Abraham Appleby is a guest character of the BBC and FX original period drama Taboo, portrayed by British actor Roger Ashton-Griffiths.

Character OverviewEdit

Abraham Appleby is, as a delegate from Christ, the supposed charitable voice of the East India Company. Appleby is just as devious as his colleagues, disguising his interests as if they were in the best interests of those he wants to cheat. Appleby does not seem to have any hesitation in going against the law to achieve his own purposes, though his intentions are linked to bureaucratic trifles and not to murder and violence.

Appleby is a middle-aged man, slightly overweight, almost bald and with small brown eyes. He wears a refined black suit, suited to his reverend charge.


Abraham Appleby is a reverend who acts as a delegate from Christ for the East India Company.

Appleby was among the members of the East India Company at the meeting following the funeral of Horace Delaney, to discuss what to do about the testamentary will of the latter. When lawyer Robert Thoyt claimed he had not yet managed to get the treaty on the purchase of Nootka Sound, Appleby suggested that the treaty had been burnt, so that the East India Company could claim the ownership of Nootka over either James Delaney, or his half-sister Zilpha Geary. Later, Appleby took part in a private meeting between the inner circle of the Company consisting of Sir Stuart Strange, John Pettifer, Benjamin Wilton and clerk Michael Godfrey, and James Delaney. After a failed attempt to ingratiate Delaney with condolences, and hypocritical flattery, Appleby tried to convince Delaney to give Nootka Sound to the Company. Failing in his attempts, he left the task to his colleagues, more experienced in manipulating and bribing people. (Episode 1)

When the East India Company decided to intervene heavily against James Delaney, desperate to find a way to get hold of the treatment, Appleby was present at the meetings, listening carefully to Sir Stuart plans. (Episode 2)

Memorable QuotesEdit

Abraham Appleby: "To begin, may I offer our sincere...?"
James Delaney: "Please understand. Hypocrisy I hate most."
Abraham Appleby: "Indeed."
― offering his condolences



Season 1


  • Roger Ashton-Griffiths is but one of the several actors working on Taboo who had roles on the HBO series, Game of Thrones (2011). The others are Oona Chaplin, Jonathan Pryce, Jefferson Hall, Mark Gatiss, Lucian Msamati, Tim Plester and Nicholas Blane.
  • Appleby is the only named member of the East India Company to survive at the end of the first season. Appleby is also the one with less importance in the main plot while Sir Stuart Strange, Wilton and Pettifer have actively contributed as antagonists to James Delaney and his affiliates to some extent.
    • Michael Godfrey is not considered in this context as he abandoned the Company before the season finale, and throughout the season acted as a double agent on James's behalf.


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