The Grazebrook Page

Robert Sewell   This page was set up by Robert Sewell in June 2006 to show the Family of Grazebrook since the earliest known times.  Robert Sewell graduated from McMaster University (Hamilton, Ontario, Canada) in 1967 with a B.Sc. degree in chemistry.  After a year of studies at the University of Toronto's College of Education, he taught high school science in Collingwood, Ontario for a year and then taught chemistry, physics and general science in Hamilton, Ontario for twenty-nine years.  Robert Sewell retired from teaching in June 1998.

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Armorial Bearings of Gresbroke
   The surname of the Greysbrooke family is derived from a place so-called near Rotherham, Co. Yorkshire.  A suburb of Rotherham is known as “Greasborough” at the present time, and was a separate village within living memory.  Roger de Gresbroke (in the time of Henry II, 1154-1189) is mentioned as holding the fee of Alice, Countess of Ewe, daughter of William de Albiney, Earl of Arundel, by Queen Adeliza, relict of Henry I.  The ancient arms of Gresebrooke are described as:  "Argent, three coneys feeding gules"; which means:  "a silver or white shield with three red rabbits in a feeding position".

    The information presented here, along with the various spellings of the name, have been taken from Dr. Joseph Jackson Howard: Miscellanea Genealogica et Heraldica , Volume III, Third Series, Mitchell and Hughes, London, 1900. Click to view a sample page.  Thanks to the late Sewell V. Sample (1928 - 2005) and Eben W. Graves for sharing the pages from Dr. Jackson's book.

Generation One
Bartholomew de Gresebroke, a younger son, left the paternal estates in Yorkshire and settled at Shenston, County Staffordshire.  He acquired from Robert de Grendon about 1204 and before 1214 the old manor house of the De Brays, afterwards called Gresbrok Hall, and an estate in Shenston.  A new manor house had been built about 1190-5.  Shenston had been held by the De Brays since before 1127, and Bartholomew was infeuded subject to the same service to the chief lords, which explains the unusual tenure which was disclosed in January 1297 when the heriot was declared by which Gresebrok Hall and the estates were held; viz. "a horse with saddle and bridle, aketon and lorica, and other arms appurtenant" on the death of each tenant.  At this point in history, the aketon, (also acton, auqueton, hacketon, etc.) appears to have been a heavily padded garment worn under the lorica, which was leather or iron breastplate.
    This unusual tenure suggests strongly that Bartholomew and his descendants were all or mostly knights.  Some instances indicate that the possession of a certain income entailed the right, perhaps the necessity of knighthood; while others seem to restrict it entirely to those who personally went to war.  Kings, great commanders and great clergy constantly created knights, and there are many cases of knights creating other knights, including their own sons and the sons of others.
    Bartholomew also held lands at Ashfurlong, now in the parish of Sutton-Colefield, and is mentioned in documents circa 1214 - 1242.
Died:  before 1268
Married:  Edith
Bartholomew de Gresebroke and Edith had the following children:

Generation Two
Robert de Gresebroke succeeded his brother Adam in the possession of the estates and is mentioned in documents circa 1274 – 1297.
Died:  before 1305
Robert de Gresbroke had a son:

Generation Three
Robert de Gresebrooke inherited Gresbrok Hall and the same estates and is mentioned in documents circa 1308 – 1322.
Robert de Gresebrooke had a son:

Generation Four
Robert de Gresbroke was referred to as “miles” or “militibus” (a knight or soldier knight) when he appeared as a witness to a charter on February 12, 1345.  Robert is mentioned in documents circa 1323 – 1348.
Died:  1348
Robert de Gresebrooke had two sons:

Generation Five
William de Gresbroke inherited Gresbroke Hall and the same estates and purchased Swetewallemor in Shenston in 1348.
William de Gresbroke had two sons:

Generation Six
John de Gresbroke inherited the same estates and sold Swetewallemoor.  John is mentioned in documents circa 1370 – 1383.
Died:  circa 1383
John de Gresbroke had a son:

Generation Seven
John de Gresbroke inherited the same estates after April, 1383.  John is mentioned in documents circa 1385 – 1407.
Died:  circa 1410
John de Gresbroke had a son:

Generation Eight
John de Gresebroke inherited the same estates after 1407 and before 1413.  John is mentioned in documents circa 1407 – 1445.
John de Gresebroke had a son:

Generation Nine
John Gresbrooke de Shenston inherited Gresbroke Hall and the same estates.  John is mentioned in documents circa 1473 – 1506.
Died:  before 1509
John Gresbrooke had two sons:

Generation Ten
John Gresbrooke of Stoke Hall in Middleton who succeeded to an estate and Stoke Hall in the parish of Middleton, Warwickshire; less than 6 miles from Gresbroke Hall and the Shenston estates in Staffordshire where his elder brother lived.  Relative to John’s will, Dr. Jackson Howard states in his Miscellanea Genealogica et Heraldica (1899):  “Proved at Lichfield 1542 ... This will mentions ‘that syde of the Crofte next the ffrthynge lane’ – an old cottage now stands about a field away from the junction of Farthing Lane with the name Stoke End.  This was the site of Stoke Hall.  At the bottom of a field falling away at the back lies a pond, now nearly dried up, but still known by the name of ‘the great lake’”
Died:  1542
Married:  Isabell who died in 1554
John Gresbrooke and Isabell had the following children:

Generation Eleven
Alverey Greysbrooke, the second son who inherited the whole of Middleton estates and Stoke Hall.  Alverey is mentioned in documents circa 1540 – 1575.  His will is dated September 24, 1575, was proved at Lichfield March 7, 1576 and the inventory was dated January 4, 1575/6.
Died:  1575 or 1576.
Married Margaret Keene, daughter of Thomas Keene of Sutton Coldfield, Warwickshire.  Margaret’s mother was Margaret Gibbons, eldest daughter of William Gibbons of Little Sutton and his wife Agnes Harman; who was a younger daughter of William Harman (d. 1470) of Moor Hall and Joan Squire (d. 1523) who was a daughter of Henry Squire.  Agnes Harman was the sister of John Harman alias Vesey, Bishop of Exeter from 1519 to 1554.
Alverey Greysbrooke and Margaret Keene had the following children:

Henry Sewall

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