Chapter 4.A Gloucestershire Introduction

Section 4 : Gloucestershire
and thereabouts, 1454 - 1623

Chapter 4.B

Brockworth, and neighbouring parishes

From 1562 onwards, there is a recorded BRUSH presence in and around Brockworth, about 5 miles north of Painswick on the road towards Cheltenham. This is the biggest cluster of Brush entries outside Tewkesbury. There could of course have been an earlier presence but the registers of Brockworth only begin at 1559. Nowadays it is practically a suburb of Gloucester but it was then a standalone village. Although the two villages are about 5 miles apart, the northern boundary of the parish of Painswick (where there was a small Brush presence in the 1550s - chapter 4.A)is only a mile or so miles from the southern boundary of Brockworth parish - separated by the parishes of Upton St Leonards and Cranham.

But before we dig into the complexities of the Brockworth records we have a marriage for Walter BRUSHE[G5] to Isabell BAKER[G5a] at Upton St Leonards on 10 February 1558. My standard formula puts the suggested birth date for Walter around 1530.

The entry for Walter's marriage in one of the most ornate registers I have encountered.  Note the face on the first entry in 1547. "

There are two sets of records for Brockworth. One is for the period 1559 to 1780. The entries are not in strict date order but are sorted by regnal years with baptisms, marriages and burials shown for each year. This layout means they cannot have been the original record created as the events occurred.

I thought they might be the Bishop's transcript but that seems to be the second set of records, which seem in worse condition and begin only in 1600. They are incomplete. There are no pages for 1602-1605 or 1607-11. At the bottom of image 8 of the second set - copies for 1601 ( but only made in 1608?) Thomas Brush is shown as one of the two churchwardens. He also appears as such in an unusual entry ( of unknown purpose - not a BMD) in the main register at 1607. Maybe confirming the accuracy of the transcript

The first set of records therefore look to be a 'fair' copy of the original, fully contemporary, register. This is the heading to the record:

Some care is needed in dating entries within this first set of Parish records. In addition to the normal question, at this period, of whether entries from 1st January to 25th March are old or new style dates the Brockworth registers are divided by the regnal years of Queen Elizabeth which begin and end in November. She became Queen on 17th November 1558. So the 2nd year of her reign began on 17th November 1559 and the 14th year began on 17 November 1571. But the section headed the 2nd year is marked 1560 and that for the 14th year of her reign is marked 1572. The first entries, in November and December under that heading are, apparently, actually from 1571 and the Jan/Feb/Mar entries are 1571 old style/1572 new style. The baptism of John Brush son of Thomas is thus in November 1571 not 1572 as it appears to be at first sight. Just to add to the confusion the baptism date appears to be written as the first day of November which means it should have been before the regnal year heading. In another year an entry on 20th November is shown before the year change.

The first reference is to the burial in 1562 of Isabel [G7], daughter of Gyles BRUSH [G2].

That this is "Isable" is hard to see but it appears to be so.

Normally a father would only be identified for a child but might occasionally be included for an unmarried woman still living in her father's house. Which puts Isabel's birth date as anywhere between 1541 and 1562, though we know she was not baptised at Brockworth in the period 1559-1562. Which places Giles's birth date somewhere around 1520-30.

A year later, in 1563, a Giles BRUSH appears as a bringer/signatory of a "Presentation" with two others(1). A presentation or Presentation Record was an indictment made by churchwardens or parsons to the local Episcopal courts naming parishioners considered guilty of moral or religious delinquencies(2). Giles must have been an adult at this time as it is not the act of a minor. This means he must have been born at the latest by 1542 but could have been born decades earlier. He could be either Gyles[G2] or the second Giles[G11] (discussed below) who seems likely to be the son of Giles[G2]. The dates make it seem more likely, to me, that he was Gyles[G2], the elder of the two.

Whether Gyles the elder is classified as generation (1) or (2) depends on whether he was a brother (or first cousin) of Richard of Tewkesbury or whether he was a nephew/ second cousin once removed. I have no evidence one way or the other. I am of course assuming they were related. In real terms it makes no difference but it is convenient to be able to identify the characters in the story by their generation and I have, for the time being, arbitrarily classified Gyles[G2] and the unnamed father [G3] of Anthony[G14] (who could actually be the same man!) as generation(1).

In another coincidence of naming, the name Giles also appeared in Tewkesbury. Giles[T7], son of Richard[T2], was baptised there in 1560. We must be very cautious of coincidences but there are no other appearances of the name in the BRUSH index(3) outside Brockworth and Tewkesbury. But, although much less popular than names like Thomas, Giles is not an uncommon name at the time. Tewkesbury is just 14 miles north of Brockworth and up a fully navigable Severn from Gloucester.

Starting in 1569 (ten years after the register begins) several BRUSH children are baptised at Brockworth, which puts them squarely in generation (3). They are identified as being the children either of Thomas or of William.

William [G9] married Joan HALL [G9a] at Brockworth on 8 December 1571 and we know of seven children. Our standard assumption about age at marriage gives a birth date for William around 1544.
    Nicholas [G20], baptised 1572, Buried January 1573/4
    Joan, [G21] December 1574, Buried 1580
    Thomas [G22] March 1576/7. Given the later baptism of Thomas[G25]
        it seems likely that Thomas[G22] died in infancy.
    Ann or Joan [G23] 16 September 1581 The entry looks like Ann
        but Joan is mentioned in the will of her brother in 1612
    Gyles [G24] 23 October 1583, Buried October 1584
    Thomas [G25] May 1585
    William [G26] March 1588/9

The other set of baptisms identifies Thomas BRUSH [G8] as the father. Thirty years back from the first of these, in 1569, gives an estimated birth date for Thomas around 1539.

    Isabella [G27] 1569

    William [G28] c.1570, died 1572 at Great Witcombe

    John [G29] November 1571 (as illustrated)

    Thomas[G30], 21 Dec 1573 , buried March 1581/2.

This baptism is one of the dates where the regnal years and dates shown in the register cause confusion. I am fairly confident it is 1573 not 1574.

    William [G31] December 1584

At this point we have a problem. In 1574 at nearby Great Witcombe (an adjacent parish SE of Brockworth with village centres barely a mile apart) , Elizabeth BRUSH [G31] is baptised, the daughter of Thomas. The timing of this baptism in relation to the baptism of Thomas G18 is unusual. There is a possibility that there are it would seem two Thomases, Thomas G7 and another who we will designate as Thomas [G20].

This is reinforced by the will of Thomas of Brockworth in 1618, in which he leaves a cash legacy to his "kinsman" Thomas Brush. He gives no indication of the relationship but it seems reasonable to assume an uncle, cousin or nephew. He could be Thomas G13 the son of William G6 but that Thomas (bapt 1585)could not be the father of Elizabeth who was baptised in 1574. The record of this baptism does not come directly from the registers but from the Hockaday abstracts. Nor does he say directly where the second Thomas lived. But he does leave a very small legacy to the poor of Bentham, which is to be administered by Thomas Brush and another. Bentham is in the parish of Badgeworth (which also includes the village of Little Witcombe) and which adjoins both Brockworth and Great Witcombe. The will records that Thomas of Brockworth had a wife Elizabeth and that he was the father of John Brush and William Brush (both of whom had by 1618 already had chidren of their own) , and that the other Thomas also had unnamed children.

The registers of the parish of Badgeworth date from 1570 but are in poor condition and hard to read. The Ancestry site includes images of the register but the trnscript fails to identify fully many of the entries. Tere could easily be Brush entries among them.

The wife of Thomas , possibly Isabel or Alice 'Ales', Or Ales?), is buried at Brockworth on 10 May 1576, two months before the baptism of daughter Joan. The baptism delayed following the death or a child of the second Thomas?

Joan, 24 August 1576 d of Thomas. ( Said by FWB to be also of Elizabeth but this is not in PR) This looks really short after the death of Isabel an the two baptisms in 1574 raise questions. Two Thomases?

- the first comprising Thomas G7 & Elizabeth G7a

Agnes, February1578/9 Listed by FWB as Ann but the register entry seems to show 'Annas'

William 1585 (s of William or of Thomas?) Or of Gyles(see below) Slip missing not ure if there is a PR entry .

William 1589 (so f William) NOT CLEAR if some of these are from Witcombe . Possible there were two THomases?

By his will we know that Thomas 'A' had sons John and William. Given the amount of detail in the will (discussed below) it seems unlikely that he had any other surviving children by 1618. We also know from the will of Thomas A that Thomas B also then had at least two surviving children. One possibility that works, on the available data, is that Isabel, William (dec'd), and Elizabeth are the children of Thomas B and that Thomas A remains in Brockworth and that Thomas B moves first to Great Witcombe and then to Bentham..

Also in this period, in May 1576, Margaret BRUSH married in Brockworth to James BURDLE ( not sure of this reading - BR??DE? )- If she was 26 at marriage this puts her birth around 1550 which makes her a contemporary of Anthony of Painswick.

It seems reasonable, indeed likely, that Margaret, William and one of the two Thomases are siblings. Or, at the least, first cousins in which case the second Thomas could be a cousin of the first. One or more of them could therefore be children of Gyles G4 alongside Isabel. If Gyles G4 was having children between 1540 and 1550 then we are targeting a birth date for him around 1510-1515 which would mean the presentation was made in his mid 50s. It would be possible for Gyles also to have been the father of Anthony of Painswick in 1550/51. He could certainly be an uncle of Anthony.

There is an alternative possibility that one or more of them could have been younger siblings of Giles G4, or his cousins. It is also possible that one of the two men called Thomas BRUSH baptising children between 1569 and the 1580s could have been the brother of Gyles and the other the son of Gyles.

To further complicate matters, in 1578 (in the middle of the period when Thomas and William are baptising their children) a Giles BRUSH marries Isabell CAWDELL in Brockworth. We have no idea whether this is a late (re)marriage of Giles G4 (aged at the very least 36, if he was 21 at the 1563 presentation, and quite possibly older, 48 or above) or whether it might be Giles of Tewkesbury (bapt 1560) T7 (marrying at just 18 which is unusual) or another Giles. In previous texts I wrote that my guess is that it was Giles [G4] but there seems no reason why it could not be another son of Gyles G4, a brother of Thomas, William and Margaret.

There were certainly at least two men called Giles Brush in Brockworth at around this period as there are two burials. There were also burials of two women named Isabel Brush, each identified as the wife or widow of Giles Brush . One of these burials of Isabel Brush ???? Elisabeth??, wife of Gyles, is at Brockworth on 10 sept 1581. She could be the wife of Giles the elder or Giles the younger.

In October1582 Gyles BRUSH marries Margaret PRISE at Brockworth. Again, which Giles was this? Although it is quite quick after the death of Isabel it must have been her widower. It seems that both Giles married an Isabel since another Isabel, the widow of Giles, is later buried in 1595. That Giles G4 had been married to an Isabel is completely consistent with them having a daughter Isabel (who died as a child in 1562).

24th January 1582/3 Ellinor, wife of Gyles is buried. This appears to indicate three Giles !!!!

One of the Giles is buried at Brockworth on 22 September 1583. He was an adult as letters were granted by the Gloucester Consistory Court on 30 November 1583 to John Lie, otherwise Malten, of Elmore to collect his goods - which were valued at 5 pounds, 5 shillings and 1 penny. If this was Giles [G4] he would have been somewhere around 50-60. If it was Giles the younger he would be around 35.


he naming of William's son Giles[G?], baptised in 1583 just a month after the burial of a Giles supports the idea that William was the son or brother of one of the two adult Giles.

The 1608 Men and Armour survey records in Gloucester a William, aged about 20 (so born c.1588). He could be a son of Thomas, William or Gyles, or could be from somewhere else.

A second Giles is buried on 10 August 1591.

The second Isabel , wife or widow of Gyles is buried at |Brockworth on 4 Oct 1595

In the BT and register there seems to be a burial of a Margaret Brush at November 1613 There is a record in late 1626 (possibly 1627 new style) at Brockworth of the burial of a Margaret ???. If this was Margaret nee Price the widow of Giles she would be at least 66. It could be Brush but is more likely Birch. The records of Brockworth at this time are poorly written and the transcript details in the file displayed on Ancestry (from the Gloucestershire records collection) leave many names empty so they do not appear in searches. Unless we introduce a third Giles - Giles T7 of Tewkesbury who by this time is 22? We have no alternative Tewkesbury area marriage or death of a Giles to attribute to Giles of Tewkesbury.

The common (and legal) assumption would be that the older man died first. For the sake of putting something into family trees (such as Ancestry or Wikitree) and my own spreadsheets, index cards, etc I have taken the liberty of doing this. But there is nothing that actually indicates one way or the other. We know for example that William the younger died before his father William the elder.

    Chapter 4.C Brockworth generation(3)

(1) back to text    I'm not able to identify the source for this

(2) back to text    This definition taken from Veiled Assent, Hidden Dissension: Moments of Definition, Redefinition and Transition in the English Parish Church 1500-1700 by Jude Jones, available online Quare whether it was always by officials and not just a complaint by others.

(3) back to text    Except a single appearance a century later at Sherston in Wiltshire. A family line that almost certainly links back to the Gloucestershire families

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

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