Brothwood of Henlow - The Broket Archive

BROTHWOOD of Henlow and nearby parishes

The River Hiz at Henlow Bridge Lakes

The River Hiz at Henlow Bridge Lakes

Between 1588-1606 a family surnamed BROTHWOOD was recorded living and working in Henlow, Bedfordshire.1 Gradually over the next 120 years or so descendants all changed over to the BROCKETT name, and the last record of them so far found as Brothwood in the area is from 1736. By at least 1612 the surviving children of the Henlow family had moved to Tempsford when they were first recorded using the alias surname Brockett. The head of the clan, John who had died in 1605, was a Miller, and his grandson, Andrew BROTHWOOD, was the occupant of some river islets, attached to 3 water mills in Blunham before 24 Nov 1662.2 But Andrew was recorded more often as a Brockett.

Contents of this page:

  1. John Brothwood’s Will 1605/6
  2. Henlow and nearby Parish Registers 1588-1682
  3. John Brothwood’s family
  4. The Goodalles of Shillington
  5. The adoption of the Brockett alias
  6. Richard 1600-66 and Andrew c 1630-80
  7. Eve/Effa of Turvey 1671-82
  8. Overview of the surname changes

Will of John Brothwood of Henlow, Miller, 1605/6

Dated 1 Dec 1605; proved Archdeacon Bedfordshire 20 Feb 1605/6; to Executrix named in Will.3+Read more

Notes on the Will:

1. John was a Miller of the parish of Henlow. The baptism in Henlow of his son Richard in 1600 refers to Richard as “of Lynford Mill”. It isn’t known which mill this was, possibly Langford Mill—a former corn mill—although Langford is a separate parish a couple of miles north of Henlow.  A branch of the river Ivel passes through both.4


Looking down the River Ivel towards Langford Mill.

Looking down the River Ivel towards Langford Mill.


The mention of John’s grandson Andrew Brothwood as former occupant of some holms, or islets, associated with 3 water mills in Blunham in a lease of 1662, suggests that working on the river ran in the family.5 However the 3 mills couldn’t have been the same as Lynford mill: Blunham is c 7 and 8 m N of Langford and Henlow and 50 or more years had intervened. The earlier leases and bond relating to the same Blunham mills in 1604 and 1609 mentioned no Brothwoods or the like.6 Perhaps John Brothwood’s mill was a windmill?
2. John made bequests of £125 to his children, and a further £3 to his overseers of his Will. The residuue of all his goods he left to his wife Margaret, sole executrix.
3. The Will was written in the awareness that he didn’t have long to live; he asked his wife to hand the children’s bequests over to the Overseers before 29 September next (feast of St Michael the Archangel).
4. John called all his children ‘Brothwood’, as they had been called at baptism. Alice, Jane, Richard and Lettys adopted the alias Brockett later.
5. Who were Richard Emery, William Cowper and Richard Baldocke of Arlesey? Arlesey is c 1 m SE of Henlow.
6. John made a sign on the Will rather than a signature.

Where John came from and who his parents were are still a mystery. The Henlow Parish Register dates from 1558, which was probably before he was born, but in those earliest decades of parish register keeping he may well have gone unrecorded. No relevant record from Henlow or elsewhere has so far been found. But being a craftsman such as a Miller, rather than an ordinary Labourer, suggests that his family had some means, sufficient to apprentice him perhaps. But since the Henlow registers recorded no other Brothwoods it is likely that he came from elsewhere. Perhaps he took on the trade through his marriage to Margaret GOODALLE—there are records of a Goodalle Miller in Shillington in 1664 and of them owning property with windmills on them. But, as with John, it isn’t yet known who Margaret’s parents were. She probably came from Shillington 4 m SW of Henlow, which was home to a Goodalle clan, and is where she married John in 1588 and had their first child, Thomas. But after 1593 all their known children were baptised in Henlow.

Henlow and nearby Parish Registers 1588-1682

The Henlow Parish Register dates from 1558 and from 1593 began recording a single BROTHWOOD family living in the parish. They were recorded in nearby parishes a generation before and after, until they either died out or changed name to Brockett. Over the 94 years 1588-1682, 4 BROTHWOOD marriages and 8 baptisms are recorded in the Parish Register and 2 burials in the National Burial Index, all between the 18 years 1588-1606:

1588: 6 Oct. John BROTHWOOD married Margaret GOODALLE in Shillington.
1588/9: 26 Jan. Thomas bap Shillington son of John BROTHWOOD.
1588/9: 1 Feb. Thomas bur Shillington son of John BROTHWOOD.
1593: 17 May. Alice bap Henlow daughter of John BROTHWOOD, Miller.
1595: 25 May. Jane bap Henlow daughter of John BROTHWOOD.
1597/8: 29 Jan. Joan bap Henlow daughter of John BROTHWOOD.
1600: 29 Mar. Richard BROTHWOOD bap Henlow of Lynford Mill.7
1604: 25 Mar. Lettice bap Henlow daughter of John BROTHWOOD, Miller.
1605: 10 Jan. William BROTHWOOD bur Henlow [No father mentioned. Son of John?].
1605: 13 Jan. Joan BROTHWOOD bur Henlow [No father mentioned. Probably bap 1598].
1605: 5 Dec. John BROATHWOOD, bur Henlow.
1606: 12 May. Margaret BROTHWOOD, Widow of Henlow, married Thomas MIDLETON of Tempsford in Henlow.
1634: 29 Nov. Ann bap Blunham daughter of Richard BROTHWOOD.
1650: 24 Jun. Andrew BROTHWOOD married Elizabeth WIGMORE in Sandy.
1651/2: 4 Mar. Elizabeth bap Sandy daughter of Andrew BROTHWOOD [alias Brocket].
1651/2: 4 Mar. Elizabeth BROCKET bur Sandy.8
1682: 27 Jul. Effa BROTHWOOD married John JENKIN in Turvey.

John Brothwood’s family

BROTHWOOD of Bedfordshire 16-17th C

Click here for Richard and Andrew’s other children and descendants.

At the time John wrote his last Will on 1 Dec 1605 the eldest son was also a John, but no record of his baptism has been found. Since Thomas had been baptised 11 weeks after John and Margaret’s marriage, son John was presumably born later. After the baptism of daughter Alice on 17 May 1593 there were roughly two years between each of the known baptisms of their children up to Richard in 1600, who was younger than John. John may well therefore have been born in the 4 year gap between the baptisms of Thomas and Alice, i.e. c 1591, making him about 15 at his father’s death. During these 4 years the couple moved to Henlow. No further records of a John Brothwood have been found in Bedfordshire between 1600-1700, apart from those of his father;9 nor of a relevant John Brockett. Of other variant surnames, a John Brathet was married in 1609 in Ely, Cambridgeshire;10 and a John Brathett was buried there in 1629;11 a John Braithwait was married in 1612 in Huntingdonshire / Hertfordshire;12 and a John Brathwett was buried in 1626 in St Ives, Huntingdonshire.13 Otherwise no relevant records of a John with variants of the surname have been found in the counties surrounding Bedfordshire. Did he adopt the name Midleton? There are a number of records of John Midletons within a 20 mile radius of Henlow between 1605-85, but it wasn’t an uncommon name and there were other Midleton families in Tempsford and Blunham and Lidlington at this period. It looks as though John the son died soon after his father, or otherwise disappeared from the rest of the family. Over 20% of burials went unrecorded in Bedfordshire parish registers between 1538-1851.14

There was a burial of a William Brothwood recorded in Henlow 10 Jan 1605/6, and of a Joan three days later on 13 Jan. No father was mentioned for either. Joan’s baptism had been recorded in Henlow 1598 as daughter of John Brothwood. Was William another son of John and Margaret whose baptism was unrecorded, or was he an older relative?

See below for son Richard.

In his Will dated 1 Dec 1605 John had called all his children ‘Brothwood’, but Alice, Jane, Richard and Lettys all adopted the alias Brockett in Tempsford later: the daughters by the time they each married (1612, 1615 and 1623 respectively), and Richard by 1617.

Margaret married again within 3 months of John’s death—she had 4 children under 12 to look after. Margaret and Thomas MIDLETON had a son Thomas baptised Henlow 1 Feb 1607 and buried Henlow 9 Feb 1607.15 No other relevant baptisms for them have been found in Henlow, Blunham or Tempsford records. Margaret was probably buried in Blunham 1 Oct 1630, and Thomas in Tempsford 28 Sep 1632.16 The burials in 1663 in Sandy of Thomas and Margaret MIDLETON–on 26 Feb and 4 Dec respectively—were clearly not of the same couple. It would make her 95 at death, if she was 20 at first marriage. There were several Midleton families in these parts of Bedfordshire at this period.

The Goodalles of Shillington

To follow.

The adoption of the Brockett alias

The many alternations and correlations between the surnames BROTHWOOD and BROCKETT in the area at the time are much too much of a coincidence, for example:

1. The disappearance and re-emergence of the uncommon name Lettice:

A Lettice BROTHWOOD baptised in Henlow 1604 not recorded again
and a Lettice BROCKYTT marrying 1623 only 9 m N in Tempsford not recorded before

is striking, but when the equivalent is also seen to have occurred with her 2 sisters Alice and Jane and brother Richard it cannot be coincidental:

Alice BROTHWOOD baptised in Henlow 1593 not recorded again
and Alice BROCKETT marrying 1612 in Tempsford not recorded before;
Jane BROTHWOOD baptised in Henlow 1595 not recorded again
and Jane BROCKETT marrying 1615 in Tempsford not recorded before;
Richard BROTHWOOD baptised in Henlow 1600
and Richard BROCKETT witnesssing 1617 in Tempsford not recorded before.

2. Richard witnessed a deed in 1617 as BROCKETT, married Ann STEVENS in 1630 as BRATHWOOD, baptised their first 3 or 4 children 1631-4 as BROOKWOOD or BROTHWOOD, and the last 2 as BROCKETT in 1636 and 39. Richard was buried as BROCKETT in 1666 and his wife Ann probably as ‘Widow BROTHWOOD’ in 1674.

3. The first name Richard was unusual among Brokets at that time, as were Andrew and Eve, both of which were also recorded with the two surnames: Andrew Brothwood/Brockett, Effa/Effe/Eve Brothwood/Brockett.

4. For many further alternations and correlations between the surnames, see below.

Somewhat similarly to the Brocks/Brockets of Lanchester and Durham, the alias wasn’t adopted as a single event or by just one generation, but coexisted with the original surname for several generations. Richard’s son Andrew, for instance, used both names throughout his life as evidenced by:

1. The 1930s transcription of the Sandy Parish Register recording of both names: Elizabeth daughter of Andrew Brocket [BROTHWOOD] bap 4 Mar 1651/2. The square brackets indicated that the name BROCKET was in the Parish Register and BROTHWOOD in the Bishop’s Transcripts. 8¼ months earlier—on 24 Jun 1650—Andrew BROTHWOOD had married Elizabeth WIGMORE there.17
2. Baptisms of his and his later wife Effe’s children in Turvey 1672 and 78 as Brockett.
3. A reference to him as Andrew Brothwood in a lease dated 24 Nov 1662 as the former occupant of some holms—river islets—attached to 3 water mills in Blunham.18
4. Andrew being buried as BROTHWOOD in 1679.
5. Andrew’s widow Effa marrying again as BROTHWOOD in 1682 when he had married her in 1670 as Brockett.

Indeed Andrew’s great-grandson William, referred to as William BROCKET after 1737, had been baptised as BRAITHWAIT in 1715 and married 1st as BROTHWOOD in 1736. All his 10 children were baptised as BROCKET/T 1737-60. So the names BROTHWOOD and BROCKETT alternated for 120 years among 5 generations.

Why adopt the alias Brockett? That 3 BROTHWOOD sisters and their brother Richard all used the surname BROCKETT between the ages of 17 and 20 might suggest that their parents had also used it as an alias, but their father John referred to them all in his Will of 1605 as Brothwoods, and the record of his burial was as BROATHWOOD. Their mother also remarried in 1606 as BROTHWOOD 2 years after the baptism of their last child—also as BROTHWOOD, when eldest daughter Alice was 11 (baptised 1593). Perhaps the loss of their mother’s BROTHWOOD name on her remarriage when she and the household took on the surname MIDLETON, enabled or encouraged the children to adopt another surname. They would have abruptly changed to living in a ‘Middleton’ rather than a ‘Brothwood’ house, so adopting an alternative surname like ‘Brockett’ may not have been so strange. Eldest son John may have been about 16 and working by 1606, and no record of him with the Broket alias has been found. But in 1612—within 6 years of her mother’s remarriage—Alice was recorded at her marriage as a Brockett; the second similarly by 1615; Richard was recorded as a Brockett in 1617; and by 1623 his youngest sister too.


1. That Edward Broket of Hitchin, Campton and Dunton had previously leased land in Tempsford in 1591 didn’t of course indicate blood relationship to the Brothwoods, but was possibly part of their reason for changing their name to his.
2. A further possible connection was that that Edward Broket’s widow married William Rush, who owned land in Henlow and had a brother there who did too. Perhaps Margaret and/or her children and/or Thomas knew, or knew of, the Rushes of Henlow and Brokets of Tempsford/Dunton, and that encouraged them to adopt their name.
3. Lettice remarried in 1650 in Dunton.

Another possible additional motive was that the contemporary wider kudos of the Broket name may have enhanced prospects of finding a husband:+Read more

Richard 1600-66 and Andrew 1631-79

Richard BROTHWOOD was baptised 29 Mar 1600 in Henlow, and although the entry doesn’t give his father’s name and just says ‘of Lynford Mill’ he must have been a child of the Miller John and wife Margaret, the only BROTHWOOD family in the parish. As happened with aliases, Richard sometimes used it and sometimes didn’t. He witnessed a deed in Tempsford in 1617 as BROCKETT, married Ann/Agnes STEVENS in 1630 in Gamlingay, Cambridgeshire, as BRATHWOOD, baptised their first 3 or 4 children in the neighbouring parish of Blunham as BROOKWOOD or BROTHWOOD, and their last two daughters Winifred and Martha as BROCKETTs in Sandy in 1636 and 1639. The final record found is his burial in Blunham as Richard BROCKETT on 24 Dec 1666, “an old man”.

Richard was with little doubt the father of Andrew who had a young family in Blunham at that time, including a son Richard—an unusual name among Brokets. The Blunham Parish Register—which began 1571—recorded the family there mid 17th C, all recorded as Brockett. Andrew was baptised as BROOKWOOD 30 Jan 1630/31 in Blunham. His first marriage record—as Andrew BROTHWOOD—was to Elizabeth WIGMORE in Sandy on 24 Jun 1650, so he would have only been about 19. He appears to have married 3 times and was buried in Turvey in 1679, aged about 48.

Eve/Effa of Turvey 1671-82

Andrew’s first wife had died in Bromham in 1663, his second in neighbouring Kempston in 1670, and then he married Eve BUTTON in Turvey, 5-6 m W of Kempston. There were 4 Broket entries in Turvey All Saints Parish Register 1602-1812 and 2 Brothwoods:19

1671 Andrew Brockett married Eve BUTTON 5 Nov
1671/2 Elizabeth daughter of Andrew Brockett buried 15 Feb
1672 Andrew son of Andrew and Effe Brocket baptised 7 Jul
1678 Mary daughter of Andrew Brockett baptised 8 Sep
1679 Andrew BROTHWOOD buried 28 Aug20
1682 Effa BROTHWOOD married John JENKINS 27 Jul

As though it was considered their true name, Effa reverted to the BROTHWOOD surname after Andrew’s death, whose surname then had also been recorded as BROTHWOOD.

Overview of the surname changes

For fuller details and supporting evidence for these summarised vital events see how the search unfolded.21

John BROTHWOOD married Margaret GOODALLE 6 Oct 1588 in Shillington. John was recorded with that surname as a Miller in 1593 and 1604, and as of Lynford Mill in 1600. John was buried as BROATHWOOD 5 Dec 1605 in Henlow. One, perhaps two of their children were buried that year as BROTHWOOD. Margaret remarried as BROTHWOOD, Widow of Henlow, in Henlow 1606 to Thomas MIDLETON of Tempsford. Margaret MIDDLETON was buried 1 Oct 1630 in Blunham, near Sandy where her son Richard and his children were living. Children:22

  1. Thomas BROTHWOOD, baptised 25 Jul 1588/9 Shillington, buried 1 Feb 1589 Shillington.
  2. ? Elizabeth, a possible unrecorded baptism. Married as BROCKETT 2 Jul 1610 Shillington James KEYNE.
  3. Alice BROTHWOOD, baptised 17 May 1593 Henlow; married as BROCKETT 29 Oct 1612 Tempsford Richard PARKIN. Alice was buried as PARKIN Tempsford 15 Mar 1641.23
  4. Jane BROTHWOOD, baptised 25 May 1595 Henlow; married as BROCKETT 9 Oct 1615 Tempsford Henry EDWARDES. Jane was buried as EDWARDS in Tempsford 22 Dec 1630.24 Henry was buried there 16 Mar 1657.25
  5. Joan BROTHWOOD, baptised 29 Jan 1597/8 Henlow; buried as BROTHWOOD Henlow 13 Jan 1605.
  6. Richard I BROTHWOOD, baptised 1600 Henlow; recorded as BROCKETT 29 Oct 1612 in Tempsford; married as BRATHWOOD Ann/Agnes STEVENS 1630 Gamlingay, Cambridge, on the border of Bedfordshire, 11 miles from Henlow.26 Richard was buried as BROCKETT 1666 Blunham. Ann may have been buried as ‘Widow BROTHWOOD’ 6 Apr 1674 in Blunham.27 Children:
    1. Andrew I BROOKWOOD,28 baptised 30 Jan 1630/31 Blunham; buried as BROTHWOOD in Turvey 28 Aug 1679. Married 1st as BROTHWOOD Elizabeth WIGMORE 24 Jun 1650 Sandy. Elizabeth was probably baptised in Sandy 4 Nov 1632 d/o Thomas and Susan WIGMORE. She was probably buried in Bromham 2 Mar 1663 as ‘wife of Andrew BROCKETT’. Children:
      1. Elizabeth, baptised 4 Mar 1651/2 Sandy, father’s name BROCKET or BROTHWOOD; buried as BROCKET 4 Mar 1651/2 Sandy.
      2. Elizabeth BROCKETT, baptised 7 Jan 1655 Blunham; buried as BROCKETT 9 Apr 1662.
      3. Richard II BROCKETT, baptised 27 Nov 1659 Blunham; married as BRAITHWOOD 26 Sep 1686 Wootton Susan STATTON/STRATTON. First child baptised as BRATHWOOD in 1687 in Cardington—Susan’s parish? They moved around, presumably for work. Richard BROCKWOOD was recorded in Kempston between 1688-1705, specifically as a Miller in 1700 and 1705. Also recorded as BRAITHWAIT in Kempston in 1692. Richard was probably buried as BROCKETT 25 Dec 1713 in Pavenham (c 6 m NW of Kempston).29 Children:
        1. Elizabeth, baptised as BRATHWOOD 17 Jul 1687 Cardington. Most probably married as BROCKET 13 Mar 1738/9 Kempston to John / Joseph SOSEBERRY, and died there 21 Jul 1750.
        2. William, baptised as BROCKWOOD 23 Dec 1688 Kempston; married in Kempston 27 Oct 1712 as BRAITHWOOD, Servant, to Elizabeth EYRES, widow. William was recorded as BRAITHWAIT as a Dairyman in 1716, but otherwise as a Labourer. In 1734 as William BROCKETT he held a freehold property in Wootton, and in 1735 “William BRATHWOOD senior and wife Elizabeth” were party to a sale of property there. On 23 Dec 1740 he was buried as BROCKET in Kempston. To distinguish him from his son William—who was recorded as ‘junior’ three times—we often refer to him as William I senior or snr. Children:
          1. Elizabeth, baptised as BRAITHWOOD 21 Jun 1713 Kempston; buried as BRAITHWAIT 19 May 1716 Kempston.
          2. William, baptised as BRAITHWAIT 27 Feb 1714/15 Kempston; buried 3 Dec 1775 in Kempston, ‘aged 72’.30 Referred to as William BROCKET ‘jnr’ 1737-39. Married 3 times to three Sarahs: 1st as BROTHWOOD 11 Nov 1736 Stagsden to Sarah STIMSON (buried as “wife of William BROCKET junior” 22 Dec 1737 Kempston), 2nd as BROCKET to Sarah WHITE 20 Feb 1737/8 in Biddenham, ‘both of Kempston’ (buried as BROCKET 5 Oct 1741 Kempston) and 3rd as BROCKET, Widower, to Sarah THOMPSON, Spinster, 12 Sep 1743 Kempston, both of the parish (buried as BROCKET, Pauper, 7 Feb 1784 Kempston). 10 children all baptised as BROCKET/T 1737-60 in Kempston. We often refer to this William as William II junior or jnr.
          3. Elizabeth, baptised as BRAITHWAITH 14 Sep 1718 Kempston. Most probably married as BROCKETT of Kempston to George GRIFFIN of Wootton 5 May 1748 in Kempston.
          4. Samuel, baptised as BRAITHWAIT 27 Mar 1722 Kempston. As BROCETT, Shoemaker of Wootton, married Sarah BASS 22 Sep1746 Cranfield. Samuel was buried Cranfield as BROCKET 26 Apr 1770, Sarah 8 Aug 1802. Five children.
          5. Mary, baptised as BROTHWOOD 6 Dec 1724 Kempston. With little doubt it was she who was buried as BROCKET by mother, widow Elizabeth, in Kempston 13 Sep 1741.
        3. Andrew III, baptised as BRAITHWAIT 31 Jan 1691/2 Kempston; married as BRATHWITE Bedford St Paul 18 May 1719 Sarah LUDBROOK and had a family in Bletsoe, where they were both buried as BROCKET: Andrew on 9 Apr 1747, and Sarah on 27 Jan 1753. Their children and many descendants all had the surname Brocket/t. Children:
          1. Sarah, baptised as BRACKWWOD 14 May 1721 Bletsoe.
          2. Andrew IV, baptised as BROCKETT 3 Mar 1723/4 Bletsoe; buried as BROCKET 19 Mar 1774 Odell; married as BROCKET 9 Nov 1756 Odell Ann INGRAM, both of the parish. 5 children, the only one with known descendants is Andrew, baptised 1764, married 3 times.
          3. Mary, baptised as BROCKETT 4 Apr 1725 Bletsoe.
          4. Daniel, baptised as BROCKETT 30 Jul 1727 Bletsoe. Probable ancestor of the Brocketts of Lincolnshire and Bethnal Green, London.
          5. William, baptised as BROCKETT 8 Apr 1733 Bletsoe; buried as BROCKET 18 Aug 1734 Bletsoe.
          6. Willam, baptised as BROCKETT 4 Jan 1736 Bletsoe.
        4. Samuel, baptised as BROCKWOOD 20 Nov 1698 Kempston; buried as BROCKWOOD 7 Jan 1700 Kempston.
        5. Sarah, baptised as BROCKWOOD 13 May 1705 Kempston.
      4. Katherine buried as BROCKETT 5 May 1662 Blunham.

      Andrew I married 2nd Elizabeth … who was probably buried in Kempston 1670 as “wife of Andrew Brockett”. Children:

      1. Elizabeth buried as BROCKETT 15 Feb 1671/2 Turvey.

      Andrew I married 3rd as BROCKETT 5 Nov 1671 Eve BUTTON in Turvey. Eve/Effa married 2nd as BROTHWOOD 27 Jul 1682 John JENKIN in Turvey. Children of Andrew and Eve:

      1. Andrew II, baptised as BROCKET 7 Jul 1672 Turvey. No further record has been found of Andrew II or his sister Mary as Brokets or Brothwoods. Perhaps they later took or were given the surname JENKIN after their mother Eve/Effa married John JENKIN in Turvey 1682, but no record of them as such has been found either.
      2. Mary, baptised as BROCKETT 8 Sep 1678 Turvey.
    2. Robert, baptised as BROOKWOOD 10 Mar 1631/32 Blunham.31 Possibly buried as BROCKET 31 Jan 1697 in Potton.32
    3. Ann, baptised as BROTHWOOD 29 Nov 1634 Blunham.
    4. ? Anthony BROCKWOOD, b c 1640? known only from the baptism of his supposed—illegitimate?—daughter Elizabeth 2 Jan 1668 Kempston. Richard and Susan tended to give their children less common names for the times, e.g. Andrew, Winifred and Martha, and perhaps Anthony.
    5. Winifred, baptised as BROCKETT 16 Mar 1635/6 Sandy.
    6. Martha, baptised as BROCKETT 30 Oct 1639 Sandy; married as BROCKETT 14 Sep 1659 Edward CRANFEILD in Old Warden—they had a son called Richard.
  7. William buried as BROTHWOOD 10 Jan 1605 Henlow. Presumed s/o John and Margaret.
  8. Lettice, baptised as BROTHWOOD 25 Mar 1604 Henlow; married as BROCKYTT 4 Jan 1623/4 Tempsford William BASS.

The names BROTHWOOD, BRAITHWOOD, BRATHWOOD, BRATHWITE, BRAITHWAIT, BRAITHWAITH, are probably clerks’ spellings rather than conscious aliases, as with the children of William 1688-1740 and Elizabeth EYRES.

Richard 1600-66 and his son Andrew 1632-79, however, each were recorded with variants of BROTHWOOD, BROCKWOOD and BROCKET, and these seem to have been conscious aliases rather than clerks’ spellings. It’s possible to see a progression—not so much in time as in sound. Richard was maybe the initiator and Andrew followed suit. Richard and Ann had 3 successive children baptised with 3 surnames: Andrew BROOKWOOD 1632, Ann BROTHWOOD 1634 and Winifred BROCKET 1635.

Otherwise the aliases were never usually more than 2: either variants of BROCKWOOD and BRAITHWAIT (e.g. William BROCKWOOD 1688, Andrew BRAITHWAIT 1691, sons of Richard and Susan STRATTON), or variants of BROTHWOOD and BROCKET (e.g. children of Andrew and Elizabeth WIGMORE). A exception was William I ‘snr’ 1712-40 who was recorded as BROCKWOOD, BRAITHWOOD, BRAITHWAIT and BROCKET/T.

After about 1736 the BROTHWOOD name and its variations disappeared from these records and the clan appears to have permanently adopted the surname BROCKET/T.

Page Last Updated: April 5, 2020


For full bibliographical details please see the sections Publications or Glossary.


[1] Image of the River Hiz at Henlow Bridge Lakes above courtesy of Forester2009 CC BY-SA 3.0 ( accessed 9 Feb 2018) via Wikimedia Commons.

[2] BARS L1/88

[3] BARS ABP-W1605-1606-82

[4] Image below Looking down the River Ivel towards Langford Mill courtesy of Nigel Cox CC BY-SA 2.0 ( accessed 9 Feb 2018) via Wikimedia Commons.

[5] BARS L1/88

[6] BARS L1/84, 86 and 87

[7] Possibly Langford Mill.

[8] Bedfordshire Family History Society.

[9] FMP search 8 Feb 2018.

[10] FMP: England Marriages 1538-1973

[11] FMP: Cambridgeshire Burials

[12] FMP: Boyd's Marriage Indexes, 1538-1850

[13] FMP: National Burial Index For England & Wales

[14] Razzell, Spence and Woollard 2010.

[15] FMP: England Births & Baptisms 1538-1975 and National Burial Index

[16] FMP: National Burial Index

[17] Parish Register

[18] BARS L1/88

[19] Not in the IGI

[20] BFHS

[21] Many thanks to Janet Rogers of Australia for sharing her research and observations on these name changes.

[22] All events from Parish Registers, unless otherwise notes.

[23] National Burial Index

[24] National Burial Index

[25] National Burial Index

[26] Boyd's 1st Misc Series 1538-1775

[27] National Burial Index

[28] Probably a transcription variant or error for BROCKWOOD rather than an alias

[29] FMP: National Burial Index

[30] error for 62 or 61

[31] Probably a transciption error rather than an alias

[32] National Burial Index

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