BROOKE, Robert (c.1531-99), of York.

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. c.1531, s. of Robert Brooke of York. m. Jane, da. of Christopher Maltby of Thornton in Pickering Lythe, 7s. 5da.

Offices Held

Freeman, York c.1559, chamberlain 1565-6, sheriff 1574-5, alderman 1579, ld. mayor 1582-3, 1595-6; gov. York merchant adventurers 1576-7, 1587-8.


By 1578 Brooke was of sufficient standing to be mentioned by name in an order from the Queen to the mayor and other notables of York concerning the identification and arrest of Roman priests. In January 1579 he was one of a deputation of six representing merchants of York, Newcastle and Hull who went to London to negotiate about ‘freedom to traffic in the East parts’. Ten years later he was sent to London to obtain a copy of the York charter or the instrument itself ‘if it can be gotten’.

Between 1574 and 1596 Brooke was steadily buying property, and eventually he became one of the richest men in York. The Earl of Leicester asked him for money in 1585 and he contributed £30 to the Queen’s loan in 1590. He died in May 1599 and was buried, as he wished, in the church of All Saints Pavement, on 1 June. His ‘loving, wise and discreet’ wife was sole executrix, and there were various charitable legacies. Two of Brooke’s sons rose in status. Christopher, the poet, sat in Parliament for York and Newport, Isle of Wight, and Samuel became chaplain to Prince Henry, James I and Charles I.

York City Lib., Skaife mss; Drake, Eboracum, 365; York Freemen (Surtees Soc. xcvi), 279; (cii), 6, 25, 37; York Mercers (Surtees Soc. cxxix), 193, 214, 324; York wills, 27, f. 596; York Civic Recs. passim; York house bk. 6, f. 79; Yorks. Fines (Yorks. Arch. Soc. rec. ser. v), 53, 116, 178; (vii), 8, 57, 97, 108, 112, 200; A. Raine, Mediaeval York, 25, 165; J. J. Cartwright, Chapters in Yorks. Hist. 372; HMC Hatfield, xiii. 288; Foster, Al. Ox. 189; DNB.

Ref Volumes: 1558-1603

Author: N.M.S.