14th century Broket Places and Records
Overview of the Brokets of the 14th C:
• they were spread fairly regularly over the century
• at any point during the 14th Century there are estimated to have been not many more than about 17 Broket households.
For 13th C Brokets, see the separate page.
Contents of this page
1301-35 Walter, Philip & Alexander Broget of Brumpton Salden, Yorkshire North Riding
c 1303-35 Thomas Broket of Steton, Yorkshire Ainsty
1310 Richard Broket, Tadcaster, Yorkshire
1315-41 William Broket of Kempston, Bedfordshire
1342 Ralph Broket of Kempston, Bedfordshire
1344 John Alfonso del Broket of Castile, Spain
1349 John Broket of Steton, Yorkshire Ainsty
1355 and 1356 Philip Brokat of Hedyngham Sebely, Essex
1356-99 Nicholas Broket of Steton, Yorkshire Ainsty
c 1360s-1429 Robert Broket of York City
1368-90 William Broket, Priest of Roxton, Kempston and Elstow, Bedfordshire
1376 William Brokette, Irby, Yorkshire North Riding
1377-81 English poll taxes
1381 John Broket, Chaplain, of York
1381 William Broket, Norfolk
1382 John Brokat of Tendryng, Essex
1382 William Broket of Yorkshire Ainsty
1386-1415 John Broket, Chaplain, of Northumberland
1387 Thomas Broket of Yorkshire
1393, 1405 Richard Broket, Chaplain, then Vicar of Rillington, Yorkshire
1393- Thomas Broket of Appleton, Yorkshire Ainsty
1393-1415 Henry Broket of Dalby Parva, Leicestershire
1396 John Broket of Stickney, Lincolnshire
1397/8-1441 Robert Broket junior of York City and Lincolnshire
Research progress and sources
- Three in the vill paid a lord of the manor rate: 15-18s. Two of these were William and Isabella de Vescy. Isabella (d 1334) was a Bolton Percy landowner.2 The Brokets here were probably in her or William’s retinue.
- The next highest was Walter, paying 7s 3d—a substantial tax. The tax was a fifteenth on movables, so it could be said that Walter’s goods were worth something like £5 6s 9d.
- Then there was 1 who paid in the 6-7 shilling bracket, 2 in the 5-6 and 1 in the 4-5.
- Eight paid 3-4 shillings.
- Philip—2s 6d—and Alexander—2s 1d farthing—were 2 of the 14 in the 2-3 shilling bracket.
- The 8 remaining paid 9-23d.
The 2-3s bracket could be called middling peasants; not rich but not poor. They were established in the village with their own families. Thus the youngest of the 3 Brokets would have been born 1276 at the latest. 57 years later Alexander Broket of the Forest of Pickering was fined 6d for not appearing at the eyre 1334.3 This may have been the same Alexander, but more likely a namesake of the next generation.
It looks as though Walter was the father, or at least from the previous generation; born in the 1250s perhaps. The Bolton Percy connection means that Walter’s father was a Broket too, born by the 1230s and thus a contemporary of John of Newton Kyme. There being two Brokets in the same area means there had been one or more in the generation preceding, born by 1210—the earliest known Yorkshire Broket.
Most North Riding returns are preserved for this 1301 subsidy, but all West Riding ones are lost and the only East Riding ones are for the wapentake east of Bolton Percy. Its 1301 Brokets are therefore lost. 1301 returns for most of York City are preserved but no Brokets are recorded. The 1297 subsidy for Yorkshire is only patchily preserved and no Brokets were in those particular areas.4
Alexander was recorded in the famous Cowcher Book c1335, on the top line of f.332v, due 6d, surname spelt Broket:5
Three deeds transferring property in Bolton Percy parish witnessed by Thomas survive from c 1303 to the 1320s:6
?1303-15: William de Hornington Clerk granted Robert and Agnes de Harewode various lands in Hornington, including 3 arable acres. Witnesses: Symon de Wakefeld, Henry de Colton, Thomas Brokett, Robert the Clerk of Hornington, Roger the Serjeant of Thorp.7
1317 30 Jun: Agnes de Harwod, Widow granted Alice d/o William de Hornyngton 3 acres of arable land in Hornyngton. Witnesses: Alan de Folingfayt, Henry of the Cross of Catherton, Thomas Serff of Styffton, Symon de Wakefeld, Thomas Broket of Styffton.8
1320-35: Thomas Wythelard of Colton granted Margaret de Caluo Monte a messuage & croft in Colton. Witnesses: Thomas Cleriuas de Coleton, Thomas Lylly, Henry le Feurei, Thomas Broket of Stiueton, Thomas de Gardiner & many others.9
Comments: The first deed was undated, but William de Hornington was living in Hornington at least 1303-1510 and Symon de Wakefield at least 1311.11 Agnes, wife of Robert was William de Hornington’s daughter. In the second deed, Agnes, now widowed, granted some of the land to her sister Alice.
Thomas would have been born by 1280, and if—as is likely—he was the Thomas recorded in the parish in 1299, then by 1275 at least. So he would have been too old to have been the Thomas recorded in 1387. He would have died well before 1379—no Thomas was recorded in Steton for the poll tax that year. Perhaps he was the father of John b c 1310. Being signatories to deeds at this time indicated at least a parish-gentry status.12 Thomas, and John after him, were significant members of the local rural community. The Elizabethan Brokets considered Steton as their ancestral origin.
Richard Broket was a witness to a 1309/10 Tadcaster deed.13
William Broket was recorded in tax lists 1315-1342 for the parish of Kempston, a couple of miles SW of Bedford, and so was born by 1294, see also the separate page.
He may have been the father of Ralph, below, and perhaps have been a relative of the William Broket, born by the 1330s and later Priest in Roxton, Kempston and Elstow.
In 1342 Ralph Broket was eligible to pay tax on wool in Kempston, Bedfordshire, like William of Kempston above.
King Edward III of England corresponded with this Castilian knight to use his influence in the negotiations for the marriage of his daughter Joan to Alfonso XI king of Leon and Castile’s eldest son Pedro—later nicknamed Pedro the Cruel.
Castilian naval power had been growing and the English were looking for a Castilian alliance in their prolonged conflict with France, known today as the Hundred Years War. John Alfonso del Broket Knight must have had influence at the Castilian court because recent diplomatic visits had informed Edward well of the identity of the persons whose support was required to further the alliance.14
“To Ferrand Zanccii de Vailhedolit, knight.17 John de Brocasiis has informed the king of Ferrand’s friendship, whom the king requests to use his influence with his lord, the king of Castile, to further the treaty of marriage between that king’s eldest son and his own eldest daughter, for which the latter is now sending envoys.
The like to the following, to wit:-
John Alfonso del Broket, knight.
John Martyn de Lene, knight.
Master John Stephani, chancellor of Castile.
Alkar’, master of the jennets of the king of Castile.”
Here is an image of the King’s instruction to send the 4 men copies of the letter:18
Joh’i Alfonso del Broket’Mag’ro Joh’i Steph’i cancellar’ R’x castelle
Joh’i Martyn de Lene militibus Alkar’ Gennettor’ R’x castelle illustris mag’ro.
TNA E/30 for years 1323-60 contains 2 letters giving instructions to the envoys but no details about the Castilian contacts.19 In addition to sending envoys, King Edward copied the letters to John Alfonso del Broket Knight and to:
- the Queen of Castile
- Master John Stephani Chancellor of the king of Castile
- Ferand Zanccii de Valladolid Knight
- John Martyn de Lene Knight
- Alkar’ master of the Jennets—the Cavalry—of the king of Castile.
The question of the bride’s dowry prolonged the negotiations and Joan did not start her journey to Castile until 1348. The delay proved fatal to the English as it did to Joan who died of the plague on the way.20
Following are 2 other examples of the letters; the second directed to John Alfonso himself, and showing that he had been communicating with Edward III:
1. 1344 Dec 27 Norwich. “To Alfonso, king of Castile, Leon, Toledo, Galicia, Seville, Cordova Murcia, Jaen, Algarves and Algeciras and lord of the county of Molina The king has received his letters made at Seville on 29 September last containing that it will please him for the king to go on a pilgrimage to those parts and how he has sent knights to Bayonne to await the king and accompany him and how he has ordered his subjects to treat the king honourably, for which the king thanks him, and Alfonso wishes to know that the king sent envoys to treat concerning the marriage of his daughter with Alfonso’s eldest son, who on their arrival at Bayonne heard a rumour that certain of their fellows with the king’s commissions were drowned in crossing by sea to avoid the realm of France, whereupon they delayed to go to Alfonso, as Nicholas de la Beche, seneschal of Gascony, has informed the king, and the king has caused a new commission to be made immediately and has sent it to the said envoys at Bayonne, ordering them to go to Alfonso as quickly as possible to treat concerning the said marriage and other alliances, wherefore the king requests Alfonso to hold firmly to the said matrimony and alliance until the arrival of the said envoys, who are hastening to him.”21
2. 1345 Jan 5 Norwich. “To John Alfonso del Broket, knight. Request to interpose in favour of
the said affair and the king thanks him for his letters thereupon.
To Master John Stephani, chancellor of the king of Castile. The like request.
The like to Ferand Zancii de Vailhedolit, knight.”22
John Alfonso del Broket’s name shows his English ancestry:
- The Broket element does not approximate to any Spanish or Gascon word. There is/was no similar place name in Castile or Gascony, and an indigenous surname Broket has not been found in Spain or Gascony. There was no name approximating to Broket in the list of knights at Alfonso XI’s coronation,23 nor with respect to his chivalric initiative in 1332,24 nor in the index of earlier names.25 The Royal Archives of Castile were destroyed in the 14th C, so there is no compendium or edition of the letters of Alfonso XI; those in the Archivo Historico Nacional, Seccion de Clero have no Broket entry.26 It was coincidence that John de Brocas was one of Edward III’s senior diplomats in these negotiations with Alfonso XI.27 The Brocas family is well attested in subsequent Gascon and Guyenne history28 but that the Brokets originated in Gascony29 was speculation and does not fit with the existence of earlier English records. O’Gilvy recorded no Broket.
- ‘del’ is further evidence of the name’s foreignness. The usual locative surname was de + the place, like de Vailhedolit ‘of Valladolid’. The added definite article in del would have been a means of indicating a foreign name.
- The Alfonso element is a Spanish patronymic—John’s father’s first name was Alfonso. To have borne a Spanish first name, his father must have had a Spanish parent, in this case presumably mother. The conclusion is that John’s paternal grandfather, a Broket, had married a Castilian woman. It is likely that Alfonso also married a Spanish wife.
All this points to the fact that John was a 2nd generation immigrant. 60 years earlier in 1282 Baron John de Vescy (d 1289) of Northumberland and Yorkshire had been sent to Aragon to negotiate a marriage between Edward I’s daughter Eleanor and Alfonso X.30 Perhaps a Broket in his retinue went with him and within a couple of generations one of his line held sufficient land to become minor Spanish gentry. This may have been later than 1332.
John’s English ancestry maybe made him suitable as a go-between in Edward III’s negotiations.
Four deeds have survived concerning transfers of property in Steton and neighbouring Colton, which John witnessed:31
1349 14 Dec: Alice de Whyton granted John Chaumont, a messuage. Given at Colton, witnesses: Henry Sampson, John Faucomberge of Appleton, Thomas Fayrfax, John Daynil, Thomas Vasy, Thomas Lylly, John Broket of Steton & others.
1355 18 Feb: Thomas Ceyrf of Steton granted John de Chaumont, knt, all his lands in Steton. Given at Colton, witnesses: Thomas Ughtret, knt, William Malbys, knt, Robert de Ros, knt, John de Faucunberge, Henry Sampson, John Daynell, Richard Vasy, John Sampson, John Broket of Steueton & others.
1356 1 Jan: Thomas Cerf of Steton granted John Darel and Thomas le Clerk, all his lands in Steton. Given at Steton, witnesses: William Malbys, knt, Robert Ros, knt, Henry Sampson, John Faucomberg, John Daynill, John Broket, John de Staunton clerk & others.
1356 6 Nov: John Darel and Thomas le Clerk granted John Carter and Alan Byrd, all his lands in Steton. Given at Steton, witnesses: William Malbis, knt, Robert Ros, knt, Henry Sampson, John Fauconberge, John Daynill, John Broket of Styueton & others.
The other names are familiar as local landholders, placing John in their social rank. He would have been prominent in the local community c 1340-60, born perhaps c 1310. Was he the son of Thomas? Not a taxpayer in Steton in 1379, he had presumably died by then.
Philip borrowed £20 and below is his bond to repay. It was recorded on the back (endorsed) of the following year’s Close Roll, 1356. Sible Hedingham is a small Essex village about 34 miles north of Tilbury down at the mouth of the Thames, where his creditors were.
Philip had some possessions in mainland Europe, but all his property was only worth a little more than £20. The Calendar translation has: “to advance his business” but this does not necessarily mean trade.32
To borrow like this Philip would have been at least in his mid to late 20s, born by 1330—maybe much earlier. No Brokets were recorded as taxpayers in Essex in 1327,33 so Philip’s father may not have come from there. The 1340s were probably too late for Philip to have received his name as a nickname.
Translation of the 2 records:
1356: Enrolment of a bond.34
1. Philip Brokat of Hedyngham Sebely greets in the Lord all Christ’s faithful who see or hear this present bond. Know that I am held and
2. firmly bound by this document to Alan Ormesby of West Tilbury and John Hykeman of East Tilbury in £20 of silver which from them
3. on the day of writing this document I received and have as a loan to spend on my affairs and to be paid back to the same Alan and John or either of their executors
4. or their certified attorneys at West Tilbury on the day of the Purification of the blessed virgin Mary [2 Feb] next after the date of writing this document without further delay
5. to well and faithfully make which payment as stated above I bind myself, my heirs and executors and all my lands, properties, goods and chattels
6. I now or may have both this side of the sea and beyond. In witness of which I place my seal on this present bond. Given at
7. West Tilbury, Tuesday [3 Nov] after the feast of All Saints, 29 Edward III. Witnesses:
8. John de Merlawe, William de Hornby, Robert Gerold, Hugh Saier, Thomas Fraunceys, John atte Ponde and others
9. Memorandum that the aforesaid Philip came into the king’s Chancery at Westminster on 20 November of this year and acknowledged the preceding deed
10. and all its contents as aforesaid.
Philip married Margaret daughter of Robert MARYN of West Tilbury:
1. I Philip Brokat of Hedyngham Sebely and Margaret my wife
2. daughter of a certain Robert Maryn of West Tilbury unanimously agree and from the pure will of Margaret we give
3. and yield and by this present charter confirm to Alan Ormesby of West Tilbury four
4. acres of land with all their appurtenances in the aforesaid vill of West Tilbury lying in a certain place called
5. Maryneslade which used to belong to the said Robert Maryn, to be had and held the[se] aforesaid four acres
6. of land with all their appurtenances by the same Alan, his heirs and assigns, freely entirely and peacefully for ever of
7. the chief lords of that fee by the services owed therefrom and rightly accustomed. And we the aforesaid Philip
8. and Margaret and our heirs will guarantee (see l.9) the aforesaid four acres of land with all their appurtenances to the aforesaid Alan, his heirs and
9. assigns against all peoples for ever : In witness of which thing to this present
10. charter we have interchanged our seals, these being witnesses: John de Merlawe, William de Hornby,
11. Robert Gerold, Thomas Le Ran, Hugh Saier, John Roberd and others. Given at
12. West Tilbury, Sunday next […] after the feast of St Martin the Bishop, Edward III
Note: in line 10 ‘we have interchanged our seals’, literally ‘we have put our seals alternately’, means that there were 2 copies, one given to Alan with Philip and Margaret’s seal on and the other to Philip and Margaret with Alan’s seal on.
The 1356 record was when, according to his own testimony, he was 44 years old, which would give him a birth date of c 1312. The 1399 date was when he was in sufficient health and strength to prepare an inventory of a deceased priest’s goods as joint executor with Thomas Broket, and render account to the Archbishop. If he was the same Nicholas in 1399 as in 1356 he would have been about 87 years old, which for those times was unlikely. It seems therefore that there were 2 Nicholas Brokets in Bolton Percy parish during the 14th century.
long lived—born c 1324 and still able in 1399. Nicholas lived through the ravages of the Black Death 1348-50, 61-2 and 75, and would have been prominent in his local parish of Bolton Percy for half a century. Already well-off villagers were those who benefitted from the new opportunities after the Black Death.36 Might he have been the father of Thomas who became the lord of the manor? The following records have been found:
1361-2 & 1391: As a witness to 4 deeds concerning grants of property, all given at Colton, adjacent to Steton:37
1362 6 Feb: William & Alice le Smyth granted Thomas de Kyghley, Chaplain & John Forest a feoffment of lands in Colton. Witnesses: William Malbys, Knt, John Chaumont, knt, John Sampson, Richard Vacy, Nicholas Broket, William Gardiner, Thomas Clerk of Colton & others.39
1362 14 Apr: Thomas de Kyghley, Chaplain & John Forest granted William & Alice le Smyth a feoffment of lands in Colton. Witnesses: William Malbys, Knt, John Sampson, Richard Vasy, Nicholas Broket, William Gardiner, Thomas Clerk of Colton & others.40
1391 7 Jan: William Lylee granted Thomas Smyth a tenement & 13 acres. Witnesses: Thomas Ughtred, Knt, William Moubray, Richard Ray, William Sampson, Richard Gysson, Nicholas Brokett & others.41
The other names are familiar as local landholders, placing Nicholas in their social rank. In the 1391 deed a co-signatory was William Sampson, probably the Lord of Southwood, father of Dionisia, who was soon to marry Thomas Broket, perhaps son of Nicholas.
1379: Poll tax, see below. Aged c51 and the Brewer (Latin: braciator) in the township, Nicholas paid the relatively high tax of 12d. Of the 30 Steton taxpayers, only he and the firmarius, William Cerf, paid more than the standard labourer’s rate of 4d. Nicholas and his wife employed a servant. Any children would have been more than likely already set up on their own. “He would be supplying malt and possibly brewing for an inn which would provide rest and refreshment for travellers along the king’s highway”.42
1382: At the inquisition into the proof of age of Margaret Chaumont at Bolton Percy Nov 1382, “Nicholas Broket, aged 58 years and more agrees [that she was baptised in Bolton Persey church 11 Oct 1367] and says that on the same day he made a sheepfold of eight posts in his tenement in Bolton aforesaid”.43 Comment: This points to a birth date for Nicholas Broket of c1324.
1399: The last known record of Nicholas is from August 1399, when he and Thomas Broket—with little doubt Thomas the Lord of the Manor and Treasurer’s Remembrancer, possibly Nicholas’ son, or at least a kinsman—as joint executors of the Will of John Somurby, Priest, took an oath to prepare an inventory of his goods and render account to the Archbishop.44
Nicholas would have been c75 years old and Thomas c35. Given that Nicholas was still working in 1379, it’s unlikely that the 1391 and 99 records refer to an otherwise unknown son of Nicholas, called Nicholas. It is possible that Nicholas was a brother of the earlier Thomas, and/or Robert. Perhaps he was the son of Thomas of the generation before. The Brokets of York and the Ainsty were apparently few in number.
The first York City Broket records are of this Robert. But was he born there or in the hinterland? The Black Death hit York City 5 times between 1349 and 1378 and Robert would have witnessed its horrors.45 Being a merchant he was inevitably involved with a number of actions for debt, owing and owed. Following are the records found of him (as of 14 Sep 2020):46
1389 Mar 29: Westminster. “To the sheriff of York. Writ of supersedeas, by mainprise of Robert Broket, Robert Jankynson, John Clerk and John Byroun of Elvyngton co. York, in favour of John de Weston clerk at suit of Richard Mauncipil of London and Agnes his wife for debt.”47
Comment: Like Thomas Broket of Yorkshire in 1387 below, Robert stood joint surety down in Westminster for orders to suspend proceedings. They would in all likelihood have been related—if not cousins then possibly brothers.
1390/1: Robert gained the freedom of the City of York as a Draper.48 Drapers, dealers in cloth, were a powerful group in the city. The Tailors were the largest clothing craft and the second largest of all crafts. The Drapers were much fewer in number but far more influential.49 In 1394-5 he paid ulnage on 2½ cloths.50
1396: In the Easter term William Fourbour of Rychemond made a plea at the court of Common Pleas at Westminster for a fourth day by his attorney to recover an alleged debt of £10 from Stephen Hunter of Newcastle upon Tyne, Robert Langhirst of Newcastle upon Tyne, Robert Broket citizen of York and William de York of Newcastle upon Tyne. The sheriff reported that Robert Broket had been summoned and ordered him to be attached and appear on 25 June 1396.51
1398: “With Henry Wolman, Robert Acastre and John Bollond of York, Robert Broket owed the king £85 2s 8d and with Henry Wolman and John Bukland he owed £16 16s 8d halfpenny.”52
1399: In the Michaelmas term John Leversege and John Tutbury made a plea at the court of Common Pleas at Westminster for a fourth day by their attorney to recover an alleged debt of £40 from Robert Broket, Henry Wolman and John Thorp, who were attached to appear on 27 Jan 1400.53
Also in the Michaelmas term William de Lodyngton, John Leversege and John Tutbury, customers of the late king Richard II in Kyngeston upon Hull made a plea at the court of Common Pleas at Westminster for a fourth day by their attorney to recover an alleged debt of £106 10s 6d from Robert Broket merchant, Henry Wolman of York merchant and John Thorp of York merchant, who were attached to appear on 27 Jan 1400.54
1401: In the Easter term Simon de Elvyngton of York, executor of the testament of John de Elvyngton late vicar of the church of Skypwyth, made a plea at the court of Common Pleas at Westminster for a fourth day by his attorney to recover an alleged debt of 25 marks from Robert Broket of York, as well as alleged debts from 5 others. They were ordered to appear on 12 Jun 1401.55
Also in the Easter term John Touton of Seton and Henry Gryndall of Righton made a plea at the court of Common Pleas at Westminster for a fourth day by their attorney to recover an alleged debt of £20 from Robert Broket citizen and merchant of York, and the same from Henry Barett, citizen and merchant of York. They were ordered to appear on 12 Jun 1401.56
1403: In the Trinity term Robert Broket—by William Haryngton his attorney—made a plea at the court of Common Pleas at Westminster to recover an alleged debt of £4 9s from William Lewete shipman. Robert alleged that on Palm Sunday, 11 April 1400, at York, he sold William a ship, 20 quarters of bark [used for tanning] and 10 stone of wool, for £4 9s, payable at Whitsun, 6 June 1400, but William, although very often requested had not yet paid, and that as a result Robert had suffered damages of 40s. William—by John Wyther his attorney—said Robert should not maintain the action against him, since both he and Robert on 7 May 1402 at Drax in the county of York, by common assent put themselves to the arbitration of Henry de Balne of Roclyff maryner and John del Wode of Langrake, chosen on behalf of Robert, and of Thomas atte Nesse of Neuland upon Ayre maryner and Robert Houden of Drax, chosen on behalf of William, about all debts and controversies alleged between Robert and William before 7th May, and the arbitrators had ordered Robert to pay William 8 marks of silver. And William is ready to prove it. Robert responded that there never was any such arbitration between them and requested a hearing by a jury. William did likewise, and an order was sent to the sheriffs of York to bring 12 men from the Drax neighbourhood on 6 October 1403.57
Comment: ‘Shipman’ probably meant ‘sailor’ rather than ‘shipowner’. A passage in John Warkworth’s chronicle of the reign of Edward IV mentions “the soudyours and schypmen of Caleis. Failure to abide by an arbitration appears frequently as a cause for action – ‘assumpsit’, he took upon himself to do something. I can’t remember it being used as a defence, but it was clearly perfectly valid. The circumstantial details were such in this case that the matter could easily be decided by the local jury.”58 William Lewete shipman and Nicholas Hynderwell of York shipman were sued for debt by John de Kilburn jr of York, Easter 1408. 59
1403: Also in the Trinity term Robert Broket was summoned to answer a plea by Richard Watson of Donyngton [see below] to submit an account for the period 7 Feb 1401 to 7 Feb 1402, during which time he was Richard’s receiver of moneys. Richard claimed—by John Wyther his attorney—that during that year Robert received money due to Richard from Thomas Southale barker at Donyngton 26s; from the prior of Drax 46s 8d; and from John Knyght there 6s 8d. But Robert, although very often requested had not yet submitted an account, and as a result Richard had suffered damages of £10. Robert—by William Haryngton his attorney—responded that he never was receiver of Richard’s money during the period stated and requested a hearing by a jury. Richard did likewise, and an order was sent to the sheriff of Yorkshire to send 12 men on 6 October 1403.60
1403: Three more pleas at the court of Common Pleas are recorded for the Trinity term of this year, each one a claim for moneys owing to Robert:
1. For 40s each from Henry Sawer of Donyngton, Richard Sharowe of Rypon, glover, John Raper of Ellerton and Henry Wolman of Ryghton.61
2. For 6 marks 6s 8d from Robert Spanyell shoemaker.62
3. With John Dubber, for 40s each from Elias de Merston skinner, and Richard Watson of Donyngton [see above and below], and for 51s 1d from John Belmaker of York.63
1408: Three pleas at the court of Common Pleas are recorded for the Easter term of this year, two for debts owing to Robert and one for a debt owed by him:
1. For 40s each from Stephen Chide of Hummanby, John Porter bell maker, John Shirburnman of Estrik, Henry Sawyer of Donyngton, Roger Rande of Neuyngton, and William Gunby tailor.64
2. With Thomas Wandesford of York, iron worker, for 20 quarters of barley worth 5 marks from John Idyn of York, shipman.65
3. By Thomas Baker of Mongate wright, for 40s from Robert Broket of York Wolman.66
1412: In the Easter term a plea of debt was recorded at the court of Common Pleas by Richard Watson of Donyngton [see above] against Robert Broket of York for an unspecified amount.67
1415: In the Trinity term John de Menthorp and Alice his wife made a plea at the court of Common Pleas at Westminster for a fourth day by their attorney against Robert Broket of York draper, regarding alleged waste, sale or destruction he had made of woods and gardens in Babthorp demised to him for term of life of the inheritance of Alice.68 Babthorp is c 17 m S of York City.
The 1420 record of Robert Broket of Whetlay Nottinghamshire Draper was more likely to have been of Robert’s probable son Robert junior, see below.
1429: Robert’s Testament, wtitten 3 Dec 1429, proved 6 Dec,69 refers to him as a Merchant and shows his strong connections with St Leonards Hospital. Robert mentioned no wife or children in his Will, but this does not mean that he had none. He was probably a widower. Robert junior, also a Draper and a freeman of York, was very possibly his son, and he may have had others: John b by 1390, and Thomas and Alice, both alive 1444.
Through most of the 2nd half of the 14th C William Broket was a Priest in the vicinity of Bedford. Bedfordshire lists of parish incumbents show him first at St Mary Magdalene, Roxton, c 7 m NE of Bedford, then at All Saints Kempston, then at Syberton aka Sibesdon—modern-day Sibson in western Leicestershire c55 m NW of Roxton—and finally at the Chantry next to the Bridge, Elstow 1 m S of Bedford:
- Roxton: Henry de Charwelton, Priest, became Vicar 1 Sep 1349 and was succeeded—no date recorded—by William Broket, Deacon, who resigned 20 Mar 1368 to exchange benefices with Richard de Kempston, Priest at the Rectory of Sibesdon.70
- Kempston: John Unwyn resigned 22 Sep 1372 to exchange benefices with William Brocket, Priest at Syberton Rectory.71 Kempston’s Patron was the Abbess and Nuns of Elstow.
- Elstow: William exchanged benefices 28 Sep 1382 with Dominus William Lynne. William Broket came to the Chantry next to the Bridge, Elstow and William Lynne went to Kempston. John Wrottyng succeeded to the Elstow Chantry 28 Jul 1390 “on the death of Dominus William Broket who died at Kempston on 17 Jul 1390“.72
William Broket would have been born by the 1330s and may have been related to William and Ralph Broket of Kempston recorded in the 1st half of the century. Just before William Broket left Kempston in Michaelmas 1381, at the court of Common Pleas at Westminster:
“William Kyng of Neuenham by Bedford and Richard atte Water of Neunham by Bedford appeared by their attorney for a fourth day against John Philip of Kempston muleward and Richard Kempston parson of the church of Covesgrave and William Broket vicar of the church of Kempston by Bedeford, in a plea that each of them render them £10 which they owe them and unjustly withhold &c. And (the defendants) have not come; and the aforesaid John and Richard Kempston have been summoned. Judgment: let them be attached, to be here on the octaves of Hilary, by the justices &c. And as for the aforesaid William Broket, the sheriff [of Bedfordshire] now reports that (the defendant) has nothing (in his bailiwick in lands or chattels by which he might be attached) &c. Therefore it is ordered the sheriff to take him if &c. and safe &c. so that he have his body here at the term aforesaid &c”.73
Richard Kempston parson of the church of Covesgrave will have been the priest William exchanged benefices with in 1368.
William Brokette was a witness re the manor of Irby (a farmhouse in the parish of W Rounton, Yorkshire North Riding, c7 m NE of Northallerton (p 98 n 3)).
Thomas Broket was also a witness re the manor of Irby.
Brokets have been found recorded in 5 taxation areas:
Cumberland 1377: 1 household, 1 individual.
Essex 1381: 2 households, 3 individuals.
Leicestershire 1381: 3? households, 5 individuals.
Yorkshire West Riding 1379:
Images from the original rolls displayed below were photographed Jan-Oct 2023, cleaned of surrounding writing by Adrian Brockett, and reproduced by kind permission of the National Archives licensed under the Open Government Licence v3.0. Those with a blue colour were taken with the aid of an ultra-violet lamp, without which they are more or less illegible.
This poll tax and graduated income tax was levied to finance Richard II’s war with France and was collected in 1377, 79 and 81. The famous Peasants’ Revolt started in Essex on 30 May 1381, when a tax collector tried, for the third time in four years, to levy a poll tax. “The ferocity of that uprising caused the abandonment of taxes on polls (heads) for almost three centuries. An unfortunate result for the historian is the lack of comparable records during the 15th C. We have no further lists of surnames until the lay subsidies of Henry VIII’s reign and they are far less comprehensive”.74 Unless individual Brokets had land to buy or sell, or were priests whose ordination records have survived, or who went to court for some reason, a void of about 150 years can appear after the following poll tax records.
“Lay persons of substantial means were to pay according to a scale of charges based on rank or occupation… Everyone over the age of sixteen, who did not fall into one of these categories, was to be charged a poll tax of 4d” for themselves and their wives, or just for themselves if unmarried. “Widows were to pay the same rates as their husbands would have paid”.75 The letter ‘d’ was the abbreviation for denarius/denarii meaning penny/pence, as in all the entries below. 4d—4 pence—was about a third of a week’s wages for a peasant at the time.
Carlisle Caldewgate 76Agnes Broket—iiijd [i.e. 4d or pence]
Notes: Fenwick noted that the mark against a name probably signified household head. Agnes could have been a recent widow with an under-16 family still living with her, or she could have been an older one living on her own. If she had been in service to another family, she probably would have been recorded as such. Bearing in mind that the Carlisle nominative list—i.e. list of people’s names—is the only one that survives from Cumberland from the 1377, 79 and 81 collections. Hers was the only Broket—or similar surnamed—household recorded in Carlisle or Cumberland, and indeed west of the Pennines. Settle, where another Broket family were, is in the Pennines, west of York, see below, however Carlisle is 76 miles north. The other nearest Broket family in this poll tax was in Scrainwood, near Alnwick, see see below, but that is 71 miles north east. Moreover, if that was still significant in 1377, Carlisle was in Neville, not Percy, territory. A Thomas Vescy and his wife paid 4d, the minimum.77
For another ‘Agnes’ written more or less exactly the same, see Agnes de Burgh’ further up the same membrane.
Sible Hedingham 78
Dalby Parva (Little Dalby) Framland Hundred 79
Henr’ Broket cult’
D Alic’ vx’e eis—ijs’ viijd’
D Joh’e fil’ Henr’ Broket caruc’—iiijd’
[D Hug’ Fouke Boch’—vjd’]
D Rob’o Broket cult’—xviijd’
D Henr’ Broket Jun’ cult’
D Felic’ vx’e eis—ijs’
Translation: Henry Broket agricultural labourer [and] Alice his wife—2s 8d
John son of Henry Broket ploughman—4d
[Hugh Fouke butcher—6d]
Robert Broket agricultural labourer—18d
Henry Broket junior agricultural labourer [and] Felicia his wife—2s
Notes: The vill consisted of 82 payers, the vast majority of whom were labourers (cultores). One was taxed at 2s 10d. Four others, all labourers, paid 2s 8d, including Henry Broket. The rest paid between 2s 6d and 4d.
These Brokets were clearly from the same family as the Henry Broket recorded in Dalby Parva in between 1393-1415, see below. No other Brokets, or the like, were recorded elsewhere in Leicestershire in the surviving returns for this poll tax, neither in Burton Lazars in Framland Hundred, where a John Broket was recorded in 1412 and 1415, nor in Kirkby Mallory. However, John Broket of Burton Lazars may well have been the John, son of Henry, recorded in this 1381 tax, some 31-4 years older.
Coquetdale Scrainwood 80
Scrainwood was—and still is—a tiny rural settlement in the Cheviot hills, c16 miles west of Alnwick, and a mile south of Alnham, in which parish it now is. Alnwick Castle was the centre of Vescy and then Percy power and influence from the 11th C, and in the 14th C Scrainwood and Alnham were still well within their territory. Scrainwood manor was in William Vescy’s barony until 1509. 81
In 1377 Scrainwood comprised 20 households, containing 33 individuals over 16. If, as Fenwick noted, the mark against a name probably signified household head, then Robert and his wife were in one house and Emmota in her own. Emmota is a diminutive form of Emma. A young spinster living on her own would have been unusual, so perhaps her house adjoined Robert’s. In any event, she was over 16, which would mean that Robert was at least in his 40s. A Matheus Browet was recorded in Framlington and a Joh’n Brakan’ in Shilbottle.82 Otherwise, the nearest other Brokets—or similar surnamed—households recorded in these poll taxes were in Carlisle 71 miles south west, and in Yorkshire upwards of 130 miles south.
Notes: TNA description of the whole document: “A bundle of about 65 indented receipts (mems). Many of the receipts are badly faded …” m25d is a narrow membrane with no amounts mentioned, as with other returns for Coquetdale. It is smudged in places, including the Broket entry and becomes more legible under u/v light. For another ‘B’ and ‘W’ in ‘Bolom’ and ‘Wynd’, see 7-8 lines further up the same membrane.
8 Broket households, with 13 adults over 16, were recorded in the Yorkshire West Riding poll tax of 1379, in the following 6 vills, all within a day’s horse ride of each other (distances given from Appleton as the crow flies). 3 of the households were headed by single women. They were most probably widows, as it wasn’t usual for a spinster to live on her own at that time.
Appleton in Ainsty wapentake
Steton in Ainsty wapentake, c2 miles north
Walton in Ainsty wapentake, c10 miles north-west
Westfolyfayt (Follifoot) in neighbouring Claro wapentake, c17 miles north-west
Scriven in Claro wapentake, c21 miles north-west
Settle in Staincliffe wapentake, c59 miles west-north-west in the Pennines
For a discussion of the links these settlements had to Percy territory, see the separate page.
Sources: The original roll is in the UK National Archives (TNA), item E179/206/49. TNA dates it 19 Sep 1379, granted by Parliament 27 May 1379, and describes it as “a roll of 53 rots, containing around 35,000 personal names, almost all of which are perfectly legible and complete.” It was transcribed in The Yorkshire Archaeological and Topographical Journal vol 6 (1881) pp 324-42 and vol 7 (1882) pp 6-31, 145-86. with a useful interim analysis at vol 7 pp 187-93 by G T Clarke, discussing, among other things, names and amounts taxed, e.g.
C Fenwick made a new transcription in The Poll Taxes of 1377, 1379, and 1381 part 3 (2005) Oxford University Press. OUP commented “The enormous wealth of material on the West Riding is of particular significance.”
1. Appleton 83“Cecilia Broket—iiijd” [i.e. 4d, 4 pence]
Notes: Cecilia could have been a recent widow with an under-16 family still living with her, or she could have been an older one living on her own. If she had been in service to another family, she probably would have been recorded as such. To think of her as the mother of Thomas Broket who became Lord of the local manor in 1393 raises a few considerations:
- If Thomas was under 16 and living with her, then he would have been born 1373 at the earliest. This would have made her a recent and relatively young widow. He is more likely to have been born c 1363, however, and therefore if her son, not at home.
- Cecilia’s was the lowest rate of tax, and since widows paid the rate of their former husbands this means Thomas’ father would have been of modest social standing. Since Thomas went on to great social heights within 14 years, he would have had to have been taken under the wing of a much more wealthy patron or kinsman, perhaps in York City, if not Nicholas of Steton.
If Cecilia was a much older widow she might possibly have been the mother of Nicholas, who was about 55.
2. Steton 84
“Nich’us Broket’ et vx’ eius Brac’–xij d
Nich’us s’uiens eius—iiij d”
Translation: Nicholas Broket and his wife, Brewer85—12d
Nicholas his servant—4d
Notes: Half a dozen other records of Nicholas Broket survive, see above.
3. Walton 86
The top entry in the 1379 return for Walton was for Elena Fayrfax, mother of the wealthy priest John Fairfax, see below:
“Elena q’ fuit vx’ Will’i Fayrfax Esq’er xl.d”:
Translation: Elena widow of William Fayrfax Esq 40d
Notes: William would have been a widower—“et vx’ eius” (and his wife) would have been mentioned if not, as with the Brokets of Steton, Scriven and Settle. He was plausibly the William Broket of Bolton Percy who fell from his horse and broke his leg in 1367, see above. William’s son William would have been born before 1363—16 was the taxable age for this poll tax.
4. Westfolyfayt 87
“Elena Broket Semst’—vj.d”
Translation: Ellen Broket, Sempstress—6d
Notes: Ellen was taxed at the trader’s rate of 6d.
5. Scriven 88
“Will’s Brokett’ et vxor eius—iiijd
Joh’es Brokett’ et vxor eius—iiijd”
Translation: William Brokett & his wife—4d
John Brokett & his wife—4d
Notes: Nothing more is currently known of these Brockets. A Robert Broket was recorded in Scriven in 1483, but whether or not he descended from William or John is unknown.
6. Settle 89
“Will’s Broket et vx’—iiijd”
Alic’ de Lytton—iiijd
Translation: William Broket & wife—4d …
[Alice de Lytton—4d]
Notes: Adam Brocketman would have been William and his wife’s manservant, and his name would have been a byname.90 Agnes may have been William’s mother, although hers was the penultimate entry for the whole vill, well separated from William’s—if that signifies anything. The ‘et vx’ was added by a later hand to all the male householders in the vill, except for half a dozen at the end, including Adam Broketman. Nothing more is currently known of these Settle Brockets.
1381: In Michaelmas term of the 5th year of the reign of Richard II the attorney of John Broket Chaplain made two pleas at the court of Common Pleas held at Westminster against Edmund Bentelay Chaplain, for forcibly taking goods worth £10 in York, belonging to John. Edmund didn’t come to defend himself and the court ordered the sheriff to take him and bring him to court, firstly on the morrow of Candlemas that year, and when he didn’t appear then, on the octaves of Hilary:91
Comment: It seems likely that this John Broket, Chaplain, was the same man as the John Broket, Chaplain, recorded half a dozen times in Northumberland between 1386 and 1415.
1381: In Michaelmas term the attorney of Thomas Cursoun brought a plea to the court of Common Pleas held at Westminster against 28 men, the 15th William Broket, alledging that “by force of arms they broke into a close and houses of the said Thomas Cursoun at Folsham, and took and led off five horses, a bull, two cows and ten pigs of his, worth £20 found there, and took and carried off his goods and chattels found there, to the value of £10, and threw a bag and two boxes of his with the charters, writings and muniments contained in the same bag and boxes into an oven there, whereby the aforesaid charters, writings and muniments were consumed.” None of the defendants came to defend themselves and the court ordered the sheriff of Norfolk to bring them to court, but he didn’t.92 The other 27 men were: Thomas Rose junior, Clement de Kerdeston, Richard Smyth, William Wright, John Rust, John de Lyng, Clement atte Halleyate, Edmund Sutere, Robert Sparhauk, William son of John Freman, John Cook, William Aleyn, John Dobbes and Roger his son, William Broket, William Smyth, Robert Halleman, William Bysshop, John Gerberge, John son of John Gronye, Adam Belleman, John Person, Thomas ….., John de Sutton of Fakenham, John Bakke, John Lange, Henry Taliour and John Haliwalle.
Comment: This is the only record found so far of this William Broket, unless he was the same man as the William Broket, Chapman, of Bishops Linn, recorded in 1415—also a solitary record—see the separate page. The alleged incident took place at Folsham, i.e. Foulsham. The other location given was of John de Sutton of Fakenham, and a Johannus de Sutton was assessed for 12d in the 1379 poll tax for Fakenham cum Thorpland in Gallow and Brothercross hundred.93 Fakenham is 23 miles E of King’s Lynn, and Foulsham a further 7 miles. Foulsham was in the hundred of Eynford or Eynesford, but neither appear in Fenwick’s transcription of the Norfolk poll tax of 1379 and 1381.94 And Fenwick has no record of William Broket either in Bishop’s Linn in Freebridge Hundred, or elsewhere in Norfolk at that time.
The second recorded Broket in Essex after Phlip in 1355, John was joint surety for the subsidy on the sale of cloth in Essex and Hertfordshire:95
Westminster. 24 Nov 1382. The king to John Caproun of Colechestre. Lease for four years from Michaelmas last, by mainprise of William Appilton of Colchestre and John Brokat of Tendryng of Essex, of the subsidy in Essex and Hertfordshire upon cloths for sale granted to the late king by the lords and commons etc., rendering 40 marks a year and taking a moiety of the forfeitures of cloth exposed for sale before being sealed etc. with covenants, and covenant that if the subsidy be further leased the lessee shall have the preference for the sum that others will give.
[French]. By bill of the treasurer.
Tendring is about 8 miles E of Colchester and 8 SW of Harwich. The covenants referred to are described on p 93 of the Calendar. This is one of a similar set of leases to many other counties.
At the inquisition into the proof of age of Margaret Chaumont at Bolton Percy Nov 1382, “William Broket, aged 52, agrees [that she was baptised in Bolton Persey church 11 Oct 1367] and says that on the same day he fell from his horse and broke his leg“.96 Comment: William Broket was therefore born c1330 and since other witnesses were in various vills in the Ainsty at the time, like Colton and Bilburgh, it’s probable that the William recorded in the 1379 poll tax forWalton, about 7 miles from Bolton Percy was this William. There was no other currently known William tax payer in 1379 except his son, see above.
This John Broket, Chaplain, is the first record so far found of a Broket in North East England. He purchased a large property in Northumberland on 6 May 1386 with John Pace for £200—a large sum.97 Five further records have so far been found of him 1401-15 in Northumberland and one in Newcastle in 1415. It also seems likely that he was the same man as the John Broket, Chaplain, recorded in York in 1381.
Thomas stood joint surety in Westminster for orders to suspend proceedings in 1387 and 1394:
1387: 26 Jul. Westminster. To the sheriff of Hertford. Writ of supersedeas, and order by mainprise of John Rothewelle of Lincolnshire, Walter de Waltham of Essex, Richard de Kympton of Hertfordshire and Thomas Broket of Yorkshire to set free William atte Hooke, if taken at suit of Walter atte Stone for trespass.98
1394: 26 Feb. Westminster. To the sheriff of Oxford. Writ of supersedeas, by mainprise of John Wycombe of Bukinghamshire, Thomas Broket of Yorkshire, John Lecche of Oxfordshire and Peter de Boys of Dorset, in favour of Thomas Pernell of Gersyngton at suit of Hugh atte Welle of Gersyngton for trespass.99
It’s possible that he was the father of Thomas Broket, husband of Dionisia Sampson, but he had married her by 1393 and from at least 1399 was working as an attorney down in Westminster. So, pending further records it is thought that he was that Thomas himself, if born c 1363.
Among the numerous bequests in the Will of the wealthy and unmarried John Fairfax, Rector of Prestcote from 1375 till his death in 1393, was one to “sir Richard Broket Chaplain 20 shillings”—in the Latin “lego domino Ricardo Broket capellano xxs”.100 The title ‘sir’—with a small ‘s’ in English—here did not mean he was a knight and had been formally dubbed by the ceremonial accolade of the flat of a sword blade on the shoulder by a monarch.
Prestcote is a large parish in Lancashire in Coventry and Lichfield diocese, however John Fairfax originally came from the village of Walton in Ainsty wapentake, Yorkshire, in the church of which he wished to be buried—see the separate page. The top entry in the 1379 return for Walton was for John’s mother, see above. In the 1370s Brokets were recorded in Walton, which was only about 7 miles from Bolton Percy.
John Fairfax also held a benefice in Ryedale in the North York Moors—in 1387 a “John Fairfax, parson of Ryedale” granted the manor of Middleton to Ralph de Barton of Ryedale.101 Ryedale district also included the parish of Rillington. Middleton is c2 miles north-west of Pickering and c12 miles north of Rillington. John Fairfax was instituted as Rector of Hawnby in May 1360. Hawnby is c26m west of Rillington and c12m north of Byland Abbey, and just up the road from Hawnby was Arden nunnery. John Broket of Walton was presented by Arden nunnery for his ordinations in 1372-3, might that have been through John Fairfax?
There can be little doubt that this sir Richard Broket, Chaplain in 1393, was the same man as
“sir Richard Broket Priest”
Latin: “d’no Ricardo Broket prsbitro”:
who on 21 April 1405 was presented by the abbot and convent of Byland Abbey (Bellalanda) and instituted as Vicar of Rillington, c12 miles east of Byland and c22 miles north-east of York City.102
Institution of the vicarage of Rylington
Richard &c. to my beloved son, sir Richard Broket priest, greeting, grace and benediction. On presentation of the abbot and convent of Bellalanda, in a spirit of charity we admit thee to the vicarage of the parish church of Rylington in our diocese (vacant by the death of sir Roger Pye last vicar of the same), in the person of sir William Wryght chaplain of the parish of Hovyngham thy proctor (having sufficient power from you in this behalf), and we canonically institute thee in the same with all its rights and appurtenances to the vicarage of the same church, with the burden of personal residence, by thy aforesaid proctor, sworn before us according to the form of the constitution legatine issued in this case. Given in our castle of Cawod, the 21st day of the month of April in the year of the Lord 1405 and of our translation the eighth.
Induction of the same
The same day and place was written to the official of our archdeaconry of Estriding, to induct the aforesaid sir Richard or his proctor in his name, into bodily possession of the said vicarage with all its rights and appurtenances, and a letter was made in (due) form.
Notes: 1. The opening “Richard &c.” was the famous Richard Scrope, Archbishop of York from 1398 until he was executed in 1405 for his participation in the Northern Rising against King Henry IV. The principal residence of the Archbishop of York at the time was Cawood Castle where Richard Broke’s institution was held. As the crow flies, Cawood was only c3 miles across the river from Appleton where Thomas Broket had been lord of the manor since 1393. In 1403 Thomas and Thomas Gowere had been granted all the lands late of John de Cawode of Cawode, see the separate page. In 1410 Richard Scrope’s brother Henry Scrope of Masham in Yorkshire became Treasurer of England and appointed Thomas Broket as one of his two Remembrancers. However none of this necessarily links Richard Broket directly to Thomas Broket.
This is the start of the list of Vicars hanging up in Rillington St Andrews, written c1902:103
Richard Broket followed Roger Pye in 1405 and was succeeded by William Baynton in 1427. John Fairfax was not on the list.
It is possible that Richard was a brother of Thomas, and/or Robert and possibly Nicholas. On the other hand, Rillington is only c9 miles west of Brompton-by-Sawdon, where Brogets/Brokets were recorded in 1301 and 1327, see above.
Thomas became Lord of Southwood manor in Appleton near York through the right of his wife, Dionisia Sampson, whom he had married by 1393. He might have been the son of Thomas above and was recorded working with Nicholas in 1399.
In 1393 a Henry Broket is recorded in a long list of tenants in the sale of the manor of Kirkeby Beler, Leicestershire, and the manors of Blatherwyk, Northamptonshire and Bukstede, Essex. Among the settlements mentioned in the manor of Kirkeby Beler was Little Dalby, or Parua Dalby in the Latin:104
Here is Henry’s name in the original document:105
Kirkeby Beler—now called Kirby Bellars—was an Augustinian priory,106 c 2 miles W of Melton Mowbray and c 12 m NE of Leicester centre. Dalby Parva, or Little Dalby, is a parish in Melton-Mowbray district, Leicester; 3½ miles SSE of Melton Mowbray. Kirby Bellars and Little Dalby are about 4 miles apart. Also nearby is Burton Lazars, scarcely 2 miles N of Little Dalby and 4 miles E of Kirby Bellars. Burton Lazars was also an Augustine house, dedicated to the Virgin Mary and St Lazarus and consisted of a Master and eight brothers, and varying numbers of lepers and injured knights. A John Broket of Burton Lazars, Husbandman, was recorded in 1415, and a Geoffrey Brokket was recorded there in 1495. John may well have been Henry’s son, recorded in the 1381 poll tax, see above.
1396: Another similar plea of covenant mentioning Henry and Parua Dalby was dated 27 Oct 1396.107
1415: Despite Henry not being explicitly associated with either Kirkeby Beler or Dalby Parva in the 1393 and 1396 records—none of the many tenants were associated with any of the settlements mentioned—it’s unlikely that he was a tenant of any of the Northamptonshire or Essex settlements for the following reason. In the Trinity term of 1415 John Reynald, by his attorney, made a plea at the court of Common Pleas held at Westminster “against Henry Broket of Dalby Parva in the aforesaid county Husbandman”
and John Smyth of Pykewell chaplain and John “the personman of Pykewell sengilman”, all of Leicestershire, that they each owed him 40s.108
There can be little doubt that this Henry Broket of Dalby Parva, Husbandman, recorded in 1415 was the same as the Henry Broket there in 1393 and 1396. “The name Henry does not seem to have been favoured much by the early Brocketts”.109
But whether or not Henry, John and Geoffrey were related to the Brokets recorded c1272-1345 in Kirkby Mallory, Leicestershire, is uncertain, see the separate page. Kirkby Mallory is only about 20 miles SW of Burton Lazars and Little Dalby, but those Brokets were from a gentleman level of society while Henry and John of Dalby Parva and their families, and perhaps Geoffrey, were from a husbandman level. Decline in wealth can happen fast.
The Abbot of Revesby made a plea for the fourth time against John Broket of Styknay at the court of Common Pleas held at Westminster in the Easter term in the 19th year of the reign of King Richard II. According to the Abbot’s plea John Broket had forcibly imprisoned and ill-treated his servant John Stykford for a lengthy period and had not come to defend himself. The court ordered the sheriff of Lincolnshire to distrain John and bring him to court on 11 June 1396:
Translation of the record:
1396: Easter Westminster.110
The Abbot of Revesby appeared by his attorney for a fourth day against John Broket of Styknay, in a plea wherefore by force of arms he took, imprisoned and ill-treated John Stykford, a servant of the said abbot, found at Styknay, whereby the same abbot lost the service of his servant aforesaid for a long time; and [inflicted] other enormities [upon him] &c. and against the king’s peace &c. And [the defendant] has not come; and, as before, he had been distrained by chattels to the value of 2s, and mainperned by Richard Rous, John Frost, Nicholas Sole and Edmund Starre; therefore they in mercy. And, as many times, it is ordered the sheriff to distrain him through all his lands &c, and from the issues &c. and that he have his body here on the quindene of Trinity [11 June 1396] &c.
Mainperners were men of honest reputation who would pledge that the defendant would appear. If they did not appear, the mainpernors would be ‘in mercy’, i.e. fined or lose their pledge.
A plea brought by Isabella and Johanna Broket in 1415 shows that John was the husband of Isabella and Johanna was their daughter. Just over a century earlier in 1277 James Broket had been recorded paying rent to the same Abbey of Revesby. John was probably related to him.
Robert Broket junior gained the freedom of the City of York in 1397/8.111 Probably son of Draper Robert, Robert junior went on to take charge of the subsidy and alnage of cloths for sale in Lyndesey, Lincolnshire. The 1420 record of Robert Broket of Whetlay Nottinghamshire Draper—see the separate page—was probably also this Robert, rather than his father, who was nonetheless still alive until 1429.
The sources for this distant time are many and various and have taken nearly 3 decades, and much kind assistance from others, to find and interpret. As far as possible the primary sources—mostly in Latin—have been followed up and, as evidence, snips from many of them are displayed above.
Dodds J F (1998) Bastions and Belligerents: Medieval Strongholds in Northumberland, Newcastle upon Tyne.
Fenwick C C (1998-2005) The Poll Taxes of 1377, 1379, and 1381, 3 parts, Oxford: Oxford University Press 1997-.
Redmonds G, King T and Hey D (2015) Surnames, DNA, & Family History, revised pbk ed, Oxford, OUP.
Swanson R N (1981) A Calendar of the Register of Richard Scrope Archbishop of York 1398-1405, Part 1,Borthwick Texts and Calendars, University of York, Borthwick Institute of Historical Research.
Page Last Updated: October 23, 2023