Jack Priestley’s Family History
This site is a work-in-progress. There is a massive amount to cover. I have included both male and female lines. Keep coming back for more.
I have numbered the generations working backwards from Jack’s as (1)
RICHARD PARKER (20)
RICHARD PARKER. He was born in the latter part of the 14th century, the son of Edmund Parker.
His father was deputy park-keeper of of Radholme Laund, near Browsholme, one of the two great deer parks in the Forest of Bowland.
‘Forest’ at the time meant a hunting park, not necessarily wooded, though in fact the area around Browsholme was heavily forested at the time The concept had been introduced by William the Conqueror who brought in ‘forest law’ which meant anyone caught stealing or killing a deer, boar or any other ‘venison’ would be punished severely.
The Parker family were so named because they were hereditary keepers of the deer park.
Richard is known as Richard Parker of Browsholme, (pronounced Brusom).
Today Browsholme Hall is an Elizabethan mansion at Nether Browsholme in the wooded countryside of Bowland. It is 5 miles NW of Clitheroe and claims to be the oldest family home in the area. Nearly two centuries before that, in the late 1300s, Richard built the original hall a short distance away.
Around 1400 Richard was given the lease of the vaccary, or medieval cow farm, of Browsholme and it was there that he built this house. ‘Browse’ denotes a place where animals can safely browse for food, and ‘Holme’ means an island or refuge.
Upper boundary of Radholme Park 
Richard and his brother John followed their father by becoming deputy parkers of Radholme
Forest ‘game’ included all kinds of deer: fallow, roe and red, although the deer parks often specialised in the more attractive fallow deer (Dama dama). Wild boar and hares were also considered worthy hunting adversaries, because of their agility and cunning, and game birds were hunted using falconry, while rabbits (coneys) were often bred in artificial warrens (conneries) within or adjacent to the park. All game was the property of the monarch and was offered royal protection if it strayed or caused damage to crops. That meant that the game was not to be killed or curtailed by residents.
Although they were actively ‘managed’, the deer were not domesticated as such, in order to preserve the spirit of the hunt. The king could hunt and move from one forest to another, but he did not use or even visit them all, so the northern forests and deer parks were more often used to supply live deer as gifts to favoured individuals, or were trapped and transported alive to other royal Deer Parks in the Forest of Bowland, to maintain stocks. Venison meat was never sold, it would be gifted by the king or owner.
Over the centuries, management of the forests moved away from hunting preserves to providing the king with much needed income, from timber, quarries, letting grazing (called ‘score’ in the northern counties), and other resources and industries. The punishments for breaking forest law were severe, ranging from fines to mutilation and execution.
It is possible that the name of Richard’s wife was Foulscales, perhaps Agnes. This is based on the fact that his son Edmund inherited property in Foulscales, near Browsholme. The name had not been associated with the Parker family before this.
They had at least two sons, Edmund and Robert, born at Browsholme.
In 1413, Richard was granted an annuity by the Crown. The following year, Robert of Mitton was appointed park keeper of Radholme.
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