The Brocketts of Gateshead - The Broket Archive

The Brocketts of Gateshead

North East Broket records from mid 18th to 19th C are dominated by two families: one at Headlam Hall in the Tees valley and this one in Gateshead on the Tyne. Singled out here are the first Gateshead Brockett, John, and 3 of his sons:

  1. John 1764-1827
  2. John Trotter 1788-1842
  3. William Henry 1804-67
  4. Henry c 1807-87

John Brockett of Gateshead Gent 1764-1827

John Brockett was the youngest son of Henry and Ann of Lanchester, bap there 26 Nov 1764. “Of Witton Gilbert, afterwards of Gateshead”.1 Witton Gilbert is a small village c 4 m NW of Durham City. 3 of the 4 entries in the Hudleston Papers in Durham University2 mention John: one a marriage bond in which John, bachelor, was styled ‘Gent’, another a record that he was for many years Clerk to the Court of Requests in Newcastle.3 John was sole executor of brother William’s Will in 1821.

The mural monument in the Chancel of St Mary’s Gateshead, where John and wife Frances were buried, had a coat of arms ‘Brockett impaling Trotter’. The church dominated Gateshead river front,4 but was badly damaged by fire in 1855 and is no longer used as a church; the mural monument no longer exists. Their sons also used the coat of arms—it was printed in the Biographical Sketch of John Trotter Brockett Esquire5 and engraved on the ‘elegant and massive silver tureen and salver, value £130, presented to Mr Alderman [William Henry] Brockett of Gateshead’ in 1846 by merchants and shipowners of Newcastle.6 The cross in the first and fourth quarters is scalloped and different from the cross flory granted to members of the Yorkshire and Hertfordshire Brockett family. The College of Arms has no record of a grant of arms to members of this family.

On 21 Jul 1787 at St Nicholas Durham City John married Frances Sophia TROTTER, d/o George TROTTER of Middridge, bap Auckland 21 Jan 1770, d 9 Mar 1833,7 aged 63. Will of Frances Brockett of Gateshead, Widow, wrItten 8 Feb 1832, proved 15 Aug 1833.8 John died 5 Feb 1827, bur St Edmund’s Cemetery, Gateshead,9 aged 63. In John’s Will, proved 17 Jul 182710 he referred to property he owned in Witton Gilbert and Lanchester, and listed his 6 children in the following order:

  1. John Trotter, born 21 Sep 1788 Witton Gilbert, died 12 Oct 1842 Newcastle. Married Isabella BELL 1814 Durham. 3 children.
  2. Margaret. Sole executrix of her mother’s Will in 1833. Living in the same building in King James St, Gateshead, as brother William Henry in 1841, Spinster, aged 45, therefore b c 1796. Probably died 1841 Gateshead11 possibly 1852 Newcastle.12
  3. George. A mural monument in St Mary’s Gateshead recorded his death ‘in Havana 7 May 1818 from a malignant fever’ aged 23 years—therefore b c 1795. Administration of George Brockett of Gateshead, Master Mariner, Bachelor, formerly of Gateshead in the county of Durham, but late belonging to the merchant ship Ariadne at Havannah, 9 Sep 1818.13
  4. Mary bap 30 June 1799 Witton Gilbert. According to Smith14 she married … BENNETT, Surgeon of Gateshead, bore him two sons in 1838 and 1839 and died 5 Apr 1846.
  5. William Henry born 22 Jan 1804, died 15 Jan 1867. Married Margaret WILSON 1836 Gateshead. 11 or 12 children.
  6. Henry b c 1807, died 1887. Married Eliza Frances ?WINCKLER in Jamaica. No children.

John Trotter Brockett of Newcastle 1764-1827

Eldest son of John Gent and Frances TROTTER, John Trotter became a Lawyer, Antiquary, Numismatist and Author of the Glossary of North Country Words in 1825. Biographical details about him can be found in various sources.15 Called ‘Esq’ in the Biographical Sketch published Newcastle 1843, where his signature is reproduced below an engraving of him. Born 21 Sep 1788 Witton Gilbert,16 died 12 Oct 1842 Albion Place, Newcastle. Married 1814 Durham Isabella BELL, alive 1863-4.17 Children:

  1. John Trotter. Born c 1815. Died 23 November 1834 Albion Place, Newcastle, aged 19 unm.18
  2. Annabella, b 1817, d 27 Dec 1823 aged 6 and a half.19
  3. William Edward. Ages given in censuses would make his birth c 1824, which is too late for his marriage in 1840. Possibly travelled to Sydney Australia before 1836. Married 11 June 1840 Chester-le-Street Maria Margaret SHIELD.20 Nov 1842 admitted Attorney of Queens Bench, Westminster and Solicitor in Chancery. Farmed and kept horses at Whickham—about 2 m SW of Gateshead.Census records for William and family:    Read more
    Bankruptcy proceedings were filed against him 19 Nov 1855. “William Edward Brockett, the Sol[icito]r, is a bankrupt and horse racing is the cause—report states he has lost a great many of his clients money”.21 He absconded and was declared an outlaw soon after. No further record of him has been found. Children:

    1. Edward Spencer b 1847 Gateshead, d there 1848.
    2. Frederick William Spencer b 1858 Gateshead. Not found in any other records.
    3. Caroline Harriett bap 6 Dec 1860 Whickham.22

William Henry Brockett of Gateshead 1804-1867

Third son of John Gent and Frances TROTTER, William Henry Brockett was a businessman and Mayor of Gateshead23 in the NE of England 1839-40. Among other public activities he was a JP, Coroner for Newcastle and Honorary Secretary of Newcastle and Gateshead Shipowners’ Society. Growing up beside the river Tyne, his children spread across the world, such that now there are no male-line descendants living in the UK. In 1837 William Henry founded Gateshead’s first newspaper The Gateshead Observer and owned it till his death in 15 Jan 1867, aged 62.24 In 2011 William Henry was given the accolade of a Blue Commemorative Plaque from the City of Gateshead.25

William was an amateur genealogist and in 1860 he privately printed a ‘Pedigree of BROCKETT of Steton and Brockett Hall, co. York; of Brockett Hall, Herts; and of Spain’s Hall, co. Essex‘. It took careful typesetting and proof-reading—and research and is of inestimable value.

Many volumes of papers relating to William Henry are preserved in the ‘Brockett collection’ in Gateshead Library, including a series of 10 volumes—some in more than one part—called the Brockett Papers: principally a collection of newspaper cuttings, tracts, letters etc concerning facts, figures and stories about Gateshead in the mid 19th C. Some, but by no means all, have a direct connection with William Henry. Since he was a prominent member of the local community, most of these are connected with his work in it, but here and there are more personal items like his genealogical interests and letters, e.g. from brother Henry in Jamaica or nephew William Edward in Newcastle. In addition to the Brockett Papers there are more volumes under his name, some of them also scrapbooks of Gateshead cuttings. One of these is the Gateshead Tracts—a volume privately published after his death containing some of his more significant essays and contributions, obituaries of himself and a number of genealogical papers about Brocketts, including the 1860 Pedigree. The Durham University Library copy is entitled Brockett’s Booklets.

William Henry married Margaret WILSON 1836 Gateshead. Census records for William Henry and Margaret:    Read more

According to Gateshead Tracts27 Margaret bore him 12 children, but records of only 11 have been found. Perhaps one died young. Margaret died 31 May 1889 in Leyland House, Harrogate, Yorkshire, aged 72 [ie b c 1817], of epilepsy (7 years) and senile decay, informant daughter Margaret.28 As far as the Brockett name goes, there are five male members of the younger generation who could pass it on. Children:

  1. Mary, bap 23 Feb 1838 Gateshead,29 died 17 Sep 1909 Newcastle-upon-Tyne30 For the 1851 census she was a Scholar in Whickham, Durham, aged 13. For the 1861, 71 and 81 censuses, aged 23, 33 and 43, she was with her mother. For the 1891 census, aged 53, unm, she was in 5 Corona St, Lee, Lewisham, London—the home of cousin Thomas G WILSON, 44, unm, Hardware Agent. She has not been traced in the 1901 census. The London Probate Registry recorded probate of Mary’s will in Newcastle on 4 Nov 1909, executrix Margaret Brockett spinster, estate valued at £1407-10-3. Mary was a spinster, residing at 19 Holly Ave, Newcastle at the time, dying 17 Sep that year.
  2. John Brockett, born 29 Jun 1839, King James St, Gateshead,31 bap 24 Jul 1839 Gateshead;32 died 3 Jan 1902, 36 Lichfield St, Gateshead, occupation Clerk,33 aged 62. He married 29 Jul 1868 Tweedmouth, Northumberland, occupation Newspaper Proprietor, Elizabeth MATHISON of Middle Orde Tweedmouth d/o John Mathison Gent.34 Elizabeth died 18 Aug 1921 at 48 Curzon Street, Gateshead, aged 77,35 interred Gateshead East Cemetery 22 Aug 1921. +Census records for John and Elizabeth:    Read more

    1. John Edmond Simpson Brockett, born 1869 Hexham,36 bap 4 Feb 1869 as Brockett/Brackett,37 died 1876 Gateshead,38 buried 29 June 1876, aged 7.39
    2. Hubert William Henry Mathieson Brockett, born 11 Apr 1884.40 The PRO microfilms WO 363/B1717 and 171841 have some of Hubert’s papers, from which the following notes were taken: Hubert Mattison Brockett no 459696. Sapper. Of 48 Curzon St, Rectory Rd, Gateshead. Aged 31 years 290 days on 25/2/1916. Electrical Engineer. Height 5ft 11in. Weight 146 lbs. Unmarried. Mother Elizabeth was living in Gateshead in 1916 at the same address, but father John was deceased and no brothers or sisters were listed in the relevant boxes on the papers. Appendicitis 25/10/1917 in Baghdad, then cholera. Buried Baghdad 10/11/1917. Mother Elizabeth could not be traced in Mar 1922 to send her a medal. The reply from the Gateshead Police said that Elizabeth had died Sept 1921 and Hubert was the last surviving member of that family. His father’s sister Miss Brockett, c/o Mr Cook, 46 Grosvenor Place, Newcastle was the only relative whose whereabouts could be ascertained.
  3. Frances, born 28 Apr 1841 King James St, Gateshead, bap 2 Jun 1841 Gateshead.42 Her birth and marriage are recorded in the GRO under the spelling Francis. Married 28 Oct 1862, Bryan John PROCKTER, St Mary’s Gateshead.43 On 25 Feb 1870 Frances Brockett as proprietor of the Gateshead Observer allowed a 13 year old boy to work all night. She was charged under the Factory Act, pleading guilty and was fined 40s and costs [source]. She died in Gateshead in 1889,44 aged 49. Bryan married Jane Fairlamb CHRISTAL in Sunderland in 1893.45 Jane was 32 years younger than Bryan. He died in 1906,46 aged 70.47
  4. Margaret, born 1842 Gateshead;48 bap 9 Nov 1842 Gateshead;49 died 26 Apr 1843 Gateshead,50 aged 6 months.
  5. Emily, born 8 Jan 1847,51 bap 17 Feb 1847 Gateshead.52 Married 27 Nov 1867, John POTTS;53, issue: 1 son John Cuthbert b 1870, 1 daughter Margaret b 1873.54 Emily died in Gateshead in 1879,55 aged 37.56
  6. Thomas, born 15 Jul 1848 King James St, Gateshead.57 Thomas arrived in China 1872 or 73. He married Mary Lo Dai NUANG, probably in Foo Chow, China. He died 17 Oct 1908 in Foo Chow. 4 daus, 3 sons.
  7. William Henry, born 1850 Gateshead;58 aged 7 months in the 1851 census); died 23 Nov 1873 Gateshead,59 aged 23.
  8. Francis, born 1852 Gateshead,60 bap 2 Aug 1852 Gateshead.61 He has not been traced in the 1871 or subsequent England censuses. Francis probably arrived in New Zealand 1873. He died 7 Dec 1913 Cecil Peak, near Queenstown, NZ,62 unmarried, Occupation Woolclasser.63
  9. Henry, born 1854, 5 Catherine Terrace, Gateshead,64 bap 16 Aug 1854 Gateshead.65 Henry probably arrived in New Zealand 1871, aged 17. He has not been traced in the 1871 or subsequent England censuses. Married Mary MATHESON 1892 Ngapara, he aged c 38, she c 22. Descendants live in NZ—thanks to them for information. He died there 14 Jan 1909 aged 54, apoplexy, occupation Woolclasser,66 buried in the Mataura cemetry, NZ. Mary died 20 Mar 1956, aged 86.
  10. George Trotter, born 1855 Gateshead.67 In 1876 aged 21 George joined Thomas in China. He married Katharine PYE in Lewisham in 1888. Katharine died in Shanghai, China in 1890. George married second Olga CONRADI in 1893 in Gateshead.68 George Trotter Brockett died 8 Apr 1896 in Upper Holloway, Middx69 aged 40. No surviving children.
  11. Margaret, born 1 Jun 1857, 5 Catherine Terrace, Gateshead,70 bap 13 Aug 1857 Gateshead.71 +Census records for Margaret:    Read more
    Margaret kept in touch with Thomas’ children until the end. The last of the Gateshead Brocketts, she died of myocarditis, bronchitis and senility, 17 Mar 1949 at 41 Cecil Rd, N Acton, Ealing, Middx, aged 91, Spinster of independent means, daughter of William Henry Brockett, Newspaper Editor deceased, estate valued at £5321 15s 2d.72

Henry Brockett of Jamaica and London c 1807-87

Fourth and youngest son of John Gent and Frances TROTTER, Henry was born c 1807. Elected Member of the House of Assembly for Hanover Parish Jamaica, from which post he resigned in 1852.73 Married Eliza Frances ?WINCKLER in Jamaica. They had returned to England by 1861, when they were recorded in the census. Henry died 1887 Fulham London, aged 80, ie b c 1807.74 Eliza Frances died 19 Dec 1911 Kingston London, aged 77, ie b c 1834,75 Will proved London, estate valued at £21,015 1s resworn £21,337 13s 8d to [niece] Margaret Brockett spinster.76 No issue.

Census records for Henry and Eliza:    Read more

Page Last Updated: April 6, 2020


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


[1] Gateshead Tracts n d p 4

[2] Box 177

[3] Durham Advertiser 10 Feb 1827

[4] Pocock and Norris 1990 pl 30

[5] Opposite p vi

[6] Gateshead Tracts

[7] Smith 1878, p 208

[8] DPRI/1/1833/B17/1-2, DPRI/2/44 p 421-423

[9] Smith 1878, p 208

[10] DPRI/1/1827/B22/1-2 and 3-4, DPRI/2/38 p 44-46

[11] GRO qtr 4

[12] GRO qtr 1

[13] DPRI/3/1818/A83

[14] 1878, p 208

[15] e.g. DNB (the only Brockett in that Dictionary).

[16] DNB; Gateshead Tracts n d p 4

[17] Gateshead Tracts n d p 4

[18] Smith 1878, p 208

[19] Smith 1878, p 208

[20] Gateshead Tracts n d p 4

[21] Letter from John P Ingledew, 6 Dec 1855, available at the ingledew family name website in Jul 2006, but not in Sep 2018.

[22] IGI; no GRO record

[23] (Gateshead History site accessed 12 Sep 2018)

[24] GRO qtr 1; Milne 1975 p 57; A Short History of Gateshead 1998 p 120

[25] Communication from Richard Brockett Dec 2017

[26] Fol 601 of the enumerator's return

[27] n d p 4

[28] Death certificate

[29] IGI; GRO qtr 1

[30] Gateshead Tracts n d p 4; GRO qtr 3

[31] Gateshead Tracts n d p 4; IGI: 24 Jun; GRO qtr 3

[32] IGI

[33] Gateshead Tracts n d p 4; GRO qtr 1

[34] Marriage certificate

[35] GRO qtr 3

[36] GRO qtr 1

[37] Family search

[38] GRO qtr 3

[39] Family search; Angus 2014

[40] GRO qtr 2; 16 years after his parents' marriage

[41] Surviving enlistment and discharge papers from World War 1

[42] IGI; GRO qtr 2

[43] IGI; Gateshead Tracts n d p 4; GRO qtr 4

[44] GRO qtr 1

[45] GRO qtr 2

[46] GRO qtr 3

[47] Angus 2014

[48] GRO qtr 4

[49] IGI

[50] GRO qtr 2; Smith 1878, p 208

[51] Smith 1878, p 208; GRO qtr 1

[52] IGI

[53] IGI; GRO qtr 3

[54] Angus 2014; Gateshead Tracts n d p 5

[55] GRO qtr 1

[56] Angus 2014

[57] GRO qtr 3

[58] GRO qtr 3

[59] GRO qtr 4

[60] GRO qtr 3

[61] IGI

[62] Gateshead Tracts n d p 4

[63] Death certificate

[64] GRO qtr 3

[65] IGI

[66] Death certificate

[67] GRO qtr 2

[68] GRO qtr 3

[69] GRO qtr 2

[70] GRO qtr 3; Gateshead Tracts n d p 4

[71] IGI

[72] Death certificate; LPR

[73] Newspaper cuttings in the Brockett Papers vol 10 pp 35-7, 41-2

[74] GRO qtr 4

[75] GRO qtr 4

[76] LPR