The Brokets of Essex
Essex is a large county in SE England, with London to the south, Hertfordshire to the west, and Cambridgeshire and Suffolk to the north. Main towns are—and were—Chelmsford in the centre, Colchester in the north east, and Bishops Stortford and Harlow in the west, with Brentwood to the south west, and other towns now subsumed into Greater London.
The earliest records found of Brokets in Essex are from 1356, 1382 and 1424. Next in 1438 the young Yorkshire Broket Edward, son of Thomas and Dionisia, acquired land there. But none of his descendants—including 3 Sheriffs of the County—resided in Essex until Edward, a younger son of John of Swaffham Bulbeck, Cambridgeshire, (see the separate page) married an Essex heiress a century later and settled in Willingale, near Chelmsford. Two separate but related Broket clans thrived there, with a 50 year break, through to the early 20th C. In the late 17th C a small Brokett clan emerged in the SE hinterland of Colchester in the Tendring area, but they died out in the male line or moved elsewhere by the end of the 18th C, see the separate page. Records show only a few other isolated Essex Brockets before the 20th C: 7 were there in 1881 and 6 in 1901.
Contents of this section:
1. 14th & 15th C
2. 16th C
1st Willingale clan 1543-1634 (separate page)
3. Saffron Walden
3. 17th C
2nd Willingale clan 1688-1906 (separate page)
Tendring clan 1681-1791 (separate page)
4. 18th C
5. 19th C
6. 20th C
Two traders are recorded: Philip of Hedyngham in 1356 and John of Tendryng in 1382. They would probably not have come from an established line—no Brokets were taxpayers in Essex in 1327 for example1—nor apparently did they leave one. Although in 1424 John Broket was recorded as a former owner of a messuage in Wethersfield, near Braintree.2 It isn’t known how much earlier John had been the owner of the messuage, but Wethersfield is c 5 m W of Sible Hedingham and c 34 m W of Tendring, so if this John was related to either of the two earlier recorded traders, it may have been to Philip. But this is just speculation. Equally, he may have been the John Brokett recorded in Hatfield in 1428, about 45 m to the west of Wethersfield.
The next Essex records found are of land transactions made by brothers Edward and Thomas from Yorkshire and Hertfordshire, who also established no Essex line—no Brokets were taxpayers in Essex in 1524/5.3 There was an IPM into Thomas’ Essex lands held in chief, but despite being Thomas’ heir, there was no inquisition on Edward’s death, nor any mention of land in Essex in his will. Many of their properties were within 10-15 miles of Willingale, near Chelmsford:
- 1438 Hooks and Pinnacle. Edward with 2 others acquired the manor of Hooks and half the manor of Pinnacle.4
- 1477 and 1480 Brondsych. Thomas and Elizabeth had an interest in the Manor of Brondsych—unidentified—and land in Fobbyng and Fang.
- 1477 The IPM into Thomas’ Essex lands held in chief listed East and West Tilbury, Fenge (i.e. Vang), Fobbing, Corringham and Stanford le Hope.5 Again, these places are only some 15 miles SSE of Willingale.6
- 1483-5 Haghams. Thomas and Elizabeth had jointly held the Manor of Haghams and lands in Lamborne, Chigewell, Theydon Boyes, Rothyng St Botall and Stapelford Abbot.7
Brokets may not have held substantial land in Essex from the 1480s until 1543—the VCH has no references—but they were nonetheless influential in the County throughout this period. The 16th C, especially its middle decades, were the peak of the dynasty’s fortunes in neighbouring Hertfordshire. Three became MPs for Herts, 3 became knights, and 3 held the influential office of Sheriff of Essex and Herts:
- John of Wheathampstead Esq in 1507-8 (for 2 years) and 1531-2.
- Edward of Letchworth Esq in 1547-8 and 1554-5
- John of Hatfield Esq in 1566-7, later Sir John II.
John of Wheathampstead’s son John of Swaffham Bulbeck held land about 40 miles north of Willingale in Cambridgeshire through his wife. Their 1st son, later Sir John I, was Escheator for Essex in 1539, aged about 26. Their 3rd son Edward conveyed land near Willingale in 1543 and later resided and died in Sawbridgeworth, just over the Essex border into Hertfordshire.
1575 8 Nov: Ellen Brockett married Thomas FRENCH, Clerk, in Great Parndon.8 Great Parndon is just SW of Harlow, and c 7 m SW of Sawbridgeworth, and c 15 m W of Willingale. Was Ellen an otherwise unrecorded member of the 1st Willingale clan?
Two daughters of William Brokett of Essendon, Herts, Gent / Esq lived in Saffron Walden at this period, followed by their nephew Col William Brokett, d 1655. William Brokett of Essendon was a minor land-owning Hertfordshire gentleman, relatively prominent on the county level from till his death in 1610, see the separate page.
Elizabeth was probably the eldest surviving daughter of William of Essendon Gent. For a discussion of her baptismal record of 1564 in Harpenden, see the separate page. That she was the eldest daughter is mainly based on the evidence of the Will of her aunt Lucie Broket, written 1569, which mentioned her brother William’s 4 sons and then his daughter Elizabeth. William was Lucie’s executor, so to only mention one daughter if there were more, would have been odd. The way Lucie made the bequest can be summarised as : “First I give £40 to William, John, Edmund and Thomas, my brother William’s sons, to be divided equally between them when they each reach 21. If they all die beforehand then the whole £40 shall remain to their sister Elizabeth”, see the separate page, lines 27-30 and 41-5.
Elizabeth was probably named after her maternal grandmother, Elizabeth Bardolf, who would have been living in Harpenden when she was born in 1564. This Elizabeth Broket, daughter of William, was still alive 5 years later when Lucie wrote her Will, but wasn’t mentioned in her father William’s Will of 1609, nor her sister Anne’s of 1616, nor her sister Margaret’s of 1635. It’s unlikely that the whole family disowned her, so Elizabeth may have died by 1609. She was unlikely to have been the Elizabeth who married James KEYNE in Shillington in 1610, see the separate page. Far more likely is that she was the Elizabeth Brocket who married William STRACHIE 10 Aug 1587 in Saffron Walden, Essex.9 He was of the gentleman social class, like Elizabeth and her pareents, and Elizabeth would have been 23. Although c 40 miles NE of Harpenden, Wimbish—a hamlet just 4¼ miles SE of Saffron Walden—was the home of the Mordaunts of Thundersley, with whom Elizabeth’s sisters Anne and Margaret and her brother Edmond’s eldest son William, were closely connected.
Given the 1587 date of the marriage, the appropriate social rank, the lack of another known relevant Elizabeth Brocket, and the connections her sisters and nephew had with Saffron Walden, there can be no real doubt that it was Elizabeth, daughter of William, who was the bride of William STRACHIE on 10 Aug 1587 in Saffron Walden. The Saffron Walden parish records have a number of entries for the wider Strachie or Strachey family 1558-1600, and the following entries look as though they relate to this Elizabeth and William:10
Francis, daughter of William Strachey, gen, baptised 11 Jun 1581.
Mary, wife of William Strachie Jn, buried 30 Apr 1587.
Mr William Stracjhie, sen, buried 6 Jun 1587.
Elizabeth Brocket married William Strachie, 10 Aug 1587.
Elizabeth, daughter of William Strachie, Gent, baptised 16 Sep 1588.
Anne, daughter of Mr William Strachie, baptised 14 Sep 1589.
Abagaile, daughter of Mr William Strachis, baptised 22 Oct 1592.11
Mr William Strachie married Mrs Frances FORSTER, 9 Jun 1595.
William Strachie, Gent, buried Nov 1598.
Elizabeth Strachye married Thomas WOORLYCSE, 8 May 1600.12
Comments: 1. After the Saffron Walden parish registers began in 1558 and up to 1600, they appear to show three William Strachie gentlemen there.13 The registers don’t suggest a William whose father wasn’t a William at that time, but they mostly didn’t call them ‘senior’ and ‘junior’. Of course, not all events got recorded in the parish register in those days, and furthermore, the 16th C Saffron Walden baptismal register entries mostly only gave the name of the father and don’t allow the Williams to be distinguished by the names of their wives. So the information from the parish register alone requires other records to clarify who was who.
2. Thus a 1578 deed records the transfer of a property in Saffron Walden High St from “William Strachie senior of Walden in the County of Essex, draper [and others] to George Nicolls son of George Nicolls of Walden, esquire, Christopher Bird and Josias Bird, William Strachie junior of Walden gentlemen and to [others including] John Strachie”.14 The William Strachie senior in this deed would have been the one buried 6 Jun 1587—called “sen”—and the William junior would have been the one whose wife Mary died 1587, and who then married Elizabeth Brocket the same year. The Visitations of Essex have only a 2-generation pedigree—without any date—showing “Will’m Strachey of Saffron Walden married to Mary, sole d. of Hen. Cooke of (?) Lysting Esq.” parents of “1. Will’m Strachey of Saffron Walden and 2. John Strachey”.15 Unless the William Strachie senior of the 1578 deed also married a Mary, the father in the Visitations pedigree was most likely the William Strachie Jn, whose wife Mary died 1587, and who then married Elizabeth Brocket.
3. In the light of this, we can be confident that the Mr William Strachie who according to the parish register married in 1595 was most likely the son of the William, Gent, who died in 1598, rather than the same man. If Elizabeth, nee Brocket, died 1592-5 her burial wasn’t apparently recorded in Saffron Walden or elsewhere. Elizabeth, as we know from the Will of William, who died in 1598, became his widow. So it may have been her who married Thomas Woorlycse in 1600, but as we know she had most likely died by 1609. What became of Thomas Woorlycse we don’t know.16
4. The Will of “William Strachie the elder of Saffron Walden, written 13 Mar 1563 [i.e. 1564],17 was no doubt that of the parish register’s Mr William Strachie sen, buried 16 May 1564. He may well have been the William Strachie, sen, who married Jane LOWNES 16 May 1561. The Margret, wife of “William Strachie min?, buried 28 Mar 1560”, may have been his previous wife. A William Strachey, Jun, was recorded baptising his daughter Alice 27 Jan 1558/9. In any event, this William would have been at least one generation before the William who married Elizabeth Brocket.
5. The Will of “Willyam Strachie of Wallden in the County of Essex gent'”, written 8 Nov 1598 and proved 13 Feb 1598 [i.e. 1599],18 would have been that of William Strachie, Gent, buried Nov 1598, written only days before his death. In it he mentioned sons William, John and Thomas, and daughters Frances, Elizabeth, Anne, Margaret, Abigayle, and Martha; with residue to sole executrix wife Elizabeth. Witnesses: Richard Frenche, Nicholas Clarke, James Crofte Notary Public. This William would have been of the same generation as the William who married Elizabeth Brocket, probably the same man. Given his 9 children, Elizabeth could hardly have given birth to them between 1587 and 1564, so if he was the William who married her, some of his children would have been with a previous wife. The Saffron Walden parish register—and others within 13 miles—don’t apparently record baptisms for William, John, Thomas, Margaret, and Martha. As mentioned above in Comment 1 the Mr William who married in 1595 was probably the son of the William who died in 1598; daughter Frances, at least, was probably born 1581, so William would have been even earlier.
6. Abigail Strachey wasn’t a common name then, and available databases only reveal two occurrences 1580-1690: the 1592 baptism in Saffron Walden, and a 26 Nov 1655 marriage in St Dunstan in the West, City of London, between Abigall Strachy and John ?Clueek of Clement Danes.19 This would have been a late marriage. However, there was another—significant—mention in the 1635 Will of Margaret Wyvill, the sister of Elizabeth Strachie, nee Brocket, see below. As noted there, Margaret’s other god daughters were nieces.
7. In sum, the evidence presented above supports the following scenario: Elizabeth, b 1564 daughter of William Brocket gentleman, married widower gentleman William Strachie in 1587. She was the Elizabeth the wife mentioned in the 1598 Will of Willyam Strachie, gent. Several of the children named in the Will were from William’s previous wife or wives, one being the eldest son William, who mounted a challenge to Elizabeth’s probate of the Will.20 Elizabeth died by 1609 when her father didn’t mention her or any children of hers in his Will. Nor did sister Anne in 1616. Elizabeth’s children would either have died or been otherwise provided for, although Elizabeth’s sister Margaret gave Abigail, her god daughter, a bequest in 1635. Of course, further evidence may contradict some or all of this.
8. Local family networks intertwined, and William Hide of Wimbish Gent was related. He was a deponent in the Brokett v Bardolf case of 1586, and called Elizabeth’s uncle Edward ‘cousin’, which, if used in its strict sense, suggests that he was a son of George Hyde and Alice Broket, daughter of John of Wheathampstead, Sheriff, d 1532.
Margaret d/o William of Essendon m CAGE and WYVILL. The Will of Margarett Wyvell, Widow of Walden, Essex, was proved 12 Dec 1635.21
Margaret, born after 5 Oct 1569 and probably after 17 Dec 1570—inferred from her aunt Lucie’s Will, written 5 Oct 1569, and its Memorandum of 17 Dec 1570, which mentioned Margaret’s 4 brothers and sister Elizabeth, but not her. Married 1st Samuel CAGE. Her father bequeathed 4 angels to “my daughter Cagge in token of my love” in his Will written 17 Feb 1609/10. It was probably this Samuel Cage who was buried in Saffron Walden 27 Oct 1612.22 On 6 Mar 1615/6 her sister Anne bequeathed “my good and loveinge sister Margaret Cage widdowe” the residue of her goods and chattels and appointed her sole executrix. Margaret married 2nd Christopher WYVILL, eldest son of Sampson, 3rd son of Sir Marmaduke Wyvill of Little Burton, Yorkshire, MP: “Margery, dau. of William Brockett, wid. of Samuel Cage, of London and Saffron Walden, mar. Christopher [WYVILL] of Saffron Walden, Essex, D.C.L.”23 It isn’t known if Margaret had any children. The 12 Oct 1632 record of the burial in Saffron Walden of — Wivell (no first name supplied) was perhaps of Margaret.24 Colonel William Brockett, eldest son of Margaret’s brother Edmund, had a house in Saffron Walden in 1655, in which hung a table of arms of Sir Marmaduke Wivell of Burton, Yorkshire, suggesting that he inherited Margaret’s house.
Broket families of a few generations are recorded a) in Colchester and more especially its east and southeast hinterland; b) in Waltham Abbey on the western edge of Essex; and c) one in Southminster on the Dengie peninsula in the east.
a) Colchester itself
A number of Broket families were recorded to the E and SE of Colchester, called here for convenience the ‘Tendring’ Broket clan, see the separate page. They no doubt had connections to Colchester itself, the nearest main centre and market, and the following contemporary records for the town of Colchester itself have been found:
1685 24 Sep: Gatward Brocket and Sarah NICHOLS, married Colchester St James.25
1686 14 Nov: William Brocket, son of Gatward and Sarah, baptised Colchester All Saints.26
1687 7 Nov: William Brackit [with an ‘a’], son of Gatward, baptised Colchester St Botolph.27
1688 25 Nov: Edward Brockit, son of Gatward and Sarah, baptised Colchester St Botolph.28
1690 25 Dec: Sarah Brockit, Widow, and John LYSSIMAN, Single man, married Colchester All Saints.29 22 Nov 1691 John LISSAMAN, son of John and Sarah, baptised Colchester St Peter.30 18 Feb 1693/94 Edward LYSAMAN, son of John and Sarah, baptised Colchester St Peter.31 2 Sep 1694: Sarah LISMAN, buried Colchester St Martin.32
1718/9 4 Mar: Edward Brockett. Dyer, London, took on apprentice Thomas Neal, son of Thomas, Colchester, Essex, bricklayer.33 The transcription says “Birth County Essex” but it’s unclear if this refers to Edward or Thomas, see the separate page.
1755 15 Dec: George BOOSEY, bachelor, Cooper, married Dorothy Brockett, spinster, at Colchester St Martin, both signed; witnesses Thos. and Mary CANT,34 see under Southminster below.
The parish of Waltham Abbey (formerly Waltham Holy Cross) is on the western edge of Essex, c 16 m N of Westminster and c 9 m S of Ware. A Broket family was recorded here 1717-66. Coincidentally—or perhaps not—there was also a Braket family recorded 1754-1801.
1716 19 Sep: “Edward Brockett of Waltham Abbey Essex Husbandman [married] Anne Dew. Ditto B:[achelor] W[idow]” clandestinely in the Fleet in London:35
It was probably this couple who baptised the following children in Waltham Abbey/Holy Cross:
Edward, 13 Oct 1717, son of Edward and Anne Brockett.36
Nicholas William, 13 Oct 1717, son of Edward and Anne Brockett.37 Nicholas William Edward, relative [i.e. son] of Edward and Anne Brockett, was buried 18 Oct 1717.38
Edward, 8 Apr 1720, son of Edward and Anne Brockett.39
Mary, 8 Apr 1720, son of Edward and Anne Brockett.40
1711 20 Feb: Sara Brocket married Edward MARTIN in Sheering.41 Sheering village is situated c 3 miles NE of Harlow, 4½ miles S of Bishop’s Stortford, c 11 m NE of Waltham Abbey and c 27 miles NE of Westminster. Was she “Sarah Brockett the daughter of John and Sarah” baptised 17 Jun 1673 in Westminster, London?42 Or, more likely—because of her age—was she the eldest daughter of William and Sarah, baptised 1687 in Guilden Morden, c 35 m N in Cambridgeshire?
A Broket family of one generation was recorded over a period of 50 years from the 1720s to 70s in the parish of Southminster St Leonard, but apparently died out in the male line.43 Southminster is c 52 miles east-northeast of London, in the centre of the Dengie peninsula, separated from north Essex by the River Blackwater and from south Essex by the River Crouch. It is therefore at some distance from other 18th C Essex Brokets and as near as them to London, and even the Essex-Herts borders. What could have brought the first known members to Southminster—Edward and Sarah—is unknown. They would have been born by 1700-10 at the latest. Edward was a Wheelwright, but clearly of the Yeoman level of society—which normally meant his parents would also have been. One 1760 record even called him “Mr Edward Brockett”. His and his daughter Mary’s Wills are the only known Broket Wills recorded in Essex in the 17-18th C, other than those of the Willingale clan, see the separate page, but Edward definitely wasn’t from that clan. A possible Edward was baptised in 1701 further up the east of Essex in Wivenhoe near Colchester, of whom no more is known other than being the son of Jeremiah and Anne. If Jeremiah has been correctly identified, he would probably not then have been of a Yeoman or craftsman status, if he had ever been, see the separate page. Southminster is only 14 miles from Chelmsford and 30 from Colchester, via Maldon, but no other evidence has been found to link that Wivenhoe-born Edward to this Southminster one, other than a feasible common date of birth. Edward of Southminster was more likely to have been the Edward baptised in Wakes Colne in 1701, who was possibly from the Sudbury Broket family, and who were more of a Yeoman level in society, several of whom left Wills, see the separate page.
The Southminster St Leonard register of baptisms, marriages and burials survive well from 1700 and the first Broket entry in them is of the 1726 baptism of Edward Brocket, son of Edward and Sarah. Bishop’s Transcripts survive from 1629 but have not yet been consulted. Whether Edward Brocket the father was an incomer isn’t known for certain, but is probable, as was the marriage of the couple elsewhere. Edward the son died within 3 months, and within 18 months of that Sarah had given birth to another Edward, who also died, this time within a month. 18 months after his death Edward the father had married again as a Widower. Sarah’s burial isn’t recorded in the Southminster St Leonard register, but it’s probable that she died in association with the birth and/or death of the second Edward. Edward and his second wife went on to have 7 children, at least 3 of whom died young. Edward and Sarah’s children:
- 1726 31 Jul: Edward Brocket, son of Edward and Sarah, baptised.44 1726 23 Oct: Edwd Brockett, son of Edwd and Sarah, buried.45
- 1728 22 Apr: Edward Brocket, son of Edward and Sarah, baptised.46 1728 5 May: Edward Brocket, son of Edward, buried.47
1729 21 Oct: Edward Brocket, Widower, married Dorothy BOOSY, Single.48 1734: Edward Brockett of Southminster was a beneficiary in the Will of E Fisher of Southminster.49 This was the Will of Elizabeth Fisher of Southminster, widow.50 1760 11 Oct: “And I appoint my Friends Mr Thomas Howard and Mr Edward Brockett both of Southminster Overseers of this my Will” ELizabeth KING of Southminster, Widow, witnesses George Boosey, John …, Mary Brockett (signatures).51 Edward and Dorothy’s children:
- 1731 20 Nov: Edward Brockit/Brocket, son of Edward and Dorothy, baptised.52 1754 13 Jun: Edward Brockett buried.53 Comment: There is no Southminster record of this Edward Brockett marrying, but there is of the baptism of Dorothy Brockett, daughter of Edward and Dorothy, see next. The 1769 Will of Edward Brockett of Southminster, which mentioned his daughter Dorothy, see below, must therefore have been of Edward, the father of this Edward, buried 1754.
- 1734 17 Nov: Dorothy Brocket, daughter of Edward and Dorothy, baptised.54 1753 1 Sep: In his Will William JEFFERY of Brook Street, South Weald, yeoman, wrote: “Also I give to Dorothy Brocket Daughter of Edward Brocket of Southminster in the said County of Essex Wheelwright the sum of Ten Pounds”.55 1755: Marriage licence bond and allegation of George BOOSEY and Dorothy Brockett.56 On 15 Dec 1755 at Colchester St Martins, George BOOSEY, bachelor, Cooper, married Dorothy Brockett, spinster, both signed; witnesses Thos. and Mary CANT.57
- 1737 27 Jun: John Brocket, son of Edward and Dorothy, baptised.58 1737 1 Jul: John Brockett, son of Edward and Dorothy, buried.59 Note: FMP also recorded a 1 Jul 1736 burial of John Brockett, son of Edward and Dorothy, but this appears to be a mistaken duplication of the 1737 record.60
- 1738 8 Oct: Mary Brockett, daughter of Edward and Dorothy, baptised privately by Mr Williams.61 A witness to the Will of Elizabeth KING in 1760 (signature). 1773 8 Sep: Mary Brocket buried.62 1773: Will of Mary Brockett of Southminster, Spinster, proved, see below.
- 1740/1 4 Feb: John Brockett, son of Edward and Dorothy, baptised privately.63 1740/1 8 Feb: John Brockett, son of Edward and Dorothy, buried.64
- 1742/3 16 Mar: Elizabeth Brocket/t, daughter of Edward and Dorothy, baptised.65 No further record found.66
- 1743 9 Dec: John Brockett, son of Edward, baptised.67 No further record found.68
The Wills of Edward and Mary Brockett clearly portray a family at the Yeoman level of society; Edward had had been a craftsman with a shop on North Street, Southminster:
Summary of the Will of Edward Brockett of Southminster, Wheelwright:71
Written 31 May 1768, proved 21 Apr 1769 Commissary of the Bishop of London by the oath of Mary Brockett Spinster, daughter of the deceased.
To Daughter Dorothy Boosey, Wife of George Boosey, for life, and after her decease to George Boosey her Husband (if living) for life, and after the decease of the longer liver of them to George Boosey, Son of the Said George and Dorothy Boosey:
1. 25 acres of copyhold land with appurtenances called Rumballs, purchased of Elizabeth King, Widow, and occupied by Martha Robinson.
2. A copyhold messuage with appurtenances called Curry-House (formerly a Wheelwrights Shop) in North Street, Southminster, occupied by William Coulson.
To Daughter Mary Brockett and her heirs for ever: All his other copyhold or customary real estate and residue of his personal estate.
Sole executrix: Daughter Mary Brockett.
Signed and sealed by the testator. Witnesses Thos. Abrey, Thos. Howard, Matthew Harvey.
Summary of the Will of Mary Brockett of Southminster, Spinster:72
Written 21 Apr 1773, proved 12 Nov 1773 Commissary of the Bishop of London by the oath of George Boosey, brother [in-law] of the deceased.
To Sister Dorothy Boosey Wife of George Boosey, for life:
1. A copyhold messuage with land and appurtenances called Totteridges (or the Cherry Garden). After her decease to Dorothy Boosey, Daughter of the said George and Dorothy Boosey, if she lives to 21, and if not to the eldest Surviving Daughter of the said George and Dorothy Boosey.
2. A copyhold messuage with land and appurtenances called Pilgrims, occupied by James Grayham Shopkeeper and William Hungate Clock and watchmaker. After her decease to Mary Brocket Boosey, Daughter of the said George and Dorothy Boosey, if she lives to 21, and if not to the eldest Surviving Daughter of the said George and Dorothy Boosey.
3. A copyhold messuage called Church Yard House, occupied by Mary herself. After her decease to Sarah Boosey, Daughter of the said George and Dorothy Boosey, if she lives to 21, and if not, nor the said Mary Brocket [Boosey] nor Dorothy Boosey, then to the heirs in Law by Sister Dorothy Boosey’s side.
To Brother [in-law] George Boosey her moveable estate.
Sole executor: Brother [in-law] George Boosey.
Signed and sealed by the testator. Witnesses Peter Barker Scott, Rachell Patrick, John Patrick.
1. Judging by their signatures on the original Wills, both Edward and Mary had been educated as children.
2. The Wills also suggest that the family had no surviving males to carry on the Broket name. Neither mentioned any. The last of Edward’s sons, John, baptised 1743 shortly before his mother died, is not recorded buried in Southminster. By Edward the father’s death in 1769 he would have been 26 and may of course have gone to London or to sea, and Edward may have lost contact, but pending any such evidence the assumption should be that he, like all his siblings other than Dorothy and Mary, died young.
3. Mary’s Will shows that in 1773 her sister Dorothy Boosey and husband George had three daughters under 21, the middle one named Mary Brocket Boosey. The FreeREG transcription of the registers currently only goes up to 1767, but as with Dorothy’s parents, it records a tragically-high infant-mortality rate for her children. One of these—born and died 1763—was named Edward Brocket Boosey.
4. It seems that George and Dorothy Boosey of Southminster wanted to keep the Broket name alive by giving it to their children as a second forename, and in one case it carried through three generations. One of their last children—George the father was apparently buried in Southminster 21 Oct 178173—was “George Brocket Boosey, baptised Southminster 1778″.74 The transcriptions name the parents as George and Mary Boosey, but this seems to be unreliable. There can be little doubt, however, that he was the “George Brockett Boosey of Rood Lane, London”, buried in Norwood Cemetery, Norwood Road, Lambeth, 6 May 1843, aged 64 [i.e. b c 1779].75 And it seems that this George, baptised 1778, did marry a Mary, as, before the family left for London, “George Brockett BOOSEY, son of George and Mary Boosey, was baptised in Southminster 1808“.76 He was the “George Brockett Boosey son of George Brockett Boosey of King Street St Georges in the East, Middx” apprenticed 1822 to John Tucker, Citizen and [Iron] Founder of London,77 and also the “George Brockett Boosey of St Mary at Hill, London, buried in Norwood Cemetery, Norwood Road, Lambeth, 18 Nov 1859, aged 51” [i.e. b c 1808].78 And a third generation “George Brocket Boosey of Rood Lane, Eastcheap”, was buried in Norwood Cemetery, Norwood Road, Lambeth, 5 Sep 1857, aged 24 [i.e. b c 1833].79 Note: The 1808 record of the baptism of George Brockett or George Brockett Brockett, son of George and Mary Brockett can be found on FamilySearch, whether from their “England Births and Christenings, 1538-1975” database, i.e. the IGI (FHL Film #6036265), or from a volunteer’s indexing, and from there it has been reproduced by both Ancestry.com and FindMyPast.80 This is clearly an error for George Brockett BOOSEY.
5. This leaves the question of who a George Brockett of Southminster 1774-5 might have been. Thora Broughton’s Essex Wills Beneficiaries Index records two mentions of a George Brockett of Southminster, but no birth, marriage or death records for such a George Brockett have so far been found:
1. 1774: As a beneficiary in the Will of J NORRIS of Southminster.81 This was John Norris of Southminster, Glover,82 but a glance at the—blurred—image of the Will online couldn’t make out a mention of George Brockett.
2. 1775: As executor of the Will of J RAWLING of Southminster.83 This was John Rawling,84 but again, a glance at the—blurred—image of the Will online couldn’t make out a mention of George Brockett.
Might George have been Dorothy’s husband—i.e. George Boosey—being referred to by her former name Brockett as an alias? George was still alive; not apparently buried until 21 Oct 1781 in Southminster,85 but Dorothy’s burial has not been found in Southminster records. See the comment above about George and Dorothy Boosey of Southminster apparently wanting to keep the Broket name alive.
6. Brockell: Although the Southminster parish registers survive only from 1700, and although only transcriptions of them have so far been seen, the marriage entry for Elizabeth BROCKELL and Daniel STREET, by licence, both Single of this parish, on 1 Jun 1735,86 should probably not be taken as a clerk’s failure to cross the ‘t’s , i.e. actually Brockett, even though Boyd’s Marriage Index transcribed her name as “Elz Brocket”.87 The reasons are:
1. There were 3 other entries in the Southminster parish registers around that time with a double ‘l’ spelling, some possibly of this Elizabeth herself:88 John, base born child of Mary BROCKALL, baptised 18 Jan 1723/4; mother’s first name originally written as “Eliz” but crossed through. Buried 25 Jan 1723/4. Jane, daughter of Elizabeth BROCKWELL, baptised 22 Apr 1733. Mary, dau of Elizabeth BROCKWELL, buried 10 Nov 1733. A good number of BROCKWELL and variant records are found in Colchester parish registers 1712-97.89
2. These double ‘l’ surnames are probably not an example of the rare stylistic feature of not crossing ‘t’s, as with the Wivenhoe parish clerk around this time, since there were multiple contemporary entries with crossed ‘t’s with Edward and Sarah Broket’s family, above, and Brockwett, for example, is not a known surname.
3. If Elizabeth was a Broket, to marry by 1735 she would have had to have been born by c 1719 at the latest, and so unless there was a Broket family in Southminster hidden by the missing registers, she would not have been a daughter of Edward and Sarah, but perhaps a sister who appeared in Southminster with him.
Southminster parish registers recorded baptisms of Elizabeth and Daniel’s children: Jane 1738, John 1744, and Elizabeth 1745; and Elizabeth’s burial in 1766, possibly in association with a daughter Frances.
1822 22 Mar: According to FMP Emma “Brocket”, daughter of Thomas and Mary Ann, was baptised in Foulness,90 however no marriage or death records were found for her or her parents in Foulness or in the GRO. Foulness is c 6 m S of Southminster as the crow flies across the River Crouch, but c 29 m by road via Runwell. A more accurate transcription of the parish register is on FreeReg, which transcribes the surname as BROCKISS, and there are 6 baptisms in Foulness 1809-22 with that name.
The 1881 census recorded 3 Households:
- One in West Ham: Alfred aged 33, Tailor, born Royston, wife Elizabeth aged 25, 2 daus Sarah Elizabeth aged 6 and Mabel Elizabeth aged 1.
- One in Hornchurch: Henry aged 77, Agricultural Labourer, born Hornchurch, son James aged 26, Agricultural Labourer, born Hornchurch.
- Spinster Elizabeth aged 56, Landowner at Willingale Spain, born Rye Sussex.
The 1901, 1911 and 1921 censuses
Page Last Updated: May 12, 2021