William Brocas, Knight (c.1379 - 1456) MP

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Sir William Brocas of Beaurepaire's Geni Profile

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Birthplace: Beaurepaire Manor, Sherborne St. John, Hampshire, England
Death: Died in Sherborne, Hampshire, England, United Kingdom
Occupation: Master of the King’s buckhounds
Managed by: Erica Isabel Howton, (c)
Last Updated:

About William Brocas, Knight

Family

b.c.1379, s. of Sir Bernard Brocas (exec. 1400), of Beaurepaire, by Joan, da. of Sir Thomas Midelton;1 gds. of Sir Bernard* and er bro. of Bernard*. m. (1) by Nov. 1398, Sibyl; (2) by June 1414, Joan, da. of Sir Walter Sandys*, 2s. at least 3da.

biographical notes

The constant loyalty of the Brocas family to Richard II continued even after his deposition, and in January 1400 William’s father, having joined the conspiracy against Henry IV led by the earls of Kent, Salisbury and Surrey, was forthwith executed for treason. The Brocas estates (conservatively estimated to be worth 200 marks a year) were forfeited to the Crown, but almost immediately Sir Bernard’s widow was granted dower and her late husband’s goods and chattels, and as early as November following the rest of the property was restored to William, who had only recently attained his majority. He had earlier come into his inheritance of Weekley (Northamptonshire) under the terms of a marriage settlement made by his father in 1398, and in his youth he evidently lived either there or on the family estate at Denton in Yorkshire. However, his mother retained for life all of the Yorkshire estates as well as dower lands in Berkshire, Surrey and Hampshire, so that when William was assessed for a subsidy in 1412 his landed holdings were valued at no more than £85 a year. Nor was this revenue to be greatly increased until his mother’s death in 1429. Brocas subsequently sold the estates in Yorkshire to the Vavasours of Weston, a branch of his grandmother’s family. He did, however, consolidate his holdings in the south, where they centred on Beaurepaire and the neighbouring manor of Sherborne Coudray (afterwards known as ‘The Vyne’), a property which had been settled on him and his second wife by her father, Sir Walter Sandys.

Although restored to his father’s estates within a year of their forfeiture, Brocas found rehabilitation under the Lancastrians anything but easy; and he chose to follow the career of a country gentleman rather than to try to emulate his distinguished grandfather. It was not until the reign of Henry V (who sought to bury in oblivion the consequences of his father’s quarrel with Richard II), that Brocas’s standing among the local gentry began to receive official recognition in the shape of his regular inclusion on royal commissions. In November 1413, when his kinsman and friend, William Warbelton† of Skierfield, was escheator of Hampshire, Brocas obtained a favourable report regarding his proposed enclosure of a road which cut through Beaurepaire park. Also, he was returned to Parliament in the following spring, along with Sir Walter Sandys, who was shortly to become (if, indeed, he was not already) his father-in-law.

Brocas’s other dealings (with the exception of his trusteeship of a manor in Berkshire on behalf of Eleanor, Lady St. Amand), for the most part concerned the affairs of members of his family. He is recorded in transactions on behalf of his brothers-in-law, Sir Thomas Romsey of Rockbourne and Robert de la Mare* of Aldermaston, and for William Warbelton.

However, by the time he came to make his will, on 14 Mar. 1456, two or more of his daughters were still unmarried. One of them, Margaret, had married a kinsman, Arnold Brocas† of Surrey, but the terms of their marriage settlement had been disputed, and only shortly before Brocas had been forced to bring a Chancery suit against the couple. No doubt forewarned or disheartened by this experience he now, in his will, left 100 marks to each of his unwed daughters on condition that they married as he wished, or as his executors approved; otherwise this dowry was to be employed in providing masses for his soul. He left each girl a mere four marks a year for her sustenance in the meantime. Brocas’s sons, William (a member of Lincoln’s Inn) and Bernard, were appointed executors, and William Warbelton as overseer. Brocas died on 29 Apr. following and was interred in a chapel in the Benedictine priory of Monk Sherborne. Probate was granted on 10 May.9

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Sir William Brocas of Beaurepaire's Timeline

1379
1379
Sherborne St. John, Hampshire, England
1414
1414
Age 35
1417
1417
Age 38
Denton, Northhampton, England
1456
April 29, 1456
Age 77
Sherborne, Hampshire, England, United Kingdom
April 1456
Age 77
Sherborne, England, United Kingdom