turner). Anthony buried Twineham 1732 (MI).

John 1628-1701 of Patcham married 1651 to Mary SPRINGATE Children: Philadelphia 1652, Anne 1653, Herbert 1655, Elizabeth 1657, Barbarathe 1661, Mary 1663, Barbara 1665, Jane 1667, William 1671, Sybilla 1673.

1658- John engaged in Restoration plots at Lewes. (VHE) "both John & his brother Anthony had been put into the commission of the peace, but when they began their conspiracy against Oliver Cromwell, in correspondence with the Marquis of Ormond, who had come over early in January from the exiled King, on purpose to conduct it, they fell unwittingly into the hands of one of the Protector's spies".

1660- England's civil war ends May 8 as the son of the late Charles I is proclaimed King. John created a baronet by Charles 2 July 28, Knighted 6 Aug. John buried at Ringmer 1701.

William 1638 at Horsmonden married Ann FATHARELL in1661 at Pembury Kent.  Son William is baptised  in 1662 at Ticehurst.

William 1662 7XG-GF is "head" of the Battle/Sedlescombe STAPLEY clan F.

John 1677 of Hickstead, married 1711 to Sarah SAVAGE 6 children, eldest son Richard 1714., but also note Anthony 1716-1789 of Arundel, ancestor of the STAPLEYs of South Bersted and Bognor, that four generations later produced Frederick Anthony Vicar of Midhurst. John buried Twineham 1743 (MI).

1675- Herbert of Patcham. Married Alice CULPEPER Children William 1676, Margaret 1675, Thomas 1679. MP for Seaford 1678 . All the STAPLEY children died young. M.P. for Seaford 1678 (SAC "Diary of Richard Stapley, Gent.") As Herbert pre-deceased his father (1698) and had no surviving children, the property then went to his sister Elizabeth who married Dr Thomas Briggs, Chancellor of the Diocese of Chichester

In 1686 William 1662 married Elizabeth SMITH of Battle at Battle.  They had 7 children at Battle and Udimore , including  George 1696.  6XG-GF

Richard 1714 "of Hickstead", last male heir of the family, married 1738 to Martha BURT, 2 daughters Martha & Sarah. Richard buried Twineham 1762, daughter Martha inheriting the estate, married James WOOD 1766. And so Twineham passed out of Stapley hands after 10 generations and 224 years.

Anthony b.1717 Cuckfield married 1743 to Mary Lindfield at Lewes, Died Arundel 1789.

Son John c.1745-1819 married Barbara Grey in 1773, and their son John 1777 married Sarah STAKER in 1800.

1701- End of the original Framfield male STAPLEYs

But, Philadelphia b.1652 married Peter COURTHOPE of Danny, Hurstpierpoint, in 1667 and bore 4 children. Daughter Barbara b.1675 married Henry CAMPION in 1702 and so far I've traced over 50 descendants, including the Governor of Western Australia.

In 1721 George married Elizabeth LACEY at Peasmarsh. They had 7 children at Udimore, including Thomas Leroy in 1722.  5XG-GF


In 1746 Thomas Leroy married Mary MITCHELL at Battle.  They had 6 children at Sedlesdombe including John Charles in 1753.  4XG-GF

In 1773 John Charles married Ann MILHAM at Ewgurst.  They had 12 children including  Charles 1787 at Battle.  3XG-GF

In 1812 Charles 1787 married Rebekah BONES  of Whatlington at Hollingtom Hastings.  They had 16 children at Sedlescombe,  including Thomas 1825.  GG-GF

John STAPLEY 1803 s/o John & Sarah  married Charlotte WONHAM in 1827. He was a land valuer & estate agent, and their son Frederic Anthony 1830-1907 was Vicar of Midhurst.
Frederic's son Arthur John 1862-1913 left a large estate to his sister Florence
Herbert G
1890 may have moved to Canada
Was the latter named after Herbert 1655-1690 MP for Seaford?

Robert* STAPLEY ex Rotherfield (clan B) (1785-1855) was in Framfield in the 1841 census with several children born there. Sir Richard STAPLEY 1842-1920 and "Sir" Harry STAPLEYFrank STAPLEY Mayor of Melbourne, and Dr.Walter STAPLEY  Australia were his grandsons.

1851 census-

3 STAPLEY families born & still residing at Rotherfield: William 1802, John Baker 1783, & John B 1811

Also 2 families at Frant

The late Dr. Brian Saunders identified many "clans" of STAPLEYs in South-East England, with the aim of connection where possiible
Updated 2013,      Contact me at m,y email address