BROKE, John II (1538-98), of the Middle Temple, London and Madeley, Salop.
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Family and Education
b. May or June 1538, 1st s. of (Sir) Robert Broke of London by 1st w. educ. M. Temple, adm. 25 Nov. 1557. m. Anne, da. of Francis Shirley of Staunton Harold, Leics., 2s. 3da. suc. fa. 5 or 6 Sept. 1558.1
Burgess, Much Wenlock 1559, bailiff 1567-8, 1575-6.2
John Broke’s father, Speaker in the Parliament of April 1554 and chief justice of common pleas, died at the beginning of September 1558. John Broke was then still under age, and in May 1559 his wardship was granted to his father’s ‘clerk and cousin’ Richard Whorwood: within less than a month Broke was licensed to enter on his lands.3
At his father’s death Broke was a Member, although it was almost certainly a namesake who had sat in November 1554, when the judge’s son was only 16. Broke’s return for Bridgnorth, a borough in which his family had long been prominent, came shortly after his admission to the Middle Temple. His fellow-Member Thomas Bromley II and the sheriff Richard Newport were both Inner Templars and Bromley’s cousin (Sir) Thomas Bromley I had been chief justice when Robert Broke was appointed to the common pleas.4
Broke retained his chamber at the Middle Temple for some years after his father’s death, perhaps until his mother’s, when he would have been able to take possession of Madeley, now the chief seat of the family. He held office in the neighbouring borough of Much Wenlock although it was for he was again returned early in the reign of Elizabeth. His failure to sit thereafter or to hold office in the shire was probably due rather to Catholic sympathies—he married into a Catholic family and his elder son Sir Basil Brook was to be a famous Catholic and royalist—than to any disadvantage arising out of his being one, albeit the first, of 17 children. He built a new house which still stands at Madeley. He died on 20 Oct. 1598.5