BRULEY, William, of Waterstock, Oxon.
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Family and Education
s. of John Bruley, ?by Bona Fitzellis. m. bef. Mar. 1380, his kinswoman Agnes, da. and h. of Henry Bruley of Waterstock, 1s. d.v.p. 2da.
Escheator, Oxon. and Berks. 4 Feb. 1386-8.
Alnager, Oxon. 8 Feb. 1397-7 July 1399.
The family of Bruley, originating at White Ladies Aston in Worcestershire (where it retained land), acquired property at Waterstock in the late 13th century. William Bruley, who belonged to a cadet branch, made good his claim to the family holdings through marriage to a relation, Agnes Bruley, whose title to them was stronger than his own. Thereafter, he was untroubled in possession of Waterstock and the other properties, save by a lawsuit brought in 1409. In addition, he and his wife held land in Little Milton and Little Rycote, nearby.1
Not long before his death in 1394 Sir Ralph Stonor, the wealthy Oxfordshire landowner, named Bruley among the feoffees of his principal estates, including those in Devon. One of his associates in the trust was Robert James* of Wallingford, who in January 1397 placed him in a similar position with regard to his own recently inherited lands in the locality, and, indeed, retained his services in this respect until his death. During the 1390s Bruley was also closely involved in the affairs of the family of Quatremayn: before his neighbour Thomas Quatremayn of Rycote died in 1398, he gave his manor in Great Milton in trust to Bruley, to hold on behalf of his widow, and it may be assumed that the marriage of Bruley’s son, John, to Quatremayn’s daughter, Maud, had already taken place. As a feoffee by nomination of his kinsman John Fitzellis (d.1395) of manors in Oxfordshire, Berkshire and Buckinghamshire, Bruley was party in 1409 to a settlement on Sir William Lisle* and his wife, Amy Fitzellis; in 1413 he acted as co-patron of the Fitzellis living at Yattendon, and four years later he made a formal quitclaim to Robert James (who had married into the Fitzellis family) of any right he had in the manor of Oakley. Another associate of his later years was his son-in-law, John Cottesmore, the able lawyer who was to rise to be chief justice of the common pleas shortly before his death in 1439.2
Bruley, last recorded in December 1419, may be presumed to have been still alive in March 1423, when John Danvers* of Calthorpe, who had married his grand daughter and heir Joan, presented to the living at Waterstock not by virtue of his wife’s inheritance but rather by her grandfather’s gift. Bruley’s landed holdings were all to pass in due course to Danvers and his sons.3
Ref Volumes: 1386-1421
- 1. VCH Worcs. iii. 559; VCH Oxon. vii. 222-3; Peds. Plea Rolls ed. Wrottesley, 266, 465; F.N. Macnamara, Mems. Danvers Fam. 223-5; CP25(1)191/23/13, 291/63/8.
- 2. CCR, 1392-6, p. 342; 1396-9, p. 125; 1405-9, pp. 482, 484; Boarstall Cart. (Oxf. Hist. Soc. lxxxviii), 123, 262-3, 266; VCH Oxon. v. 10; vii. 127; VCH Bucks. iv. 81; C136/85/39; Reg. Hallum (Canterbury and York Soc. lxxiv), nos. 444-5; Vis. Oxon. (Harl. Soc. v), 186-7.
- 3. Boarstall Cart. 146; Macnamara, 225.