Catalogue description The Lopes Family

This record is held by Plymouth Archives, The Box

Details of 874
Reference: 874
Title: The Lopes Family

The collection is primarily comprised of estate records including papers dealing with mining and railways in the area.

Date: 1482-1952
Held by: Plymouth Archives, The Box, not available at The National Archives
Language: English

Lopes family, Barons Roborough, of Maristow, Devon

Physical description: 21 Sub fonds
  • Lopes, Mannaseh Massey, d 1831, of Maristow, Devon
Administrative / biographical background:

Sir Mannaseh Massey Lopes, created Baronet in 1805, was the descendant of Jewish settlers in Jamaica, originally from Cuba it is said. His father Mordecai Rodriguez Lopes owned sugar plantations, and settled at one time at Clapham. Mannaseh purchased, and settled at, Maristow, in the parish of Buckland Monachorum, after the death in 1798 of Sir James Modyford Heywood. The estate comprised Maristow, Buckland, Walkhampton Shaugh and Bickleigh. Lopes acquired Meavy from Hugh Malet, and then calculated that he owned 32 thousand acres in south west Devon. He died in 1831. The family also owned estates at Westbury, Wiltshire, Lopes' own Borough.


It had previously been held by the Chrymes, Champernownes [allegedly], and later the Slannyngs. Lopes was involved in politics and political corruption in almost equal measure. Contesting respectively Barnstaple and Grampound, he was guilty of buying votes on a large scale in both seats. Lopes is perhaps most famous for his resignation from his pocket borough of Westbury, Wiltshire, to allow Peel to be elected after his own ejection from his seat of Oxford University. What consideration prompted Lopes to do this is unknown, but he received no political preferment. Peel's Return was signed by Lopes, his nephew and later heir, Ralph Franco (Mayor of Westbury), and a Mr Radcliffe from Devon (of Warleigh, his near neighbour perhaps?).


On Lopes' death the estate was left to his nephew, the son of Lopes' sister, Ralph Franco, who assumed the surname Lopes. Ralph was succeeded in turn by Sir Massey, third Baronet. His son Henry Yarde Buller Lopes married Lady Albertha of Mount Edgcumbe in 1891. Raised to peerage as Lord Roborough in 1938, he only lived a short while longer. His son Massey Henry Edgcumbe Lopes, born 1903, died in 1992.

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