Brokets of Ireland
Very few Brokets were ever in Ireland. The three recorded in connection with Southern Ireland in the 17th C all went there on business. Otherwise, one—questionable—record from the 1871 census and a few dubious immigrations to the USA have been found. None are known to be there today; a search through the Golden Pages for Ireland May 2002 showed a few Brockerts but no Brocketts.
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Son of Nicholas Esq and Margaret HOO of Mackery End House, Wheathampstead. After being knighted 1599 in Ireland Sir John Brockett began a military career there as Commander of the Fort of Duncannon. But allegations of counterfeiting coins there—whether true or false—cut it short before 1606.
William carried letters from the Privy Council to Sussex to muster horsemen to fight the Spanish army which had landed in the South of Ireland.1 Sir John III was Warden of Duncannon Fort there at the time. It is unlikely that this was the William that was Governor of Kinsale 1642, below, who was probably only b 1588 at the earliest. This William could have been son of one of the following—most likely the first—all born in the 1560s:
William was the eldest surviving son of Edmund Vicar of Luton, probably born 1588-94. A military man, he became Colonel and Governor of Kinsale in Southern Ireland for Parliament and the Puritans during the Civil War 1642-6. Kinsale was a strategically important harbour c 10 miles W of Cork. This is an example of an eldest son of a Royalist being a Parliamentarian during the English Civil War. He ended his days in Saffron Walden, Essex.
1642: 20 Mar, York. The 2nd Bishops War. Wm Brockett was one of 40 signatures on a letter from the army to the General, the General to the King and the King to Parliament asking for money to pay the army.2
Hine transcribed the following records:3
- 19 May 1642. Colonel Brockett landed at Kinsale with 460 men of Sir John Pawlett’s Regiment of foot.
- 1644. A Manifestation directed to the Parliament in England from Lieutenant Colonel William Brocket Governor of Kinsale.
- 1645. Kinsale fort was commanded by Capt. William Brocket by the appointment of the Parliament in the place of Captain Kittleby who was displaced for his loyalty to the King. But on Feb 10 1648 Prince Rupert arrived in Kinsale, his brother Maurice having arrived a fortnight before; he brought with him 16 frigates. “The news of the King’s martyrdom having arrived Prince Rupert proclaimed the new king at Kinsale with all the solemnity the place was capable of & put himself & all his officers in mourning, & even the Ensigns, Jacks and Streamers of all the fleet were altered to a colour suitable. Hereupon Parliament sent Admirals Blake and Dean to block up this fleet in Kinsale harbour which they effectually did all the summer.” The Royalists appointed another governor of Kinsale.
- Captain William Brocket “being ordered by the Marquis of Ormond to surprise sixteen ships of war in the Parliament service, instead of doing so, feasted the captains, and warning them of the danger they all escaped”.4
- 1645. A list of the present strength of horse and foot in the province of Munster as appears by the muster roll given in by the Lord President includes Col. W. Brockett’s Regiment in 4 Companies 37 officers 264 foot in toto 301. The total force was 848 horse and 4,313 foot.5 The total of the horse and foot in all Ireland was 26,124.
In 1640 Captain William Brocket was besieged in his house in Hitchin by mutinous soldiers demanding wages, until he ran through the leader with his sword.6
The 1871 census recorded a Ratshet [or Patshet or Ritshet] and Mary Brocket at 7 Half Street, Heap, Heywood, Lancashire—probably now in Greater Manchester near Bury—born Ireland, he a Sadler, aged 40, she aged 42, with children, all born ‘England’:
- Thomas, unm, 18, Carter, ie b c 1853
- William, 12, Boiler Maker, ie b c 1859
- Mary, 11, Scholar, ie b c 1860
- Catherine, 8, Scholar, ie b c 1863
- Ellen, 4, ie b c 1867.
The GRO recorded no marriage or death for a Patshet, Ratshet or Ritshet, nor births or marriages corresponding to any of the 5 children. Perhaps the enumerator repeated the -et of Patshet by mistake, and the name was Brock, or Brockert or Brock…. He also hesitated or miswrote the c in the surname. Given that the only 3 other Broket previous records found in Ireland were in the 17th C, this census entry is in all likelihood erroneous.
Page Last Updated: October 29, 2018