Gibbs Family Tree

Rev Henry Bright

Male 1562 - 1626  (63 years)


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  • Name Henry Bright 
    Title Rev 
    Born 26 Oct 1562  Brockbury, Herefordshire Find all individuals with events at this location 
    Gender Male 
    Died 4 Mar 1626 
    Person ID I5606  Gibbs Family Tree
    Last Modified 8 Aug 2019 

    Family Joan Berkeley,   b. 1582, Worcester, Worcestershire Find all individuals with events at this location,   d. 16 May 1638  (Age 56 years) 
    Children 
    +1. Robert Herbert Bright,   b. 1617, Brockbury, Herefordshire Find all individuals with events at this location,   d. 1665, Lugwardine, Herefordshire Find all individuals with events at this location  (Age 48 years)
    Last Modified 8 Aug 2019 
    Family ID F2234  Group Sheet  |  Family Chart

  • Notes 
    • Henry Bright (1562-1626) was Headmaster of the King’s School in Worcester for nearly forty years from 1589 until his death in 1626.

      He was highly regarded for his learning, his teaching skill and also for his personal piety and inspirational preaching. He held several ecclesiastical appointments whilst headmaster and in 1618 was made a Canon of Worcester Cathedral by a Royal Charter from James I. In 1622 he became Treasurer of the Cathedral. He died in 1626.

      Henry, the son of a Worcester hosier and glove-maker was probably educated at the King’s School himself. He went to Brasenose College Oxford but transferred to Balliol College to take his degree in 1584 and an MA in 1587. In 1589, Dean Willis and the Cathedral Chapter appointed the young Henry as Headmaster at the King’s School. In the same year he married Maria Tovey from Broadwas; they had one daughter, Mary, born in 1596.

      Sometime before 1606 his wife Maria died and Henry married Joan Berkeley, daughter of Rowland Berkeley. This was a significant marriage; Berkeley was a wealthy clothier and Member of Parliament. He founded the Spetchley Estate and was the patron of the parish of Tredington where Henry was appointed Rector.

      Joan and Henry had three daughters and one son (Robert) who was about ten when his father died.

      Henry was elected a Canon of Hereford Cathedral in 1607 and he purchased Brockbury Estate at Colwall in 1609. He became Rector of Upton Warren and Warndon in 1615.

      The salary of the King’s School Headmaster at this time was £15.02 shillings annually together with £3.18 shillings for “table and commons” and four yards of cloth at 5s per yard for an outer garment. This total of £20 per year was a considerable salary, which Henry Bright was able to enhance with church appointments. For the last fifteen years of his life he held two Rectorships and two Canonries in addition to his Mastership of the King’s School and additional income derived from fee paying boys at the school. His second wife was also wealthy and he was thus able to buy the estate of Brockbury in which his family established.

      In 1604, King James I granted Henry by Royal Charter the next vacant Stall in the Cathedral Chapter. In 1619 he succeeded to the Vth Stall and became a Canon of Worcester Cathedral.

      This promotion would have brought him an additional £20 per year. He was by then 56 years old, but far from being a semi-retired, inactive member of Chapter he became Treasurer of Worcester Cathedral, a post he held from 1622. He died in 1626 and Joseph Hall, who was then Dean of Worcester Cathedral, wrote his epitaph, which can be seen today in the Cathedral.

      Henry was very highly regarded during his lifetime and was still being applauded long after his death, his long tenure at the King’s School being regarded as a “Golden Age” for the School.

      Perhaps best placed to assess Henry’s qualities was Dr Joseph Hall. As Dean of Worcester Cathedral he had worked with him for ten years, and his tribute to him, inscribed on a memorial tablet, can be seen today in Worcester Cathedral.

      “Stay, stranger and read.

      Here lies Henry Bright, renowned headmaster, who, for as many as forty years, with utmost praiseworthiness had charge over the King’s School established nearby.

      Than he no other was more diligent, or more learned and skilled in teaching right successfully the Latin, Greek and Hebrew tongues.

      Witness both Universities, whom he enriched with an abundant stream of his cultured pupils; but more, by expounding theology through all these years and even longer, and by his seven years laboring as Canon of this Cathedral, he did often here and elsewhere carry out with great zeal and effect the Holy Ministry of God.

      A devout, learned, upright and temperate man, he deserved well of the Church and State.

      After labours endured unremittingly by day and night from 1562 to 1626, he passed on the 4th day of March in that year peacefully into rest with the Lord.”