Agincourt and John Bretton


From a website “The soldier in Medieval England” comes the information that five “Brettons” are recorded as being either men at arms or archers from 1373 to 1443 and that 2 of them served under king Henry V at Agincourt. There is no indication as to whether any of them are from our family but coincidences abound. One of the commanders was William Neville and the Neville family were related by marriage to the Brettons in the 1200’s. Additionally one of this related Neville family (Margaret) married Thomas Beaufort the fourth son of John O’Gaunt, Duke of Lancaster and Thomas’s brother, John Beaufort, Duke of Somerset, was the Commander of Roger Bretton, an archer, in an expeditionary force in France in 1443.

John de Bretton – Quer. From “Feet of Fines for County of York 17 Edward II” (1324) No. 562

John de Bretton (Quer) and Adam Ingrels and Joan, his wife, deforciants of a messuage, 100 acres of land, 6 acres of meadow, and 20 acres of wood in Emmerley (Emley) covenant John’s rights. Adam and Joan have rendered in court. John and his heirs to hold of the chiefs, Lords etc Adam for himself and his heirs to warrent for 20 marks of silver (CP25/1/271/99,No. 16) NOTE A “querent” is the person to whom the land etc was being conveyed and a “deforciant” is the person conveying the land. NOTE This is the first we have learned about the Brettons having land in Emley. Previously we have only known about land and messuages in Bretton and Dewsbury “and elsewhere in Yorkshire”. If this, as it appears, is in addition to what we already knew about then the Brettons in the 1300’s must have had more land than they had in the 1500/1600’s based on the information available after John Bretton’s martyrdom.