Until modern-day ease of travel from the UK, Brokets in Europe have been noticeable for their rarity, and only half a dozen isolated records have been found. A search in 1998 through relevant books and documents in La Bibliothèque Généalogique, rue de Turbigo, Paris, for instance, showed no Broket.
The names Brocard and Broquette are found in France and Brochet among Walloons, but these are unrelated names. Some of these names may have been modified to Brocket or Brockett after emigration to the USA or Australia.
Records of 3 individual Brokets, who most probably originated from England, have been found from the 13-15th C:
- a cloth merchant in Flanders in 1260
- a knight in Castile in 1344
- a Chaplain on the island of Jersey under warrant for arrest by the king in 1416:1
[Warrant for] the arrest of Drugo le Broket
1. The king sends greetings to his beloved Robert Oliver Esquire. Know that for very good reasons expounded to me and my council we have assigned you to arrest Drugo le Broket of the island
2. of Jersey, Chaplain, wherever he may be found both within the liberties and without in the islands of Guernsey, Jersey, Sark and Alderney and as soon as he has been captured
3. you are to bring him before me and my said council or by anybody for whom you are prepared to vouch, making him to answer to these things which shall by me and my council
4. then be alledged against him there and he will then do and receive whatever shall then happen to be ordained by the same council of mine in this matter. And we therefore firmly order you
5. enjoining that you act on these matters diligently and do and execute them as instructed. We therefore instruct all our bailiffs, jurats and other
6. loyal subjects of ours in the aforesaid islands firmly by the terms of this document to give you advice and assistance in carrying out the aforesaid
7. as is proper In witness etc the king at Westminster 24 March.
The insertion of the definite article le in front of a [supposed] foreign name was a common convention used by Latin scribes.
- On 3 Oct 1643 Alexander Brocket Merchant of Antwerp, Flanders, was freed from Southwark jail in London by a £1000 bond “with condition forthwith to depart this kingdom and to send certificate by Tomlin of his arrival beyond seas, and not to return without license of the Governor of Dover Castle”.2 A search through the available Parish Registers for Antwerp between 16-18th C in the General State Archives in Brusssels in summer 1999 revealed no Brokets.
- 15 May 1680 Pass issued to Anthony Brocquett, native of Flanders3
- 18 May 1694 Whitehall Pass for Allain Brocket, a French Protestant, to go to Holland4
- 5 Oct 1696 Whitehall Pass for Alexander Broquet to go to Holland.5
The name with the last three was probably stressed on the second syllable and was perhaps an Anglicisation of Brocard or the like—in 1693 Peter and Mary Brochard were in a warrant for denization of a long list of French Protestants.6
Page Last Updated: August 21, 2023