BROKE, John I (by 1511-61 or later), of Marlborough, Wilts.
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Family and Education
b. by 1511.1
Burgess, Marlborough by 1533, member, mayor’s council by 1543, alderman of the Green ward in 1542/43, mayor 1551-2, 1560-1.2
There were several prominent men called John Broke in Mary’s reign, including a Merchant Adventurer, a bailiff of Guisnes and the young Member for Bridgnorth in 1558 who was the son of the former Speaker (Sir) Robert Broke, but the occurrence of the name in the municipal records makes it likely that the man who sat for Marlborough in November 1554 was a townsman, as was his fellow-Member Peter Taylor alias Perce. Of Broke’s part in the proceedings of the Commons all that is known is that, unlike Taylor, he was not numbered among the Members who were prosecuted for withdrawing before the close of the Parliament.3
A John Broke was one of two brewers in the Marsh ward who in December 1532 had to find pledges for their good behaviour after breaking the regulations concerning ale, and it was presumably he who appears on the list of burgesses at the beginning of the corporation’s general entry book for 1532-3, the next to survive after that of 1524-5. Apart from Broke’s appearance on later lists, the only further references to him in the books are to a dispute with one Lawrence Elston in 1542 or 1543 and to a suit brought by Miles Day against Broke and John Perrinchief, a future mayor, over a debt of £3 7s.8d. in September 1554.4
Broke may not always have dwelt in Marlborough, since he was assessed for subsidy there only in 1551, when he paid 12s. on goods worth £12, the highest of the sums entered for the three inhabitants of the Market ward. In 1523/24 an elder and a younger John Broke had paid 3s.6d. and 6d. respectively in the parish of Hilmarton, to the north-west of Marlborough, and a John Broke was still living there in 1545, when he contributed 6s.8d. towards the benevolence. There was also a John Broke who described himself as ‘a very poor man’ in a chancery suit of 1544-7 over a lease at Tisbury, in the south of Wiltshire. Neither this plaintiff nor the Hilmarton family, however, is known to have had links with Marlborough, where a gap in the records leaves the close of John Broke’s career in obscurity.5
Ref Volumes: 1509-1558
Author: T. F.T. Baker
- 1. Date of birth estimated from first reference.
- 2. Marlborough corp. gen. entry bk. 1532-3, f. 1; 1537-8, f. 1; 1542-3, ff. 1, 64; Bor. of Marlborough Guide, 7.
- 3. CPR, 1554-5, pp. 56, 148; LP Hen. VIII, xv.
- 4. J. Waylen, Marlborough, 111-12; Marlborough corp. gen. entry bk. 1532-3, f. 1; 1542-3, ff. 6-7, 24; 1553-4, f. 19.
- 5. E179/198/257, 259/18; Wilts. Arch. Soc. recs. br. x. 22; C1/1099/42-43.