BROKESBY, Thomas (by 1483-1544 or later), of the Inner Temple, London and Leicester.
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Family and Education
Lent reader, I. Temple 1517, 1525, treasurer 1524-5, auditor 1528, 1533.
J.p. Leics. 1504-44, Rutland 1506-36, Northants. 1523-40; dep. steward, duchy of Lancaster, honor of Leicester by 1509-19 or later; commr. subsidy, Leics. 1512, 1514, 1515, Leics. and Northants. 1523; other commissions, Leics., Lincs. 1505-40; sheriff, Rutland 1514-15; recorder, Leicester 1526-37.2
A supporter of the Hastings faction, Brokesby was of sufficient substance to be one of those who in the last year of Henry VII’s reign entered into recognizances of 500 marks to the King as sureties for Sir Richard Sacheverell and his wife. About the same time he became deputy to George, newly succeeded as 3rd Lord Hastings, in his duchy of Lancaster offices, and in 1514 he was pricked sheriff of Rutland.3
It is not clear why from this point in a burgeoning career Brokesby should have devoted himself to the study and teaching of law and the affairs of the Inner Temple. From May 1514, when he was appointed to attend the reader, until February 1536, when he is last recorded at the parliament of the inn, he engaged continuously in its activities. He may have envisaged a call to the coif and a judgeship, but neither came his way, and his only professional appointment was to the recordership of Leicester. For the rest he continued to put his legal acumen at the service of the Hastings family and its adherents. As deputy steward to Lord Hastings, he was involved in several factious lawsuits, being accused by a Grey supporter of perversion of justice as a magistrate, and in the great Sacheverell— Grey rumpus of 1526 he was active as counsel on Sacheverell’s side. His recordership of Leicester made him a natural choice as one of the town’s Members in the Parliament of 1529, while his residence in London meant that he was an economical one: unlike his fellow-Member Robert Harward he is not recorded as receiving payment for his attendance. His patron and friend Sacheverell sat with him as knight of the shire.4
Brokesby may have sat again in the Parliament of 1536, in accordance with the King’s request for the re-election of former Members, but he was not to be returned for Leicester on any later occasion. His long experience in county administration, however, makes it likely that he was the ‘Thomas ...’ returned as junior knight for Leicestershire to the Parliament of 1542; he might then have added to the support of the Hastings family that of the sheriff Roger Wigston, a fellow Inner Templar of Leicester origin, two of whose family had been among Brokesby’s electors in 1529. No will or inquisition has survived to indicate when Brokesby died but he last appears on the Leicestershire commission of the peace in February 1544.5