BROMLEY, Edward (1563-1626), of the Inner Temple, London and Hallon, Worfield, Salop
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Family and Education
bap. 17 Oct. 1563,1 2nd s. of Sir George Bromley† (d.1589) of the Inner Temple and Hodnet, Salop and Joan, da. and h. of John Waverton of Hallon and Waverton, Worcs.;2 bro. of Francis†. educ. Shrewsbury g.s. 1577; I. Temple 1580, called 1590.3 m. 18 Apr. 1593, Margaret (bur.23 Mar. 1657), da. and h. of Nicholas Lowe of Enville, Staffs., s.p.4 suc. nephew Thomas Bromley 1610;5 kntd. 26 Feb./25 Mar. 1610.6 d. 2 June 1626.7 sig. Edw[ard] Bromley.
J.p. Salop by 1596-d.; steward, Morfa Forest, Salop 1603;8 commr. inquiry, lands of Gunpowder plotters, Salop 1606, subsidy 1608, 1621-2, 1624, oyer and terminer, the Verge 1611-d., Oxf. circ. 1617-d.9
Bencher, I. Temple 1603-10, Lent reader 1606;10 sjt.-at-law 1610;11 Exch. bar. 1610-d.;12 judge of assize, Northern circ. 1610-18, Midland circ. 1618-d.;13 recorder, Much Wenlock, Salop by 1617, Shrewsbury, Salop by 1619, Bridgnorth, Salop ?1622-d.14
Bromley was cousin german to Sir Henry Bromley*, and should not be confused with the latter’s brother Capt. Edward Bromley, a participant in Essex’s rebellion of 1601.15 The Bridgnorth MP’s father, Sir George Bromley, held lands scattered across northern Shropshire, but these went to the heir, Francis, while Bromley himself followed his father into the legal profession at the Inner Temple. Bromley’s mother inherited other estates near Bridgnorth, where Sir George was recorder until 1589, and the family lived at Hallon, four miles east of the town, a conjunction which explains Bromley’s repeated return for the borough from 1586.16
Although an experienced lawyer, Bromley left little mark on the parliamentary sessions in which he sat. On 14 Apr. 1604 he was named to attend the conference with the Lords at which the king outlined his initial plans for the Union. A week later he was ordered ‘to draft a bill of outlaws’, doubtless the measure barring recusants, outlaws, perjurers and forgers from election to Parliament which had been inspired by the return of the supposedly outlawed Sir Francis Goodwin; he was named to the bill committee five days later, but it was never reported. He was also one of the lawyers ordered to scrutinize Francis Moore’s draft bill to confirm letters patent (18 May 1604), and while not named to this bill committee on 4 June, he was co-opted to that considering the Lords’ amendments on 5 July.17 As a trustee of the Worcestershire estates of Sir Thomas Littleton*, 1st bt., he chaired the committee for the bill to reverse the attainder of the latter’s father (11 June 1604).18
In 1607 Bromley made unsuccessful overtures to (Sir) Michael Hickes* for preferment as surveyor of the Court of Wards, but at his elevation to the coif and the judicial bench as an Exchequer baron in February 1610 he was still described as ‘an obscure lawyer of the Inner Temple’. This promotion doubtless owed something to his family background: his father had been chief justice of Chester, and his uncle Sir Thomas Bromley†, lord chancellor. Yet it can hardly have been a coincidence that only two weeks after his patent as Exchequer baron was sealed, he inherited the family estates in Shropshire upon the death of his nephew, Thomas Bromley.19 His appointment created a vacancy at Bridgnorth which resulted in a contested by-election, from which he apparently remained aloof. His parliamentary patronage subsequently focused on Much Wenlock, where his influence as recorder secured the return of his nephew Thomas Wolryche three times during the 1620s.
Bromley had no children, and consequently, in 1615, he designated Sir Henry Bromley’s youngest son as his heir general. However, the latter was presumably dead by the time Bromley came to write his will on 14 Oct. 1625, in which he left most of his goods to the second son of Sir Thomas Bromley*. He died on 2 June 1626 and was buried at Worfield, Shropshire ten days later.