The Brewster family of Gloucester and Bromley



The Gloucester Family - The first John Brewster


My 10 greats grandfather, John Brewster, born about 1550, married Katherine Atkins on 19th June 1575 at Holy Trinty, Gloucester. He was a furrier and was Sheriff of the city of Gloucester in 1594 and 1598. He was an Alderman from 1606, and Mayor in 1609. He has written his will on 14th March 1605/6 and ahd died in about 1610 as his will was proved on 6th December 1610. See here for his will. Katherine wrote her will and it was proved in 1617, see here.


The second John Brewster, a Puritan supporter and Church battles against Puritanism


Their eldest son was John Brewster, born around 1570-80. He was a maltster by trade, and was Sheriff of the Ciry of Gloucester in 1612 and 1617, became and Alderman from 1630, and was mayor in 1632 (possibly also in 1648). It seems that John and the town council were staunch puritans. Certain parts of the Church of England were tending toward High Church/Catholicism and were incidentally also quite corrupt and many of the parishes in the area had no incumbents. The city had appointed a Puritan lecturer, John Workman, in 1619 to lecture at St Michael's and St Nicholas. In 1622 he was also appointed to the ministry of St Nicholas. At the time it seems that the Bishop of Gloucester was tolerant to this. However a new Bishop, Goodfrey Goodman in 1622 opposed a move for John Workman to preach at the Cathedral, aided by Dean Laud, and in 1627 the Bishop suspended Workman from St Nicholas. The council voted to grant Workman his stipend, whether he preached or not. By 1633, Dean Laud became Archbishop of Canterbury, and had Workman and the City Council arrested and tried, and a heavy fine imposed. John Workman continued to be pursued by the Church, though the council continued to support him though, until he died aged 50 and was buried in St Nicholas. (Laud himself was eventually tried).

For more information see the following: -


In his personal life, John Brewster was married to Catherine Lyttle at St Nicholas on 20th July 1601. They had six children including my ancestor John Brewster, born in about 1608. John must have died by March 1649, and additionally had clearly married a second time as a PCC administration of 1655 stated: -

The Eighteen day there issued forth letters of Admon [administration] unto John Brewster the natural & lawfull sonne of John Brewster late of the Citty of Gloucester, gent., dec[ease]d to administer the goodes, chattels & debts of the said decd left unadministered by Elizabeth Brewster the relict and Adminis-trat[or] of the goodes, chattels & debts of the sd dec[ease]d since alsoe dec[ease]d, he being first legally sworne truely to administer.

Catherine Lytle was daughter of John Lytle, whose will of 1602 is here.

 The Third John Brewster


As above, John Brewster was born about 1608. Relatively little is known about him. His son Edward's 1645 apprenticeship, only records John as of Gloucester. In 1648/9 he was made a freeman of the City.

It appears he later lived in Barton Court, Eardisland, Herfordshire, and had maybe two or three wives. The dates are somewhat contradictory and I need to review this further. I am currently transcribing his will, but it may be current online accounts of his ancestry are not entirely correct


Edward Brewster


Edward was born in around 1630 in Gloucester, and he was apprenticed in 6th September, 1645 to an apothecary in London, James Martin.  He became a citizen and apothecary himself. He married Dorothy Neesham (Newsham on the parish record of the marriage) at St Martin's, Ludgate, London on 24th May 1654. Dorothy was the daughter of the Rev Thomas Neesham, Rector of Stoke D'Abernon, Surrey, and Catalina Cole. See the Neesham Page. From his children's baptisms lived at Ludgate until 1661, and at least from 1671 lived at Bromley. He acted for the Wroth family in the purchase of Blendon Hall at Bexley.


Edward and Dorothy had 9 children in total, though at least 4 died relatively young.


Edward himself died on 1st March 1674 at Bromley and was buried there on 4th March. His will can be seen here. His grave in the Church, and covered by pews reads: -

Hic jacet Edwardus Brewsterus, pharmacpoae us Londinensis. Obijt primo Martij, Ano domini 1674.

Dorothy appears to have next married Edmund Lees, the Rector of Ibstock in Leicestershire, as per these National Archives documents: -

E 214/858, E 214/859 & E 214/860-5

See Edmund in the Priests page.

Dorothy's death has not been located


Edward and Dorothy's daughter Catalina married John Pickford of Macclesfield at Bromley, but they lived in Ibstock initially (some children baptised there) before relocating to Ashton under Lyne in Lancashire.


Descendants of John Brewster

Home Page        Return to Active research