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Francis Bradbury

1571 - 1650

Francis's signature on a document relating to the administration of his son Nicholas's estate in 1624 (17)

Father Richard Bradbury
Mother unknown
Wife Katherine Ward
Children Nicholas, Richard, Raphael, John

Francis was born in 1571, the son of Richard, and baptised at All Saints in Youlgreave on 23rd June (1). He had a brother Richard who died young in 1574 (2), and another brother Thomas was born in 1578 (3).

His mother died soon afterwards (4), and then his father in April 1581 (6). His father's will (5) stated that Francis should be raised by his uncle, Anthony Allen, with another uncle - George Allen, and his father's cousin - Francis Gilbert, also "looking out for him". Nothing more is known about Anthony, but he probably lived at or near Stanton Woodhouse, along with the rest of the Allens.

Francis married Katherine Ward on 2nd May 1594 in Youlgreave (7), and their first son, Nicholas, was born at the end of the same year (8). They had another son Richard in 1597 (9), then Raphael in 1602 (10), and finally John in 1605 (11). In a subsidy 1599, he had been assessed for 4 shillings tax on 20 shillings value of land. This appears to have placed him in the ranks of the minor gentry (16).

He was named as executor to his "kinsman" George Sheldon's will in 1616 (12), and as supervisor to his widow Elizabeth's in 1624 (12). In 1624 he was a witness to an administration document following his son Nicholas's death (17). In 1633, he appeared in (what is believed to be) a list of eligible jurors of Derbyshire, which confirms that he lived in Youlgreave, states that he was a gentleman, and that he was excused jury service for some reason (13).

His wife died in February 1647 (14). He lived just over three more years, dying in 1650 (15).

Brief details of his children:


  1. Parish Register of All Saints, Youlgreave includes the entry:
    [1571] Francys Bradbury ye sonne of Rychard Brad: bapt June xxiiio
  2. Parish Register of All Saints, Youlgreave [Transcript by Val Neal] lists the burial of Richard Bradbury, son of Richard, on 11th February 1574.
  3. Parish Register of All Saints, Youlgreave [Transcript by Val Neal] lists the baptism of Thomas Bradbury, son of Richard, on 2nd January 1578.
  4. Based on the fact that she appears to be dead by the time of his father's will.
  5. His father's Will (ref: B/C/11/Richard Bradbury, Youlgreave, 1581 @ Lichfield Record Office) reads:
    In the name of God Amen they tenth daye of Aprill And in
    xxiiiith yeare of they raigne of our sovaryine Ladie
    Elizabeth by they grace of god of England France &
    Ireland [.....] defender of the they fayth [..] wytneseth
    that I Richard Bradbury of the parish of Yolgreve in
    they countye of Darbie sore syck in bodie yet thanks
    be unto allmightie god of perfitt witte & memorie
    dreading death to approach & drawe nere & they tyme
    thereof is uncertin: do make this my last will and
    testament in maner and forme folowing fyrst I gyve &
    bequethe my soule to almightie god my maker and
    redimor trusting that by they merits of christs passion
    they sonne my soule to be saved Also I will that my
    body be buried in the parish church of Yolgreve before
    they pulpit: Also I will that my detts be payde of my
    wholle goods and my funerall expences discharged according
    to they lawes of this realme And that then they residue
    ^of my goods to remayne and gooe to my younger sonne Thomas
    Bradbury And he & they to be in they custodie of my
    Brother George Alen of they Woodhouse until he come
    to they full age of xxi yeares. Also I most hertely
    desier my wellbeloved brother in lawe Anthony
    Alen to have they governmant of my sonne and heire
    Francis Bradbury and to be allowed for his bringing upp
    att they discrescion and [seygte] of Mr Francis Gilbert
    and my brother George Alin; Also I ordayne
    constitute and make my forsaid brother George Alin my
    trewe and lawfull executor to see that this my last
    will & testament be performed: And Mr Francis Gilbert
    & my brother Anthony Alin to ^be my supervisors of this
    my last will and testament: These wytneses
    Richard Knyfton vicar: Ric Alin. George Eliot. [Henry?]
    hartill [... .... ....]
  6. Parish Register of All Saints, Youlgreave includes the entry:
    [April 1581] Richard Bradbury yeoman buried xiiio die
  7. Parish Register of All Saints, Youlgreave includes the entry:
    [1594] Francys Bradbury & Katherine Ward maryed May iio
  8. Parish Register of All Saints, Youlgreave includes the entry:
    [December 1594] Nicholas Bradbury ye sonne of Francis bapt viiio die
  9. Parish Register of All Saints, Youlgreave includes the entry:
    [1597] Richard Bradbury ye sonne of Francys Brad: bap [Novesus] io
  10. Parish Register of All Saints, Youlgreave includes the entry:
    [February 1602] Raphaell Bradburye ye sonne of Francys bap: xxiiith
  11. Parish Register of All Saints, Youlgreave includes the entry:
    [1605] Bapt Johannes fil Francisci Bradbury Julii 29
  12. "The Sheldons of Bakewell, Derbyshire, England, and Isaac Sheldon of New England" by J Gardner Bartlett, in "The New England Historical and Genealogical Register" contains a precis of the will of George Sheldon of Youlgreave, dated 28th December 1616, in which his executors are named as "my kinsman Francys Bradbury and my kinsman Richard Sheldon of Monyash". It is shown that Richard Sheldon of Monyash was his nephew, but it is not indicated in Gardner Bartlett's work, nor have I found any indication myself, what relationship Francis was to George. Its is possible (though of course this is nothing more than speculation) that Francis's unknown mother was a sister of George Sheldon, making Francis a nephew too. Gardner Bartlett's work only shows one brother to George Sheldon, but there would almost certainly have been other siblings. This is definitley worth further investigation.
    George's widow, Elizabeth's will, dated 1st January 1624, is also mentioned and she named Francys Bradbury as a supervisor.
    - I have now examined these wills for myself, but no further clues are to be found. The exact wording of the phrase in George Sheldon's will (ref: B/C/11/George Sheldon, Youlgreave, 1617 @ Lichfield Record Office) is:
    "I make and ordeyne my beloved in Christ and loving kinsmen Francys Bradbury and Richard Sheldon de Moniash in the sd Conty my true and lawfull executors of this my last will and testament and to eyther of them I give three shillings & foure pens"
    The exact phrase in Elizabeth's will is
    "I request Thomas Swetnam vic[ar] de Yolgrave aforesd Francys Bradbury & John Sheldon my sonne to be supervysors of this my last will"
  13. The Derbyshire Archaelogical Journal, Volume 6, contains a transcript of a document titled "List of Vills & Freeholders of Derbyshire" dated 1633, which is thought to be a list of eligible jury members. Amongst those 7 men listed for Youlgreave is an entry reading "Franciscus Bradbury, generosus. alloc bre". Generosus means "of noble birth", and can probably be roughly translated as gentleman. Alloc bre is conjectured to mean that he was excused from jury service.
  14. Parish Register of All Saints, Youlgreave [Transcript by Val Neal] lists the burial of Katherine Bradbury, wife of Francis, on 23rd February 1647.
  15. Parish Register of All Saints, Youlgreave includes the entry:
    [1650] Yolgrave Sepult Franciscus Bradbury Aprill 2
  16. The Derbyshire Archaelogical Journal, Volume 24, contains a transcript of a 1599 Subsidy roll. Twelve people in Youlgreave were wealthy enough to be listed. Half of them, including Francis, held 20 shillings in land, and so can be though of as the poorer selection of those wealthy enough to pay the tax. In comparison, the wealthiest held 6 worth, three more held 3, and two held 40s.
  17. Administration of Nicholas Bradbury (ref: B/C/11/Raphael Bradbury, Darley, 1623/24 @ Lichfield Record Office) reads:
    Be it known to all men by theies presente that I Elizabeth Bradburie relicte of
    Nicholas Bradburie late of Darlie Abbie in the Countie of Derbie yeoman decea
    sed for certeyne good causes and consideracons mee thereunto movinge tdo by theies
    presente give full power and authoritie unto my wellbeloved freind Richard
    Brandrith one of the procters of the Lord Bps consistorie Courts of Lich
    feild to bee for mee my lawful procter and for me and in my name to
    appeare before the right worll Mr Robert Master Comissarie generall
    of the dioces of Coventrie and Lichfield or his lawfull Surrogate, and
    for mee and in my name to renounes the administracon of the goodes of
    my said husband deceased, and to consent that the same administracon maie
    bee grannted unto Richard Bradburie of Yolgrave in the Countie of
    Derbie yeoman one of the natural and lawfull brothers of my said husband
    deceased, And further to do all and everie such thinge and thinges as hee
    the said Richard Brandrith my proctor shall thinke meeke and ex
    pedient in and concerninge the renunciacon of the said Administracon
    and the consent aforemencioned And I the said Elizabeth Bradbury
    do promise to hold good ratefie and confirme all and everie such thinge
    and thinges as my said proctor shall do for mee in and concerninge
    the premisses and everie of them. In witness whereof I have hereunto
    set my hand and seale the nyne and twentieth daie of Januarie in
    the yeare of our Lord god accordinge to the computcon of the Church
    of England one thousand sixe hundred twentie and three. And in
    the yeares of the Raigne of our Soveraigne Lord James by the grace
    of god king of England France and Ireland defender of the faithe
    the one and twentieth And of Scotland the seaven and fiftieth
    Sealed and delivered to the use of                     Elizabeth Bradburie
    the above named Mr Richard Brandrith                            E
    in the presence of                                                           her mke
    Francis Bradbury
    John Bradburie
    Reginald [B]ynder