Robert Willoughby, 1st Baron Willoughby de Broke

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Effigy of Robert Willoughby, 1st Baron Willoughby de Broke(d.1502), alabaster, St Mary's Church, Callington, Cornwall
19th-century drawings of monumental effigy of Robert Willoughby, Callington Church, Cornwall. He wears the collar of the Order of the Garter and his head rests on the crest of Willoughby a Saracen's head, couped at the shoulders, ducally crowned, and with earrings[1]
Arms of Sir Robert Willoughby, 1st Baron Willoughby de Broke, KG
One of six similar Escutcheons of Robert Willoughby, some shown within the cordon of the Order of the Garter, on his tomb at Callington, blazoned: Quarterly, 1st grand quarter quarterly, 1st and 4th a cross crosslet double crossed[2] 2nd and 3rd a cross moline; a crescent superimposed on the fess-point for difference; (Willoughby) 2nd grand quarter, a cross fleurie (Latimer) 3rd grand quarter, 4 fusils in fess each charged with an escallop (Cheyne) 4th grand quarter, a chevron within a bordure engrailled (Stafford)

Robert Willoughby, 1st Baron Willoughby de Broke KG[3] (c. 1452 – 23 August 1502) was one of the chief commanders against the Cornish rebels for Henry VII in 1497.[1]

Early life[edit]

Robert Willoughby was born at Brooke-in-Westbury, Wiltshire, the son of Sir John Willoughby of the family of the Barons Willoughby of Eresby, seated at Eresby Manor near Spilsby, Lincolnshire. His mother was Anne Cheney, 2nd daughter of Sir Edmund Cheyne (d.1430) of Brooke-in-Westbury, by Alice Stafford, daughter of Sir Humphrey Stafford II of Hooke, and aunt to Humphrey Stafford, 1st Earl of Devon(d.1469). Edmund Cheyne was the eldest son of Sir Ralph Cheyne (c. 1337–1400) of Poyntington, Somerset, by Joan Pavely, daughter & co-heiress of Sir John Pavely of Brooke/Broke manor, Heywood, near Westbury, Wiltshire.[4]

Public life[edit]

He was High Sheriff of Cornwall in 1479 and High Sheriff of Devon in 1480. He was Lord of the Manor of Callington and steward of the Duchy of Cornwall.[1]

Mediaeval wing of Brook Hall, a Grade I listed building, looking north-westwards, in July 2011. This is the only surviving remnant of the manor house built by Robert Willoughby on his manor of Brook, in Heywood parish, Wilts.

The barony of Willoughby de Broke, named after the manor of Brooke/Broke, Heywood, near Westbury, Wiltshire, was created when Robert Willoughby was summoned to Parliament by writ in 1492. On his death on 23 August 1502 the title passed to his eldest son Robert Willoughby, 2nd Baron Willoughby de Broke.[5]

He died at the manor house of Callington, for he directed in his will that he should be buried in the church of the parish he died in.[citation needed]

Family life[edit]

He married in 1472 Blanche (or Joan[6]) Champernowne, daughter and heiress of John Champernowne of Bere Ferrers, Devon, by Elizabeth Bigbury. John was the son of Alexander Champernowne of Modbury and Joan Ferrers, da. of Martyn Ferrers of Bere Ferrers. He thus acquired the manors of Callington, Cornwall. and Bere Ferrers amongst others.[citation needed]

He had four children with Blanche:[7]


  1. ^ a b c Rogers, p.346
  2. ^ Mis-drawn and mis-blazoned by Rogers as a cross engrailed. The Bere Ferrers bench ends, where perhaps the wood disallows great detail in carving, shows not a cross crosslet but rather a thick plain cross.
  3. ^ de jure 9th Baron Latimer,[citation needed]
  4. ^ History of Parliament: House of Commons, 1386–1421, vol. 2, Stroud, 1992, Cheyne, Sir Ralph, pp.554–555
  5. ^ Cokayne Complete Peerage
  6. ^ Rogers, Appendix 3
  7. ^ Cokayne Complete Peerage
  8. ^ Rogers, p.346, quoting "Lysons"


  • Hamilton Rogers, W.H. The Strife of the Roses & Days of the Tudors in the West, Exeter, 1890. (History of Barons Willoughby de Broke)

on-line text, freefictionbookson-line text, with images, Project Gutenburg

Further reading[edit]

Political offices
Preceded by
The Lord FitzWalter
Lord Steward
Succeeded by
The Earl of Shrewsbury
Peerage of England
New creation Baron Willoughby de Broke
Succeeded by
Robert Willoughby