ROOKWOOD, Brice (by 1523-70 or later), of Halvergate, Norf.
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Family and Education
b. by 1523, 4th s. of Edmund Rookwood of Euston, Suff. by 2nd w. Alice, da. of William London; half-bro. of Nicholas Rookwood. educ. L. Inn, adm. 26 Jan. 1548. m. (1) by 1547, Amy, da. of William Salter of South Wootton, Norf., wid. of Henry Prentice; (2) Margaret, da. of Sir Edmund Bedingfield of Oxburgh, Norf., wid. of Thomas Garneys.1
Commr. gaol delivery, western counties 1544-55.2
Brice Rookwood sat in Parliament twice during Mary’s reign for Lostwithiel, the administrative centre of the duchy of Cornwall: on both occasions he served with members of the Southcote family, in 1554 with George and a year later (when his name was inserted on the indenture in a different hand) with John I. Since he was a commissioner of gaol delivery whose circuit included Launceston castle, Rookwood may have been able to rely on his own links with Cornwall to obtain election, but he probably owed his nomination to his kinship with the Privy Councillor, Sir Henry Bedingfield, presumably acting through the agency of the duchy. All that is known about his part in the House is that he did not join the protest led by Sir Anthony Kingston in 1555, perhaps because like so many of his family he was Catholic. The successive deaths of his elder brother Nicholas, of his mother who had outlived her third husband, Thomas, 3rd Lord Burgh, and of Queen Mary, and the waning of Bedingfield’s influence on the accession of Elizabeth, left Rookwood’s prospects in middle age somewhat bleak. He appears to have retired to East Anglia, and it is as the principal resident of Halvergate in 1570 that he is last glimpsed addressing the Queen on the conduct of her steward there.3