Dictionary of National Biography, 1885-1900/Brook, David
BROOK, DAVID (d. 1558), judge, was of a west-country family living at Glastonbury, Somersetshire. His father, John Brook, was also a lawyer and of the degree of serjeant-at-law; he died on Christmas day 1525, and was buried in the church of St. Mary Redcliffe, Bristol, having been principal seneschal of the neighbouring monastery. David was appointed reader at the Inner Temple in the autumn of 1534, and again in Lent term 1540, when he was also treasurer, and in 1541 he became governor. He was recorder of Bristol (1541–9) and M.P. for the city (1542–4). On 3 Feb. 1547, the first week of Edward VI's reign, he received the coif, the degree of serjeant-at-law having been bestowed on him as one of the last acts of Henry VIII. On 25 Nov. 1551 he was appointed king's serjeant, and when, two years later (1 Sept. 1553), Sir Henry Bradshaw was removed, he succeeded him as lord chief baron of the exchequer. On 2 Oct., the day after Queen Mary's coronation, Brook and others, according to Machyn, ‘were dobyd knightes of the carpet.’
Notices of his judgments continue to occur in Dyer's reports until Hilary term 1557–8, and he died apparently in the course of that term. In March he was succeeded by Sir Clement Heigham. His character is highly praised by Lloyd. He seems to have been a man of strong common sense, and is said to have been especially fond of the maxim, ‘Never do anything by another that you can do by yourself.’ He was twice married: first to Katherine, daughter of John, lord Chandos; secondly, to Margaret, daughter of Mr. Richard Butler of London, who had already survived two husbands, Mr. Andrew Fraunces and Alderman Robert Chertsey, and, surviving Brook, married Sir Edward North, first baron Guilford, and was buried in the chancel of the church of St. Lawrence Jewry, London. By neither wife had he any issue.
[Foss's Lives of the Judges; Fuller's Worthies, ii. 283; Collins's Historic Peerage, iv. 458; Machyn's Diary, 335 n.]