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Robert Braybrooke
Bishop of London
Appointed9 September 1381
Term ended28 August 1404
PredecessorWilliam Courtenay
SuccessorRoger Walden
Consecration5 January 1382
Personal details
Died28 August 1404

Robert Braybrooke (1336/7-1404) was a medieval cleric and King's Secretary. He was Dean of Salisbury and Bishop of London.


Braybrooke was the son of Sir Gerard de Braybooke of Castle Ashby, MP for Northampton of Horsenden, Buckinghamshire & Colmworth, Bedfordshire and his wife, Isabella, the daughter of Sir Roger Dakeny of Clophill.[1]

King's Secretary

Braybrooke was a trained lawyer who became the first keeper of the King' signet ring on the accession of the ten-year-old Richard II to the English throne in July 1377.[2] Braybrooke thus became the first King's Secretary using this signet ring.[2] Whereas the Great Seal had been used to endorse the documentation of the Royal pardons Richard II offered the peasant rebels when he met them at Mile End to diffuse the Peasants' Revolt shortly before his coronation.[3] Despite bearing the imprint of the Great Seal, these pardon's were withdrawn. During the few years in which Braybrooke was the King's Secretary, most of the documents endorsed by the King's Signet Ring, most were later further endorsed by the Privy Seal, before being issued with the Great Seal in Chancery.[2]

He was nominated 9 September 1381 and consecrated on 5 January 1382.[4]

Braybrooke was named Lord Chancellor of England on 20 September 1382 and was out of the office by 11 July 1383.[5]

Braybrooke accompanied King Richard II to Ireland in 1394 and was Lord Chancellor of Ireland for six months in 1397.

Braybrooke died on 28 August 1404,[4] and was buried in St. Paul's Cathedral. His tomb was smashed during the Great Fire of London in 1666, and his body was found inside intact and mummified.[6]

See also


  1. ^ Davies, R. G. (2004). "Braybroke Robert 1336/7-1404". Oxford Dictionary of National Biography (online ed.). Oxford University Press. doi:10.1093/ref:odnb/3301. (Subscription or UK public library membership required.)
  2. ^ a b c Kynaston, David (1978). The Secretary of State. Lavenham, Suffolk: Dalton. ISBN 0-900963-80-8.
  3. ^ Rochelle, Mercedes (9 April 2017). "Great Seal, Privy Seal, and Signet: What's the difference?". Historical Britain Blog. Retrieved 26 November 2023.
  4. ^ a b Fryde, et al. Handbook of British Chronology p. 258
  5. ^ Fryde, et al. Handbook of British Chronology p. 87
  6. ^ Pepys, Samuel (12 November 2019). "In the Convocation House Yard we did see the body of Robert Braybrooke, Bishop of London, that died 1404. He fell down in his tomb out of the great church into St. Fayth's this late fire, and is here seen his skeleton with the flesh on; but all tough like a spongy dry leather". @samuelpepys. Retrieved 12 November 2019.


  • Fryde, E. B.; Greenway, D. E.; Porter, S.; Roy, I. (1996). Handbook of British Chronology (Third revised ed.). Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. ISBN 0-521-56350-X.

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