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The Dronsfields are an old and well-to-do family who began to build up a considerable estate in and around West Bretton. In the reign of King Edward II, Thomas Dronsfield and his son, also called Thomas, seemed to own houses and property in West Bretton. Later the name of John Dronsfield became prominent in the area.
The Bretton Estate Archive of 1370 records lands held by John Dronsfield. The Estate then included Bretton, Cumberworth, Darton, Cawthorne, Barugh, Gawber, Barnsley and Keresforth.
The son of John de Dronsfield and his wife, Joan (de Stainton), was William Dronsfield. He served Henry Bolingbroke - Earl of Derby as an Esquire during his crusades to Lithuania in 1390 and Prussia in 1392, and later served as a messenger to his Chamberlain. When Bolingbroke became King Henry IV in 1399, William was knighted at Pontefract Castle. He was made a sheriff of Yorkshire and represented the County of York in Parliament at Coventry in 1404.
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