Earliest Broket Places and Records:
Overview of the 14th Century:
• the 28 were spread over the century
• at any point during it there are estimated to have been at the most 17 Broket households.
Contents of this page
1301 Walter, Philip & Alexander of Brumpton Salden, Yorkshire North Riding
c 1303 Thomas of Steeton, Yorkshire Ainsty
1315 William of Kempston, Bedfordshire
1342 Ralph of Kempston, Bedfordshire
1344 John Alfonso of Castile, Spain
1349 John of Steeton, Yorkshire Ainsty
1355-6 Philip of Hedyngham Sebely, Essex
c 1360s-1429 Robert of York City
1361- Nicholas of Steeton, Yorkshire Ainsty
1368-90 William, Priest of Roxton, Kempston and Elstow, Bedfordshire
1379 9 from the Yorkshire Ainsty poll tax
1381 John, Chaplain, of York
1382 John of Tendryng, Essex
1382 William of Yorkshire Ainsty
1386, 1401, 1412-15 John, Chaplain, of Northumberland
1387 Thomas of Yorkshire
1393 Richard, Chaplain, of Yorkshire
1393- Thomas of Appleton, Yorkshire Ainsty
1393, 1415 Henry of Dalby Parva, Leicestershire
1396 John of Stickney, Lincolnshire
1397/8 Robert junior of York City and Lincolnshire
- Three paid a lord of the manor rate: 15-18s. Two of these were William and Isabella de Vescy. Isabella (d 1334) was a Bolton Percy landowner.2 The Brokets here were probably in her or William’s retinue.
- The next highest was Walter, paying 7s 3d—a substantial tax. The tax was a fifteenth on movables, so it could be said that Walter’s goods were worth something like £5 6s 9d.
- Then there was 1 who paid in the 6-7 shilling bracket, 2 in the 5-6 and 1 in the 4-5.
- Eight paid 3-4 shillings.
- Philip—2s 6d—and Alexander—2s 1d farthing—were 2 of the 14 in the 2-3 shilling bracket.
- The 8 remaining paid 9-23d.
The 2-3s bracket could be called middling peasants; not rich but not poor. They were established in the village with their own families. Thus the youngest of the 3 Brokets would have been born 1276 at the latest. 57 years later Alexander Broket of the Forest of Pickering was fined 6d for not appearing at the eyre 1334.3 This may have been the same Alexander, but more likely a namesake of the next generation.
It looks as though Walter was the father, or at least from the previous generation; born in the 1250s perhaps. The Bolton Percy connection means that Walter’s father was a Broket too, born by the 1230s and thus a contemporary of John of Newton Kyme. There being two Brokets in the same area means there had been one or more in the generation preceding, born by 1210—the earliest known Yorkshire Broket.
Most North Riding returns are preserved for this 1301 subsidy, but all West Riding ones are lost and the only East Riding ones are for the wapentake east of Bolton Percy. Its 1301 Brokets are therefore lost. 1301 returns for most of York City are preserved but no Brokets are recorded. The 1297 subsidy for Yorkshire is only patchily preserved and no Brokets were in those particular areas.4
1317 30 Jun: Agnes de Harwod, Widow granted Alice d/o William de Hornyngton 3 acres of arable land in Hornyngton. Witnesses: Alan de Folingfayt, Henry of the Cross of Catherton, Thomas Serff of Styffton, Symon de Wakefeld, Thomas Broket of Styffton.7
1320-35: Thomas Wythelard of Colton granted Margaret de Caluo Monte a messuage & croft in Colton. Witnesses: Thomas Cleriuas de Coleton, Thomas Lylly, Henry le Feurei, Thomas Broket of Stiueton, Thomas de Gardiner & many others.8
Notes: The first deed was undated, but William de Hornington was living in Hornington at least 1303-159 and Symon de Wakefield at least 1311.10 Agnes, wife of Robert was William de Hornington’s daughter. In the second deed, Agnes, now widowed, granted some of the land to her sister Alice.
Thomas would have been born by 1280, and if—as is likely—he was the Thomas recorded in the parish in 1299, then by 1275 at least. So he would have been too old to have been the Thomas recorded in 1387. He would have died well before 1379—no Thomas was recorded in Steeton for the poll tax that year. Perhaps he was the father of John b c 1310. Being signatories to deeds at this time indicated at least a parish-gentry status.11 Thomas, and John after him, were significant members of the local rural community. The Elizabethan Brokets considered Steton as their ancestral origin.
William Broket is recorded in tax lists 1315-1342 for the parish of Kempston, a couple of miles SW of Bedford, and so was born by 1294. He may have been the father of Ralph, below, and would have been a close relative of William, born by the 1330s and later Priest in Roxton, Kempston and Elstow.
In 1342 Ralph Broket was eligible to pay tax on wool in Kempston, Bedfordshire, like William of Kempston above.
KIng Edward III of England corresponded with this Castilian knight to use his influence in the negotiations for the marriage of his daughter Joan to Alfonso XI king of Leon and Castile’s eldest son Pedro—later dubbed Pedro the Cruel.
Castilian naval power had been growing and the English were looking for a Castilian alliance in their prolonged conflict with France, known today as the Hundred Years War. John Alfonso del Broket Knight must have had influence at the Castilian court because recent diplomatic visits had informed Edward well of the identity of the persons whose support was required to further the alliance.12
Edward III’s letters to Alfonso XI are recorded in Close Rolls for 1344-5.13 TNA E/30 for years 1323-60 has 2 letters14 giving instructions to the envoys but no details about the Castilian contacts.15
In addition to sending envoys, King Edward copied the letters to John Alfonso del Broket Knight and to:
- the Queen of Castile
- Master John Stephani Chancellor of the king of Castile
- Ferand Zanccii de Valladolid Knight
- John Martyn de Lene Knight
- Alkar’ master of the Jennets—the Cavalry—of the king of Castile.
As it turned out, the question of the bride’s dowry prolonged the negotiations and Joan did not start her journey to Castile until 1348. The delay proved fatal to the English as it did to Joan who died of the plague on the way.16
Following are 3 examples of the letters; the third showing that John Alfonso had been communicating with Edward III: Read more
|1344 Aug 16
CCR, p 459
|To Ferrand Zanccii de Vailhedolit, knight.17 John de Brocasiis has informed the king of Ferrand’s friendship, whom the king requests to use his influence with his lord, the king of Castile, to further the treaty of marriage between that king’s eldest son and his own eldest daughter, for which the latter is now sending envoys.
The like to the following, to wit:-
John Alfonso del Broket, knight.
John Martyn de Lene, knight.
Master John Stephani, chancellor of Castile.
Alkar’, master of the jennets of the king of Castile.
|1344 Dec 27
CCR, p 484
|To Alfonso, king of Castile, Leon, Toledo, Galicia, Seville, Cordova Murcia, Jaen, Algarves and Algeciras and lord of the county of Molina The king has received his letters made at Seville on 29 September last containing that it will please him for the king to go on a pilgrimage to those parts and how he has sent knights to Bayonne to await the king and accompany him and how he has ordered his subjects to treat the king honourably, for which the king thanks him, and Alfonso wishes to know that the king sent envoys to treat concerning the marriage of his daughter with Alfonso’s eldest son, who on their arrival at Bayonne heard a rumour that certain of their fellows with the king’s commissions were drowned in crossing by sea to avoid the realm of France, whereupon they delayed to go to Alfonso, as Nicholas de la Beche, seneschal of Gascony, has informed the king, and the king has caused a new commission to be made immediately and has sent it to the said envoys at Bayonne, ordering them to go to Alfonso as quickly as possible to treat concerning the said marriage and other alliances, wherefore the king requests Alfonso to hold firmly to the said matrimony and alliance until the arrival of the said envoys, who are hastening to him.|
|1345 Jan 5
CCR, p 484
|To John Alfonso del Broket, knight. Request to interpose in favour of
the said affair and the king thanks him for his letters thereupon.
To Master John Stephani, chancellor of the king of Castile. The like request.
The like to Ferand Zancii de Vailhedolit, knight.
John Alfonso del Broket’s name shows his English ancestry:
- The Broket element does not approximate to any Spanish or Gascon word. There is/was no similar place name in Castile or Gascony, and an indigenous surname Broket has not been found in Spain or Gascony. There was no name approximating to Broket in the list of knights at Alfonso XI’s coronation,18 nor with respect to his chivalric initiative in 1332,19 nor in the index of earlier names.20 The Royal Archives of Castile were destroyed in the 14th C, so there is no compendium or edition of the letters of Alfonso XI; those in the Archivo Historico Nacional, Seccion de Clero have no Broket entry.21 It was coincidence that John de Brocas was one of Edward III’s senior diplomats in these negotiations with Alfonso XI.22 The Brocas family is well attested in subsequent Gascon and Guyenne history23 but that the Brokets originated in Gascony24 was speculation and does not fit with the existence of earlier English records. O’Gilvy recorded no Broket.
- ‘del’ is further evidence of the name’s foreignness. The usual locative surname was de + the place, like de Vailhedolit ‘of Valladolid’. The added definite article in del would have been a means of indicating a foreign name.
- The Alfonso element is a Spanish patronymic—John’s father’s first name was Alfonso. To have borne a Spanish first name, his father must have had a Spanish parent, in this case presumably mother. The conclusion is that John’s paternal grandfather, a Broket, had married a Castilian woman. It is likely that Alfonso also married a Spanish wife.
All this points to the fact that John was a 2nd generation immigrant. 60 years earlier in 1282 Baron John de Vescy (d 1289) of Northumberland and Yorkshire had been sent to Aragon to negotiate a marriage between Edward I’s daughter Eleanor and Alfonso X.25 Perhaps a Broket in his retinue went with him and within a couple of generations one of his line held sufficient land to become minor Spanish gentry. This may have been later than 1332.
John’s English ancestry maybe made him suitable as a go-between in Edward III’s negotiations.
1355 18 Feb: Thomas Ceyrf of Steton granted John de Chaumont, knt, all his lands in Steton. Given at Colton, witnesses: Thomas Ughtret, knt, William Malbys, knt, Robert de Ros, knt, John de Faucunberge, Henry Sampson, John Daynell, Richard Vasy, John Sampson, John Broket of Steueton & others.
1356 1 Jan: Thomas Cerf of Steton granted John Darel and Thomas le Clerk, all his lands in Steton. Given at Steton, witnesses: William Malbys, knt, Robert Ros, knt, Henry Sampson, John Faucomberg, John Daynill, John Broket, John de Staunton clerk & others.
1356 6 Nov: John Darel and Thomas le Clerk granted John Carter and Alan Byrd, all his lands in Steton. Given at Steton, witnesses: William Malbis, knt, Robert Ros, knt, Henry Sampson, John Fauconberge, John Daynill, John Broket of Styueton & others.
The other names are familiar as local landholders, placing John in their social rank. He would have been prominent in the local community c 1340-60, born perhaps c 1310. Was he the son of Thomas? Not a taxpayer in Steeton in 1379, he had presumably died by then.
Philip borrowed £20 and below is his bond to repay. It was recorded on the back (endorsed) of the following year’s Close Roll, 1356. Sible Hedingham is a small Essex village about 34 miles north of Tilbury down at the mouth of the Thames, where his creditors were.
Philip had some possessions in mainland Europe, but all his property was only worth a little more than £20. The Calendar translation has: “to advance his business” but this does not necessarily mean trade.27
To borrow like this Philip would have been at least in his mid to late 20s, born by 1330—maybe much earlier. No Brokets were recorded as taxpayers in Essex in 1327,28 so Philip’s father may not have come from there. The 1340s were probably too late for Philip to have received his name as a nickname. Read more
|Date/source||De scripto irrotulato||Enrolment of a bond|
|1. vniuersis christi fidelibus hoc presens scriptum visuris vel audituris Philipus Brokat de Hedyngham Sebely salutem in domino Noueritis me teneri &2. per presentes firmiter obligari Alano de Ormesby de Westillebery & Iohanni Hykeman de Estillebery in viginti libris argenti quas ab eisdem
3. die confectionis presencium ex mutuo recepi & habui pro negociis meis inde expediendis Soluendiseisdem Alano & Iohanni aut eorum alteri executoribus
4. aut suis certis attornatis apud Westillebery die Purificacionis beate Marie virginis proximo post datam confectionis presencium sine vlteriori dilacione
5. Ad quam quidem solucionem vt premittitur bene & fideliter faciendam obligo me Heredes & executores meos & omnia terras tenementa bona & catalla
6. mea habita & habenda tam vltra mare quam citra. In cuius rei testimonium huic presenti scripto obligatorio sigillum meum apposui date apud
7. Westillebery die Martis proximo post festum omniumsanctorum Anno regni Regis Edwardi tercij a conquestu Anglie vicesimo nono Hiis testibus
8. Iohanne de Merlawe Willelmo de Hornby Roberto Gerold Hugone Saier Thoma ffraunceys Iohanne atte Ponde & aliis.
9. Et memorandum quod predictus Philipus venit in Cancellariam Regis apud Westmonasterium vicesimo die Nouembris Anno presenti & recognouit scriptum predictum
10. & omnia contenta in eodem in forma predicta.
|1. Philip Brokat of Hedyngham Sebely greets in the Lord all Christ’s faithful who see or hear this present bond. Know that I am held and2. firmly bound by this document to Alan Ormesby of West Tilbury and John Hykeman of East Tilbury in £20 of silver which from them
3. on the day of writing this document I received and have as a loan to spend on my affairs and to be paid back to the same Alan and John or either of their executors
4. or their certified attorneys at West Tilbury on the day of the Purification of the blessed virgin Mary [2 Feb] next after the date of writing this document without further delay
5. to well and faithfully make which payment as stated above I bind myself, my heirs and executors and all my lands, properties, goods and chattels
6. I now or may have both this side of the sea and beyond. In witness of which I place my seal on this present bond. Given at
7. West Tilbury, Tuesday [3 Nov] after the feast of All Saints, 29 Edward III. Witnesses:
8. John de Merlawe, William de Hornby, Robert Gerold, Hugh Saier, Thomas Fraunceys, John atte Ponde and others
9. Memorandum that the aforesaid Philip came into the king’s Chancery at Westminster on 20 November of this year and acknowledged the preceding deed
10. and all its contents as aforesaid.
Philip married Margaret d/o Robert MARYN of West Tilbury: Read more
|1. Sciant presentes & futuri quod ego Philipus Brokat de Hedyngham Sebely & Margareta vxor mea
2. filia quondam Roberti Maryn de Westillebery vnamimi assensu & mera voluntate predicte margarete dedimus
3. concessimus & hac presenti carta nostra confirmauimus Alano de Ormesby de Westillebery quatuor
4. acras terre cum omnibus pertinencijs suis in villa de Westillebery predicta iacentes in quodam loco vocato
5. Marynesslade que quondam fuerunt predicti Roberti Maryn habendas & tenendas predictas quatuor acras
6. terre cum omnibus suis pertinencijs predicto Alano heredis & assignatis suis libere integre & pacifice in perpetuum de
7. capitalibus dominis feodi illius per seruicia inde debita & de iure consueta Et nos predicti Philipus
8. & Margareta & heredes nostri predictas quatuor acras terre cum omnibus suis pertinencijs predicto Alano heredibus &
9. assignatis suis contra omnes gentes Warantizabimusin perpetuum : In cuius rei testimonium huic presenti
10. carte nostre Sigilla nostra alternatim apposuimushijs testibus Iohanne de Merlawe Willelmo de Hornby
11. Roberto Gerold Philipo Dartelot Thoma Le Ran Hugo Sayer Iohanne Roberd & alijs. Date apud
12. Westillebery die dominica proxima post festumsancti Martini Episcopi: Anno regni Regis Edwardi tercij a conquesto
13. vicesimo nono
|1. I Philip Brokat of Hedyngham Sebely and Margaret my wife
2. daughter of a certain Robert Maryn of West Tilbury unanimously agree and from the pure will of Margaret we give
3. and yield and by this present charter confirm to Alan Ormesby of West Tilbury four
4. acres of land with all their appurtenances in the aforesaid vill of West Tilbury lying in a certain place called
5. Maryneslade which used to belong to the said Robert Maryn, to be had and held the[se] aforesaid four acres
6. of land with all their appurtenances by the same Alan, his heirs and assigns, freely entirely and peacefully for ever of
7. the chief lords of that fee by the services owed therefrom and rightly accustomed. And we the aforesaid Philip
8. and Margaret and our heirs will guarantee (see l.9) the aforesaid four acres of land with all their appurtenances to the aforesaid Alan, his heirs and
9. assigns against all peoples for ever : In witness of which thing to this present
10. charter we have interchanged our seals, these being witnesses: John de Merlawe, William de Hornby,
11. Robert Gerold, Thomas Le Ran, Hugh Saier, John Roberd and others. Given at
12. West Tilbury, Sunday next […] after the feast of St Martin the Bishop, Edward III
Note: in line 10 ‘we have interchanged our seals’, literally ‘we have put our seals alternately’, means that there were 2 copies, one given to Alan with Philip and Margaret’s seal on and the other to Philip and Margaret with Alan’s seal on.
The first York City Broket records are of this Robert. But was he born there or in the hinterland? The Black Death hit York City 5 times between 1349 and 1378 and Robert would have witnessed its horrors.29 Being a merchant he was inevitably involved with a number of actions for debt, owing and owed. Following are the records found of him (as of 14 Sep 2020):30
1389 Mar 29: Westminster. “To the sheriff of York. Writ of supersedeas, by mainprise of Robert Broket, Robert Jankynson, John Clerk and John Byroun of Elvyngton co. York, in favour of John de Weston clerk at suit of Richard Mauncipil of London and Agnes his wife for debt.”31
Comment: Like Thomas Broket of Yorkshire in 1387 below, Robert stood joint surety down in Westminster for orders to suspend proceedings. They would in all likelihood have been related—if not cousins then possibly brothers.
1390/1: Robert gained the freedom of the City of York as a Draper.32 Drapers, dealers in cloth, were a powerful group in the city. The Tailors were the largest clothing craft and the second largest of all crafts. The Drapers were much fewer in number but far more influential.33 In 1394-5 he paid ulnage on 2½ cloths.34
1396: In the Easter term William Fourbour of Rychemond made a plea at the court of Common Pleas at Westminster for a fourth day by his attorney to recover an alleged debt of £10 from Stephen Hunter of Newcastle upon Tyne, Robert Langhirst of Newcastle upon Tyne, Robert Broket citizen of York and William de York of Newcastle upon Tyne. The sheriff reported that Robert Broket had been summoned and ordered him to be attached and appear on 25 June 1396.35
1398: “With Henry Wolman, Robert Acastre and John Bollond of York, Robert Broket owed the king £85 2s 8d and with Henry Wolman and John Bukland he owed £16 16s 8d halfpenny.”36
1399: In the Michaelmas term John Leversege and John Tutbury made a plea at the court of Common Pleas at Westminster for a fourth day by their attorney to recover an alleged debt of £40 from Robert Broket, Henry Wolman and John Thorp, who were attached to appear on 27 Jan 1400.37
Also in the Michaelmas term William de Lodyngton, John Leversege and John Tutbury, customers of the late king Richard II in Kyngeston upon Hull made a plea at the court of Common Pleas at Westminster for a fourth day by their attorney to recover an alleged debt of £106 10s 6d from Robert Broket merchant, Henry Wolman of York merchant and John Thorp of York merchant, who were attached to appear on 27 Jan 1400.38
1401: In the Easter term Simon de Elvyngton of York, executor of the testament of John de Elvyngton late vicar of the church of Skypwyth, made a plea at the court of Common Pleas at Westminster for a fourth day by his attorney to recover an alleged debt of 25 marks from Robert Broket of York, as well as alleged debts from 5 others. They were ordered to appear on 12 Jun 1401.39
Also in the Easter term John Touton of Seton and Henry Gryndall of Righton made a plea at the court of Common Pleas at Westminster for a fourth day by their attorney to recover an alleged debt of £20 from Robert Broket citizen and merchant of York, and the same from Henry Barett, citizen and merchant of York. They were ordered to appear on 12 Jun 1401.40
1403: In the Trinity term Robert Broket—by William Haryngton his attorney—made a plea at the court of Common Pleas at Westminster to recover an alleged debt of £4 9s from William Lewete shipman. Robert alleged that on Palm Sunday, 11 April 1400, at York, he sold William a ship, 20 quarters of bark [used for tanning] and 10 stone of wool, for £4 9s, payable at Whitsun, 6 June 1400, but William, although very often requested had not yet paid, and that as a result Robert had suffered damages of 40s. William—by John Wyther his attorney—said Robert should not maintain the action against him, since both he and Robert on 7 May 1402 at Drax in the county of York, by common assent put themselves to the arbitration of Henry de Balne of Roclyff maryner and John del Wode of Langrake, chosen on behalf of Robert, and of Thomas atte Nesse of Neuland upon Ayre maryner and Robert Houden of Drax, chosen on behalf of William, about all debts and controversies alleged between Robert and William before 7th May, and the arbitrators had ordered Robert to pay William 8 marks of silver. And William is ready to prove it. Robert responded that there never was any such arbitration between them and requested a hearing by a jury. William did likewise, and an order was sent to the sheriffs of York to bring 12 men from the Drax neighbourhood on 6 October 1403.41
Comment: ‘Shipman’ probably meant ‘sailor’ rather than ‘shipowner’. A passage in John Warkworth’s chronicle of the reign of Edward IV mentions “the soudyours and schypmen of Caleis. Failure to abide by an arbitration appears frequently as a cause for action – ‘assumpsit’, he took upon himself to do something. I can’t remember it being used as a defence, but it was clearly perfectly valid. The circumstantial details were such in this case that the matter could easily be decided by the local jury.”42 William Lewete shipman and Nicholas Hynderwell of York shipman were sued for debt by John de Kilburn jr of York, Easter 1408. 43
1403: Also in the Trinity term Robert Broket was summoned to answer a plea by Richard Watson of Donyngton [see below] to submit an account for the period 7 Feb 1401 to 7 Feb 1402, during which time he was Richard’s receiver of moneys. Richard claimed—by John Wyther his attorney—that during that year Robert received money due to Richard from Thomas Southale barker at Donyngton 26s; from the prior of Drax 46s 8d; and from John Knyght there 6s 8d. But Robert, although very often requested had not yet submitted an account, and as a result Richard had suffered damages of £10. Robert—by William Haryngton his attorney—responded that he never was receiver of Richard’s money during the period stated and requested a hearing by a jury. Richard did likewise, and an order was sent to the sheriff of Yorkshire to send 12 men on 6 October 1403.44
1403: Three more pleas at the court of Common Pleas are recorded for the Trinity term of this year, each one a claim for moneys owing to Robert:
1. For 40s each from Henry Sawer of Donyngton, Richard Sharowe of Rypon, glover, John Raper of Ellerton and Henry Wolman of Ryghton.45
2. For 6 marks 6s 8d from Robert Spanyell shoemaker.46
3. With John Dubber, for 40s each from Elias de Merston skinner, and Richard Watson of Donyngton [see above and below], and for 51s 1d from John Belmaker of York.47
1408: Three pleas at the court of Common Pleas are recorded for the Easter term of this year, two for debts owing to Robert and one for a debt owed by him:
1. For 40s each from Stephen Chide of Hummanby, John Porter bell maker, John Shirburnman of Estrik, Henry Sawyer of Donyngton, Roger Rande of Neuyngton, and William Gunby tailor.48
2. With Thomas Wandesford of York, iron worker, for 20 quarters of barley worth 5 marks from John Idyn of York, shipman.49
3. By Thomas Baker of Mongate wright, for 40s from Robert Broket of York Wolman.50
1412: In the Easter term a plea of debt was recorded at the court of Common Pleas by Richard Watson of Donyngton [see above] against Robert Broket of York for an unspecified amount.51
1415: In the Trinity term John de Menthorp and Alice his wife made a plea at the court of Common Pleas at Westminster for a fourth day by their attorney against Robert Broket of York draper, regarding alleged waste, sale or destruction he had made of woods and gardens in Babthorp demised to him for term of life of the inheritance of Alice.52 Babthorp is c 17 m S of York City.
The 1420 record of Robert Broket of Whetlay Nottinghamshire Draper was more likely to have been of Robert’s probable son Robert junior, see below.
1429: Robert’s Testament, wtitten 3 Dec 1429, proved 6 Dec,53 refers to him as a Merchant and shows his strong connections with St Leonards Hospital. Robert mentioned no wife or children in his Will, but this does not mean that he had none. He was probably a widower. Robert junior, also a Draper and a freeman of York, was very possibly his son, and he may have had others: John b by 1390, and Thomas and Alice, both alive 1444.
Nicholas was long lived—born c 1324 and still able in 1399. Nicholas lived through the ravages of the Black Death 1348-50, 61-2 and 75, and would have been prominent in his local parish of Bolton Percy for half a century. Already well-off villagers were those who benefitted from the new opportunities after the Black Death.54 Might he have been the father of Thomas who became the lord of the manor? The following records have survived:
8.1. 1361-2 & 1391
1362 6 Feb: William & Alice le Smyth granted Thomas de Kyghley, Chaplain & John Forest a feoffment of lands in Colton. Witnesses: William Malbys, Knt, John Chaumont, knt, John Sampson, Richard Vacy, Nicholas Broket, William Gardiner, Thomas Clerk of Colton & others.57
1362 14 Apr: Thomas de Kyghley, Chaplain & John Forest granted William & Alice le Smyth a feoffment of lands in Colton. Witnesses: William Malbys, Knt, John Sampson, Richard Vasy, Nicholas Broket, William Gardiner, Thomas Clerk of Colton & others.58
1391 7 Jan: William Lylee granted Thomas Smyth a tenement & 13 acres. Witnesses: Thomas Ughtred, Knt, William Moubray, Richard Ray, William Sampson, Richard Gysson, Nicholas Brokett & others.59
The other names are familiar as local landholders, placing Nicholas in their social rank. In the 1391 deed a co-signatory was William Sampson, probably the Lord of Southwood, father of Dionisia.
8.2. 1379 poll tax.
Aged c 51 and the Brewer (brasiator) in the township Nicholas paid the relatively high tax of 12d. Of the 30 Steeton taxpayers, only he and the firmarius, William Cerf, paid more than the standard labourer’s rate of 4d. He and his wife employed a servant. Any children would have been more than likely already set up on their own. “He would be supplying malt and possibly brewing for an inn which would provide rest and refreshment for travellers along the king’s highway”.60
At the inquisition into the proof of age of Margaret Chaumont at Bolton Percy, Nicholas, “aged 58 or more”, recalled making a sheepfold of eight posts in his tenement in Bolton Persey on 11 Oct 1368.61 This points to a birth date of c 1324.
The last known record of Nicholas is from August 1399, when he and Thomas Broket—possibly his son, and at least a kinsman—as joint executors of the Will of John Somurby, Priest, took an oath to prepare an inventory of his goods and render account to the Archbishop.62 Nicholas was c 75 years old and Thomas c 35. Given that Nicholas was still working in 1379, it’s unlikely that the 1391 and 99 records refer to an otherwise unknown son of Nicholas, called Nicholas. It is possible that Nicholas was a brother of the earlier Thomas, and/or Robert and Richard. Perhaps he was the son of Thomas of the generation before. The Brokets of York and the Ainsty were very few in number.
Through most of the 2nd half of the 14th C William Broket was a Priest in the vicinity of Bedford. Bedfordshire lists of parish incumbents show him first at St Mary Magdalene, Roxton, c 7 m NE of Bedford, then at All Saints Kempston, then at Syberton, and finally at the Chantry next to the Bridge, Elstow 1 m S of Bedford. He would have been born by the 1330s and was probably a relative of William and Ralph of Kempston recorded in the 1st half of the century.
- Roxton.63 William Henry de Charwelton, Priest, became Vicar 1 Sep 1349 and was succeeded64 by William Broket, Deacon, who resigned 20 Mar 1368 to exchange benefices with Richard de Kempston, Priest at the Rectory of Sibesdon [Sibson or Sibstone ?Leicestershire, 55 m NW of Roxton].
- Kempston.65 John Unwyn resigned 22 Sep 1372 to exchange benefices with William Brocket, Priest at Syberton Rectory. Kempston’s Patron was the Abbess and Nuns of Elstow.
- Elstow.66 William exchanged benefices 28 Sep 1382 with Dominus William Lynne. William Broket came to the Chantry next to the Bridge, Elstow and William Lynne went to Kempston. John Wrottyng succeeded to the Elstow Chantry 28 Jul 1390 “on the death of Dominus William Broket who died at Kempston on 17 Jul 1390“.
“Lay persons of substantial means were to pay according to a scale of charges based on rank or occupation… Everyone over the age of sixteen, who did not fall into one of these categories, was to be charged a poll tax of 4d” for themselves and their wives, or just for themselves if unmarried. “Widows were to pay the same rates as their husbands would have paid”.67 4d was a third of a week’s wages for a peasant at the time.
This poll tax and graduated income tax was levied to finance Richard II’s war with France. 9 Broket heads of household were recorded for the Yorkshire West Riding.68 There were 3 parishes with 2 Broket households and 2 parishes with 1, all within a day’s ride of each other. People were mobile in these times, humble no less than rich.69
Other than the two in the parish of Bolton Percy, Brokets were in Walton about 7 miles up river, in Westfolyfayt (Follifoot) a similar distance again, in Scriven about 4 miles north of Follifoot, and also over in Settle some 58 miles to the west of York in the Pennines. Both Follifoot and Scriven were in Percy Knaresborough lands.70 Settle too?
William & wife Scriven—4d
John & wife of Scriven—4d
William & wife of Settle—4d
Agnes of Settle—4d
Nicholas, Brasiator (Brewer), & wife of Steton—12d
William of Walton—4d
William, son of William, of Walton—4d
Ellen, Sempstress, of Westfolyfayt—6d
The 3 single women were probably widows; it was not normal for a spinster to live on her own at that time:
- Cecilia could have been a recent widow with an under-16 family still living with her, or she could have been an older one living on her own. If she had been in service to another family, she would have been recorded as such. To think of her as the mother of Thomas Broket who became Lord of the local manor in 1393 raises a few considerations:
- If Thomas was under 16 and living with her, then he would have been born 1373 at the earliest. This would have made her a recent and relatively young widow. He is more likely to have been born c 1363, however, and therefore if her son, not at home.
- Cecilia’s was the lowest rate of tax, and since widows paid the rate of their former husbands this means Thomas’ father would have been of modest social standing. Since Thomas went on to great social heights within 14 years, he would have had to have been taken under the wing of a much more wealthy patron or kinsman, perhaps in York City, if not Nicholas of Steton.
If Cecilia was a much older widow she might possibly have been the mother of Nicholas, who was about 55.
- Agnes may have been William’s mother.
- Ellen was taxed at the trader’s rate of 6d. If she was a Widow, it could have been inherited from her husband.
Several other records of Nicholas survive and William of Walton was probably the William who fell from his horse and broke his leg in 1368. His son William would have been born before 1363. The Settle family had, or had had, a manservant: Adam Brocketman.71 Nothing more is known of the Scriven or Settle families before they died out or left. A Robert Broket was recorded in Scriven in 1483, but whether he descended form William or John is unknown.
1381: In the 5th year of the reign of Richard II the attorney of John Broket Chaplain made two pleas at the court of Common Pleas held at Westminster against Edmund Bentelay Chaplain, for forcibly taking goods worth £10 in York, belonging to John. Edmund didn’t come to defend himself and the court ordered the sheriff to take him and bring him to court, firstly on the morrow of Candlemas that year, and when he didn’t appear then, on the octaves of Hilary:72Read more
John Broket chaplain appeared by his attorney for a fourth day against Edmund Bentelay chaplain, in a plea wherefore by force and arms he took and carried off goods and chattels of the said John, to the value of £10, found at York, and (inflicted) other enormities (upon him) &c. and against the peace &c. And (the defendant) has not come; and it had been ordered the sheriff to attach him &c. And the sheriff now reports that (the defendant) has nothing (in his bailiwick in lands or chattels by which he might be attached) &c. Therefore it is ordered the sheriff to take him if &c. so that he have his body here on the morrow of Candlemas, by the justices &c.
Comment: It seems likely that this John Broket, Chaplain, was the same man as the John Broket, Chaplain, recorded half a dozen times in Northumberland between 1386 and 1415.
The second recorded Broket in Essex after Phlip in 1355, John was joint surety for the subsidy on the sale of cloth in Essex and Hertfordshire: Read more
|1382 Nov 24
CCR, p 225
|The king to John Caproun of Colechestre. Lease for four years from Michaelmas last, by mainprise of William Appilton of Colchestre and John Brokat of Tendryng of Essex, of the subsidy in Essex and Hertfordshire upon cloths for sale granted to the late king by the lords and commons etc., rendering 40 marks a year and taking a moiety of the forfeitures of cloth exposed for sale before being sealed etc. with covenants, and covenant that if the subsidy be further leased the lessee shall have the preference for the sum that others will give.
[French]. By bill of the treasurer.
Tendring is about 8 miles E of Colchester and 8 SW of Harwich. The covenants referred to are described on p 93 of the Calendar. This is one of a similar set of leases to many other counties.
At the inquisition into the proof of age of Margaret Chaumont at Bolton Percy on 12 Oct 1382, William Broket, aged 52, recalled falling from his horse and breaking his leg on 11 Oct 1368.73 He was therefore born c 1330 and very possibly the William recorded in the 1379 poll tax for Walton, about 7 miles from Bolton Percy. There was no other suitable William tax payer in 1379.
This John Broket, Chaplain, is the first record so far found of a Broket in North East England. He purchased a large property in Northumberland on 6 May 1386 with John Pace for £200—a large sum.74 Five further records have so far been found of him 1401-15 in Northumberland and one in Newcastle in 1415. It seems likely that he was the same man as the John Broket, Chaplain, recorded in York in 1381.
Thomas stood joint surety in Westminster for orders to suspend proceedings in 1387 and 1394: Read more
|1387 Jul 26
CCR, p 434
|To the sheriff of Hertford. Writ of supersedeas, and order by mainprise of John Rothewelle of Lincolnshire, Walter de Waltham of Essex, Richard de Kympton of Hertfordshire and Thomas Broket of Yorkshire to set free William atte Hooke, if taken at suit of Walter atte Stone for trespass.|
|1394 Feb 26
CCR, p 273
|To the sheriff of Oxford. Writ of supersedeas, by mainprise of John Wycombe of Bukinghamshire, Thomas Broket of Yorkshire, John Lecche of Oxfordshire and Peter de Boys of Dorset, in favour of Thomas Pernell of Gersyngton at suit of Hugh atte Welle of Gersyngton for trespass.|
It’s possible that he was the father of Thomas Broket, husband of Dionisia Sampson, but he had married her by 1393 and from at least 1399 was working as an attorney down in Westminster. So, pending further records it is thought that he was that Thomas himself, if born c 1363.
Sir John Fairfax, Rector of Prestcote, bequeathed 20s to Sir Richard Broket: “lego domino Ricardo Broket capellano xxs“.75 ‘Dominus’ meaning ‘Sir’ or ‘Lord’ was the honorific title of an ordained priest. On 21 April 1405 Richard Broket Priest was instituted as Vicar of Rillington, c 20 miles NE of York.76 It is possible that Richard was a brother of Thomas, and/or Robert and possibly Nicholas.
Thomas became Lord of Southwood manor in Appleton near York through the right of his wife, Dionisia Sampson, whom he had married by 1393. He might have been the son of Thomas above and was recorded working with Nicholas in 1399.
In 1393 a Henry Broket is recorded in a long list of tenants in the sale of the manor of Kirkeby Beler, Leicestershire, and the manors of Blatherwyk, Northamptonshire and Bukstede, Essex. Among the settlements mentioned in the manor of Kirkeby Beler was Little Dalby or Parua Dalby in the Latin:77
Here is Henry’s name in the original document:78
Kirkeby Beler—now called Kirby Bellars—was an Augustinian priory,79 c 2 miles W of Melton Mowbray and c 12 m NE of Leicester centre. Dalby Parva, or Little Dalby, is a parish in Melton-Mowbray district, Leicester; 3½ miles SSE of Melton Mowbray. Kirby Bellars and Little Dalby are about 4 miles apart. Also nearby is Burton Lazars, scarcely 2 miles N of Little Dalby and 4 miles E of Kirby Bellars. Burton Lazars was also an Augustine house, dedicated to the Virgin Mary and St Lazarus and consisted of a Master and eight brothers, and varying numbers of lepers and injured knights. A John Broket of Burton Lazars, Husbandman, was recorded in 1415, and a Geoffrey Brokket was recorded there in 1495.
1396: Another similar plea of covenant mentioning Henry and Parua Dalby was dated 27 Oct 1396.80
1415: Despite Henry not being explicitly associated with either Kirkeby Beler or Dalby Parva in the 1393 and 1396 records—none of the many tenants were associated with any of the settlements mentioned—it’s unlikely that he was a tenant of any of the Northamptonshire or Essex settlements for the following reason. In the Trinity term of 1415 John Reynald made a plea at the court of Common Pleas held at Westminster against Henry Broket of Dalby Parva Husbandman and two others that they each owed him 40s. They did not come to defend themselves and the court ordered the Leicestershire sheriff to take them and bring them to court on 6 October 1415:81
John Reynald appeared by his attorney for a fourth day against Henry Broket of Dalby Parva in the county aforesaid husbond, John Smyth of Pykewell in the same county chaplain and John that was the personman of Pykewell in the same county sengilman, in a plea that each of them render him 40s that they owe him and unjustly withhold &c. And (the defendants) have not come; and, as before, it had been ordered the sheriff to take them &c. And the sheriff now reports that (the defendants) are not found &c. Therefore, as many times, let (the defendants) be taken, to be here on the octaves of Michaelmas &c
There can be little doubt that this Henry Broket of Dalby Parva, Husbandman, recorded in 1415 was the same as the Henry in 1393 and 1396, or if not, then a close relative. “The name Henry does not seem to have been favoured much by the early Brocketts.”82
But whether or not Henry, John and Geoffrey were related to Thomas Broket recorded 1290-1319 in Kirkby Mallore, Leicestershire, some 20 miles SW of Burton Lazars and Little Danby, is uncertain, although possible.
The Abbot of Revesby made a plea for the fourth time against John Broket of Styknay at the court of Common Pleas held at Westminster in the Easter term in the 19th year of the reign of King Richard II. According to the Abbot’s plea John Broket had forcibly imprisoned and ill-treated his servant John Stykford for a lengthy period and had not come to defend himself. The court ordered the sheriff of Lincolnshire to distrain John and bring him to court on 11 June 1396: Read more
PRO CP 40/541a
Abbas de Reuesby per att’ suu’ op se iiijto die vrsus Joh’em Broket de Styknay de pl’ito quare vi & armis Joh’em Stykford sruient’ ip’ius Abb’is apud Styknay inuent’ cepit imprisonauit & male tractauit per quod idem Abbas sruiciu’ sruient’ sui prd’ci per magnu’ tempus amisit Et alia enormia &c’ Et contra pacem Regis &c’ Et ip’e non ven’ Et sicut prius distr’ fuit per catalla ad valenciam duorum solidorum Et M’ per Ric’m Rous Joh’em Frost Nich’m Sole & Edm’ Starre I’o ip’i in m’ia Et sicut plur’ prec’ est vic’ q’d distr’ eu’ per om’es terras &c’ Et q’d de exit’ &c’ Et q’d h’eat corpus eius hic a die s’ce Trinitat’ in xv dies &c’
The Abbot of Revesby appeared by his attorney for a fourth day against John Broket of Styknay, in a plea wherefore by force of arms he took, imprisoned and ill-treated John Stykford, a servant of the said abbot, found at Styknay, whereby the same abbot lost the service of his servant aforesaid for a long time; and [inflicted] other enormities [upon him] &c. and against the king’s peace &c. And [the defendant] has not come; and, as before, he had been distrained by chattels to the value of 2s, and mainperned by Richard Rous, John Frost, Nicholas Sole and Edmund Starre; therefore they in mercy. And, as many times, it is ordered the sheriff to distrain him through all his lands &c, and from the issues &c. and that he have his body here on the quindene of Trinity [11 June 1396] &c.
Mainperners were honest men who would pledge that the defendant would appear. If did not appear, the mainpernors would be ‘in mercy’, i.e. fined.
A plea brought by Isabella and Johanna Broket in 1415 shows that John was the husband of Isabella and Johanna was their daughter. Just over a century earlier in 1277 James Broket had been recorded paying rent to the same Abbey of Revesby. John was probably related to him.
Robert Broket junior gained the freedom of the City of York in 1397/8.83 Probably son of Draper Robert, Robert junior went on to take charge of the subsidy and alnage of cloths for sale in Lyndesey, Lincolnshire. The 1420 record of Robert Broket of Whetlay Nottinghamshire Draper—see the separate page—was probably also this Robert, rather than his father, who was nonetheless still alive until 1429.
Page Last Updated: September 23, 2020