BROME (BROWN), John (d.c.1436), of Warwick and Lapworth, Warws.
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Family and Education
Under sheriff, Warws. Nov. 1407-Aug. 1408; acting sheriff 8 Aug.-15 Nov. 1408.
Brome or Brown was descended from a family of tanners who lived in the suburbs of Warwick to the south of the Avon bridge in a house which long retained the name of ‘Brome’s Place’. His father was a lawyer, MP for Warwick in 1366, 1368 and 1384 (Nov.), and steward of the Warwickshire estates of the lord of the borough, Thomas, earl of Warwick, from before 1383 certainly until the earl’s arrest in July 1397 and perhaps longer.2 Since the early 14th century the Bromes had owned property (later known as Broom Hall) at Lapworth, a few miles from Warwick, and John himself is known to have been in possession of land there by 1398. Some of his holdings may have come to him through marriage: when, in 1408, he and his second wife, Margery, made a settlement of lands in Lapworth, Henley-in-Arden and elsewhere in the neighbourhood, they stipulated that although after Margery’s death some of the properties should be used to endow a chantry in Lapworth parish church, the remainder should pass to her daughter, Elizabeth. By separate transactions in 1405 and 1414 Brome released to John Catesby† and others his interest in certain holdings in Lapworth previously held by his father as a trustee.3
Brome may have been a lawyer like his father, although he is known to have had an interest in the local cloth industry. It is possible that he owed his first election to Parliament (in 1397) to his father’s position as the earl of Warwick’s steward, although at the time of the election the earl himself was in prison. Brome himself held a court at Ladbroke in February 1398, presumably acting as steward on behalf of the duke of Surrey, who had been granted the manor along with other of the estates of the earldom following Warwick’s forfeiture by a judgement of that same Parliament. Nevertheless, in view of the uncertain political climate, he took the precaution of obtaining a royal pardon a few months later. Following the deposition of Richard II, Brome established amicable relations with retainers of Earl Richard of Warwick: among his own feoffees were Sir Thomas Burdet* (one of the earl’s annuitants) and Thomas Crewe* (the chief steward of his estates), and he occasionally witnessed deeds for Robert Hugford*, Warwick’s receiver-general. Actively concerned in local affairs, he was named in indentures drawn up following the parliamentary elections held for the borough at Warwick in 1407 and 1413 (May) and on those recording both the shire and borough elections in 1420, 1421 and 1425. He is known to have served as under sheriff of Warwickshire in 1407-8, and when the sheriff (John Parr) died, he took over his duties for the last three months of the term.4
It is difficult to ascertain when this John Brome’s career ended and that of John Brome the younger (presumably his son) began. Certainly it was the latter who sat for Warwick in 1429, 1432 and 1433 (he being described as ‘junior’ on the returns), who took the oath not to maintain those who broke the peace in 1434, and also served on important commissions to raise loans for the Crown in 1436. And it was probably the younger John, too, who was described as ‘gentleman of Warwick’ in 1429 when he stood surety at the Exchequer, and who in 1432 obtained an Exchequer lease of the manor of Nuthurst (Warwickshire). The elder John Brome evidently died before 1436, when John Audley of Packwood (grandson of John’s wife Margery) released his rights to lands near Lapworth to John the younger.5
Ref Volumes: 1386-1421
Author: L. S. Woodger
- 1. W. Dugdale, Warws. ii. 971.
- 2. CIMisc. vi. 182; Med. Legal Recs. ed. Hunnisett and Post, 298, 311; Egerton Roll 8769; E326/5386; Ministers’ Accts. St. Mary’s Warwick (Dugdale Soc. xxvi), 83.
- 3. CAD, iii. A4262; iv. A6369, 6418, 7412; v. 10642, 10668; VCH Warws. iii. 211; v. 112.
- 4. Med. Legal Recs. 321; Trans. Birmingham Arch. Soc. lxvi. 137; CCR, 1405-9, pp. 105, 384; 1409-13, p. 83; CPR, 1422-9, p. 535; CAD, v. 12059; C219/10/4, 11/2, 12/4-6, 13/3; C67/30 m. 11.
- 5. CFR, xv. 269; xvi. 134; Warws. Feet of Fines (Dugdale Soc. xviii), no. 2583; CAD, iv. A7468; HP, ed. Wedgwood 1439-1509, Biogs. 120.