Luminarium: Encyclopedia Project The Hundred Years' War

Luminarium | Encyclopedia | What's New | Letter from the Editor | Bookstore | Poster Store | Discussion Forums | Search


Thomas of Brotherton, contemporary Medieval MS illumination

Isabella of France, Queen of England (1292-1358)

THOMAS OF BROTHERTON, EARL OF NORFOLK and MARSHAL OF ENGLAND (1300-1338), was the eldest child of Edward I by his second wife, Margaret, the sister of Philip the Fair. Edward II was his half-brother. He was born on 1 June 1300 at Brotherton near Pontefract, where his parents were halting on their way to Scotland.1 He was called Thomas because of the successful invocation of St. Thomas of Canterbury by his mother during the pains of labour. A story is told that the life of the child was despaired of in his infancy, but that his health was restored by the substitution of an English nurse for the Frenchwoman to whom his mother had entrusted him.2 Edward I destined for Thomas the earldom of Cornwall which escheated to the crown on 1 Oct 1300, on the death, without heirs, of Earl Edmund, the son of Richard, king of the Romans,3 and some of the chroniclers say that the grant was actually made.4

On his deathbed Edward specially urged upon his eldest son [i.e., Edward II] the obligation of caring for his two half-brothers. Edward II, however, soon conferred Cornwall on his favourite, Piers Gaveston. Nevertheless he made handsome provision for Thomas. In September 1310 he granted to Thomas and his brother Edmund of Woodstock jointly the castle and honour of Strigul (Chepstow) for their maintenance,5 and in October 1311 he granted Thomas seisin of the honour.6 Larger provision followed. The earldom of Norfolk and the dignity of earl marshal, which Roger Bigod, fifth earl of Norfolk, had surrendered to the crown and had received back entailed on the heirs of his body, had recently escheated to the king on Roger's death without children. On 16 Dec. 1312 Edward II created Thomas Earl of Norfolk, with remainder to the heirs of his body, and on 18 March the boy of twelve received a summons to parliament, which was repeated in January and May 1313.7 He also obtained the grant of all the lands in England, Wales, and Ireland that had escheated on Roger Bigod's death, and on 10 Feb. 1316 he was further created marshal of England, thus being precisely invested with the dignities and estates of the previous earl. He got the last fragment of the estate in 1317, when Alice, the dowager countess, died.8 On 20 May 1317 Thomas received his first summons to meet at Newcastle in July to serve against 'Scotch rebels.'9

In the early part of 1319 Thomas acted as warden of England during Edward II's absence in the field against the Scots, holding on 24 March of that year a session along with the chief ministers in the chapter-house of St. Paul's, where they summoned before them J. de Wengrave, the mayor; Wengrave was engaged in a controversy with the community with regard to municipal elections, which was appeased at Thomas's intervention.10 After being knighted, on 15 July, Thomas proceeded to Newcastle, where a great army was mustering against Scotland. He crossed the border on 29 Aug., but nothing resulted from the invasion save the vain siege of Berwick.11

In 1321 Thomas, being summoned with his brother Edmund to the siege of Leeds Castle in Kent,12 adhered to the king's side, and is described as 'strenuous for his age.'13 He took a prominent part in persuading Mortimer to submit.14 Yet in September 1326 he was one of the first to join Queen Isabella on her landing at Orwell. The landing-place was within his estates.15 On 27 Oct. he was one of the peers who condemned the elder Despenser at Bristol16 In May 1327 he was ordered to raise troops against the Scots. He was chief of a royal commission sent to Bury St. Edmunds to appease one of the constant quarrels between the abbey and the townsmen.17 He was bribed to accept the rule of Isabella and Mortimer by lavish grants of the forfeited estates of the Despensers and others, and was so closely attached to Mortimer that he married his son Edward to Beatrice, Mortimer's daughter, and attended the solemn tournament at Hereford with which they celebrated the match.18

But he soon became discontented with the rule of Isabella and Mortimer, and joined the conference of magnates which met on 2 Jan. 1329 at St Paul's;19 he acted with his brother Edmund, the archbishop of Canterbury, and the bishop of London as envoys from the barons to the government; but the defection of Henry of Lancaster broke up the combination.20 On 17 Feb. 1330 Thomas and Edmund escorted the young queen Philippa on her solemn entry into London the day before her coronation.21 Luckier than Edmund, Thomas gave no opportunity to the jealousy of Mortimer, and survived to welcome Edward III's attainment of power. On 17-19 June l331 he fought along with the king on the side of Sir Robert de Morley in a famous tournament at Stepney, riding, gorgeously attired, through London on 16 June, and making an offering at St. Paul's.22 In 1337 he was employed in arraying Welsh soldiers for the king's wars.23 Knighton says24 that he was one of the lords who accompanied Edward III to Antwerp in July 1338, but the other chroniclers do not seem to substantiate this. Thomas died next month (August 1338) and was buried in the choir of the abbey church, where a monument was erected to him that perished after the dissolution at Bury St. Edmunds. In September Edward, at Antwerp, appointed William de Montacute, first earl of Salisbury, his successor as marshal.25

Thomas married, first, Alice, daughter of Sir Roger Hales of Harwich; and, secondly, Mary, daughter of William, lord Roos, and widow of Sir William de Braose. Mary Roos survived her husband, married Ralph, lord Cobham, and died in 1362. Thomas's only son, Edward, was born of his first wife, and married Beatrice, daughter of Roger Mortimer, first earl of March, but died without issue in his father's lifetime.


1. Chronicon de Lanercost, Maitland Club, 1839, p. 193.
2. Annales Edwardi I in Rishanger, Chronica, 1865, pp. 438-9, Rolls Series. link.
3. Willelmi Monachi Malmesbiriensis (Monk of Malmesbury), De Gestis Regum Anglorum, ed. Stubbs, p. 169.
4. Worcester Annals (Annales Wigornenses), p. 547; Trokelowe, Annales, p. 74.
5. Calendar of Close Rolls, 1307-13, p. 279.
6. Flores Historiae, iii. 334.
7. Cal. Close Rolls, 1307-13, pp. 564, 584.
8. ib. 1313-1318 p. 504.
9. ib. 1313-18 p. 473.
10. Annales Paulini in Stubbs' Chronicles of the Reigns of Edward I and Edward II, pp 285-6.
11. Malmesbury, pp. 241-2; Ann. Paulini, p. 286.
12. Flores Historiae, iii. 199.
13. Malmesbury, p. 263.
14. Continuation of Adam of Murimuth's Chronicle, Adae Murimuth Continuatio Chronicarum, 1889 ed., p. 35.
15. Murimuth, p. 46.
16. Annales Paulini, p. 317.
17. ib. p. 334.
18. Murimuth, p. 578; Chronicon Galfridi Le Baker, ed. Thompson, p. 42.
19. cf. details in Knighton's Chronicon as published in Twysden's Decem Scriptores, and in the notes
      to G. Le Baker, pp. 217-20, ed. Thompson, from MS Brut Chron.
20. Annales Paulini, p. 344.
21. ib. p. 349.
22. ib. pp. 353-354.
23. Rymer's Fœdera, iii. 980.
24. Knighton, ii. 4.
25. Fœdera, iii. 1060.

      Excerpted from:

      Tout, T. F. "Thomas of Brotherton."
      Dictionary of National Biography. Vol. LVI.
      Sidney Lee, Ed.
      New York: The Macmillan Company, 1898. 152-3.

Other Local Resources:

Thomas of Brotherton on the Web:

Backto Luminarium Encyclopedia

Site ©1996-2023 Anniina Jokinen. All rights reserved.
This page was created on March 25, 2023.

Index of Encyclopedia Entries:

Medieval Cosmology
Prices of Items in Medieval England

Edward II
Isabella of France, Queen of England
Piers Gaveston
Thomas of Brotherton, E. of Norfolk
Edmund of Woodstock, E. of Kent
Thomas, Earl of Lancaster
Henry of Lancaster, Earl of Lancaster
Henry of Grosmont, Duke of Lancaster
Roger Mortimer, Earl of March
Hugh le Despenser the Younger
Bartholomew, Lord Burghersh, elder

Hundred Years' War (1337-1453)

Edward III
Philippa of Hainault, Queen of England
Edward, Black Prince of Wales
John of Eltham, Earl of Cornwall
The Battle of Crécy, 1346
The Siege of Calais, 1346-7
The Battle of Poitiers, 1356
Lionel of Antwerp, Duke of Clarence
John of Gaunt, Duke of Lancaster
Edmund of Langley, Duke of York
Thomas of Woodstock, Gloucester
Richard of York, E. of Cambridge
Richard Fitzalan, 3. Earl of Arundel
Roger Mortimer, 2nd Earl of March
The Good Parliament, 1376
Richard II
The Peasants' Revolt, 1381
Lords Appellant, 1388
Richard Fitzalan, 4. Earl of Arundel
Archbishop Thomas Arundel
Thomas de Beauchamp, E. Warwick
Robert de Vere, Earl of Oxford
Ralph Neville, E. of Westmorland
Thomas Mowbray, Duke of Norfolk
Edmund Mortimer, 3. Earl of March
Roger Mortimer, 4. Earl of March
John Holland, Duke of Exeter
Michael de la Pole, E. Suffolk
Hugh de Stafford, 2. E. Stafford
Henry IV
Edward, Duke of York
Edmund Mortimer, 5. Earl of March
Henry Percy, Earl of Northumberland
Sir Henry Percy, "Harry Hotspur"
Thomas Percy, Earl of Worcester
Owen Glendower
The Battle of Shrewsbury, 1403
Archbishop Richard Scrope
Thomas Mowbray, 3. E. Nottingham
John Mowbray, 2. Duke of Norfolk
Thomas Fitzalan, 5. Earl of Arundel
Henry V
Thomas, Duke of Clarence
John, Duke of Bedford
Humphrey, Duke of Gloucester
John Talbot, Earl of Shrewsbury
Richard, Earl of Cambridge
Henry, Baron Scrope of Masham
William de la Pole, Duke of Suffolk
Thomas Montacute, E. Salisbury
Richard Beauchamp, E. of Warwick
Henry Beauchamp, Duke of Warwick
Thomas Beaufort, Duke of Exeter
Cardinal Henry Beaufort
John Beaufort, Earl of Somerset
Sir John Fastolf
John Holland, 2. Duke of Exeter
Archbishop John Stafford
Archbishop John Kemp
Catherine of Valois
Owen Tudor
John Fitzalan, 7. Earl of Arundel
John, Lord Tiptoft

Charles VII, King of France
Joan of Arc
Louis XI, King of France
Charles the Bold, Duke of Burgundy
The Battle of Agincourt, 1415
The Battle of Castillon, 1453

The Wars of the Roses 1455-1485
Causes of the Wars of the Roses
The House of Lancaster
The House of York
The House of Beaufort
The House of Neville

The First Battle of St. Albans, 1455
The Battle of Blore Heath, 1459
The Rout of Ludford, 1459
The Battle of Northampton, 1460
The Battle of Wakefield, 1460
The Battle of Mortimer's Cross, 1461
The 2nd Battle of St. Albans, 1461
The Battle of Towton, 1461
The Battle of Hedgeley Moor, 1464
The Battle of Hexham, 1464
The Battle of Edgecote, 1469
The Battle of Losecoat Field, 1470
The Battle of Barnet, 1471
The Battle of Tewkesbury, 1471
The Treaty of Pecquigny, 1475
The Battle of Bosworth Field, 1485
The Battle of Stoke Field, 1487

Henry VI
Margaret of Anjou
Richard Plantagenet, Duke of York
Edward IV
Elizabeth Woodville
Richard Woodville, 1. Earl Rivers
Anthony Woodville, 2. Earl Rivers
Jane Shore
Edward V
Richard III
George, Duke of Clarence

Ralph Neville, 2. Earl of Westmorland
Richard Neville, Earl of Salisbury
Richard Neville, Earl of Warwick
Edward Neville, Baron Bergavenny
William Neville, Lord Fauconberg
Robert Neville, Bishop of Salisbury
John Neville, Marquis of Montagu
George Neville, Archbishop of York
John Beaufort, 1. Duke Somerset
Edmund Beaufort, 2. Duke Somerset
Henry Beaufort, 3. Duke of Somerset
Edmund Beaufort, 4. Duke Somerset
Margaret Beaufort
Edmund Tudor, Earl of Richmond
Jasper Tudor, Earl of Pembroke
Humphrey Stafford, D. Buckingham
Henry Stafford, Duke of Buckingham
Humphrey Stafford, E. of Devon
Thomas, Lord Stanley, Earl of Derby
Sir William Stanley
Archbishop Thomas Bourchier
Henry Bourchier, Earl of Essex
John Mowbray, 3. Duke of Norfolk
John Mowbray, 4. Duke of Norfolk
John Howard, Duke of Norfolk
Henry Percy, 2. E. Northumberland
Henry Percy, 3. E. Northumberland
Henry Percy, 4. E. Northumberland
William, Lord Hastings
Henry Holland, Duke of Exeter
William Fitzalan, Earl of Arundel
William Herbert, 1. Earl of Pembroke
John de Vere, 12th Earl of Oxford
John de Vere, 13th Earl of Oxford
Thomas de Clifford, 8. Baron Clifford
John de Clifford, 9. Baron Clifford
John Tiptoft, Earl of Worcester
Thomas Grey, 1. Marquis Dorset
Sir Andrew Trollop
Archbishop John Morton
Edward Plantagenet, E. of Warwick
John Talbot, 2. E. Shrewsbury
John Talbot, 3. E. Shrewsbury
John de la Pole, 2. Duke of Suffolk
John de la Pole, E. of Lincoln
Edmund de la Pole, E. of Suffolk
Richard de la Pole
John Sutton, Baron Dudley
James Butler, 5. Earl of Ormonde
Sir James Tyrell
Edmund Grey, first Earl of Kent
George Grey, 2nd Earl of Kent
John, 5th Baron Scrope of Bolton
James Touchet, 7th Baron Audley
Walter Blount, Lord Mountjoy
Robert Hungerford, Lord Moleyns
Thomas, Lord Scales
John, Lord Lovel and Holand
Francis Lovell, Viscount Lovell
Sir Richard Ratcliffe
William Catesby
Ralph, 4th Lord Cromwell
Jack Cade's Rebellion, 1450

Tudor Period

King Henry VII
Queen Elizabeth of York
Arthur, Prince of Wales
Lambert Simnel
Perkin Warbeck
The Battle of Blackheath, 1497

King Ferdinand II of Aragon
Queen Isabella of Castile
Maximilian I, Holy Roman Emperor

King Henry VIII
Queen Catherine of Aragon
Queen Anne Boleyn
Queen Jane Seymour
Queen Anne of Cleves
Queen Catherine Howard
Queen Katherine Parr

King Edward VI
Queen Mary I
Queen Elizabeth I
Henry Fitzroy, Duke of Richmond

Margaret Tudor, Queen of Scotland
James IV, King of Scotland
The Battle of Flodden Field, 1513
James V, King of Scotland
Mary of Guise, Queen of Scotland

Mary Tudor, Queen of France
Louis XII, King of France
Francis I, King of France
The Battle of the Spurs, 1513
Field of the Cloth of Gold, 1520
Charles V, Holy Roman Emperor
Eustace Chapuys, Imperial Ambassador
The Siege of Boulogne, 1544

Cardinal Thomas Wolsey
Archbishop Thomas Cranmer
Thomas Cromwell, Earl of Essex
Thomas, Lord Audley
Thomas Wriothesley, E. Southampton
Sir Richard Rich

Edward Stafford, D. of Buckingham
Thomas Howard, 2nd Duke of Norfolk
Thomas Howard, 3rd Duke of Norfolk
John Dudley, Duke of Northumberland
Charles Brandon, Duke of Suffolk
Thomas Boleyn, Earl of Wiltshire
George Boleyn, Viscount Rochford
John Russell, Earl of Bedford
Thomas Grey, 2. Marquis of Dorset
Henry Grey, D. of Suffolk
Charles Somerset, Earl of Worcester
George Talbot, 4. E. Shrewsbury
Francis Talbot, 5. E. Shrewsbury
Henry Algernon Percy,
     5th Earl of Northumberland
Henry Algernon Percy,
     6th Earl of Northumberland
Ralph Neville, 4. E. Westmorland
Henry Neville, 5. E. Westmorland
William Paulet, Marquis of Winchester
Sir Francis Bryan
Sir Nicholas Carew
John de Vere, 15th Earl of Oxford
John de Vere, 16th Earl of Oxford
Thomas Seymour, Lord Admiral
Edward Seymour, Protector Somerset
Margaret Pole, Countess of Salisbury
Henry Pole, Lord Montague
Sir Geoffrey Pole
Thomas Manners, Earl of Rutland
Henry Manners, Earl of Rutland
Henry Bourchier, 2. Earl of Essex
Robert Radcliffe, 1. Earl of Sussex
Henry Radcliffe, 2. Earl of Sussex
George Hastings, Earl of Huntingdon
Henry Courtenay, Marquis of Exeter
George Neville, Baron Bergavenny
Sir Edward Neville
William, Lord Paget
William Sandys, Baron Sandys
William Fitzwilliam, E. Southampton
Sir Anthony Browne
Sir Thomas Wriothesley
Sir William Kingston
George Brooke, Lord Cobham
Sir Richard Southwell
Thomas Fiennes, 9th Lord Dacre
Sir Francis Weston
Henry Norris
Lady Jane Grey
Sir Thomas Arundel
Sir Richard Sackville
Sir William Petre
Sir John Cheke
Walter Haddon, L.L.D
Sir Peter Carew
Sir John Mason
Nicholas Wotton
John Taylor
Sir Thomas Wyatt, the Younger

Cardinal Lorenzo Campeggio
Cardinal Reginald Pole
Stephen Gardiner, Bishop of Winchester
Edmund Bonner, Bishop of London
Nicholas Ridley, Bishop of London
John Hooper, Bishop of Gloucester
John Aylmer, Bishop of London
Thomas Linacre
William Grocyn
Archbishop William Warham
Cuthbert Tunstall, Bishop of Durham
Richard Fox, Bishop of Winchester
Edward Fox, Bishop of Hereford

Pope Julius II
Pope Leo X
Pope Clement VII
Pope Paul III
Pope Pius V

Pico della Mirandola
Desiderius Erasmus
Martin Bucer
Richard Pace
Christopher Saint-German
Thomas Tallis
Elizabeth Barton, the Nun of Kent
Hans Holbein, the Younger
The Sweating Sickness

Dissolution of the Monasteries
Pilgrimage of Grace, 1536
Robert Aske
Anne Askew
Lord Thomas Darcy
Sir Robert Constable

Oath of Supremacy
The Act of Supremacy, 1534
The First Act of Succession, 1534
The Third Act of Succession, 1544
The Ten Articles, 1536
The Six Articles, 1539
The Second Statute of Repeal, 1555
The Act of Supremacy, 1559
Articles Touching Preachers, 1583

Queen Elizabeth I
William Cecil, Lord Burghley
Robert Cecil, 1st Earl of Salisbury
Sir Francis Walsingham
Sir Nicholas Bacon
Sir Thomas Bromley

Robert Dudley, Earl of Leicester
Ambrose Dudley, Earl of Warwick
Henry Carey, Lord Hunsdon
Sir Thomas Egerton, Viscount Brackley
Sir Francis Knollys
Katherine "Kat" Ashley
Lettice Knollys, Countess of Leicester
George Talbot, 6. E. of Shrewsbury
Elizabeth, Countess of Shrewsbury
Gilbert Talbot, 7. E. of Shrewsbury
Sir Henry Sidney
Sir Robert Sidney
Archbishop Matthew Parker
Walter Devereux, 1st Earl of Essex
Robert Devereux, 2nd Earl of Essex
Penelope Devereux, Lady Rich
Sir Christopher Hatton
Edward Courtenay, E. Devonshire
Edward Manners, 3rd Earl of Rutland
Thomas Radcliffe, 3. Earl of Sussex
Henry Radcliffe, 4. Earl of Sussex
Robert Radcliffe, 5. Earl of Sussex
William Parr, Marquis of Northampton
Henry Wriothesley, 2. Southampton
Henry Wriothesley, 3. Southampton
Charles Neville, 6. E. Westmorland
Thomas Percy, 7. E. Northumberland
Henry Percy, 8. E. Northumberland
Henry Percy, 9. E. Nothumberland
William Herbert, 1. Earl of Pembroke
Charles, Lord Howard of Effingham
Thomas Howard, 4th Duke of Norfolk
Henry Howard, 1. Earl of Northampton
Thomas Howard, 1. Earl of Suffolk
Henry Hastings, 3. E. of Huntingdon
Edward Manners, 3rd Earl of Rutland
Roger Manners, 5th Earl of Rutland
Francis Manners, 6th Earl of Rutland
Henry FitzAlan, 12. Earl of Arundel
Thomas, Earl Arundell of Wardour
Edward Somerset, E. of Worcester
William Davison
Sir Walter Mildmay
Sir Ralph Sadler
Sir Amyas Paulet
Gilbert Gifford
Anthony Browne, Viscount Montague
François, Duke of Alençon & Anjou

Mary, Queen of Scots
Henry Stuart, Lord Darnley
James Hepburn, Earl of Bothwell
Anthony Babington and the Babington Plot
John Knox

Philip II of Spain
The Spanish Armada, 1588
Sir Francis Drake
Sir John Hawkins

William Camden
Archbishop Whitgift
Martin Marprelate Controversy
John Penry (Martin Marprelate)
Richard Bancroft, Archbishop of Canterbury
John Dee, Alchemist

Philip Henslowe
Edward Alleyn
The Blackfriars Theatre
The Fortune Theatre
The Rose Theatre
The Swan Theatre
Children's Companies
The Admiral's Men
The Lord Chamberlain's Men
Citizen Comedy
The Isle of Dogs, 1597

Common Law
Court of Common Pleas
Court of King's Bench
Court of Star Chamber
Council of the North
Fleet Prison
First Fruits & Tenths
Livery and Maintenance
Oyer and terminer

The Stuarts

King James I of England
Anne of Denmark
Henry, Prince of Wales
The Gunpowder Plot, 1605
George Villiers, 1st Duke of Buckingham
Robert Carr, Earl of Somerset
Arabella Stuart, Lady Lennox

William Alabaster
Bishop Hall
Bishop Thomas Morton
Archbishop William Laud
John Selden
Lucy Harington, Countess of Bedford
Henry Lawes

King Charles I
Queen Henrietta Maria

Long Parliament
Rump Parliament
Kentish Petition, 1642

Thomas Wentworth, Earl of Strafford
John Digby, Earl of Bristol
George Digby, 2nd Earl of Bristol
Thomas Fairfax, 3rd Lord Fairfax
Robert Devereux, 3rd E. of Essex
Robert Sidney, 2. E. of Leicester
Algernon Percy, E. of Northumberland
Henry Montagu, Earl of Manchester
Edward Montagu, 2. Earl of Manchester

The Restoration

King Charles II
King James II
Test Acts

Greenwich Palace
Hatfield House
Richmond Palace
Windsor Palace
Woodstock Manor

The Cinque Ports
Mermaid Tavern
Malmsey Wine
Great Fire of London, 1666
Merchant Taylors' School
Westminster School
The Sanctuary at Westminster


Chart of the English Succession from William I through Henry VII

Medieval English Drama

London c1480, MS Royal 16
London, 1510, the earliest view in print
Map of England from Saxton's Descriptio Angliae, 1579
London in late 16th century
Location Map of Elizabethan London
Plan of the Bankside, Southwark, in Shakespeare's time
Detail of Norden's Map of the Bankside, 1593
Bull and Bear Baiting Rings from the Agas Map (1569-1590, pub. 1631)
Sketch of the Swan Theatre, c. 1596
Westminster in the Seventeenth Century, by Hollar
Visscher's View of London, 1616
Larger Visscher's View in Sections
c. 1690. View of London Churches, after the Great Fire
The Yard of the Tabard Inn from Thornbury, Old and New London

Site copyright ©1996-2023 Anniina Jokinen. All Rights Reserved.