04/12/2022

GGF13 – Sir John Brome – Nicholas Brome – Edward Ferrers

Forward to GGF12 Thomas Denton of Fyfield [2] (1464-1560) – Forward to American Denton’s Index
Back to GGF13 Sir Sir Thomas Denton of Fyfield [2] (1453- ) – Back to Denton Family Bible

GGF13 – Sir John Brome (1410-1468)

By virtue of the marriage of John and Isabel, Sir John Brome also became one of my thirteenth great grandfathers. He was a wealthy lawyer, probably knighted by Henry V. In 1431 he married Lady Beatrice (or Beatrix) Shirley (1405-1483) and this effectively unified two of the most powerful families in Warwickshire.  Between them they also controlled land in Cambridgeshire, Hertfordshire, Kent, Rutland, Staffordshire and Warwickshire.

By 1438 the Bromes had acquired Baddesley Clinton house. They had seven children, perhaps that explains why the property was extended to both the east and west of the original house.

Sir John Brome was appointed Under Treasurer of England but as a Lancastrian supporter he suffered when the Yorkist Edward IV deposed Henry VI and he promptly lost his court appointments in 1461.

Worse, he quarrelled with John Herthill the steward to The Earl of Warwick (aka The Kingmaker) in a property dispute. Herthill wanted to pay off a mortgage early but Brome wished to keep the land. On 5 November 1468 Sir John, a staunch Roman Catholic, was attending mass at the Whitefriars Carmelite Monastery church in the city of London when he received a message that someone was waiting to meet him at the church front entrance. This proved to be Herthill who promptly stabbed Sir John to death.

Brome survived long enough to include a comment in his will that he forgave his eldest son Thomas who had apparently smiled when he saw his father attacked in the church porch. Sir John was buried at the monastery.

Monument to a later Sir John Brome (died 1558) and his daughters

Nicholas Brome – GU14 (1440-1517)

John’s second son Nicholas Brome, therefore a fourteenth great-uncle, avenged his father’s death when he killed Herthill in 1471. He escaped punishment by funding a priest to pray at Baddesley Clinton church for the souls of Sir John and Herthill for two years. He also paid Herthill’s widow 33s 4d.

Nicholas was in trouble again when he returned home to find the priest of the Baddesley church (hopefully not the one he funded) in the parlour with his wife– chockinge his wife under ye chinne (stroking his wife under the chin). Nicholas promptly stabbed him to death.

Killing a priest was a serious crime in his day, but Nicholas must have had superb connections as he obtained a rather generous pardon from Henry VII in the form of a catch-all letter issued on 7 May 1496 which pardoned him for all crimes committed before 7 November 1485. In fact his negotiating skills must have been spectacular, or perhaps his pockets were deep, as he also obtained a pardon from the Borgia pope, Pope Alexander VI.

St Michael’s Baddesley Clinton,
showing tower and raised nave

To further show his penitence by 1500 he had added steeples on churches at Baddesley Clinton church (St Michael’s) and Packwood (St James) and raised the nave of the former by ten feet – they became known as his ‘towers of atonement’

Inscription on the tower at St Michael’s

Obviously he still felt the need for penitence on his death. He was buried at the threshold of the south entrance of the church so that ‘people may tread upon mee when they cone [sic] into the church….

Nicholas Brome’s tomb – acting as a stepping stone

Sir Edward Ferrers (1462-1535)

However, Nicholas Brome’s stone is not the most remarkable feature in St Michael’s. Nicholas’s daughter Constance (1465 – 1551) married Sir Edward Ferrers (1462–1535) of Tamworth and there is a painted table tomb to Edward and a 16thcentury stained-glass window reproducing likenesses of both Edward and Constance.

Sir Edward was knighted following Henry VIII’s capture of the (Belgian) city of Tournai in 1513. He successfully he had led a band of a hundred men during that campaign.

Sir Edward Ferrers’s tomb St Michael’s Baddesley Clinton
St Michael’s East Window – the Ferrers are in windows 2 and 4, top tier

Note on shorthand acronyms being used in the DFB:
GGF1 / GGM1 – means first great-grandfather /mother;
GU11 / GA11 – means eleventh great-uncle / great-aunt;
1C3 – means first cousin three times removed

Forward to GGF12 Thomas Denton of Fyfield [2] (1464-1560) – Forward to American Denton’s Index
Back to GGF13 Sir Sir Thomas Denton of Fyfield [2] (1453- ) – Back to Denton Family Bible

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