Hertfordshire Brokets 1558-99
Brokets remained influential in Hertfordshire throughout this period. In 1558 Nicholas, younger brother of Sir John I, married Margaret HOO, heiress of Mackary End. With Sir John II succeeding the same year to the Wheathampstead manor, this gave the family a commanding position in the local community.1 Mackary End stayed in Nicholas’ family till 1628, but the Wheathampstead estates dwindled with Sir John II. As the half century progressed Sir John II steadily sold parts of the estate, appaently to finance his daughters’ dowries. This was the time to have a pedigree drawn up by the Somerset Herald Glover. By his death without a surviving son in 1598 the family seat of Brockett Hall passed with daughter Mary to the Reade family and what was left of John’s estate was divided between his other 5 daughters or their heirs.
The following Brokets can be highlighted:
- Thomas the elder Esq of Brockett Hall
- Edward Gent of Bradfield (separate page)
- William Gent of Esyndon
- Sir John II of Brockett Hall (separate page)
- Nicholas Esq of Mackery End, Whethampsted
- Robert of Wheathampstead, d 1562
- William II Yeoman of Hichyn (separate page)
- Johan of Offley (separate page)
- Lucie daughter of Edward of Letchworth
- Edward Gent of Sabridgworthe (separate page)
- Elizabeth (Barley) of Sabridgworth (separate page)
- Edward I of Hitchin (separate page)
- William III Yeoman of Hitchin (separate page)
- Edward Esq of Wheathampstead Place
- John Brockett Gent of Bishops Stortford Co Hert (London)
Son of Sir John I of Brockett Hall. The earliest known record of Thomas is his mention in his father’s Will written 14 Aug 1557 along with his other living siblings, including Thomas the younger. Neither Thomas was recorded in the surviving transcript of the Wheathampstead Parish Registers or of Hatfield, but the order of mention in the Will suggests that Thomas the elder was the third living son after John (later Sir John II) and Edward (later of Wheathampstead Place Esq). The next mentioned son, Bensted, had been baptised 12 May 1548. Eldest brother John was born by 1532, so allowing a minimum of a couple of years between births and no sisters in between, Thomas would have been born c 1536-40. We know that Thomas was married between 14 Aug 1557 and 17 May 1558, so the earlier date would have made him either 17 or 21 at marriage and the later one 18 or 22. Seventeen was uncommon for a groom in those times.4 However his bride, Anne Lytton was only 14 or 15. The Inquisition taken on 18 April 1552 stated that Anne was aged 6 years and 10 months on 10 July 1550—the death of her father—dating her birth to May 1543.5 A handsome inheritance would have come with Anne, as came to brother John through his marriage to Anne’s sister Helen.
Note: This means “I give my son Thomas Brokett the elder all my property in Nottinghamshire in compensation for a marriage contract that I made, ensured by a matching bond I made along with my eldest son John, to pay Anne Lytton £100, whom god willing Thomas shall marry. This gift of property in Nottinghamshire is to prevent Thomas from gaining any advantage for himself out of the £100 agreement, but if he does so this legacy of £10 is cancelled.” The proviso at the end means that Edward will inherit the profit from the deal that was made in arranging the marriage.7
It was a coincidence that a Thomas Brokett was recorded in Nottinghamshire 1536-7 and 1545. He was not this Thomas, son of Sir John.
Sir John died 24 Mar 1558 and on 17 May 1558 a long and elaborate licence was issued by the Crown court for “Thomas Brokett esquire and Anne his wife” to enter into Anne’s share of her father’s estate.8
Thomas must have died soon after this. There were no children from the marriage and, according to the History of Parliament, by c 1561 Anne Lytton (not Brockett) was married to John BORLACE of Little Marlow, Buckinghamshire, and bore him 1 son and 6 daus. John was b c 1527; MP for Buckinghamshire 1586; Sheriff of Bucks and Beds 1567-8, Bucks 1588-9; d 1593.10 Their son was baptised 26 Jan 1566.11 He went on to become Sir William Borlase, Sherriff of Buckinghamshire 1601, and MP for Aylesbury 1604 and Buckinghamshire1614, and died 1629.12
If the History of Parliament‘s dates are correct, Anne was about 18 and John about 34 when they married.
Both Thomas (the elder) and his eldest brother John were married to daughters of Sir Robert Lytton (d 1551 or 5). The Visitation of Hertfordshire called him Sir Robert Lytton of Shrubland and included Anne in the list of his daughters, but did not mention her first husband Thomas Brokett:13
1. Elizabeth m Edward Barrett of Aveleigh, Essex
2. Anne m John Burlacey of Marlow, Oxfordshire.
3. Helen m 1 Gabriel Fowler; 2 Sir John Brocket [This is a mistake—rather it was Sir John Brocket who married 1 Helen Lytton and 2 Elizabeth, widow of Sir Gabriel Fowler].
4. An unnamed daughter.
Who the 4th daughter here, or Mary in Burke’s list next was, is not known. The licence for Thomas and Anne states that there were three heiresses.
Burke omitted Anne from his list of Sir Robert Lytton’s daughters and their husbands:14
1. Helen m 1 Sir Gabriel Fowler; 2 Sir John Brocket [The same mistake as above].
2. Elizabeth m 1 Thomas Little; 2 Edward Barrett
3. Mary m 1 Thomas Harleston Esq; 2 Edward Pulter Esq.
2. Edward Brockett of Bradfield Gent/Esq b c 1521-26 d 1583
Eldest son of Edward of Letchworth. Became an outlaw.
Second son of Edward of Letchworth, William was probably born c 1521-26. According to his Hertfordshire IPM he died 6 Apr 1611 at Esynden (Essenden) near Hatfield,
He was styled ‘Gent’ in most records but not, for instance, in his IPMs and the admission of son William to Gray’s Inn 1597, where he was styled “armiger”, i.e. Esquire. He was educated at Lincoln’s Inn himself, where he was recorded 1567-75. In 1564 (or a year or few before16). William Brockett, Gent, was sued by Lincoln’s Inn as a member, and the proclamation was sent to the sheriff at Hertford, Herts, as William’s last known place of residence. He was styled ‘Esq’ in a suit on behalf of his brother Edward’s widow in 1586.
Co-executor of his father’s Will
With younger brother John, William was co-executor of his father’s Will, written 1558, probate of which was delayed c 25 years. Between the ages of c 35 and 60 William had the problems of his eldest brother’s inheritance.
In his Will his father had left William all his ‘Landes and Tenements in Plumpsted Marshe in the countie of Kent and in the parishe of Lechworth and Willien’. A licence issued 15 Oct 1555 allowed Cuthbert and Mary Thomson to alienate 32 acres in Plumstead Marsh to William. This was bound up with a loan of £140 made to William’s father by his yeoman cousin William I of Hitchin, to whom an all but identical licence had been issued 10 Oct 1554.
A letter along with a prisoner was sent to William on 1 May 1590 from Hertford on behalf of Sir Philip Boteler addressed “To the worshipful his loving friend Mr Wylliam Brokett Clerk of the Peace of the County of Hertfordshire”:
This may have been William’s 4th son, and his father had secured him a position in Hertford in the judicial system. Since he signed with a flourish he may alternatively have been Thomas the younger, son of Sir John of Brockett Hall.
“an officer belonging to the sessions of peace: his duty is to read indictments, enroll proceedings, and draw the process; he keeps the counter-part of the indenture of armour; records the proclamation of rates for servants wages; has the custody of the register-book of licenses given to badgers of corn; of persons licensed to kill game. And he registers the estates of papists and others not taking the oath. Also he certifies into the Kings Bench transcripts in indictments, outlawries, attiendes and convictions, had before the justices of peace within the time limited; and by statue, clerks of peace, are to certify the tenor of every indictment, outlawry, into B R within forty days, under a certain penalty. And every clerk of peace is to deliver to the sheriff within twenty days after Michaelmas yearly and estreat of all fines. The custosrotulorum of the county hath the appointment of the clerk of peace, who may execute his office by deputy. And if a clerk of peace misdemeans himself, the justices of peace in quarter-sessions have power to discharge him, and the Custos rotulorum is to choose another resident of the county, or on his default the sessions may appoint one”.
William served on the Grand Jury at the Hertfordshire Assizes 23 Sep 1603.19
Wife and family
William married Ann, eldest d/o of Edmund BARDOLPHE of Harpenden/Rothamsted.20 They had 7 surviving children, as shown by his own Will and those of his sister Lucie 1572 and his daughter Anne:
- William: b c 1565 or 1571 (mentioned as heir aged 46 or more in 1611 in his father’s Hertfordshire IPM, but aged 40 or more in 1611 in his father’s Suffolk IPM),21 sole executor of father’s Will.
- Anne: Will 1616.
- John: of Codicote—probably the second son.
- Edmund: b c 1565 Vicar of Luton, Rector of Graveley.
- Thomas: Was Thomas the Gentleman Adventurer of the Virginia Company? See also the Star Chamber court case in TNE STAC 8/263/12 dated 1620. He was probably the Thomas working in Hatfield 1590. He was unlikely to have been the Thomas discharged 10 Mar 1587 from Hertford gaol.
- Margaret: m … CAGE (widowed between 1609-15/6). Sole executrix of sister Anne’s Will.
- Elizabeth: alive 1572 but unlikely to have been the Elizabeth who married James KEYNE in Shillington in 1610.
William’s Will and IPMs
The Will of William Brokett the elder of Esynden gent’ was written 17 Feb 1609 but has no probate date.22 He signed it with a shaky hand:
Extract from the Will:Read More
25. my daughter Anne shall have and enioy seuerally to her selfe one chamber in
26. my howse viz the little Parlor, with bedd boulster bedstedd, couerlett blankettes
27. curtaynes, & fower payre of sheetes duringe her liffe. Item I give more
28. to my saide daughter Anne my grey geldinge, which I will also my sonne
29. William shall keepe for her & to her vse winter & somer as he keepethe his
30. owne. Item I give more vnto her the Ioyned waynscotte cheste that came
31. From Bradfylde. Item I give & bequeithe vnto my daughter Anne all
32. suche bondes & the mony dew by the same, as are taken in her name &
33. myne, & alsoe for the better increasing that porcion I give vnto her all the
34. benefittes of the cole wood in Busshey Lepes, And Alsoe the croppe of wood
35. next adioyninge to yt called Dringe hall grove, to be Felled the next yeare
36. by the discretion of my sonne William to her use, & the mony thereof rysyn to be payd
37. vnto her, Also I give her more in mony to be charged owte of
38. my goodes
The Will shows:
- He was a widower.
- He willed to be buried in Esyndon Church chancel, as near to where his wife was buried as may be.
- Son William, married to Sara, was the sole executor. William the elder gave Sara “my wiffes booke of golde & her wedding Ringe”.23
- Son Thomas and wife Elizabeth probably had no children. Their inheritance—the farm at Rooe gardene in Hatfield—was to pass to brother William when he and Elizabeth died. In 1616 Anne mentioned children of 3 of her brothers but not of Thomas.
- Daughter Elizabeth, mentioned in aunt Lucie’s Will, was not mentioned. She had probably died between 1570 and 1609.
- Anne received most attention—about a quarter of the Will as shown in this extract—perhaps because she was unmarried.
William’s Hertfordshire IPM, held 30 May 1611,24 listed lands in Ickleford, Waldon Regis, Ippolletts, St Albans, suggesting that William also inherited some of his elder brother’s inheritance. It says he died on 6 April that year25 and that his son and heir was William Gent aged 46 or more at his father’s death (ll 20f).
His Suffolk IPM, held 4 Jan 1620,26 concerned a messuage called Bulwardes in Bliford, c 2 m NE of Bramfield, and 40 other acres in Bliford, Bulcampe, Bliburgh, Henham and Wenhaston. It says he died on 6 April 161127 and that his son and heir was William Gent aged 40 or more at his father’s death.
A 2nd Suffolk IPM was held on 11 April 1623.28 Only the 1620 one supplied dates of death and heir. The 1623 one provided more details about the properties. Perhaps there had been a challenge.
Son of John and Dorothy of Swaffham Bulbek. Nicholas married Margaret HOO, heiress of John and Joan HEYWORTH of Mackary End.29 “John Heyworth settled his lands, in 1558, shortly before his death, upon Margaret Hoo his adopted daughter, widow of Jerome Reynolds, and the then wife of Nicholas Brockett.”30 This was how Mackary End came to the Brokets.
Nicholas and Margaret had therefore married by 1558. Depending on the terms of John Heyworth’s settlement on Margaret, Nicholas Brocket may only have held Mackary End in right of his wife—the 25 Jan 1559 Will of John Heyworthe, Gentleman of Whethampsted, Hertfordshire, might elucidate.31 So, since Nicholas predeceased her, she would have settled Mackary End on their only surviving child, John Brockett, later Sir John III, before she married for the third time, to Edmund Bardolf. Did she outlive him too? The monument in Wheathampstead Church said she had no children with her first husband, Jerome Reynolds.
This doesn’t tally with Howard & Fowler’s statement: “About this date , it is supposed, Mackery End (house and manor) was purchased by Sir William Garrard, Kt., who had come into possession of Lamer in 1553.”32 They put a footnote here, but its evidence relates to the purchase of Lamer rather than Mackery End, so the “it is supposed” looks like their own supposition. According to the VCH it wasn’t till 1681 that Mackary End came to the Garrards.33
1544: On 20 Jan Nicholas Brokett, Gentleman, brought a Common Pleas action attempting to reclaim a debt of £20 from a Buckinghamshire yeoman, but he had not come to defend himself. The proceedings appear to have almost reached the stage of outlawry and the court ordered the deputy sheriff of London and the sheriff of Buckinghamshire to take the defendant and bring him to court on 21 May 1554:35Read More
Nicholas Brokett gentleman appeared by Thomas Chalfount his attorney for a fourth day against Thomas Carter of Northmerston in county Buckingham yeoman, in a plea that he render him £20 that he owes him and unjustly withholds &c. And [the defendant] has not come; and, as many times, it had been ordered the sheriffs to take him if &c. and safe &c. so that they have his body here on this day, namely, on the octaves of Hilary &c. And the sheriffs now report that [the defendant] is not found &c. Therefore it is ordered the sheriffs to cause him to be exacted from husting to husting until &c. he shall be outlawed if he do not [appear] &c. and if [he appear] &c. then they shall take him and safe &c. so that they have his body here on the morrow of Trinity [21 May 1554]; and whereof &c. And be it known that the justices here in court this same term delivered the writ thereon to Richard Bydwell deputy sheriff of London, to execute in form of law &c.Buckinghamshire
And by the statute &c. it is ordered the sheriff of Buckinghamshire to cause to be proclaimed in his county [court] on three several days, whereof one of the proclamations aforesaid shall be at a general session to be held in the district of Northmerston aforesaid, that the aforesaid Thomas surrender to the aforesaid sheriffs of London, so that the same sheriffs shall have his body here at the term aforesaid to answer the aforesaid Nicholas in the plea aforesaid. And be it known that the justices here in court this same term delivered the writ thereon to [blank], deputy sheriff of the county of Buckingham, to execute in form of law &c.
Be it remembered that the justices of the lord king here on the 30th day of October this same term delivered to Nicholas Brockett, undersheriff of the county aforesaid, a writ close of the lord now king, directed to the sheriff of the county aforesaid to execute in form of law, which said writ the same undersheriff opened here in court, the tenor of which said writ follows, in these words …
Comment: The Sheriff of Buckinghamshire 11 Nov 1550 – 10 Nov 1551 was Sir Thomas Rotheram of Luton, Beds.37 “For centuries the job of the Under-Sheriff was carrying out the execution of High Court Writs of Fieri Facias. These were Writs of Execution directing the Sheriff to levy a sum equal to the amount of a judgment debt and interest from the goods and chattels of a debtor. The Under-Sheriff then appointed a Sheriff’s Officer (a bailiff) to carry out the seizure of goods and to sell them. The Under-Sheriff also enforced Writs of Possession (for the repossession of land or property) and Writs of Delivery (to deliver up a specific item of property).”38
During the reign of Elizabeth I (1558-1603) it was said that Nicholas Brocket “doth inclose … most unjustlye a lane …. which hath Marshalles Woode on the Sowthwest Side and on the North Side a Comen felde”, an area within a mile of Mackerye End.39
Margaret and Nicholas’ known children were:
- John, bap Wheathampstead 14 Jan 1562,40 later SirJohn III
- “Johanna filia Nicholas Brocket”, buried 20 Apr 156641
Five years after Nicholas’ death on 10 Aug 1590 “Margaret Brokett gent vid late wife of Nicholas Brokett Esquier” married Edmund Bardolfe Esq of Rothamsted in Harpenden.42 Edmund was elder brother of Ann married to William Brokett of Esyndon, and of Edward Bardolff of Blakesleys, witness to Nicholas’ Will written 17 Apr 1585, proved 28 Apr 1585:43Read More
2. late of Whethampsted in the Countye of Herford Esquier deceased whiles he lyved beinge of perfect mynde
3. and remembraunce Dyd make and declare his last will and testament nuncupatiue before honest wittnesses,
4. the Seavententh Daye of Aprill Anno Domini one thowsand fyve hundred eightie
5. fourme in effecte as followeth. Fyrst beinge Demaunded by certen of his frendes that dydd vysite him
6. in his sicknes, howe he woulde bestowe his goodes and namely his Lease of his Mannour of Tortridge in
7. Hartford shire, He made aunswere and sayde I giue the same my Lease of Tortredge to John my sonne
8. And to him also I doe gyve all my goodes, And I make the same John my sonne my sole executour: Then
9. being present Sir John Brockett Knighte, Sir John Cuttes Knight and Thomas Hoo, & Edward Bardolff.
A memorial inscription on the wall of the north transept in Wheathampstead Church reads:44
JOHN HEYWORTH OF MACKEYRE END ESQVIER &
JOANE HIS WIFE THEY HAD 3 CHILDREN BVRYED IN
THERE INFANCIE, WHERE FORE THEY BOOTH DID
ADOPTE MARGARETT HOO THEIRE SOVLE HEIRE:
HER FIRSTE HVSBANDE JERRAM REYNOLDES, BY
WHOME SHEE HAD NO ISSVE HER SECOND HVS
BANDE WAS NICHOLAS BROKETT ESQ: WHO
LYETH BURYED NEXT TO MR HEYWORTH, THEY
HAD ISSVE JOHN WHO AT YE COMMANDEMENT OF YE
SAIDE MARGARETT DID ERECKTE THIS MONVMENT
THE SAIDE JOHN HEYWORTH DECEASED THE
XXVTH DAYE OF DECEMBER ANNO DOMINI 1558
It is not known who this propertyless relative of Edward was:45
margin: Lincoln [diocese] Ascension Day. No goods came into the hands of the administrator. 2 shillings
Probably born between c 1519 and 1521, Lucie was in her early 50s at death. It has been inferred, rightly or wrongly, that she was not the eldest daughter since her Will begins “I lucie broket one of the daughters of Edward Broket …”. If the eldest she might have said so. The 2nd eldest son, her brother William, did not die until 1611, so may have been younger than her.
Her Will was written 5 Oct 1569, with Memorandum 17 Dec 1570, and was proved 15 months later at Hitchin 17 Apr 1572. The title in the margin of the court copy to her Will is: “T[estamentum] Lucie Brocket nuper de Groffeh’m vidue defuncte”, i.e. the Testament of Lucie Brocket, formerly of Graffham (Hunts/Cambs), widow, deceased”. It isn’t known who Lucie’s husband was, but they apparently had no surviving children. She must either have reverted to her maiden name, or else like some of the wealthier women of the time, never adopted her husband’s surname.
Her Will provides insight into her character and information about her siblings and their children:
2. the daughters of Edward Broket late of
3. lechworthe in the countie of hartford esquireRead more
4. decessed Beinge grevid with a certaine Ache
5. or Imbisilitytie46 in my lymes wherby I call to
6. remembraunce the vncertaintie of this transitorye
7. lyfe which as the hollye scripture saythe
8. florishethe to daye as a freshe flowre in the
9. field and to morrowe is cutt downe and withered
10. quite awaye And not knowinge in what
11. hower god hathe appointed to call me beinge now
12. of perfitt remembrance (thanked be god) Doe reuoke
13. all other willes by me before this daye made
14. and ordeyne this my last will and testament
15. in maner and forme folowynge Fyrst I commende
16. my soule to almightye god my creator in whome I
17. faythfullye beleue assuredlye to receiue remission
18. of all my sinnes be they neuer so many And
19. thenheritaunce appointed of him for the faithfull
20. onelye throughe the merites of his dere sonne and the
21. redemer of the hole worlde our sauiour Iesus christ
22. in the day when all fleshe shall ryse againe my body
23. I committe to the yerthe whereof it is made as
24. yearthly to be buryed And for the distributione of that
25. little worldlye welthe that god hathe here
26. lent me my will is to dispose it in this sorte follovynge
27. Fyrst I geue and bequethe to William broket Iohn
28. Brocket Edmunde Brocket and Thomas Brokett youngar
29. sonnes to my brother William fortie poundes to be equallie
30. Deuided amongst them Desiringe my sayd brother William
31. to applye the same as A naturall and louinge father to some
32. profitt and comodytie for his sayd children till they come to
33. the age of Twentye and one yeres and then eche of them
34. to haue x li of good and lawfull monye of England And
35. yf any of the aforenamed parties fortune to departe this life
36. before theire full ages (as god forbid) Then I will the sayd
37. summe of fortie poundes equally to be deuided amongst them
38. that remaine aliue Also I geue to my newey Edward
39. Brocket fyve poundes to bye him a geldinge withall so that
40. he applie his booke and pleyse his father and mother
41. If these aboue named my swete neweyes departe this
42. worlde (as god defende) before the tyme appoynted for
43. the receyte of this my legacie my mynd and will is it
44. shall whollye remaine to Elizabethe Brocket Syster to
45. my sayd neweyes Item I geue to my newey William
46. hamillden fyve poundes of good of good and lawfull monie of
47. England to be payd vnto him within one monethe after that my
48. executour hathe receiued such debtes as be due vnto me
49. And Further I geue vnto Edward
50. leache the sonnes of millicent my sister Tenne poundes of
51. good and lawfull monye of England to be payd vnto
52. george leache there father within one monethe after that my
53. executor shall haue receiued such debtes as of right
54. belonge vnto me so that the sayd george leache be
55. bound vnto my executor to paye the same monye
56. vnto his sayd children at there full ages of twenty
57. and one yeres If it fortune anye of them to dye I
58. will the survivour of them to haue the hole Tenne
59. poundes if the [sic] dye bothe I will there mother
60. haue the hole legacie lykwise I geue vnto Iohn
61. brocket my brother twentye poundes of lawfull
62. monye of England to be payd him within ten yeres
63. after that he hath payd and discharged vnto my
64. executor his obligacion of Two hundrethe poundes which
65. he standeth bounden vnto me in bearynge
66. date the fourthe daye of October and in the eleuenth
67. yere of the raigne of the Quens maiestie that
68. now is with condicion in the same to pay
69. one hundred poundes So that he the sayd Iohn
70. Brocket my brother giue no occasion to my executor
71. to vse or commence anye sute against him for me
72. or in my name but willinglye and quietlye paye
73. his debte aboue named as more plainelye apperethe
74. in the condicion of the afore mentyoned
75. obligacion And also that my sayd brother Iohn see
76. me decentlye and honestlye buryed yf it please
77. god to call me in his howse not askinge nor
78. requiringe anye recompence of my executor
79. for the same nor for any charges of my bourdinge
80. or other wayes layd out or disbursed
81. by him to my vse and behofe durynge all the tyme
82. that I haue bourded or osted47 with him yf he doe
83. contrarye to the purporte and playne meaninge
84. of this my last will and testament then my full
85. mynd and intente is that he shall not haue the
86. benefite of this my legacie and bequest but
87. to remayne hollye to my sayd executour to be
88. imployed at his discretion Further I will my
89. brother Thomas haue the twentye poundes
90. to his owne vse and comodytie which is to be
91. payd him at the feast of saynt michaell
92. tharckangell next ensuinge the date hereof48
93. as by an obligation of two hundred poundes
94. made vnto me by my brother Iohn (more
95. playnlye maye appere) And to performe this
96. my last will and testament I ordeyne and
97. make my lovinge brother William brocket
98. my executor gevinge him full powre and
99. auctoritie to aske take and receiue that
100. which of righte in anye wise to me belongethe
101. Signed and Sealed with my hand the
102. fifte daye of october in the yere of the
103. raigne of Elizabethe by the grace of god
104. of England Fraunce and Ireland Quene
105. Defendour of the faithe &c the Eleuenthe
106. These beinge witnesse peter Roswell
107. Iohn hall Iohn Berche William clark Richard Euere..
108. Memorandum that the seuentenne daye of december and
109. in the twelthe yere of our soueraigne ladye
110. Elizabethe that nowe is the within named luce
111. Broket beinge of good remembrance dyd frustrate
112. and make voyde the legacie and gifte of Twentye
113. poundes within limited to Iohn Brockett her brother
114. and in no wise to haue it accoumpted or taken
115. to be any parte of this her last will and
116. Testament In the presence of this [sic] parties vnder
117. written Thomas Turner mychell leche
Genealogical information from Lucie’s Will: View Tree
Further points regarding Lucie’s Will:
- Graffham—now in Cambridgeshire, but then in Huntingdonshire—is c 8 m W of Huntingdon and c 4 m E of Stow Longa, where brother John lived, perhaps at this time. Lucie lodged with him for some time.49
- She says she had little worldly wealth,50 but mentioned a loan of £200 and bequests totalling £80; quite a large sum.
- Her brother William’s 4 sons were all under 21 in Dec 1570 and therefore born after Dec 1549.
- Sister Millicent (l 50) was not mentioned in father Edward of Letchworth’s Will in 1558, so if she was Lucie’s actual sister rather than her sister-in-law, she was presumably married by 1558. The 2 daughters Edward did mention were unmarried—Lucie and Anne—and perhaps for that reason since their mention was specifically regarding bequests towards their marriages. Was Millicent formerly married to John Stanes of Stowe Longa Huntingdonshire Gent?
- The mother of nephew William Hamillden (l 45-6) would have been another sister or sister-in-law of Lucie, if Lucie was using ‘nephew’ in its strict modern sense.51 Unlike the other nephews, William was not mentioned as being under 21 in 1569, so he would have been born before 1548. His mother could not therefore have been Lucie’s sister Ann, who was still unmarried in 1558. If Lucie was using ‘nephew’ in a looser sense then William Hamillden’s mother may have been a more distant relative.
- Niece Elizabeth (l 44) was not mentioned in her father William’s will of 1609. He did mention 2 daughters, however, 1 married and 1 unmarried, so perhaps Elizabeth had died between 1570 and 1609. Born before 1569, it’s only likely that she was the bride of James KEYNE in Shillington in 1610 if she married as a 41-49 year-old Spinster. It’s possible to infer from Lucie’s will that she was William’s eldest daughter—neither of his other daughters Margaret or Anne were mentioned.
- Nephew Edward Brocket (l 38) is a mystery. Lucie’s legacy was “so that he applie his booke”. This term tended to be used of a youth studying away from home at university or an inn of court. Read More
Fuller used it several times of students at Oxford and Cambridge:
“John GREGORY, born 1607 … was bred (educated52) in Christ Church in Oxford, where he so applied his book, that he studied sixteen hours of the four-and-twenty for many years together”.53
“WALTER Mildmey, knight … was bred in Christ’s College in Cambridge, where he did not (as many young gentlemen) study only in compliment, but seriously applied himself to his book“.54
“Sir JAMES Ley … endeavoured to make himself an heir by his education, applying his book in Brasen-nose College…”55
so he was probably aged 15 or so in 1570 and therefore born c 1555. But no relevant student is recorded at Oxford and Cambridge or at an Inn of Court. Mention of parents suggests he wasn’t illegitimate, but Lucie didn’t name them.
If Lucie used nephew in its strict sense, Edward would have to have been the son of one of her 4 brothers as follows:
- Edward being a namesake was a possible father. He had become embroiled in major financial problems, ending up an outlaw and then in prison in the late 1560s, which, if he was the father of Lucie’s nephew Edward, was perhaps why Lucie did not name nephew Edward’s parents, as she did with her other nephews. According to the records, however, Edward the outlaw’s only surviving issue was a daughter Mary, his heir—although he and his wife did have at least one other child, Joanna who died 1560.
- William, in his Will in 1609, mentioned the same 4 sons as Lucie had done: William, John, Edmund and Thomas. If William had had a son Edward, he may have died by 1609 of course, but considering that Lucie mentioned Edward separately and differently to these other 4 Brocket nephews (he also received a lesser legacy), it is safe to say he was not a son of brother William. The 1860 Gateshead pedigree mistakenly had William as father of his elder brother Edward, the outlaw.
- Thomas was probably alive, since Lucie called brother William’s son Thomas ‘youngar’. But if her brother Thomas had been the father of her nephew Edward, Lucie might have been expected to qualify him as such, as she did with brother William with his sons. It isn’t known if Thomas married or had children, but he might have been in prison in 1569. If her brother John didn’t discharge his debt to Lucie’s estate she willed that Thomas receive John’s £20 on 29 Sep 1570. The Memorandum shows that this happened.
- John had no surviving issue in 1607, when he wrote his Will. He was a possible father, but again Lucie might have been expected to qualify Edward as his son, as she did with the sons of her brother William. At the time of his own Will in 1607 John was of Impington in Cambridgeshire, late of Stowe [Longa] Huntingdonshire. Lucie had stayed with her brother John, perhaps when he lived at Stow Longa, 4 miles from Graffham. She asked him to see her decently and honestly buried if she died in his house, and not to ask for expenses from her executor.56 In or before 1561 John was also associated with Letchworth,57 and Lucie may have stayed with him there. She said that by a bond dated 4 Oct 1569—the day before writing her Will—that he owed her £200, and required him to repay £100 of it before receiving a legacy of £20 from her,58 or else it would go to brother Thomas. Something happened between Luice and John between that writing of her Will on 5 Oct 1569 and the Memorandum of 17 Dec 1570 that made her cancel his legacy of £20.59 Presumably he didn’t settle his debt to her.
If Lucie used nephew loosely to mean a more distant young relative, no suitable Edward is known:
- Edward Broket of Wheathampstead (d 1598) would have been well into his 30s by then.
- Edward of Wingaledoe was yet older, b c 1518, and was a student at Furnivals, one of the Inns of Chancery in 1541.
- Edward Brocket of Hitchin—later Dunton—was only 7 pr 8 years old (b 1562), and his father had died 1563.
No other Edward from the Herts Grouping of suitable age in 1570 is known. Perhaps he died not long after this or a least never had a family or owned land. How giving him a gelding would have helped him focus on his studies is curious to wonder.
- Probate of Lucie’s Will:
Sum of the Inventory [blank]61
Second son of Sir John I. Allowing a minimum of a couple of years between the births of his older brother John (b by 1532) and younger brother Thomas (b c 1536-40) and no sisters in between, Edward was probably born 1534-38.
Edward was educated at Gray’s Inn in London from 1562. His father had been at the Middle Temple.
In 1566-8 William MARSHALL, parson of Marston [Moretaine], Bedfordshire sued “Edward Broket of Grays Inn esquire” for the return of a silver bowl pledged to the defendant.62
He acquired land in Steeple Claydon Buckinghamshire through his marriage to Etheldred Lady CHALLONER, d/o Fred SHAM of Elton, co Chester and widow of Sir Thomas Challoner. Edward married the widow of a knight. They had 3 surviving children:
- Ursula m Edward SALTER Esq, later Sir.
- John b c 1571
- Isabell m 1 … RAINSFORD, m 2 Sir Gerrard HORSEY. The IGI recorded the marriage of Isabell Brockette to Hierome HORSEY 28 Oct 1609 Offley. That same day she assigned the lease of the Manor of Wheathampstead with Harpenden to John Brokett of Mackery End Esq, for 99 years as Isabel Brokett.63
In 1569 Edward was recorded in the muster for Steeple Claydon Buckinghamshire:64
Edward Brockett esquier
1 Light horse furnished
1 Almaine Revett
1 sheff of Arrows
1 Moryan and 1 stele cappe
This was not an account of his armour as such but a requirement, or charge, to provide these items on account of the extent of his property. Descriptions of the items: Read More
This image shows half armour (almain rivet), a harquebus and a morion:70
In 1582 for the London Subsidy Edward Brockett of St Martin Ludgate, London was assessed at 5s 4d for £40 in lands (apparently in Buckinghamshire).71
8. … and my body I wyll to be buryed
9. in the paryshe churche of Whethamsted in the chappell whereas my auncestors haue heretofore
10. byn interred, Item to my welbeloved wyfe the lady Challynor I gyve & bequeath all suche
11. goodes chattelles & moveables whatsoever as in an Inventorye thereof taken att Steeple
12. Claydon in the county of Buckyngham the ixth of Februarye 1589 and a coppye
13. thereof made & vnto thys my last wyll & Testament annexed vnder the handes of those
14. whoe are wyttnesses vnto thys my last wyll & Testament are partycularlye noted and
15. sett downe. And , further I gyve vnto my sayde wyfe in token of good wyll one bowle
16. gylt with a cover to the valewe of Fyve poundes, Item I gyve & bequeathe vnto Isabell
17. Brockett my beloved daughter the summe of Fowre hundred poundes
54. … Item. I gyve & bequeathe vnto
55. my wyfe and my daughters and vnto my sonne in lawe master Salter each of them
56. a mornynge gowne of fyne black clothe which I hope they wyll weare one halfe ‘yere’
57. next after my decease in remembraunce of me …
101. … Item I gyve & bequeathe vnto Edward Salter my sonne in lawe the
102. moyetye of all those landes tenementes or heredytamentes whatsoever which
103. I have or of ryght ought to haue of in or to certayne suche landes Tenementes
104. or heredytamentes which were late Sir morrys Dennys scytuate lyinge & beyinge in the
105. countie of Glocester which were extended vnto my vse by vertue of a Judgment out
106. of the court of the common pleas att Westminster agenst the sayde Sir morrys Dennys
125. … Item I gyve & bequeath Forty Shyllynges
126. to be dystrybuted att my funerall amongest the poore howseholders inhabytynge
127. withyn the sayde paryshe of Whethamsted att the dyscrecion of my Executor and
128. Overseers, The resydewe of all my goodes & chattelles after my debtes payde my
129. funerall expenses performed and theyse my legacyes conteyned in thys my present Testament
130. fulfylled, I wholely gyve & bequeathe vnto the sayde John Brockett my sonne whome I
131. make & ordayne my sole & onely Executor of thys my last wyll & Testament Item
132. I make & ordayne my welbeloved cosen master Rychard Spencer of Offley Esquyre and ‘my lovynge cosen‘
133. master Thomas Dockwraye of Pyrton Esquyre Overseers of thys my last wyll & Testament
Overseer Thomas Docwra of Pirton, Herts, was either the son of John Docwra73 or his son. Around the time of the writing of this will Thomas the father was settling Pirton on his son Thomas. Calling him ‘cosen’ did not necessarily mean a blood relationship, but there may have been one. Edward signed each page:74
According to his IPM taken on 9 July 1601,75 Edward died 3 Oct 1599 and his son and next heir was John Brockett, aged at the time “23 years and more”.
Administration of the estate of a John Brockett of Bishops Stortford, Co Hert (Lond) Gent was given to his widow Margery Brockett 3 Nov 1578.76 It is not clear who this couple was.
Page Last Updated: December 12, 2018