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BROKE, Henry (by 1512-58), of Wrinehill, nr. Madeley, Staffs.; London and Lubbenham, Leics.
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Family and Education
b. by 1512, s. of Thomas Broke of Leighton, Cheshire by Jane, da. of one Meverell of Throwley, Staffs. m. (1) by 1540, Agnes, da. of Sir Walter Griffith of Burton Agnes, Yorks. and Wichnor, Staffs., wid. of John Egerton (d. by Oct. 1524) of Wrinehill, at least 1da. (2) by 1553, Mary, da. and coh. of William Parr, Lord Parr of Horton, Northants., wid. of John Digby (d.1548) of Ab Kettleby, Leics., s.p.1
Reeve, Audley, Staffs. c.1530, servant of John Tuchet, 8th Lord Audley c.1534; steward, household of John Dudley, Earl of Warwick and later Duke of Northumberland by Feb. 1548, receiver-gen. by 1553.2
Henry Broke did not follow his kinsman Richard Broke into the law but made a career in household and estate administration. His entry into the service of Lord Audley may have followed his marriage to the widow of John Egerton, for until his stepson and ward Ralph Egerton came of age he lived at the Egerton seat at Wrinehill, near Audley’s castle of Heighley. His exercise of the wardship involved him in litigation under Henry VIII culminating in his own suit against those who had encouraged his stepson to steal some of his goods at Wrinehill. If his conduct gave offence to his neighbours, his reporting of local offences, including a disparagement of Audley, may have commended him to the government and have encouraged Cromwell to obtain for him in 1538 a share with John Smith I in the lease of the ex-Dominican friary in Newcastle-under-Lyme. The interest that this lease gave him in the town, combined with his association with Audley and Smith, his fellow-Member in 1542, explains his election to the last two Parliaments of the reign, which his private contentions may have prompted him to attend; on the first occasion he was joined in the House by Sir John Dudley, whose service he may have already entered, and on the second by his brother-in-law Sir George Griffith. Nothing is known about his part in the Commons.3
Broke’s second marriage established him in Leicestershire, where he acquired Lubbenham from the trustees of John Digby. In 1548 he bought from Dudley the manor of Heywood Barnes in Cheshire formerly held by Audley, but this he sold two years later to Ralph Egerton. It was as a servant of Dudley that in 1552 he conveyed £4,000 from the Exchequer to Richard Bunny at Berwick-upon-Tweed. If he was returned to the Parliament of March 1553 it must have been elsewhere than in Leicestershire or Staffordshire, where the names of the Members are all known. Of his role during the succession crisis which followed nothing has come to light, but he sued out a pardon from Queen Mary in the autumn and is not known to have had any part in public affairs during her reign. By his will of 18 Feb. 1558, which was proved on the following 27 Aug., he asked to be buried beside his daughter Catherine at Lubbenham and remembered his kinsmen and friends. His house at Lubbenham and property elsewhere in the midlands passed to his nephew Andrew Broke.4
Ref Volumes: 1509-1558
Author: N. M. Fuidge
- 1. Date of birth estimated from first reference, LP Hen. VIII, ix. J. C. Wedgwood, Staffs. Parl. Hist. (Wm. Salt Arch. Soc.), i. 312; Staffs. Peds. (Harl. Soc. lxiii), 81; C142/45/103.
- 2. LP Hen. VIII, ix; CPR, 1548-9, p. 87; 1553-4, p. 441.
- 3. LP Hen. VIII, vii, ix, xiii-xv; T. Pape, Newcastle-under-Lyme, 37 where Broke’s return as a duchy of Lancaster nominee is erroneously surmised; Wm. Salt Arch. Soc. (n.s.), 1902, p. 286; (n.s.) 1907(1), pp. 121-5; VCH Staffs. iii. 272-3.
- 4. VCH Leics. v. 223; CPR, 1547-8, p. 270; 1548-9, p. 87; 1549-51, p. 229; 1553-4, p. 441; B. L. Beer, Northumberland, 172, 182; APC, iv. 72, 84, 126; PCC 38 Noodes.