Brikets - The Broket Archive


As with the surname Braket, Briket is orally distinct from the surname Broket. If your surname is Brickett you wouldn’t get called Brockett as a simple variant. According to surname authorities the name Brickett is a variant of Birkett.1 Read more

So on the rare occasion that a Broket was recorded as Briket you can be almost certain that a misspelling or mistranscription occurred, as for instance in the 1841 census with the family of Edward Brockett of Shoreditch, and in the IGI transcription of the 1881 census for Thomas Brockett of Lambeth, and probably in 1546 with Margaret of Hitchin below.

Conversely there have been instances of Brikets being misspelt as Brokets, as with Margarett of London in 1540 and Thomas of Dunstable in 1544 below. In addition to these examples, this page also lists various early instances of Brikets to illustrate the distinction between them and Brokets.

The main focus of this page is the 16th C. A good, wider overview of the name was provided by Dr Penelope Christensen of BC Canada for her Brickett One-Name Study, registered with the Guild of One-Name Studies. You can download a Word version here.

Contents of this page:
+++Margarett of London 1540
+++Margaret of Hitchin 1546
+++Thomas of Dunstable 1544-73
+++William of Northamptonshire 1535-62
+++Other Bedfordshire Brikets
+++Richard and Grace of Barley, Hertfordshire
+++Other Common Pleas cases
+++Kings Bench cases
+++Muster 1599

Margarett Briket of London 1540

This was an instance of Briket being wrongly catalogued as Broket.

The UK National Archives holds a document which their catalogue describes as a certiorari writ,2 in which Christopher Bryghttyff brought a complaint against Martin Bowez and [William] Lackeston, sheriffs of London concerning an action of debt by Margaret Broket, London. It notes that these sheriffs held office in 1540. The document is faded and mutilated in places but a close-up of the only occurrence of Margarett’s surname under u/v light shows it to have been Briket not Broket:3

Margaret ‘Brickett’ of Hitchin 1546

This was probably an instance of Brockett being wrongly written up from field notes as Brickett.

The Exchequer Survey of the possessions of the former Carmelite Friary in Hitchin of 11 Apr 1546 stated; “Margaret Brickett Wydowe holdethe at the Wille of the lorde one tenement with a Garden therunto belonginge lying in Bullestrete payeing by the yere viijs”.4 Bull Street was another name for part of Bridge Street, which was where William Brockett’s Die House was situated. Indeed William’s house was mentioned in the preceding entry in the Survey at the foot of the page before: “John Munner occupies a tenement with a garden in Bridge Street between the tenement of William Brockett on the west and the tenement of Thomas Eldrington on the east paying 13s 4d a year.” Here are the scribe’s spellings of the two names:5
The two spellings in SC12/829 of 1546
This juxtaposition of a Broket and a Briket is a big coincidence, especially when no other Brikets have been found in Hitchin records from the 16th and 17th C. The scribe made various mistakes on the first page, so it is possible he made another one when writing up Margaret’s surname from the field notes that he presumably used, and that she was actually Margaret Brockett. There was a widow Margeret Broket living in Hitchin in 1524. Of course it could be that she was a lone Briket who came to Hitchin as a widow and happened to live near William Broket. But it seems unliklely.

The Exchequer Survey was no doubt the source for the section of a large grant by the king three months later in July 1546 of various priories and large properties to Edward Watson, of Rockyngham, Northhants, and Henry Herdson, Skinner of London, including “the site and chief mansion of the late priory of Friars Carmelites of Hychen, Herts, with buildings … and messuages …” The spelling of some of the names was slightly different—Myners for Munner, Brokett for Brockett and Bryket for Brickett—but otherwise the wording of the grant was clearly a slightly abbreviated version of the Survey.6

Margaret BRICKETT is mentioned again in conjunction with the former Carmelite Priory property— amongst the Delme-Radcliffe papers,7 which mentioned a messuage in Bull Street in the occupation of Margaret Brickett. This document is undated but Ralph Radcliffe bought Hitchin Priory in 1553, so the document was probably drawn up shortly after. Again, it is probable that the 1546 Exchequer Survey was the source document from which the details—like Margaret Brickett’s name—were copied.

Thomas Brickett of Dunstable 1544-73

5 records have so far been found of Thomas. The 1544 one with little doubt was an instance of Brikett being misspelt in a Will as Brokett.

1. 1544: He was bequeathed a featherbed in the Will of John Geffray of Dunstable, made 2 Jun, pr 16 Jun 1544.8 The Will was a simple one, bequests comprising:

“To Jone Symson a mattress, a pair of sheets and a coverlet. To godson John Geffray a featherbed. To wife Agnnes and John Rassh a quarter of barley at the next feast of All Saints. To his sister Jone Whyte a silver spoon. To Thomas Brokett a featherbed. Residue to John Deremer and testator’s wife who are executors. Thomas Butler supervisor, he to have a coat and a doublet.”

The only known Thomas Broketts alive at this time were not from Bedfordshire, but from the Hertfordshire clan, younger sons of Edward of Broadfield and Letchworth Esq and John of Swaffham Bulbeck Esq. That either of them was ever of Dunstable would be an unlikely coincidence.

2. 1547: At this time Thomas was married to Margaret, as shown by a Common Pleas action in which Thomas Brykett and Margaret his wife sold a messuage in Dunstaple to George Ackeworth Esq, paying 6s 8d to the Exchequer as the fine for the licence.9

3. 1563: At this time Thomas was occupying a tenement on the north boundary of Dunstaple called the White Harte, as shown by a Deed Poll of Henry Beacham, son and heir of William Beacham of Dunstaple, mercer, which begins+Read more

4. 1573: Thomas had died by 7 Oct this year as shown by probate on this date of the Will of Thomas Brickett of Dunstaple, written 29 Jan 1572, proved 7 Oct 1573.11+Read more
His [presumably 2nd] wife was Winifred. His daughters and son ‘in law’ probably meant what we call step daughters and son, children of Winifred by a previous marriage. His brother was Roland.

5. 1573: On 22 October Thomas, bailiff of Dunstable, was declared an outlaw in Hertfordshire for non-payment of a debt, as shown by the following Kings Bench case.+Read more

The defendant was outlawed because he failed to appear, successively, in court, despite several proclamations. The court may not have known that he was dead. The choice of the county to the sheriffs of which orders were sent to enforce an action lay in the hands of the plaintiff.13

William of Northamptonshire 1535-62

Six or more records concerning debts—either owing or owed—have so far been found for this William Bryket/Byrket Yeoman.14 The interest in him was that he was a contemporary of William Brokett Yeoman of Hitchin who died 1556, and to be sure that misspellings of the Broket surname hadn’t occurred somewhere along the line, it was necessary to investigate the known records of any 16th C William Brikets. In particular, the 1536 record concerning a debt he was chasing from a Butcher in Hitchin, when looked at in isolation seemed like a potential misspelling of Broket. If in some records he could be recorded as William Byrket, rather than Bryket, then maybe a William Brokett could have been recorded as William Brykett? However, looking at the records as a group gave no reason to suspect that any of them individually concerned William Broket, the 1536 one included. In half the six cases he was dubbed ‘of Thorpe Waterfeld, Northamptonshire’. Thorpe Waterfeld (Thorpe Waterville) is a village some 15 m W of Huntingdon and 35 m NNW of Hitchin. As for the county headings to the cases: Huntingdonshire, Lincolnshire or wherever, their purpose was to sort out which sheriff would be responsible for carrying out any orders. They said nothing definite about the plaintiff, and often were not the county of the defendant’s address.15 So that the 1536 case was to be sent to the Hertfordshire sheriff was not significant. The livestock mentioned in two of the cases—a thousand ewes in 1546 and 120 in 1562—suggest he might have been a a livestock dealer, which could possibly link him to the later the William Brickett, Butcher, of 1590. If so it would have been natural to do business in an important market town like Hitchin. Fleck and Poole published late 19th C photographs of the large sheep market there.16 In sum, it is unnecessary speculation to suspect that any records found so far of this William Briket concerned William Broket, and that 1536 one in particular.

1535: Hilary. Huntingdonshire. Richard Robers was suing William Brykkett of Thorpe Waterfeld, Northamptonshire, Yeoman for a debt of £13 6s 8d.17 Note that his name was spelt Byrkkett rather than Brykkett.+Read more

1536: Hertfordshire. William Brykett was suing William Smyth, Butcher, formerly of Hitchin, for a debt of 107s 6d.18 It didn’t say where William Brykett was from, but there is no good reason to suspect that his name had been misspelt and he was William Brokett of Hitchin.+Read more

1538: Northamptonshire. Edward Nikeson was suing William Brykett late of Thorpe Waterfeld, Yeoman, for a debt:19 +Read more

1538: Lincolnshire. Thomas Wymberley was suing William Bryket late of Thorpe Waterfeld, Yeoman for a debt of £40.21 Note that his name was spelt Byrket rather than Bryket. +Read more

1546: Northamptonshire. William Brykett was suing Joan Brykett of Thorpe Waterfeld, widow for a debt of £40:23 +Read more

1546: Northamptonshire. William Brykett was suing William Loftys late of Owndell, Tallow Chandler, for a thousand ewes worth £40:24 +Read more

1562: 23 Jan. Northamptonshire. Trespass regarding 120 ewes worth £28. William Bryckett v John Alcock:26 +Read more

1590: 7 Oct. The Certificate of residence showing William Brickett, Butcher, to be liable for taxation in Essex, Hundred of Barnstaple, residing in the parish of Great Bursted.28 is unlikely to have been for the same man as the cases above. He was assessed for 10s on £10 in goods.

Other Bedfordshire Brikets

1556: Will of Roger Lody of parish of Luton, husbandman, written 3 Mar 1556, proved 5 Oct. 1556 “To daughter Helen Brickett 2 quarter of barley, and to her two children Thomas and Agnes a sheep each.”29

1667: 11 March. Constables’ presentments for the Hundred of Manshead included one for Dunstable, in which John Bricket, Amos Clarke, Michael Shrowsbury presented Edwife Chester, Thos Hawkins, Richard Snoxell, Wm Chambers and Richard Couley for not going to church for 1 month.30 John Bricket being a constable for Dunstable suggests he might have been related to Thomas of Dunstable, d 1572, above.

1671: John Bryckett paid for 3 hearths in 2 houses in the 1671 Hearth Tax for Dunstable. He was presumably the same John who was Constable in 1667.

Richard and Grace Brickett of Barley, Hertfordshire

There was a well-to-do Briket couple Barley, Hertfordshire, in the second half of the 16th C. Although Barley is only c 20 m NE of Hitchin, there can be little doubt that they were related to the Brokets of Hertfordshire. Robert was probably the attorney, recorded in the Common Pleas actions of 1559 below. His origins have yet to be discovered—he isn’t apparently recorded as a student in Cambridge, nor in the Inns of Court.31 Their Wills suggest Robert and Grace had no surviving children of their own, but that Grace had children from an earlier marriage. So Robert may have come from elsewhere and married her as a widow.

The Will of Robert Brickett, Gentleman of Barley, written 10 May 1566, proved 10 Jul 1566 was as follows:32+++Read more

The Will of Grace Brickett, Gentlewoman and Widow of Barley, written 8 Apr 1589, 6 Mar 1593 was as follows:33+++Read more

Talking of St Margaret’s Barley, Chauncy said, “In the Middle [apparently of the chancel], on another Stone, there is this. Hic jacet Robertus Bricket Generosus, qui obiit decimo die Junii Ann. Dom. 1546, et Aetat. suae 49.”34. i.e. “Here lies Robert Bricket gentleman who died 10 Jun 1546 aged 49.” 1546 was obviously an error. A parochial history of Barley by the brothers Frere dated 1890 recorded a 1747 account as saying: “In the middle aisle lies a grey marble before the pulpit, which has this inscription on a piece of brass ‘Hic jacet Robertus Bryckett Generosus, qui obiit decimo die Junii Ann. Dom. 1566, et Aetat. suae 49’, and added that Bryckett’s inscription “is now being restored to its proper place in the church after some years of absence” however there is no sign of that.35

But if Robert was 49 when he died, he would have born c 1517.

Chauncy also listed among the benefactors to Barley parish: “Robert Bricket gave an House rented at £3 to the Poor of this Parish.”36

Grace, Widow, was recorded in the 1567, 1571 and 1572 subsidies for Barley, assessed at 3s for 60s, 6s 8d for £4 in goods, and 4s for £4 in goods respectively, as follows:37

Grace Brickette of Barley tax 1567
Grace Bryckett of Barley tax 1571
Grace Brickett of Barley tax 1572

Other Common Pleas cases38

1538: Essex. Trespass in a close. Richard Bonyng, Elizabeth his wife, Thomas Wylborowe, Joan his wife, Robert Proo, Margaret his wife, and Alice Brykett widow , were all suing Richard Luntley of Ramsey, Husbandman.39

1559: Robert Bryckett/Brykkett acted as attorney for Thomas Martyn Esq at Westminster in 1559 in a suit of trespass against Thomas Harryson late of Cotnam, Cambridgeshire, Gent, but the defendant appeared in person when the case was finally tried at Cambridge in 1561.40

1559: Trinity. Robert Bryckett acted as attorney in two cases at Westminster, one for Robert Newporte and the other for Sir Robert Chester. The latter has “Bedds” in the margin, but this only indicated which sheriff would be dealing with the court’s orders.41

1559: Easter. Middlesex: Robert Spycer of Orford, Suffolk, gent and Juliana his wife, late Juliana Brickett widow.42 For Juliana’s outlawry/waivery see below.

Kings Bench cases43

1558 Michaelmas. Lincoln: Roland Bryckett v John Dowse.44 Roland was the brother of Thomas Brickett of Dunstable.

1559 Trinity. Middlesex: Walter Bryckett v Hugh Sheldon.45

1560 Michaelmas. Waivery of Juliana Bryckett widow: “Juliana Bryckett of the parish of St Leonard in Shordyche in the county aforesaid widow waived the day and year abovesaid for certain trespasses and contempts contrary to the form of the statute enacted concerning good behaviour, whereof they are indicted as appears by the writs abovesaid (Queen’s writs of Michaelmas term in the 2nd year of the reign of lady Elizabeth now queen of England).46 Assuming that Juliana was the same widow mentioned in the case brought against her husband Robert Spycer in Easter 1559 above, that she was still referred to by the name Brickett in Michaelmas 1560 is explainable by the lengthy process leading up to outlawry. She would have been described exactly as in the writ that started the proceedings against her, which presumably predated her marriage to Robert Spycer.47

1562: Northants. William Bryckett v John Alcock in Marshalsea. See above.

1573: 22 October. Outlawry of Thomas Brickett, Bailiff of Dunstable.

1587-90 Michaelmas. Outlawry of Margaret Brickett of Westminster spinster.48 Following spinster are the two words “seruus eius”, presumably as the servant of the lady Vawce wife of the said lord Vauce on the previous line; all recusants.49

July 1599 Muster

Christopher Brickett archer in Bermondsey.50

Arthur Brickett in Woking.51

Page Last Updated: May 17, 2019


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


[1] Reaney 1995 p 64; Hanks et al 2002 p 92, 69.

[2] TNA C1/737/7

[3] Line 2. Reproduced by kind permission of the National Archives licensed under the Open Government Licence v3.0.

[4] TNA SC 12/8/29 p 1v---thanks to Bridget Howlett for this reference.

[5] Reproduced by kind permission of the National Archives licensed under the Open Government Licence v3.0.

[6] accessed 25 Sep 2017 - the 'Letters and Papers, Foreign and Domestic, Henry VIII' vol 21 (1) (item 1383 (89).

[7] HALS DE 3092 'Particulars of the Houses etc. that did belong to the Priory of White Carmelites at Hitchin, and were sold with it to Mr Ralph Radcliffe'---thanks to Bridget Howlett for this reference.

[8] BARS ABP/R11/17

[9] TNA CP 40/1131 d211 Bedfordshire

[10] BARS X2/3, see Bedfordshire Archives Service Catalogue.

[11] BARS ABP/W1573/10

[12] KB 29/220 m 66 at (accessed 28 Dec 2017). Transcription and translation by David Bethell. If you require a transcription of the original Latin, please contact the Archivist of this website.

[13] Thanks to David Bethell for these observations, 30 Jul 2018.

[14] Transcriptions and translations by David Bethell Jul 2018. If you require a transcription of the original Latin, please contact the Archivist of this website.

[15] I owe this point to David Bethell, email communication, 1 Aug 2018.

[16] 1999 pp 38-9

[17] TNA CP 40/1084 m 604d (d3703)

[18] TNA CP 40/1088 d3964

[19] TNA CP 40/1096 m 469 (f2399)

[20] This was a nisi prius case, and 'where the cause was deferred to the local assizes 'for lack of jurors as none came', with an instruction to the sheriff to seize them, was a fiction: it was simply a device to remove the action out of the Common Pleas' (communication from David Bethell 2 Aug 2018).

[21] TNA CP 40/1096 f1782

[22] This doesn't mean that the whole jury of 12 had assembled to hear the case in Westminster but they were sent away because the Sheriff hadn't bothered to issue a writ. 'A jury would not be assembled in any case until everything was set to go. Actual jury decisions in the Common Pleas are a rarity. A way of postponing a case was to pay the sheriff a small fee to 'accidentally' fail to return the writ. This can go on for years, if the defendant was particularly obtuse' (communication from David Bethell 2 Aug 2018).

[23] TNA CP 40/1127 m 96 (f0179)

[24] TNA CP 40/1127 m 96 (f0179)

[25] 'A thousand is sometimes used to mean 'more than you could shake a stick at': innumerable. Just as £1000 is sometimes used for 'more than you could possibly pay' (communication from David Bethell 2 Aug 2018).'

[26] TNA KB 27/1201 m 172d (d0206-7); (accessed 30 Jul 2018).

[27] Fictitious names. 'It had long been customary not to actually have sureties, but the formula kept on going with John Doe, Richard Roe, or various inventions by the clerks. It does not mean that the case itself was fictitious' (communication from David Bethell 2 Aug 2018).

[28] TNA E/115/28/85

[29] BARS ABP/R13/25 (Bedfordshire Archives Service Catalogue)

[30] BARS HSA1668/W/14 (Bedfordshire Archives Service Catalogue)

[31] Venn &Venn 1922-4, Baker 2012.

[32] PROB 11/48/527

[33] PROB 11/81/205

[34] 1826 vol 1 p 195.

[35] Many thanks to Charles Wrangham for this information 15 May 2019.

[36] 1826 vol 1 p 196.

[37] TNA E 179/121/210, E 179/121/221 and E 179/121/222 respectively. Images reproduced by kind permission of the National Archives licensed under the Open Government Licence v3.0.

[38] Many thanks to David Bethell for all these references and clarifications.

[39] TNA CP 40/1096 d3084

[40] Michaelmas 5 & 6 Philip & Mary 1558 CP 40/1176 m. 16 Stephenson.

[41] (accessed 4 Oct 2018).

[42] CP40 Easter 1559 at line 2 of para 2 (accessed 28 Dec 2017).

[43] Many thanks to David Bethell for all these references.

[44] KB 27/1188 m 134 at (accessed 28 Dec 2017).

[45] KB 27/1191 m 119 at and (accessed 28 Dec 2017).

[46] KB 29/220 m 5 at (accessed 28 Dec 2017). David Bethell commented, 'Because originally outlawry meant the removal of all protection of the law, women could not be outlawed, I have always assumed through reasons of decency: instead they were waived, made waifs, so that they lost all rights as an adult. By Tudor times there was no doubt no difference between outlawry and waivery, but the distinction persisted.'

[47] Thanks to David Bethell for this explanation.

[48] Outlawry Roll Michaelmas 30-31 Elizabeth at (accessed 28 Dec 2017).

[49] Thanks to David Bethell for this explanation.

[50] (accessed 28 Dec 2017).

[51] (accessed 28 Dec 2017).