Roucliffe, Brian (DNB00)

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ROUCLIFFE, Sir BRIAN (d. 1494), judge, was eldest of the four sons of Guy Roucliffe, by his wife Joan, daughter of Thomas Burgh of Kirtlington, Nottinghamshire. His grandfather was Sir Robert de Roucliffe (d. 1381), and his father was recorder of York. Brian adopted the legal profession, and probably practised in the court of exchequer, though his name does not appear in the yearbooks. On 2 Nov. 1458 he was raised to the bench as third baron of the exchequer. His judicial functions did not prevent his undertaking other legal work, and he frequently acted as counsel to Sir William Plumpton [q. v.] His appointment was confirmed on Edward IV's accession in 1461, and again on Henry's restoration in 1470. He officiated at the coronation of Richard III on 26 June 1483, and was on that occasion promoted second baron of the exchequer. His commission as second baron was renewed on 24 Sept. 1485, and on 12 Oct. following he was granted custody of the manor of ‘Forset,’ Yorkshire. He died on 24 March 1494. Through his mother he acquired the manor of Cowthorp, Yorkshire, which he made his seat. In 1458 he founded and built the parish church, where he lies buried. A curious monument, representing Roucliffe and his wife holding the model of a church between them, was extant, though much defaced, in 1840 (Archæol. Journal, i. 69). Roucliffe's will, which shows him to have been a man of wealth and intelligence, as well as piety, is printed in ‘Testamenta Eboracensia,’ iv. 102–7. Several of his letters are printed in the ‘Plumpton Correspondence.’ He married Jane, daughter of Sir Richard Hamerton, and his son, Sir John Roucliffe (d. 1531), married Margaret, granddaughter and heir of Sir William Plumpton, and was thereby involved in the protracted litigation over the Plumpton estates [see Plumpton, Sir William].

[Plumpton Corr. (Camden Soc.) passim; Testamenta Eboracensia (Surtees Soc.), vols. i. ii. iv. and v. passim; Materials for Hist. of Henry VII (Rolls Ser.), i. 47, 84, 239, 569; Foster's Yorkshire Pedigrees; Antiquarian Repository, i. 52; Cal. Rot. Pat.; Rymer's Fœdera, orig. ed. xi. 663, 843; Dugdale's Chronica Series; Foss's Lives of the Judges.]

A. F. P.