BROWN, Richard (d.1443), of Repton, Derbys.
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Family and Education
Clerk of the peace, Derbys. 1416-19.1
Coroner, Derbys. bef. June 1443.
A lawyer, Brown resided at Repton, some five miles from the borough he represented in Parliament. He is first heard of in 1410, when a feoffee to the use of a Repton barker, and soon after this he numbered among his associates several of the local gentry. In April 1412, at Findern, he witnessed conveyances of estates in three counties belonging to William Lichfield†, and four years later he attested another completed by Sir Robert Francis*.2 As clerk of the peace for the three years preceding his election to Parliament, Brown naturally became more concerned with affairs of the shire at large. He attended the county elections at Derby in 1419, 1423, 1425 (then standing surety for Henry Booth*), 1427, 1431, 1437 and 1442.3 In the meantime, at the Derby assizes of 1427, he and his son had been accused of unlawfully acquiring lands at Stapenhill, near Burton-upon-Trent, but Brown’s activities continued to centre on Repton where, described as a gentleman, in March 1429 he made a quitclaim of all the property in the town formerly held by William Butler. Four years later he acquired more land in the vicinty. He witnessed deeds there and at nearby Willington in the 1430s, one such being a licence for the prior of Repton to build a weir.4
During this period of his career, Brown attracted a number of important clients: he accepted fees and livery (illegally it was alleged) from Sir Richard Vernon* of Haddon in 1430, from Ralph, Lord Cromwell, a prominent member of the Council of Henry VI’s minority, in 1431, and from Joan, Lady Beauchamp of Abergavenny, in 1433. In addition, as a reward for good service, he was made custodian of Bretb