[Communicated by Daniel. Dennison Slade,M.D.]
The name of Bromfield may be traced back to the time of Edward II., and was undoubtedly of Welsh origin. This may be inferred from the following note annexed to " the Bardie Museum, or Relics of the Welsh Bards." From " Llyfr Coch asaph," written about 1815.
" Aboat this time, the British Nobility lived in a princely state, as appears by the rules settled by Leywelyn de Bromfield and his council for the management of his household. He had the following officersa Steward of his household, Chamberlain, Chaplain, Almoner, Usher of the hall, Gentlemen of the Horse, Butler, Cook, Baker, Doorkeeper of the Chamber, Porter, Groom of the Horse, apparitor, with their assistants. One part
of the Marshall of the Hall's duty, was every day after dinner to deliver with an audible voice, what the expense of the table amounted to & at the same time to admonish to economy. When his lordship rode out, he was attended by all his officers & by about a dozen Esquires."
The next of the family of whom we have any mention, was William Bromfield:
" William Bromfield Grandffather to Arthur Bromfield of Chancroft in 'tha Countie of Southampton England Esq. came out of Derbyshire) a younger brother but of an ancient ffamily. He married a widow in Norfoike, daughter of the Foremans of Chyme in Surrey who was mother of the maydes to Queens Elizabeth, by whom he had a good estate and was made Lieutent of the Ordinance in the Tower and afterwards purchased the Manner of Barnes upon Tower hill, which manner was afterwards leased out for three score yeares by Wm" Bromfield, soun of the said Will" and father of the sayde Arthur Bromfield, he taking a small fine and reserving a less rent for the aforementioned terme of three score yearsthe saide manner being stated out for soe long a' terme, was afterwards sould by Wm" Bromfield eldest sonn of the last mentioned Wm" & brother unto Arthur unto one Goodman who was Tenn* for the aforementioned yeares. This Wm" Bromfield, father of the aforementioned Wm" & Arthur Bromfield, was one of the Gentlemen Pensioners to Queene Elizabeth and had besides the saide Manner of Barnes an estate of Seaven hundred pounds per annum in Norfolke & Middlesex, which .he coulde likewise in his life timehe was wounded by a Cannon Boullet at New haven ? in ffrance & in his return landed byportsmouth came to Fariham neare Portsmouth & there died. The sayd Arthur Bromfield had three sonns, Henry, Quimby* & Arthur & many daughters; his eldest Born Henry married Frances the daughter of Tho Kempe of Game in the New- Forest in the countie of Southampton Eng* by whom he had five sonns and six daughters."
Fortunately we have preserved to us the last will and testament of William Bromfield, as also that of his great-grandson Henry Bromfield, the father» of Edward, who emigrated to America. These documents are interesting relics, on account of their antiquity, as well as being the only mementoes of these worthy men. From them we make the following extracts:
Will October 24, EUr, 1582. Ex regis Curice. Prerogative Court Extract.
In the name of God, Amen, I, William Bromefeilde of Mounten Farley in the Countie of Wilshire Esquire, beinge of perfect memorie and sicke of bodie, doe make this my last will & Testam* the five and Twentie day of October in the four and twentie yeare of the raigne of our most gracious Lady Queene Elizabeth etc, in manner and forme followinge viz. First of-all, I bequeath my soule unto ye Almightie God, my Master & Redeemer and my bodie to be buried w^in the Parishe Church of Mounton Farley aforesaid. Item, I bequeath unto Katherine my welbeloved wife my Manner of Barnes without Algate in the countie of Middx w^ all manner of Rente profitts and comodities whatsoever thereto belonginge or appertayninge during her naturall life. Uppon condicion that she loth keepe herself a widow. Item, I give unto William Bromefeild, my eldest sonne my mannor of Barnes aforesaid w^ all rents and comodities thereunto belonginge after the decease of his mother and in the mene time to stand to her liberalitie. Item, I give my sonne Arthure one annuitie of six ponnde thirteene shillings' fourpence yearly duringe his life, to be paid unto him by his Brother William at Michaelmas or th' annunciacon of our Lady next after the decease of my said wife. Item, I give uuto my sonne Ambrose Bromfeild one annuities of five pounde yearly. Item, I give and bequeath unto my sonne Gar-ratt Bromefield one annuitee of Five pounde out of ye said Manner in as ample manner as I have given his Brother. And as for my Daughters legacies I desire my well beloved wife to give them a hundred pounde apeece If God send her life to provide the same. Item, I give unto William Hanford, my servant, one annuitie of Twentie shillings a yeare duringe his life out of my manner of Barnes aforesaid and that it shalbe lawfull for him to distrain uppon y* said mannor for non payment thereof.
In the name of God, Amen. I Henry Bromfield of Chancroft in the Parish of South Stoneham in the county of Southton Esq" considering the frailty of this life and how necessary it is for every Christian to be in continual readinease for death whensoever the good pleasure of God shall bee to call us out of this vale of teares, doe hereby declare and ordaine my last Will & Testament in manner and forme followinge ffirst, I recommend my soule to God the ffather who never forsaketh them that trust in him and to the mercys & meritts of Jesus Christ, the source of his love and my alone Saviour, by whom I stedfastly believe to have the pardon of my sinnes sealed unto my soule and his righteuesnesse imputed to mee. The burial of my Body I leave to the discretion of my Executor, desiring it may be interred with as little expense as may bee,. Now bee it known unto all men by these presents that by this my last will & Testament I doe hereby appoint and authorize Thomas Bromefield of New Inn of London, Gent, to bee my full & whole executor of this my last will & Testament whom I hereby impower & inable to sell and dispose of the aforesaid lands & Houses in Southampton for the discharge of my debts and raising portions for my Daughters Mary, ffrancis Lucy, Amy & Anne. What is or shall be oweing me by Bond at present or hereafter either from my sonne Henry Brom-fleld of Haywood' Gent, & what by Bond & article of agreement at his marryage hee is to pay immediately after myne & my wife's decease the money due to be paid upon the said bonds & articles to bee equally distributed among my afore mentioned ffive Daughters. And I doe further by this my last will and Testament give & dispose to my dear wife, ffrances Bromfield all my household goods within my dwelling house at Chancroft desiring that after her decease shee would leave it all entire to her & my Daughters above named. And I likewise moreover bequeath unto her my coach & coach horses, and hereby I give and bequeath my said sonne Thomas Bromfield a Bond owing me by Mr. ffrancis Kempt* of Witham long since id, and likewise the summe of twenty pounds current money of Eng-naking and appointing hereby my said sonne my sole Executor of ' last will & Testament. In witness whereof I have hereonto sett id & seale the nineteenth day of oar Lord God one thousand six I eighty & two. Henry BROMFIELD.
i From Miss E. S. Quincy's M8S.In 1847, when these MSS. were received from miss Bromfield, of England, the name resembling that of Quincy was observed, but the coincidence that there should have been an ancient relationshIP between those families seemed too singular to be credited^ and as the name was not clearly written, it was supposed to be Quimby. But in Littell'B Living Age for February, 1856, there appeared the following:
Epitaph on a monument in Tichfield church, Hampshire, England :
" The Husband speaking trewly of his wife Read his losse in her death, her praise In lift. Here Lade Quinsie Bromfleld buried lie?, With neighbours and deep weeping hartes sighes, eyes, Children eleven, tenne living me she brought More kind, trewe chaste, was none indeed, word thought House, children, state, by his was ruled bred, thrive* One of the best of maides, of women, wives Now gone to God, her heart ?sent long before In fasting, prayer faith, hope & alms, deedes, store If any fauite she loved me too much, Ah pardon that, for ther ar too fc-we such T hen reader, if thou. not hard hearted be« Praise God for her, but sigh & praie for me. Here by her dead, I dead desire to lie Till raised to life, we meet no more to die
Thus it appears that the grandmother of Edward Bromfleld, who emigrated to America in 1675, was one of the Quincy family.
In looking over Nichols's history of Leicestershire, another notice of a former relationghip between these families appeared from an inscription on a monnment at Melton, Monbray, to the Hudson family. It is there stated that the wife of Sir Henry Hudson, ob. 1690, was Margaret, daughter of Sir Edward Bromfield, ob. 1653, and that her gianddanghter, Jane Quinsie, died at Melton, Monbray, in 1721.
i " Haywood house has long been out of the Bromfield family, and at present hclongg to M". Moront a great landed proprietor in the New-Forest. The house itself is gone to decay, and is occupied or was so till lately by several families of farm laborers. It stands in Dr.". Bromfield's native parish of Boldre, & within the purlieus of the New-Forest about 11/2 or 2 miles from Lymington in Hampshire. * as far as Dr.'. Bromfield knows his (sister and himself the only surviving members of the family in England. * * D". b's father, the rev. John Arnold Bromfield, was a fellow of Keir College, Oxon, and afterwards rector of Market Werton in Suffolk. * * * Dr, B's own family is from the county of Hants.
* * * "I have heard my aunt Anne Bromfield say that she was taken to see the old mansion when she was a child, it had not been inhabited by our family since the time of onr Or. Grandfather.Her recollections were only that of a large Hall with a Gallery «at one end of it and of some rooms hung with tapestry1 saw it myself about 15 years ago, part of it had been taken down, and the remainder inhabited by the families of several laborers employed on the property of its owner. It stands amidst forest scenery very near the Church of Bolder where so many of onr family lie, and among them. our dear Father and Mother.
" The last generation has now completely passed away. My Brother & myself arc not only the last of our name, but with one exception (a childless widower much advanced in. life) we have not even the most distant Cousin on my Father's side."Extracts from letters of Dr. Bromfield & his sister to Miss Quincy, July.'1847.
* " In the chancel of Boldre church, which is situated In the Eastern Part of the New Forest, and is very ancient, is a mural monument of good sculplure to John Kcmpe,
New England Register Vol 25 Apr 1871