William Brockett of Hitchin III Yeoman
b 1560 or 61, d 1623
William of Essendon Gent, b 1521-6, d 1611. Clerk of the Peace for Hertfordshire 1570-1603.
William, eldest son of William of Essendon Gent. ‘Gent aged 46 or more’ in 1610 in his father’s IPM, thus b c 1564. Died 1626.
William, b aft 1556; Citizen of London, d intestate 1607. He may have been the William Brockett was recorded carrying letters from the Privy Council to Sussex in 1601 to muster horsemen to fight the Spanish army which had landed in the South of Ireland.2 It seems unlikely that this William working in Westminster was William III of Hitchin.
William Brockett. Admitted Gray’s Inn 1612, “son and heir of John Brockett of Kimpton, Herts, Gent. What became of this William?
William, Governor of Kinsale 1642-5, d 1655.
William, Servant to the Earl of Sussex, imprisoned in London 1628 aged 25-7, therefore b c 1601.
Although in 1538 each parish in England and Wales was ordered to keep a register of baptisms, marriages and burials, many didn’t start doing so till Elizabeth came to the throne in 1558.3 Hitchin registers began to be kept in 1562, and while his younger brother’s baptism was recorded on 28 Nov that year, William III’s baptism had been earlier so wasn’t recorded. In his Will written 4 Sept 1563 their father William II enjoined his wife “to set and keep my two sons at school”, so in late 1563 neither son was yet at school. And we know that William II married Alice Papworth between 12 Feb 1560 and mid 1561, see the separate page. So allowing for at least a year between the two boys, William III would have been born in 1560 or 61. When he married on 6 Feb 1593, he was therefore aged 32-33. And when his last child was baptised 17 years later on 13 Jan 1610, he would have been 49-50.
On William II’s death in Sep 1563, his widow Alice was left with two infant sons and as was often the custom she soon remarried, and went on to have a second family of 10 children with George Underwood, a prosperous Yeoman from nearby Weston. Presumably the two Broket boys grew up with their mother Alice in the Underwood household, and the two houses in Hitchin which their father had bequeathed to them when they reached 20 may well have been rented out in the meantime. William III would have reached 20 by 1580-81, which was the year the next record has been found of him, see below.
In 1593 as an established Yeoman in his early 30s with a large house and land worth at least 40s, but still unmarried, William Brockett was an eligible match for the eldest daughter of a Yeoman family from the nearby village of Holwell, c 3 m N of Hitchin. This was Katherine Hanscombe who had been baptised there 19 Jun 1570 daughter of Mathew and Alice.4 And in 1593 “februrye The 6 daie were maryed William Broket & Katherin Hanscombe“.5 They lived in the large house on Bancroft Street, purchased by his grandfather, shown by the couple’s combined initials ‘WKB 1600’ carved into a fireplace.6 Katherine was a good 10 years younger than William and outlived him as his widow by a quarter of a century. With little doubt she was the “Widow Brocket” buried 1649 in nearby Shillingon (2 m W of Holwell). Records have been found of her alive in 1623 and 1641, but deceased by 1658.
Children of William and Katherine, all baptised in Hitchin:7
- Edward bap 28 Dec 1595 Hitchin. “The 28 daye was baptized Edward the sone of William Broket”. We call him ‘Edward Brockett III of Hitchin’. Married Johanna d/o John THAME of Leicestershire. Sole executor of father’s Will of 1620. Date of death not yet known. See further details below.
- William bap 14 Aug 1597 Hitchin. “The 14 daie was baptized Wil’m the sonne of Wm’ Brocket”. Alive in 1620—bequeathed 10s in father’s Will of that year. No record of his marriage has been found but it’s probable he was the William married to Alice in the 12 Nov 1638 Hitchin record “The 12th day buried the sonne of William and Alice Brocket stillborne”. No other contemporary Hitchin Williams are known. No further record found so far.
- Hanscombe bap 1 Jan 1598/9 Hitchin. “The same daye [1 Jan 1598/99] was baptized Hanscombe the sone of Wm Brocket”—obviously named after his mother’s family. Bequeathed 10s in father’s Will of 1620. He moved to London, where banns and marriage with Anne, widow of Hugh BRUER are recorded 1622-3 St Martin Vintry, City of London,8 and the burial there on 28 Nov 1625 of “Edward Brocket S. to hanscome Bro[…]”.9 No further record has currently found of either Hanscombe—with his distinctive name—or Anne. He wasn’t listed as a householder paying rent in St Martin Vintry parish in 1638.10 He is more likely to have been recorded in the 1625 Subsidy for the parish, or even the 1621 one.11 It is mistaken speculation that the family become Quakers and returned to Hitchin, and son Edward was the later Edward Brockett of Hitchin, imprisoned for Quaker beliefs in 1657, see the separate page. For more details on the records: Read more
General:The St Martin Vintry register dates from 1617, and has been bound in a volume containing first the original 89 folios of the register from 1617-48,12 and then a typescript transcription of the front and dorse of each folio. The original 89 folios front and back have suffered damage often to all 4 sides and have been preserved by mounting them on new paper pages numbered 1 to 89a and binding them into the volume, followed by a typed transcript of the front and dorse of each folio paper page and the numbering beginning again at 1. Each two-page spread has been photographed and is accessible online,13 resulting in 263 frames, of which the 89 original folios are frames 1-89, and the typed transcript are frames 90–263. As well as being damaged, the original register was not neatly written, so some parts that aren’t missing are illegible. Many pages are without headings or year and records of banns can without notice be followed by burials and vice versa. It isn’t surprising therefore that both the typed transcript, and later online transcriptions—like those of FamilySearch and Ancestry.com—have errors.
Specific details: Regarding Hanscombe’s marriage, there is a record of both the banns and the marriage, and mistakes have been made in transcriptions of the dates of each, the surnames of Hanscombe and Anne—BROOKER, BRUETT, BRICE—and also that the banns record was a marriage one. The record of the banns has “1620 Septe’ber 8 hanscombe Brochet and […] Bruer“,14 however the 1620 date appears to be a later addition added to the top of the page, as with other pages, perhaps after they became damaged and loose. The typed transcription has handwritten notes either side of the 1620 heading: “Banns” and “certainly a mistake for 1622”,15 which would mean the banns were read a year before their marriage, the record of which reads: “1623 [Se]pte’ber 22 hanscombe Brocket chanle[…] and Anne Bruer wido, the late wiffe of Hugh Bruer deceased 1s 4d.16
Similarly, the single entry concerning their son Edward, has been transcribed twice by Ancestry.com, once as a baptism in 1625, following FS film 374482, and the other as a burial in 1628. It was actually a burial in 1625,17 and although there is no date on the page or the preceding ones, a still-born child is recorded a few entries below Edward and “1626” is written at the top of the next page but one.18 There is no record of Edward’s baptism in what survives of the preceding register.
It’s possible that the couple had other offspring, records of whom have been lost or not yet found. The mid 17th C was a period of plague, civil war and fire. St Martin Vintry church itself was destroyed in the Great Fire of London in 1666 and never rebuilt, and it’s fortunate that the 1617-48 register survived at all.
- John bap 9 Nov 1600 Hitchin. “The 9 daie was baptized John the sonne of William Broket”. Bequeathed £20 on reaching 23 years in father’s Will of 1620. John Brockett, Grocer of Pirton, Herts, brought a case to Chancery against brother Edward in Feb 1652:19 Read more
Orator John Brockett of Pirton, Herts, Grocer. Whereas William Brockett of Hitchin, Yeoman, deceased, late father of the Orator was seised in his demesne as of fee in a capital messuage and divers lands and tenemenents in Hitchin to the yearly value of £400 and upwards and goods and chattels worth £600 and upwards, sufficient to pay all his debts with a great overplus. William made his will 3 Sep 1620 for the benefit of his children, bequeathing to John, Orator, one of his younger sons £20 when he reached 23 years and made Edward his then sonne and heire apparant his sole executor. William died in Hitchin Feb 1623 and Edward proved the will, but subsequently unthriftily wasted and consumed the estate. 9 or 10 years later Edward absented himself to places unknown and in the end settled in Wales—where he is now. Your Orator reached 23 about 24 years since, but Edward refuses to pay the £20 and witnesses are long since dead. Your Orator is a poore man and havinge nothinge to maintayne himselfe withal, therefore requests a subpoena to make Edward come to Chancery.
We have found no record of a marriage for John, but we could speculate that he was the father of “Samuell the sonne of John Brockett baptized the 24 of Februarie 1625″ [i.e. 1626] in Radwell.20 Radwell is c 5-6 m N of Hitchin and Pirton. It may well have been this Samuell who had emigrated to Virginia by 1657. No definite further record has been found of him in England, and no other possible emigrant Samuel is currently known.
- Alice bap 11 Jul 1602 Hitchin. “The 11 daye was baptized Alice the daughter of Will’m Brocket”. The only known child not mentioned in father’s Will of 1620. No further record found so far.
- Thomas bap 9 Oct 1604 Hitchin. “The 9 daie was baptized Thomas the sone of William Broket”. Alive in 1620—bequeathed £20 on reaching 23 years in father’s Will of that year. Bequeathed 10s—as one of many legacies including several to Hanscombes—in the 1608 Will of William Feild of Pirton, Yeoman:21 “to Thomas Brookett the sonne of Will’m Brookett x s and to all the rest of his children v s a peece to be paid [within sixe monthes next after my decease]”. Thomas was scarcely 4 years old, but given the Hanscombe references elsewhere in William Feild’s Will, and that Pirton—where brother John later lived—is only c 3 miles from Hitchin, this was hardly likely to have been Thomas son of William Brokett of Essendon Esq/Gent, who appears to have lived further south in Hertfordshire, and was aged c 40 in 1608 so unlikely to have been dubbed a child or “son of” anyone, see the separate page. No further record found so far.
- George bap 10 Aug 1606 Hitchin. “The 10 daie was baptized George the sonne of Will’m Broket”. Alive in 1620—bequeathed £20 on reaching 21 years in father’s Will of that year. In 1631 a George Brocket married Margery FARMER in London Diocese.22 No further record found so far. George, bap Hitchin, is to be distinguished from the later George of Wheathapmstead and Watford Gent (1631-75), see the separate page.
- Mathew bap 17 Apr 1608 Hitchin, probably named after his maternal grandfather. “The 17 daie was baptized Mathew the sonne of Willyam Broket”. Alive in 1620—bequeathed £20 on reaching 21 years in father’s Will of that year. In 1634 a Mathew Brocket married Dorothy HALL in St Anne Blackfriars.23 St Anne Blackfriars was in Farringdon Ward Within in the City of London and was burnt down in the Fire of London in 1666 and not rebuilt, the parish being united to St Andrew Wardrobe.24 He hasn’t been found as a householder paying rent in London in 1638.25 He may have been recorded in the 1645 Subsidy for the parish.26 On 9 Jul 1641 “Mathew Brockett of the liberty of the Tower of London Shoomaker aged 33 or thereabouts” [i.e. b c 1608] was a deponent in a case brought by William Falcon (executor of the Will of Everett Falcon and Administrator of the estate of Elizabeth Falcon widow) against Robert Petty (executor of the Will of George Petty) and others.27 Mathew was asked about the tenements in question and what was the yearly rent. He said he had lived in one of them for 5 or 6 years, rented from a Mrs Collett for £10 a year. This would have been from c 1635, when aged c 27. Here is Mathew’s signature to the deposition, which shows he had had some education:
No further record has been found of Mathew so far. Only the following namesake contemporaries are known:
- Two, possibly three, who lived in Lincolnshire in the 17th C, but not apparently in London. A baptism record has only been found for the Mathew, son of Richard Brockett, baptised 1605 in Moorby, see the separate page. Burial records of two Mathews have been found a couple of miles further south in Mareham Le Fen, one in 1678, who with wife Alice had a daughter there in 1640 and who was probably baptised 1605 in Moorby, and the other in 1694, who died a bachelor, see the separate page.
- Matheus Brocket who married in York City in 1608, see the separate page.
- Agnis bap 13 Jan 1610/11 Hitchin. “The 13 daie was baptized Agnis the daughter of Willyam’ Brocket”. Bequeathed £20 on reaching 21 years in father’s Will of 1620. Bequeathed £40 in John Hammond of Pirton’s Will of 1641 as “Agnes Brockett daughter of Catherine Brockett, widow”, so was presumably unmarried then (aged c 30). 27 years later she was bequeathed £50 in James Hanscombe of Shillington’s Will of 1658 as “Agnes Burrow, widow, daughter of sister Katherine Brockett”. There was also a bequest in the same Will of £20 to Mary, daughter of Robert Burrow deceased now wife of William Burre”, who could have been a daughter of Agnis.
The Hanscombes. This Yeoman family was dominant in Holwell (c 3 m N of Hitchin); in the 8 years between 24 Jan 1565 and 19 Mar 1573 the Parish Register recorded 38 baptisms, marriages and burials, 11 of them Hanscombes. Katherine’s family was the largest Hanscombe family there at the time and she was one of upwards of 10 surviving children. Her eldest brother Robert stayed in the large house (capital messuage) in the village but other siblings moved to neighbouring villages, like Pirton, Shillington and Meppershall. Her younger brother James Hanscombe of Shillington also operated in Hitchin—he paid 3s on goods worth 60s in Hitchin in the subsidy of 1588.28 The Wills of Yeomen Robert of 1571, proved 1573, of his son Matthew (Katherine’s father) of 1592, and of his son James of Shillington of 1658, reveal the wealth and names of the extended family. Katherine and/or two of her children were mentioned in the Wills of all three:
- Robert Hanscombe of Holwell, Yeoman, written 1 Nov 1571:29 Bequest to Katherine, daughter of Matthew Hanscombe, a red heifer, 2 years old.
- Mathew Hanscombe of Holwell, Yeoman, written 12 Aug 1592:30 Bequest to eldest daughter Katherine £100 and 5 pairs of sheets.
- James Hanscombe of Shillington, Yeoman, written 27 Nov 1658:31 Bequests to sister Joan Hamond £40; to Edward Brockett son of sister Katherine Brockett deceased £40; to Agnes Burrow, widow, daughter of sister Katherine Brockett £50; and to Mary, daughter of Robert Burrow deceased now wife of William Burre £20.
The Hammonds. William had a double connection by marriage to this wealthy Yeoman family of Pirton. His eldest son Edward’s mother in law was Cecily Hammond of Pirton, see below; and William’s wife Katherine’s younger sister Joan Hanscombe, bap 22 Jul 1596 in Holwell32 married John Hammond, a wealthy Yeoman of Pirton. John was Cecily’s brother. In his Will, written 25 Sep 1641, proved PCC 1641 3 Aug 1642,33 John left bequests, among many others, of
20s to his sister Cicelie Thame, widow 20s.
£100 to Johan Brocket, daughter of Edward Brocket, at 21 or marriage.
£40 to Agnes Brockett, daughter of Katherine Brockett, widow.
His widow Joan Hammond of Pirton, nee Hanscombe, in her Will written 28 Jan 1660, proved 6 May 1662, 34 left bequests, among many others, to:
“my Neece Joannah Vaus the wife of Thomas Vaus the daughter of my Nephew Edward Brockat all that my Messuage or tenament wherein I now dwell sittuate & in Pyrton”. Comment: Joannah Vaus was actually her great niece—daughter of her niece Joan Thame and nephew Edward Brockat.
“the two children of my sister Brocket the summe of twelve pence apeece”. Comment: These are the children of William Brocket III and Katherine Hanscombe, see above. One would probably have been Agnes, the youngest child, bap 1611, who was recorded in 1658. The other one isn’t known, but her bequest suggest that all but one of the other 7 recorded in 1620 or later were then—1660—alive.
“Deborah the daughter of Thomas Vaus & Joanah his wife the summe of forty poundes … at the Age of 21th yeares … And alsoe I doe give vnto her the saide Deborah the ioyned bed with the fetherbed & boulster to it that standes in the litle chamber ouer the drink Buttery with one brass ketle and sixe peuter dishes to be given to her at the decease of her Mother”.
“vnto Joannah Vause the daughter of Joanna Vause my neece the summe of forty poundes … at her age of one & twenty yeares … vnto the saide Joanah Vause the ioyned bed in the chamber ouer the other Buttery with the fether bedd & boulster to it one brass ketle & six peuter dishes to be given as her sisters are”.
“All the rest of my goodes & Chattels vnbequeathed I freely give & bequeath vnto Joanah Vause my loveing Neece whome I doe make and ordeine the sole executrix.”
1580: William was witness to a property transaction [to follow]
1581: William was witness to a property transaction [to follow]
1588: William was recorded as one of 79 Hitchin taxpayers in the subsidy of 1588, paying 2s 8d for land worth 40s:35
James Hanscombe paid 3s on goods worth 60s.
1591: A Rental of Hitchin that listed rents due for half a year recorded a freehold property for William Brockeyt with an additional one added after 1600:36
It’ for xj +di’+ acres of arable land wth Dovin slad somtyme mr Francies; & lat Sargeant bayers — iiijd’ iiijd’ vj d’
& on quarter of a pownd of Coumynseed — ij d’
Which means: “Item for a burgage and a half in Bancroft Street next to Thomas Whittomar’s house 11½d. Item for 11½ acres of arable land with Dovin slad that belonged once to Mr Francis and lately to Sargeant Dayers 4d and one quarter of a pound of cummin seed 2d. Total rent 6d”.
As detailed in the 1600 purchase the 11½ acres comprised separate plots in Welchman’s Croft, including one larger one of about 3 acres called Dolphins slade.”Cumin seed was one of those mediaeval customary rents, like a pound of pepper, a red rose at Midsummer, a pair of white gloves, or a sore sparrowhawk, that are paid off, if at all, with a penny or two in later times”.38 The 11½ acres appear to have had two elements to their rent, each with its subtotal, the land itself either 4d and the other 2d (being the notional value of a pound of cummin seed). Then when added together the total in the margin came to 6d.
This Bancroft Street residence was the large family house originally purchased by his grandfather in 1538. Cumin seed was presumably used in cooking. The Rental next listed his great uncle Edward I‘s freehold. Some pages later it listed their copyhold dues. William was due 20d on 5 acres of arable land in Wratton (that his grandfather had left his father in 1556) and also 4d on “2 acres of arable land somtyme gravlies & late Drapers”:39
The Rental recorded a further payment in 1600 of 4d “for 2 acres of arable, somtyme thomas gravlies & late thomas Drapers”:40
1597: On 7 Apr William Brokett of Hitchin Yeoman purchased property from William UNDERWOOD of Weston Yeoman.41
1598: William Brockett was assessed in Hitchin at 10s 8d tax for £4 in goods.42 No Brokets were assessed in Pirton or Weston. In Ippollitts Richard Brockett was assessed at 4s for 20s in land.43 William’s stepfather George Underwood was assessed in Weston for £10 in goods.44
1600: On 1 Dec William Brockett of Hitchin Yeoman purchased 3 acres of meadow, arable land and pasture called Dolphins Slade in Welchmans Croft, Hitchin, and 8½ acres of other arable land in Welchmans Croft from Henry BOWIER of Hitchin Gent for £66 in fee simple:45Read more
estimacion three acres be yt more or lesse lyinge & beinge in the paryshe of Hitchin aforesaide in a certein feilde called Welchmans crofte, one hedd thereof abutteth on a Close of pasture
called Conynger toward the southe and thother hedd thereof abutteth on a close of pasture called Burford rey close late Edward Pulters Esquier towardes the northe, & lyeth a longe by the
Waie leadinge from Hitchin to Sheford / And eight acres & a haulf of arrable lande be they more or lesse lyinge in the saide feild called Welchmans crofte in diuerse peeces, whereof one
peece of two acres and a haulfe lyeth betwene the meadowe of the saide Henry Bowier called Lewyns on the northe & the lande of John knott on the southe one hedd thereof abutteth on
the said Close called Burford rey Close towardes the west, & one haulf acre lyinge in the same shott late in the tenure of John Tristram one acre of John knottes lyinge betwene the same & the said
peece of two acres & a haulf & one pece of three haulf acres lyinge in the same shott theste ende thereof beinge hedlande to a hedland pece of arrable lande conteyning two acres nowe John Tristrams
late the saide Henryes, thone hedd thereof abutteth on the saide Close called Burford Rey close, & one pece of three haulf acres46 late Edward Pulters Esquier lyinge in the same shott, betwene the
lande of John knott on the northe & the lande late Mr Fraunces on the southe, on hedd thereof abutteth on the saide Close called Burford rey Close towardes the west and thother hedd thereof abutteth on
the saide hedlande of the saide John Tristram towardes the este, & one pece of two acres & a haulf late Richard Fraunces Esquier next adioyninge to the saide three haulf acres last recited on
the northe & the lande of John Lawe on the southe, on hedd thereof abutteth on the saide meadowe called Dolphins slade / All which bargained premises nowe are or late were in the tenure or occupacion
of Marye Monke widowe & John Tristram or their assignes / …
Henry Bowier’s signature. Seal
Witnesses: Thomas Butteler?
Its rent was added to the 1591 Rental of Hitchin Manor, see above.
1601: A William was recorded working in Westminster at this time. It is unlikely that he was William III of Hitchin.
1615-16: William was one of the Churchwardens of Hitchin Parish Church, with Richard Laundey and Simon Lucas, minister John Huddleston, and duly signed the register:47
1622: On 8 Jul James Spurling of Weston Gent sued in Chancery against William, Maltster.48 James Spurling was the brother in law of George Underwood (1565-1617), the half brother of William Brockett.49
1622/3 27 Jan: William was buried. “The 27 day was buried William Brockett”.50
William signed his Will with a shaky hand on 3 Sep 1620:51
Eldest son Edward, executor, lost no time in proving William’s Will on 22 Feb 1622/3,52 Apart from household effects, half of which he left to his wife Katherine, William made only monetary bequests. The residue he left to his eldest son and executor Edward. This would have included the large family residence in Bancroft Street and any other property he held in Hitchin—indeed Edward sold some of it within a few days, see below. William’s cash legacies amounted to £101.
1. In the name of god amen the Thirde day of September in the yeare of our Lord god One Thowsande
2. Six hundred and Twentye and in the yeare of the raigne of our soueraigne Lord Kynge Iames by
3. the grace of god of Englande Fraunce and Irelande the Eightenthe and of Scotlande the Fowre and
4. Fiftithe defender of the faythe &c I Willyam Brockett of Hitchin in the Countye of Hertforde
5. yeoman beinge sicke in bodye yet of good and perfecte mynde and Memorye thankes be to god for it
6. Doe make ordayne this my laste Will and Testament in manner and forme followinge, FirsteRead more
7. I comend my Soule into the handes of allmightye god my heavenlye Father trustyng moste
8. assuredly to be saved by the Merrittes and deathe of Christe Iesus my onlye saviour & redemer
9. and my bodye to be buryed in Christian buryall. Item as Concerninge all my Worldlye goodes, I give
10. and bequeathe in manner following, Firste I give and bequeathe vnto Katherine my loving
11. Wife the One halfe of all my housholde stuffe whatsoever. Item I give and bequeathe vnto William
12. Brockett my sonn Tenn Shillynges. Item I give and bequeathe vnto Hanscombe Brockett my sonn
13. Tenn Shillynges. Item I give and bequeathe vnto John Brockett my sonn Twentye poundes of
14. Currante Englishe money to be payde vnto hym at his full age of Three and Twentye yeares.
15. Item I give and bequeathe vnto Thomas Brockett my sonn Twentye poundes of Currante
16. Englishe money to be payde vnto hym at his full age of Three and Twentye yeares. Item I
17. give and bequeathe vnto George Brockett my sonn Twentye poundes of Currante englishe money
18. to be payde vnto hym at his full age of One and Twentye yeares. Item I give and bequeathe
19. vnto Mathew Brockett my sonn Twentye poundes of Currante englishe money to be payde
20. vnto hym at his full age of One and Twentye yeares. Item I give and bequeathe vnto
21. Agnis Brockett my daughter Twentye poundes of Currante englishe money to be payde
22. vnto her at her full age of One and Twentye yeares. Item I give and bequeathe towarde
23. the reparacions of the parishe Churche of Hitchin Six Shillinges and Eighte pence. Item I
24. give and bequeathe vnto the poore people of Hitchin Six Shillinges and Eighte pence
25. to be distributed amongeste them at the time of my buryall. Item allthe residue of my goodes
26. debtes and Chattelles vnbequeathed my debtes beinge payde my funeral discharged and
27. the Legacies and bequeathes mencioned and Contayned in this my laste Will and
28. Testamente beinge performed and fulfilled I give and bequeathe vnto Edward Brockett
29. my sonn whome I make Constitute and appointe to be my sole Executor of this my
30. laste Will and Testament. In Witnes wherof I have herevnto sett my hande and
31. Seale the day and yeare firste aboue written. In the presence of James Turner senior
32. James Turner junior and John Turner
Sons William and Hanscombe—over 21 by then—were to be given their 10s straightaway, the younger sons and daughter later: John and Thomas £20 each when they reached 23, George, Mathew and Agnis £20 each when they reached 21. The suit brought by John in 1652 suggests that Edward, the executor, didn’t pay these later legacies.
Baptised in Hitchin 28 Dec 1595. “The 28 daye was baptized Edward the sone of William Broket”.53 Even though he may not have lived in Hitchin most of his married life, we call him ‘Edward III of Hitchin’, since he owned property there till his early 40s. It also helps distinguish him from his cousins Edward I, II, III and IV of Walsworth, a half-hour walk away. He was sole executor of his father’s Will, written 1620.
Edward Brockett III married Johanna eldest daughter of John THAME of Leicestershire in St Martin, Ludgate, City of London, by licence 18 May 1620. Two neatly-written records survive: “May. The eighteenth day was married Edward Brockett and Jone Thame maid with a licence out of the faculties”,54 and “May The xviijth day was maryed Edward Brockett and Jone Thame mayde Lysanc’ Facultys”.55 Camden’s Visitation of Leicestershire mistakenly recorded them already married in 1619:56
John THAME was the heir of Robert Thame of Chinnor, Oxfordshire, heir of John Thame of Chinnor, Oxfordshire Esq.57 According to the Visitation Johanna’s father married Cisley d/o John Hamon of Burton, Herts. There is no Burton in Herts and this was no doubt a misnomer for Pirton, near Hitchin. Edward’s aunt Joan Hanscombe married John Hammond of Pirton, Yeoman, see above.
Edward and Johanna’s children:
- William baptised and buried 11 Apr 1621 Hitchin. “The 11 day was baptized William the sonne of Edward Brocket. The same day was buried William the sonne of Edward Brocket”. Although they were married in London—by licence—it is clear that Edward and Johanna baptised their daughter Joan in Hitchin in 1622, so it is safe to assume that this William was also their child, baptised as he was 11 months after their marriage.
- Joane bap 10 Jul 1622 Hitchin. “The 10 day was baptized Joane the daughter of Edward Brocket the younger”. The term ‘younger’ shows that there was another Edward Brockett in the area at the time. His uncle Edward II of Hitchin who had moved to Dunton had died by 1598, and his great uncle Edward I of Hitchin had also died by then, see the separate page. This must therefore have been Edward I’s son Edward I of Walsworth—a half hour’s walk away—and who had died by 1538. Joane was mentioned in the Will of great uncle John Hammond 1641, proved 3 Aug 1642, see above.58 She married 1650, St Thomas Southwark, Thomas VAUS. Joanna was sole executrix of the Will of great aunt Joan Hammond 1660,59 see above. Issue: Deborah and Joannah, both under 21 in 1660, when left bequests by Joan Hammond.
Soon after the death of his father Edward began to sell the family property in Hitchin. On 26 Feb 1622/3 Edward Brockett of Hitchin, Yeoman, sold 3 half acres of arable land in Welchmans Croft, Hitchin, that his father had purchased in 1600, to Edward LUCAS of Ickleford, Miller, for £15:60 Read more
Edward’s signature is on the deed:61
Dolphins Slade and other land in Welchmans Croft appears to have been acquired by Thomas Suerties of Hitchin, Yeoman, (see next) who on 10 Apr 1638 sold it to Thomas Hamond of Pirton, Hitchin, Yeoman.62 By 1676 the same property for a rent of 8d per annum, “once of a certain Thomas Sureties, afterwards of William Lucas, [Yeoman]” was held by William Lucas the elder, son of Anne Lucas who then held the Bancroft St residence, also sold by Edward Brockett, as follows.63
- Between Edward Brockett Yeoman of Shenton, Leicestershire, and his wife Johane,64 and Andrew SEWERTYE of Hitchin, Gent: a capital messuage in Bancroft Street, Hitchin, and 41½ acres of land in Hitchin and St Ippollitts.65
- Between Edward Brockett Yeoman of Shenton, Leicestershire, and Joan his wife, and Thomas SEWERTYE of Hitchin, Maltster: property in Bancroft Street and elsewhere in Hitchin and Ippollitts.66
- Between Edward Brockett Yeoman of Shenton, Leicestershire, and Johane his wife, and Francis HUCKELL of Hitchin Yeoman, and Thomas HUCKELL of Hitchin Yeoman, his son and heir: a capital messuage in Bancroft Street in which Charles RAYNER did lately dwell and 41½ acres of land belonging to the said messuage which premises were sometime the land and tenements of William Brockett late of Hitchin yeoman deceased, father of the said Edward. And also a close of pasture called Silver Street Close containing 7 acres late the land of John Mattock Gent and 3 acres of arable land in Moremead Field now in the tenure of F and T Huckell to their use.67
Here is the translation of a final concord of 24 April 1631 between Andrew SEWERTYE and John DAYE plaintiffs and Edward Brockett and Johanna his wife deforciants of a messuage, a garden, an orchard, 44 acres of (arable) land, 5 acres of meadow and 10 acres of pasture with appurtenances in Hitchin alias Hutchin and Ippollitts: Read more
Latin of the actual deal: Intr Andream Sewertye & Joh’em Daye quer’ et Edwardum Brockett & Johannam vxrem eius deforc’ de vno Mesuagio vno gardino vno pomario quadraginta & quatuor acris trre quinq’ acris Prati & decem acris Pasture cum ptin’ in Hitchin’ alias Hutchin’ & Ippollitts.68
Although Edward and Johanna married in London, they baptised both their known children in Hitchin over the next two years, and for the sale of arable land in Welchmans Croft in 1623 Edward was “of Hitchin”, but he was not recorded in the list of taxpayers for Hitchin in 1628,69 and by the 1631-2 sale of the Bancroft Street property he and wife Joanna were “of Shenton, Leicestershire”—presumably Joan’s family’s territory. So it’s unlikely that he was the Edward Brockett who married in 1635 in Ippollits, near Hitchin, to Ann PAPWORTH and had a daughter there Ann bap 30 Mar 1637.70 In 1652 Edward’s brother John told a Chancery court that for 9 or 10 years after 1623 Edward’s whereabouts was unknown to him but then he settled somewhere in Wales, where he was then. Between 1608-63 TNA has no other tax lists for Herts with names of individuals. But he was still alive 27 Nov 1658 when James Hanscombe of Shillington left him £40 in his Will. However the Edward Brockett recorded with 4 hearths in Hitchin in the April and September 1663 hearth subsidy returns for the whole of Hitchin hundred, which included Pirton,71 would have been Edward II of Walsworth b by 1617 d 1687.
Page Last Updated: March 27, 2022