Brokets of southeast N America 17th C
It seems that almost all the known Broket immigrants to N America during both the 17th and 18th C came to the southeast—in which we include not just Virginia and the wider Chesapeake Bay area, but also the Carolinas, and the West Indies too. Only one known Brockett is known to have immigrated to the north east during this whole period. For immigrants to the southeast in the 18th C, see this separate page.
Contents of this page:
1. Broket ‘Adventurers’ 1609-1639
3. Subsequent 17th C immigrants and mariners
William Brockett/Brackett: Transported to Virginia 1638
Mary Brockett: Transported to Virginia 1652
Jane Brockett: Transported to Virginia 1655
Edward Brockett: Transported to Maryland by 1658
Samuell Brockett of Virginia and Maryland 1657-75
William Brockett: Transported to Virginia 1668
Bryan Brockett: Transported to Maryland by 1669
William Brocket/t: Transported to Maryland by 1677
John Brockett: Arrived in Barbados 1682
John Brocket: Mariner to West Indies 1688
An ‘Adventurer’ in those days meant: “A person who undertakes or shares in commercial adventures; a speculator”.2 and several Brokets were Adventurers. Back in the mid to late 1570s Sir John Brocket II (d 1598) had invested as an adventurer in at least one of Sir Martin Frobisher’s expeditions looking for the Northwest Passage.
In 1606 the joint-stock Virginia Company of London was set up to invite investors to fund a colony in North America, and famously established a settlement at Jamestown in 1607.3 The Company excited the interest and investment of English landowners especially during Sir Thomas Smythe’s treasureship, 1609-13. Returns from tobacco were much higher than from other land, and attempts to grow it in England were suppressed by the Company.4 It was attractive therefore for the nobility and landed gentry, always trying to invest in land with better returns, to speculate on the new opportunities opening up across the Atlantic. Thus some members of the 17th C Wheathampstead Broket clan—not quite past the peak of its wealth—speculated. There are records of a Broket knight and a couple of younger sons investing, but only one appears to have actually sailed across (drowning on the voyage).
As for later immigrants, only Bryan is known to have descended from the Wheathampstead clan. Samuell may have been more distantly related. Other Broket immigrants would have been from unrelated families, or in a couple of cases perhaps Brakets.
The 3 Brokets of Wheathampstead who are known to have been Adventurers—two of whom in all likelihood never sailed across—were:
Not long after the Virginia Company’s incorporation, during Sir Thomas Smyth’s treasurership (1609-13), Sir John invested in a bill of adventure in the Company.5 He died in Sep 1613, so the investment would have passed to his son John Brockett of Caswell Esq (1583-1659) by or around then. At some point the investment materialised into 200 acres on the Elizabeth River in Norfolk VA, probably used for growing tobacco. It’s unlikely that either of them actually went there; they were investors in the tobacco crop. Both were buried in Wheathampstead, England.
Assignments like these were unregistered. No records were kept of the previous owner or the transactions involving ownership. They were similar to bearer bonds in that whoever physically held the paper on which the bond was issued owned the instrument.7 The assignment to Watson by Roulston was in 1639, but the assignment to Roulston by John Brockett Esq, could have been long before.
Francis Roulston alias Willcox hasn’t yet been identified in England or Virginia, but the 200 acres—this time specified as lying on the north side of the Broad Creek, a branch of the eastward branch of the Elizabeth River—had subsequently been inherited by Henry Watson’s widow, assigned by her to Richard Foster, by him to Richard Day and Richard Woolman, and by them to Bartholomew Hoskins, all by 6 Mar 1648, along with another 200 acres in the same location, which Woolman had acquired in exchange for transporting 3 men and a woman.8
Comment: Coincidentally, in 1703 William Brockett sold 70 acres near Church Creek on the west branch of the same Elizabeth River in Norfolk County, Virginia. At first sight you might think this was too much of a coincidence that some time before 1639 John Brockett of Caswell had relinquished ownership of 200 acres at the head of the broad creek of Elizabeth River in Low Co, New Norfolk, Virginia. But to do so would be a case of jumping to conclusions.Read more
The point here is that within a mere dozen or so years the 200 acres had passed through half a dozen different owners, so, tempting as it is to make a connection, there is next to no likelihood that there was any relationship between John Brockett of Caswell and William Brockett, vendor of 70 acres on the different Church Creek of Elizabeth River more than 60 years later. Broad Creek was indeed broad—Nugent lists many different land transactions of hundreds of acres a time there in the mid 17th C—and so apparently was Church Creek, for which Nugent also listed a number of transactions, including one mentioning its two main branches.9
This unmarried Adventurer went on a mission in 1617—perhaps to Virginia—for Sir Thomas Smythe (Smith) and associates of the Virginia Company. He had previously invested in an expedition to Timbuktu. By 1620 he had died. His executor took Sir Thomas Smythe to court. Edward was with little doubt the third son of Nicolas Esq and Joanna of Willingale, Essex.
Thomas Brockett, Gentleman, was listed as an Adventurer of the Virginia Company 1623-6.10 He was most likely either:
· A son of Nicolas and Joanna of Willingale Doe, which would make him an elder brother to Edward above.
It’s not so likely he was the 4th son of Gentleman William of Esyndon.
No record of Thomas in N America has been found; he probably never sailed across.
Records of Brokets in the southeast US during the 17th and 18th centuries present different challenges from those in the northeast. We know of only one immigrant to the northeast US during 17-18th C and he not only survived but current research suggests that the large number of Brokets—and some Brakets—subsequently recorded there during that period can fairly safely be considered his descendants. By contrast, we know of about a dozen 17-18th C records of individual Broket immigrants to different places in the southeast. And connections between them and descendants from them are mostly unknown and may be unknowable. As more archives digitise relevant documents and more DNA evidence appears some mysteries will be solved, but some records will have been lost, or never even made. But this isn’t to say that large numbers of unrecorded Brokets came to the southeast at this time. There were only about 50 estimated Broket households in England c 1650 and many of them are known about fairly well. And at least the challenge presented by the records in the northeast of the interchangeabilty of the spelling Broket and Braket for their surname isn’t so common in southeastern ones—except for Carolina William 1748-1821, a descendant of the northeast clan.Read more
Gibb lists about 34,000 immigrants to Maryland alone in the 47 years between 1634-81.14 The 9 Broket individuals so far found for this period were drops in the ocean of immigrants at the time. Bristol city’s Register of Servants to Foreign Plantations calendared over 10,000 indentured servants leaving Bristol for the New World in the 32 years between 1654-1686,15 and only half a dozen were Brokets. The period of service was usually four years but could be longer if the servant was less than 18 years of age. Sometimes terms of service were much shorter than four years.16 “According to some estimates, about 40 percent of those who arrived in these regions died during their terms, many in the first year.”17
Bristol was at the centre of colonial trade, supplying Virginia, Maryland, and the West Indies with the labour necessary to make their settlement successful.18 Bristol wasn’t the only port of embarkation, and not all immigrants were recorded, then as now.
“Women constituted only about 10 to 20% of the servants. The Chesapeake area had few towns, few churches, and virtually no schools. Most housing consisted of windowless huts built of green lumber, measuring about 16 by 20 feet, with dirt floors. The climate was hazardous, and the mortality rate disastrous, largely due to typhoid, malaria, and dysentery. The colony survived, but normal family structures almost disappeared. More than 75% of children lost at least one parent before reaching the age of 18, and grandparents were virtually unknown. Lacking the influence of town and church authorities, and living in great poverty and ignorance along the creeks and rivers that carried tobacco to the Chesapeake ports, the transplanted Englishmen usually lost most of the civilization which they had brought from home within a generation. Records of births, deaths, and marriages were not maintained, diaries not kept, and histories not written, so that present-day historians and genealogists have a very difficult time learning and proving anything about the people who lived there.”
Secure information is to be gleaned principally from land deals, tax lists, legal disputes, Wills and war service records, and these often didn’t mention relationships. Thus for early vital statistics we mainly have to rely on secondary and tertiary sources, many unreliable. For New England, where settlers established more stable societies and recorded the important events of that society,20 the situation for historians and genealogists is better, however many original early records have been lost there too, and as good transcribers and genealogists as Barbour and Jacobus were, their books for New Haven are nonetheless secondary sources.
This is an accepted genealogical method, however in the absence of other supporting circumstantial evidence it must be used with caution. Among these southeastern 17th (and some 18th) C Brokets there are individuals who only appear in a single record, and the temptation to link them too readily to others without reasonable support should be resisted. Please tell us if we failed to do so.
Two of the 11 were mariners who no doubt didn’t stay. At least 7 came over as indentured servants. None of the records found so far indicate if any of them had children.
Nicholas Brockett was involved in a lawsuit in 1635 involving wages due to sailors on the ship Increase, which had transported cargo to Virginia, and in which Nicholas had an interest. With little doubt this was the Nicholas from Lincolnshire, born 1593, and Stepney, London who later sailed to the Bermudas. The only other known contemporary Nicholas was the son of Richard of Ippolletts, mentioned in his father’s Will of 1603, but it’s unlikely it was him.
William was transported to Accomack Co, Virginia 1638 sponsored by Thomas Burbage,21 probably as an indentured servant. Nugent listed him as Brackett and one of 25 persons transported for Burbage.22 William was the only Brackett listed by Nugent. Filby listed 7 Brackets emigrating 1620-50.
It’s unlikely that he was the William who signed a land deed in Norfolk VA in 1703, but not impossible if he was especially young when he arrived. Otherwise, no further trace of William (whether Brockett or Brackett) has been found in southeast US records; perhaps he was one of the many thousands who died without any family in the harsh conditions.
Most male indentured servants at this time came aged 15-24, so William was likely b c 1614-23. Of course many came younger and some older, but the known English William Brocketts born within that time frame were:Read more
2. Only son of Edward of Hitchin, Leicestershire and Wales. But William was baptised and buried 11 Apr 1621.
3. One of the 10 children of William Esq and Sara of Stockenden, whose family was allegedly in dire straits in 1637. William himself had been imprisoned in 1628, and had been baptised c 1601-3. So while his circumstances might have favoured looking for a new life, he would have been a good bit older than most indentured servants immigrating to Virginia at the time.
If he was a Brackett, currently known recorded baptisms in England of surviving Williams are two:23
1. William Bracket, bap 25 Jan 1606 Swaffham, Norfolk.
2. “William the sonn of Henry Bracket, baptized June 1” 1600 Foulsham, Norfolk.24
In 1652 Robert Younge received 260 acres in Rappahanock Co, Virginia, for transporting indentured servants James Baggs, William Motley, Thomas Haines, Anthony Rone, William Syms and Mary Brockett.25
Because there were so few women among the colonists Mary, unless she died, probably quickly married once she had served out her indenture, and her surname changed.
Mary was probably b c 1628-37, perhaps a younger sister of emigant William and daughter of John and Joan of Dunton, baptised 1634. Alternatively she may have been the daughter of Francis and Chatherin, baptised in Kirkby on Bain, Lincs, the same year.26 A third and perhaps less likely possibility—because it would mean that she emigrated aged 31—is that she was baptised in Dorking 1621, possible older sister of Jane, emigrated 1655.
A document from Maryland containing a series of land claims brought dated 10 May 1658, recorded Edward’s transportation between 1652-58.27
Gibb’s index entry “transported 1652” is incorrect,28 Edward was transported between 1652-58. Most male indentured servants at this time were transported aged 15-24, so if that applied to Edward, he would have been born c 1628-43. The only record known of possible parents are of Nicholas and Agnes, who baptised a son Edward in St Dunstan Stepney, London 1635.29 No further record has been found of Edward.
In Oct 1655 William Thomas of Northumberland Co, Virginia, received 200 acres for transporting indentured servants John Gibbins, Elizabeth Glissen, Joan an Irish woman and Jane Brockett.30 Jane was probably b c 1631-40, possibly a daughter of John and Mary, baptised in Dorking, Surrey 1628.31 Alternatively she may have been the daughter of Mathewe and Alice, baptised 1640 in Mareham Le Fen, Lincs.32 Because there were so few women among the colonists Jane, unless she died, probably quickly married once she had served out her indenture, and her surname changed.
No record has so far been found showing how Samuell come to the Chesapeake Bay area.33 But by 1657 Samuell was recorded in Northumberland Co, Virginia as a witness to a sizable tobacco transaction and a purchasor at an auction, and 3 further records—in all likelihood of him—have been found between 1660-75:
1657: 20 Jul. “It appeareing to the Court by the Oathes of Thomas Gaskin & Samuell Brockett, that Henry Mayes hath paid fower hundred & fifty pounds of tobacco & caske unto Thomas Brewer out of a Bill of 465 lb & caske dated the first of March 1655. It is therefore ordered that the said Brewer acquitt & discharge the said Mayes of & from the said summe of 450 lb. of tobacco and caske out of the said Bill & also to pay him all Court charges.”34
1657: 24 Jul. “The goods of Thomas Reede deceased sold at an out cry as foll. To John Hulett, to Mr. Dameron, To Mr. Thomas Brewer, To Richard Nelmes, To Samuell Brockett, to Jno: Hulett 2330 Present William Presley, Sherriffe of Northumberland County 21th 9 br. This Out Cry was recorded.”35
1660: A series of pleadings in a case Samuell Brockett brought against Mrs Sarah Marsh regarding a tract of land in Kent.36
1. 21 Feb 1660: Samuell Brockett brought a petition before the Governor and Councell of Maryland, claiming the right to a tract of land in Kent on behalf of his wife, An, daughter of John Abbott of the Isle of Kent, which Mrs Sarah Marsh unjustly detained from him. Mrs Marsh’s attorney, Mr Richard Smyth, answered that she does not know of this right. To which Samuell Brockett showed the court a certificate signed by two witnesses prepared to testify in court saying that “An the wife of Samuell Brocket was the daughter of John Abbott of the Isle of Kent”. Smyth was satisfied by this, and the case was deferred to the court’s next meeting.37
2. 14 Nov 1661: Samuell Brocckett [sic] demanded a writ to arrest Sarah Marsh. A Warrant was issued to the Sherriff of Ann Arrundell County to arrest her.
3. 27 Nov 1661: Samuell Brocckett [sic] brought a petition again before the Governor and Councell of Maryland. He said he had previously sued Mrs Sarah Mash [sic] at a court held at Saint Marys 28 Feb 1661 for a parcel of land in Kent County for which he had a Patent, but her Attorney Mr Richard Smith claimed he could prove the land had been forfeited for rebellion. The plaintiff then requested the court to make Mrs Mash prove this or else allow him to take possession of the land. The court ordered a check of the records.
4. 28 Nov 1661: Plaintiff was granted a deferral till the next court. [However no further record has been found on the Maryland State Archives website.]
1666: Samuell Brockett was called to be a witness in a large claim of debt by William Smyth of St Marys against William Price of Charles County (30,000 pounds of tobacco & Caske). “Samuell Brockett declar’d he could say nothing in the Bussiness” [p.310] 38
1674: 10 Jul. An indenture of sale of land was signed and sealed between Capt William Boarman of St Maryes County Maryland Gent and Samuell Brockett of St Maryes County, Planter. Boarman was fully satisfied with the “certaine Sume of Tobacco” Brockett had paid him for it, and the land was described as about 50 acres lying in St Maryes County next adjoining to the land of Boarman purchased of Humphrey Howell on the South East and by the first branch of the Creek with a line drawn into the Swamp on the North East by some marked trees or sometimes a run of fresh water on North West and by the Swamp and Hills on the South West.39
Discussion: Thomas Gaskin or Gascoyne was an early Adventurer and Planter, with his first land patent in 1636 in Accomack Co and another in Northumberland Co in 1649. He patented 512 acres there with Henry Mayes in 1664, who according to Thomas’ Will of 1663-5 was his son-in-law.40 Samuell Brockett was therefore associating with prominent men in the community by 1657. So, by then he was a free man already established in the community, and by Feb 1660 at the latest had married An, daughter of John Abbott of the Isle of Kent, by right of whom Samuell owned a tract of land in Kent. John Abbott was one of the 12 freemen of the Isle of Kent in 1638.41
Northumberland Co was the same county to which Jane was transported in Oct 1655, but nothing more can be deduced from that than that it was a common destination for hundreds of others each year. How old was Samuell when he witnessed in court under oath in 1657? Presumably 21 or more, and since he was still buying land in 1675 he is unlikely to have been born much before 1600, and possibly as late as 1636. The only currently known Samuels born in England 1600-40 were:Read more
2. Samuell, baptised 24 Feb 1626 Radwell, Herts, son of John Brockett.44 Radwell is c 5-6 m N of Hitchin and Pirton, where John, Grocer, 4th s/o William III of Hitchin, Yeoman, was baptised 1600 and working in 1652, but it is not known if John or his three younger brothers married. Otherwise it isn’t known who this John father of Samuell might have been. This Samuel is the only one currently known who could have been the Samuel who emigrated.
3. Samuel, baptised 29 Mar 1626, Dunton, Bedfordshire, 5th son and 6th child of Edward and Ann Brockett. An earlier argument in support for this parentage was that it had been thought that this Samuel’s elder brother John might have been John of Newhaven. But DNA analysis suggests this is incorrect. This Samuel was mentioned in his father’s Will of 1660, and so it’s most likely that in the 1650s he was the Samuel living in Little Barford, near Dunton.
4. Samuell, baptised 27 May 1635, Reading St Mary, Berkshire, ?2nd son of Thomas and Kathren Brocket. This Samuell married in Reading St Mary in 1657 and a daughter was buried there 1661. However his nephew John may have emigrated to Barbados 1682, aged 16.
As a married man with property it is likely that Samuell had children. One could easily speculate that the William recorded in Norfolk Co in 1703, if not the William recorded transported by 1667 above, was his son, and perhaps also Francis I below, died 1712. But this would be pure speculation, not based on any actual evidence.
William was the only Broket in an online database of over 15,000 indenture contracts of servants sent to foreign plantations from the Registers of: Bristol 1654-86, Middlesex 1682-85 and London 1682-92 and 1718-59.45 For information about the RegistersRead more
Without having seen the original document which is in the Bristol 1654-86 Register, the summary of it supplied by the database is:
William Brockett, indenture dated 6 Aug 1668, destination Virginia, agent’s name Sarah Tandy
Who might William have been and might he have been the same William that was in one or more of these 5 following more-or-less contemporary records:
1. William Brockett recorded in Kent Co, Maryland, 1677-1719, see below.
2. The 1703 Norfolk Co VA land deed.
3. William Brockett who on 18 Feb 1678 was one of two witnesses to the Will of Roger SHACOCKE of Kent County on Maryland’s Eastern Shore.47 William was unlikely to have been a convict, but does this suggest that at that time he wasn’t an indentured servant?
5. Nash came to the conclusion that this was probably the William who, with wife Mary, signed the Norfolk 1703 deed. He further speculated that he might have been related to a family from Dorking, Surrey.
Proof statement: Read more
Most male indentured servants at this time were aged 15-24, but there were plenty of examples of recruitment well under the age of 14, even though this meant being released later as unattached minors. It was not against the law and nothing in the Bristol ordinance demanded consent from parents or masters before indentures for underage servants could be entered.49 An age of 14-24 in 1668 would date William’s birth 1644-54, but a younger age would obviously date it earlier and an older age later.
William and Mary from Wells, Somerset, had a surviving son William at that time—baptised 24 Sep 1654. The apparent poor economic status of the Wells clan and its nearness to Bristol, make it a possible source for a young indentured servant such as William, although emigrants came from all over England. Nash thought that the land sale in 1703 in Norfolk County, Virginia, possibly made by this William and his wife—also a Mary—accords with a 1650s birth date for William. The couple may have been illiterate or semi-literate, signing the document with marks.
The other known Williams born 1640-55 were:
1. The only known son of Thomas and Ellen of Codicote, baptised 1642. Thomas was the 6th son of John of Codicote Gent, and although the family’s prosperity had declined considerably by the end of his father John’s lifetime, Thomas was still of the class who would probably have sent their son to school. William, however, signed the 1703 land sale with an ‘X’.
2. 7th son of Joseph and Mary of Southwark, baptised 1640. Joseph was a Cheesemonger, educated and well-off, and although William was a younger son, he was unlikely to have been unschooled or have become an indentured servant. His younger brother Job went to Cambridge University. It may well have been this William who was recorded in London in 1685.
Nash speculated further that William was a son of Frances of Dorking, baptised 1624, brother of Jane, the possible immigrant of 1655. But this is pure speculation as it isn’t known if Frances even married.
Two records from Charles County in the southern central portion of Maryland have been found, and also one from England:
Record 1. A claim to land by the transporter of Bryan Brockett to Maryland dated 11 Sep 1669:
Thomas Thorowgood of Charles County Gent proved Right to foure hundred acres of land for transporting himselfe Frances his wife Thomas Thorne Charles Beckham Bryan Brockett Alice Scarbrugh Edward Hammond and William Butler. Warrant then issued in the name of the said Thomas Thorowgood for foure hundred acres of land (due to him for the Consideration aforesaid) cert’ retur’ xjth of December next.50
For an explanation of this first Record: Read more
So cert’ retur’, i.e. certificate returnable, in this record signified that the 2nd step was nearly complete and all Thomas Thorowgood Gent needed to complete the process of possessing the land was a patent.
The land claims connected to Edward in 1658 above and William in 1677 below consisted of assignments by the settlers to another person and would have been a stage preceding the issue of a warrant. They provided more details of the service by the settlers than this warrant of 1669.
Record 2. On 26 Nov 1675 Brian Brockett was one of two witnesses to the Will of Enoch FIELD of Charles County, Maryland, the other witness was John Nuby. The bequest named in the abstract was of 250 acres at Piscataway.53
Record 3. Briant Brokett, born 3 Mar 1655 Grimston, Norfolk: “the Sonne of John Brokett Minister of Grimston”.
Discussion: Is the following a good proof statement to show that the three records are of the same person? Read more
Bryane baptised 31 Dec 1626 in York, probable son of Mathew and Anna.
Brian, the youngest son of William Esq and Sarah, born 1625 at the latest.
Briant, third and youngest son of Rev John of Grimston, born 3 Mar 1654.
No further records of any of the three have been found in England. The 1675 Maryland record of Brian shows that he stayed there—for some years at least. To have been transported between 1663-69, the first two would have been aged 37-43 and at least 38-44 respectively, which would have been exceptionally old—the normal age range for indentured servants at least, being 15-24. Conversely, the third was clearly younger than the average age for transportation of indentured servants. If the transportation was only shortly before the 1669 record then this Briant would have been 14½. If it had been soon after 1663, he would only have been 7. Both these ages, or at least one of 13 or under, suggest that he was being accompanied by family. But it is of course also possible that either of the two 40-year-old Brians could have been an older family servant or relative.
Point 2. There is an earlier Maryland record showing that Thomas Thorowgood of Charles County, & Frances, his wife, transported themselves by 1664.54 His biography confirms that this was in 1663 as a free adult with his wife.55 Whether Bryan Brockett or the 5 others listed in the 1669 record had been with them in 1663 isn’t stated. All we know is that Thomas transported them between 1663-69.
According to Gibb, Bryan had been transported to Maryland by 1669.56 1669 was the date of the record containing the mention of Bryan, not the date of his arrival, as implied by Skordas.57 It may have been around the same time, it may not.
It’s unclear from the 1669 record whether or not these 5 transportees had had to perform service, so that doesn’t help us judge if the 5 settlers might have been transported earlier during the period 1663-69 or later. Thomas transported himself and his wife in 1663 yet didn’t prove his right till 1669. We only know that Thomas transported the others which means they didn’t come at their own expense.58
Point 3. We know a lot about the family of Rector John Brokett and Ann Thorowgood in Grimston. They had 3 sons, Thomas, baptised 1647, John, baptised 1648, and then 6 years later Briant, born 1655. The father died in Jan 1664, and the widow and sons would have had to vacate the Rectory. The 2 older boys would have been 16 and 15, probably able to cope with the upheaval, but Briant was only 8 years and 10 months old. The widow would probably have needed help from her wider family. The older 2 sons are both recorded later married not far from Grimston, but no further record of Briant has been found in England. Perhaps an offer for Briant to go with a kinsman to the New World came as a solution for Briant’s predicament.
Point 4. The family of Rector John Brokett of Grimston had had connections with and interest in Virginia.
2. In 1646, John, soon to become Rector himself married Ann THOROWGOOD, eldest daughter of the Rector of Grimston, Thomas Thorowgood, baptised there as Anna 1625/6. Thomas was the elder brother of Adam Thoroughgood of Norfolk Virginia fame.
3. Congham, the next parish to Grimston, was the home of the famous Henry Spelman 1595-1623 who sailed to Virginia Colony aged only 14.
4. The Brokets of Grimston would have heard talk of emigration to the New World.
5. The Thorowgoods of Grimston were of the Gentlemen class, and the suffix ‘Gent’ after Maryland Thomas’ name in the 1669 record shows that he came from that class.
6. There are 2 records of Thomas Thorowgood as a member of the Legislature of the Maryland General Assembly in 1666 and 1669,59 which was chaired by the Governor Charles Calvert, Lord Baltimore. Although he had died 26 years earlier, Adam Thoroughood had been a member of the Governor’s Council of Virginia and a Justice of the Court.
7. Although the Thorowgoods of VA and Maryland proliferated in the two or three generations following Adam Thoroughgood, the fact that Adam was an uncle of Briant’s mother suggests that this Thomas Thorowgood of Maryland was related to Adam and the Thorowgoods of Grimston.
8. In that case Briant’s mother, Ann Thorowgood, would have been a relative of Thomas Thorowgood of Maryland.
9. There were two Thomas Thorowgoods, sons of other brothers of Rector Thomas, Ann’s father. It isn’t known what became of them, but one may have been the Thomas who transported himself and his wife Frances in 1663.
10. It looks probable that the Bryan who was transported by Thomas was the Briant born in Grimston 1655.
The above, hopefully, is a sufficiently good example of a proof statement by negative proof supported by reasonable circumstantial evidence. Unless evidence appears to the contrary it is safe to conclude that the immigrant Bryan Brockett was the son of Rector John Brokett and Ann Thorowgood of Grimston, b 1655.
6 records of William Brockett have been found from Kent Co Maryland:
1. The assignment on 27 Mar 1677 by William Brockett of Kent County of the land due to him for his service, confirmed 9 Jun 1677.60
Wm Brockett proved then one right due to him for his tyme of service performed in this Province.
Jur cor [sworn before] me Matt: Warde
I Wm Brockett of the County of kent haue sold assigned & sett over unto John Wedge of the same County all my right of land due to me for my tyme of service performed in this Province, as wittnes my hand & Seale this 9th day of June 1677
Wm Brockett sealed
Test [Witness] Jno: Spicer
June 22th 1677. Warrant then granted to Jno: Wedge of Kent County for three hundred & fifty acres of Land (300 acres due by the aforegoing assignments from Clia: Tilden, Jno: Spicer, Isaac Gibson, Robt. Perke & Wm Brockett, & fifty acres more by the renewment of a Warrant [p 580] for the same quantity granted him the 22th of April 1675
2. A patent for 300 acres of land in Mount Pleasant, Maryland, dated 5 Sep 1579 granted to John Wedge of Kent County , due by assignment from the following who were awarded the acres on completion of their service:61
John Spicer for Margaret his wife: 50 acres
Thomas Bruffe for Susana his wife: 50 acres
and from Isaac Gibson for transporting himself and Katherine his wife to inhabit: 100 acres.
If you’d like to see the full text of the patent Read more
3. On 18 Feb 1678 William Brockett was one of two witnesses to the Will of Roger Shacocke of Kent Co, probated 31 Mar 1679.62
4. On 17 Feb 1703 at Kent County Court, Maryland, Ed Walwin authorised Attorney Edward Benwicke to prosecute on his behalf for damages against William Brocket.63
5. In March 1704 Kent County Court recorded an action of trespass on the case brought by Edward Mahar against William Brockett.64
6. In March 1719 Kent County Court recorded an action of trespass on the case brought by James Rae against William Brockett. The court note “Cepi Discontd by the Plt ” was probably the sheriff or bailiff’s notice that he had seized goods or the like from Brockett and Rae dropped further complaint.65
This record doesn’t necessarily mean that he or they had been transported by John Wedge. Wedge might have been a speculator who bought up rights and had acquired the right to land due for transporting William and the others. Also the document doesn’t provide the date when William completed his service, only that he had done so by 27 Mar 1677 at the latest. It is likely that it was around that time but it could have been earlier. Similarly, estimating when William might have begun his service and how old he might have been isn’t straightforward. “Most settlers transported by others were bound to serve their transporters, usually for four or five years … [But] sometimes terms of service were much shorter than four years.”66 Age at transportation for men was usually between the ages of 15 and 24, to work the farms.67 But these are all just usual figures. Assuming, nonetheless, that William completed a 4 year service in 1677 aged 19-28, he could have been b c 1649-58.
Record 2, dated 5 Sep 1579, is clearly a follow-on from the 1677 record above, referring to the 50 acres William earned for his service and then sold to John Wedge, his transporter.
Since William probably completed a 4 or 5 year service in or shortly before 1677 he couldn’t have been the William Brockett whose indenture was dated 6 Aug 1668, bound for Virginia, above. Even though movement between Virginia and Maryland was not uncommon—as with Samuell Brockett before him—a 1668 start would have meant a service of 8 or 9 years, which is unlikely. The 1668 William’s service would probably have been completed by 1672/3.
In sum, Given that most male indentured servants at this time came aged 15-24, William was likely b c 1649-58. Of course many came younger and some older, but the only known William born in this period lived and worked in Durham 1655-1705.
John Brocket of Stepney Middlesex Mariner invested in a ship bound for the West Indies, arriving Jamaica Aug 1688.
Page Last Updated: February 2, 2020