Parentage of John Brooke pre 1500

+3 votes

The descent from Edward I to Hugh Brooke (abt. 1416 - bef. 1453)  (Brooke-65) (through   Joan Baybrooke (abt. 1392 - 1442) (Baybrooke-2)) is unambiguous, and has been approved by the Magna Carta project.

 Similarly, the descent from John Brooke(-abt 1522) (Brooke-2406) to Mary (Towse) Battiscombe (-1628) (Towse-81) is unambiguous, and supported by sources (even if not all the dates are clear).

 However, the descent from Hugh to John is unclear, with conflicting sources.

 A-    John Brooke (and his brother William) are the sons of Hugh Brooke and Petronell

·        The Visitation of the County of Somerset in the Year 1623 pg 15(

B – John Brooke (and his brother William) are sons of Thomas (son of Hugh Brooke) and Anne Spert (Spert -1)(daughter of Thomas Spert)

·        Tudor Place (


 However, there are several things that support interpretation A

 First, while there is not a lot of data about Anne Spert, but there is quite a lot of information about her father, Thomas Spert (Spert-2), for instance . He died in 1541, leaving  two children, Anne and Richard, by his third wife.  Richard was  not yet of age (the Wikipedia article says that his will, written 1541 leaves “ his pasturage in Blackwall to his widow until his son Richard reached the age of majority”).  Therefore Anne was probably born after  1510, and there is no way she could be the mother of John Brook who died, with at least 3 grown children, in 1522.

 Therefore, if Anne Spert  married a Thomas Brooke ( as stated in the visitation of Gloustershire), it can not be THIS Thomas Brooke.

But this still leaves open the question of whether there was a “Thomas” between Hugh, and the brothers John and William.

W.H. Hamilton Rogers quotes Dr J. P. Norris, in his 1882 "account of the church of St. Mary Redcliffe"  (of which he had been vicar): "Thomas Canynges, the last surviving grandson of the wealthy and munifi- cent William Canynges, inherited an estate at Wells from his mother, and sold his grandfather's house in Redcliffe Street. In 1500 it seems to have become the residence of Thomas Brook, the father of John Brook, whose gravestone, inlaid with brass, is in Redcliffe church."

 The question is how much credibility we should apply to Norris’s “seems to have”? Does that just mean that he is unsure of who was living in the Caynynges house? Or does it mean he is unsure whether the-Thomas-Brook-who-lived-in-the-Catnynges-house was the father  of the-John-Brook-who-is-buried-in-Redcliffe?

 Or is the Somerset Visitation more credible?

 For what it is worth, the description of John Brook’s gravestone refers to the arms of Braybroke and Brook, but does not mention the arms of Spert .

 Wikitree currently has it both ways:

Hugh Brooke (Brooke-65) is shown with 4 sons

·         David Brooks (1446)

·         John  Brook (1448 – 1522)

·         Thomas Brooks (1450 – after  1500)

·         William Brook (1454)

And then Thomas Brooks (Brooks-749) is shown with a son

·        John Brooke (-1522)

Which is correct?

WikiTree profile: John Brooke
in Genealogy Help by Janet Gunn G2G6 Pilot (112k points)

2 Answers

+2 votes

Hi Janet

I found a legal document dated 11 July, 3 Henry VII (1488) in the Calendar of Close Rolls for 1485-1500 (see no. 306) which names "Parnell Broke widow of Hugh Broke and John her son" concerning lands and tenements in parish of Asshehull, Somerset.

Although it is possible that this relates to dower lands of Parnell, and the son John is from a marriage to someone other than Hugh Broke, it seems to be more likely that John is the son of Parnell and Hugh, and this would support the Visitation of Somerset genealogy.

(This document also provides a more reliable date for when Hugh Broke/Brook died)

by John Atkinson G2G6 Pilot (511k points)

Very helpful.

And I have found a post on soc.genealogy.medieval (!topic/soc.genealogy.medieval/XPWPrA4DdG8 ) which refers to

"Hugh Brook(e), born circa 1416, of Canynges Place, in Redcliff Street, Bristol, Gloucestershire, England. He was the father of John Brook and William Brook." 

though it does not give a source.

One of the sources on that post is an article 'On the manorial history of Clifton' by Alfred S. Ellis, published in Transactions of Bristol & Gloucestershire Archaeological Society, vol 3.

The article is here, and information about the Brooks starts on page 223

0 votes
I will leave this here for a few more days, to see if anyone finds more sources for Thomas.
by Janet Gunn G2G6 Pilot (112k points)
I have connected John Brooke as son of Hugh Brooke and Petronel. I have marked both Thomas and David (shown as sons of Hugh) as having uncertain parentage.

Related questions

+5 votes
1 answer
132 views asked Jan 26, 2013 in Genealogy Help by Ed Burke G2G6 Mach 2 (23.1k points)
+1 vote
1 answer
+2 votes
0 answers
83 views asked Aug 14, 2020 in The Tree House by Beth Golden G2G6 Mach 1 (16.1k points)
+7 votes
1 answer
+3 votes
3 answers
376 views asked Apr 6, 2014 in Policy and Style by Jillaine Smith G2G6 Pilot (802k points)
+20 votes
3 answers
281 views asked Jun 2, 2018 in Genealogy Help by Robin Anderson G2G6 Mach 4 (40.4k points)
+1 vote
0 answers
50 views asked Sep 29, 2020 in Genealogy Help by Jennifer Papitto G2G1 (1.1k points)
+4 votes
1 answer
145 views asked Jul 28, 2018 in Genealogy Help by Jourdi Cleghorn G2G6 Mach 2 (29.5k points)

WikiTree  ~  About  ~  Help Help  ~  Search Person Search  ~  Surname:

disclaimer - terms - copyright