BROCAS, Pexall (1563-1630), of Steventon, Hants; later of Little Brickhill, Bucks.

Published in The History of Parliament: the House of Commons 1558-1603, ed. P.W. Hasler, 1981
Available from Boydell and Brewer



Family and Education

b. 1563, 1st s. of Bernard Brocas of Horton, Bucks. by Anne, da. and coh. of Sir Richard Pexall of Beaurepaire, Hants. educ. Brasenose, Oxf. 1578; G. Inn 1580. m. Margaret, da. of Sir Thomas Shirley I of Wiston, Suss., at least 1s. 1 or 2da. suc. fa. 1589. Kntd. 1603.1

Offices Held

Master of the Queen’s buckhounds c.1584-c.1603;2 j.p. Hants from c.1593.


Brocas presumably obtained his seat at Steyning through the influence of Sir Thomas Shirley of Wiston. Towards the end of the reign the Shirleys and their associates frequently represented this borough, and in 1584 Brocas’s fellow-Member was Thomas Shirley II, who may already have been his brother-in-law. Maybe it was his connexion with the Shirleys which led Brocas to take part in the Essex rebellion, since they, and particularly Anthony Shirley, another brother-in-law, were among the Earl’s supporters.

As the heir to considerable estates, Brocas became involved in a number of disputes, and after his father’s death had to invoke the help of the Privy Council. His maternal inheritance led, in 1602, to a suit in the court of requests between him and his grandfather’s widow, Dame Eleanor, who had by then twice re-married, and was in possession of the Pexall family seat at Beaurepaire. It was only after her death in 1618, following her fourth marriage, marriage, that Brocas’s son moved to Beaurepaire from Steventon, which had served as the Brocas country residence in the meantime. Pexall himself moved to Little Brickhill, his paternal inheritance in Buckinghamshire, though in fact he lived chiefly in London.3

Brocas made his will 5 and died 13 Aug. 1630, asking for a ‘decent burial according to my place’. A son and a daughter are mentioned, and a number of servants received bequests, including a woman ‘who now tends me’ and a man ‘for his pains in watching with me’. The son Thomas was appointed executor and the will was proved 1 Nov. 1630.4

Ref Volumes: 1558-1603

Author: J.E.M.


  • 1. PCC 95 Scroope; Vis. Hants (Harl. Soc. lxiv), 132; W. Berry, Co. Genealogies, Suss. (Comber’s copy at Chichester), 172, which suggests another daughter, Elizabeth; C142/228/90; VCH Hants, iv. 166, 172.
  • 2. CSP Dom. 1591-4, p. 565; 1598-1601, p. 136; Peck, Desiderata Curiosa, i. 12.
  • 3. DNB (Shirley, Sir Anthony); APC, xvii. 108; xliii. 111; C142/228/90; VCH Hants, loc. cit; cit.; PCC 46 Holney.
  • 4. C142/474/93; PCC 95 Scroope.