BROCAS, Bernard (d.c.1431), of Bradley, Hants and Horton, Bucks.
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Family and Education
Commr. of inquiry, Hants Feb. 1421 (unlawful disseisin); array June 1421.2
When Bernard’s father was executed for treason in 1400,3 it was his elder brother, William, who inherited the substantial estates amassed by their grandfather, Sir Bernard Brocas*. In February 1404 Bernard made a formal declaration that certain conveyances made by his grandfather’s trustee, Master John Chitterne, had his consent; and he subsequently borrowed money from Chitterne on the security of family property in Hampshire and Buckinghamshire which had been settled on him by Sir Bernard. Some time before 1428 his brother made over to him the manor and advowson of Bradley, and he also had a reversionary interest in certain of the main Brocas estates, although this was to apply only in the event of William’s death without issue. Bernard probably married Joan Banbury before 1412, when her father was a co-feoffee with the Brocas brothers of the lands of Sir Thomas Romsey of Rockbourne, their brother-in-law. Joan stood to inherit two manors in Holybourne, but her father was recorded as being still in possession of these in 1431, and Brocas himself can never have held them, although his eldest son did. Meanwhile, in 1424 he had acquired a small amount of property at Royston (Hertfordshire).4
Bernard was always overshadowed by his brother and is invariably recorded in association with him. Like William he was named on the list, sent to the King’s Council by the j.p.s for Hampshire in the winter of 1419-20, of those considered best able to do military service; and when commissions of array were appointed in June 1421, those for the same county named him simply as ‘the brother of William Brocas’ . It was independently of William, however, that Bernard had attended the parliamentary elections held at Winchester in the previous spring. Their mother named them both as executors of her will, made in 1427, and left to Bernard a gilt cup painted with a vine and an eagle, coral beads and her blessing.5
Brocas died shortly before 7 Feb. 1432, on which date his eldest son and heir, another Bernard, released his executors (his brother and widow) from all personal actions arising from his will. Bradley passed to Brocas’s younger son, William. The widow was assessed as holding land in Hampshire worth £20 a year in 1436.6
Ref Volumes: 1386-1421
Author: L. S. Woodger
- 1. M. Burrows, Fam. Brocas of Beaurepaire, 132, 154, confuses Bernard’s mother (Joan, da. of Sir Thomas Midelton) with his wife, an error which is repeated elsewhere (e.g. VCH Hants, ii. 512).
- 2. CPR, 1413-16, pp. 177-8 names Bernard in mistake for his brother William on the commission to inquire about lollards, Jan. 1414 (see CIMisc. vii. 462).
- 3. The inquest held subsequently in Dorset (C137/3/17) gives Bernard as heir to the manor of Bromley. This was evidently a mistake, as William inherited the property.
- 4. CCR, 1402-5, pp. 298, 300; 1409-13, pp. 425, 428, 431; 1429-35, p. 26; VCH Hants, ii. 512; iv. 202; Feudal Aids, ii. 346; CPR, 1422-9, p. 199; Burrows, 453; VCH Bucks, iii. 331, 381; Reg. Wykeham (Hants Rec. Soc. 1896-9), i. 244.
- 5. Reg. Chichele, ii. 406-7; Burrows, 354, 412-13; C219/12/5; E28/97/27.
- 6. Burrows, 435-6; E179/173/92.