Section 3: Tewkesbury. Chapter X xxxx

Section 4 : Gloucestershire
and thereabouts, 1454 - 1623

Chapter 4.A

Gloucestershire Introduction

Gloucestershire and the surrounding counties of Bristol, Worcestershire, Herefordshire and Wiltshire contain by far the biggest cluster of early BRUSH entries in the surviving records. Unfortunately the entries we have are, with one exception, scattered across a range of parishes rather than being neatly tied to a particular location. (Bristol was, from 1373, a county in its own right. A rare (and little known) status for a town. It became a city as well as a county in 1542.)

The numbering sequence used for the charecters in this section is [Gn]. For the most part the sequence is broadly chronological but there are a few exceptions, especially for outlying entries and later discoveries.

The second significant family group in Gloucestershire, contemporary with the Tewkesbury families (discussed in section 3), is centred on Brockworth, a village just to the east of Gloucester.

This summary presents what I believe to be the position. The full story which follows presents all the options and explains the various assumptions made to get to this conclusion follows in later chapters.

The head of the family is Gyles[G4], probably born sometime in the 1510s. He marries Isabel[G4a] and has at least five children born in the period 1540 to 1555. A time span mostly within the reign of Henry VIII, 1509-1547. This probably makes him the same generation(1) as Richard[T?] of Tewkesbury - maybe a younger brother or a cousin. His children are therefore the same generation (2) as Richard, Humphrey and Lewes.

Four of Gyles and Isabel's children survive to marry. Isabel dies in childhood in 1562. Gyles the younger, Margaret and William all marry in Brockworth. Thomas marries somewhere else but he and William both baptise their children at Brockworth in the period 1569 to 1589. Walter who marries in Cheltenham in 1567, Anthony baptised in Painswick in 1552 and Thomas who baptises his children at nearby Great Witcombe could also be children or nephews of Gyles the elder.

Generation (3) begin to spread out a bit further. But not very far. William the son of William moves to Sandhurst north of Gloucester and John the son of Thomas to Elmore and Hardwick to the west of the city.

Cheltenham and Pershore

The earliest Gloucestershire entry we know of is from the regnal year '33 Hen VI' (1 September 1454 -31 August 1455)

"Walter Brussh of Cheltenham to Pershore Abbey (William Newnton, abbot): Two messuages and land in Pershore (appointment of attorney to deliver seisin): (Worcs.)"

This may prove to be significant as a possible root for the substantial Gloucestershire group of families. But Walter[G500] of Pershore and Cheltenham is an unexplained and isolated appearance. We will come back to look at this and other early evidence.


As described in the previous section, there are lots of records from Tewkesbury, at the very north of the county, beginning in 1542 with Richard[T1] and sons Richard, Humphrey & Lewes. That record is used as a basis for defining generation numbers with Generation (2) identified as births in the 1530s.

Elsewhere in Gloucestershire

'Elsewhere' being places other than Tewkesbury. The earliest direct record from Parish Registers anywhere within Gloucestershire (predating Richard of Tewkesbury's will by 7 years) is the baptism of two children called Anthony [G2] and [G3]. These are recorded in 1551 and 1552 at Painswick, 5 miles south of Gloucester on the western edge of the Cotswolds. Presumably Anthony[G2] died in infancy and the next child was given the same name - something which seems a not uncommon practice. These isolated entries do not get the story very far.

The dates put them either at the beginning of generation(3) or at the end of generation(2). We know nothing more of them. At the moment we do not have a name for the father "[G1]" of these two boys. We have no burial records, no marriage for the second Anthony and no children with an Anthony as their father.

As a small aside, there are only two other instances of the name Anthony in the first 250 years of BRUSH records up to 1800 and it is a generally uncommon name(1). Perhaps the choice of the name is linked somehow to Anthony Kingston(2) who was lord of the manor of Painswick from 1540 to 1556. This might explain the choice either, charitably, as following local fashion or, less charitably, as a piece of Tudor bootlicking.

Like so many other of the BRUSH locations, Painswick was a cloth weaving town - but then so many places were in Tudor times. Looking forward a century or more, Painswick is pretty much the centre of a group of BRUSH locations - Cirencester, Tewkesbury, Wotton, Sherston and Tewkesbury and as one of the earliest locations must be a candidate to be the epicentre of any extended family.

Looking quite insignificant on a modern map, the main road through Painswick, now called Bisley Street and formerly known as High Street, was in centuries past the ancient road running between Gloucester and Cirencester(3).

    Chapter 4.B Brockworth

(1) back to text   One marries in Totnes, Devon in 1655, the other is born in London to John the gunmaker of Virginia in the late 17th century. Ancestry.co.uk has (somewhere?) an analysis of how frequent differet names are.

(2) back to text   Not apparently a pleasant man. It is said "that he was much hated locally for his cruelty" In 1549 he was made Provost Marshall and suppressed the Prayer Book rebellion in Cornwall in 1549 with great cruelty.     www.tudorplace.com.ar/Bios/AnthonyKingston.htm

(3) back to text   Leaving Gloucester Eastgate, it passed through Matson, Upton, Kimsbury Camp, Painswick (Gloucester Street, Bisley Street and Tibbiwell), Bulls Cross, Steanbridge (first documented in 1248), up to its highest point at Stancombe crossroads, and so on over the Frome at the Gulph, passing through what is now Cirencester Park, and entering Cirencester by Cicely Hill. At the Cirencester end it was known as The Bisley Path : http://www.painswickhistory.org.uk/

The BRUSH Families of the British Isles
       © David Brush 2006 to 2020

The BRUSH Families
of the British Isles
© David Brush 2006 to 2020