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 on his Garter stall plate
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, de jure 9th Baron Latimer[citation needed] (c. 1452 – 23 August 1502), KG, of Brook, Westbury, Wiltshire, was one of the chief commanders of the royal forces of King Henry VII against the Cornish Rebellion of 1497.[1]


Robert Willoughby was born at Brook (anciently "Broke"), Westbury, Wiltshire in around 1452. He was the son of Sir John Willoughby of the family of the Barons Willoughby of Eresby, seated at Eresby Manor, Spilsby, Lincolnshire. His mother was Anne Cheyne, second daughter and co-heiress of Sir Edmund Cheyne (1401–1430) of Brook, by his wife Alice Stafford, only daughter and eventual heiress of Sir Humphrey Stafford (c.1379–1442) "With the Silver Hand",[3] of Hooke, Dorset, and of Southwick, North Bradley, Wiltshire, and an aunt of Humphrey Stafford, 1st Earl of Devon (d. 1469). Sir Edmund was the son and heir of William Cheyne (c.1374–1420) by his wife Cecily Strecche (d.1443); William was the son of Sir Ralph Cheyne (c.1337–1400) of Poyntington in Somerset, and of Brook (three times Member of Parliament for Wiltshire, Deputy Justiciar of Ireland, Lord Chancellor of Ireland, and Deputy Warden of the Cinque Ports) by his wife Joan Pavely, daughter and co-heiress of Sir John Pavely of Brook.[4]


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, 2011, remnant of the manor house built by Robert Willoughby

The barony of Willoughby de Broke, named after the manor of Brook, 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.[6]

Marriage and children[edit]

He married in 1472 Blanche 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]


Further reading[edit]

  • Hamilton Rogers, William Henry The Ancient Sepulchral Effigies and Monumental and Memorial Sculpture of Devon, Exeter, 1877, pp. 346–7 & Appendix 3, pedigree of Willoughby de Broke.
  • Luckett, Dominic (1996), "The Rise and Fall of a Noble Dynasty: Henry VII and the Lords Willoughby de Broke", Historical Research, 69 (170): 254–65, doi:10.1111/j.1468-2281.1996.tb01857.x
  • Luckett, Dominic. "Willoughby, Robert, first Baron Willoughby de Broke (1452-1502), soldier". Oxford Dictionary of National Biography (online ed.). Oxford University Press. doi:10.1093/ref:odnb/29602. (Subscription or UK public library membership required.)
  • Lundy, Darryl (3 June 2008). "Robert Willoughby, 1st Baron Willoughby de Broke". The Peerage.
  • Baron Willoughby of Broke from Crofts Peerage.


  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. ^ Epithet by William Dugdale, see below
  4. ^ History of Parliament: House of Commons, 1386–1421, vol. 2, Stroud, 1992, Cheyne, Sir Ralph, pp. 554–555
  5. ^ Cokayne Complete Peerage
  6. ^ Hamilton Rogers, William Henry The Strife of the Roses and Days of the Tudors in the West. See Sources.
  7. ^ Cokayne Complete Peerage
  8. ^ Rogers, p. 346, quoting "Lysons"
Political offices
Preceded by Undersheriff of Cornwall
Succeeded by
Preceded by
Halnatheus Maleverer
High Sheriff of Devon
Succeeded by
Preceded by High Sheriff of Devon
Succeeded by
Roger Holland
Preceded by Lord Steward
Succeeded by
Peerage of England
New creation Baron Willoughby de Broke
Succeeded by