Edward Brokett of Letchworth b 1490-1 d 1559 - The Broket Archive

Edward Brokett of Letchworth Esq
b 1490-1 d 1559

You might get some surprises when you read about this man, like his supervision of the burning at the stake of heretics or the scandal surrounding his eldest son. Here are 3 examples of his signature. First, in 1544 as a Commissioner for a Hertfordshire subsidy assessment:1
Edward Brokett of Broadfield and Letchworth's signature 1544
Second—a more quickly written one with a ‘per me’—in 1550 as a deponent in a Common Pleas suit brought by Henry Curteys against Richard and Johanna Rudde:2TNA C24_24 Edward Brokett signature 1550

Note the lower tail of the B sweeping well beyond the end of the name, and the watermark in the paper beneath of an open-palmed hand with a five-petalled flower extending from the tip of the second finger, and perhaps another below the ball of the thumb.

And third, in 1554-5 as a deponent in a Common Pleas suit brought by Thomas Skipwith Esq against Sir Rauf Rowlett, again with a ‘per me’ but without the first element of the B:3

Edward Brokett of Letchworth signature 1554

Contents of this page:

  1. Overview
  2. Wife and children
  3. Coros’ biography
  4. Sheriff of Essex and Herts 1547-8 and 1554-5
    ++++++Officiating at the burning of heretics
  5. Other people’s Wills
  6. Other records
  7. Will

1. Overview

Edward was the 2nd son of the local Lord of the Manor, John Brokett of Wheathampstead and Lucy, nee PULTER of Hitchin. His father was Sheriff of the counties of Hertfordshire and Essex when Edward was 17, so he grew up accustomed to deference from the people of the parish. On public occasions he sat with his parents and brother and sisters in the Brockett Chapel in Wheathampstead Church and then—as was the custom—processed out while those in the nave remained standing.

He was born 1490 or 1491, as shown by the age 56 he gave as a deponent in a Commom Pleas suit on 30 Jan 1546/7:4

TNA C24_23 Edward Brockett aged 56 1547
++
“Edward Brokett of letcheworthe in the Countie of hertf Esquyer of the
age of lvj yeres sworne & examyned the daye & yere aboue wrytten [30 Jan 1546/7] sayth”

Edward was a prominent Hertfordshire squire, twice Sheriff of Herts and Essex (1547-8, 1554-5), twice Member of Parliament for Herts (1542, 1554), serving on many County commissions, so a large number of documents survive regarding him. When his elder brother, the heir to the estates, died in 1526, Edward would have assumed a more prominent position in the family, along with his eldest nephew, still young at the time—the later Sir John Brockett I. The exact date when Edward died isn’t known but it was probably in November or December 1559, when he was almost 70. His Will says it was written 31 Jul 1558, but there were problems with his eldest son who assumed administration and it wasn’t proved till 25 years later when the son died. Nor has an Inquisition following his death (IPM) been found.

Location and status

The following evidence shows that Edward and his wife were living in Letchworth by 1530, or 1531—son William’s birth there—in 1559—Edward’s death and burial there—and many years in between, and that long after his death Edward was still known as “of Letchworth”:

  1. In his Will of 30 Jul 1558 Edward described himself as: “I Edwarde Brockett of Letchworthe in the Countie of Hertford Esquier”.
  2. In her Will of 5 Oct 1569—10 years after Edward’s death—his daughter Lucie described herself as: “I lucie broket one of the daughters of Edward Broket late of lechworthe in the countie of hartford esquire”.
  3. In his deposition of 21 Nov 1583—24 years after Edward’s death—William Brockett of Essendon Esq, Edward’s second son, said in answer to the question if he knew of a messuage in Letchworth called Nevelles and Lynwickes, said “he doth knowe the messuage now called Nevells named in this Int[errogatory] in the which his father Dwelled many yeres, and as he is certenlye informed, he this dep[onen]t was born in it, and after his fathers Decesse, he Dwelled in it with his mother for certen yeres”.5
  4. In his deposition of 19 Oct 1586—27 years after Edward’s death—Thomas Brockett of Whitby gent, Edward’s third son, said “Edward Brockett this deponent’s eldest brother dwelling at Bradfield came to Letchworth his father Edward Brokett’s house” soon after the burial.6

Coros, author of the History of Parliament entry recorded his purchase of the manor of Broadfield in 1537/8 and so dubbed him ‘of Broadfield and Letchworth’. This has usually been followed here as Broadfield remained in the family after his death. Edward was gifted part of the manors of Letchworth and Weston in 1515 for 17 years but no other record has been found of Edward in association with a manor in Letchworth.7 In earlier records he is dubbed of Wheathampstead (1533), London (1535) and Temple Dinsley (1538) and tax records show that he also lived at Almshoe (1525) and Preston near Hitchin (1541-5). He may well have had several residences at any one time. Where his wife brought up the children is unknown.

It was probably he who went to Eton College 1506-08 as a King’s Scholar,8 i.e. holder of a Foundation Scholarship. The entry in Sterry simply has ‘Brocket 1506-1508. K.S. Audit Books [source] 1506-07, 1507-08’ but who else would this boy have been than Edward? There were no other Brokets in that social class. His elder brother John was at least 21 in 1506, whereas Edward was 15. Then on 8 Feb 1511 Edward was admitted to Lincoln’s Inn in London. He was called to the bar in 1518 and records of him at Lincoln’s Inn go through to 1553. He appears to have sent all 4 of his sons there and sponsored other relatives.

His elder brother (who had gone to the Middle Temple in 1509) died in 1526. Their father died in 1532 when Edward was c 42 and nephew John, the heir to the estates and later to become Sir John, c 22. Thereafter John and Edward were the leading members of the dynasty for the next 26 years.

Edward held considerable property in Hertfordshire, especially in Hitchin Parish and Hundred, his mother’s home territory. The relative William Broket from whom Edward borrowed £120 was from Hitchin; Edward’s father bequeathed him the manor of Almeshoe in neighbouring St Ippollitts for term of his life; he styled himself ‘of Letchworth‘ (c 3 m NE of Hitchin) in his Will of 1558; and he owned the Manor of  Bradfield (or Broadfield, c 8 m E of Hitchin) from 1537/8 till he died in 1559.

Edward probably died in November or December 1559, but no IPM has been found. The complainants in a Chancery action said they met him in person on 28 Oct 1559 when he agreed to a debt repayment schedule,9 but by Christmas the same year 1559 his son Edward jnr had assumed the responsibility for repayment, so Edward snr would have died by then.10 This conflicts with a Common Pleas action Edward jnr brought in Easter 1559 in which he claimed he had been given administration of his deceased father’s estate on 27 Apr 1558, however the claim is questionable.

2. Wife and children

According to Glover, Edward’s wife was Margaret MICELFEILD. In his Will Edward mentions his wife’s aunt ‘Mykelfeilde’. Berry and Clutterbuck had Mickleford, probably mistakenly. They probably married between 1514-19 and Margaret bore Edward 8 known surviving children over 17-22 years.

Even though Edward was the younger son, this would probably have been a strategic marriage by Edward’s parents, and Glover called her an heir. But nothing is yet known of Margaret’s family or whether she was an heiress. Only one Micklefield Will was proved at the PCC 1383-1604, that of John the younger, Baker, from Hadley, Suffolk in 1565. She was still alive in 1562,11 and 1567.

Estimating the date of their marriage and then of the birth of their children must take into account a number of variables. As a starting point, Edward’s own birth date is fairly secure at 1490-1. But at what age would he have married? He was admitted to Lincoln’s Inn of Court 8 Feb 1511, and at that time call to the bar was generally 7 years after admission.12 There was however no rule to stop a student member being married and by the close of the 15th C the longest continuous residence period was seven weeks.13

Edward could therefore have married as early as 1511, but 21 would have been unusually young in those days. Stone claimed that ‘the median age at first marriage of heirs for the English squirearchy was twenty-one in the early sixteenth century’,14 but his claims have been severely criticised15 and Laslett calculated the average age at first marriage in the 2nd half of the 16th C for males at about 26½ and for females about 23½.16 But these are averages and individuals obviously varied either side of the average, whether eldest child or youngest, whether rich or poor. Edward could therefore have married any time over an age range of 21-30 or more, i.e. between 1511-21 onwards. But somewhere in the middle of this range is most likely, i.e. Edward most probably married 1514-19 aged 24-28.

If so, then when were Edward and Margaret’s children born? Unlike for Edward himself, no secure birth dates for any of them are known. Possibilities and probabilities have to be estimated and assessed.   Read more

  1. Edward, b c 1515-17, of Bradfield Esq/Gent who was slandered as a murderer and became embroiled in legal problems, ending up an outlaw and then in prison in the late 1560s (pardoned 1569). Buried in Cottered, Herts 8 Jan 1583/4.19
  2. Millicent, b c 1517-19, married George LEACH by 1550—their two sons Edward and Thomas were over 21 in 1571.20 The assumption, with little certainty, is that she was older than sister Lucie, who only called herself “one of the daughters” of Edward in her Will, rather than “the eldest”.
  3. Lucie, b c 1519-21, died 1572, unmarried, perhaps a widow; in any case without surviving children. She was mentioned before Ann by their father in his Will of 1558 as one of his unmarried daughters, so was probably older.
  4. Grace, b c 1521-23 —assuming, again with little certainty, that she was younger than Lucie. Alive 1586, married … HAMILLDEN by 1550—their son William was over 21 in 1571.21 Until discovering Grace’s deposition in the 1586 suit between her brother William and Richard Bardolf,22 we only knew of her as a possible unnamed daughter of Edward because of Lucie’s bequest in her Will to “my newey William hamillden”, depending whether Lucie was using ‘nephew’ in its modern sense of son of a sibling. By 1586 Grace was married to John BARKER of Everton, Northamptonshire, Gent, but her deposition confirmed that her previous husband was called HAMELDEN. Grace’s deposition mentioned that she had the lease of some pasture land called Lymbresey in Maldon in Bedfordshire, and that in 1586 she was aged 58 or thereabouts. This would make her birth c 1530, 7-9 years later than the calculation above.
    +
    Grace Barker's signature 1586
  5. William, b c 1531, later of Esyndon Gent, d 1610. Co-executor with youngest brother John of their father’s Will, see the separate page.
  6. Thomas, b c 1525-29, alive 1558, when he was left a legacy from his father. In 1563, or a year or few before, Thomas Brockett, Gent, was sued by Staple Inn for non-payment of dues as a member, and the proclamation was sent to the sheriff of Herts, as Thomas’ last known place of residence.23 This Thomas could only either have been s/o Sir John I or this son of Edward of Letchworth. Given Thomas, s/o Sir John was probably not born before 1549, and that Edward sent his other three sons to Inns of Court, this was probably his Thomas. He was alive 1570, when sister Lucie mentioned him in her Will. Perhaps he was the Thomas Brockett who was discharged 10 Mar 1587 from Hertford gaol by proclamation.24 It’s possible that it was this Thomas who made a plea in the Hilary term of 1548 at the court of Common Pleas at Westminster against John Trewelowe late of Lee, Essex, Husbandman, for a debt of 40s, which Thomas alleged he owed him. John did not come to defend himself and the court ordered the Essex sheriff to get him to court on 15 April 1548:25+Read more
    Lee was presumably Lee Chapel, c 1 m W of Basildon. Since Swaffham Bulbeck is nearer Essex than Letchworth is, the only other known contemporary Thomas Broket, son of John of Swaffham Bulbeck Esq. seems more likely to have been the plaintiff.

    The record of Thomas Brokett as a legatee in a Dunstable Will of 1554 was doubtless a misspelling.

  7. John, b c 1527-32, d 1607, of Stowe and Impington (and probably formerly of Kimpton), Gent. A member of Clement’s Inn of Court in 1561 (or a year or few before). Married Katherine … John’s Will of 1607 mentioned no children of his own, however the William Brockett admitted to Gray’s Inn in 1612 as “son and heir of John Brockett of Kimpton, Herts, Gent” could only have been son of this John, son of Edward of Letchworth. What became of this William? In 1558 John was named co-executor with brother William of their father’s Will, although when it was finally proved in 1584 John wasn’t present. For more details about John, see this separate page.
  8. Ann, b c 1529-36, unmarried in 1558.

With a father twice the Sheriff of Essex and Herts between 1547 and 1555, these children would have enjoyed a certain status in society.

About 8 years after Edward’s death in 1567 his widow Margaret and second son William were recorded paying tax on land in Ayott Parva (St Peter’s), 26 of £6 and 40s respectively:

Tax return William and Margaret Brockett Ayott Parva Hertfordshire1567

Part of Ayot St Peter was in the manor of Westingtons, held at that time by the second Sir John Brockett of Brockett Hall, whose father had purchased it in 1555.27

3. Coros’ biography28

BROCKET, Edward (1490/91-1558/69), of Broadfield and Letchworth, Herts.

[MP for] HERTFORDSHIRE ?1542,29 1554 (Nov.)30   Read more

Comments on Coros’ biography

1. The statement in his 3rd footnote that Edward was aged 56 in Jan 1547 appears to be precise rather than approximate,37 so his birth can be placed in 1490 or 91.

2. See above for a more precise death date than 1558/69.

3. Edward left Broadfield/Bradfield manor in his Will to son Edward. He had acquired it in 1537/8,38.

4. Coros’ statement that there were several Edward Brockets alive in the 1550s is true, but only one other than his own son was of age. There were:

  • Edward of Willingale/Sawbridgeworth Gent, aged c 32 in 1550.
  • Edward’s own son, aged c 30 in 1550.
  • Edward of Appleton, Yorkshire, aged c 20 in 1550
  • Edward s/o William I of Hitchin Yeoman, aged 14 at most in 1550.
  • Edward of Wheathampstead Place, aged c 10 in 1550.

5. That the William Brocket, whose executors sued Edward Brocket the younger for an alleged debt of £120, was a relative was either seen by Bindoff in the preamble to the pleadings before the parchments were too damaged to decipher, or else assumed by him as an obvious interpretation of the situation— a loan of that size to someone with the same surname. particularly an unusual one, would clearly have been made by a kinsman, especially as in this case on an oral agreement.

6. It was actually Edward’s 2nd son William who took out probate of his father’s Will in October 1584.

7. That no IPM has been found may have meant that none of Edward’s property on his death was held in chief, although the delay in probate of his Will may have been the reason.

4. Sheriff of Essex and Herts 1547-8 and 1554-5

Like his father John of Wheathampstead Esq before him and great nephew Sir John II of Brockett Hall after him, Edward had two terms as Sheriff. As the representative of Edward VI and then of Philip and Mary his court was a hub of county enactments, influence and information. It came with both benefits of enrichment and contacts but also with expense and difficult duty like assessing and collecting taxes. “The potential expense to the incumbent of becoming High Sheriff was one of the reasons the role was for a single year only.”39 The Sheriffs’ financial returns were recorded annually at Michaelmas in the Pipe Rolls. Chauncy called him Edward Brocket Esq of Hatfield for both terms.40

1st term of office 1547-8

Edward’s first appointment began 27 Nov 1547, although his accounts dated from Easter 1547; his predecessor was John CONYNGESBY Esq (of North-Mims) from 23 Nov 1546), and his successor John COK, or COKKE Esq (of Brokesborne) took over 3 Dec 1548.41 Coros’ statement that “in June 1548, [Edward] was licensed to exercise the office during the King’s pleasure” means the king chose to keep him in post for a further 6 months after his accounting year was up around Easter.

In the return for the year Michaelmas 1548–Michaelmas 1549 he owed £43 3s 8¾d out of debts incurred of the huge sum of £882 9s 1⅞d:42  Read more


The reference at the beginning of this return to “the preceding roll in the Item of Essex” is to the following entry:49  Read more

It seems that Edward Brokett incurred this debt back in 1538 with Raynesford who was Sheriff 14 Nov 1537 to 15 Nov 1538.50

The return for the following year Michaelmas 1549–Michaelmas 1550 shows that Edward had paid most off most of the debt but still owed 60s 6d:51  Read more


And here is the return 2 years later for the year Michaelmas 1551–Michaelmas 1552, with 60s 6d still owing:53  Read more
This 1551-1552 entry says his account was cleared in the Adhuc Item of 1 Mary,54 which part seems to be missing, as does the return for Michaelmas 1552-Michaelmas 1553.55

2nd term of office 1554-5

Edward took over from Sir John WENTWORTH on 14 Nov 1554 and was followed by William HARRYES Esq on 14 Nov 1555.56 As Coros said, “Returned as knight of the shire to the Parliament of November 1554 he became sheriff again two days after the session had begun”. Parliament began 12 Nov.57

He made a proffer of 20 marks in Easter 1555.58  Read more


His account in the Pipe Rolls during this second term as Sheriff, for Michaelmas 1554-Michaelmas 1555 shows him clearing a debt of £54 18s on 11 Nov 1557.59  Read more

His account in the Pipe Rolls for the year following this second term as Sheriff, for Michaelmas 1555-Michaelmas 1556 shows him owing £247 14s 2¾d and 1 rose.60  Read more

The lengthy return for Michaelmas 1556-Michaelmas 1557 shows him clearing his debt:61  Read more

Officiating at the burning of heretics

This Michaelmas 1556-Michaelmas 1557 return shows that Edward claimed £30 for bringing 17 heretics from London and supervising their executions. England’s official religion under Queen Mary had reverted to Catholicism and many Protestants were burned at the stake during her reign. The Privy Council dealt with heresy from a civil point of view, and the Acts of the Privy Council for 1555,62 contain a number of orders to the Sheriff of Herts, although mentioning Edward only once by name.63 The Privy Council was troubled by the religious fervent in Hertfordshire, and wanted it to be dealt with effectively.64 As representatives of the Crown Sheriffs up and down the country were presiding at fires of execution and as Coros said, there is nothing to suggest that Edward was a Catholic zealot. It was the ecclesiastical authorities, notably Edmund Bonner Bishop of London, who examined suspects and condemned them to death; Sheriffs were the secular authorities at the end of the process carrying out the royal commands.

Summers’ list contains 16 executions in Essex and Herts between 14 Nov 1554 and 13 Nov 1555—the period of Edward Brokett’s shrievalty—and one in Suffolk that he was initially involved with:65 +Read more

Foxe mentioned Edward Brokett twice by name in his individual accounts of these executions, mostly as “sheriff” without his name, and sometimes not at all, although Edward was probably involved in these too, since he claimed expenses for 17 executions. Unfortunately, his expenses claim has not been found, only that of Sir John Butler, Sheriff 1556-7, which probably would have been similar.

Although some regard Foxe as unreliable because of his anti-Catholic stance, the British Library’s view seems sensible: “While Foxe was by no means an impartial writer, and his presentation of history is selective and peppered with comment, his access to the evidence from very recent trials and eye-witness accounts renders his work generally reliable.”67 Extracts from Foxe regarding Edward and these 17 executions follow Summers’ order above:

Dr Rowland Taylor: +Read more


William Hunter: +Read more

Thomas Causton and Thomas Higbed Gents: +Read more

William Pygot, Stephen Knight and Rev John Laurence: +Read more

Thomas Haukes Gent: +Read more

Thomas Wats: +Read more

John Ardley and John Simson: +Read more

Thomas Osmond, Nicholas Chamberlain and William Bamford: +Read more

George Tankerfield: +Read more


Thomas Fust and William Hale: +Read more

This Michaelmas 1556-Michaelmas 1557 return for Edward as Sheriff also mentioned 20s expenses in relation to Twine. The Sheriff of Herts had been required to deal with the goods of a Richard Twine, Twyne or Twynne and arrest him,85 but he isn’t in Summers’ list, so presumably not a heretic.

Sir John Butler, Sheriff of Essex and Herts a couple of years after Edward, was also required to execute heretics by burning, and his expenses claim for burning 4 has been located. It was a third of Edward’s amount of £30 for burning 17. A thorough search for Edward’s claim in the relevant bundles of Sheriffs’ Accounts and Petitions in the national Archive’s E 199 series failed to find it.86

5. Other people’s Wills

As a prominent member of the community, and trained in the law, Edward was often asked to be executor, or overseer of a Will, or left a bequest. Here are those As a prominent member of the community, and trained in the law, Edward was often asked to be executor, or overseer of a Will, or left a bequest. Here are those found so far:

1542: Supervisor of the Will of John Copwoode Esq of Totteridge, Hertfordshire, written 26 Mar 1542, proved 26 Jun 1542.87 “I do ordeyn’ constitute and make Wylliam my sone and John’ Kechyn’ myn’ Executours And Edward Brokett Esquyer supervisor’ These being wytnesses Edward Brokett Esquyer Richard Copwwode gent’ …”. (Edward Broket Esq of Wheathampstead was born c 1534-8.) John Copwoode’s eldest surviving son William married Jane, Edward’s niece, see the separate page.

1546-7: Edward Brokett and Thomas Parrys were overseers of the Will of William Audeley of Hitchin Yeoman, written 24 Jul 1546, proved 16 May 1547.88 The Overseers were each given 40s “for there labour”, see the separate page.

1553-4: Overseer of the Will of Edmond Bardolf of Harpeden Esq, written 3 Oct 1553, proved 2 May 1554.89 “Item I giue Mr Edward Broket my blacke Chamblit gowne … And I make my wief my sole Executrix And Mr Edward Brokett Overseer of this my last will and Testament”. Edward’s second son William married Edmond’s eldest daughter Ann soon after, see the separate page.

6. Other records

1511: With his father, elder brother and others, Edward purchased land in Bishops Hatfield, Willian and Diggeswell from Richard and Elizabeth FYSSHER.90

1515: Chauncy recorded the gift of the manors of Letchworth and Weston by Sir Nicholas BARRINGTON in his Will to 2 esquires, Edmund Brocket Gent and others for 17 years.91 This must be an error for Edward, whose sister Elizabeth was married to Sir Nicholas Barrington. The first known Edmund Brocket was not born till c 1566.

1519: In the Hilary term of 1519 Roger Acheley citizen, alderman and draper of London made a plea at the court of Common Pleas at Westminster to recover an alleged debt of £16 11s 10d from Edward Brokett, late of Whethampsted Gent, for 13 yards of woollen cloth of grane [?] colour, 14 yards of black woollen cloth, 19 yards of broad cotton, 40 yards of narrow cotton, and 4¼ other yards of black woollen cloth. Edward requested a delay until 8 May 1519:92+Read more


1521: In the Hilary term Edward Brokett Gent made a plea at the court of Common Pleas at Westminster against 3 men from Kelshull, Knebworth and Great Wymbley for debts totalling £12 13s 4 and 20 marks worth of barley. The court ordered the Hertfordshire sheriff to get them to court on 14 April 1521:93   Read more
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1523: In the Hilary term Edward Brokett made two pleas at the court of Common Pleas at Westminster. The first against 3 men from Codicote, Kelshull and London for debts totalling £32 6s 8d and the second against 2 men from Granchester in Cambridgeshire and Farnham in Essex for debts totalling £40. The court ordered the London sheriff to get them to court on 19 April 1523:94   Read more
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1524: Edward witnessed the Will of his elder brother John Brockett of Swaffham Bulbeck as ‘Gentleman’.

1525: In the Hilary term of 1525 Edward Broket formerly of Wethamsted in county Hertford, Esquire, was accused of not repaying a debt of £200 in a plea at the court of Common Pleas at Westminster by the executors of the Will of Thomas Spryng of Lavenham, Suffolk, Gentleman. The court ordered the Suffolk sheriff, supported by the deputy sheriff of Hertfordshire, to get Edward to court on 1 July 1525:95   Read more


Whether Edward owned property in Wheathampstead is not known, but his father was usually known as John Brocket of Wheathampsted, and this case could not have concerned any one but this Edward. Eight years later on 12 Feb 1533 a royal writ ordered the plaintiffs to desist from pursuing Edward further for the £200.

1525: Also in the Hilary term of this year Edward Brokett formerly of London, Gent, was accused of not repaying a debt of £4 in a plea at the court of Common Pleas at Westminster by warden of the Fleet prison. The court ordered the London sheriff to take Edward and bring him to court on 30 Apr 1525:96   Read more


1525: Also in the Hilary term of this year John Broket (Edward’s brother), Henry Barley, Thomas Grene, William Sulyard, George Hyde, John Bollys, William Pulter, Hugh Clerke and Humphrey Worthe recovered from Edward Broket “6 messuages, 130 acres of (arable) land, 10 acres of meadow, 20 acres of pasture and 10s rent with appurtenances in Hytchyn, Dynnesley, Polettys and Offeley, as their right and inheritance”.97

1528: In the Hilary term of 1528 Edward Brokett made a plea at the court of Common Pleas at Westminster against 4 men: two from Hitchin, one from Willian (c 3m NE of Hitchin) and one from Kimpton (c 7m S of Hitchin) for debts totalling £14. The court ordered the Hertfordshire sheriff to get them to court on 26 April 1528:98   Read more


The location of the alleged debtors, in and around Hitchin shows that this was Edward Brokett of Letchworth. His son Edward was scarcely a teenager at the time.

1527-33: Edward Brokette’s relationship with John Docwra Esq is evidenced by 6 records from this period. Edward’s aunt had possibly married a Docwra. John’s son or grandson was overseer of the Will of Edward’s grandnephew Edward:+Read more

1529: In the Hilary term of 1529 Edward Broket as one of a group of 12 squires and gentlemen made a plea at the court of Common Pleas at Westminster claiming their right to the Cambridgeshire manor of Hengraves alias Feltons alias Fordam against John Whitby junior.103 The manor of Fordham in Cambridgeshire lies c 14m NE of Cambridge and 7m NE of Swaffham Bulbeck, and is also called Hengraves and Feltons after 14th C owners Edmund Hengrave of Hengrave, Sufolk, and Sir Thomas Felton.104 Four of the group of 12 squires and gentlemen were related to Edward—Thomas Peryent senior (husband of Edward’s aunt Alice), Thomas Peryent junior (1st cousin), George Hyde (husband of Alice, Edward’s sister), Thomas Rudstone (husband of Edward’s brother’s widow)—and 2 had been sheriffs of Herts and Essex before him: Sir Philip Boteler of Watton in 1533 and 1540 and Thomas Peryent of Digswell in 1536.

This was a fictitious case to secure ownership. For a translation and explanation of the case, see the separate page. For a similar case in 1537 below.

1529-35: Edward sponsored the admission to Lincoln’s Inn105 of:

  1. John BARRINGTON, his nephew, and admitted him to his chamber 1529.
  2. Ralph BROUGHTON, his ?nephew, and admitted him to his chamber 1532.
  3. Leonard HYDE, his ?nephew, 1535.

1530 28 Nov: Edward Drokett—clearly a misprint for Brokett—was granted a licence to alienate the manor of Este Rede, Herts.106

1530: In the Hilary term of 1530 Edward Broket Esq made a plea at the court of Common Pleas at Westminster paying the king 80s for the licence for the manor of Erdyngton (c 2m N of the centre of Birmingham):107   Read more


1530: In the Hilary term of 1530 Edward Broket Gent made another plea at the court of Common Pleas at Westminster this time with John Docwra to reclaim an alleged debt owed to them of £20. The defendants did not appear and the court ordered the Bedfordshire sheriff to get them to court on 1 May 1530:108   Read more
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1531: Two pleas at the court of Common Pleas at Westminster regarding Yorkshire this year suggest that Edward had responsibility for the family there while nephew John was still a minor. However Addingham is c 13m NW of Bradford, some 28 m W of Bolton Percy, so these may have been new ventures by Edward:109   Read more
+
1532: On father John’s death the manor of Almshoe became the property of John’s son John, subject to the life interest of Edward.110

1532-1534: Edward Brocket purchased a large amount of timber from Wain Wood in the hamlet of Preston in Maydencroft Manor, just south of Hitchin costing £26 13s 4d.111 The wood would have ‘provided fuel for domestic … purposes, as well as for fencing and a host of other uses’.112 It was an enormous quantity of wood. The total receipts for the manor that year were £45 16s 8d, less than double this one transaction. The usual annual receipts without sale of wood were £19 3s 4d.113

1533: Two pleas were made at the court of Common Pleas at Westminster regarding Edward’s executorship with Thomas Hutton and John Peryent of the Will of John Docwra of Temple Dinsley attempting to recover debts of £4 and £100:114   Read more


1533: On 12 Feb this year a royal writ was sent to the court of Common Pleas at Westminster ordering the executors of the Will of Thomas Spryng of Lavenham, Suffolk to desist from pursuing Edward Esq further for an alleged debt of £200:115   Read more
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1535: The Prior of the House of Our Blessed Lady and Convent of Hertford demised to Edward for 41 years all its tithes of corn, grain, hay, wood, wool and lamb arising within the parishes of Hitchin, Minsden, Langley and Hippolits.116 Edward’s son Edward assigned the remainder of the lease in 1562 to John Esq (Sir John II).

1535: In the Hilary term of 1535 Henry Averell citizen and goldsmith of London made a plea at the court of Common Pleas at Westminster to recover an alleged debt of £70 from Robert Arthure formerly of Southminster, Essex, Gent and Edward Brokett formerly of London, Gent. The two were executors of the Will of the late Robert Arthure of Southminster, Essex, valet of the Crown of the king, who allegedly became indebted to Henry Averell for £70 on 16 May 1530 to be repaid by 16 May 1532. But Averell claimed he never repaid it:117   Read more


Which Edward?+Read more

1536: On 20 Jan 1536 Robert Arthure Gent and Edward Brokett Gent, as executors of Robert Arthure of Southminster, Essex, Yeoman of the Guard, made a plea at the court of Common Pleas at Westminster to reclaim an alleged debt owed to him of £200. The defendant did not appear and the court ordered Richard Lyndesell, deputy sheriff of Essex—who was also the plaintiffs’ attorney!—to get him to court on 1 Jul 1536:118   Read more


1536: In Hilary term 1536 Edward Brokett Esq made a plea in person at the court of Common Pleas at Westminster to reclaim alleged debts amounting to £10. The defendants did not appear and the court ordered the Hertfordshire sheriff to get them to court on 30 Apr 1536. It has been assumed that this was Edward senior, as Edward junior was a teenager at the time, and in any case was normally ‘Gent’ during his father’s lifetime, and only ‘Esq’ occasionally afterwards:119   Read more
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1537: In Hilary term 1537 Edward Brokett Esq made a plea at the court of Common Pleas at Westminster regarding a property in Kympton from Thomas Audeley. The proceedings followed a similar pattern to his 1529 plea above and the warrantor, fictitiously, failed to re-appear and the court therefore ruled that Edward recover his tenure of the property against Thomas Audeley:120 For a translation and explanation of the case, see the separate page.

1538: Early this year in the Hilary term Edward Brokett of Temple [Dinsley] Gent was accused of not repaying a debt of £40 in a plea at the court of Common Pleas at Westminster by William Colsell Citizen and Mercer of London. The scribe must have mistakenly omitted ‘Dinsley’ after ‘Temple’—there is no other Temple … in Hertfordshire. Another similar London plea against Edward of Temple Dinsley dates that debt back to this same year. In this case the court ordered the London sheriff to take Edward and and bring him to court on 5 May 1538:121   Read more


It could be that this—and the 1545 plea—concerned his son Edward jnr, but since they both relate to 1538, when Edward jnr was only between 21 and 23 years old, pending further information it will be assumed they both concerned Edward the father. Between 1541-5, at least, Edward senior held considerable land in Preston, where Temple Dinsley was a hamlet. Edward senior apparently inherited it from his father. However, given Edward junior’s later record of indebtedness this case may have been an early example.

1538: In 20 Oct Edward purchased Broadfield/Bradfield manor from Dorothea SNOWE for £20.122 The same Close Roll records his purchase on 6 June from Alice ROLFF Widow of 4 crofts of arable land and pasture in Broomfield Essex, and on 3 November from Peter RANDALL of Buntingford in Hertfordshire Labourer for 8 marks a messuage with garden and 2 crofts of land adjoining at Patmore Heath in Albury Hertfordshire.

1538-1539 Edward Broket paid 4d yearly rent for 1 stall in Hitchin Market Place next to the stall of Leonard Dey, and Edward Papworth paid 8d for 2 stalls together next to the stall of Edward Broket.123 In 1556 and 1564 his son Edward was recorded holding a stall or stallage there too, however it was probably a different one and Edward senior would have sold this one before 1556. This is because on 20 Feb 1555 William Fraunces of Ikleford Esq sold Edward Brockett of Letchworh Esq “one shoppe in the merkett place of hechen”.124 This could be the shop owned by Edward Broket Gent (junior) in 1556 and 1564. “Other stalls in Hitchin Market in 1539 were held by such wealthy and important men as the Earl of Essex, William Pulter and Thomas Parys. Edward would almost certainly have had a tenant or servant running the stall. The accounts for 1538-1539 are the only year to contain a list of all the Rents of Stalls in the Market Place. So it is impossible to know how long Edward Broket had held his stall. This list is not repeated in subsequent years. The stallage in the Market Place would have been a permanent site for a stall or probably a permanent structure.”125

1541-5: For all three subsidies during these 4 years—which included his time as MP for Herts—Edward Broket Esq paid 40s in Preston hamlet, about 3 miles south of Hitchin.126 This was on land valued at £40, which represented substantial property. Taxes on land were on all property a man owned in the county, so this £40 may not have been only on this Preston property, however Preston would have been considered his main residence at the time. Perhaps it was the same, or expanded, property that his father held in Preston in the Manor of Temple Dinsley (on the southern edge of Ippollitts parish) in 1494. The record from the same year below called Edward ‘formerly’ of Temple Dinsley, however this may have referred to his son Edward jnr. Edward’s Preston property was not in Hitchin parish, nor apparently in Ippollitts. The 1545 tax return listed Preston separately from both Hitchin and Ippollitts. For the 1544 subsidy Edward was one of the Commissioners for Broadwater and Hitchin Hundred and the signature at the top of this webpage is from the return that year.

1542, 44: MP for Herts.

1544: In the Hilary term of 1544 Edward Brokett senior made a plea at the court of Common Pleas at Westminster against Thomas Yattys late of Hitchin, Haberdasher, alias Thomas Yates of Hitchin, Husbandman, and John Jenkyns late of Abbotts Walden, Husbandman, for a debt of 10 marks. The court ordered the Hertfordshire sheriff to get them to court on 27 April 1544:127   Read more


1545: In the Hilary term of 1545 Edward Brokket or Brokkett formerly of Temple Dynnesley, Esquire, was accused of not repaying a debt of £20 in a plea at the court of Common Pleas at Westminster by Thomas Blande of Amersham, Buckinghamshire, Gentleman. Edward denied the allegation and called for a jury to hear the case. The court ordered the London sheriff to convene a jury on 19 Apr 1545:128   Read more
As with the similar plea from 1538, it could be that this plea concerned his son Edward jnr.

1545: Mr Edwarde Brokette was the first witness to the Will of Thomas Peryente of Quyckwode Esq.129 Thomas will been Edward’s cousin.

1546: ‘Edward Broket’ with no title was mentioned in the Manor Court proceedings of either the Manor of Limbury cum Biscot or of Lewsey-cum-Chalton in the Luton area. That Edward’s principal taxable lands in 1541-5, at least, were in Preston, c 6 m NE of Luton suggests that this record concerned him, but it may have concerned son Edward.

1546/7 30 Jan: Deponent with nephew John, later Sir John Brockett I, in a Common Pleas suit brought by Walter Horley against them,130 see snip from the begining of Edward’s deposition giving his age above. John and Edward were executors of the Will of Thomas Horley, Clerk, and Walter a kinsman claimed that they had wrongly taken corn, hay and other goods belonging to Thomas. Here is part of Edward’s answer:

“that a lyttle before Cristmas last past walter horley was in the
Churche of letcheworth aforesaid where this deponent came to here even
songe / And then and there the said walter came to this deponent and showd
this deponent a Wrytt and sayed the Kynge ovth? grete you
here is a wrytt of Iniunction’ out of the Kinges Chauncerye directed to you and
to my m’r yo’r nephewe And this deponent demaunded of hym what the
matter was / And he made aunswer & sayed that neyther this deponent nor his
sayd nephewe shuld medle with any of the Corne being then in the barne
late Thomas horleys / And this deponent wold haue had
the wrytt but the said walter wold delyuer yt to his said nephewe and
wold haue it wth hym / And after that this deponent neuer herd nor knewe
what the teno’r of the said wrytt was /
And syns the said Iniuncion’ delyuered and shewed vnto this deponent he neuer
medlyd with any Corne or other goodes but that he had a load of chaff
which was by the agreament of the sayd walter”

One can imagine Edward entering Letchworth church shortly before Christmas to hear evensong and being accosted inside by Walter Horley with a writ from Chancery:131

Back of Church of St Mary Letchworth Hertfordshire

1547, 54, 55: Sheriff of Herts and Essex, see separate section. Recorded as Edward Brocket ‘of Hatfield’.132

1553 Sale of 9 acres of land and 2 of pasture in Hitchin by Edward and his son Edward to William Frances.133

1554-5: Plumstead Marsh land licences.

1554-5: Edward was a deponent in a Common Pleas suit brought by Thomas Skipwith Esq against Sir Rauf Rowlett,134 see Edward’s signature above.

1554-5: Purchase by Edward from William Fraunces of Ickleford Esq of land in Hitchin, Walsworth and Offley on 20 Oct 1554, two years before William I’s death, for £80 and £40, total £120, then in the tenure and occupation of “Thomas Paris of Hechyn gent”.135 This was followed by a bargain and sale by William Fraunces to Edward Brockett dated 20 Feb 1554/5 of a capital messuage called the Vyne in Briggward (Bridge Street Ward), various pieces of land and “one shoppe in the merkett place of hechen”.136

1555 27 Nov: A Chancery Order in an action brought by John Lawryng and his wife against Edward Brokett said, “The defendant hath taken othe that he cannot make aunswer for lacke of his euydence Wherupon he is respected to make answer octaves hillary”.137 The original complaint is unknown, also whether it concerned this Edward or his son.

1556: Records of Edward’s possessions in Hitchin in a Rental of the manor of Hitchin, 17 August 3 and 4 Philip and Mary.138

“Edward Brokett Esq [holds by an indenture crossed out] Alice Lacye widow and John Aston hold by an indenture of 4 Jun 35 Henry VIII 3 water mills situated below the manor of Hitchin in Co Hertf called Maltemyll, portemyll and Shotlingmyll with all their fisheries and fish in the dams and between the mills on a 40 year term. paying [right margin] £17 6s 8d in two equal halves at Easter and Michaelmas.” This relates to a grant dated 1 Jun 1543: “Edw. Brocket, Alice Lacye, widow, and John Aston, miller. Lease of three mills in the lordship of Huchyn, Herts, called le Maltemill, le Portmylne, and le Shotlingmilne, with fishery in the dams and between the mills; parcel of lands of the late Queen Jane; for 21 years; at £12 rent and 6s 8d increase”.139

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1557: Edward had a lifetime’s involvement with his nephew, the first Sir John Brockett, so it was most probably this Edward of Letchworth Esq who was one of the 3 witnesses to his Will. The Will ends “In witnes to the premysses Rauf Rowlett knight, Edward Brokett and Christopher Smythe Esquiers, with others”. The other two Edward Brokett Esquires were Sir John’s own second son who at that time was probably referred to as ‘Gent’, and Edward, eldest son of Edward of Letchworth, who likewise would probably have been referred to then as ‘Gent’.

1558 Sep 8: Edward was appointed overseer to the Will of John Brokett of Offley, Yeoman, his probable first cousin: “I do ordeyn Mr Edwarde Broket esquyir my ouereseare and he to haue for his good cownsell and paynes aboute this my testament iiij li out of the Sumes of money that he doo owe me”. Edward had borrowed money from more than one cousin. £4 was not a small sum and it was not the whole amount he owed John. One wonders if John’s executrix, his widow Joan, ever recouped any of the rest.

1559: A plea made at the court of Common Pleas at Westminster against ‘Edward Brockett formerly of Hatfield, Gentleman’, and 5 others was in all likelihood against Edward’s son Edward.

7. Edward’s Will

Written 31 Jul 1558; executors sons William and John. However, “a certayn agrement was vppon good consideracions had and made betwene [eldest son Edward jnr] and his brethren beinge executors of the said last will” 140 and Edward jnr took upon himself the execution of the Will.141 But Edward jnr ran into debt and his father’s Will was not proved till 30 Oct 1584—26 years later—by son William after Edward jnr’s death in Jan 1583.

Edward’s main legacy to wife Margaret was all the household stuff—if she didn’t remarry, a lease and grant in Letchworth plus property in and around Hitchin:+Read more


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Edward’s legacies to his children:

  1. Edward: All his property in the parishes of Hitchin Ipolettes Ikleford Much Willmondley after Margaret’s death. His Manor of Bradfeild, and all all his property in the parishes of Bradfeild, Russeden, Codered and Throcking.
  2. William: All his property in Plumpsted Marsh in Kent and in the parish of Lechworth and Willien.
  3. Thomas: All his property in the parish of Stevenage and all his property held by … Joyner.
  4. John: All his property in the parishes of Kympton, Kings Walden, Baldock, Graveley, Sheveffelde and Hinxworth.
  5. ‘all my saide Leases and farmes and residue of my goodes and debtes (not before given or bequeathed) vnto Lucye and Anne my daughters towarde the preferment of theire marriage equally to be deuided betwene them and to be payde at the daye of theire marriage, so that they be ruled by theire mother and my Exequutors’.

Probate of Edward’s Will

Transcription:

1. Tricesimo die mensis Octobris Anno domini Anno Domini142 millesimo quingentesimo
2. octogesimo quarto. coram venerabili viro magistro Willelmo Drury legum doctore curie Prerogative
3. Cantuariensis commissario etcetera in Loco Consueto London’ iudicialiter sedenti in presentia mei Anthonij Lawe
4. Lawe,143 notarij publicj procura etcetera comparuit personaliter Willelmus Brockett vnius exequutorum
5. in testamento suprascripto nominatorum et exhibuit testamentum huiusmodi ac realiter produxit quasdam
6. Litteras administracionis bonorum eiusdem defunctitanqam ab intestato decedenti alias Cuidam Edwardo
7. Brockett filio naturali et Legitimo dicti defuncti , nonnullis ab hinc annis elapsis concessas et allegauit
8. dictum presens144 administratorem vita functum esse , dic145 esse , Necnon testamentum predictum’ verum et
9. vltimum testamentum eiusdem defuncti’ fuisse et esse , et desuper fecit fidem , Vnde dominus ad eius
10. peticionem probauit approbauit et insinuauit testamentum suprascriptum commisitque administra//
11. cionem etcetera Eidem’146 Willelmo Brockett exequutori etcetera De bene etcetera iurato Reseruata patestate
12. etc Iohanni Brockett alteri exequutori in huiusmodi testamento nominato cum venerit etcetera.

Translation:

1. On 30 October 1584
2. before the venerable man master William Drury doctor of laws at the Prerogative Court
3. of Canterbury commissary etc. sitting as a judge in the usual place in London in the presence of me Anthony Lawe,
4. public notary etc. there appeared in person William Brockett one of the executors
5. named in the above Will and he exhibited this Will and he produced in their original form
6. certain letters of the administration of the goods of the same deceased as being intestate granted at another place to a certain Edward
7. Brockett
natural and legitimate son of the said deceased a considerable number of years having elapsed since this and [William Brockett] alledged
8. and said that the previously appointed administrator was dead. Nonetheless the aforesaid Will was true and
9. was and had been the last Will of the same deceased, and on that point he made his faith. Whereupon the Lord [Judge] at [William’s]
10. request proved, approved and registered the above written Will and entrusted the administration
11. etc. to the same William Brockett as executor etc. for the well etc. [i.e. and faithful administration of the same] having sworn. The power being reserved
12. etc. to John Brockett the other executor named in this will when he turns up etc.

Page Last Updated: August 29, 2023

Footnotes

For full bibliographical details please see the sections Publications or Glossary.

Expand

[1] TNA E179/121/154. Image taken under ultra-violet light. Reproduced by kind permission of the National Archives licensed under the Open Government Licence v3.0.

[2] TNA C24/24 (Curteys v Rudde). Reproduced by kind permission of the National Archives licensed under the Open Government Licence v3.0.

[3] TNA C24/34. Reproduced by kind permission of the National Archives licensed under the Open Government Licence v3.0.

[4] TNA C24/23, cited by Coros in his biography below. Reproduced by kind permission of the National Archives licensed under the Open Government Licence v3.0.

[5] TNA C24/167 Snagge v Wallford, images taken at the National Archives 29 Aug 2019.

[6] TNA C24/189 Brokett v Bardolf, p 6, images taken at the National Archives 29 Sep 2018.

[7] goo.gl/fakW1m (accessed 18 Aug 2018).

[8] Sterry 1943.

[9] TNA C3/132/103 line 20.

[10] TNA C3/132/103 lines 24ff.

[11] HALS 57616B.

[12] Holborn 1999 p 42.

[13] Ives 1983 p 37.

[14] 1977 p 40.

[15] e.g. Houlbrooke 1984 p 13-15.

[16] 1983 p 83.

[17] Houlbrooke 1984 p 132ff.

[18] Macfarlane 1970 p 82, 199ff.

[19] Cottered Parish Register.

[20] Sister Lucie's Will.

[21] Sister Lucie's Will.

[22] TNA C24/189.

[23] Baker 2012 pp 55, 142.

[24] Cockburn 1975 pp 66, 71.

[25] TNA CP 40/1135 (1 and 2 Edward VI). For the original Latin contact the Archivist of this website.

[26] TNA E 179/121/209.

[27] 'Parishes: Ayot St. Peter', in A History of the County of Hertford: Volume 3, ed. William Page (London, 1912), pp. 63-65. British History Online at goo.gl/iKk3qk citing Pat. 1 & 2 Phil. and Mary, pt. i; Feet of F. Herts. East. 1 & 2 Phil. and Mary; Add. Chart. 35327–35330 (accessed 18 Aug 2018).

[28] Bindoff 1982 pp 498-9, Reproduced by permission of the Trustees of the History of Parliament. I have added a few internal links for reference plus 1 or 2 amplifications in square brackets. Otherwise the text is as Bindoff published, including footnotes. The online version is at goo.gl/77mQcp (accessed 18 Aug 2018). This shows the author as D F Coros. The History of Parliament's Communications and Outreach Officer Dr Emma Peplow believes the name was Corcos but could not find anything out about the person (Email correspondence Feb 2017).

[29] Only the surname remains on a damaged return, C219/18B/37. .

[30] Huntington Lib. Hastings mss Parl. pprs. .

[31] Aged 56 in January 1547, C24/23. Clutterbuck, Herts. ii. 360; Vis. Essex (Harl. Soc. xiii), 30. .

[32] LP Hen. VIII, iii, iv, viii, xiii, xvii, xx; CPR, 1553, pp. 316, 354; 1553-4, p. 20. .

[33] LP Hen. VIII, xi, xix; Herts. Gen. and Antiq. i. 331.

[34] The “reason for pricking through vellum was that the choice was not always a welcome honour due to the costs the incumbent was likely to have to shoulder and also the challenges faced in assessing and collecting taxes ... A mark with a pen on vellum could easily be erased with a knife, but a hole in the vellum (which is made from calf skin) could not be removed or repaired invisibly.” www.highsheriffs.com/History.htm 4 Mar 2017.

[35] CPR, 1549-51, p. 51; 1553, p. 404; Foxe, Acts and Mons. vii. 345; APC, vi. 196.

[36] CPR, 1566-9, p. 420; PCC 33 Watson; C3/132/103. D.F.C.

[37] TNA C24/23 l 28.

[38] Chauncy 1826 vol 1 p 144f: by deeds of 20 Dec 1537 and 20 Oct 1538—drawing of it facing p 144; VCHvol 3 p 210 cited Close, 30 Hen VIII, pt vi no 5.

[39] www.highsheriffs.com/History.htm 4 Mar 2017.

[40] Chauncy 1826 vol 1 p 47.

[41] PRO Lists and Indexes, vol 9, p 45; Chauncy 1826 vol 1 p 47.

[42] Exchequer Pipe Roll 2–3 Edward VI: Essex and Hertfordshire (TNA E 372/394). For the original Latin contact the Archivist of this website.

[43] 'De pluribus debitis suis is just a standard phrase, not pejorative, indicating that there were many items, but not recited here. It would be de pluribus defaltis suis if there was an impropriety.' Communication from David Bethell Feb 2017.

[44] ‘In thesaurio nichil is a standard phrase to the effect that no cash had been deposited in the Exchequer on this particular account.’ Communication from David Bethell Feb 2017.

[45] There is a long account for Edward Brockett, over two membranes (sewn into the roll backwards): goo.gl/a51L4u; goo.gl/CsZAnc; goo.gl/1u1r5S (all accessed 18 Aug 2018), but it is not of much interest with respect to Edward himself. ‘It was also the Sheriff’s responsibility to ensure the safety and comfort of the Judges.’ (goo.gl/hxFUPW (accessed 18 Aug 2018.).

[46] These items in the Estreat Rolls that Edward was absolved of were probably fines of the suits brought by the Crown while he was Sheriff.

[47] The arithmetic doesn’t add up. £145 12¾d less 100s (£5) for repairs to the castle and gaol; less £45 for the justices’ visits, and two Foreign Estreats of £15 5s and £37 3s 4d = £42 13s 8¾d. By saying he owes £43 3s 8¾d an extra 10s has been added. 'The fact that the inconsistency here was 10s suggests a copying error in which an x dropped out. I’ve looked at the text again, but can’t see an x hiding.' Communication from David Bethell Feb 2017.

[48] The terms Item, Adhuc Item and Residuum are names for supplements to the main account. Communication from David Bethell Feb 2017.

[49] goo.gl/Xy394e (accessed 18 Aug 2018, final item). For the original Latin contact the Archivist of this website.

[50] PRO Lists and Indexes, vol 9, p 45; Chauncy 1826 vol 1 p 47 had 1538-9. Chauncy said he collected the dates from the Pipe Rolls in the Exchequer (p 42), however this would have been difficult due to “the year as reckoned at the Exchequer not corresponding either with that of the Christian era, or with the regnal year of the King (PRO Lists and Indexes, vol 9, Preface). The PRO List is the definitive record.

[51] Exchequer Pipe Roll 3–4 Edward VI: Essex and Hertfordshire (TNA E 372/395) goo.gl/cqezsc (accessed 18 Aug 2018). For the original Latin contact the Archivist of this website.

[52] ‘The entry recites the amount from where this account started, in the 1st year.’ Communication from David Bethell Feb 2017.

[53] Exchequer Pipe Roll 5–6 Edward VI: Essex and Hertfordshire (TNA E 372/397) goo.gl/joCfc1 (accessed 18 Aug 2018). For the original Latin contact the Archivist of this website.

[54] TNA E 372/399.

[55] Communication from David Bethell.

[56] PRO Lists and Indexes, vol 9, p 45; Chauncy 1826 vol 1 p 47.

[57] 'House of Commons Journal Volume 1: 12-17 November 1554', in Journal of the House of Commons: Volume 1, 1547-1629 (London, 1802), p. 37. British History Online at goo.gl/XH6hBN (accessed 18 Aug 2018).

[58] TNA E 159/334; goo.gl/8AhLP5 (accessed 18 Aug 2018). NSOED 'Proffer: A provisional payment of estimated dues into the Exchequer by a sheriff or other officer at certain appointed times'. For the original Latin contact the Archivist of this website.

[59] Exchequer Pipe Roll 2 & 3–3 & 4 Philip & Mary: Essex and Hertfordshire (TNA E 372/401); goo.gl/3yZ8n2 (accessed 18 Aug 2018). For the original Latin contact the Archivist of this website.

[60] Exchequer Pipe Roll 2 & 3–3 & 4 Philip & Mary: Essex and Hertfordshire (TNA E 372/402); goo.gl/CuADA7 (accessed 18 Aug 2018). For the original Latin contact the Archivist of this website.

[61] Exchequer Pipe Roll 3 & 4–4 & 5 Philip & Mary: Essex and Hertfordshire (TNA E 372/403), goo.gl/heDmPi and goo.gl/T5XQjL (accessed 18 Aug 2018). For the original Latin contact the Archivist of this website.

[62] Dasent 1892.

[63] Edward Broket - Dasent 1892 p 141.

[64] Thanks to David Bethell for these references.

[65] 1905 pp 364-6.

[66] No day specified.

[67] goo.gl/NFrDns (accessed 18 Aug 2018).

[68] Cattley's 1838-41 edition, vol 6, pp 677ff.

[69] Cattley's 1838-41 edition, vol 6, pp 677.

[70] Cattley's 1838-41 edition pp 694-6.

[71] Cattley's 1838-41 edition, vol 6, pp 722-9.

[72] Cattley's 1838-41 edition, vol 6, p 728.

[73] Cattley's 1838-41 edition vol 6 p 737.

[74] Cattley's 1838-41 edition vol 6 p 737ff.

[75] Cattley's 1838-41 edition, vol 6, pp 114-5.

[76] Dasent 1892 p 141.

[77] Dasent 1892 p 224.

[78] Cattley's 1838-41 edition vol 6 pp 118-23.

[79] Cattley's 1838-41 edition, vol 6, pp 86-7; 80; 90.

[80] Cattley's 1838-41 edition, vol 6, pp 114-5.

[81] Cattley's 1838-41 edition, vol 6, pp 139-42.

[82] Chauncy 1826 vol 1 p 48.

[83] 1631 edition, pp 394-7; Urwick devoted a whole chapter to this (1884 pp 57-74), largely reproducing Foxe.

[84] Cattley's 1838-41 edition, vol 6, p 370.

[85] Dasent 1892 pp 106, 174, 192, 194.

[86] goo.gl/MTG4CD (accessed 18 Aug 2018).

[87] TNA PROB 11/29/133.

[88] TNA PROB 11/31/494, written 24 Jul 1546, proved 16 May 1547 (Reade 1920s pp 2401). Transcription gratefully received from James Lively 25 May 2019.

[89] TNA PROB 11/37/4.

[90] TNA CP25/2/16.

[91] 1826 vol 1 p 119.

[92] TNA CP40/1023 d689. 10 Henry VIII. For the original Latin contact the Archivist of this website.

[93] Hilary 12 Henry VIII. TNA CP 40/1031 d359. For the original Latin contact the Archivist of this website.

[94] Hilary 14 Henry VIII. TNA CP 40/1038 d1090. For the original Latin contact the Archivist of this website.

[95] Hilary 16 Henry VIII. TNA CP 40/1046 f589. For the original Latin contact the Archivist of this website.

[96] Hilary 16 Henry VIII. TNA CP 40/1046 f788. For the original Latin contact the Archivist of this website.

[97] TNA CP 40/1046 f226; also HALS DE 114.

[98] Hilary 19 Henry VIII. TNA CP 40/1057 d6912. For the original Latin contact the Archivist of this website.

[99] A2A Catalogue ref MS 3889/Acc 1926-008/348010 and 348087, deeds of the Bracebridge family of Atherstone Hall, Warwickshire in Birmingham Archives.

[100] goo.gl/JXgWyu (accessed 18 Aug 2018).

[101] A2A Catalogue ref D(F)129, 145, deeds of the Dolben family of Finedon, Northamptonshire.

[102] PCC PROB 11/100; www.docwras.org.uk (no longer available 18 Aug 2018).

[103] TNA CP 40/1060 d6383. Hilary 20 Henry VIII. For the original Latin contact the Archivist of this website.

[104] A F Wareham and A P M Wright, 'Fordham: Manors and other estates', in A History of the County of Cambridge and the Isle of Ely: Volume 10, Cheveley, Flendish, Staine and Staploe Hundreds (North-Eastern Cambridgeshire) (London, 2002), pp. 395-402 at goo.gl/JjZoJf (accessed 18 Aug 2018).

[105] Baker 2012 p 365.

[106] Calendar of Patent Rolls vol 4 p 3052, no.6751 (28).

[107] Hilary 21 Henry VIII. TNA CP 40/1064 d8074. For the original Latin contact the Archivist of this website.

[108] Hilary 21 Henry VIII. TNA CP 40/1064 f7520. For the original Latin contact the Archivist of this website.

[109] 1. Jan 20. TNA CP 40/1068 f84. 2. Hilary. TNA CP 40/1068 f88. For the original Latin contact the Archivist of this website.

[110] According to VCH Herts iii p 26, notes 32 (John's IPM) and 33 (John's Will), available from British History Online at https://tinyurl.com/y3p9erdu (accessed 9 Jul 2019).

[111] Howlett 2012 p 38, citing TNA SC6/HENVIII/6770.

[112] Howlett 2012 p 38.

[113] Communication from Bridget Howlett, July 2015.

[114] 1. Hilary. TNA CP 40/1076 d6042. 2. Hilary. TNA CP 40/1076 f5076. For the original Latin contact the Archivist of this website.

[115] 12 Feb 24 Henry VIII. TNA CP 40/1076 f3915. For the original Latin contact the Archivist of this website.

[116] Chauncy 1826 vol 2 p 183.

[117] Hilary 26 Henry VIII. TNA CP 40/1084 f2234. For the original Latin contact the Archivist of this website.

[118] 20 Jan 27 Henry VIII. TNA CP 40/1088 f2867. For the original Latin contact the Archivist of this website.

[119] Hilary 27 Henry VIII. TNA CP 40/1088 f2496. For the original Latin contact the Archivist of this website.

[120] TNA CP 40/11092 f2346. Hilary 28 Henry VIII. For the original Latin contact the Archivist of this website.

[121] Hilary 29 Henry VIII. TNA CP 40/1096 d3703. For the original Latin contact the Archivist of this website.

[122] TNA C54/416; VCH vol 3 1912 p 210.

[123] TNA SC6/HENVIII/6633 Accounts for the manor of Hitchin. Thanks to Bridget Howlett for this reference and for helping interpret the other references to stalls.

[124] HALS 58342.

[125] Thanks to Bridget Howlett for this information, Feb 2015.

[126] TNA E179/120/147 (for 1541), E179/121/154 (for 1544) and E179/121/165 (for 1545) respectively. 'Historically Preston was not a parish – most of it was a hamlet in the parish of Hitchin, but part of it was in the parish of Ippollits. About 20 acres of land on Tatmore Hill in Preston was part of the Manor of Hitchin.' (Communication from Bridget Howlett).

[127] Hilary 35 Henry VIII. TNA CP 40/1120 d7065. For the original Latin contact the Archivist of this website.

[128] Hilary 36 Henry VIII. TNA CP 40/1124. For the original Latin contact the Archivist of this website.

[129] Written 23 May 1545, proved Archd. Hunts at Welwyn 8 Oct 1545. Thanks to James Liveley for this reference 11 Apr 2019.

[130] TNA C24/23, cited by Coros in his biography below. Reproduced by kind permission of the National Archives licensed under the Open Government Licence v3.0.

[131] This photograph of the exterior back of the Church of St Mary Letchworth Hertfordshire from historicengland.org.uk's official list entry is attributed to Robin Hall and was originally downloaded from Geograph.co.uk under a Creative Common Licence by the Church of England’s Archbishops’ Council for use on the Church Heritage Record. historicengland dates the church to the 12th, 13th and 15th C.

[132] Reference?.

[133] HALS 87655.

[134] TNA C24/34. Reproduced by kind permission of the National Archives licensed under the Open Government Licence v3.0.

[135] HALS 58341 line 8.

[136] HALS 58342 lines 7-9ff.

[137] TNA C33/13 f 141. Available on AALT. Thanks to David Bethell for this reference.

[138] TNA E315/391 f 72r.

[139] Para 22 of section 802, referring to Westm., 1 June 35 Hen. VIII. Del. Westm., 4 June. P.S. Pat. p. 7, m. 22.

[140] TNA C 78/25/17 line 50-1.

[141] TNA C3/132/103 line 25.

[142] Dittography.

[143] Dittography.

[144] This looks like 'presens,' but would have to be being used adverbially. However, the meaning is clearly more like ‘previous’. Maybe it said 'prius' in the clerk’s notes and became garbled. Thanks to David Bethell for this explanation.

[145] The scribe seems to have written a word, crossed it out, started another, crossed it out and then returned to the first.

[146] It is a puzzzle why the scribe has written a capital E here, and indeed a fancier one than elsewhere in the document. Nor is it clear what the abbreviation in Eidem' might be. The word is written darker than the rest of the text and there is a mark behind it. It looks as though the original word was scratched out from the parchment and a new word was inserted with a fresh pen, perhaps smudging slightly on the scratched surface. Be that as it may, it is difficult to imagine that anything could have been changed significantly by such a process.

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