Brokets of Ireland - The Broket Archive

Brokets of Ireland

Records show that very few Brokets were ever in Ireland. Those recorded there in the 17th C were all from the Hertfordshire Grouping and most were on military business. Otherwise, side from a questionable 1871 census return in Lancashire England and a few dubious returns in North America, only one Brockett was recorded in the 1901 Dublin census—an English-born maidservant—and one 1831 Dublin bride 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.

Contents of this page:

1. Sir John III 1599-1605
2. William 1601
3. Dispute concerning land in Dromore 1628-33
4. Col William of Kinsale, Cork d 1655
5. Dispute concerning land in Kinsale? 1666-7
6. Other records
7. Erroneous records

1. Sir John Brokett III 1599-1605

Son of Nicholas Brockett Esq and Margaret HOO of Mackery End House, Wheathampstead. After being knighted 1599 in Ireland Sir John Brokett 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, see the separate page. His two sons John and Thomas were both in Ireland with him.

2. William 1601

This William isn’t recorded in Ireland, but carried letters from the Privy Council in Westminster 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. This William wouldn’t have been the one who later in 1642 was Governor of Kinsale, see below, since he was only born c 1588 at the earliest. This William could have been one of the following—most likely the first or perhaps the second—see the separate pages:

  • Son of John, b c 1527-32 d 1607, of Stowe and Impington, Gent, a second couisn of Sir John III.
  • Son of Robert of Bramfield, b after 1556, d 1607, a Citizen of London.
  • William, b c 1561-2 d 1626, eldest son of William of Esyndon Gent, b c 1531 d 1610.
  • William III, Yeoman of Hitchin, b c 1559-60 d 1623.

3. Dispute concerning land in Dromore 1628-33

A search for the name Broket and variants in an index of Ireland’s Equity Exchequer Bill Books 1674-1850 and a considerable collection of Chancery Records 1633-1851, revealed 4 records of hearings by John Brockett and Richard Weston—two in 1628, one in 1630 and one in 1633—and one by John Weston and Richard Brockett in 1628.2 Since the defendants in 2 of the 1628 cases were the same—Francis Cornewall et al—and no contemporary Richard Brockett could have been in Ireland at this time, there can be no doubt that the “Richard Brockett and John Weston” was a scribal error for “John Brockett and Richard Weston”. Furthermore, a complaint had been brought in 1603 to Chancery in Westminster by “your daily Orator John Brockett of Whetthamsteed in the County of Hartford Esq and Richard Weston of the Inner Temple London Esq” against George Cope concerning certain towns and townlands in Down and Dromore, Ireland, conveyed to John and Richard by “John [the] Bishopp of Downe and Dromore”.3 Even though this was 25-30 years prior to the 1628-33 hearings, they clearly relate to the same property, and although the 1603 Westminster Complaint was during Sir John Brockett III’s time in Duncannon (d 1613), it and the later hearings were with little doubt brought by his son John, who was an Esquire of Wheathampstead (d 1658-9), see the separate page—and although only about 20 in 1603 had been in Ireland with his father around that time. It’s unlikely to have been brought by his second cousin, the other contemporary John Brockett of Wheathampstead Esq (b c 1571 d 1649), who isn’t otherwise recorded with any interests in Ireland, see the separate page. A closer study of the 1603 Westminster Complaint might confirm.

These are the 5 records of hearings:

  1. 1628 6 Feb: Plaintiffs: John Brockett, Richard Weston. Defendants: Francis Cornewall, Brian Grome O Morgan & Rorie Morgan.4
  2. 1628 27 Oct: Plaintiffs: Richard Weston, John Brockett. Defendants: Theophilus Lo: B[isho]pp of Dromore, Fra: Cornewall, Brian grome O Morgan, Fargus O Mulronye, Murtagh O Morgan & Rorie O Morgan.5
  3. 1628 13 Nov: Plaintiffs: John Weston, Richard Brockett [sic]. Defendants: Frances Cornewall, Brian Groome O Morgan & Rorie O Morgan.6
  4. 1630 14 Jul: Plaintiffs: John Brockett, Richard Weston. Defendant: Patricke mcCormacke.7
  5. 1633 26 Nov: Plaintiffs: John Brockett, Richard Weston. Defendant: John Worseley.8

Since these are only records of hearings, no details of the case itself are provided. So it’s unclear if the differing defendants indicate different cases, or simply different defendants for the same case—more especially with the 1630 and 1633 hearings. However, as well as the Bishop of Dromore, the 1603 Westminster Complaint mentioned “one John Worsley sonne and heire of the said William Worsley deceased”. It’s not known who Frances Cornewall or the others were. In any event, somewhat in the way that Sir John III and his son John speculated in land in Virginia, it’s likely that John and Richard would have obtained the land as a speculative investment as absentee landlords; Dromore is a good 320 miles N of Duncannon, and even further from Wheathampstead and London.

4. Col William of Kinsale, Cork d 1655

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.9

Hine transcribed the following records:10

  1. 19 May 1642. Colonel Brockett landed at Kinsale with 460 men of Sir John Pawlett’s Regiment of foot.
  2. 1644. A Manifestation directed to the Parliament in England from Lieutenant Colonel William Brocket Governor of Kinsale.
  3. 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.
  4. 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”.11
  5. 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.12 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.13

The British Civil War (BCW) Project regimental wiki has a summary of his professional life on a page entitled “Colonel William Brockett’s Regiment of Foot”,14 and details of his personal life van be found on the separate page.

5. Dispute concerning land in Kinsale? 1666-7

In addition to those concerning land in Dromore 1628-33, two other hearings were found in a search for the name Broket and variants in an index of a collection of Ireland’s Chancery Records 1633-1851:15

  1. 1666 1 Feb: Plaintiffs: Christoph’r Brockett, Edmond Brockett Jun’, Edmond Brockett sen’, Robert Brockett, Mary Scourfeild & Francis Scourfeild. Defendants: Henry Bathurst and Jane his wife.16
  2. 1667 14 May: Plaintiffs: Henry Bathurst and Jane his wife. Defendants: Susanna Brockett, Edmond Brockett the eld’r, Robert Brockett & Edmond Brockett the young’r, Christoph’r Brockett, Mary Scourfeild, Anne Scourfeild & Francis Scourfeild.17

These Brocketts are all from the family of Rev John Brockett, died 1662—see the separate page—younger brother of Colonel William Brockett, Governor of Kinsale 1642-6, died 1655, see above. In his Will, William “of Castle Parke in the County of Corke Colonell” referred to “Lands and houses either in England or Ireland”, and in the same way that William’s copyhold property in Saffron Walden, Essex, devolved to his brother John—and then by his Will to his wife Susan—it appears that these lands in Ireland—presumably in Kinsale—did so too.

That the land in dispute was in Kinsale is supported by the probability that the Henry Bathurst of the other party was Recorder of Kinsale, as the following contemporary records suggest:

1. 1676 Jul 24: “Captain William Crispin, London thanks the Board for his warrant received at Kinsale, and requests … an enquiry into the houses and rents here, not considered since 1661 by the late Henry Bathurst.”18

2. 1677 Mar 28: “Thomas Loader of parish of Kingroane, near Kinsale, ship’s carpenter gives evidence … that John Pearce on orders of Henry Bathurst, deceased, later Recorder of Kinsale, removed timber, a boom and ringbolts from the dock and yard at Kinsale for his private use”.19

3. 1677 Apr 3: “William Crispin, Clerk of the Cheque, Kinsale … reports on the embezzlement of timber, through evidence of witness, Thomas Loader, great pieces of timber were found in the houses and lands of Henry Bathurst and William Gribble of Kinsale.”20

According to Nicholas Kingsley’s website Landed Families of Britain and Ireland “Henry Bathurst (1623-76), 7th s/o Bathurst, George (1589-1656) … [was] attorney general for Munster; recorder of Cork and Kinsale; lived at Castlepark (Co. Cork)”.21

6. Other records

1. 1661. A search through the online version of the Index to the Prerogative Wills of Ireland 1536-1810, ed Sir Arthur Vicars, 1897, Dublin, Ireland, p 54 produced only one result:22 A copy of the Will of “Brocket, col. Wm., Castlepark, co. Cork, esq.” This was Col William of Kinsale, see above. It is presumably a copy of his Will, proved at the PCC 1655, for a transcription see the separate page.

2. 1831 25 Jan: Daniel Goulding and Margt Brockett were married in St Mary, Pro Cathedral, Dublin (RC), witnesses Bridget and Thos Canfield.23

3. 1849: Mary Anne Finegan, daughter of James Finegan and Nora Broket was baptised in St Mary, Dublin (RC).24

4. 1901-4: In 1901 “Emily Brockett, aged 24 [i.e. b c 1877], Domestic Servant (Parlour Maid), born England, religion: Roman Catholic, can read and write” was recorded with two other 23-year-old, Irish, RC, female domestic servants in Fitzwilliam Square West, Dublin, in the household of Arthur H Benson, aged 48, Oculist and Aurist, and wife Ethel M Benson, aged 25, both born in Dublin City, religion: Church of Ireland” [i.e. Protestant].25 Then on 21 Aug 1904 Emily Brockett of 42 Fitzwilliam Sq was 2nd witness to the marriage in St Mary, Pro Cathedral, Dublin (RC), of Charles Byrne of 5 Hill St and Mary O Reilly of 28 Up Abbey St; Charles was the son of John Byrne and Maria Browe, and Mary was the daughter of John O Reilly and Kate Hogan; the 1st witness was Michael Keogh.26 Comments:

1. Emily’s is the only Broket (or variant) surname recorded in the currently digitized censuses for the whole of Ireland.27 Arthur and Ethel Benson were at the same address in 1911, but their 3 unmarried female servants were all different. Emily was no longer with them, nor indeed with anyone else—of the hundreds of Emilys in the 1911 Ireland census there were none with a similar surname to Brockett. No marriage or death record in Ireland has currently been found. She may have left Ireland.

2. It would have been difficult for Emily to claim an age of 24 in the 1901 census if she was less or more than 16-30, i.e. born before or after 1871-85. There are only 6 known Emilys born as Brocketts in the UK 1868-85:

1. Emily Florence, born c 1869 according to her marriage certificate, see comment 3 below.
2. Emily Sarah, born 1874 Battersea, London, see comment 4 below.
3. Emily, born 1876 Hertfordshire. Recorded unmarried in the 1901 and 1911 censuses, died unmarried 1926, see this separate page.
4. Emily, born 1877 Bedfordshire. Married Albert COX in 1896 and was in Yorkshire in 1901 and 1911, see this separate page.
5. Emily Eliza, born 1881 Kingston, Surrey, and probably died 1885 called Emily Marion, see this separate page.
6. Emily Caroline, born 1885 Bedford District. Recorded unmarried in the 1901 and 1911 censuses, married Albert MYERS in 1928, see this separate page.

And there are only 2 known Emmas born as Brocketts in the UK between 1871-85, indeed between 1864-1911:

1. Emma Annie, b 1872, St Neots District. Recorded at home with her parents 1881, 1891, 1901 and 1911. Married Walter WICKS 1913, see the separate page.
2. Emma Florence, b 1876, Northampton District,28 emigrated with her parents to Australasia in 1877, and died in New Zealand 1899, see the separate page.

3. The marriage certificate of “Emily Florence Brockett, aged 40 [i.e. b c 1869], Spinster, father: John Brockett, Builder; and William Michael COFFEY, 71, Widower, Engineer, father: Edward Coffey, Fitter, in St Pauls Wimbledon Park [C of E] Church, London on 16 Oct 1909,29 is the first record found for her. Her birth was not apparently recorded in the UK, and she wasn’t recorded in any of the censuses 1871-1901. Coffey is an Irish name, however if her age was given correctly, this Emily would have been 31 in the 1901 Ireland census rather than 23. Moreover, the only known Emily Brockett born in the UK 1860-85 who had a father named John was Emily Caroline, b 1885, see above—described as Agricultural/General Labourer. William Coffey, aged 72, Gas Engineer, and wife Florance, 42, born Wandsworth, were recorded in the 1911 census at 281 Earlsfield Road, Wandsworth, London.30 William Michael Coffey died in Clewer, Berkshire, buried in St Andrew’s Church 9 Mar 1918.31 Emily Florence Coffey was recorded in Clewer Electoral Registers 1920-3.32 She was not apparently recorded in the 1939 Register of England and Wales.

4. Emily Sarah was the daughter of Lucy, daughter of David Brockett 1834-87 and Lucy SAWING. Emily was born in 1874 in impoverished circumstances in Battersea, no father mentioned, and no further record found of her mother, see the separate page. In 1881 Emily S, aged 7, was living with her grandparents in Battersea, but both had died by 1887, as had a number of others in the family. In 1887 Emily Brockett, a Domestic Servant, had a son in Battersea Workhouse, no father mentioned, but the child died 2 years later in 1889. Although only aged 13 in 1887, Emily Sarah was the only possible mother out of the known Emily Brocketts born in the UK up till then. Emily wasn’t recorded in the 1891 England census, when she would have been 17—had she perhaps gone to Ireland? When the Ireland 1891 census is digitised we may find out. She wasn’t recorded in the UK in the 1901 or 1911 censuses or the 1939 Register of England and Wales. She was possibly the Emily in Ireland 1901-4.

5. The Emily Brockett, aged 36, Single, Cook, recorded at 13 Beaufort Road, Edgbaston, Birmingham, born Birmingham was a mistranscription for Emily BROWETT.33 Emily Browett was recorded aged 28, Single, Housemaid Domestic, in Birmingham City Hospital, born Birmingham, in the 1901 census, and a birth in Aston (Birmingham) was recorded for Emily Browett in 1874.34

7. Erroneous records

1. Mistranscriptions:

1. 1738 18 Aug: Willy Beckett was 1st sponsor of the baptism in St Michan Parish, Dublin (RC), of John Clarck, son of John and Nelly Clarck of Marys Lane; the 2nd sponsor was Mary Shea.35 Indexed as ‘Brockett’, but the final two letters ‘e’ and ‘c’ are similar to others round about and the ‘r’ and ‘o’ roundabout are completely different.
2. 1848 24 Mar: “Thos and Wm Brockell“—indexed as Brockett—recorded with Joseph Aldridge in a court case.36
3. 1854 23 Jan: Jacobus Joseph Mallin, son of Jacobus Mallin and Maria Anna Brockell of 12 Marks Alley, was baptised in St Nicholas Parish, Dublin (RC).37 Indexed as ‘Brockett’, but the final two letters are uncrossed, like the priest’s name Bernardo Farrell.
4. 1877 7 May: Maria Brockell was sponsor of the baptism in St Mary, Pro Cathedral, Dublin (RC), of Maria Leary, born 2 May, daughter of Jacobo Leary and Joanna Dodd of 2 Bolton St.38 Indexed as ‘Brockett’, but the final two letters are uncrossed, like the names Donelly and O’Donell in the previous two entries.

2. The 1871 census recorded a Patshet 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”:39

1. Thomas, unm, 18, Carter, ie b c 1853
2. William, 12, Boiler Maker, ie b c 1859
3. Mary, 11, Scholar, ie b c 1860
4. Catherine, 8, Scholar, ie b c 1863
5. Ellen, 4, ie b c 1867.

The GRO recorded no marriage or death for a Patshet Broket, or similar first name like Patrick, nor births or marriages corresponding to any of the 5 children, and none of the family are found in earlier or later censuses. 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: May 1, 2021


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


[1] Hine n d p 68.

[2] Images accessed on 21 Apr 2021.

[3] TNA C 2/JasI/B1/42, accessed 21 Apr 2021.

[4] Frame 637/1033 of Ireland's microfilm of the Equity Exchequer Bill Books, and also an identical entry in the Chancery Bill Books microfilm, images accessed on 21 Apr 2021.

[5] Frame 601/1033 of Ireland's microfilm of the Equity Exchequer Bill Books, and also an identical entry in the Chancery Bill Books microfilm, images accessed on 21 Apr 2021.

[6] Frame 607/1033 of Ireland's microfilm of the Equity Exchequer Bill Books, and also an identical entry in the Chancery Bill Books microfilm, images accessed on 21 Apr 2021.

[7] Frame 756/1033 of the microfilm of Ireland's Equity Exchequer Bill Books, and also an identical entry in the Chancery Bill Books microfilm, images accessed on 21 Apr 2021.

[8] Frame 613/726 of the Chancery Bill Books microfilm, image accessed on 21 Apr 2021.

[9] Jansson 2001 p 112-3. Thanks to Bill Grayer for this reference, Oct 2018.

[10] n d pp 139-42.

[11] Chas. Smith M.D. note in History & Present State of the County & City of Cork 2nd edn 1774.

[12] State Papers Ireland vol 261 f 62.

[13] Hine 1929 vol 1 p 178 citing A Kingston's Hertfordshire during the Great Civil War and the Long Parliament, and a Star Chamber proceeding.

[14] (accessed 29 Oct 2018).

[15] Images accessed on 21 Apr 2021.

[16] Frame 638/668 of the Court of Chancery Records microfilm, image accessed on 21 Apr 2021.

[17] Frame 653/668 of the Court of Chancery Records microfilm, image accessed on 21 Apr 2021.

[18] TNA catalogue: ADM 106/318/326.

[19] TNA catalogue: ADM 106/325/369.

[20] TNA catalogue: ADM ADM 106/325/367.

[21], accessed 27 Apr 2021.

[22] Accessed accessed on 21 Apr 2021.

[23] Church Records project, entry DU-RC-MA-112188, p 50, image accessed on 21 Apr 2021.

[24] Church Records project, entry DU-RC-BA-355865, nook 3 #152, transcription accessed on 21 Apr 2021, record not yet imaged.

[25] 1901 and 1911 census digitization project, image accessed on 22 Apr 2021.

[26] Church Records project, entry DU-RC-MA-128351, p 197, image accessed on 21 Apr 2021.

[27] As of 26 Apr 2021.

[28] GRO qtr 1, vol 3b p 75.

[29] Marriage certificate.

[30] Census reference RG14PN2382 RG78PN79 RD26 SD6 ED13 SN20, image accessed on FMP 24 Apr 2021.

[31] GRO Q1 vol 2C p 626, aged 79; Berkshire Burial Index, transcription © Berkshire Family History Society accessed on FMP 24 Apr 2021.

[32] The British Library ref SPR.Mic.P.200/BL.B.34, transcription accessed on FMP 24 Apr 2021.

[33] 1911 census, rg14_17924_0259_03, accessed on 22 Apr 2021.

[34] GRO qtr 1, vol 6d p 377.

[35] Church Records project, entry DU-RC-BA-664678, p 100, image accessed on 21 Apr 2021.

[36] Chancery Bill Books microfilm, image accessed on 21 Apr 2021.

[37] Church Records project, entry DU-RC-BA-760425, p 480, image accessed on 21 Apr 2021.

[38] Church Records project, entry DU-RC-BA-567690, p 51, entry 559, image accessed on 21 Apr 2021.

[39] 1871 England Census; Class: RG10; Piece: 3951; Folio: 7; Page: 7; GSU roll: 841947, image accessed on 22 Apr 2021.

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