Thomas of Brotherton, 1st Earl of Norfolk

Royal Descent:

Edward I, King of England m. 2) Marguerite of France

THOMAS OF BROTHERTON, 1st Earl of Norfolk

Birth:      1 Jun 1300      Brotherton, Yorkshire

“The royal household set out north from St Albans on 15 April 1300. Queen Marguerite parted with it at Stamford on 5 May, and continued her own journey northward. Preparations had been made for her to use Cawood Castle, a residence of the Archbishop of York, for her confinement. She stopped in the village of Brotherton to hunt late that month, and went into labor early and unexpectedly. The baby was delivered on the 1st of June.”1

Baptism:      St. Edward the Confessor Church, Brotherton, Yorkshire

“In her difficult labor, Marguerite reportedly called on St Thomas of Canterbury for assistance. The baby was named for the saint.”1

Death:      23 Aug 1338      Framlingham Castle, Suffolk

“On 4 August 1338, Thomas made his will at Framlingham, and he died, probably there, on 23rd August. Many sources relay a date of September 1338, for Thomas’s death, using testimony from a Proof of Age of his granddaughter Elizabeth de Segrave as a source (see CIPM 1352-1361, p.115). But G.W. Watson’s date of 23 August appears to be correct, for the king ordered the seizure of Thomas’s goods and chattels on 28 August.”1

Burial:      Bury St Edmunds Abbey, Suffolk

“He was laid to rest at the Abbey of Bury St Edmunds, the chief religious house in medieval East Anglia and a popular destination for pilgrims. The Abbey had suffered riots and destruction from disaffected townspeople in 1327, and tremendous rebuilding efforts were needed, towards which Thomas contributed. His coat of arms appears on the principal gatehouse, which still stands. His was the first royal burial at Bury St Edmunds since the Conquest.”1

Occupation:      1st Earl of Norfolk 1312-1338

Spouse 1:

Alice Hales

Marriage:      abt 1321

“Technically, Thomas’s marriage belonged to the king until Thomas came of age. There is no record of the young earl of Norfolk being granted his own marriage, as there is for the young earl of Gloucester (CPR 1307-1313, p. 50). Nor is there any record of Thomas having to pay a fine for marrying without licence of the king. So his marriage to Alice Hales must have occurred after he came of age in June 1321, and from the chronology of their children, probably very shortly after.”1


Margaret of Brotherton (~1322-1399)

Edward of Brotherton (~1323-1334)

Alice of Brotherton (1324-1352)

Spouse 2:

Mary de Braose

Marriage:      abt 1334

“Braose was one of Edward III’s household knights, but even better, he had a younger sister Mary, a widow of a few years standing, with some well-placed manors of her own. The earl of Norfolk was only aged 34, and there was time to father another son and heir if he remarried. It was likely Braose/Brotherton double marriages that took place in the latter half of 1334. It seems improbable that Thomas married Mary before the summer of 1334, given the Scottish campaign of 1332-1333 and the lack of urgency to remarry while his son and heir Edward was alive.”1



1. Brad Verity, “Love Matches and Contracted Misery: Thomas of Brotherton and His Daughters (Part 1),” Foundations, Volume 2 Number 2, July 2006.