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The earliest BRUSH entries come from Suffolk but we have nothing resembling a family tree for those living there; simply some isolated references. This whole section is I'm afraid rather a jumble - just a place to put snippets about random findings.
John BRUSCH in Ipswich in 1438,
John BRUCHE in Halesworth 1491 (1),
William BRUSSHE, clerk, as executor dealing with land at Barton in 1515 (2),
Alice living in Covehithe, Suffolk in 1515 ,
Robert Brusshe 1524 (3),
John, Elene, Elizabeth and Alice in Covehithe 1532(4),
Joan dying in Northales, Suffolk 1536,
Margaret dying in Northales 1588.
And possibly ( as discussed below) Alice BRUSCH in 1327 and John BROSCHE.
The earliest confirmed BRUSH reference is the will of John BRUSCH of Ipswich made on the 8th of September 1438. Both the script and the latin used are quite incomprehensible to me. There is a translation of it in the papers left to me by my father ("FWB", who gets multiple references in this work). Whether he actually did it or had it done for him I am not sure. The full text is in Appendix xx.
John BRUSCH asks to be buried at St Mary of the Tower in Ipswich (still known as St Mary le Tower and the central parish church in the town) but he also leaves money to the parish church at "Mautelesham" - presumably Martelsham which is about 5 miles east of Ipswich. [ references to Busshe? Or Bryge? At Martelsham? ]
He leaves his 'tenement' in Ipswich to his wife Julian for life but with directions that after her death it be sold and the money "be spent for [the health of] my soul and for the souls of all my benefactors". I presume this to mean that it was to be given to the church in payment for the saying of masses or some such. The widow, Julian, and Robert Bird or Byrd are made the executors and left the residue of the estate with discretion as to what is to be done with it. The only two people given specific legacies are John Byrd, the son of Robert who gets one sheep and Margaret Talbot of Martelesham who gets two sheep.
Everything suggests that John left no son. It is conceivable he had a daughter -possibly married to Robert Byrd but this is speculation. Robert or John Byrd and Margaret could equally well be servants or friends. How sad that the earliest record turns out to be a dead-end.
John BRUSCH's will was proved in Norwich in 1438 (n) but this does not mean he lived in Norwich. SoURCE NOTES IN WORD
Another early will, of John CHYLD in ???, makes passing reference to Robert BRUSH and a John BRUSH at the village (hamlet?) of Badwell Ash, which is also known as Little Ashfield or Ashfield Parva. One of manors listed in the parish was "BRUSHES al. BROOKESHULL MANOR". This manor also belonged to the Priory of Ixworth, and on the Dissolution was granted in 1538 by Hen. VIII. in exchange to Richard Codington (n).
Although they were unaware of it at the time, my parents set up their first home just a couple of miles away from Badwell Ash, at Pakenham in Suffolk. My sister and I were born in nearby Bury St Edmunds. Which is mere coincidence, and represents a useful lesson for genealogists that there is not necessarily any direct connection between two people of the same name that we might find in the same place.
Covehithe is on the coast just south of Lowestoft and Northales is an alternative name for it. Barton may well be Great Barton just east of Bury St Edmunds
There also seems to have been an earlier entry for John BRUCHE whose will is dated 30 April 1491 subject to the recurring issue of whether Bruche is a variant of Brook or Brush .
Errors? More information? Comments? Please do get in touch: firstname.lastname@example.org
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(1) back to text    Mentioned in a footnote on page 139 of Inward Purity and Outward Splendour by Judith Middleton-Stewart. I am unsure of the source. The note ( which I do not understand!)reads:"NCC A. Caston 172-3, William Chapelle, Haleseworth 1483; SROI, IC/AA2/3/128, John Bruche, Halesworth 1491; Haward, Suffolk Arcades, 148, 385-6;"
(2) back to text    A village near Southwold on the Suffolk coast. Named in the will of Alice PEERS, Information provided by Antonia Williamson 1994. Appendix xx
(3) back to text    A dictionary of English surnames by Reaney & Wilson, 1991
(4) back to text    Named in the will of Alice SPARHAWK; Information provided by Antonia Williamson 1994; Appendix xx