Name: John BROOKSBY , of Shouldby, Sir 1
ALIA: John /Brokesby/, of Shoby
Birth: ABT 1335 in Siwoldby, Melton Mowbray, Leicestershire, England 1
Death: 1400 1
The following is copied from the website "Brooksby, The Old Family", www.brooksby.org/family/old-family.html:
Robert de Brooksby held land in Melton in 1340. As this holding was referred to later by those who must have been his heirs, it is reasonable to suppose that he was the father of John (app. 1335-140O) whom the family counted as its founder. It was John's name which was set at the head of the Visitation pedigrees, and as these pedigrees marked a family's claim to gentility, it must have been John who acquired a coat of arms.
These are technically described as "Barry nebuly of six, argent and sable, on a canton gules a mullet pierced or". For what it is worth, this pattern bears no resemblance at all to the arms of either the de Seis or the de Villiers family, but it is very like the arms of the Staple of Calais (a kind of employers' co-operative for the wool trade). We should in any case assume that a family in this part of Leicestershire, leaping into prominence at this time, had made their money out of wool.
While John was the farmer and landowner, some of his relations were established in Leicester, probably in the guild of mercers. It was already an established pattern that at least one younger son of such a family went to the university and into the church, while another was apprenticed to a trade. In 1353 a Thomas living in All Saints Leicester, was admitted freeman. At the same time another John was living in Belgravegate, and in 1357 one William was paid 48 shillings in the Mayor's accounts for going with the Duke of Lancaster to Liverpool with three carts, a journey which took nine days.
John de Brooksby first settled on an estate at Shoby, and afterwards extended himself to Frisby-on-the-Wreake, a couple of miles away. In 1374 he was having words with someone in Shoby who had taken two of his cattle. In the poll tax of 1377 his position is shown with no doubt at all: eighteen adults paid in Shoby, six married couples and five individuals being taxed at the regulation fourpence apiece, while "John de Brooksby esquier" is taxed at six shillings and eightpence. That year he bought the manor of Shoby and also some land in Saxelby with the advowson (the right to appoint the parson) of the church.
Ten years later John and his wife Agnes had to attend court in Leicester to have their right to the land examined and confirmed, and their estate at that time was listed as "A third part of the manors of Sywoldby and Reresby' and various other land in "Saxulby, Gaddesby and Grimston". As yet no mention of Frisby or Oadby: but the family fortune continued to grow. In 1390 or thereabouts Robert, clerk, is vicar of Oadby, and as the connection with Oadby continues it is clear that some land in the manor, together with the advowson, had been acquired by John. Robert was probably the one of several sons. who took most kindly to education.
1392. "John Brokesby v. John Chamberlayn (and others, including the Shoby parson) in a plea of cutting down and carrying away John Brokesby's trees growing at Grimston and Sewoldeby to the value of £40."
There is a lot of timber in £40 of fourteenth century money, and the respectability of the defendants precludes the idea of this being common thievery. Are we catching sight of a mediaeval developer enclosing time-honoured common land to the fury of his neighbours? The quotation does not say which side won.
John died some time before 1401, leaving several sons, two of whom, Bartholomew and William, are of particular interest.
Father: Robert de BROOKSBY , of Melton b: ABT 1310 in Brooksby, Melton Mowbray, Leicestershire, England
Agnes b: ABT 1340 in England
- William BROOKSBY , of Shouldby & Saxelby b: ABT 1365 in Siwoldby, Melton Mowbray, Leicestershire, England
- Title: Newsgroup: soc.genealogy.medieval, at groups - google.com
Page: R. Robert Abney, 11 Sep 1996