Sir John Brockett II - The Broket Archive

Sir John Brockett II of Brockett Hall
b by 1532, d 1598

Son of the first Sir John Brockett of Brockett Hall in Hertfordshire, John spent most of his life there. He succeeded to the estate 1558, the year Queen Elizabeth stayed there. His distinctive signature can be found on many official Hertfordshire documents from the second half of the 16th C. Here is one of him signing off the subsidy assessment for Broadwater hundred and Hitchin half hundred in 1572:1

Sir John Brokett's signature E179/121/224 1572

The subsidy was granted by Parliament 15 May 1571 and the estimated date of this assessment is Sep/Oct 1572. The 5 Commissioners mentioned in the Certificate were Sir John Butler and John Brokett, George Horsey, William Tooke and Rowlande Litton Esquires, with John Shipman of Weston Gent, appointed by the Commissioners to collect the payment. Here are all their signatures together, except Rowland Litton’s:

John Brokett and colleagues' signatures 1572 E179/121/224

John was assessed in Hatfield that year at £40 in land, due 40s.2 His mother Lady Margaret, widow, was assessed there at £6 in land—“Dna Margareta Brokett vid’ in terr’ vjli”. William Tooke Esq was assessed at £30 in land and fee. 3

Sir John Brokett and Lady Margaret tax 1572

Contents of this page:

  1. Introduction
  2. Newhall’s biography
  3. Marriages and children
  4. Sheriff of Essex and Herts 1566-7 and of Herts 1581-2
  5. Other records
  6. Will and IPM
  7. Funeral

1. Introduction

John was married to Helen Lytton by April 1552 at the latest, when Helen may have been almost 18, not older. John therefore was unlikely to have been under 18 himself then. So the statement in the Inquisition taken on 18 Oct 1558 after the death of his father Sir John I: “John Brokett of Almesho in the county aforesaid esquire is son and next heir of the aforesaid John Brokett knight, and of age 26 years and more …”4 is probably accurate and John would have been born by 1532.

John served twice as Sheriff, once as MP and on various royal commissions. Under Sir John’s lead, the dynasty maintained an influential position in Hertfordshire throughout his life. But as the 2nd half of the century progressed he steadily sold off parts of the estate, latterly mainly to finance his daughters’ dowries.

With no son on Sir John’s death on 2 Oct 1598 the Hertfordshire family seat of Brockett Hall passed with daughter Mary to the Reade family and the rest of his estate was divided between his other 6 daughters or their heirs. Although descendants of his brother Edward lived in Wheathampstead for another 78 years, and although his cousin John was knighted the following year in 1599, the death of Sir John II marked the end of Broket influence at the ruling level of the County. A large memorial to him still stands against the wall of the Brocket Chapel in St Etheldreda’s Hatfield, now in need of renovation. High above hangs his helmet.

2. Newhall’s biography in the History of Parliament5

A handy overview. However, Newhall’s estimated 1540 birth date for John is a good deal too late. It was perhaps based on a presumed matriculation at Cambridge in 1554, which may well not have been of this John, but even if it was, it need not have been at the age of 14. However it is unlikely that John went to Cambridge when already married (?) so this matriculation may have been of another John. Newhall wasn’t apparently aware of Sir Robert Lytton’s IPM.

BROCKET, John (c.1540-98), of Brocket Hall, Herts. HERTFORDSHIRE 1572

b.c.I540, 1st s. of (Sir) John Brocket of Brocket Hall by his w. Margaret Bensted. educ. Trinity Coll. Camb. matric. pens. 1554. m. (1) Helen, da. of Sir Robert Lytton of Knebworth, 5da.; (2) Elizabeth, da. and coh. of Roger Moore, wid. of Gabriel Fowler, 1da. suc. fa. 1558. Kntd. 1577.6   Read more

3. Sir John Brockett’s marriages and children

John’s 1st wife was Helen / Elena, eldest daughter of Sir Robert LYTTON of Knebworth, Herts, Sheriff of Essex and Herts 1545-6. Helen was mother to all of John’s children apart from the youngest, Frances. John’s younger brother Thomas married Helen’s youngest sister Anne, but died very soon after. Helen and her two sisters were coheiresses to a third of their father’s extensive estates.

The Inquisition taken on 18 April 1552 after Sir Robert’s death stated that Elena was by then married to John Broket esquire and gave her age at her father’s death on 10 July 1550 quite precisely as 16 years 1 month. So she was born in June 1534 and married to John by 18 April 1552. She may well have been married to him earlier, as her sister Elizabeth, younger by two years, was also already married by her father’s death, and the older sister would likely have been married first. So Elena was married to John at the very latest aged 17 years 11 months.

They already had two sons by Easter 1555 when they settled an estate first on their son John Brokett and then on “another son Zelathiel Brokett”. Their first surviving child, however, was a daughter born at least a decade later, c 1566. The Inquisition taken on 17 April 1599 after Lady Helen Brockett’s death said she died 22 March 1582 and that her and Sir John’s children were 5 daughters:+

“Lady Margaret Cutts wife of John Cutts knight
Anne Cave wife of Alexander Cave esquire
Elizabeth Carlton wife of George Carlton esquire
Ellen Spencer wife of Richard Spencer esquire
Mary Read wife of Thomas Read esquire”.11

Both sons were recorded on Clutterbuck’s 1815 pedigree, dying without issue:12

Clutterbuck p 361 Sir John II and children

It isn’t known what became of Salathiel/Zelathiel, but the burial of a probable son John on 2 Feb 1559 was recorded in the Wheathampstead Parish Register. No record of either has been found elsewhere, and Sir John II is only otherwise recorded as having surviving daughters.

John’s 2nd wife was Elizabeth widow of Sir Gabriel FOWLER of Tillesworth, Bedfordshire, and d/o Thomas MOORE of Oxfordshire. Clutterbuck above wrongly recorded Sir John’s 1st wife Helen Lytton as widow of Gabriel FOWLER, and Elizabeth’s father as Roger rather than Thomas. He also wrongly recorded Helen’s burial in 1598, whereas her IPM showed that she died in 1582. The following year, on or about Sir John’s marriage to Elizabeth an inventory of her possessions was drawn up:13+Read more

Dame Elizabeth’s Will was written 27 Apr 1612, executors son Richard Fowler Esq and William Bird Esq.14

Children living when John died in 1598, in the order of the funeral certificate:

  1. Margaret Brocket, b c 1566.15 Married—as his second wife—to Sir John CUTTES/CUTT of Childerleigh, Cambridgeshire, b 1545; MP for Cambridgeshire 1584, 1586 and 1601, and Sheriff of Cambridgeshire and Huntingdonshire 1572-3, 1601-2, and of Herts 1588-9; died 1615.16 If their birth dates are correct he was 20 or more years older than her. She bore him his son John, successor to his estate. According to some 19th, 20th and 21st C sources the marriage was annulled and Margaret married again successively Roger DALE Esq, Sir Francis LEIGH and Thomas LEVETT Esq but this was a confusion with Margaret d/o Sir John Brockett III, s/o Nicholas. A brass monument dated 22 Nov 1610, laid over the grave of this Margaret, d/o Sir John II, in the chancel of Lolworth Church (c 3 m from Childerley) by her apparently devoted son, is hard evidence that she died as the wife of Sir John Cutts.17   Read more
  2. Anne Brocket, b c 1571.18 Married to Alexander CAVE Esq of Bagrave Hall, Leicestershire (later Knight and Sheriff of Leicestershire 1620-21).
  3. Elizabeth Brocket, b c 1572-3. Married to George CARLETON Esq of Holcombe, Oxfordshire. Elizabeth died 17 August 1591 upon which her part of the reversion of her mother’s estate descended to John Carlton as Elizabeth’s son and heir.19 John was created a Baronet in 1627 but the baronetcy became extinct after the death of his son in 1650.20
  4. Helene Brocket, b c 1574.21 Married to Richard SPENCER Esq of Offley (later Knight).22 Richard Esq was Sheriff of Herts 1597-8.23
  5. Mary Brocket, b c 1578.24 Married to Thomas READE Esq (later Knight). Thomas Esq was Sheriff of Herts 1618-19.25 The Hertfordshire Brockett Hall descended to this family.26
  6. Fraunces Brocket, b 1583 or 84, married to Sir Dudley NORTH, 3rd Lord of Kirtling (d 1666). The deference shown to parents by children in those days is described by their eldest son Sir Dudley 4th Lord North who well into middle age ‘would never put on his hat or sit down before his father, unless enjoined to it’.27

Following Berry and Clutterbuck, the 1860 Gateshead Pedigree gave Sir John II and Helen 2 sons: John and Salathiel, both of whom it said died without issue.

John’s sons-in-law Dudley Lord North, Sir Richard Spencer and Sir John Cutt were all signatories to the 3rd Virginia Charter of 12 Mar 1612.

4. Sheriff of Essex and Herts 1566-7 and of Herts 1581-2

Like his great grandfather John of Wheathampstead and great uncle his son Edward of Broadfield and Letchworth before him, John had two terms as Sheriff. As the representative of Queen Elizabeth 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.”28 The Sheriffs’ financial returns were recorded annually at Michaelmas in the Pipe Rolls, but for John the are either missing or not yet seen.

1st term 1566-7—for Essex and Herts

John BROKETT Esq’s first appointment (or commencement of account) began 18 Nov 1566; his predecessor was Robert CHESTER Knt, and his successor in Essex was George TUKE Esq, and in Herts George PENRUDDOCKE Esq, both of whom took over 18 Nov 1567.29 The administration of the two counties were separated after John, however the uncle of his then wife Helen LYTTON, Rowland LYTTON Esq (of Knebworth) became Sheriff of Essex after Tuke and of Hertfordshire after Penruddock on 18 Nov 1568.30

It hasn’t been possible to find out if John owed anything on his account at the end of his term, as the latter part of the accounts for Michaelmas 1567-Michaelmas 1568 and 1568-9 seem to be missing.31 The end of the Michaelmas 1569-Michaelmas 1570 accounts for Essex and Hertfordshire, which were reported separately, seem also to be missing, as John is not found in either.32

2nd term of office 1581-2—for Herts on its own

Sir John BROCKETT’s second appointment (or commencement of account) began 27 Nov 1581; his predecessor was Thomas DOCKWRA Esq (of Putteridge), and his successor Henry CONYNGESBYE Esq (of North-Mims) who took over 5 Dec 1582.33 During his term in office, on 22 March, his wife Lady Helen died.

The return for John for the year Michaelmas 1582–Michaelmas 1583 has not yet been consulted.

5. Other records

Numerous records of Sir John’s personal and official activities survive and only a small selection can be referred to here.

1555 Easter: “William Lawson and George Collyns, plaintiffs John Broket, Esq, and wife Ellen, defendants: A third part of the manor of Hopebrydgehall [Houbridge Hall], and a third part of 2 capital messuages, 10 tofts, 1 dovecote, 3 gardens, 300 acres arable, 50 acres meadow, 100 acres pasture, 20 acres wood and 20s rent in Great Okeley and Little Okeley, Co Essex; and property in Herts and Suffolk. Defendants quitclaimed to plaintiffs and the heirs of William. And for this plaintiffs granted the same to defendants to hold for their lives of the chief lords without impeachment of waste, with remainder to John Brokett their son and the heirs male of his body and Zelanthiel Brokett, another son, and his heirs.”34

1558 Michaelmas: A Common Pleas action brought by George Fisshe gentleman mentioned “John Brokett junior” among the trustees of a property in Welwyn and Codycote. It must have been this John even though his father Sir John I had died in April 1558. The action was a virtual duplicate of one brought against Edward Brokett gentleman.

1558 18 Oct. The Inquisition after the death of his father Sir John I called him “John Brokett of Almesho in the county aforesaid esquire”.35

1559 Easter—This case shows that John and Helen held lands in Suffolk and their bailiff had absconded. By their attorney, John Brokett esquire and Ellen his wife brought a Common Pleas action at Westminster in the first year of Elizabeth’s reign with Thomas LYTELL esquire and Elizabeth his wife against Marmaduke DOWE of Coddenham in Suffolk yeoman, that he render them his reasonable account for the time that he was their bailiff in Coddenham, Barham, Bramford, Hempsson, Gosbacke, Henley, Cleydon, Blakenham, Baylam, Croxfeld, Stonham, Aspill, Ipswich, Cretyng and Nedeham. The court again ordered the Suffolk sheriff to take Marmaduke and bring him to court on 22 May 1559:36+Read more

1560: A foot of fine is recorded from Michaelmas 2 & 3 Elz, summarised as: “Anthony Cavallary and William Whetcrofte [Querents, i.e. purchasors]; John Brokett esq [Deforciant, i.e. vendor]. Manor of Wateshypps alias Brokett Hall and 2 messuages and lands in Bysshoppes Hatfyeld, Little Ayott and Sandrydge.”37 This was John’s main residence and he held it till his death in 1598. So was this a temporary mortgage to raise some cash? The original might make it clear whether it was a mortgage or a trust. Anthony Cavallary was the father of Sir Robert Lytton’s fist wife.

1564-6: John served on numerous Hertfordshire commissions ordered by the Crown, illustrated by four from this period, which also show some of the colleagues he worked with:

  • 1564 1 Jun: Commission of the Peace to Herts. John Brocket, Francis Walsingham, Richard Raynshawe, George Hadley, Rowland Lytton, William Doddes, Nicholas Brystowe, Edmund Twyneo, Thomas Hanchett, Edward Tailour, George Burgoyn, Henry Conyngesbye, Thomas Dockwray and William Hyde. 38
  • 1564 16 May: Commission to raise a contribution re St Pauls] … John Brockett, Francis Walsingham, Richard Raynshawe, George Hadley, Rowland Lytton, William Doddes, Nicholas Bristowe, Edmund Twinio, Thomas Hanchett, Edward Taylore, George Burgon, Henry Conyngesbye, Thomas Dockwray and William Hyde.39
  • 1565 8 Jan: As Justices of the Peace and of Oyer and Terminer in the County: John Butler, knight, John Brockett, George Horsey, John Knighton, Edward Basshe, William Tooke, Rowland Lytton, William Doddes, Nicholas Briscowe, Thomas Hanchett, George Burgoyne, Henry Conyngesby, Thomas Dockwraye, Thomas Snagge and William Hyde.40
  • 1566 9 Feb: Commission to John Brocket, William Tooke, Nicholas Brystowe and Richard Barley (or two of them, Tooke being one) to inquire in the County of Hertford touching the idiocy of Henry Russheley.41

1564 21 Jan: Hertford Castle. Licence for John Burlase and Anne his wife to alienate a third part of the Manor of Mynlesden alias Mesenden [Minsden] and of lands in Huchyn, Ipolettes, Langley, Preston and Mynlesden, Co Hertford, to John Brockett. For 13s in the Hanaper.42

1566-7 Sheriff of Essex and Herts

1567 Margaret Brockett, Widow of kinsman Edward of Broadfield and Letchworth Esq, and her second son William were recorded paying tax on land in Ayott Parva (St Peter’s), part of which was in the manor of Westingtons, of which Sir John was lord, his father having purchased it in 1555.

Lands in Bedfordshire:

  • ?1575: Acquired the Manor of Luton Hoo, sold by his trustees after his death to Sir Robert Napier in 1601.43
  • ?1575: Acquired the Manor of East Hide—part of Luton Manor. On his death it passed by settlement to brother Edward, from whom it passed to his son John.44
  • 1594: Paid £4 for £40 in land in Tyllesworth, but had sold it by 1597. Gabriell Fowler, 1st husband of John’s 2nd wife, had an estate in Tillsworth, Bedfordshire.
  • 1598: Mentioned property in Stanbridge c 8 m W of Luton in his Will.

1577 18-23 May: “John Brocket, of Herts [was knighted] (at Gorehambury, Herts, the house of Sir Nicholas Bacon, lord keeper of the Great Seal).”45

1577 28 0ct: Along with Philip Boteler and George Horsey, John sent a signed certificate “from Brockethall” in response to an inquiry from the Bishops of Lincoln and London into recusants in Hertfordshire.46
certificate re recusants in Hertfordshire
1578: In the Hilary term of this year at the court of Common Pleas in Westminster John Brockett Knight concluded a final concord of purchase from Thomas Burton and Alice his wife of one messuage, 20 acres of land, 20 acres of pasture, with appurtenances in North’ Mymmes.47 This was a ‘placitum conuencionis’—a plea of covenant—and is an entry relating to a ‘foot of fine’. There would have been a corresponding ‘foot’ in CP 25.48 The fee was 6s 8d, repeated in the margin “D marc”, i.e. half a mark, which was 13s 4d. See the similar plea of 1580 below.

1578: Letter of attorney to deliver seisin of land in Sandridge parish.49

1580: In the Hilary term of this year at the court of Common Pleas in Westminster John Brokett Knight and Elen his wife concluded a final concord of sale to Edward Pulter Esquire of the manor of Bradfeilde alias Brodefeilde with appurtenances, 10 messuages, 200 acres of land, 100 acres of meadow, 200 acres of pasture, 200 acres of woods and 10s rent with appurtenances in Bradfeilde alias Brodefeilde, Rushden and Codreth alias Cotered, and also the advowson of the church of Bradfeilde alias Brodefeilde.50 The larger fee of 50s (ls) than the similar plea of 1578 above was because it was a larger property. See the similar 1580 Feet of Fines record on the separate page.

1580: As a Commissioner for the general muster of Hertfordshire, Sir John took part in the levy of 100 men for the service of the Queen.51

1579: A State Paper minute dated 13 Jan 1579 regarding:

“the Myners, Maryners, & others imploied in the late late voiage vnder our Loving freind Mr Martyn Furbusher, weare vnpaide of their waiges for their service in the said voiage / and thereby do Lye still at the great increase of charges of the Adventurers /. We wrote our lettres by her Majesties precise commandment, to your Lordships, emonge others, to make paiement…”.52

Although Sir John wasn’t named in this minute, it appears from the Acts of the Privy Council of the same 13 Jan 1579 that one letter was addressed to him.53

Privy Council minute re Sir John II 1579

Frobisher had made voyages in 1574 and 1577 but this letter referred to the ill-fated Jun-Oct 1578 one which failed to establish a colony and among other mishaps brought back a large amount of ore, which turned out not to be gold but valueless iron pyrites. Sir John’s investment no doubt brought him no return and he was presumably reluctant to pay any remaining instalments.

1581-2: Sheriff of Herts

1582: John’s wife Lady Helen died 22 March.

1582 27 March: “Letter from Sir Walter Mildmay, Knight, Chancellor of the Exchequer, to the Lord Mayor, Aldermen, and Recorder, requesting that a little house in the Old Bailey, belonging to the City, and formerly in the tenure of Dr. Gifford, might be let to Sir John Brocket, Knight, for such consideration as might be thought proper.”54

1584: In the Hilary term of this year at the court of Common Pleas in Westminster John Brokett Knight and Richard Ferris Esquire sued a writ of entry sur disseisin in le post in Chancery against Edward Denton Esquire and Joyce his wife of the manor of Beynton with appurtenances, 10 messuages, 10 tofts, 2 dovehouses, 20 gardens, 3 acres of land, 100 acres of meadow, 400 acres of pasture, 200 acres of woods, 300 acres of furse and heath and £5 rent with appurtenances in Beynton and Stockline Oxfordshire.55 Note: This was the manor of Bainton in Stoke Lyne Oxfordshire. According to the VCH, in 1562 “John Denton of Ambrosden and Bicester settled it on his eldest son John on his marriage to Theodora Blundell, the daughter of a London merchant. This son died young and his wife, who later married a Champneys, held the manor for life. After John Denton’s death in 1576, Bainton was inherited by his son and heir Edward, who in 1586 settled it on his son-in-law Edward Smythe of Stoke Prior (Worcs.).[fn. 154: C 142/178/61 (IPM of John Denton); C.P. 25(2)/197/Trin. 28 Eliz.; Oxon. Visit. 229. It had been mortgaged in 1584 to Sir John Brocket of Hatfield: Hants, R.O. Cope deed 213.].56

1585: First witness to uncle Nicholas‘ nuncupative Will.

1592 13 May. Tax: One of the Commissioners for Herts, John paid £4 for lands rated at £60 and had resided for the period with his family at Brokett Hall:57   Read more

Examples of disposal of property:

  1. Sold land and fishing rights in Bolton Percy in 1558 and 1563 to Roger Ryley and Brockethall Manor there to Thomas Fairfax in 1565.58
  2. Sold the Manor of Herons in Wheathampstead in 1565 to Thomas North.59
  3. Sold 174 acres in Wheathampstead in 1582,60 although over half of these were bought by brother Edward of Wheathampstead Place.

6. Will and IPM

Written 7 Aug 1598,61 his executors were son-in-law Richard SPENCER and daughter Fraunces (under 21 and unmarried at the time):

1. In the name of God Amen the seaventh
2. daye of August Anno domini A thousand Fyve hundred nyntie Eight , and in
3. the fortith yeare of the Raigne of our Soveraigne Ladie Elizabeth by the grace
4. of God Queene of England Fraunce and Ireland defender of the fayth etes‘. I
5. Sir John Brockett of Brockett hall within the Countie of Hertford knight

John left up to £200 for a funeral and £40 for a tomb near his 1st wife Ellen:+Read more

Bequests to the family:

1. Daughter Fraunces : All goods, chattels and cash, the lease of the house in Aldersgate St and of the stable in St Bartlemewes, all fixtures and fittings at Brockett Hall (lines 24-35). All this after the life interest or widowhood of her mother Dame Elizabeth, who was not to dispose any of it unless for Fraunces’ benefit:+Read more

If Fraunces were to die before marriage or the age of 21, all these legacies were to be sold as soon as possible after Dame Elizabeth’s death or remarriage and shared among the other daughters or their heirs (lines 71-82). Fraunces was also bequeathed 1000 marks at marriage or the age of 21 (line 85-9). If she were to die beforehand, £200 of this was to go to grandson John Cutts, £200 to grandson John Carleton and the remainder equally to his daughters or their eldest sons or heirs (lines 89-123).

2. Wife Dame Elizabeth: £100 within 6 months (lines 83-4).

3. Daughter Mary Reade: £100 within 1 year (lines 128-9).

4. Daughter Lady Margaret’s son John Cutts: £200 at the age of 21 (lines 130-5).

5. Deceased daughter Elizabeth’s son John Carleton: £600 at the age of 21 (lines 152-66).

6. Daughter Margaret Lady Cuttes: £100 within 1 year (lines 183-6).

7. Daughter Anne Cave: £100 within 1 year (lines 186-9).

8. Daughter Helene Spencer: £100 within 1 year (lines 189-92).

The Hall and servants were to be kept as normal for a month after John’s death:+Read more

John bequeathed his wife all her clothing and jewels (!):+Read more
The Will was witnessed by Thomas Walkeden, William Pesley, Frauncis Stepneth.

He described his house in Aldersgate St (near the Barbican and St Paul’s and just north of London Wall) as ‘in the subvrbs of London’ (l 28).

Inquisition on his death62

A very large parchment document, c 8×5 ft, in bad condition in places from damp.

First wife Dame Helen Brockett’s IPM63 is dated 17 April 1599 following the death of Sir John on 2 Oct 1598. On her death in 22 March 1582 “according to the law and custom of the realm of England” all her property descended to her husband for his lifetime, after which it reverted to their 4 daughters “Lady Margaret Cutts wife of John Cutts knight, Anne Cave wife of Alexander Cave esquire, Elizabeth Carlton wife of George Carlton esquire, Ellen Spencer wife of Richard Spencer esquire, Mary Read wife of Thomas Read esquire”.64

Her properties were:

  1. A third of the manor of Mynnesden and a third of a certain wood called Hitchwood in Ipollets, Langley, Preston, Hitchin and Mynnesden. Held from the queen in chief by the service of a hundredth part of one knight’s fee, worth per annum 33s 4d.
  2. The manor of Broxsborn otherwise Canwickes, and 2 messuages, 100 acres of arable land, 100 acres of pasture, 20 acres of meadow, 50 acres of wood, and 8s rent in Stevnage, Knebworthe, Codicote and Langley. Held from the Bishop of London, as of his manor of Stevenage, for services unknown, worth 40s per annum.
  3. The manors of Dennis and Lewes in the parish of Codnam; the manor of Bunwalles in the parish of Hemyngstoune; the manors of Sackvills (Rents) in the parish of Barham and Claydon; the manors of Sturman and Playfford in the parish of Henley in county Suffolk. For services unknown, worth £5 per annum.
  4. 4 messuages, 70 acres of arable land, 20 acres of pasture, 20 acres of meadow and marsh in Claydon, Barham and Codnam in Suffolk.

These may well have been Lytton property originally, at least those local to Knebworth. As Newhall said, “His first marriage brought him further land, mostly in the vicinity of Hitchin.”

7. Funeral

The College of Arms has a decorated certificate issued on 23 October 1598 by William Camden, Clarenceux King of Arms, and Nicholas Paddy, Lancaster Herald, for the funeral of ‘Sir John Brokett of Brokett Haule’.65 Funeral certificates were issued in connexion with the organisation of heraldic funerals. The certificate includes a painting of 2 standards; a tabard; his arms—with 5 quarterings; arms of each of his wives; and his crest—a stag lodged proper, gorged with a gold ducal or crest coronet. Henry Gray of Hatfield copied and painted the tabard and crest in 2004.

                                    23th. of October. 1598.
Sir Jhon Brokett of Brokett Haule in the Countie of Hertford Knight maryed Helen
the Daughter and Coheyr of Sir Robert Litton of Knebworth in the County of Hartf’ Knight
by whom he had yssue, Margaret maried to Sir Jhon Cuttes Knight. Anne maried to Allexander
Caue of Bagrave in the County of Leicester Esquier. Elizabeth maried to George Carleton
of Oxfordshyre Esquire. Helen maried to Richard Spencer of Offeley in the County of Hartf’
Esquire. Mary maried to Thomas Read of Barton neer Abbington in the County of Berk’ Esquire.
The sayd Sir Jhon Brokett maried to his second wyfe Elizabeth Daughter of Tho: Moore
of Bircester in the County of Oxon’, widdowe of Gabriell Fowler of Tillesworth in the County
of Bedford. by whom he had onely Frances Brokett a daughter at his death of the age of
between 14. & 15 years.
The sayd Sir Jhon Brokett died the 2d day of October 1598. and his Funeralles were
solemnized worshipfully according to his degree at the Parish Church of Hatfield the 23th
of the same Moneth following. The Standerd was borne by Jhon Brokett sonne to Edw:
Brokett of Whetthamsteed, The Penon of his Armes by Jhon Brokett of Macarelles end. The
Helmet and Creast by Nicholas Paddy Lancaster Heraulde. The Coat of Armes Sword
and Shield by Wm Camden Clarencieux attending at the sayd Funerall. The Executors
Rich. Spencer Esquire and Frances Brokett Daughter to the Defuncte./
Signed by Ri. Spencer
William Camden Clarenceulx
Nicholas Paddie alias
Lancaster Herrauld

Page Last Updated: October 15, 2020


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


[1] TNA E179/121/224 m5. Reproduced by kind permission of the National Archives licensed under the Open Government Licence v3.0.

[2] TNA E179/121/224 m1. Reproduced by kind permission of the National Archives licensed under the Open Government Licence v3.0.

[3] When used in assessments the term 'land and fee' means both the annual income from land possessed or rented out, and the annual fee or salary for some official position (communication from David Bethell 18 Oct 2017).

[4] TNA C142/116/83 line 41

[5] Hasler 1981 pp 487-8, reproduced by permission of the Trustees of the History of Parliament. Three internal links have been added; otherwise the text is as Hasler published, including footnotes. The author ‘M.N.’ was Mary Newhall, but History of Parliament has no further information on her. This is now available at 8 Oct 2017.

[6] H. Chauncy, Herts. ii, 16-19; Vis. Herts (Harl. Soc. xxii), 32 ; CPR, 1558-60, p. 361.

[7] St. Albans RO misc. docs. I, i. 149.

[8] St Albans and Herts. Arch. Soc. Trans. 1889, pp. 24, 27-8; 1930-2, pp. 267-78; VCH Herts. ii. 300, 302, 311, 416, 434, 436; iii. 12, 23, 26, 64, 101, 145, 239; C142/257/42; CPR, 1558-60, p. 265; 1566-9, p. 301; HMC Hatfield, ii. 66; C. Read, Walsingham, iii. 218-19, 429; Chauncy, loc. cit.; Vis. Oxon. (Harl. Soc. v), 124.

[9] CJ, i, 106, 119, 121, 117; D'Ewes 298; Neale, Commons, 28-30, 330; CSP Dom. 1547-80, p. 561; 1581-90, pp. 602-3, 605; 1591-4, p. 194; 1595-7, pp. 98, 107-8, 127, 163, 206, 307; Lansd. 46, f. 193; 56, ff. 166, 168; 66, f. 268; 73, f. 163; 75, f. 212; 80, ff. 91, 95, 83, f.45; APC, x. 433; xi. 455; Rylands Eng. ms 211.

[10] PCC 78 Lewyn. M.N.

[11] TNA C142/258/76.

[12] Vol 2 p 361, edited to remove irrelevant material; followed by Berry 1842.

[13] BL Add 29438 f 23, an abbreviated selection.

[14] Proved 2 Jul, PCC PROB 11/120.

[15] Aged 32 on 2 Oct 1598, according to her mother's IPM (TNA C142/258/76).

[16] 21 Oct 2017; Visitation of Cambridgeshire 1575 and 1619, pp 30-1; PRO Lists and Indexes, vol 9, p 64; Chauncy 1826 vol 1 p 48; stone memorial to Sir John Cutts, Knight died 1615 in the Chancel of Lolworth Church.

[17] Sincere thanks to the Vicar, Rev Dr John-David Yule, for taking and supplying the photograph 21 May 2015.

[18] Aged 27 on 2 Oct 1598, according to her mother's IPM (TNA C142/258/76).

[19] According to her mother's IPM (TNA C142/258/76).

[20] Burke and Burke 1838 p 102

[21] Aged 24 on 2 Oct 1598, according to her mother's IPM (TNA C142/258/76).

[22] Metcalfe 1886 p 165.

[23] PRO Lists and Indexes, vol 9, p 64; Chauncy 1826 vol 1 p 48.

[24] Aged 20 on 2 Oct 1598, according to her mother's IPM (TNA C142/258/76).

[25] PRO Lists and Indexes, vol 9, p 64; Chauncy 1826 vol 1 p 48.

[26] Metcalfe 1886 p 162.

[27] L Stone 1977 p 122.

[28] 4 Mar 2017.

[29] PRO Lists and Indexes, vol 9, pp 45, 64; Chauncy 1826 vol 1 p 47.

[30] PRO Lists and Indexes, vol 9, pp 45, 64; Chauncy 1826 vol 1 p 47.

[31] TNA E 372/413 and 372/414. Thanks to David Bethell for this information.

[32] TNA E 372/415. Thanks to David Bethell for this information.

[33] PRO Lists and Indexes, vol 9, p 64; Chauncy 1826 vol 1 p 48.

[34] Feet of Fines Essex vol 5 1547-1603; TNA CP 25/2/83/710/ 1and2PHILandMARYEASTER

[35] TNA C142/116/83 line 41

[36] 1559 Easter, TNA CP 40/1179. For the original Latin contact the Archivist of this website.

[37] Brigg 1897 p 307.

[38] Calendar of Patent Rolls (1960) Elizabeth I, vol 3 1563-6, p 23, TNA C 66/998 no. 123.

[39] Calendar of Patent Rolls (1960) Elizabeth I, vol 3 1563-6, p 123, TNA C 66/1003 no. 497.

[40] Calendar of Patent Rolls (1960) Elizabeth I, vol 3 1563-6, p 320, TNA C 66/1017 no. 1787.

[41] Calendar of Patent Rolls (1960) Elizabeth I, vol 3 1563-6, p 509, TNA C 66/1027 no. 2843.

[42] Calendar of Patent Rolls (1960) Elizabeth I, vol 3 1563-6, p 133, TNA C 66/1003 no. 563.

[43] VCH Bedfordshire vol 2 p 355; Cobbe 1899 p 196.

[44] VCH Bedfordshire vol 2 pp 357.

[45] Shaw 1906 vol 2 p 78.

[46] accessed 29 Nov 2017; Catholic Record Society Miscellanea vol 12 (thanks to David Bethell for these references). See also Newhall's biography above.

[47] TNA CP 40/1352 f55 (AALT). Hilary 20 Eliz.

[48] Communication from David Bethell 23 Sep 2020.

[49] BL Add Ch 35513.

[50] TNA CP 40/1373 f783 (AALT). Hilary 22 Eliz.

[51] King 1996 p 3.

[52] AALT at (accessed 21 Oct 2018).

[53] British History Online at p 14 (accessed 21 Oct 2018). Thanks to David Bethell for these references.

[54] 'Leases' I. 307, in Analytical Index To the Series of Records Known As the Remembrancia 1579-1664, ed. W H Overall and H C Overall (London, 1878), pp. 175-178 at (accessed 7 Sep 2018).

[55] TNA CP 40/1423 f300 (AALT). Hilary 26 Eliz.

[56] 'Parishes: Stoke Lyne', in A History of the County of Oxford vol 6, ed. Mary D Lobel (London, 1959), pp 312-323.

[57] TNA E115/28/26 f 86.

[58] Leeds City Archives DB/65/8; YASRS 1888 vol 5 pp 273-4; see M J Harrison 2000, pp 85 n 38, 92.

[59] Munby 1974 p 50; VCH Herts vol 2 p 302.

[60] WAM 14039, as cited in Munby 1974 p 62.

[61] Proved PCC 12 Oct 1598 PROB 11/92.

[62] TNA C142/257/42 1599 (41 Eliz).

[63] TNA C142/258/76.

[64] TNA C142/258/76.

[65] ms I.16/26.