Rev Edmund Broket of Luton and Graveley
Contents of this page:
- Time line
- Wife and children
- Brocas of Hampshire
- William, 1st son 1688-1906
- John, 4th son
- Edmund, 5th son
Edmund grew up as a third son in the comfortable surroundings of the estate of his gentleman father William of Essendon, a parish neighbouring Hatfield. He never knew his grandfather, but Edmund would have heard tales of him as Sheriff of the county and MP for Hertfordshire, and of the Wheathampstead dynasty and Brockett Hall. Sir John II was Lord there till Edmund was into his 30s and other cousins were esquires in Wheathampstead all his life.
His eldest brother followed their father into the Law, but as a younger son Edmund was destined for the Church. He matriculated at Peterhouse Cambridge 1581, gained a BA 1586 and MA by 1593—he was later styled ‘Dr’. His first living was in Luton where he was Vicar for 24 years. Although this was in Bedfordshire it was only c 12 m from Essendon. For the remaining 30 years of his career he was Rector of Graveley with Chivesfield, Hertfordshire. As he probably knew before he went there, this was a parish that had been held by his ancestors.
It was presumably his father who set Edmund up in marriage to Mary of the main line of Brocas of Beaurepaire, a fine estate c 3m N of Basingstoke. She gave Edmund a large family and lifetime connections in Hampshire, further developed by two of his sons.
He was buried 8 Jan 1652/3 in Bentworth, Hampshire, where son John had moved to be minister. A pointing finger was drawn in the Parish Register next to the entry recording Edmund’s burial, aged 88. No will of Edmund has been found—most Hampshire wills seem not to have been proved in the Bishop’s or Archdeacon’s courts at that uncertain time.
1593-1617 Vicar of Luton. The list of incumbents of Luton St Mary3 has Edmond Brockett MA appointed Vicar 22 Mar 1593 and succeeded by John Birde 2 Oct 1617. Venn and Venn said he was ordained Deacon in Lincoln 7 Oct and Priest 8 Oct 1593 and appointed to Luton 1595.4 Throughout this period Wheathampstead cousins were [absentee] Lords of East Hide—part of Luton Manor—and until 1598 of Luton Hoo Manor and other lands nearby.
1610 One of 6 signatories to a 21 year lease of an orchard in Northend that had been given to the poor of Luton in 1602.5
|‘It was at the beginning of this seventeenth century that at Luton, as in so many other parishes, the earliest permanent endowments of parochial charities were made, in the shape of almshouses and funds for doles of bread…’.6 The system of parish overseers of the poor started in Elizabeth’s reign was consolidated by the Poor Law Acts of 1597-1601.7|
1611 Publication of the landmark Authorised or King James Bible, the first to be printed in modern Roman type.
1627 Edmund requested permission from the Court of the Archdeacon of Huntingdon to move the pulpit:
|‘The minister complains that the pulpit standing on the north side, the sun was offensive to his eyes, and he desires it might be removed to the upper end of the south side of the church next the chancel.11|
1636 Edmund was assessed £1 for ship money.12
1642-51: Civil war between Puritan Parliamentarians and Royalists. The pulpit was the most effective channel for diffusing propaganda, and large numbers of established clergy—naturally predominantly Royalist—were ejected from their livings. Puritans, persecuted previously in Archbishop Laud’s time were now gaining power over the established Church.
Since the mid to late 1580s Edmund had been a close associate and advisor to his Royalist Brocas in-laws, Masters of the Royal Buckhounds. On 6 Mar 1643/4 Edmund was ejected from his living ‘as scandalous in life & unsound in doctrine’.14 He was about 79 and had been a priest for over 50 years, so it was not surprising that he did not go along with Cromwell, the Puritan leader. Son John took over as Rector of Graveley till his own resignation 4 Sep 1647.
In the mid to late 1580s Edmund was married to Mary BROCAS, 3rd daughter of Bernard Brocas of Horton, Buckingham and Beaurepaire Southampton Esq, d 1589.15 Mary died 1646—on 9 Nov ‘Mistress Brockett wife of Edm Brockett parson of Graveley [was] buried in the Chancell’ of Graveley church.16
Mary bore Edmund at least 15 children—13 are known. The couple came to Luton in 1595 with, it is said, 2 children, and then 13 were baptised there and 5 buried.17 Luton PRs date from 1602 and recorded 9 of their children’s baptisms, the first being their 5th known son. Regularly spaced pregnancies suggest that Mary could have given birth to 5 children in Luton 1595-1602.
Their first 3 surviving sons were recorded in the 1633-4 Visitation of London in a pedigree of ‘Bernard Brokett of Faringdon Without‘:18
Bernard’s arms were the cross flory differenced by a crescent, the mark of cadence of a 3rd son. From the heralds’ point of view no further children needed mention.
- William b 1588-98—probably before 1595; d 1655; Colonel.
- Edward b 1589-9. He lived to full age—a bequest of £20 in brother William’s will shows him alive 1655—but no other records have been found. He may not have married. As second son of a wealthy clergyman he couldn’t have been Edward of Ware, Smith.
- Bernard b 1595-1600 Luton; m Ciscely/Cicella/Sisilla RUSSELL; children:19
- Marie bap 29 Apr 1634 St Bride Fleet St London
- Susan bap 4 Aug 1635 St Bride Fleet St London.
The Visitation mentioned above suggests Bernard was living as a gentleman in London in 1633-4. Two years later, on 29 Nov 1636, Administration of the estate of Barnard BROCKETT of St Bri[des?], London, was given to Cecily Brockett, relative.20
- John b by 1601 Luton; d 1662; Clergyman.
- Edmund bap 22 Dec 1602 bur 23 Jul 1603. Probably Edmund and Mary’s 7th child.
- Ann bap 22 Apr 1604. Alive in 1616—Aunt Anne’s will: ‘I give vnto my Brother Edmund Brockettes eldest daughter my Goddaughter Ann Brockett Tenn Pounds’.
- Edmund bap 7 Jul 1605; d 1677; Gentleman. Cobbe also gave an Edmund bap 7 Jul 1607—perhaps in error.21
- Gifford bap 10 Aug 1606. Jefferd married Elizabeth WEEKES 6 Oct 1640 St Andrew Plymouth Devon.22 Child: Edmond, bap 21 Nov 1641 St Mary Whitechapel Stepney London;23 ?married Frances BLAKE 3 Sep 1684 St Mary, Marylebone Road, London.24 Or was this his cousin, the son of younger brother Thomas below?
- Marie bap 11 Mar 1607, bur 24 Mar 1607.
- Samuel bap 2 Apr 1609 Luton. Samuel, son of Edmond Brockett, Clerk, of Gravely, Hartf, was apprenticed to Cononiah Catlyn in London as a Haberdasher in 1633, and gained his freedom in 1640.25 “1641 August 10 Samuel Brokett & Anna Westley maryed att Graveley by license”, the wedding no doubt performed in the little church by his father—the Register entry was written by him.26 Samuel Brockett was recorded taking on Francis Jarrett, son of Francis Jarrett of Shipton, Worcestershire, Yeoman, as an apprentice for 7 years on 11 Mar 1641 [i.e 1642], but he only gained his freedom in 1672.27 On 25 January 1639  Samuell made a deposition in a dispute concerning the ownership of the light[house] and beacon in Dungeness, Kent. It began:28
“Samuell Brockett of the parish of St Sepulchre London Grocer by profession but free of the Company of
GrocersHaberdashers of London aged 29 yeares or thereaboutes sworne &c …”
Although he had the freedom of the Company of Haberdashers he was practising as a Grocer. “Most of the city companies acted more like fraternities than trade associations, so it is not unusual for members not actually to practise their apparent trade. Sometimes you will find a list of members of a livery company annotated with their actual trades.”29
As histories of the Dungeness lighthouse mention, a beacon to warn sailors was first erected in the early 1600s, but around 1635 the existing tower was pulled down and a more substantial brick built tower, 110 foot higher and known as Lamplough’s Tower, was built with a coal fire, nearer to Dungeness Point.30 The 1640 suit—in which Samuell was only one of many deponents—was brought by William Bullock Gent, whom Samuel knew and for whom he personally carried his Bill of Complaint from London to the Chancery court at Dover that was hearing the case. Samuell must have been a trusted associate or servant.
Samuell Brokett signed with an elaborate paraph, virtually identical to one on a second signature further down the page:31
Samuel was buried 13 Apr 1674 in St Sepulchre, Holborn, City of London.32 No definite further record is known of his wife Ann.
Child: “Hannah dau: of Samuell Brocket Grocer” baptised 12 Feb 1644 [i.e. 1645] in St Giles, Cripplegate, City of London.33 No definite further record of her is known.
For other contemporary Samuel Brokets see here (to follow).
- Frances bap 16 Sep 1610; m Clergyman Goddard SCOURFIELD 1635,34 perhaps a son of John Scurfield and Rector of Holwell 1636-87. The IGI recorded the marriage at Graveley 12 Mar 1634 [i.e. 1635], which was the date of the licence recorded by Phillimore between “Goddard Flowerfeild [sic] & Francisse Brokett”.35 Their daughter Jane was bequeathed £20 in uncle Rev John’s will 1662. Goddard was buried 19 Oct 1687.36
- Thomas bap 1 Mar 1611/2. Thomas Brokett was apprenticed to John Brinn 3 Jan 1630/1 of the Blacksmiths’ Company.37 Married Ann CHILD 8 Nov 1643 Graveley and Watton at Stone, c 6 m SE of Graveley.38 Child: Edmond, bap 22 Jan 1643/4 Graveley;39 ?married Frances BLAKE 3 Sep 1684 St Mary, Marylebone Road, London.40 Or was this his cousin, the son of elder brother Gifford above?
- Robert bap 29 Sep 1616; bequeathed £10 in brother John’s will 1662. Did he marry Philis and baptise a daughter Elizabeth in Walton-upon-Thames in 1639/40?
Despite this large family, no descendants from sons beyond one generation have been found, for instance among later 17th C Bedfordshire or Hertfordshire Brokets. If there were any, perhaps they went to London and emerged in records later as Craftsmen or Labourers. Rapid decline in wealth is always possible.
On the death in 1571 of Sir Richard Pexsall, his Hampshire Beaurepaire estate became subject to a series of lawsuits and settlements between his widowed second wife and the 4 daughters of his first wife and their heirs—in particular Anne’s son Pexall Brocas who was Sir Richard’s designated heir once he came of age.41 Mary—or Mercy—a daughter of Anne married the minister Edmund Brockett about a dozen years later and so began a close connection between Edmund and the affairs of the Brocas family for the rest of his life—as also of his son Edmund‘s after him.42
Edmund and Edmund were advisors and trustees of the estate during its troubles and appear as joint vendors and purchasors on deeds.43 Indeed in his capacity as surviving trustee Edmund the son was actuallly the sole owner, as shown by his will in which he resolved the long-running dispute by leaving all the estates to Thomas Brocas [b 1650].44 They were ‘best trusted friends’.
|‘The truest examples of trusty friends were those to whom one handed over control of land… Once lands had been granted in an enfeoffment to use, common law could do little to recover them for their original holder… The very livelihood of one’s dependants and successors hung on the trustworthiness of feoffees and executors. Where whole estates were at stake, loyalty was hard to ensure simply by means of a reward. The only safeguard was to choose as agents people whose friendship rested not on a cold exchange of services, but on bonds of trust and affection strong enough to outweigh cupidity and outlast death itself.’45|
William was Edmund and Mary’s eldest surviving son, probably born 1588-94. A military man, he became Colonel and Governor of Kinsale in Southern Ireland for Parliament and the Puritans during the Civil War 1642-6. Kinsale was a strategically important harbour c 10 miles W of Cork. This is an example of an eldest son of a Royalist being a Parliamentarian during the English Civil War. Details of his military career are here.
William’s younger brother Rev John had married him to Jane MORDANT 20 Mar 1634 in Hertingfordbury.46 Four months later on 14 Jul 1634 William [Brockett of London Esq] presented John as Rector of Ellisfield, Hampshire.47 William probably bought the advowson in order to provide John with a parish. It was a Puritan strategy to buy up the rights to ordain priests and install their own men.
1. In the name of God Amen I William Brockett
2. of Castle Parke in the County of Corke Colonell beinge of perfect
3. minde and memory (thankes bee given to God) doe make this my
4. last Will and Testament in manner and forme followinge …
9. … First I doe give and bequeath vnto my wife Jane Brockett all my
10. moneyes which I either have now in my possession or which are due
11. vnto mee by Obligacion from any man whosoeuer Item I doe give the table
12. of Armes which hath hanged and doeth still hange over the Livery
13. Cupboard in my Parlour in Saffron Walden to Sir Marmaduke Wivell
14. of Burton in yorkshiere vnto whom the bearinge of the said Armes doeth
15. of right and properly belonge if itt shall please him to accept of itt Item I
16. doe give unto my brother Edward Brockett the Summe of Twenty poundes
17. to bee payd by my Executor within Six Monethes after my decease Item
18. I Ingage my Said Executor to dispose of such my arreares for my Service
19. in Ireland due as may bee gott by her self or any whom shee shall appoynt
20. thereunto vnto my kinread respectively as shall seeme Sutable to her
21. Item I doe give vnto Thomazin Slate my maidservant the Summe of Fifty
22. shillings to buy her a Gowne to bee payd within three Monethes after
23. my decease Lastly I bequeath all the residue of my goods Cattells Lands
24. and houses either in England or Ireland vnbequeathed my debts and
25. Funeralls discharged vnto Jane Brockett my lovinge wife whom I
26. doe make Sole Executrix of this my last will and Testament …
27. whereof I have heerunto Subscribed my name the Twelfth day of
28. July In the yeare of our Lord One thousand Six hundred Fifty & fyve
29. William Brockett In witness of us Richard Boyle Edmond Brockett
William’s aunt Margaret had lived in Saffron Walden before him. She had married twice, both husbands styled ‘of Saffron Walden’. The second was Christopher Wyvill, eldest son of Sampson, 3rd son of Sir Marmaduke Wyvill of Little Burton, Yorkshire, MP.49 This would have been the man whose arms William mentioned in his Will that were hanging in his house in Saffron Walden. Sir Marmaduke had in fact died a century before by 1558,50 so in giving him the table of arms William probably meant his descendants. Be that as it may, that the table of arms had been hanging for some time in William’s parlour suggests he had inherited his aunt’s house in Saffron Walden.
Mrs Anne Brockett, Gent, another aunt of William’s, was buried in Saffron Walden in 1616, probably while visiting her sister Margaret.51 One of the witnesses to Anne’s Will written 5 days before she was buried and therefore probably in Saffron Walden, was H Mordaunt, perhaps a relative of William’s wife Jane Mordant.
The following decade brother John owned ‘Coppyhold lyeing in Essex in the parrish of Saffron Walden called Wills Alley & Pottles’.52 Was it formerly William’s?
John was Edmund and Mary’s 4th son, and followed his father’s profession. He was a clergyman atHertingfordbury and Graveley in Hertfordshire and at Ellisfield and Bentworth in Hampshire; for a couple of periods holding two or more benefices at once. The diary of Rev Ralph Josselin of Essex 1617-1683 vividly described a contemporary priest’s way of life.53
The Civil War 1642-6 was a turbulent time for priests and while his father was a Royalist, John had Puritan political connections. But it was a political revolution rather than a social one and did not prevent Edmund spending the end of his life with John. It was probably John who drew the pointing finger in the Bentworth Parish Register in 1652/3 next to the entry recording his father’s burial, itself possibly in John’s hand: ‘Mr. Edmund Brokett Minister of Graueley in Hartfordshire aged 88 yeares. Buryed. Jan:8’:54
6.1. Wife and children
John married Susan … 3 sons’ baptisms were noted by Urwick:55 and were still alive in 1662 when mentioned in John’s Will.
- John Brockett, bap 6 Nov 1629;56 bequeathed £20.
- Christopher Brockett, bap 20 Dec 1631; bequeathed £250.
- Edmund Brockett, bap 11 Sep 1634; bequeathed £200.
It is not known what became of any of them, although all were of marriageable age by 1662. John moved to Hampshire soon after the youngest was baptised, but none appear in Hampshire records.57
John was admitted 1617/8 to Peterhouse College, Cambridge:
|BROCKETT, JOHN. Admitted pensioner at PETERHOUSE, Mar 18, 1617-8. Migrated to Sidney Sussex College Oct. 25, 1619, age 15. Son of Edmund (1581). Born at Luton, Beds. School, Luton. B.A. 1621-2. M.A. 1625. Ordained deacon (Peterborough) Sep 25, priest Sep 26, 1625. Rector of Hertingfordbury, Herts 1629-30. Died 1630.58|
The recorded age of 15 in October 1619 was probably an underestimate. Based on the 1602 baptism of his next brother, John would probably have been born by 1601. The death date of 1630 was certainly erroneous, as shown by his Will dated 1657.
1629 Hertingfordbury: 12 Oct John was instituted following the death of the Rector John Scurfield.59 Father Edmund’s influence can be seen in the appointment:
- Hertingfordbury is only about 10 m S of Graveley, where Edmund was Rector 1613-43/4.
- Edmund probably had close connections with the previous Rector. In 1635 Edmund’s younger daughter Frances had married the clergyman Goddard Scourfield, perhaps a son of John.
John Brockett is said to have resigned from Hertingfordbury after 4 months and William Buckner was instituted as Rector 13 Feb 1629/30, but details about the incumbents and curates between 1627-47 at least are unclear.60 In 1631 John was still signing the Parish Register as curate and indeed till March—perhaps October—1634.61 Meanwhile, on 14 July 1634 John was instituted as Rector of Ellisfield, Hampshire, and John’s connection with Hertingfordbury probably terminated by the end of the year.
|During the Civil War many PRs were destroyed. The Hertingfordbury ones are lost before 1679. The Graveley-cum-Chisfield ones have very few entries 1640-48 and no signatures of Rector or Churchwardens. Bishops’ Transcripts have survived from neither parish for the period 1641-60.|
1643/4-7 Graveley-cum-Chisfield: 6 Mar 1643/4 or 1644/5 John succeeded his father as Rector here after his ejection.62 He held Graveley-cum-Chisfield for three and a half years, relinquishing the living by 4 Sep 1647.63 It is probable that John remained in Hampshire where he was an active Rector of both Ellisfield and Bentworth at the time and was only an absentee Rector of Graveley as Edmund’s heir.
|Among the 63 were the signatures of Edmund and John Brockett, one following the other. The ministers only signed their names and it was Urwick who added places for each. Erroneously, he added Graveley for Edmund and Hertingfordbury for John. By then Edmund no longer had a benefice—he had been ejected 1643/4—and it was son John in fact who was Rector of Graveley, having left Hertingfordbury a decade before.|
|Note: The Venns’ entry stated that John had been Rector of Hertingfordbury 1629-30 and [wrongly] that he died in 1630. Urwick65 was probably their source, the short Rectorship presumably leading them to assume that he died. The Venns then confused John of Peterhouse with John of Christ’s College, whom they suggested might have been Rector of Hertingfordbury 1646. This was a wrong suggestion, probably based on Urwick’s mistaken gloss to the 1646 petition. They were unaware of John’s career in Hampshire.|
John’s mother was a Brocas of Beaurepaire and John would have visited Hampshire from childhood.
John appears to have held livings in Herts for about 8 years and in Hampshire for about 28. For much of the 28 brother Edmund was nearby and his father would have been a frequent visitor.
1634: 14 Jul John was instituted as Rector of Ellisfield—c 15 m NE of Winchester and c 3 m S of Basingstoke—on the presentation of William Brockett of London Esq, presumably his brother.66 John may still have been performing baptisms at Hertingfordbury till October 1634, so during that time would have had 2 livings.
|As with Herts, Hampshire records are sparse from the Civil War period. There is a gap 1642-60 in the Bishops’ Registers, the main source for ordinations and appointments, and a gap 1642-63 in the Diocesan Visitation Books.67 The Ellisfield registers have gaps too in the 1640s.|
1641 Appointed to the Sir James Deane’s Lectureship.68
|Lectureships, the Puritan movement and the Laudian persecution:69 Read more
In the 17th C few clergy were allowed to preach, except those licensed as Divinity Lecturers by the Bishops. With the growth of the Puritan movement and its emphasis on listening to long sermons and reading theological works, private individuals endowed lectureships at parish churches to encourage preaching. Thus in his will of 1607 Sir James Deane made ‘provision for the maintenance of a good and learned preacher [in Basingstoke], who was to be a graduate in divinity of one of the two Universities of Cambridge or Oxford’.The Puritan party used such lectureships for the diffusion of their ideas, provoking opposition by the established church. William Laud had long been open in his opposition to Oxford’s dominant Puritanism and on becoming Archbishop of Canterbury in 1633 led a campaign against calvinism in England and Presbyterianism in Scotland. Among his policies was to endeavour to put down lectures such as Sir James Deane’s as a Puritan innovation. This persecution came to an end when he was impeached for treason by the Long Parliament of 1640, imprisoned in the Tower and beheaded during the Civil War in 1644.
The Vicar of Basingstoke was an anti-Puritan and prevented John from using the pulpit to lecture. But the corporation were Parliamentarians and upon a petition from the mayor obtained an order by the House of Commons 12 Mar 1641/2 that: Read more
|‘Ambrose Webb, Vicar of the parish Church of Basingstoke aforesaid, shall permit Mr. John Brockett, clerk, the free use of the pulpit in the said Church to preach on the lecture days in the said parish Church, according to the intention of the benefactors for the maintenance of that lecture, from time to time; and also to permit such succeeding lecturers as shall be hereafter to preach in the said Church’.70|
1643: Apr 4 the Ellisfield Parish Register recorded an Order agreed at a Vestry: Read more
|‘Whereas the Number of Communicants in our parish of Elsfield is of late yeares much augmented by the erecting of tenements, and Cottages, and hereby the charge for Bread and Wine at the holy Communion is allmost double to that which it hath beene in former tymes, wee the Minister, Churchwardens, Overseers and other inhabitants of this parish doe with one consent agree upon this order. That every Communicant at Easter when offerings are payde to the minister shall pay to him two pence towardes the charge of Bread and Wine to be spent then, and at all tymes of the year when the holy Sacrement of the Lords Supper shall be celebrated. and wee desire the Minister would receive the sayd Contribution and deliver it to the Churchwardens at the tyme of giving up their Rate, which isthe Munday in Easter week.’|
A year later John replaced his father Edmund upon his ejection as Rector of Graveley in Herts and held it till September 1647. During that time he had 2 livings: Ellisfield and Graveley.
1640s: G Smith71 said John bought the site of his Bentworth property in the early 1640s. Bentworth is c 4 m SE of Ellisfield. If he was still Rector of Ellisfield till 1648 and of Graveley 1644-7 did he have 3 livings in the mid 1640s?
|The property—now called Medstead Grange—was on newly enclosed common land near the SW boundary of Bentworth parish,72 c 1.5 m from the church in the centre of the parish. His heir sold it 1662-72. The core of the now-much-enlarged house is a 2-storey central back-to-back fireplace plan.73|
1646: Between 21 Jun and 13 Sep the handwriting in the Bentworth Parish Register changed. If this was when John took over, it was some years after he bought the Bentworth land, according to G Smith. The hand would compare with the 1646 extract above.
1647: He was definitely minister of Bentworth by this time, when the will of Martin Hide of Bentworth, Carpenter, was signed in John’s presence: ‘And I desire my faithful pastor Mr John Brockett and my loving brother Raynold Hide to be overseers’.74
1648: John may have resigned the Ellisfield Rectorship and perhaps the Sir James Deane’s Lectureship at the same time, but he did not die this year.75
In addition to his wife Susan—sole executrix—and their 3 sons, John made bequests in his Will to his youngest brother Robert and niece Jane Scurfield, daughter of sister Frances:
|Will of John Brokett minister of Bentworth, proved PCC 8 Apr 1662 PROB 11/307|
|1. In the name of God Amen I John Brokett
2. minister of Bentworth in the County of Southampton being in good health Read more
3. but not knoweing how nere my life approaches to the grave And desireing to
4. set my house in order before my departure hence doe this Nyneth of September
5. 1657 ordaine this my last will and testament in manner and forme following Im=
6. primis I commend my soule to my heavenly father with a full assurance through
7. the merritts of my blessed redeemer Jesus Christ That he will take away all myne ini=
8. quities and receave me graciously. My body I committ to the ground out of which
9. it was taken in sure & certaine hope that at the last day it shalbe raysed vp glorious to
10. a blessed immortallity in the Kingdome of heaven and for my worldly goods I dispose
11. them in manner following To John Brokett my eldest sonne I giue twenty pounds to
12. be paid twelue moneths after my decease if he liue soe long or leave any issue behind
13. him , To Christopher my second sonne I giue two hundred and fiftie pounds to be paid
14. to him two yeares after my decease To Edmund my youngest sonne I giue two hundred
15. pounds to be paid two yeares after my decease To my brother Robert Brocket I giue tenne
16. pounds to my Neece Jane Scurfield I giue twenty pounds , All the which legacies and
17. my debts being discharged I doe giue my house and lands lyeing [in] Bentworth, and myne
18. Coppyhold lyeing in Essex in the parrish of Saffron Walden called Wills Alley & Pottles
19. and all my goods and moveables within dores and without vnto my most loving most
20. faithfull and most dearly beloved wife Susan Brokett whome I doe make sole executrix
21. of this my last will and testament In witnes whereof I haue set my hand and Seale
22. herevnto the day and yeare aboue written John Brokett Signed and Sealed in the
23. the presence of Edmund Brokett
According to an entry in the 1672 Court Baron of the Manor of Bentworth Hall, alias Bentworth Place, the Bentworth property had been sold by his son and heir:78
|‘John Brockett of Bentworth, clerk, freehold tenant, had died. Charles Brockett was his son and heir. His Bentworth property was alienated to John Newman.’|
Susan had either died herself by then, or had passed the property on to her son. It is possible that the manorial court made a mistake with the name of the son. The courts were only held every few years and so relied on people’s memory for some events. By the time of the 1672 manor court the Brockett heir did not live locally, so someone could have misheard or misremembered. The previous recorded court was 1658 and all the happenings since the 1650s would have had to have been reported at the 1672 one. The sale could have been at any time between 1662-72 as transactions could take place out of court and be noted at the next one.
The previous decade elder brother William had owned property in Saffron Walden. 79 Had John inherited it?
Edmund was Edmund and Mary’s 5th surviving son, bap 7 Jul 1605, d 1677. His mother was a Brocas of Beaurepaire and Edmund would have visited Hampshire from childhood.
Edmund is known to have had dealings with the Brocas family from at least 1632. Bramley Church is only a mile or so from Beaurepaire, and c 7 m N of Ellisfield where elder brother John was Rector from 1634.
Only 2 other Edmunds are known from this period, both much younger contemporaries:
- 1. The Edmond who died of the plague in London in 1665 was a son of John of Caswell. He was a Merchant Tailor who completed his apprenticeship in 1653—when this Edmund was 48.
- 2. John of Ellisfield and Bentworth’s son, bap 1634.
1632: Assignment of the lease of ‘the Greene tree’, a tenement, close and parcel of land in Little Brickhill, Buckinghamshire, by William Brockett and Edmund Brockett of London, Gents, presumably on behalf of Thomas Brocas of Beaurepaire.80
1663-9: Owner and? occupier of ‘a Lodge House and garden at the end of Beaure paire Parke, [in] the manors of Beaure paire alias Barraper and Bulsdens cum Bentworth, and land in Sherbourne St John, Panber, Bramley, and Basing’.81 Wyther’s map of 1613 showed a lodge on the lane from Bramley to Sherborne at the entrance to the main drive up to the Tudor Mansion ‘Bewrepar Hovse’.82 Edmund Brokett Gent was mentioned again in a title deed relating to these premises and others in 1678.83
1654: A writ of execution Brockett v Broias (sic) probably concerned Edmund.84
1655: Witnessed brother William’s will.
1662: Witnessed brother John’s will.
In his capacity as surviving trustee of the Brocas estate, Edmund became sole owner. The residue of the estate had in fact been left to the Brocketts, on condition that they took the name of Brocas;85 which Edmund did not do. He resolved the long-running dispute by leaving all the estates to his ‘deare kinsman Thomas Brocas Esquire‘ [b 1650] whom he constituted sole Executor.86 Edmund mentioned no wife or children in his will:
|Will of Edmund Brockett of Bramley, proved PCC 8 Feb 1677/8 PROB 11/356|
|1. In the Name of God Amen I Edmund Brockett of Bramley in
2. the County of Southampton Gent‘ being somewhat weake of body … Read more
7. … Item I
8. giue and bequeath All my worldly Goods Chattells and Leases of what quality or
9. Condicion soeuer vnto my deare Kinsman Thomas Brocas of Barrover in the County
10. of Southampton Esquire And whereas I stand possessed or suppose my self to stand possessed
11. of and in certeine Lands Tenements hereditaments Leases terme of yeares yet to come and
12. vnexpired of the Mannors Lands Tenements or hereditaments which heretofore did or at
13. present doth belong to the Family of Brocas or any other within the Kingdome of
14. England whereof I stand possessed of or interessed in by vertue of any Deed or Deeds in
15. Feoffament or in Feoffaments Grant or Grants Lease or Leases trust or trusts conveyance
16. or conveyances terme of yeares yet to come or by any other wayes or meanes what-
17. soeuer whereby I stand any way interessed either in Law or Equity I giue and bequeath
18. them all and every of them and my full interest of and in them vnto my said deare
19. kinsman Thomas Brocas Esquire and to his heires foreuer together with all and
20. singular the right title power claime property and demand whatsoeuer which I
21. the said Edmund Brockett my heires executors or assignes haue may can or ought
22. to haue in and to the foresaid Mannors Lands Tenements hereditaments trusts Leases
23. terme of yeares or any other Estate within the Kingdome of England and all Deeds
24. and Evidences concerning the same And Lastly I doe nominate and appoint my said
25. deare kinsman Thomas Brocas Esquire my sole Executor of this my last Will and
26. Testament revoking all former or other Will or Wills whatsoeuer by mee made …
Edmund was buried Sherborne St John 27 Mar 167787 —the last record found of this Brockett family in Hampshire.
Page Last Updated: September 20, 2020