Index | The sale of Knelle Manor
Arms: Sable, three conches or, two and one, crest a lion rampant azur - The ones of Withyam church which should be the autentical ones for our John Brook: Gules a chevron Argent with a lion rampant Gules. - Arms: Gules, on a chevron argent a lion rampant sable, ducally crowned (The visitation of Kent with reference to the tinctures from Stowe 618)
What are John Brook's connections with Knelle manor?
William de Welles, son of Margaret de Knelle and Sir William de Welles, had died, and a struggle had ensued about the possession of Knelle manor. VCH puts it as that: “In 1384 it was alleged that Margaret de Knelle’s sister Agnes, who had been a nun in Davington (Kent) for 30 years, was taken out of her priory by John Oxenbrigge and others, dressed in secular clothes, and brought into court to levy a fine of the manor in favour of John Brook”. - John Brook gave up his right in the manor to Sir Robert Belknap next year, when Thomas and John Lyvet, William Batesford, Robert Oxenbrigge and Edward Dallingrigge quitclaimed it to him.
William Durant, rector of the church of Rotherfield, John Larke, rector of the church of Oldshorham, Ralph Blake, rector of the church of Ewhurst, John Edward and John Brook v. Agnes daughter of Edward de Knelle, kt. (must read Edmund) - manor of Knelle to John Brook etc. and his heirs (1384 - SSX FF). - Ralph Blake also had a law suit against Robert Oxenbridge and against Edward Dallingridge (SSX FF), which suggests a kinship between the families.
John Brook was a lawyer, later a judge and in later years he became escheator of Sussex. At a certain period of his life he became steward of Battle Abbey and worked for John de la Warre, sometime advocate of the bishop of Chichester.
1362 - He represents Robert de Oxenbridge in a law suit (SSX FF).
1366 - John Brook, Roger Dalynridge, Andrew Sackvill, Sir Richard Maufe and others witnessed a charter by Richard de Burstow granting land to Sir Nicholas de Louvain, kt. and Henry atte Helde and their heirs of his manor of Burstow and all his lands in the town of Burstow and in the parishes of Horne and Horley in Surrey and Wivelsfield in Sussex etc. (CCR).
1368 - John Brok and Joan his wife for a messuage, land, wood and rent in Werth and Burle in Sussex, and for a meadow in Lingfield, Surrey. It went to the petitioners who pay them 100 marks. 1368-9 Thomas atte Forde and Richard his son sue John Aylwyne of Rotherfield and Katherine his wife for a moiety of a messuage, land, and rent in Hertfield with homage and services of John Brok (SSXs FF).
1369 - John Brook and Joan his wife versus William Clappefeld and Rose his wife regarding a messuage, land and rent in East Greensted. The reversion went to John and Joan (SSX FF). - In another fine it says 'John Brook of East Grensted' and Joan his wife, which means that they resided there, but held land in Hertfield and elsewhere. - John and others receive a letter of attorney to deliver to Giles Porter of Stratford land and tenements in London (TNA E 40/1758). - A Walter atte Broke paid subsidies in 1332 in Grinsted.
3rd Oct. 1370 - Letter of attorney to John Brook and others (TNA E 40/1758). - The Sussex Fines show John Brook's activity as a lawyer during the years 1373 and 1377, when he represents Richard Earl of Arundel and Surrey, John Oxenbrygge the younger, Richard Haket with William Baron, John Alayn with John Borham and Nicholas Harmere and Agnes his wife. He won the law suits for all those clients. - Half a century later Thomas Oxenbregge, John Hony and John Brook, probably his descendant, battle against John Toughton and Agnes his wife for the possession of a messuage, 50 acres of land, 6 acres of meadow, 6 acres of wood in Beckley.
1374 - William Beauchamp, John Brook and others had licence to grant one third of the manor of Selling in Kent and other manors and advowsoms, acquired from John Meriet, knight, to Matthew de Gourney, kt. and Alice his wife, who was widow of John Beauchamp of Somerset etc. (TNA C 143/384/5). John wins also against William atte Hole and Julian his wife 8 acres in Hertfield. (please also Dallingridge in this website).
1376 - John Spicer, rector of the church of Hertfield, and John Brook claim 5 messuages and land in Hertfield and win paying 100 marks. - John represented Richard, earl of Arundel in this year at court. In 1377 John claims from Stephen Mory and Agnes his wife rent in Hertfield in Sussex with homages and services of Roger Dalyngerugge and others. Other properties in Hertfield where inheritance of the wives of John and William de Dallingregge in the beginning of the 14th century (SSX FF).
1377 William Brenchesle, kt., Thomas Wallere and John Brook sue for rent in Frant in court against Robert atte Wode of Tonbridge and Agnes his wife. They get the properties. The same persons, Richard Huntingdon, William Chaumpeneys and others go to court for 188 acres of land and rent in Frant against William Sunninglegh and Margaret his wife and are awarded their claim. That year John had a suit against Stephen, Mary and Agnes his wife regarding rent in Hertfield with the homages and services of Roger Dalyngrugge and others. Brook ascerted his claim (SSX FF). I believe that John Brook and Roger Dallyngridge were related by division of some estates into purparties to the 4 heiresses of Henry de Hertfield by the end of the 13th C. (See also Dallingridge genealogy).
In 1380 John Brook of East Greenstedt sues John Page of Buckstedt jun. and Joan his wife for a moiety of a messuage, 240 of land, 24 a of meadow, 46 a of wood and 2s rent in Hertfield, which was adjudged to him and the heirs of his body, rendering a rose at midsummer, contingent reversion to John Page and Joan his wife and the heirs of Joan. - This shows that John was related to Joan, wife of John Page. - He also won against John Wyn of London and Alice his wife, land, wood and rent in Buckstedt. (SSX FF). Maybe Joan and Alice were his sisters.
1381 Ellis de Thorp, citizen of London, granted to Richard Aumoun, John de Estbury and John Brooke and their heirs and assigns the reversion of a messuage with land in Bokelond and Pusye. The main witness was Sir Gilbert de Talbot, who was the brother of Henry de Aucher's mother Elizabeth. Henry was married to Alice, daughter of Margaret de Knelle (CCR). - In 1382 John Brook, Robert Bealknap, Edward Dalyngrugge, John Edwards and others had a commission to control the dykes and fosses, another similar one with Simon Burly, constable of Dover castle, Robert Ashburnham and others (CPR).
The Calendars of Patent Rolls covering the year 1382 show a commission “de walliis, fossatiis etc.” for Robert Bealknap, Edward Dalyngrugge, Roger Ashburnham, Robert Echyngham, John Edward and John Brook between a place called Knellesflote. A Richard Edwarde of Beckley is mentioned in a charter dated 10 Nov 1425 “Grant by Robert Bulcompe of Beckley to him to hold the property of the feudal lords by the usual service – messuage and one acre of land in Bromesmyth. W: Way leading from Bromsmyth to Knelle, N & S).” [FRE/6970], and in others of 1414 and 1431. In 1463 appears a John Edward, son and heir of John Edward the elder, late of Beckley (FRE/6974) .
In 1383-7 John Brook claims from William atte Holt and Julian his wife 8 acres in Hertfield, which he receives for a payment of 10 marks. From Richard Argenthein and Joan his wife he wins 12 s rent in Radmelde with services, homages etc. (SSX FF). - The Dalyngrugge family in the early 14th C. had a suit against the Argenthein's as well.
In 1385 Edward Dalyngrugge quitclaimed to Robert Belknap the manor of Knelle and land and rent in Beckley. - After the forfeiture of Edward de Dallingridge's lands, John Brook and others became feoffees of uses in the manor and castle of Bodiham as well as in other manors of Edward. - In 1396 John Brook was a feoffee of Sir John Dallingridge, son of Edward. He had succeeded Robert Oxenbridge as steward of Battle Abbey c. 1396 (CFR).
1385 John Brook was creditor to Richard atte Wood of Arundel. (TNA C 241/17/24) - On 30 May 1368 John Brook is escheator in Sussex to inquire in lands held by Ralph Tyson on 20 June 1382 the day of his outlawry for debts Inq. Misc. V. 4 p. 186). - That year he received a commission of controlling the dykes and ditches in some part of the Kentish coast with Simon Burley, constable of Dover castle, and others (CPR). - 1387 Thomas Wallere of Rotherfield and Katherine his wife grant to William Brenchesle and John Brook all their lands, rents and services in Rotherfield, Withyhamme, Wadeherst, Lamberherst, Little Horsted, Alfrychston and Buckstedt, whereby Edward Dalyngregge is witness (CCR). - Before 6 July 1388 took place an inquisition on Robert Treygos (Tregoz), when John Oliver had been escheator (CCR).
1388 John Brook of Hertfield obtains a licence to enlarge his house and to include that part of way which goes to Horsted Keynes and to Couden (CIPM). - 1389 John Spices, rector of the church of Herfield and William Skynner sue John Gregge and Alice his wife for 2 messages, land and wood in Hertfield. It went to John Gregge and Alice for life, with remainder to Thomas Joop and Margaret his wife and heirs of their bodies, contingent remainder to John Brook and his heirs. (Margaret was John's daughter) (SSX FF).
27 April 1390 John Petlyngbury grants to Thomas Wallere and John Brooke rents with reliefs etc. of the grantor's tenants in Kent (CCR). The same year John was again a commissioner for dykes and ditches with Edward Dallingridge, William Brenchesle and others under John Devereux, constable of Dover castle (CPR). - 1392 Commission to the abbot of Begham, John Broke, William Fiennes, William Batesford, William Brenchesle and others to watch the sea coast and marshes between Ashburnham and (East)Bourne in Sussex (CPR). 1393 Pardon to William Brenchesle, John Brook and others for acquiring and entering without licence the manor of Bilsington acquired from John Stablegate (CPR). In that year he was MP for Sussex. - 1394 Commission of peace and of oyer and terminer persuant to the statutes of Winchester, Northampton and Westminster to John Broke and others in Sussex (CPR). - It is obvious that the persons involved in the sale of Knelle manor had known each other and sometimes worked together.
Nov. 2, 1394 Commission to Walter Dalyngrugge, John Tauk, John Brokere and others to enquire what lieges of the king were in league with French and other foreign merchans and sold them merchandies without paying taxes (CPR). On 24 Nov. 1394, 26 Oct. 1397 and 28 Nov. 1. 1397 - Commission to John Tauk, Thomas Blast and John Brook, escheator in Sussex (CPR). The same year John Brook and Thomas Joop, his son in law, sued Adam Ippyngbury and Dionisia his wife for a messuage with land and appurtenances in Ealing. Adam and Dionisia acknowledged John's and Thomas's right to the property, wherefore they paid 20 silver marks (Kent FF). - Another document reveals that he had orders to close a road near East Grinstead. John was commissioner of peace between 1396-99.
1395 - Order to John Broke, escheator in the county of Sussex, to deliver to Thomas West, kt., son and heir of Alice, late the wife of Thomas West, kt., seising of his mother's land (CFR V. 12). In 1396 John and others were granted the manor of Bodyham with the castle and other manors in Kent and Sussex by John Dalyngregge, kt. (CFR). - On 25 May 1397 Thomas Holland of Kent held at his death in IDEN a fee farm worth 8 lbs yearly which Thomas Saqueville, kt., Robert Echingham, Robert Oxenbridge and John Brook with others held in chief (CIPM SSX). - On 12 Aug.1397 John Brook, escheator in the counties of Surrey and Kent, and others received a commitment of the guardianship of the temporalities of the Archbishop of Canterbury (CFR, V. 11). He also became one of the commissioners of peace and oyer and terminer with William Brenchesle, Robert Oxenbrugge and others in Sussex. (CPR).
Next year, 1398, he was ordered to take into the king's hands all the goods which the late Richard earl of Arundel had forfeited by judgment of the Parliament (CFR V. 11). - On 19 June 1398 John Brook, escheator held an inquisition at Findon, Sussex, to look into the manor of Changeton of which Elizabeth widow of John Arundel had claimed one third in dower from Thomas Bourchier late archbishop of Canterbury and which had been taken into the kin's hand by sheriff Salerne on 29 March together with the remaining two thirds (Inq. Misc. V. 6 p. 99). - John Brook received further order to cause John Michelgrove, brother of Henry Michelgrove, father of John, who is heir of John who died a minor, and of seising of all the lands of which Henry Michelgrove was seised of on his death (CFR). - In 1399 John, at the supplication of the King's nephew, Thomas duke of Surrey, was pardoned 7 lbs 14s 3 1/2 d which he owed to Thomas Beauchamp earl of Warwick (CPR). - 28 Jan. 1400 order to the guardians of the peace and justices of oyer and terminer in Sussex: the arrest of the following persons has been delayed for William Echingham, John Brook, Thomas Joop, Henry Boteler and Burcester by mainprise of Robert Denny kt. of Cambridge. Thomas Wallere by meinprise of John Dallingridge kt. John Brook and Thomas Joop of Sussex (In qu. Misc.) - 1400-1 John Brook and John Alfray sue Richard Weyvile and Agatha his wife for 3 messuages, land, wood and rent and pasture for 500 sheep in Ovingdean, Bercompe, and Kingston by Lewes, and a messuage, and land in Stebenheth, Middlesex. The properties went to Richard and Agata and her heirs (SSX FF).
Thomas Wykes senior in 1401 quitclaimed to William Brenchesle, kt., John Broke and others all the gavelkind lands purchased by Edmund Stablegate senior in Bilsington and Newcherch, Kent (CCR). - In the same year John, Robert Echingham, John Ashbournham and others were to inquire into fees and lands on which taxes are to be levied (CFR). In 1401 John was again nominated tax collector in Sussex, and in 1405 he and Richard Boyton had commission to collect the custom on wools, hides and woolfells in the part of Bruggwater (CFR V. 13). - 1408 Reynold Cobham grants to William Brenchesle, John Brook and others his manors in Kent, Wiltshire and Hertfordshire (CCR).
1402 John de Mere, John de la Launde and others versus Thomas de la Warre, clerk: The manor of Fletching called Tarring Peverell including 40s rent and homages and services of John Dalyngridge, Thomas Sackville, kt., John Brook, Robert Oxenbridge and others (SSX FF). Here we have again three persons envolved in the sale of Knelle manor, but also those, who, except of Oxenbridge, were heirs of Henry de Hartfield's four daughters (Dallingridge genealogy). - John vicar of the church of Hertfield, John Brook, Richard and Thomas Cessyngham, Gilbert Hamme and others sue Wiliam Stopham and Alice his wife for a messuage and 80 acres in Erlington. It went to the demandants (SSX FF).
20 April 1402 Process against John Brook late escheator of Surrey and Sussex: Order not to proceed against him in the case of Salman for which he had been appointed to see how much land Thomas Salman held of the deceased Richard earl of Arundel. - On 17 November 1416 Order to the escheator of Sussex to remove the King's hand of a messuage with apurtenances in East Grenested and to deliver to Margaret widow of Thomas St. Clere any issues taken thereof as Thomas held them jointly with her by feoffment of John Brook, Thomas Joop and John Alfary and not of the king (CCR V. 5, p. 328).
Sir Reginald Cobham of Sterborough, Surrey, granted his estate to several persons including John Brook in 1404. Reginald was a grandson of Reginald Cobham, who at the Battle of Crecy was one of the three knights who had to shield the 16 year old Black Prince. - 1408 John Broke, William Brenchesle, knight, now deceased, Thomas Sackville and others were pardoned for 100s paid into the hanaper by Reginald Cobham of Staresborough to have acquired from him the manors of Aldyngton, Eastshelve and Burdefeld, held in chief, without licence (CPR).
1408 - Thomas Seyntclere, John Brook and others versus John Hert and Agnes: a messuage, 100 a of land and 20 a of wood in East Grensted. Thomas and his heirs received it ( see abive).. - 1409-10 Thomas Joop, John Brook and John Gaynesford sue Thomas Aleyn and Agnes his wife for land in East Grinsted and Lingfield. The `plaintifs received it (SSX FF). Thomas Joop, son in-law of the deceased John Brook held land worth 12 lbs in Hertfield and land in Tarring worth 8 lbs in 1411-12 (SB). - It seems tha this John Brook was son or nephew of the late John Brook escheator as he held land in East Grinstead.
In 1412 John Brook pays 20 lbs 4s for his land in East Grinsted (Inq.and Assessments). The Subsidy Roll of Sussex shows John holding land in East Grinsted worth 20 lbs yearly, and his son in law, Thomas Joop, lands in Hertfield and Tarring the same, i.e. 12 lbs for Hertfield and 8 lbs for Tarring. - A Richard Joop had paid subsidies in East Grinsted in 1332.
John was tax collector again from 2 Dec. 1414 (CFR). - John Brook made his will on 27 March 1415 (Lambeth wills). He wanted to be buried in the church of Hertfield with Johan my first wife. To Margaret, wife of Thomas Jope, his daughter, he left a signetring. This will was proved on 15 Sept. 1418. He must have been a very old man at that time.
1374 John Broke and Agatha his wife are sued for 2 messuages, land, wood and rent in Hammes, Radmild, Alington and Bercombe, which they lose, but receive 100 marks (SSX FF). - It is not clear whether this Agatha was his first wife. She was probably the daughter of Ralph de Radmild..She may have had a son John Broke .- John and Joan his wife are still mentioned in 1401 with William Brenchesle (please see Batesford genealogy under Joan Batelesford and her second husband William Brenchesle).
Origin of the family and supposed genealogy
The Broc family came to England with the Conqueror from Normandy. - In 1027 Goifredus Broc witnesses a charter by Judith, kin to the Conqueror, at the Abbey of Fécamp concerning her donation to the Abbey of Bernay (August le Prévost, Hist. de l´Eure V. 1 pp 284-6). - 1048-9 Geoffrey Broc, kt., appears in a charter by Asceline to the abbey of St. Wandrille (same source). - Hugh de Broc witnessed a charter by Geroud or Gerold, a knight, to the Abbey of St. Amand at Rouen in the year 1067 (Docs. FR). In 1070 this Hugo is witness to a charter by William the Conqueror (Prevost). - Hugh, Walter and Roger de Broc held land of Odo bishop of Bayeux, half brother of the Conqueror. They gave the church of Neon with the tithe to the Abbey of St. Vigour at Cericy with the approval of Odo bishop of Bayeux, which Robert Gams their uncle had given to Warin the abbot. Later they added further tithes. This charter was confirmed by King William I and approved by Ranulf Viscount of Bayeux. This abbey was rebuilt by Duke Robert, father of the Conqueror, in 1030 (Dugdale, Monasticon, V. 6, p. 2).
Walter de Broc gave land in the valley of Brotone to the abbey of Bec in c. 1070 when the new curch was newly built (The acta of K. WM I nº 166). - In 1079 Hugo and Walter de Broc, brothers, gave the church of Criquebeouf-la-Campagne to the Abbey of St. Mary and St. Peter in Gemmetico (Jumiêges), and Hugo gave them further the church of Topstella, which they had of count Gilbert. Witnesses were Walter, son of Walter and Radulf de Broc (Prevost). Walter and Hugh his brother are mentioned in a charter by Ralf donating land to the abbey of Juimêges in 1092-5. - From that results that their main seat was somewhere near to those premises. - 1093 Walter de Broc, William de Breteuil, Ralph de Tosny, Ralph de Mortimer and others witness a charter by Ralf FitzAnsred and his wife Giberga to St. Mary Gemmetici (Jumiege). This charter was published by Ch. N. Haskins in his Norman Institutions, Appendix E, p. 292). - In c. 1107 Walter de Broc gave land to the new abbey of Montbourg in Normandy, which Richard de Rivers had founded (foundation CH).
We come now to the holdings of the family in England: In 1086 Ralph and Robert de Broc held land in Lancing in Bramber Rape of William de Braose. Ralph's land was 3 rootlands, which later became North Lancing (DB.). - Lancing was held before the Conquest by Lewis, and in 1086 by Robert le Savage of Broadwater, whose overlord was William de Braose. Another Robert Savage died before 1206, when William de Lancing appears. His daughter Bertha, was widow of Nigel de Broc, and his daughter Alice was married to a Malmeynes. Those are the first messages of the Sussex family of Broc, later Brok, Broke or Brook. (see also below).
In 1103-6 King Henry I admonishes William de Pont-de l'Arche, Croc the huntsman and Ranulf del Broc to deal fairly with the men of the bishop and monks of Winchester (Regesta, V. 1, p. 63). But the family held other property in Surrey, Hampshire, Essex and Kent. In further documents the names of Rannulf or Ralph, Nigel, Robert, Walter and Henry appear in the family again and again. - In 1123 Henry del Broc witnesses a charter by King Henry I to Henry de Port and the burgesses of Winchester in Hampshire (Regesta V. 3, p. 218). - In 1128 Henry del Broc is witness to a charter by King Henry I of a grant of lands in Worcester to Walter de Beauchamp; given at Vaudreuil in the Norman Vexin (Farrer Itineray) . 1130-1 Eustace de Broc paid 30s Danegeld in Surrey (CPR). Eustace de Broc held land in Surrey and Northampton in 1130, namely Weybridge and Dallington. She married Walter Cheyney with whom she had a daughter Amabil (Bedford. Hist. Soc. p. 246). - Walter de Broc appears in 1137. - Walter as donor to the abbey of Montbourg near Bayeux., and Rannulf is witness to a charter by the Empress Matilde to the Abbey of St. Florent in Saumur, and 1150 the same to the canons in Berkshire (Regesta V. 3, P. 34).
1100-35 King Henry I gave Catteshull by Goldalming, Surrey, to OYN Purcell, whose son Geoffrey, the King's usher, held it free of toll and gave it to Reading Abbey, who granted it back to his son Ralph de Broc (d. 1187). Rannulf or Ralph de Broc in 1149 appears also in Regesta V. 3. In 1166-8 Ralf de Broc held half a fee in Sussex of the domaine of the King (Liber Niger p. 65, carta of the earl of Arundel. -501). - 1165-72 Rannulf de Broc witnessed a confirmation charter by King Henry II in Hampshsire (Receuil des actes - Delisle, p 1154-89 Ranulph was one of the witnesses with Reginald, earl of Cornwall, and Henry of Essex, the constable of England, to a charter by King H. II. - Ranulf was castellan of Saltwood and held also the castle of Hagenet or Haughley, farming in 1171 the Honour of Haughley, which had been of Henry of Essex before his downfall in 1163 (Holinshed's Chronicle). Later these were held by Robert de Welles and William de Essetsford. Ranulf de Broc was usher of the king, held in searjentry, and chief marshal of King Henry II (VCH Hampshire V. 4). - He was envolved in the murder of archbishop Thomas de Becket. Some years before his murder the archbishop had fled the country with his servant Roger de Broc (Holinshed's Chronicle p. 15).
Ranulf was a descendant of the Duke of Burgundy, son of Reinald and Adelina, daughter of Richard, second Duke of Normandy (Hozier's Armorial of France, V. 1). He was son of OYN and married Damietta de Gorram of Berwick, Chetton and Eudon in Shropshire. He died c. 1187 and Damietta in 1204 (Eyton V. 1, p. 169) with whom he had Edeline, further 4 daughters and his son. - Edeline was married to Stephen Turnham and died in 1229. She inherited Angmering in Sussex, and property in Surrey, Dorset and Hampshire, and had land in Surrey in 1219 (Liber Rubeus p. 273). - Robert de Broc was the son of Sir Ralph de Broc. He married Margaret, daughter of Richard de Beauchamp. They had a son Laurence who died without heirs in 1204 when Edeline inherited Berwick, Chetton and Eudon in Shropshire of her mother (Eyton V. 10 p. 214).
1163 Philip de Broc was a canon of Bedford (Holinshed's Chronicle, p. 110-1). - 1194 Reginald de Broc of Bedford had a law suit against Turstan Basset for the advowson of the church (CRR p. 262) - Roland de Broc held 1 fee in Hampshire in 1166. William de Lancing held half a fee of the bishop of Chichster in 1166-8 and Rannul de Broc half a fee of the Earl of Arundel (Liber Rubaeus).
1165-79 Thurstan de Broc witnessed a charter by William earl of Albermarle (Early Yorks. CH).
Robert de Broc - In 1166 he held 1 military fee of the demesne of the earl of EU in Hastings Rape Sussex (cartae to the King). He was pardoned scutage in 1156 and receiver of the forest in Hampshire in 1168. He also held land in Angmering in Sussex of the earl of Arundel. He died c. 1179-80 (Farrer, Honors and Kts Fees pp. 70-1). In 1177 he had witnessed a charter with Ralph de Tancarville, seneschall of Normandy and William de Crevequer (Westminster Abbey CH). Robert was the King's marshal. He married Margaret, daughter of Walter de Croc of Hampshire (William Smith Ellis, Notices of the Ellises p. 88).- Robert was living 1185. Between 1176 an 1180 he was witness to a charter of the Abbey of Robertsbridge (CH nº 6). - Nigel de Sackville and Robert de Broc had been excomunicated by archbishop Thomas Becket (Prevost V. 3, p. 56). - He was a descendant of the Broc family of Eure.
1199-1200 Leticia widow of Robert de Broc of Surrey sues by her attorney Eustace de Chahan (Keisneto or Chesney) for novel disseisin (CCR p. 32 K. John). It is not clear which Robert that was, perhaps son of Eustace. - 1199-1200 Eva del Broc daughter of Eustace de Broc sues Amalric Dispenser for the vill of Elinton (Dallinton) as her heritary right, which vill Walter de Chesney her late husband gave to Amabil his daughter at her marriage (CRR V. 2 p. 168). Amabil was married to Amaury Dispenser and Eustace had held land in 1130 in Surrey and Northamptonshire including Dallinton (Bedf. Hist. Soc.). - 1214 The king informs the sheriff of Surrey that he gave to Juliane de Broc respite to pay her debts (CCRlit p. 196). There is a genealogy of this branch of the family in Baker's History of Northampton V. 1.
Robert de Broc's heir in Sussex was Nigel, who was living still in 1205 (Farrer p. 71). - 1156-7 Nigel de Broc was witness to a charter by King Henry II to the abbey of St. Mary of Bernay, staying at the King's court at Argentan in Normandy. He was also with the king at Yorkshire in 1158 (Docs. FR). - He was pardoned scutage in 1156. - In 1158-9 Luke of Lancing gives half a mark for taking an attaint before Hugh Bigod against Nigel de Brok' (CFR). - In 1166 Nigel held one military fee of the demesne of the earl of EU in Hastings Rape Sussex (cartae to the King). - 1168 he stayed at Nottingham with the king and was receiver of the forest in Hampshire that year.- 1175-8 Nigel witnessed a charter by the king forbidding tto alienate the church of Chesterfield but to maintain all the liberties, customs and tenements (CCHR V. 4, p. 148). - In 1189 he was given Martinsgrove manor by Chichester for some time, and land called Trottesworth of the abbot of Chertsey in Surrey (VCH Surrey, V. 3). That year he owes 50 marks in Martinsgrave of the honour of Arundel.- Next year Nigel is one of the witnesses to a charter by King Richard to his minstrel for land of EBERIG worth 5s yearly ccontaining a house. This charter is dated at Dover on 6 December when Richard was about to sail to Normandy and the crusade (Bedf. Hist. Soc.). - 1197 Nigel gives to Robert and William Avenel pasture for their cattle in the common pasture of Tuffesden Suffolk. In 1201 he had a grand assize against Godfrey bishop of Winchester whether he owed service for one fee in Brayfield, Hampshire (Robert had held that land in 1166).
Nigel and his brothers above consented to the land which Wido or Guy de Broc gave to their nephew Rannulf, son of Oyn Purcel, land in Angmering, land which had been of Robert Testard and much land held by tenants. Wido was uncle of Rannulf. All those lands shall hold Edeline (CChR 1205, p. 160). Confirmation to Edelina, daughter of Ranulf, and her husband Stephen de Turnham by King John after the death of her mother Damietta in 1204. This charter was witnessed by William de Braose the overlord. Ranulf and Damietta had 5 daughters whereof the eldest was Edeline. She died 1229 when Amgmering went to Robert de Broc, not to her heirs. However, 1221 mandate to the sheriff of Southampton to take into the King's hand all the land which was of Edeline de Broc who has died (CFR V. 1 p. 63). Maybe this was a false alarm.
The sons of Nigel seem to have been Robert, and Ranulf
Robert and Ranulf. In 1230 Robert released to Ranulf his right in 2 carucates in Angmering which he had petitioned of him, for which he got 40 marks, and land in Merwenden (SSX FF). Maurice Malmeins in 1224-5 gives half a mark to go against Ralph de Broc regarding a moiety of a carucate in Albourne and in Eartham (FFH.3). - Robert de Brok and his wife Agatha sue Martin de Chichester for 1 1/2 virgates in Hantonet which they quitcleim to him receiving 5 marks (SSX FF). - In 1237 Walter de Dunstanville and Ranulf del Brok determined the limits between their holdings in Burpham and Angmering. In 1242 he held half a fee in Angmering and 2 fees in Lancing, Albourn and Bungton. - On 14 April 1242 the abbot of Evesham receives the custody of the bailiwick and what belongs to it which were of Robert de Broc who was forester in Kannok Ireland with the custody of his heir and his marriage during his minority (CFR V. 1 p. 378). - In June 1250 Robert de Broc who is in jail in Winchester for the death of William Todric has letters of Bail to be delivered (CCR H III p. 280). - 20 April 1264 The king took the homage of Walter de Elmenden kin of Robert deceased for the bailiwick of Tedesle in the forest of Kannok (CFR V. 2 p. 49).
13 Feb. 1243 Mandate to the sheriff of Surrey to take into the king's hand the manor of Trottesworth with which Rannulf de Broc had enfeoffed Richard abbot of Evesham in his time (CCR H III p. 88). - Two persons held one hide in New Windsor by serjeantry of the barony of Ranulf de Brok (Testa Nevil). In 1259 Ranulf paid 20s for having a writ to retract a plea in Sussex; and Robert de la Brok owes half a mark for having an assize (CPR - A history of Sussex V.2 by Lower - Lancing: About the end of the 13th C. Ranulf de Brok and John de Gatesden held each two knight's fees in Lancing and the neighbourhood. Those of North Lancing had been long in possession of the families of Avenel and de Brok and came perhaps by marriage into that of Poynings, which place lies very near to Albourne (Hist. of SSX by Lower).
The son and heir of Ranulf seems to be Nigel.
In 1265 an inquisition was held in Sussex, as after the disturbances the earl of Warenne had seised lands of Nigel de Brok and of Hawisia de Nevill in Bevenden (Bevendean) and Albourne. Hawisia was daughter of Robert de Savage of Broadwater, who also held the manor of Goring in 1248. In 1268 Hawise levied a fine to free the claim of murage inclding Garinglee (Cartwright V. 2, p. 300). The rent of Nigel amounted to 33 s 3d yearly and the demesne with pasturage was worth 20s a year. The result was that neither Nigel nor Hawisia had acted in the wars against the King. In 1274-5 Nigel had the right of wreck of sea confirmed due to ancient tenure (Rebels of Sussex, SAC). - Nigel succeeded to Angmering c. 1265, but as his lands in Albourne and Bevendean had been seized after the Battle of Evesham, he had letters of protection to come to the King's court. In 1278 he was restrained for knighthood (Parl. Writs). In that year Sir Nigel Brook was in possession of land in Lancing, Flexington (Fletching), Albourne and Percing in Sussex (Knights of E1, V. 1, p. 150) - In 1279 he claimed again wreck of sea in his manor of Lancing but was told that the right belonged to William de Braose, his overlord. 1284 he held half a fee in East Angmering of the honour of Arundel (all Farrer, Honours and kts fees). - In 1285 Nigel sued Roger Malmeins and Roger de la Hyde for land in Buncton, Nuthurst, West Grensted, Wiston and Ashhurst. The sentence was given in his favour (Cartwright V. 2, p. 262).
According Sussex Subsidies it seems that this Nigel had the sons Thurstan, Richard and Ralph
Richard de Brok paid 1s 9 3/4d subsidies in 1296 in the Liberty of Leicester; probably his son Richard 2s 5d in 1327 in Sheffield and 2s 2d in 1332 in Riston, Sheffield and Fletching. Ralph atte Broke had paid 2s 8 1/4d in Denne, Liberty of Leicester in 1296. In 1332 Walter atte Broke paid 1s 9 1/4d in East Grensted (SB).
1296 Thurstan le Brok held land in Albourne near Hurstpierpoint and land in the vills of Southbroke, Cherleton and Wiston near Steyning in Bramber Rape He was married to Asceline, who after his death held two thirds of Lancing. - Asceline paid 11s for Lancing in 1327 and died before 1332 as in that year Nigel paid for her land, while in 1327 he had paid only part of namely 3s 91/2d, (SSX SB).
It seems further that Thurstan had the sons Nigel, his heir, Ralph and Robert his brothers and Mathilde his sister.
In 1315 Nigel de Brook and Matilda his wife sued Thomas Avenel and Aveline (Asceline), widow of Dunstan (Thurstan) de Brok for land of the manor of Lancing, of which Thomas held one third and Asceline two thirds. It was settled on Nigel and Matilde and their heirs, and in case Nigel would die without heirs, the manor was to go to Mathilde, sister of Nigel. The same had taken place in 1314 with the manor of Albourne, with the difference that if Nigel died S.P. the manor would go to Ralph, brother of Nigel (Cartwright pp 41 and 288). - In 1318 Nigel Brook sued William de Bungton and Alice his wife for a tenement, land and rent in Albourne. It went to Nigel for 20 marks. - Nigel and Maud his wife went again against Thomas Avenel for the manors of Lancing and Albourne in 1324-5. Thomas Avenel grants them two thirds of the reversion held in dower by Ascelina, late the wife of Thurstan de Brok, contingent remainder to Maud, sister of Nigel, if Nigel and Maud would not have had issue. Lancing shall remain to right heirs of Nigel and Albourne to Robert de Brok and heirs of his body (SSX FF). From that I deduct that Nigel, Ralph, Robert and Mathilde were siblings. - As Cartwright says that this manor was North Lancing and in 1349 was held by the Poyning family, he assumes that Matilde, sister of Nigel, received the manor as her marriage portion.
In 1327 Nigel and Olive his wife versus John Arnald, rector of the church of Albourn and John Amartheton: 3 messuages, land, wood and rent in Bungton, Ashhurst, (West)Grinsted, Albourn, Nuthurst, Horsham, Shipley, Steyning and Wiston (The Thurstan inheritance). Nigel and Olive received it for life, remainder to John son of John and heirs of his body, contingent remainder in succession to heirs of the bodies of Nigel and Olive, Nigel's daughters Elizabeth, Alice and Thomasia and heirs of their bodies, and Joan and her heirs (SSX FF). In 1332 Nigel held land in Albourne and Lancing, (SB). - In 1342 Nigel de Brok and Olive his wife levied a fine with John Arnold, parson of Albourn and John Anortheton by which certain lands in Shipley were settled upon them (Cartwright, V.2, p. 301). In 1346 Nigel and Olive sue again John Arnald and John Anortheton for land, wood and rent in Bungton, Ashhurst, Grinsted, Albourn, Nuthurst, Horsham, Shipley, Steyning and Wiston, and the advowson of the churth of Bungton. The properties went to Nigel and Olive for life, remainder to their son JOHN and heirs of their bodies, contingent remainders succesively to heirs of the bodies of Nigel and Olive, Nigel's daughters Elizabeth, Alice and Thomasia and heirs of their bodies, or Joan and her heirs (SSX FF). Nigel was dead in 1351, as Lancing was held from his heirs by William Lucas, who had died that year (Inquisition of 1358). Nigel Brook (Nele de Broke, Nigel de Brok) had the arms GU, a chief indented OR (HE 13).
The conclusion is that the family of Broke or Brook of Sussex must have been decendants of the ancient de Brocs of Lancing and those of the Broc of Normandy.
That Nigel and Olive had a son John. - Comparing the two documents of Nigel de Broc and his wife Olive of 1327 and 1346 we find first that property was to go after their death to John son of John but which one? Of John Arnald? and in 1346 to John their son. Therefore it is possible that John de Brook, who was the lawyer and escheator was son of Nigel and Olive. Nigel de Brok of 1265 held land in Bevendean and Fletching. - However, John Brook did not inherit anything Nigel and Olive held as explained above. Therefore John Brook the lawyer and escheator may be heir of Richard de Broke of 1296 and of Walter atte Broke of 1332. Richard held land in Riston, Sheffield and Fletching where the Dallingridge family were dominant, and Walter in East Grensted. John and his wife may have held also a part of the old Hertfield inheritance. - In 1402-3 John Brook, John Dallingridge and Thomas Sackville were retainers of the overlords of Tarring Peverell, which belonged to Fletching. - Though if John had been born about 1340 and died in 1418 he would have been 78 years old, which is possible, so that he could be son of Nigel and Olive. However, a document has come to light of a writ of proof of age of 6 March 1402, which took place at Winchester in Hampshire on 21 March. John atte Brook was 22 years of age on 26 Jan. last. He was born at Rotherwick on 30 Jan., Sunday before Candlemass 1379 (CIPM 18). Thus the question remains open whether the John born c. 1340 had another son John or not.
In 1478 Another John Brook, Thomas Oxenbregg and John Hony demand from John Toughton and Agnes his wife a messuage, 50 a of land, 6 a of meadow and 5 a of wood in B e c k l e y, which the demandants received (SSX FF). - In the 17th C. there were still members of the Brook family in East Grinstead. In 1603 Thomas Brook was buried on 21 Oct., and William, son of William Brook, in 1604 (Parish Reg.)
Knelle manor must have been quite a bait, and it is remarkable that all of the persons involved in the sale of the manor were judges except Thomas de Lyvet who was a canon at St. Mary's in Hastings.