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John Bradburne

circa 1425 - circa 1488

Father Henry Bradburne
Mother Margaret Bagot
Wife Anne Vernon
Children Humphrey, Agnes, Isabell, Bennet, Beatrix

John was probably born around 1425, or maybe a little earlier, (1) in Hulland (also known as Hough) near Ashbourne (2), the son of Henry and Margaret (aka Margery) (3)(4)(16). He had at least one sister, Isabel (3), but its unknown whether she was older or younger, or whether he had any younger brothers.

He married Anne Vernon (3)(16), sometime prior to the summer of 1446, at which time they took possession of a mill in Wirksworth (4). This marriage may have been as a result of the temporary political affiliation of their fathers (5). He and Anne had a son Humphrey, and four daughters - Anne, Isabell, Bennet and Beatrix, although their dates of birth are not known (3)(16).

John's father, Henry, died in the mid 1450s (5), and John inherited his estate, becoming Lord of the Manor of Hulland, along with possession of other lands further afield (6)(9)(15)(23). In 1463 he founded a chantry adjacent to the manor house (7)(8).

At least twice, and probably many more times, over the next few years, he found himself in trouble for illegal activities in the surrounding royal forest. In 1466 he was fined for illegally hunting, and killing a doe (10), and three years later he was distrained for another (unknown) offence (11). He found the best solution to this in 1472, when he acquired the 'forestership' (12)(13) - a classic case of poacher turned gamekeeper?

In 1480, apparently at the instigation of his wife, perhaps realising they were nearing the end of their lives, John bestowed a sizeable amount of property on the chantry he had founded, along with instructions that prayers were to be said for him, his wife and children, and his, and his wife's parents (16). It seems that he was both very religious and very nervous about his 'everlasting soul', because not content with this, he also founded another new chantry, this time in Ashbourne in 1485 (17)(18)(19).

He died fairly soon after this (20), and is thought to have been buried in Ashbourne church (21). His wife survived him by a number of years and remarried (22).

Brief details of his children:


  1. His date of birth is estimated as follows.
  2. His father held the manor of Hulland, and most likely lived there, so it is John's most likely place of birth.
  3. Pedigree of the Bradburne family in the visitations of 1569 and 1611 (as published in "The Genealogist (New Series)" Volumes 7 & 8).
  4. "Descriptive Catalogue of Derbyshire Charters" by Isaac Herbert Jeayes, 1906, includes a precis of charter No 2678 which reads:
    Attorney from John Lathbury, Richard Bagot, William Purdon, and John Forthe, vicar of the church of Longforth, to Thomas Alsop and Roger Greenhalwe, to deliver seisin to John Bradborne, son and heir of Henry Bradborne and Ann his wife, of the water-mill called Workesworth Milne. Witn. Thomas Blounte and Sampson Meverell, knts, Fulk Vernon, John Cockayne, Nicholas Fitzherbert, esquires. Dat 12 July, 24 Hen VI [1446]. (Kerry xix 314)
  5. See his father's page.
  6. A Document dated 1457 (ref: MiD/1-1659/191-213/199) in Nottingham University Archives has the following catalogue entry:
    John Bradburne, armiger, son and heir of the late Henry Bradburne, armiger releases to John Stathum of Horsley, armiger all claims to his manor of Broxtowe and all its appurtenances which John Stathum holds from the gift and fee of Henry Bradburne.
  7. "A History of Derbyshire" by Gladwyn Turbutt, 1999, Vol 2, page 730 reads:
    However this 'chantry' was superceded by a conventional chantry, founded about the year 1463 by John and Anne Bradburne (who then held the manor of Hulland), which is recorded as having a yearly value of 100s in 1535. The site of this chapel is likewise unknown, but it probably lay adjacent to the former manor house of Hough, of which the moated site lies in the fields south of Hulland Old Hall.
  8. "A History of Derbyshire" by Gladwyn Turbutt, 1999, Vol 2, page 734 reads:
    Many chantries were established in Derbyshire parish churches by pious men for the purpose of maintaining prayers for their well-being whilst living and for the repose of their souls after death ... a chantry was established (1463) by John and Anne Bradburne of Hough for the appointment of a priest to say mass 'in the Chapel of our lady edified in the Manor of Hough' ... to pray for the good estate of the founders and for their souls when dead, and for the souls of other members of their family and friends. He was to dwell in the vicarage appointed to the chantry and say mass daily in the chapel and specific prayers on set occassions. The chapel was to be kept in repair by the family, and the patronage was to be exercised jointly between the lord of the manor and the vicar of Ashbourne.
  9. A Document dated 1464/65 (ref: D187/1/5) in Lichfield Record Office has the following catalogue entry:
    Grant by Nichaolas Bowet, Richard Byngham one of the king's justices coram rege, Richard Neele, King's serjeant at law, and John Bradborne to John [Hales or Halse], bishop of Coventry and Lichfield, William Lord Hastyng, William Vernon, knight, Richard Hastynges, Richard of Bracebrigge, Edmund Vernon, esquire, William Cumberford and Robert Morley, clerk, of their manor of Chaimpeyne [Champeyhis] and of all lands and tenements called Ilgerys and Lacheleye with appurtenances in Essex, which with other lands and manors in the same county they have of the feoffment of Thomas Ferrers, esquire, son and heir male of William de Ferrers, sometime lord of Groby, to hold in fee. 14 Feb [1464]-20 Mar [1465]
  10. "The Royal Forests of England" by J Charles Cox, 1905, page 192 reads:
    A woodmote was held at Belper on 14th May, 1466. In addition to a variety of 2d fines for small vert offences, several of the tenants in Hulland ward were fined a similar sum for not repairing the border fences according to their tenure. ... Various other inquiries were presented at this court. John Kniveton, of Mercaston, killed a fawn without warrant in Shottle park ; and in the same park William Cook, of Bradley, John Vernon, of Haddon, and John Bradburne, of Heage, each killed a doe, and three others a fawn.
  11. Collections for a History of Staffordshire, New Series, Vol IV, 1901, page 164, listing extracts from the Plea Rolls reads:
    "CORAM REGE. EASTER, 9 E. IV [1469]
    Derb. Staff. George, Duke of Clarence, by various write sued the following for contempts and trespasses against the statute of "de malefactoribus in parcis" :- John Vernon, late of Assheburne, armiger, Roger Vernon, late of Wyrkesworth, yoman (sic), John Bradburn, late of Hugle, armiger, Nicholas Knyveton, late of Mircaston, armiger, Richard Vernon, late of Haddon, gentilman, William Hyde, late of Norbury, Colchester, gentilman, Roger Vernon, late of Wyrkesworth, armiger (sic), John Savage, late of Makelsfeld, co. Chester, knight, Thomas Curson, late of Croxhale, co. Derby, armiger, John Gresley, late of Drakelowe, knight, Henry Curson, late of Burton, gentilman, John Camden, late of Yoxhale, yoman, Robert Wode, of Uttoxather, gentilman, Thomas Stanley, late of Elford, gentilman, and many others who are styled yoman. The Sheriffs of cos. Stafford and Derby returned various sums into Court as proceeds of distraints upon their goods and chattels, and they were ordered to distrain again and produce the defendants at the Quindene of Holy Trinity."
  12. "Descriptive Catalogue of Derbyshire Charters" by Isaac Herbert Jeayes, 1906, includes a precis of charter No 1695 which reads:
    Quitclaim from William Mere, to John Bradburne esq, of all his lands in Myrkaston, and of the "foresteria" of Holandward in Duffeldfryth, all of which the said John had jointly with the said Thomas by foeffment from Richard Grendon. Dat Whit Sunday [18 May], 12 Edw IV [1472]. (Bemrose)
  13. "A History of Derbyshire" by Gladwyn Turbutt, 1999, Vol 2, page 589 reads:
    In the reign of Henry VII the foresters of fee were noted as being the heirs of Stone, the heirs of Brookshaw, John Bradburne, Nicholas Kniveton, and the heirs of John Bradshaw ... The Bradburnes hailed originally from Bradbourne, but by the end of the thirteenth cenury Sir Roger Bradburne was also holding an estate in Hough (Hulland) under the earldom of Lancaster. His descendant, John Bradburne, was a forester of Hulland Ward in 1472 and appears to have made Hough his main residence. He founded a chapel at his manor house as well as a chantry at Ashbourne.
  14. The Feudal History of the County of Derby, by John Pym Yeatman, Volume 3, Section 6, page 363 & 368, shows Jo. Bradbourne esq mentioned in court rolls of 1472/73.
  15. A Document dated 1475 (ref: D258/40/23/18) in Derbyshire Record Office has the following catalogue entry:
    Gift by Richard Alsop of Hokenaston and William Alsop of Tyssyngton to Thomas Topples of a messuage at Kyrke Ireton, lying between the tenements of John Bradburn esq, and Nicholas Stortered, with all appurtenances
  16. "Notes on the Churches of Derbyshire", by J Charles Cox, 1875, Volume 2, pages 411, 412 & 413, within the chapter on Hulland church, contains the following:
    The ancient family of Bradbornes, or Bradbourn or Bradborne, held lands at Hulland, a small township four miles to the east of Ashbourn, for upwards of three centuries. In 1296, when Edmund, Earl of Lancaster, died siezed of this manor of Hulland, the Bradbornes were one of three families who held freehold estates there under him.x
    About the year 1463 (some years before the founding of their Ashbourn chantry), John and Anne Bradborne obtained leave from Edward IV, to found a chantry at the chapel attached to the manor house of Hough or Hulland. .....
    The following are the particulars relative to this chantry as given in the Chantry Roll, which was drawn up some ten years after the Valor :-
    Chantre of Howghe. Founded by Jo. Bradborne and Anne; for a pryste to saye Masse and Godd's service within the manor place of Howgh distaunte iij myles from the parisshe church, foundacon dated Ao iii Regis Ricardi III; Clere value cixs. xid. whereof iijs. iiijd, for a yerely obit. Sir Thos. Parker Chauntry Pryste. It is iij mills from the Parisshe churche and there comyth to yt lx howselynge people. There is a mancyon howse and lyttell croft of the yerely rente of vs. There is no chales nor other ornamente otherwise than Sir Humfrey Bradborne dothe lend unto the incumbent sayeing service in his house.
    The following indenture, dated 1st of April, 1480, that is seventeen years after the foundation of the Bradbourne chantry at Hulland, contains so many particulars relative to it, that we make no excuse for reproducing it in extenso :-
    "Indenture between John Bradburne of Hoghe, Co. Derby, Esq. and Ann, his wife of the one part, and Sir Nicholas Longford, Knt., Henry Vernon, Esq., Nicholas Montgomery, Esq., John Cokayn, Esq., Richard Knyveton, Esq., John Fitzherbert, son and heir apparent of Rauff Fitz Herbert of Norbury, Rauff Okeover, son and heir apparent of Philip Okeover, John Kniveton of Underwoode, Humphrey Okeover, son and heir apparent of the said Rauff Okeover, Robert Bradshawe of Wyndeley, Sir Henry Prynce, parson of the Church of Norbury, and John Northampton, vicar of the Church of Assheburne, feoffees in certain lands &c. to the use of said John and Anne-Witnesseth that John and Anne at the desire &c. of Anne have caused Sir Nicholas &c. to be enfeoffed of a messuage,and 8 oxgangs of land in Lytteel Bradburne and of all other lands &c. which were some time of John de Pole of Hertynton, in the town &c. of Lytteel Bradburne and of [another messuage] and 2 oxgangs of land in Lytteel Bradburne and of certain lands in Kirk Ireton Newbigging and Boylston, Co. Derb. and of a tenement and close in Bigging and of a [messuage], and a croft there, And had surrendered to the feoffees in the King's, Courts of Duffield and Wirksworth Copyhold estates in Kirk Ireton and Belper to the uses after mentioned said John and Anne charge the feoffees that conable preest be kept and had to Pay divine service in the Chapel of our lady edified in the Manor of Hoghe in Co. Derb. abovesaid to pray for the good estate of said John and Anne while living, and for their souls when dead, and also for the souls of Henry Bradburne and Margery his wife,* father and mother of said John, And also for the souls of Sir Richard Vernon, Knt. and Dame Bennet his wife, father and mother of Sd Anne, and for the soul of Roger Vernon, brother of said Ann to whom she was executrix, and by whose goods part of said lands were purchased, And for the good estate of Humphrey Bradburne, son and hr of said John and Anne, and of Margaret, wife of said Humphrey daughter to Sir Nicholas Longford and sister to Sir Nicholas Longford, Knt. that now is and for their souls when dead, and for the good estate of Rauff Okeover, son and heir apparent of Philip Oheover, and of Ann wife, of said Rauff eldest daughter of said John Bradburne and Anne, and of Isabell Bradburne second daughter of said John and Anne, and for her husband as God will provide+, and of John Fitzherbert son and heir apparent of Rauff Fitzherbert of Norbury, and of Bennet his wife 3rd daughter of said John Bradburne and Ann, and for their souls when dead, and for the souls of all the children of said John Bradburne and Sir Richard Vernon and for all the souls of the feoffees when dead and for their good estate while living. And the said John Bradburn and Ann willed that the priest should have all the profits of said lands, and the priest was not to be otherwise attendant on the inheritor of the Hoghe for the time being, but only in divine service, and that he be resident as a Vicar in his vicarage in a tenement in Holland, late in the holding of Henry Harper, and after of Tho. Key, and he was to perform daily service according to the ordinale so that he say his mass in said chapel at Hoghe, and to say on every week placibo dirigo et connendacion of Reqem, and on the friday maps of Ihu and sometime of the Cross, And daily at his mass, or (ere) he go to his lavatory after the gospel, to say in open voice for the souls of John Bradburne and Anne his wife founders of the mass and all Xten souls De profundis with the Collect Incline &c. ut animas famulor' tuor' fundator'; and the Chapel was to be repaired at the charge of the heirs of the inheritance of Hoghe, and the prieste was to do no injury to the parish church of Assheburne in Offerings or otherwise, And after the decease of John and Anne the heir of the house of Hoghe and the Vicar of Assheburne together should have the nomination of the Chaplain, but if they disagreed the Abbot of Darley was to have the appointment and the priest was to make an Obit at his own Cost in the church of Ashburne on the day of the death of said John B. the said obit to be done by the Vicar of Ashburne, the said priest and the priests and clerks of Ashburne, &c.#"
    x Inq post Mort, 25 Edw. I, No 51
    * Margery was the daughter of Sir John Bagot of Blithefield, Staffordshire
    + Isabel, the second daughter, subsequently married Hugh Willoughby, of Risley. Some pedigrees make out that another daughter, variously termed Isabel and Agnes, married John Okeover; if so he must have been the brother of Ralph Okeover, but we believe that is a confusion with the match of the eldest daughter Anne. There was, undoubtedly, a fourth daughter, Beatrice, not mentioned in this document, who married Henry Columbell, of Darley. See Harl MSS 1537 f4; Add MSS 28113; Pegge's Collections vol vi f114 etc
    # Add. MSS, 6,671, f.68
  17. "Notes on the Churches of Derbyshire", by J Charles Cox, 1875, Volume 2, page 370, within the chapter on Ashbourne church, contains the following:
    The second chantry is described in Valor Ecclesiasticus as founded by "John Bradborne de Hogh and Ann his wife," and possessed of four tenements, respectively situated at Longnor, Over Haddon, Birchover, and Kirke Ireton, an inclosure at Boyleston, and a garden at Bakewell, giving a total income of 5 4s. 10d. From this total deductions were made of 8d annual rent to the King, and 8s 4d as a gift to the poor on the Wednesday next after the feast of St Luke, that they might pray for the souls of the founders. Robert Hasilhurst was the chaplain. The following is the entry in the Chantry Roll :-
    The chauntre of Assheborne founded by John and Anne Bradborne to the honor of God and S. Oswalde, to mayntayn Godd's Service and praye for the founders souls cs.; clere ciiijs. xd for the keping of an obitt iijs iiijd. To the parish church belongeth M houselinge people. Stocke lxxvs. jd.
    The precise date of the foundation of this chantry, as given in another roll, is 1483. John Bradborne, the founder, was the son of Henry Bradborne, who was grandson of Roger, who took up his residence at Hough, alias Hulland, in the parish of Ashbourn. Anne, the wife of John Bradborne, was the daughter of Sir Richard Vernon*. John and Anne Bradborne also founded a chantry at Hough, to which we shall subsequently refer.
    * Harl. MSS., 1,537, f.4
  18. "Derbyshire Gentry in the Fifteenth Century", by Susan M Wright, 1983, page 211, citing Calendar of Patent Rolls, 1476-85, pp524-5, states that a licence to found a chantry at Ashbourne church was granted to John & Ann Bradbourne in 1485.
    The referenced entry in the Calendar of Patent Rolls reads:
    May 10 [1485],Westminster
    License for Richard Vernoun esquire, Nicholas Munggumbery esquire, John Cokayn esquire, Richard Knyveton esquire, Ralp Okover, Humphrey Okover, John Fitzherbert, John Knyveton, Robert Bradshawe, John Northampton, vicar of the church of Asshebourne, co Derby, Henry Prynce, rector of the church of Northbery, Richard Cutler, chaplain, Humphrey Wolshawe, chaplain, and John Tyllesley or their executors to found a perpetual chantry of two chaplains to celebrate divine service, on at the altar of St Oswald in the south arch of the parish church of Asshebourne and the other in a chapel of St Mary newly built within the manor of Howgh, co Derby, for the good etsate of the king and the said founders and John Bradburne and Anne his wife and their children and for their souls after death and the soul of Anne the king's consort, deceased, and other souls to be named by the said John and Anne, to be called the chantry of John Bradburne and Anne his wife, and, for a sum of money paid into the king's chamber, to grant in mortmain to the said chaplains manors, messuages, lands, rents, possessions and heraditaments to the clear value of 10li yearly.
  19. Collections for a History of Staffordshire, New Series, Vol VII, 1904, page 59, in a piece about the Okeover family reads:
    "... Ralph married Agnes, daughter of John Bradborne, the authority quoted being the Herald's College. This will account for his name amongst the founders of the Bradborne Chantry. On the 10th of May 1485, license was granted to Richard Vernon, Nicholas Mungumbry (Montgomery), John Cockayn, Richard Knyveton, Ralph Okover, Humphry Okover, John Fitzherbet and seven others named, to found a perpetual chantry of two chaplains, one at Assheburne, and the other at Howgh, co. Derby, for the good estate of the King and of the said founders, and of John Bradburne and Anne his wife, and for that purpose to grant heraditaments in mortmain to the value of 10 yearly. I conclude this John Bradburne and Anne were father and mother of Agnes the wife of Ralph. The Humphrey Okeover named in this license was the son and heir of Ralph."
  20. "Derbyshire Gentry in the Fifteenth Century", by Susan M Wright, 1983, page 211, claims that John died circa 1488, but no source is cited.
  21. "Notes on the Churches of Derbyshire", by J Charles Cox, 1875, Volume 2, pages 388-389, within the chapter on Ashbourne church, contains the following:
    In the south transept was the burial place of the Bradborne family. At the restoration of the church in 1840, the Bradborne tombs were most wantonly treated. Up to that date, there were three altar tombs within the Bradborne quire, which was seperated by a screen from the rest of the transept. The most perfect of these has been carried across the church to the opposite transept, being much injured in the process. The remaining two were absolutely knocked into one. Lest it should be thought that we are libelling these church restorers, we will quote from Mr Mosse's own account :-
    "Proceeding from the chancel to the south transept, we enter Bradburne choir, within which, on the left hand, was an old altar-shaped tomb of alabaster, enriched on the sides with Gothic tracery, and figures of angels holding shields; on it lay the mutilated effigies of a man in armour, with straight hair, and his lady in a close gown and mantle, and a rich head-dress and necklace of pendants. This monument had no inscription, but is supposed to belong to some of the Bradburnes, as being within their cemetery. Close to the last monument was another altar-tomb, without any ornament except the Bradburne arms on a lozenge at the head; it was covered with a plain slab, on which are the words 'Jane Sacheveral.' and the arms Sachaverell impaling Bradburne. To obtain room during the recent alterations, these two monuments were removed to the south of the transept, and now appear as one tomb. The plain slab supports the two recumbent figures; one side with the Gothic tracery and figures of angels, has been made good with the assistance of the other, which was similar, and lies close to the wall; and the Bradburne arms are preserved at the head."*
    Godard de Bradbourne, who was living on his manor of Bradborne, or Bradbourn, in the reign of Henry III, is the first of this ancient family mentioned in the pedigrees. His great great grandson Roger, became connected with the parish of Ashbourn by purchasing an estate at Hough, or Hulland. His great grandson, John, seems to have made Hough the chief residence of the family, where he rebuilt the manor house, and founded a chapel. This John (as we have already mentioned), in conjunction with his wife Ann, daughter of Sir Richard Vernon, founded a chantry in the parish church of Ashbourn, and the graceful though mutilated effigies in the south transept are probably to their memory. Theior eldest son was Humphrey Bradbourne, who by his wife, Margaret, daughter of Sir Nicholas Longford, had issue John Bradbourne, who married Isabella, daughter and co-heiress of Richard Cotton, of Ridware, Staffordshire.
    * Mosse's History of Ashbourn Church. p. 33
  22. "Derbyshire Gentry in the Fifteenth Century", by Susan M Wright, 1983, page 236, states that his widow Anne, then remarried to John Kniveton, made her will in 1500.
  23. The Calendar of the Close Rolls, Henry VI Vol V, 1447-1454, page 351 reads: