|Administrative / biographical background:
The document was drawn up on the day that Joan Brooke died. She was the daughter and coheir of Simon Hanham of Gloucestershire and married first Robert Cheddar of Bristol and secondly Sir Thomas Brooke (d. 1418).[Hist. of Parl. 1386-1421, ii. 377-8, 537-8.] Cheddar settled on her seventeen manors and other lands in Devon, Dorset, Somerset and Gloucestershire, and by him she was mother of four sons, Richard, Robert, William and Thomas.[Richard was born in Sept. 1379, Robert in Oct. 1380, and William in Dec. 1381: J. Collinson, History and Antiquities of the County of Somerset (Bath, 1791), iii. 576. By Brooke she was the mother of Sir Thomas (d. 1439), who married Joan, daughter and heir of Joan, granddaughter and heir of John Lord Cobham (d. 1408) by Reginald Braybrooke (d. 1405); Thomas became Lord Cobham in his wife's right: GEC iii. 346.] Richard married Elizabeth Cauntelo,[Elizabeth was the daughter and heir of Robert Cauntelo of Heddington (Wilts.) and granddaughter and heir of Maud (d. 1402), sister and heir of Nicholas Berkeley of Dursley (d. 1382): Hist. of Parl. 1386-1421, ii. 537-8.] who bore him only a daughter Jane. Richard died in 1437 (the same year as his mother), and while Elizabeth's lands passed to Jane and her husband Thomas Wyke, the Cheddar lands passed to Richard's only surviving brother Thomas, who settled them on Richard's illegitimate son John and a kinsman William Seward. Thomas Cheddar (d. 1443) had married Isabel, daughter and coheir of Robert Scobhull, and left two daughters of whom Joan, who had the bulk of his estate, married first Richard Stafford (d. by 1443, when she was 18) and secondly John Talbot, Viscount Lisle (d. 1453).[GEC viii. 57.] It is possible, then, that the document was among the charters which William Lord Berkeley recovered from Wotton after his victory at Nibley Green over Thomas Talbot, son of John and Joan Cheddar.