BRADBOURNE, Roger (d.1406/7), of Bradbourne, Derbys.
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Family and Education
s. and h. of William Bradbourne of Bradbourne. m. Lucy, at least 1s.1
Commr. to make an arrest, Derbys. July 1394.
Sheriff, Notts. and Derbys. 22 Nov. 1405-27 Jan. 1406.
This MP’s ancestors are known to have lived at Bradbourne (whence they derived their name) from the early 13th century, and Roger seems to have been the first of his line to acquire estates in other parts of Derbyshire. By 1401, but probably somewhat earlier, he was in possession of land at ‘le Hough’ or Holland in Ashbourne, which may have come to him through marriage. He is first mentioned in 1369, when reference was made to him and his father in the course of a dispute between one of his kinsmen and members of the Domville family over the execution of a fine. We do not know how old he then was, but since no more is heard of him for the next 12 years we may assume that he was still quite young. In November 1381 he acted as a trustee of land in the Derbyshire village of Plaistow; and a few months later the prioress of Grace Dieu in Leicestershire arraigned him on an assize of novel disseisin at Derby, although the case was evidently soon dropped and disappears from the records.2 Bradbourne is nowhere described as a permanent member of John of Gaunt’s retinue, but in 1386 he received permission to appoint attorneys to supervise his affairs while he was absent on the duke’s expedition to Spain. The marks of favour shown to him after the Lancastrian usurpation suggest that he probably continued to serve Gaunt or his son, Henry of Bolingbroke, in some way. Certainly, in September 1392, he was a party to the foundation of a chantry where prayers were to be said for the good estate of Duke John and certain of his supporters. He was, moreover, among the sizeable group of Derbyshire gentry who joined Bolingbroke when he landed at Ravenspur in 1399 to reclaim his inheritance; and in the following November he was assigned the sum of £17 6s.8d. to cover his expenses in providing a bodyguard then and at the Parliament held later at Westminster. By way of further reward he received an annuity of £13 6s.8d. from the duchy of Lancaster lordship of Wirksworth in Derbyshire, which county he represented at great councils summoned in August 1401 and 1403. It is thus hardly surprising that he was returned to Parliament for a second time in October 1404, or that in the following year he served a term as sheriff of Nottinghamshire and Derbyshire.3
Comparatively little is known about Bradbourne’s more personal affairs, although he was fairly active as a trustee and witness to property transactions in the Derbyshire area. He attested deeds for such prominent local figures as Sir John Cockayne* of Ashbourne, Sir Philip Okeover* and Sir William Dethick*; and he was involved with Sir John Dabrichecourt* and Sir Thomas Wensley* in various enfeoffments of land in and around Radbourne. He also held some of the late Sir Richard Meynell’s estates in trust, for between 1400 and 1405 he and his co-feoffee, Sir Nicholas Montgomery I*, were obliged to contest a lawsuit at the Derby assizes to retain their title to Sir Richard’s manor of Newhall. During this period Bradbourne and his son, John, were accused of breaking into the homes of three clerics from Kibblestone in Staffordshire and causing damage optimistically assessed at £40, but they failed to appear in court and thus managed to avoid prosecution. The precise date of Bradbourne’s death is not recorded, but his sudden replacement as sheriff in January 1406 suggests that he may have died in office. In February of the following year Sir John Cockayne went to law against his son, John, and his widow, Lucy, over the ownership of certain unspecified property. This action may well have been a collusive one, however, designed to obtain legal recognition of an earlier settlement of the family estates.