Earliest Records - The Broket Archive

Earliest Broket Places and Records

The name Broket1 goes back to 1170, perhaps 1140. These dates are simply based on the oldest surviving record, so the name may well have been used earlier. 10 instances from various places in England have been found in the 13th C, 23 in the 14th—mainly from Yorkshire. The 2 in mainland Europe were linked to England. Nearly all would have been married and heads of household, but wives’ and children’s names rarely appear in such records.

This page details 13th C Brokets. For 14th C ones see here.

Overview of the 13th Century: Few of the 11 appear to have been related. Surnames were too new and the places too far flung to suggest that these Brokets had sprung from one or even two sources.

Contents of this page:

1207 Crespin & Osbert in Lincolnshire
1214 William
1242-3 William
1260 John of Newton Kyme, Yorkshire Ainsty
1260 Simon of Douai, Flanders
1277 James of Stickney, Lincolnshire
1279 Henry of Curbridge, Oxfordshire
1290-1319 Thomas of Kirkeby Mallore, Leicestershire
1294 Johne of Sawbridgeworth, Hertfordshire
1297 John of Cornwall
1299 Thomas of Bolton Percy

1. Crespin & Osbert 1207

In 1207 Crespin and Osbert Brochet were pledged to bring a certain Hugh FitzRalph to court. This they failed to do, so two others were appointed as pledges.

Comment: To be pledges Crespin and Osbert would both have been in their 20s at least. If they were father and son, the father would therefore have to have been born 40 years previously, at least, i.e. by 1167. If the father had been given the name in his teens—when most bynames emerged—it means there was a Broket by about 1180. The same would apply if Crespin and Osbert were brothers and received the name from their father, who had been given the name in his teens. If the pair were cousins then the name may have been given or adopted a generation earlier, i.e. by their grandfather, in which case there would have been a Broket by about 1160, perhaps earlier.

Stixwould was a Nunnery, about 5 miles SW of Horncastle, 18 miles W of the Percy manor of Claxby and about 13 miles E of Lincoln. 1207 was during King John’s reign—of Magna Carta fame. Crespin and Osbert were not necessarily born in Lincolnshire, but 70 years later James Broket was recorded only about 11 m SE in Stickney, and a century or so after that John Broket. They were all most probably related.   Read more

The compiler of the 1931 Calendar for the first entry mistranscribed Brochet as Brechet. ch was the earliest spelling of the k sound in Broket, but e for o was an error.

2. William 1214

William had lands and went away on the King’s service. He must therefore have been at least 25 years old when he returned in 1214, and so born before 1190. Was he given the name as a nickname or by birth?    Read more

Emericus de Rupe Cavardi became 9th Count de Rochechouart 1245, knight 1253 and died 1285.2 He would have been young in 1214.

By spring 1205 King John had lost the last of his French possessions and returned to England. The final 10 years of his reign were occupied with failed attempts to regain these territories, like this attempt in 1214 from Limoges, c 200 miles south of Paris. A year later the discontented barons revolted, capturing London in May 1215. Then at Runnymeade in June, John succumbed to pressure and signed the Magna Carta.

3. William 1242-3

William Broket was in the service of Margery, wife of Sir Richard de Rivers, who died in the early 1240s.3 Along with a servant of the king’s chamberlain, William was co-entrusted with the delivery of the large sum of 10,000 marks from Winchester to the King in Gascony in SW France. Margery was Countess of the Isle of Wight which may account for William being selected for this duty to the Crown. The Isle is c 20 miles S of Winchester. If we could identify Margery’s manors, and check whether anything so early survives for them, doubtless Broket would appear as a steward.4

This was an important mission; probably carrying most of the army’s pay for that year. 10,000 marcs was equivalent to £6,666 at the time. 150 years later in 1410 the whole budget for the defence of Gascony was £8249.5 To have joint responsibility for so valuable a mission, William would have been in his 30s at least, born before 1212. If William’s father had not been called Broket before him, then this emergence of the nickname can be dated at latest 1225-8.

Following his 1230 campaign in Gascony Henry III was in debt and in 1232 the great council allowed him to raise a tax. Another tax was levied in 1235 and another in 1237. These were probably the source of the 10,000 marks. The first of the following 2 letters was from Windsor recording the beginning of the mission and the second was from King Henry in Bordeaux about 5 weeks later recording his receipt of the money. Note: the Wardrobe was an office, moving around with the king.    Read more

Note: The Calendar translation for the 1242 letter has a couple of small errors and the one for the 1243 has: “by the hand of William Braket“.6

In this hand the o has a short downward stroke on its right hand side, while the a has a longer one beginning above the left hand loop of the letter and finishing below it. This difference between the 2 letters can be seen at the end of the word ‘Garderoba’ in the middle of the third line. For a couple of other examples of the o see the words ‘Petro’ 5 words to the right of ‘Garderoba’ and ‘custodi’ another 2 words on, and for a few other examples of the a see the words ‘ante natale’ to the right of the middle of the first line. On a few occasions, however, the right hand stroke of the a has not been written so long and this might lead the reader into confusing an o with an a in unfamiliar words. This was probably why the name was transcribed Braket instead of Broket. But a close look at the script of the whole document confirms that the name here is Broket, as it was in the 1242 letter about this same mission five weeks earlier.

4. John of Newton Kyme 1260

These were feudal times and John Broket held a bovate of land from a tenant in chief in Newton Kyme near York, as recorded in the Inquisition Post Mortem of William de Kyme:7

Inquisition of the fees, held of William de Kyme, at the time of his death, in the County of York, made before the Coroners, by Richard de Colton, … [21 names] …, John Broket of Neuton, … [15 names] … They, being sworn, say upon their oath that Mauger le Vavasur held immediately of William de Kyme in Wlsington, two carucates of land, whereof twelve carucates make one knight’s fee. Hugh de Brinkel held immediately of him in the town of Neuton [Newton Kyme] two bovates and a half of land, whereof fourteen make a fee. John de Oykumbe held immediately of him in the same town, two bovates of the same fee. Elias son of William Clerk held immediately of him in the same town, four bovates of the same fee. John Broket held immediately of him in the same town, one bovate

A bovate was apparently only slightly smaller than a carucate here, which for the Ainsty was usually 120 acres or eight bovates.8 The Kyme family had been Percy tenants,9 and also held lands in Lincolnshire.10 John would have been head of a household and probably aged 30 at least in 1260, and so born by 1230.

The IPM was undated, but the Writ of certiorari de feodis to the sheriff of York was on 13 Oct 44 Hen. III, i.e. 1269.11

5. Simon of Douai 1260

Simon was a cloth merchant in business with partners across the Channel. In this bond he is called a merchant of Douai, but the names of his partners make it likely that he was the English arm of the partnership. Was he of a different stock from his contemporary, John Broket, the small farmer up in Newton Kyme? Much of York’s overseas trade was with Flanders and the Low Countries, especially for cloth.12 England exported “30,000 sacks of wool every year, nearly all to Flanders, where there was a highly developed cloth industry dependent upon English wool”.13    Read more

Henry III bought £100 worth of cloth—cartloads. It was sold at Easter, the bond was issued 14 May with credit till early Oct, and payment was received 18 Jan.14

St Ives fair, held for a week from the Wednesday after Easter, was one of England’s main international medieval fairs. St Ives is on the river Great Ouse, near Huntingdon in Cambridgeshire; the cloth would have come there by boat from Flanders.

6. James of Stickney 1277

James held land in Stickney, Lincolnshire from Hugh of Lindsey at a yearly rent of 2s ½d. He was most probably related to Crespin and Osbert, recorded in Stixwould 1207, c 11 m NW. He was also most probably related to John Broket, recorded in Stickney 120 years later.

In a charter of 1277 with seal attached Hugh gave the rent and associated services to the monks of the Cistercian Abbey of Revesby, so thereafter James and his heirs paid them directly to the monks.15 There are no standing remains of the Abbey, founded 1142, the site lying on farmland near Revesby village, grid ref TF 3162. In the 13th C Revesby was one of the richest houses of the Cistercian Order.16 Revesby is c 6 m S of Horncastle and c 4 m NW of Stickney.

Hugh stipulated that the money was for the maintenance of the hospice where guests are received, and was to be paid 5 times a year: on the feasts of St Botolph, Michaelmas, Christmas, Easter, and St Peter in Chains. On the back is a short heading in Latin in the same hand and contemporary with the deed:

Carta Hugonis de Lyndes’ de Redditu ij.s & ob (In English: Deed of Hugh of Lyndesey for rent of 2s and ½d).17    Read more

7. Henry of Curbridge 1279

The 1279 hundred roll for Bampton recorded that Henry Broket held a messuage and a yardland in the parish of Curbridge, about 12 miles W of Oxford, in return for 3s 9d rent a year and 10s 10d worth of work. These hundred rolls recorded all landholders in England from the highest to the lowest. Like 33 others of the 39 listed for Curbridge, Henry was a serf (servus) and ‘work’ could be discharged by actual work or by money:18    Read more

Freeholders often appeared in these rolls as tenants in more than one village, serfs rarely in more than one place. For Oxfordshire very little has survived other than Bampton’s return, so it is not known whether there were other Brokets in Oxfordshire. That there were no more records of Brokets there until modern times, however, makes it probable that Henry was either one of a small clan which soon died out or else a Broket by byname rather than surname.

8. Thomas of Kirkeby Mallore 1290-1319

Kirkby Mallore is about seven miles W of Leicester, 40-45 NW of Bedford, 80 N of Oxford and 107 S of York. It is not clear if Thomas was related to other known Brokets, although it is possible that those recorded in Little Danby and Burton Lazars 1393-1485, c 20 miles NE in Leicestershire, were later relatives.

Of his five surviving records, the first in 1290 is as a surety, and the other four, some 26+ years later, are all allegations by complainants that bands of men, Thomas among them, entered and appropriated their property. The 26 year interval could be a new generation.

“In 15th Chancery Proceedings we hear so often of trespass committed by a number of persons unknown to the complainant, but armed with all manner of weapons of war, that we are moved to suspect that the language is no more than a legal formula”.19

So following the surety, only the shortest of the 4 complaints (from 1319) is quoted here in full:    Read more

The 1319 record is so similar to the others and concerns Leicestershire that it is presumably the same Thomas, even though the case was heard in York.

9. Johne of Sawbridgeworth 1294

Johne Brokat paid 2s and a farthing in a 10th/6th subsidy for Sawbridgeworth in 1294 and 8d halfpenny similarly in 1307.20 No Brokets are found recorded after him in tax lists so he probably had no surviving sons, or else it was a pure byname he had and which his sons didn’t inherit from him.

10. John of Cornwall 1297

John Broket and 3 associates paid a small fine for trespass and for a licence from the court—probably to conclude a property sale—recorded in the accounts for the manor of Lostwithiel (6/7 miles NE of St Austell, Cornwall):21    Read more

Lostwithiel manor was among the lands of Edmund, Earl of Cornwall and nephew of Henry III, whose northern estate centred in Knaresbrough Castle.22 It is possible that John or his father hailed from Yorkshire.

11. Thomas of Bolton Percy 1299

A York city writ of 8 Feb 1298/9 ordered the sheriff to value a messuage and two bovates of land in Nun Appleton.23 Its tenure by John Sampson and his wife Mary [Fawconberg] was being challenged by William son of Helewyse daughter of Gilbert de Skupton. Thomas Broket was eighth of 11 men who valued it at 26s 8d a year in all issues. To carry out such duties indicated that they were at least of parish-gentry status, and Thomas was probably the Thomas recorded in Steeton c 1303-35. The other 10 were: Henry de Colton, Michael de Knapton, Henry de Coupmanthorpe, Thomas Ayre, Nicholas de Castilford, William son of Ralph, William Smith of Merston, Henry Fraunsays, Henry Belle and John son of Henry de Colton. For the Brokets’ later relationship with Nun Appleton, see the separate page.

Page Last Updated: September 25, 2020


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


[1] The surname is spelt 'Broket' in this website when no specific variant is being referred to.

[2] Roles Gascons vol 1 pp 406, 408, and vol 1 Supplement p 97.

[3] Complete Peerage vol 11 p 13.

[4] Thanks to David Bethell for this observation, 28 Nov 2017.

[5] Pugh 1988 p 52.

[6] Calendar of Patent Rolls 1266-72 (Appendix) p 719; 1243 p 355

[7] TNA C 132/24/5; YASRS 1892 vol 12 pp 85-7

[8] M J Harrison 2000 pp 2-3

[9] Clay 1963 p 92; M J Harrison 2000 pp 257, 281.

[10] Speight 1902 p 366

[11] Inquisitions Post Mortem, Henry III, File 24 item 470, in Calendar of Inquisitions Post Mortem: Volume 1, Henry III, ed. J E E S Sharp (London, 1904), pp. 129-137. British History Online goo.gl/H1Ejkd accessed 22 October 2017.

[12] Palliser 1979 pp 194ff.

[13] Briggs 1999 p 73

[14] Calendar of Liberate Rolls 1260-67 p 72.

[15] Lincolnshire Archives RA/1/REVESBY /5/107.

[16] goo.gl/1dphec (accessed 5 Oct 2018).

[17] Lincolnshire Archives RA/1/REVESBY /5/107.

[18] E Stone 1968 pp 75-6.

[19] Kingsford 1926 p 68.

[20] TNE E179/120/3; E179/120/8.

[21] Midgley, pp 241-2.

[22] Midgley 1942-5 p xviii.

[23] YASRS 31 p 133.