BROCKBANK (BRODBANK), Robert (by 1514-1558/61), of Coleby, Lincs.
Available from Boydell and Brewer
Family and Education
As the son of a well established merchant of East Anglia, Robert Brockbank should have had a good start in life, but nothing has come to light about his upbringing or career. He may have been related to Lincolnshire families of the same name; his father had taken up the freedom of Lynn by purchase in 1501 or 1502 and had prospered there as a merchant and shipowner, becoming mayor in 1526. By his will, proved in July 1534, the elder Brockbank left all his lands (unspecified) in Yorkshire and Lynn after his wife’s death to Robert, with remainder, in default of heirs, to the Trinity guild of Lynn. His request for masses to be said in the parish church of Windermere, Westmorland, implies a connexion with that neighbourhood. The brother Nicholas whom he appointed as an executor was probably the later trader in cloth, woad and hops through the port of Ipswich.2
Robert Brockbank did not serve an apprenticeship, for like his father he became a freeman of Lynn by purchase in 1534 or 1535. This probably happened soon after his coming of age, as it did after his marriage: the couple were licensed to enter his wife’s inheritance on 12 May 1551. In a subsequent Star Chamber action, during which Brockbank was described as ‘a very troublesome and unquiet person’, the Coleby estate was said to comprise 20 tenements, 700 acres of land and faldage for 100 sheep. It was doubtless there that the Brockbanks settled, with the properties in Huntingdon and in Yorkshire remaining as outliers.3
Within two years of his father-in-law’s death the town of Huntingdon sued Brockbank in the court of the duchy of Lancaster for the return of deeds concerning its fee farm which had been held by Hall as steward of the town: Brockbank answered that he only had the copies used by Hall for his own tenures in Huntingdon. Whatever the outcome of the case, it did not prevent Brockbank’s return to the last two Marian Parliaments. Nothing is known of his role in the Commons save that he was not listed among the Members who followed the lead of Sir Anthony Kingston in opposing one of the government’s bills in the Parliament of 1555. The date of Brockbank’s death is unknown but by April 1561 his widow had married Henry Dackham, who settled at Coleby.4
Ref Volumes: 1509-1558
Author: M. K. Dale
- 1. Date of birth estimated from admission as freeman. PCC 16 Hogen.
- 2. Lincs. Peds. (Harl. Soc. 1), 179; Lincoln Rec. Soc. x. 54; Lynn Freemen, 74-86 passim; LP Hen. VIII, iii, iv; HMC 11th Rep. III, 148, 171-2; E122/53/33.
- 3. Lynn Freemen, 88; CPR, 1550-3, p. 41; St.Ch.4/9/21; E315/223, f. 399v.
- 4. DL1/31/H7; CPR, 1560-3, p. 203; Lincs. Peds. 285.