BROUNE (BROME), Ralph (by 1517-68 or later), of Warwick and Woodloes, Warws.
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Family and Education
b. by 1517, 2nd s. of Nicholas Broune (d.1517) of Baddesley Clinton, but o. s. by 3rd w. Lettice, da. of Nicholas Catesby. m. (1) Anne (d.1556) da. of Reginald Digby of Coleshill, 5s. 3da.; (2) da. of William Newport, 1s. 1da.1
The Brounes or Bromes, once tanners of Warwick, had risen in the 15th century through the law. John Broune, under treasurer of the Exchange, who settled at Baddesley Clinton, was killed in 1468 by a servant of Richard Neville, Earl of Warwick. His son Nicholas avenged the murder and, although brought to book and forced to do penance for that and for the later killing of a priest whom he found ‘chucking his wife under the chin’, he became a prosperous country gentleman, active in the administration of his shire. His two daughters by his first wife Elizabeth Arundell, Constance, wife of Sir Edward Ferrers and Isabel, wife of Thomas Marrow, were heirs to the most valuable part of his estate under the marriage settlement. He managed, nevertheless, to leave a modest estate to both his sons: Ralph received Woodloes, not far from Warwick, and at some unspecified date also inherited property from his childless elder half-brother. In 1540, presumably on his marriage, Ralph Broune settled the estate on feoffees including Roger Wigston and Thomas Marrow, with contingent remainder to his half-sisters and their heirs.2
Broune owned a chief rent in Warwick, leased property in the town and for several years lived in Smithford Street: his subsidy assessment shows that he was one of the more prosperous residents. His return to Mary’s third Parliament thus answered to his standing in the borough as well as to his relationship with such influential local families as the Throckmortons and the Wigstons. He was one of those informed against in the King’s bench for being absent without leave when the House was called early in January 1555. The case dragged on, with Broune making one appearance but otherwise incurring a total of seven distraints amounting to £3 7s.8d., until it was brought to an end by the Queen’s death.3
By 1549 Broune held a moiety of a long lease of Maxstoke priory granted by his father-in-law Reginald Digby, which involved him in a lawsuit over the payment of a salary to the curate, and in 1558 he acquired two further manors. Ten years later he transferred all his property to his eldest son Reginald by indenture dated 26 Mar. 1568, on condition that his son should observe the terms of the will he had made eight days before. He and his wife were to be fed, housed and clothed and attended by a manservant and maidservant for the rest of their lives; part of the income from the estate was to be put aside to provide his youngest daughters with a dowry. The will itself has not been discovered and the date of Broune’s death is unknown.4
Ref Volumes: 1509-1558
Author: S. M. Thorpe
- 1. Date of birth estimated from fa.’s death. Vis. Warws. (Harl. Soc. xii), 97; Dugdale, Warws. ii. 971; H. Norris, Baddesley Clinton, 28-29; Warws. RO, Waller of Woodcote 1(i), box 1, W. 34, 35; box 2, xxxv; box 10B. The family name later became fixed as Brome.
- 2. Dugdale, ii. 970; Norris, 28; Warws. RO, Waller of Woodcote 1(i), box 1, W. 32.
- 3. Warwick accts. 1546-69, esp. mm. 13v, 55; Warwick Castle ms 2524; churchwardens’ accts. of St. Nicholas from 1547; KB27/1176-9, 1186-8.
- 4. Warws. RO, Waller of Woodcote 1(i) box 1, W. 33, 34; VCH Warws. iv. 140; viii. viii. 487; Req.2/19/13.