BROMLEY, William (b. by 1525-55 or later), of Nantwich, Cheshire.
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Family and Education
b. by 1525, 6th s. but h. of Thomas Bromley (illegit. s. of Sir John Bromley of Barthomley and ‘Hextall’, Cheshire) by Joan, sis. and h. of John Parker of Coppenhall, Cheshire. m. Helen or Margaret, da. of Nicholas Alexander of Dover, Kent, 3s. 5da.1
Commr. in local dispute, Lancs. 1549; comptroller to Edward Stanley, 3rd Earl of Derby.2
William Bromley of Nantwich, who was related to the well-known legal family, is described in the visitations of Shropshire and Cheshire as comptroller to the Earl of Derby. Since the Earl exercised considerable influence in Liverpool, usually nominating one Member, it must have been this William Bromley who sat four times for Liverpool and not any of his namesakes, notably William Bromley of Stoke in Shropshire, brother of Sir Thomas Bromley I, the chief justice of the common pleas. It was also presumably he who in July 1546 received a 21-year lease of escheated lands in Cheshire. In January 1553 a grant of lands to the earl included Cheshire lands in the tenure of William Bromley.3
The only known feature of Bromley’s parliamentary career is his inclusion among the Members of the Parliament of November 1554 who were prosecuted in the following Easter term for having been absent from the House without licence when a roll-call was taken early in January 1555. The information against him was not followed by any further process, a circumstance which might imply that Bromley was absent on other than political or religious grounds, unless the silence which descends on Bromley at this point signifies his early death. He appears to have made no will and he is not mentioned in that of his master the earl, who died in 1572. If Bromley died during the reign of Mary (perhaps soon enough after his prosecution to explain its discontinuance) he would not have lived to see any of his children married, his eldest son William to a daughter of Edward Underhill and his third son Roger to a daughter of (Sir) John Harington of Exton. Such seemingly reformist affiliations are offset by the recollection that Bromley’s elder brother was a Carthusian monk at Sheen and his sister Margaret a Bridgettine nun at Syon.4
Ref Volumes: 1509-1558
Author: Alan Davidson
- 1. Date of birth estimated from first known acquisition of land in 1546. Vis Cheshire (Harl. Soc. xviii), 50; Vis. Salop (Harl. Soc. xxviii), 75.
- 2. Lancs. and Cheshire Rec. Soc. xl. 53; Vis. Cheshire (ibid.), 50.
- 3. J. B. Watson, ‘Lancs. gentry 1529-58’ (London Univ. M.A. thesis, 1959), 552; PCC 43 Pyckering; LP Hen. VIII, xxi; CPR, 1550-3, p. 263.
- 4. KB27/1176, rex roll 17; PCC 38 Daper; J. H. Morrison, Underhills of Warwickshire, 50; E. M. Thompson, Carthusian Order in Eng. 333.