Some European History of the Braceys
“Bracey, from Brecy, near Caen
Henry and Mamelin de Brecie occur in Normandy 1180-95 (MRS.). Radulphus de Braccio occurs in a Norman charter 1082 (Gall. Christ. xi. 86). William, his son, held Wisteston, Cheshire, and Robert de Bracy, the grandson, held three knights fees in that county from Robert Malbane, his uncle. (Omerod, iii, 177). In the borough of Cambridge, in the time of Edward I, c. 1272, a De Braci owned five houses.”
- Norman Names and Families from London
Post Office Directory 1874
“..The manor of Medresfield in Worcestershire, .. has been in continuous possession of the descendents of its first owners, the De Braceys, from near Doomsday down to the present time. (Doomsday was the day or time a survey of England was made by King William I. The record of the survey was made in a book called ‘Domes-day Book’, which is yet preserved in the Tower; and all possessors of estates who are curious to know to whom their land belonged at the Conquest, whether it was ploughed land or pasture, what was then its value, and, in some cases, what cattle it was stocked with, may there get information of all these matters. - Goorich’s Pictorial History of England, 1878) The manor has passed from father to daughter twice in that time, once in 1420 when Joan, only child of William De Bracey, married Thomas Lygon, who took up his residence there ........ Robert was the favorite name of the De Bracey family and one “Robert” held the manor of Warnedon in Worcester at Doomsday (Nash II, p. 452) The first time the name “De Bracey is shown in connection with the manor of Warnedon was in 1166 when Sir William De Bracey held it. (Red Book Exchequer). Robert De Bracey was his successor in 1192. Walter de Balenhall made a claim against him of half a knight’s fee in Madresfield as his share of the inheritance of this knight’s fee which six sisters divided between them. He died in 1220. (Nash II, p318) William De Bracey was lord of Madresfield in 1250. He was exempted in 1250 from being put on assizes and juries. (P. R. p.199) In 1280 he paid a sbsidy of 10s for his lands in Madresfield. He was in ill health in 1282, but lived until 1289, when he died and was buried at Great Malvern. (Vic. Hist. Worc. Vol. 4, p.120)
Sir Robert De Bracey was his son and of him much more can be told as the records of his time are more voluminous. He is first shown fighting against King Henry III at the famous Battle of Evesham in 1265 and had lands at Aston. Evesham is only a few miles from Madresfield. He was a witness in Worcester in 1282 and 1289, assessor of the Subsidy of Worcester 1283; commisioner for Worcester 1297 to 1310 and in Gloucester 1313. (C. R.)
In 1297 he was enrolled as a Knight of Essex, non-resident, for defense of the coast and having lands worth 20 pounds in Salop, was summoned to serve overseas. These lands were evidently those of his wife for he and his wife Maud had a suit on account of lands in Salop 2 June 1301. (C. R.)
He was Knight for the shore of Worcester 1300 to 1305 (P. W.) and was appointed to raise knight in Worcester for defence of the realm 14 January 1300. (C. R.) These were probably for service against the Welsh or Scots against whom King Edward I was waging war.
In 1316 he settled the manor of Madresfield and Warnedon on himself for life, with t=remainder to Robert, son of William De Bracey, and the heirs of his body. His connection with Madresfield is first shown in an inquisition 20 January 1316 when he was found to hold three knights fees at Warnedon, Madresfield and Braces Leigh, Worcester. (Inq.) He was commissioner for raising the men of Worcester against the Scots 5 August 1316. (F. R.) He was Overload of Madresfield Manor 20 Mar., Custodian of Hanley Castle 20 June 1327, and over load in Salop 25 May 1335.
Sir Roberts wife was Maud de Warren, Daughter of William de Warren, sometimes called William de Blauminister. Eyton, in his Antiquities of Shropshire (Vol. 10, p. 15 to 21) shows that William de Warren was a great grandson of William, second Earl of Warren, who died in 1135, and his wife Isabella de Vermandois, granddaughter of King Henry I of France.
Sir William De Bracey, son of Sir Robert, does not appear often in the records as his father evidently lived to be aged. He was appointed keeper if the manor of Hanley Castle and of the chase at Malvern in 1328. *
Sir Robert De Bracey, his son, first appears in the records about 1343, In 1345 he was Lord of Madresfield. Sir Robert fought as a knight at Crecy in the division of the Prince of Wales. Wrottelesey in his “Crecy and Calais” p. 179, says:
“Among those who had sever in person who were exonerated from the assesment to find men at arms and archers, was Sir Robert Bracey who served in the retinue of Thomas Beauchamp, Earl of Normandy and at the Battle of Crecy and seige of Calais.”
Sir Robert’s wife was Juliana, who as relict of Robert De Bracey was patron of church at Warnedon in 1378.
* He was Knight for the Shire of Worcester in 1338.
Sir William De Bracey, his son, was patron at Warnsdon, 1370-1376. In 1376 he went to Ireland with James Butler, Earl of Ormond, in the King’s service. His wife was named Joan. As Lady Joan Bracey, she held her first court for the manor of Madresfield in 1390, so Sir William must have died about that time.
William Bracey, son of William, in the seventh year of Henry VI (1428-29) was an esquire returned into the exchequer to attend the King in person with horse in arms in France. This was probably after Joan of Arc had captured Orleans in that year and the English were marshalling their forces against her. In 1431 William was returned as Lord of the manor of Madresfield. (Nash II, p.452)
Joan Bracey, the only child of William, married Thomas Lygon in 1420. In 1429 Thomas Lygon was certified in the exchequer to hold lands in Warnedon which Robert Braci sometimes had; for in 7 Henry (1420) Joan Braci, the hair of the family, has married Thomas Lygon.
- William & Mary Quarterly, Vol. 16, p. 289