BROMLEY, George (c.1526-89), of Hallon in Worfield, Salop and the Inner Temple, London.
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Family and Education
b. c.1526, 1st s. of George Bromley of Hodnet by Jane, da. of Sir Thomas Lacon of Willey; bro. of Thomas. educ. I. Temple, called. m. by 1555, Joan (d.1606), da. and h. of John Waverton of Worfield, 4s. inc. Edward and Francis 3da. suc. fa. 7 July 1533. Kntd. 3 June 1580.1
Steward of crown lands in Salop by Mar. 1554, feodary, Salop by Feb. 1559; member, council in the marches of Wales 1560; j.p. Salop, custos rot. from c.1574; j.p. Cheshire, Denb. from 1561, Warws. c.1583; attorney-gen. duchy of Lancaster 1566-80; justice of Anglesey circuit 1567-80; eccles. commr. 1572; recorder, Worcester 1580-7, Shrewsbury 1580, Bridgnorth by 1583; justice of Chester May 1580.2
Bencher, I. Temple 1559, Autumn reader 1561, Lent reader 1569, treasurer 1567-70.
Though to some extent overshadowed by his more famous brother the chancellor, Bromley had a long and successful career at the Inner Temple, where he retained a chamber until his death. His main estate of Hallon, near Bridgnorth, came to him through a fortunate marriage, and his children, too, married into county families. When his son Francis married a daughter of Edward Leighton in August 1581 the Shrewsbury corporation voted a gift of £5 to the two fathers. Bromley probably owed his first two elections to Parliament to his local connexions, in these cases the Lacon family, and his return at Liskeard to a central government patron, probably Cecil by arrangement with the 2nd Earl of Bedford. According to his son Edward, Bromley owed both his posts of duchy attorney and justice of Chester to Cecil’s patronage. By 1571 Bromley was of sufficient standing to be elected as knight of the shire, and next year he took the senior seat. In 1571, as attorney of the duchy of Lancaster, he was appointed to committees on promoters, tellers and receivers and papal bulls (23 Apr.). He was also appointed to confer with the Lords on the treasons bill (11 May) and on the 12 shires of Wales (25 May). In 1572 he twice served on committees concerned with Mary Queen of Scots (12 May, 6 June). His other committee activity in this session concerned a bill for the Earl of Kent (21 May), the explanation of statutes (28 May), Tonbridge School (29 May), and fraudulent conveyances (3 June). On 8 Feb. 1576 he was one of those who examined Peter Wentworth, and on 21 Feb. he was appointed to the committee investigating the Arthur Hall privilege case. He reported progress on 22 Feb. His other committee activity in 1576 dealt with promoters (10 Feb.), fines and recoveries (13 Feb.), sheriffs (24 Feb.) and confirmation of letters patent (25 Feb.).3
As justice of Chester in March 1585 Bromley wrote to the mayor and sheriffs of the town complaining about his lodgings:
I have been driven to crave my friends to furnish me with bedding and other necessaries almost every sessions, and for such things as pleased the sheriffs to let me have, after long entreaty and great toil bestowed therein by my steward, the same have been far unmeet for my use.
As recorder of Shrewsbury, for which he received a fee of £4, he drew up ordinances for the grammar school and consulted letters patent about the application of revenues. His recordership of Bridgnorth was exercised by deputy from 1586. For a few months that year, after the death of Sir Henry Sidney, president of the council in the marches of Wales, Bromley took ‘upon himself the government’ of the council until a new appointment was made. As the chief legal official of the council he received £200 p.a.4
Bromley died 2 Mar. 1589, and was buried in Worfield church. An altar tomb in one of the side chapels has recumbent effigies of him and his wife, and an inscription giving his age at death as 63. He is styled ‘Sir George Bromley, knight, chief justice of Chester, and of the council in the marches of Wales, a just man and a great professor of the religion now established’.5