BROOKE, Thomas (c.1561-1612), of Whitchurch, Hants.

Published in The History of Parliament: the House of Commons 1604-1629, ed. Andrew Thrush and John P. Ferris, 2010
Available from Cambridge University Press



Family and Education

b. c.1561, 1st s. of Richard Brooke of Whitchurch and Elizabeth, sis. and h. of John Twyne.1 educ. Winchester 1573; New Coll. Oxf. 1581, aged 20, BA 1584; Clement’s Inn; I. Temple 1585, called 1595.2 m. c.1598, Susan, da. of Sir Thomas Forster of Hunsdon, Herts., j.c.p. 1607-12, 8s. 3da.3 suc. fa. 1594.4 d. 13 Sept. 1612.5

Offices Held

Escheator, Hants and Wilts. 1586-7, 1591-2,6 Hants 1594;7 bencher, I. Temple 1607, reader 1611;8 alderman, Whitchurch by 1608;9 j.p. Hants by 1608-d.,10 commr. subsidy 1608,11 aid 1612.12


Brooke’s father, steward to Sir Thomas White†, left him the lease of Whitchurch parsonage under the dean and chapter of Winchester.13 Brooke himself became a barrister, and married a judge’s daughter.14 His influence in Whitchurch was sufficient to secure his return to the first Stuart Parliament. In the first session two committees were ascribed to him by full name on the same day, those for a private bill promoted by the Windsor chapter, and a bill to abolish benefit of clergy for sheep-stealing (21 Apr. 1604).15 In the second session ‘Mr. Brooke of Hampshire, the lawyer’ opposed the bill to regulate conveyancing on 29 Jan. 1606.16 Other mentions in the parliamentary records of ‘Mr. Brooke’ are more likely to refer to either Christopher or Giles Brooke.

Brooke apparently encouraged the inhabitants of Whitchurch to obtain a charter in 1608. His name headed the list of aldermen, but the dean and chapter complained that the grant had been procured by fraud, and it was cancelled.17 Brooke died on 13 Sept. 1612, two days after drawing up his will, in which he described himself as ‘sick in body’. He left all his lands and leases to his eldest son Thomas, £5 to the poor of Whitchurch, and £5 to the church.18 He was buried at Whitchurch on the same day that his youngest son was christened, and the following day his wife, who had died after the birth, was buried with him, under a fine monument to them both.19 His brother-in-law Richard Venables* had to protect the interests of 11 ‘small young children’ against the designs of Sir Richard Paulet*, against whom Brooke had been in dispute for many years over his title to coppices and other property in Whitchurch and Freefolk.20 Although none of Brooke’s descendants in the male line sat in Parliament, one of them, a merchant, emigrated to Maryland and founded a prominent family there. The Whitchurch property passed by marriage to Richard Ayloffe†, who was returned for the borough at four elections between 1674 and 1681.21

Ref Volumes: 1604-1629

Authors: Virginia C.D. Moseley / Rosemary Sgroi


  • 1. Vis. Hants (Harl. Soc. lxiv), 214-5.
  • 2. Winchester Scholars ed. Kirby, 145; Al. Ox.; I. Temple database of admiss.
  • 3. Vis. Herts. (Harl. Soc. xxii), 143; T.V. Balch, Brooke Fams. of Whitchurch, 3-10.
  • 4. PROB 11/83, f. 331v.
  • 5. C142/338/52.
  • 6. List of Escheators comp. A.C. Wood (L. and I. Soc. lxxii), 150; CSP Dom. 1591-4, p. 143.
  • 7. C142/233/110.
  • 8. CITR, ii. 30, 50, 56.
  • 9. C66/1778/1.
  • 10. SP14/33, f. 56.
  • 11. SP14/31/1.
  • 12. Harl. 354, f. 68.
  • 13. Winchester Consistory Ct. Depositions 1561-1602 ed. A.J. Willis, 19; Balch, 3-4; PROB 11/83, f. 331v.
  • 14. HMC Rutland i. 432.
  • 15. CJ, i. 181b, 182b.
  • 16. Ibid. 261a.
  • 17. C66/1778/1.
  • 18. PROB 11/120, f. 378v.
  • 19. Hants RO, 83M76, f. 15; Balch, 5-6.
  • 20. C2/Jas.I/V2/68; Hants RO, 44M69/F2/14/31, 32, 33; 44/M69/F4/18/44.
  • 21. Balch, 8-10, 13.