BREHAM (BRAHAM), Robert (1529/30-1600), of Barrow upon Soar, Leics.

Published in The History of Parliament: the House of Commons 1509-1558, ed. S.T. Bindoff, 1982
Available from Boydell and Brewer



Family and Education

b. 1529/30, poss. s. of Eustace Breham of Wanlip by Millicent, da. of Thomas Haselrigge of Noseley. m. Agnes, da. and h. of William Barnard of Barrow upon Soar, 1da.1

Offices Held

Recorder, Leicester 1558-74; feodary, Leics. by 1563; escheator 1570-1; dep. steward, duchy of Lancaster, honor of Leicester 1562.2


The will of Eustace Breham, made in 1531, contains no reference to a son, but the infant Robert could have escaped mention. The two were probably related, for Robert was to be linked with Farnhams and Nevilles, as Eustace had been before him. Robert Breham evidently had legal training, although none of the inns of court records his name. His appointment as recorder may have been on the recommendation of his friends in the Farnham family, for Francis Farnham had previously held the office, and the Farnhams enjoyed good relations with Francis, 2nd Earl of Huntingdon, who as steward of Leicester honor would also have been interested. Huntingdon’s son Henry, the 3rd Earl, was to make Breham his deputy steward, but later they seem to have fallen out and the earl revealed that Breham and his father-in-law had been concealing crown lands. Breham’s marriage to an heiress brought him both freehold property, some of which he sold, and a number of profitable crown leases. He led a busy life as a municipal and crown official and in acting as a legal adviser; he is frequently mentioned in wills of the Barrow area. Later he was for some time steward of Beaumanor court.3

His parliamentary career, chiefly under Elizabeth, spanned his 16 years as recorder of Leicester, a borough which usually gave one of its seats to that official. When he died on 28 June 1600 he was one of the small band of survivors of a pre-Elizabethan Parliament. He left most of his property to his daughter, who had married into the powerful local family of Cave.4

Ref Volumes: 1509-1558

Author: S. M. Thorpe


  • 1. Aged 62 in 1592, Quorndon Recs. ed. Farnham, 303, 309; Farnham, Leics. Med. Peds. 78.
  • 2. Leicester Recs. ed. Bateson, iii. 459; CPR, 1560-3, p. 485; 1563-6, p. 331; 1569-72, p. 433; Quorndon Recs. 255; Somerville, Duchy, i. 565; DL1/80/3.
  • 3. PCC 24 Streat, 14 Martyn; Quorndon Recs. 244, 247, 280, 291, 395.
  • 4. Quorndon Recs. 309; Nichols, Leics. iii(1), 69.