The Brocketts of Gateshead
Singled out for mention here are John, and 2 of his sons:
John Brockett was the youngest son of Henry and Ann of Lanchester parish, Co Durham, baptised there 26 Nov 1764—as John Brock, see the separate page. He was called “of Witton Gilbert, afterwards of Gateshead”.1 Witton Gilbert was a small settlement c 4 m SE of Lanchester village and 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, from which he inherited substantial property.
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 Brockett married Frances Sophia TROTTER.7 She was the daughter of George TROTTER of Middridge, baptised Auckland 21 Jan 1770, died 9 Mar 1833.8 Will of Frances Brockett of Gateshead, Widow, written 8 Feb 1832, proved 15 Aug 1833.9 John died 5 Feb 1827, buried in St Edmund’s Cemetery, Gateshead,10 aged 63. In John’s Will, proved 17 Jul 182711 he referred to property he owned in Witton Gilbert and Lanchester, and listed his 6 children in the following order:
- John Trotter, born 21 Sep 1788 Witton Gilbert, died 12 Oct 1842 Newcastle. Married Isabella BELL 1814 Durham. 3 children. See below.
- Margaret, baptised Witton Gilbert 25 Dec 1791.12 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, i.e. b c 1796 [sic]. Died unmarried 1841 Gateshead,13—not apparently in the 1851 census.
- “George, Son of John and Frances Brockett” baptised in Witton Gilbert 21 Dec 1794.14 Died in Havana 7 May 1818, see the separate page.
- “Mary Brockett, born 20 May , 2d Daugr. of John Brockett Shoemaker native of Lanchester, by his Wife Frances Trotter native of St. Andrews Auckland” was baptised 30 Jun 1799 in Witton Gilbert.15 On 2 Jun 1836 Mary married Francis BENNETT in Gateshead by Licence, two of the witnesses were brother WF Brockett and Margaret Brockett.16 According to Smith he was a Surgeon of Gateshead, and she bore him two sons in 1838 and 1839 and died 5 Apr 1846.17
- William Henry, born 22 Jan 1804, died 15 Jan 1867. Married Margaret WILSON 1836 Gateshead. 11 or 12 children. See below.
- Henry, fourth and youngest son, b c 1807. Elected Member of the House of Assembly for Hanover Parish Jamaica, from which post he resigned in 1852.18 Eliza Frances died 19 Dec 1911 Kingston London, aged 77, ie b c 1834,19 No children. See further the separate page.
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.20 Called ‘Esq’ in the Biographical Sketch published Newcastle 1843, where his signature is reproduced below an engraving of him. His portrait still hangs in the Newcastle Literary and Philosophical Society library in Newcastle upon Tyne:21
John Trotter Brockett was born 21 Sep 1788 Witton Gilbert,22 baptised there 21 Sep 1788,23 died 12 Oct 1842 Albion Place, Newcastle. No Will has been located, although it would be expected that he would have had a considerable estate, if only from the sale at Sothebys of his large collection of antiquarian artefacts and books. He married 1814 Durham Isabella BELL.24 Isabella’s [meagre] Will was proved 30 Nov 1866: “The Will of Isabella Brockett of Albion-place in the Town and County of Newcastle-upon-Tyne Widow deceased who died 28 September 1865 at Albion-place aforesaid was proved at Newcastle-upon-Tyne by the oath of Robert Spencer Shield of 4 Hamilton-terrace in the Town of Birkenhead in the County of Chester Surgeon one of the Executors. Effects under £200. Re-sworn at the Stamp Office January 1867 under £300.” In 1884 Robert Spencer Shield was also Executor of the Will of Charlotte Shield, sister of Isabella’s daughter-in-law Maria.
- John Trotter Brockett. Born c 1813-5. Baptised 11 Jan 1815 Newcastle-upon-Tyne.25 “John Brockett of Albion Place was buried in St Andrew Parish 27 Nov 1834, aged 21”.26 Another account said he died 23 Nov 1834 aged 19 unmarried.27
- “Annabella Brockett baptised 22 Apr 1818 in St Andrew Parish, Newcastle upon Tyne, daughter of John Trotter Brockett, Attorney at Law, and wife Isabella of this Parish”.28 She was buried in St Andrew Parish 27 or 31 Dec 1823 aged 6½.29
- “William Edward Brockett baptised 8 May 1816 in St Andrew Parish, Newcastle upon Tyne, son of John Trotter Brockett, Attorney at Law, and wife Isabella of this Parish”.30 William Edward may have travelled to Sydney Australia before 1836, see the separate page. In order to train as an Attorney, on 10 Nov 1837 William Edward Brockett was articled as a clerk to his father John Trotter Brockett for 5 years.31 This would have terminated on 9 Nov 1842, but his father died shortly before on 28 Oct 1842. On that same day, to complete the remaining few days of his 5-year term “William Edward Brockett of 32 Upper Norton Street, Middlesex, Gentleman, bound himself by indenture as an articled clerk to John Stevenson of 3 Kings Rod, Bedford Row, Middlesex, Attorney of Her Majesty’s Courts of Queens Bench, Common Pleas and Exchequer at Westminster and Solicitor in the High Court of Chancery.”32 In 1844 and 1849 William Edward was rated for offices in Dean Street in St Nicholas Parish, Newcastle upon Tyne, abode: Bensham, Gateshead, and for a house at 50 Dean Street in 1854—but not in 1840, 1855 nor 1859.33
On 11 June 1840 at Chester-le-Street William Edward Brockett married Maria Margaret SHIELD,34 daughter of the late Peter Shield Esq.35 The following census records illustrate the family’s lifestyle at Whickham—about 2 m SW of Gateshead:
1841: In Bensham, Gateshead, William Brockett, Attorney, aged 25 [i.e. b c 1816]; Maria Brockett, 25; Thomas Bryson, 35, Groom; Sarah Boston, 20, Female Servant; Charlotte Wilson, 25, Female Servant.36
1851: In Whickham, William E Brockett, aged 35, b Newcastle, Attorney & Solicitor, b Newcastle, Northumberland; Wife Maria M, 36, b Whickham, Durham; children both b Whickham: Frederick W S, 2½; Caroline H, 10 months; sister in law Charlotte SHIELD, 38, unmarried, b Biddick House, Northumberland; 7 unmarried servants: Maria Moriss?, 20, b Ireland; John Cobb, 30, b Whickham; Eliz Kell, 19, b Newcastle; Ann Fox, 27, b Newcastle; Ann Newham 27, b Newcastle; Jane Robson, 27, b Scotland; Eliz’h Fiddes, 35, b Whickham.37 Biddick House or Hall is an early C18 country house at Bournmoor, County Durham, between Sunderland and Chester-le-Street.38
1861: No record found.
- “Edward Spencer Brockett baptised 2 Sep 1847 in Whickham Parish, Co Durham, son of William Edward Brockett, Solicitor, and wife Maria Margaret, of Whickham House”.39 “Edward Spencer Brockett of Whickham House was buried in Whickham Parish 28 Mar 1848, aged 8 months”.40
- Frederick William Spencer Brockett born 1848 Gateshead.41 Not so far found in any other records except the 1851 census.
- “Caroline Harriett Brockett baptised 12 Jun 1850 in Whickham Parish, Co Durham, son of William Edward Brockett, Solicitor, and wife Maria Margaret, of Whickham House”.42 Not so far found in any other records except the 1851 census.
Bankruptcy proceedings were filed against William Edward 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”.43 He absconded and was declared an outlaw soon after. Mysteriously, no further records of William Edward or of Maria and the two younger children have been found. Perhaps they changed their surname? Or emigrated? Maria Margaret is said to have died in Italy in 1916,44 when she would have been about 99. The Will of a Maria M Brockett, proved 8 Jun 1886, Cuyahoga, Ohio, USA, shows her to have been a Brackett, the wife of Andrew J Brackett.45
Records have, however, been found of Charlotte Shield, Maria’s sister:
- She may have been the Charlotte Shield who applied for a passport 9 Jul 1860,46 although Shield is a common name.
- But she was—without doubt—recorded in the 1881 census: Charlot Shields, Visitor in the household of Coalmine owner Albany Hawk Charlsworth, aged 27, and his mother Sarah Charlsworth, 57, in Chapelthorpe, Crigglestone, Yorkshire, aged 72 [i.e. b c 1809], Widow [sic], born South Shields, Durham.47 This is confirmed by the following records.
- Robert Spencer Shield, aged 21, and Elizabeth Charlesworth were married in Landall, Yorkshire on 24 Jun 1844.48 The couple were recorded in subsequent censuses, for instance in 1871 —with a large household of 7 children and others—in Birkenhead: Robert S Shield, aged 59, Ret Surgeon, b Durham; Wife Elizabeth C Shield, 48, Yorkshire; 49 and, significantly, in 1891: Robert S Shield, aged 79, b Whitburn Durham, and Elizabeth C Shield, 68, b Wakefield, Yorkshire, brother and sister in law of householder Sarah Charlesworth, 67, in Milnthorpe, Sandal Magna, Yorkshire.50
- On 14 Nov 1884 Robert Spencer Shield Gentleman was Executor of the Will of “Miss Charlotte Shield of Scarborough, in the county of York, Spinster, who died 7 Oct 1884″.51 It would be interesting to see if Charlotte left anything to Maria< William Edward or their children, if alive. In 1866 Robert Spencer Shield had also been Executor of the Will of Isabella Brockett, mother-in-law of Charlotte’s sister Maria.
Third son of John Gent and Frances TROTTER, William Henry Brockett was a businessman and Mayor of Gateshead52 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 62.53 In 2011 William Henry was given the accolade of a Blue Commemorative Plaque from the City of Gateshead.54
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
1841: At King James St, Gateshead, William Henry, aged 35, Merchant; Margaret, 24; Mary, 3; John, 2; Frances, 1 month—all born in the County—and 3 Female Servants aged 23, 38 and 25. In the same building but as another head of household was Margaret, aged 45, Independent, with a Female Servant aged 18.
1851: In Gateshead, William Henry aged 47; Margaret, 34; John, 11; Frances, 9; Emily, 4; Thomas, 2; William Henry, 7 months.55
1861: In Bensham, Gateshead West, Durham, William H aged 37 [error for 57], Justice of the Peace and Newspaper Proprietor; Wife Margaret, 44; with children (all unmarried): Mary, 23; John, 21, Clerk in Newspaper Office; Frances, 19; Emily, 14, Scholar; Thomas, 12, Scholar; William H, 10, Scholar; Francis, 8, Scholar; Henry, 6, Scholar; George T, 5, Scholar; Margaret, 3; all born in Gateshead.56 Also in the household were Grace Thompson, unm, 24, Servant Cook; and two unmarried Domestic Servants, Isabella Robson, 21, and Sarah West, 23.
1871: In Tynemouth, Northumberland, as a lodger with a John Vest and his family, Margaret, aged 54, b Gateshead, Durham, Annuitant; daughter Mary, 33; sons William H, 20, Publisher of Newspaper; George T, 15, Solicitor’s Clerk. Following William Henry’s death the family went different ways. Eldest son John had married and set up home in Gateshead. Widow Margaret was here in Tynemmouth with 3 children; Francis & Henry were in New Zealand; daughter Margaret at school in Ipswich; and Thomas was in London and would leave for China within the next 16 months.
1881: A Visitor in Bilton cum Harrogate, Margaret, aged 64, b Gateshead, Durham, Annuitant; Mary, 43, b Gateshead, Durham, Annuitant.
According to Gateshead Tracts57 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.58 As far as the Brockett name goes, there are five male members of the younger generation who could pass it on. Children:
- Mary, bap 23 Feb 1838 Gateshead,59 died 17 Sep 1909 Newcastle-upon-Tyne60 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.
- John Brockett, born 29 Jun 1839, King James St, Gateshead,61 bap 24 Jul 1839 Gateshead;62 died 3 Jan 1902, 36 Lichfield St, Gateshead, occupation Clerk,63 aged 62. He married 29 Jul 1868 Tweedmouth, Northumberland, occupation Newspaper Proprietor, Elizabeth MATHISON of Middle Orde Tweedmouth d/o John Mathison Gent.64 Elizabeth died 18 Aug 1921 at 48 Curzon Street, Gateshead, aged 77,65 interred Gateshead East Cemetery 22 Aug 1921. Census records for John and Elizabeth: Read more
1871: At 1 Hoods Bdg, Gateshead, John, 31, Commission Agent, b Durham Gateshead; wife Elizabeth, 27, b Northumberland Hexham; son John E, 2, b Anick nr Hexham; and 2 unmarried 20-year-old female servants.
1881: At 5 Tyne Vale Terrace, Gateshead, Durham, John, 41, Agent (Coal & Iron) (CM) (Merch), b Gateshead, Durham; wife Elizabeth, 37, b Fenham, Northumberland.
1891: In Gloucester Rd, Elswick, Northumberland [now in Newcastle upon Tyne city], occupying 2 rooms, John, 51, self-employed General Commission Agent, b Durham, Gateshead; wife Elizabeth, 47, b Northumberland Fenham / Holy Island; son Hubert G M, 6, b Durham, Gateshead; (no servants).66
1901: In Gateshead, John, 61, General Commission Agent, b Gateshead, Durham; wife Elizabeth, 54, b Fenham, P[arish] of Holy Is, Northumberland; Hubert, 16, Electrical Engineer.
1911: At 48 Curzon St, Gateshead, Elizabeth, 67, Head, Widow, b Fenham, Holy Island; Hubert, 26, Son, Engineering (Electrical and General), on own account, b Gateshead, Durham. [Both recorded as Brackett.] 2 children recorded born alive, 1 still living (all scored through). 4 rooms in the dwelling. Entry signed by Elizabeth, written by Hubert? Perhaps the record of 2 births was scored through by Elizabeth. Her signature suggests that Hubert may have filled the bulk of the form in, and perhaps he recorded details she wished not to be recorded.
- John Edmond Simpson Brockett, born 1869 Hexham,67 bap 4 Feb 1869 as Brockett/Brackett,68 died 1876 Gateshead,69 buried 29 June 1876, aged 7.70
- Hubert William Henry Mathieson Brockett, born 11 Apr 1884.71 The PRO microfilms WO 363/B1717 and 171872 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.
- Frances, born 28 Apr 1841 King James St, Gateshead, bap 2 Jun 1841 Gateshead.73 Her birth and marriage are recorded in the GRO under the spelling Francis. Married 28 Oct 1862, Bryan John PROCKTER, St Mary’s Gateshead.74 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 1889,75 aged 49. Bryan married Jane Fairlamb CHRISTAL in Sunderland in 1893.76 Jane was 32 years younger than Bryan. He died in 1906,77 aged 70.78
- Margaret, born 1842 Gateshead;79 bap 9 Nov 1842 Gateshead;80 died 26 Apr 1843 Gateshead,81 aged 6 months.
- Emily, born 8 Jan 1847,82 bap 17 Feb 1847 Gateshead.83 Married 27 Nov 1867, John POTTS;84, issue: 1 son John Cuthbert b 1870, 1 daughter Margaret b 1873.85 Emily died in Gateshead in 1879.86
- Thomas, born 15 Jul 1848 King James St, Gateshead.87 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.
- William Henry, born 1850 Gateshead;88 aged 7 months in the 1851 census); died 23 Nov 1873 Gateshead,89 aged 23.
- Francis, born 1852 Gateshead,90 bap 2 Aug 1852 Gateshead.91 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,92 unmarried, Occupation Woolclasser.93
- Henry, born 1854, 5 Catherine Terrace, Gateshead,94 bap 16 Aug 1854 Gateshead.95 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,96 buried in the Mataura cemetry, NZ. Mary died 20 Mar 1956, aged 86.
- George Trotter, born 1855 Gateshead.97 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.98 George Trotter Brockett died 8 Apr 1896 in Upper Holloway, Middx99 aged 40. No surviving children.
- Margaret, born 1 Jun 1857, 5 Catherine Terrace, Gateshead,100 bap 13 Aug 1857 Gateshead.101 Census records for Margaret: Read more
1871: Scholar, Boarder at “The Cedars” in Ipswich, Suffolk, Margaret, aged 13, b Gateshead, Durham.
1881: In Hexham, Margaret, aged 23, Governess, b Gateshead, Durham.
1891: At 1 Trelower Rd, Fulham, London, Margaret, aged 33, Single, no occupation, b Gateshead, living with aunt Eliza, Head, 56, Widow, b Jamaica; 3 female servants, a Cook and 2 Housemaids.
1901: At 22 Mansel Rd, N Wimbledon, Surrey, Margaret, aged 43, Single, b Gateshead; living with aunt Eliza, 66, Head, Widow, b Jamaica; 2 female servants, a Cook and a Housemaid.
1911: At Dunkeld, 15 Belvedere Grove, Wimbledon, Surrey, Margaret, aged 54, Single, no occupation, b Gateshead, living with aunt Eliza [widow of Henry], Head, aged 76; 2 female servants, a Cook and a Housemaid.
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.102
Page Last Updated: October 22, 2022