Chapter 4.B Brockworth generation(3)

Section 4 : Gloucestershire
and thereabouts, 1454 - 1623

Chapter 4.D

Cheltenham, Cirencester & Wiltshire)

In addition to the family groups centred on Tewkesbury (chapter 3.A) and Brockworth (chapters 4.B & 4.C) there a few other isolated Brush entries in Gloucestershire and the adjoining counties of Wiltshire and Oxfordshire.


Cheltenham is 6 miles NE of Brockworth, which is not a great distance away. And 9 miles SE of Tewkesbury.

A John BRUSH[G?] was a witness in a case at Compton Abdale in 1551. (9 miles SE of Cheltenham). This does not of course mean that he lived there. He is said to be age 40 which gives a birth date c.1511 which puts him into generation (1) alongside Richard the elder[T1?] of Tewkesbury and Gyles[G4] of Brockworth. References GDRvol7 p85 and GDR vol 8 p 159

The manor court for Compton Abdale was held two or three times a year in the 15th century (fn. 197) and in the earlier 16th; at the latter period it was sometimes held in conjunction with the court for North Cerney, another manor of the archbishop of York. Records of the court survive for the years 1528-43. From: 'Parishes: Compton Abdale', A History of the County of Gloucester: volume 9: Bradley hundred. The Northleach area of the Cotswolds (2001), pp. 31-41. URL: http://www.british-history.ac.uk/report.aspx?compid=66461 Date accessed: 07 April 2009.

In 1567, Walter BRUSH[G6] marries there, to Jane GREVILL. The 'isolated location' is perhaps explained by a marriage in the bride's parish, though they seem to have stayed there after they married and had children, one of whom - Margaret [Gxx] - marries there in 1589. Our standard formula gives a target birth date of c.1542 for Walter - which fits in well alongside Thomas[G5] and William[G6] of Brockworth or John[T502] of Tewkesbury as another child of generation(2). It is tempting to see this marriage as a second marriage of Walter[G4] who married at Upton St Leonards nine years earlier. But Walter[G4] married Isabell BAKER and in 1614 there is a death in Brockworth of Isabel, the wife of Walter. Which suggests there were at least two Walters.

A Walter dies at North Leigh in Oxfordshire in 1605. This is some way away from Brockworth and Cheltenham and is much closer to Witney and Stanton Harcourt. The fmilies from there are discussed in section 8.

PRO will?[ there is a slip for a John who FWB suggests was born pre 1580 who appears a witness to the will of Walter. - this Walter? Where is the will?

As mentioned at the start of this section, in chapter 4A, there is also a very early isolated instance there is a deed dated 1454/55 by which another Walter BRUSSH of Cheltenham to the Abbot of Pershore Abbey in connection with lands at Pershore - in Worcestershire some 15 miles north of Cheltenham. This is probably four generations earlier but the coincidence of a rare name is enticing.

Pershore, in neighbouring Worcesteshire, reappears nearly two centuries later when the deceased father of John Brush, freeman of Tewkesbury in 1631, is identified as having been 'of Pershore'.


Cirencester is 14 miles south-east of Brockworth. It is also in Gloucestershire but is on the other side of the Cotswold Hills and alternatively it could well be linked to families in Oxfordshire instead. However Cirencester and Painswick/Gloucester/Brockworth are linked by and Bisley Road Ermin Way - one of the old Roman roads ( not to be confused with Ermine street which is in

On 23 November 1583 a William BRUSH marries Mary COLLINS[G16a] at Ampney Crucis, which is just to the east of Cirencester. This surely cannot be a second marriage of William[G9] of Brockworth since only one month earlier Gyles son of William was baptised at Brockworth and in 1585 there are baptisms both of William, son of William, at Brockworth and Mary, daughter of William, at Ampney Crucis. The 1583 marriage generates an estimated birth date of 1555.

It could be an early marriage at 18 of William[T503], son of John[T501], but this is not entirely convincing and in section 5 (the east midlands] we have an alternative possibility for him. A male marriage at 18 is unusually young. This suggests there is another William[G16]. The estimated birth date of 1555 is just before the start of the Tewkesbury registers so he could be from there (the Richard/Humphrey/Lewis clan) or from Painswick/Brockworth.

In 1593 Thomas Brush, a tailor, marries Elnor at Elkstone, which is roughly halfway between Brockworth and Cirencester. He appears in M&A 1608, again as a taylor, aged about 40 so born c.1568

Also in 1593, in June, Richard BRISH[G100], yeoman, of Fairford, about 8 miles east of Cirencester, , makes his will . He correctly identifes himself as sick in body; the will was proved les than 10 months later on 22 March 1593/4. The Probate sheet seems clearly to show BRUSHE but the will is much harder to read. Among his legacies are 5 shillings and 4 bushels of barley to "my brother Thomas BRUSH the elder"[G101]. He also makes provision for his wife during her lifetime but does not think to name her. There is no mention of a son but there are several legacies that might indicate he had married daughters. The surnames mentioned are OCKWELL, COLIFE, HEMINGES and ARDEY. He does not indicate his age but the general tone and the implicit reference to an adult nephew, Thomas the younger[G102], suggests a reasonable age. If he was, say, around 50 that would indicate a birth date for him and brother Thomas of c. 1540-45. This fits well with Thomas of Brockworth who had a son called Thomas who was baptised in 1573. So probably not quite legally adult at the date of Richard's will but it would not be unreasonable for him to to talk of Thomas the elder and younger. There was another Thomas who died in Holy Cross Pershore in 1612 but that is a bit further away

In 1598 there is a marriage at Somerford Keynes which may or may not refer to a Brush marriage. Thomas B___and Emott (or Emottes) also Taylor were married on 23rd(?) February 1598.

The calander of State Papers for 1604 lists a document (not yet examined) from Lord Cecil and Sir Roger Wilbraham, the Queen's Chancellor directing the Steward of Bisley "to hear the cause of Sibyl West against - Brush, who has obtained a reversion of her lease". Bisley may refer to the manor of Bisley, the parish of Bisley (which is roughly equidistant from Brockworth and Cirencester, just to the south-east of Painswick) or to the larger Hundred of Bisley which included Painswick and other surrounding parishes.

Also in 1604, at Bibury, Lewes[G ] son of John is baptised. So John born c.1574? . Bibury is about 6 miles north of Fairford and 5 miles NE of Ampney Crucis. The Lewes name immediatly makes me think of Tewkesbury but there is no baptism known for a John at Tewkesbury around 1574. The nearest we know of was John[T31] baptised in 1585 which would make him only 19 at the baptism of Lewes. Normally this would make me suspicious of the link, but he was the illegitimate son of Marjorie BRUSH [T21] the daughter of Lewes. That the life pattern of an illegitimate child might differ from the standard pattern seems possible and the naming of the child after his grandfather seems compelling with such an unusual name.

A John BRUSH[G ] marries Alice Hayes[G a] in 1633 at Stratton, one mile north of Cirencester. John and "Ales" then baptise three children at Somerford Keynes from 1634 to 1637 - Eleanor, Thomas and Margaret. Thomas was buried just a fortnight after his baptism. Somerford Keynes is five miles south of Cirencester. I think we can safely assume it to be the same John and Alice. My rule of thumb gives a birth date for John c.1605 which is a bit late for this study but bear with me. On 15th February 1640 (i.e February 1641 in the modern style calendar) John BRUSH, yeoman, of Somerford Kaines makes his will. He dies soon after - as he clearly feared when he made his will "being weake of body" , and is buried on 28 March 1641 at Somerford Keynes, naming daughters Ellenor, Margaret and (if I have read the unfamiliar script correctly) his parents Thomas and Eleanor. Finding a father in a will is relatively unusual of course and supports the assumption that John married at a 'normal' age. Laying assumption on assumption, father Thomas may have been born somewhere around 1575.

Clearly not the same John who sat on the Marlborough inquisition in 1574.

There is a second marriage at Stratton on 30 April 1635 of Elnor BRUSHE[G ] to John STEPHENS. A sister to John?(5).

This group as near to Oxford as to Gloucester )


I know, Wiltshire is not part of Gloucestershire but is a noble and historic county in its own right.   If you live in Wiltshire and I've offended you please accept my apologies. In this context however it doesn't warrant a whole chapter and it is right next door. There are just four early BRUSH appearances across the county boundary in Wiltshire.

At an "inquisition" held in Marlborough on 8 March 1574 one of the jurors is John Brusshe. And that is all we know. Clearly he is a responsible adult to be undertaking this role. So at least 21 and more likely over 30. So born sometime before 1544? Which would put him in generation (?)

In 1581 Elizabeth BRUSH marries ??? at Warminster, right in the south west corner of Wiltshire where it adjoins Somerset. My standard guesstimate for a first marriage assumes an age of 25 which would give a birth date of around 1555, thugh it could be anywhere between the 1520s and the early 1560s.

On 2 May 1603 "Em" (Emily?) BRUSH marries James ELIOT at Marlborough or Malmsbury? By the same logic I guess her birth as 1578 from the period 1540 to the early 1580s.

On 1 Feb 1605/6 Jone BRUSH marries Thomas BLISSET at the church of St Mary the Virgin, Marlborough). Her suggested birth date is 1580 from the mid the mid 1540s to the mid 1580s.

(1) back to text    https://www.british-history.ac.uk/cal-state-papers/domestic/jas1/1603-10/pp103-140

(2) back to text   

(5) back to text    The only source for this seems to be an "FHL film number, 857052"

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

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