George Brooke, 9th Baron Cobham

For other people with the same name, see George Brooke (disambiguation).
George Brooke, 9th Baron Cobham
Baron Cobham

Portrait of George, 9th Baron Cobham by Hans Holbein the Younger.
Spouse(s) Anne Braye


Father Thomas Brooke, 8th Baron Cobham
Mother Dorothy Heydon
Born c. 1497
Died 29 September 1558
Arms of Sir George Brooke, 9th Baron Cobham, KG

George Brooke, 9th Baron Cobham (c. 1497-29 September 1558)[1] KG, was an aristocrat during the early Tudor dynasty in England. A soldier and magnate, he participated in the English wars of his days and in the political turmoil following the death of Henry VIII.


Brooke was the oldest surviving son of Thomas Brooke, 8th Baron Cobham and Dorothy Heydon, a daughter of Sir Henry Heydon. His paternal grandparents were John Brooke, 7th Baron Cobham and Margaret Neville, daughter of Edward Neville, 3rd Baron Bergavenny and Katherine Howard.[2] His maternal grandparents were Sir Henry Heydon and Anne Boleyn, daughter of Geoffrey Boleyn and cousin to King Henry VIII's second wife and queen consort, Anne Boleyn.[2] The 3rd Baron Bergavenny was the youngest son of Ralph Neville, 1st Earl of Westmorland and his second wife, Lady Joan Beaufort, daughter of John of Gaunt, 1st Duke of Lancaster and sister of King Henry IV.[3] Bergavenny's wife, Katherine Howard, was the daughter of Sir Robert Howard and Lady Margaret Mowbray, a descendant of Edward I and his second wife, Margaret of France.[4] Katherine's brother was the first Howard Duke of Norfolk.[3] Norfolk was an ancestor to the two wives of Henry VIII that were beheaded, Anne Boleyn and Catherine Howard.


As a teenager, he accompanied his father to the marriage of Henry VIII's sister, Princess Mary, to Louis XII of France. He returned to France during the 1520s, fighting with some distinction around Calais. At home in Kent, he fulfilled his feudal duties, serving as justice of the peace for the county. In 1544, he occupied a high position in the English army that invaded Scotland; later that year, he was appointed commanding officer of English-controlled Calais. He was made a Knight of the Garter on 24 April 1549.[1]

Brooke's family were dogged by scandal. His sister, Elizabeth Brooke was married to Sir Thomas Wyatt but lived openly in adultery with another man. She allegedly attracted the attention of Henry VIII in 1542, and the Imperial ambassador thought that if she tried, she could become Henry's sixth wife. Brooke's daughter, Elisabeth Brooke, Marchioness of Northampton was also prone to scandal. She lived with William Parr, 1st Marquess of Northampton, from 1543, as he was separated from his adulterous wife, Anne Bourchier. They eventually married during the reign of Edward VI, but this was declared invalid by Mary I. In the reign of Elizabeth I, their marriage was again declared valid.

He resigned his post in 1550 and became a member of the Privy Council of Edward VI.[1] After Edward's death, Brooke supported Dudley's attempt to place Lady Jane Grey on the throne. He was pardoned by Mary, but subsequently fell under suspicion again. His nephew, Sir Thomas Wyatt the younger, led a Protestant rebellion, bringing suspicion on the whole family.[1] Brooke's daughter, Elisabeth Brooke, is thought to have been the instigator of the plot to put Lady Jane Grey on the throne instead of Mary. During Wyatt's rebellion, Wyatt besieged and took Cobham in the latter's home, Cooling Castle; Brooke claimed to have resisted, but after the rebellion failed, he was imprisoned in the Tower of London for a brief period. The next year, however, he was assigned to entertain Cardinal Pole during the papal legate's visit to England during a formal reconciliation with Rome. The entertainment is recorded as having taken place at Cooling Castle in 1555.

Brooke tomb, Cobham

After his release, Brooke limited himself to local affairs in Kent. He died 29 September 1558, closely followed by his wife, Anne Bray. He was buried in the chancel of St Mary Magdalene Church, in Cobham, Kent. He was succeeded in the barony by his son, William.[1]

Marriage and issue

In 1517 or before 1526, he married Anne Braye (born 21 March 1501) in Eaton Bray, Bedfordshire, England, the eldest daughter of Sir Edmund Braye (c.1480- 18 October 1539) and Jane Halliwell (c.1480- 24 October 1558). They lived at Cobham Hall in Kent and Cowling Castle.

Together George and Anne had 10 sons and four daughters. These included:


  1. 1 2 3 4 5 "". Retrieved 6 February 2011.
  2. 1 2 Douglas Richardson. Magna Carta Ancestry: A Study in Colonial and Medieval Families, 2nd Edition, 2011. pg 380-81.
  3. 1 2 Douglas Richardson. Magna Carta Ancestry: A Study in Colonial and Medieval Families, 2nd Edition, 2011. pg 167.
  4. Richardson III 2011, pp. 206-7.
  5. The History of Parliament: the House of Commons 1558-1603, 'BROOKE, alias COBHAM, John (1535-94), of Newington, Kent.', ed. P.W. Hasler, 1981. History of Parliament Online.
Peerage of England
Preceded by
Thomas Brooke
Baron Cobham
Succeeded by
William Brooke
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