LASHBROOK, Lewis (d.1655), of Minehead, Som.
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Family and Education
m. (1), 1da.; (2) ?Mary or Margaret Everard of Carhampton.
Lashbrook’s speciality was forging warrants with which he blackmailed people into paying him security for their appearance in non-existent lawsuits. His career was temporarily halted in 1601, the year of his one appearance in Parliament, though this may be coincidental, when he was cited in Queen’s bench ‘for divers notorious misdemeanours’, but he bought his way out. He had himself returned at Minehead by persuading his friend James Quirke to stand down after election and having the portreeve change the name on the return. The only recorded reference to any activity in the Commons is, suitably enough, his membership of a committee for a bill to avoid ‘trifling and frivolous suits in law’ (12 Nov. 1601).
Lashbrook died in 1655, leaving the greater part of his estate to his wife. His will was concerned mainly with his reasons for dissolving a trust settling most of his property upon his daughter, Barbara Jenkins, because of ‘doubt and fear of my daughter’s disobedience and wilful carriage and behaviour toward me and my intended wife’. His daughter’s attacks on her stepmother had become so scandalous that Lashbrook had sued her for defamation, and the end of it was that the property intended for Barbara was bequeathed to her stepmother, except for 5s. ‘to buy some godly books of prayers whereby she may the better learn to pray for grace to give over her envious and malicious courses that are so far ingrafted, or rather rooted in her’. The remaining bequests were 20s. to the poor of Minehead and a tenement at East Quantoxhead, worth £30 p.a., to his two grandchildren.
St. Ch. 5/P1/5, P31/30; D’Ewes, 635; PCC 185 Aylett; Cadwelly, National Recs. i. 115.