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North East England

Records from London show a Broket family in Alnham by the 1470s—a hamlet in the rolling Cheviot foothills. They probably first settled here as part of the Percy expansion in the 14th C, but local records of ordinary people are virtually non-existent from these times when Northumberland was often at war and plunder was common. No other records of Brokets have been found before the 15th C (Hodgson 1820, 1835; Fraser 1968; Archaeologia Aeliana 4 xli).

Separating the few pre-1570 North East records from those of Yorkshire and Scotland is not to say their Brokets were not related—they probably were—but because of subsequent developments these 3 regions are more easily described separately.

The late 16th C found Brokets in 2 of the 3 main North Eastern ports and a couple of outlying villages, after which on average during each century up to the 20th there were 48 marriages and 81 births. With 31 baptisms, the North East was the 4th largest Broket group 1600-49, after Hertfordshire, London and Bedfordshire.

The 17-19th centuries show 2 well-documented clans: one in Durham City in the 17th C—who claimed descent from Yorkshire Brokets—with an offshoot as lords of Headlam in the Tees valley in the 18th, and a separate one flourishing in Gateshead in the 19th.

Statistics show a large decrease in the North East 1905-54 compared with 1855-1904. Today the few Brocketts left are incomers.

  Contents of this page: 1. 1300-1549 2. 1550-1749 3. 1750-1949  
           
Map of the North East


1. 1300-1549

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Border warfare had been a fact of life for centuries in these parts (Bean 1958 pp 30, 34, 45; Miller 1960 p 7 citing the Northumberland County History):

1340 Scots invaded north Northumberland and completely destroyed 24 villages.
1346 Scots ruined 24 villages as far south as Tyne and Derwent.
1471-2 Revenue from the Alnham manorial accounts depreciated considerably due to Scottish raids.
1532 Scots from Teviotdale destroyed Newstead and Alnham, carrying off 200 cattle and 26 prisoners.

Alnham is a tiny farming settlement with a small church opposite the site of a little fort in rolling foothills up the valley from Alnwick. Despite living in distant, wild parts, a Broket in Alnham had a good income with contacts in London, where he sent 2 sons as apprentices in the 1480s or 90s: William to a Goldsmith, Robert to a Baker. A goldsmith's apprentice had to pay 10 marks premium for a 7 year term, £5 for 10 in 1393 (Thrupp 1948 p 214). 'An act of 1406 stipulated that no one might send his son to be apprenticed except he have land or rent to the value of twenty shillings a year at the least' (Briggs 1999 p 102).

Both brothers later became Citizens. Their 2 wills mention several relatives but no surviving children of their own:

Relatives of Robert Brockett 'citizen and baker of the cittie of London'
mentioned in his will (written 6 Jan 1531 and proved 23 Sep 1533)
 
                      parents d bef 1533                   'cousen'
 
   __________________________|_______________________     Robert
   |        |       |            |         |         |
   |        |       |            |         |         |     BROCKETT
 
Robert    Jennet  John        Thomas     William    ...    Goldsmith
 
BROCKETT    m       |______    |_____Goldsmith   |
                    |      |     |     |             |
d unm    ROBYNSON   |      |     |     | executor    |
 
1533     of Fram- Robert Thomas son   dau          John
 
no issue lington  alive  alive  alive alive        BROCKET
 
            |     1533   1533   1533  1533          of
            |
            |     Alnham Alnham                    Bolingbroke
 
         children

Relatives of William Broket 'Citezein and Goldsmythe of the Citie of London'
mentioned in his will (written 31 Oct and proved 25 Nov 1536)
 
                    __________________________________________________________  
                    |                       |                                 |
                    |                   ?   |                            ?    |
 
                parents d bef 1536       Robert, Almsman of Goldsmiths       ...
 
   _________________|______________________________________        _________|_______
   |        |       |            |         |      |        |         |        |       |
   |        |       |            |         |      |        |         |        |       |
 
William  Jennet   John        Thomas     Robert sister   sister  Elizabeth  Thomas  Alice
 
BROKET      m       |______    |_____d bef  Vyncent    |     m Thomas   BROKETT   m
                    |      |     |     |                   |
b Alnham ROBYNSON   |      |     |     | 1536   HALYWOOD   |     ATKYNSON   of Over  HUNT
 
m 1 ...  of Fram- Robert Thomas son   dau                Henry   executor   Taynton
 
m 2 ...  lington  alive  alive  alive alive              HOLLAND     |
                                                                     |
d 1536      |     1536   1536   1536  1536               executor    |
 
no issue children                                                 children

'Cousen' Robert the Goldsmith could have meant uncle, and being an almsman by 1536 he may have been apprenticed in London a generation before William and Robert. Other 'cousins' mentioned in:
Robert's will:
  • Elizabeth, wife of Thomas Atkinson
  • Alice wife of John Hunt
  • Margaret Smythe
  • Alexander Watson, Brewer of London.
 
William's will:
  • Margaret Smythe
  • the wife of Guy Crayford
  • the wife of the late George Wykwan.

As well as those above in London and Lincolnshire, the brothers probably had relatives who remained in Northumberland. Brokets were recorded in Berwick 40 years later in 1576 and then in the 1650s and 1680s in Rothbury only 8 miles from Alnham, and Felton 16 miles away. Parish Records began in Northumberland in general in the 1560s, usually later in remote areas. Anyone visiting the tiny church of St Michael and All Angels in Alnham will be impressed that any records survived at all.

William bequeathed 10 marks 'that the Renters of the Craftes or mistere of Goldsmythes shall provide and make an honest drynking for all the lyverey of the said Crafts on the day of my buriall' (ll 18-20).

Records of the brothers are also found in PRO documents:

  1. C1/576/30 Richard Scrope Esq son and heir of Sir John Scrope [of the Bolton line] v William Brokett of London, goldsmith re detention of deeds relating to the barony of Castlecombe (http://www.scroope.net/ancestors/bolton/sirjohnscrope.htm)
  2. C1/290/87 Robert Brokett and others, wardens of the fellowship of bakers of London v The [mayor and] aldermen of London for forcible entry on a messuage and garden
  3. C1/415/74 Christopher Harryson of London, cordwainer v The mayor, aldermen, and sheriffs of London: Action by William Brokett of London, goldsmith, and Johane, his wife, formerly Sterne, on a bond for which an extension of time had been granted
  4. C1/439/7 William Reede, cousin and heir of Bartholomew Reede, knight v Elizabeth Reede, executrix and late the wife of the said Sir Bartholomew, and ... Brokett, John Tweselton, and John Dane, wardens of the fellowship of the Goldsmiths re detention of deeds
  5. C1/492/31 William Chamberleyn v Robert Brokett of London, baker re a house with shops in the parish of St Botolph without Aldgate
  6. C1/680/16 Harry Thorneton v Emanuel Symson and Harry Kynge: Arrears of a yearly sum payable to William Brokett or other master and warden [of the gild of the most glorious name] of Jesus
  7. STAC2/20/66 Thomas Nasshe v John Atkinson and Robert Broket, wardens of the Fellowship of Bakers re a fine imposed on the plaintiff.

 

2. 1550-1749

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In the 200 years following the emergence of parish registers they recorded 88 Broket marriages and 148 births/baptisms. In most parishes they were single families with only 2 or 3 families at the most at any one time in large centres like Newcastle, Tynemouth and Durham. They were probably descended from or related to the earlier Alnham clan.

Sources: Durham St Oswalds Parish Registers 1538-1751 indexed and published 1891 Durham by A W Headlam, Durham St Mary le Bow Parish Registers 1571-1812 indexed and published 1912 Newcastle by H M Wood. Note: Durham University ms re John Brockett 1668 of Barnard Castle is a cataloguist's error for John Brockell.

1603 Robert Tynemouth i
1613 Andrew Newcastle ii
1624? William Durham iii
1655 William Durham iv
1662 Jhone   v
1665 Laurence Durham and Headlam vi
1697 Henry   vii
1742 Thomas   viii
1742 Jacob Durham ix

i. Robert 1603

A 1603 bond re Robert Brockett mentioned his wife and daughter, both Janet (DUASC Bond 246)

ii. Andrew 1613

The will of William Dalton of St Andrew's Newcastle, dated 19 Jul 1613 mentioned 'a black quye' he had bought of Andrew Brocket (Wills and Inventories from the Registry at Durham 1929 p 77).

iii. William b by 1624 d 1688

William Brockett 'Yeoman and Bailiff' was the first recorded Durham City Brockett. By 1645 he had married Mary, who was buried in St Oswalds 13 Dec 1692 ('Bracket' in published index). He would therefore have been born no later than 1624. He was not recorded in St Oswalds registers, which date from 1538, so would have been an incomer. 'Of Elvett' in daughter Isabella's marriage entry. Buried in St Oswalds 26 Jun 1688. Administration of William of North Bailey, Plumber, proved Durham 1688 (DUASC A 154). The 1693 inventory of William of North Bailey (DUASC I) would have been drawn up on Mary's death. Children:

  1. John , born 26 Feb 1645/6, bap 1 Mar 1645/6 St Oswalds, bur 6 Aug 1699 St Mary le Bow
  2. Thomas, born 21 Dec 1653. No more is known.
  3. William, born 25 Aug 1655, bap St Oswalds
  4. Lawrence, born 10 Aug, bap 17 Aug 1645/6 St Oswalds. No more is known.
  5. Mary, bur 3 Apr 1657 St Oswalds
  6. Margaret, bap 7 Dec 1644 St Oswalds. No more is known.
  7. Anne, m 3 Jun 1675 St Oswalds Charles Man of Darlington, with licence
  8. Isabella, m 22 Oct 1667 Elvett Church Mr Francis Hanby, Proctor, with licence
  9. Elizabeth, bur St Oswalds 15 Mar 1659/60.

iv. William 1655-1705

Son of William. Plumber, perhaps to the Cathedral, bur 30 Jun 1705. Administration of William Brockett of South Bailey, Plumber Durham 1707 (DUASC A 86). Lived on the North and South Bailey with his wife Elizabeth d/o Cuthbert and Elizabeth COULSON, whom he married 30 Jun 1679 (St Mary le Bow and Cathedral). Elizabeth 'innkeeper of the South Bailey' was buried 25 Jul 1724 St Oswalds. Will of Elizabeth Brockett of South Bailey Durham 1724 (DUASC T 147). Their gravestone still stands in St Oswalds churchyard.

William probably descended from the Yorkshire Brokets. Durham was the next main stage on the route north from York and William and his wife used the arms of Thomas of Bolton Percy. William and Elizabeth's Headlam descendants did so too in the 18th century. Children:

  1. Elizabeth, born 19 Jun, bap 28 Jun 1680, married as 'Mrs of the South Bailey' 5 Sep 1702 St Oswalds Mr Patrick Ross, Schoolmaster
  2. William Plumber bap 10 Apr 1682 St Oswalds, bur 12 Sep 1727 St Oswalds ('Mr'). Will of William Brockett of North Bailey Durham 1728 (DUASC T 74).
  3. Cuthbert, bap 23 Sep 1684 St Mary le Bow, d bef 1724
  4. Thomas bap 21 Jun St Mary le Bow 1687, bur there 8 Nov 1687
  5. John, bap 30 Oct 1688 St Mary le Bow, bur there 4 Nov 1688
  6. Mary, bap 24 Jan 1689 St Mary le Bow, bur there 13 Nov 1695
  7. Francis Plumber and goaler—like his son—bap 21 Jan 1691 St Mary le Bow, bur St Oswalds 18 Sep 1742. Administration of Francis Brockett Gent of St Mary le Bow Durham 1742 (DUASC A 115). Married 23 Feb 1719 St Mary le Bow Catherine TAYLOR, bur 6 Mar 1767 St Nicholas. Children:
    1. William bap 28 Nov 1720 St Mary le Bow, bur 'goaler' 6 Feb 1754 St Oswalds. Administration of William Brockett Plumber of St Mary le Bow 1754 to John Grey of Norton Gent, principal creditor, and 2 others (DUASC A 8).
    2. John bap 20 May 1722 St Mary le Bow
    3. Elisabeth bap 22 Apr 1723 St Mary le Bow, d 15 Aug aged 77, bur 'spinster of New Elvet' 18 Aug 1799 St Oswalds. Will of Elizabeth Brockett of New Elvet, Spinster Durham 1799 (DUASC T). There were two spinster Elizabeth cousins in Durham at this time.
    4. Margaret bap 23 Mar 1726 St Mary le Bow, d 28 Mar aged 73, bur 'spinster of New Elvet' 30 Mar 1798 St Oswalds. Will of Margaret Brockett of Durham Spinster Durham 1798 (DUASC T).
    5. Catherine bap 3 Oct 1731 St Mary le Bow
    6. Francis bap 28 Jan 1732 St Mary le Bow, bur there 27 Apr 1733.
  8. Ralph Surgeon bur 'Mr' 24 Mar 1772 St Nicholas. Married Mary ... bur 27 Oct 1754 St Oswalds, administration of Mary Brockett of St Nicholas Durham 1754 (DUASC A 80). Married 2nd? Agnes ... bur 'wife Doctor' 26 Mar 1763 St Oswalds. Children:
    1. Ralph b c 1744, bur 21 Apr 1819 'Sen. Joiner of Dun Cow Lane, North Bailey aged 75'
      1. Ralph bur 3 Feb 1773 St Mary le Bow
      2. Ralph bap 25 Dec 1777 St Mary le Bow, alive 1819.
    2. ?Agnes b c 1767, bur 6 Oct 1823 'of Framwellgate spinster aged 56'.
  9. Simon bap 11 Jun 1694 St Mary le Bow, bur there 16 Jun 1694
  10. Laurence bap 6 Aug 1699 St Mary le Bow, Durham City (Walbran 1846 p 106).

v. Jhone 1662

Will of Jhone Brocket of Bedlington—c 11 m N of Newcastle—proved Durham 1662 (DUASC T 216).

vi. Laurence Gent 1665-1750

Son of William. Attorney of Hilton in Staindrop parish then of Headlam Hall by right of his wife, d 24 Nov 1750 bur Gainford 26 Nov, will proved York 1751 (Ebor 95/140). Married Ann CLARKE, bur 7 Mar 1740 Gainford, heiress of Ralph Clarke of Headlam Gent (Walbran 1846 p 106). Children:

  1. Elizabeth bap 3 Nov 1715 Gainford d unm 1795 Durham bur Gainford 9 Aug 1795 (Walbran 1846 p 106). Will of Elizabeth Brockett of Durham, Spinster Durham 1795 (DUASC T). There were two spinster Elizabeth cousins in Durham at this time.
  2. Henry bap 19 Dec 1717 Staindrop d unm 12 Nov 1752 bur Gainford 14 Oct or Nov 1752 (Walbran 1846 p 106, Surtees 1840 p 31). The will of Henry Brockett of Headlam Hall Gent was proved York 1753 (Ebor 97/353).
  3. William bap 13 Dec 1719 Staindrop (Walbran 1846 p 106)
  4. Abraham bap 13 Apr 1722 Staindrop 'lunatic' bur Staindrop (Walbran 1846 p 106). An Officer of the Marines. Administration of Abraham Brocket of Staindrop Durham 1784 (DUASC A 36).
  5. Samuel bap 9 Feb 1723/4 Staindrop bur 14 Feb 1723/4 (Walbran 1846 p 106)
  6. Laurence b 13 Aug 1724 (Walbran 1846 p 106)
  7. Elianor bap 10 May 1727 Staindrop, bur Gainford 14 Oct 1750 (Walbran 1846 p 106)
  8. Anne bap 2 Mar 1728 Staindrop, bur Gainford 20 Jul 1755 (Walbran 1846 p 106)
Some time after 1727 Laurence Brockett bought Polam Hill in Darlington (Longstaffe 1854 p 139).

vii. Henry 1697

Administration of Henry Brockett of Tinmouth Castle 1697 to Thomas Lloyd, Samuel Gibson and David Jenkin (DUASC Admon 86).

viii. Thomas 1742

Will of Thomas Brockett of Guizon (i.e. Guizance) c 3 m S of Shilbottle, Yeoman, written 11 Oct, pr 17 Nov 1742 (DUASC T 132). £10 to daughter Jane Turner, £5 to daughter Hanna Shipherd, residue to James Watson, son-in-law and sole executor.

ix. Jacob 1742

A single Sunderland record from the 18th C—the 1742 administration of Jacob son of Robert Brockett of Sunderland by the Sea, Blacksmith (DUASC A 57)—showed a line probably descended from Newcastle Brocketts.

 

3. 1750-1949

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North East records from mid 18th to 19th C are dominated by the clan at Headlam Hall in the agricultural Tees valley and the family in industrial Gateshead on the Tyne. Smaller clans lived and worked in Newcastle and the ports of Sunderland and Hartlepool.

Numbers 1850-1949 are small but similar to the preceding 100 years, although 1900-49 saw a marked decrease, especially in births. The century 1850-1949 saw the final Brockett in Gateshead, all but the final one in Newcastle and the emergence of the clan in Hartlepool, where births were registered 1860-1931 and marriages 1861-1932.

A small clan flourished in Sunderland. St Catherine's 1838-1938 recorded 6 Brocketts there:

  1. James married 1852
  2. Richard Hodgson married 1867
  3. Frederick married 1868
  4. Robert Edwin married 1900
  5. Robert died 1906
  6. Sarah married 1910.

Apart from Sarah's, some if not all of these marriages were of young Brocketts from elsewhere in Durham or Tyneside marrying Sunderland brides. A probable descendant of Robert Edwin emigrated to the USA 1830. There are no known Brocketts in Sunderland today.

 

Individuals:

1719-66 William Esq Headlam and London i
1721-94 Henry Yeoman Lanchester and Croxdale  
1724-68 Rev Prof Laurence Headlam and Cambridge ii
1764 John Gent Gateshead iii
1774 Henry Newcastle iv
1778 Joseph Midlestone v
1804-67 William Henry Gateshead  
1818 Robert Newcastle vi
1832 Mary Widow Newcastle vii
1843 John Newcastle viii

i. William Esq 1719-66

Son of Laurence, bap 13 Dec 1719 Staindrop, d unm 1766 bur Hammersmith near London (Walbran 1846 p 106). William worked in the Six Clerks' Office, but had not been a student at an Inn of Court. His will was proved PCC 4 Jul 1766, like his bother Laurence's, by the oath of Susannah Neville Spinster, sole executrix.

Will of William Brockett Esq written 21 Jun 1766
1. This is the last Will
2. and Testament of me William Brockett of Lincoln's Inn in the
3. County of Middlesex Esquire I Give and Devise all and every
4. my Messuages Lands Tenements and Hereditaments in the County of
5. Durham and elsewhere in England unto my Dear Brother Laurence
6. Brockett his Heirs and Assigns for ever Also I Give and
7. bequeath All my Monies Securitys for Money Goods Chattels and
8. Personal Estate of what Nature or Kind so ever and wheresoever
9. unto my loving and Worthily beloved Friend Susanna Neville
10. of Lincoln's Inn aforesaid Spinster her Executors Administrators
11. and Assigns And I appoint her Sole Executrix of this my Will
12. And I Do Desire my said Executrix to Give Rings (in remembrance
13. of me) to such of my Friends and Acquaintance as She Shall
14. think Proper In Witness whereof I have hereunto Subscribed
15. and Set my hand and Seal this Twenty first Day of June One
16. thousand Seven hundred and Sixty Six - Wm Brockett

ii. Rev Laurence 1724-1768

Son of Laurence. Student and later Professor of Modern History at Cambridge; d 24 Jul 1768 from a fall from his horse, bur 6 Aug Gainford by torch-lit procession at night from Headlam to Gainford (Walbran 1846 pp 39, 106), will proved PCC 1768. Laurence was unmarried, but his son from Susannah NEVILLE inherited the Headlam estate. His will contained provision for his son, his brother Abraham, his College and his favourite dog Brisk:

Extracts from the will of Rev Laurence Brockett pr 1768
1. In the Name of God Amen
2. This is the last Will and Testament of me Laurence
3. Brockett fellow of Trinity College and the Kings
4. Professor of Modern History in the University of
5. Cambridge I give and devise all and every my Messuages
6. lands tenements and Hereditaments in the County of Durham
7. or elsewhere unto my dear Child William Neville
8. Brockett (now commonly called and known by the Name
9. of William Neville who is an infant of about five years
10. of age and now is or lately was under the care of Mrs
11. Grene at or near Waltham Cross in Hertfordshire) to him
12. and the heirs of his body lawfully begotten I also give and
13. bequeath to my said Son all my personal Estate of what
14. nature or kind soever or wheresoever But nevertheless my
15. Will further is that my real and personal Estate be
16. Subject to my funeral expences just debts and legacies Viz.
17. I charge my Estate at Headlam with an Annuity of forty
18. pounds of lawfull money of Great Britain to be paid
19. half yearly to my Sister Elizabeth Brockett during the
20. term of her natural life I likewise Charge the said Estate
21. with an Annuity of thirty pounds of the like lawful money
22. to be paid Yearly by my Executors to some reputable person
23. for the care and maintenance of my brother Abraham
24. Brockett during his life in case his half pay as an
25. Officer of Marines should be withdrawn or stopt by the
26. Government but in case this half pay shall be continued
27. to him then my Will is that this Annuity of thirty pounds
28. shall not take place Lastly I nominate and appoint
29. Mr. Timothy Wright of Snowhall in the Parish of
30. Gainford and Mrs. Susannah Neville now or late of
31. Basingstoke Guardians of my said Son and Executors of this
32. my Will In Trust for him 'and' I do bequeath unto each of
33. them a hundred pounds of lawfull money of this realm for
34. their trouble in executing this Trust And I do hereby empower
35. them to sell any of my lands in the township of Penrith
36. in Cumberland or at Langton for discharging my debts and
37. Legacies
...
77. Codicil I leave 50 £ to buy a peice of Silver
78. plate with my name and Arms on it to be sent to Trinity
79. College Cambridge for the use of the Dean's Table.
80. I order my body to be interred near my Family in Gainford
81. Church and that a tablelet of Marble with an Inscription
82. bearing my name on and my Arms be affixed to the
83. Wall adjoining within one Year after my decease
...
88. I desire Mr. Wright will see that my favourite dog
89. Brisk be taken due care of during his life

Probate: London 31 Aug 1768 PCC on oath of Susannah Neville Spinster one of the executors.

The inscription Laurence requested in his will was made on a medieval priest's gravestone and placed in the chancel (Mee 1990). It was probably removed during the restoration work of 1864.

Walbran's pedigree (1846 p 106) described the Brockett arms as: 'Or, a cross flory, sable. Crest, a stag lodged. From a seal of Professor Brockett's, in the possession of Mrs. Brockett of Headlam.' This may have been the seal used by William on the bottom of the indenture now framed and hanging in Headlam Hall. These also would have been the arms Laurence requested to be engraved on the silver plate he bequeathed to Trinity College. The College Inventory of 1789 records 4 plate sauce boats weighing 98 ounces from Laurence Brockett, but the College no longer has them. Three were mentioned in the long list of Plate stolen from the College in the night of 29 October 1798 ('One hundred pounds reward advertisement' from the Public Office, Bow Street, London, October 31, 1798).

His only son:

  • William Neville of Headlam, Gent d 12 Nov 1840 aged 79, bur Gainford (Walbran 1846 p 106). Will of William Neville Brockett of Headlam, Esq 1840 (DUASC T). Married Jane MOSES of Stockton on Tees (Walbran 1846 p 106) (d 1850—St Catherine's Index). Children (both their sons predeceased them):
    1. William Wilkinson, Farmer of Rokeby Grange, Yorkshire, bur Winston 10 Nov 1836 (aged c 38—Walbran 1846 p 106; aged 32—Hudleston Papers). Married 'of Christ Church, City of York' 2 Apr 1829 Jane SHAFTO widow of Durham. Child:
      1. Richard Hodgson Chemist (referred to as 'druggist of Newcastle' in DRO D/HH 2/7/1265 of March 1874) b Sep 1832 (Walbran 1846 p 106), bap 27 Oct Winston (Hudleston Papers) d 1911 Tynemouth (St Catherine's). Married Sunderland 1867 Margaret ... (?d Tynemouth 1910, St Catherine's). The date in the statement in Fordyce (1855-57 pt 2, p 137) 'Headlam Hall and estate were sold by the widow of Richard Hodgson Brockett to John Hett, Esq in 1845' cannot be correct unless 'mother' is read for 'widow'. Richard and Margaret apparently had no issue, so the line of Laurence died out.
    2. Susan d 31 Oct 1837 aged 37, bur Gainford m George BEECHCROFT of London (Walbran 1846 p 106)
    3. Lawrence Percival bap 11 Jan 1804 Staindrop d 1838 unm Warrington Lancashire (Walbran 1846 p 106; St Catherine's)
    4. Jane b c 1806. Married Francis DALE of Lancaster, Draper: 3 sons and 1 daughter (Walbran 1846 p 106).

iii. John Gent of Gateshead 1764-1827

John Brockett was the youngest son of Henry and Ann of Lanchester, bap there 26 Nov 1764. 'Of Witton Gilbert, afterwards of Gateshead' (Gateshead Tracts n d p 4). Witton Gilbert is a small village c 4 m NW of Durham City. 3 of the 4 entries in the Hudleston Papers in Durham University (Box 177) mention John: one a marriage bond in which John, bachelor, was styled 'Gent', another a record that he was for many years Clerk to the Court of Requests in Newcastle (Durham Advertiser 10 Feb 1827). John was sole executor of brother William's will in 1821.

The mural monument in the Chancel of St Mary's Gateshead, where John and wife Frances were buried, had a coat of arms 'Brockett impaling Trotter'. The church dominated Gateshead river front (Pocock and Norris 1990 pl 30), but was badly damaged by fire in 1855 and is no longer used as a church; the mural monument no longer exists. Their sons also used the coat of arms—it was printed in the Biographical Sketch of John Trotter Brockett Esquire (opposite p vi) and engraved on the 'elegant and massive silver tureen and salver, value £130, presented to Mr Alderman [William Henry] Brockett of Gateshead' in 1846 by merchants and shipowners of Newcastle (Gateshead Tracts). The cross in the first and fourth quarters is scalloped and different from the cross flory granted to members of the Yorkshire and Hertfordshire Brockett family. The College of Arms has no record of a grant of arms to members of this family.

Married 21 Jul 1787 St Nicholas Durham Frances Sophia TROTTER. Will of Frances Brockett of Gateshead, widow 1833 (DUASC T). In John's will 1827 (DUASC T & C) he referred to property he owned in Witton Gilbert and Lanchester, and listed his 6 children in the following order:

  1. John Trotter. Lawyer, antiquary, numismatist and author of the Glossary of North Country Words 1825-, biographical details about him can be found in various sources, e.g. DNB (the only Brockett in that Dictionary); http://www.litandphil.org.uk/Trotter%20Brockett.htm. Called 'Esq' in the Biographical Sketch published Newcastle 1843, where his signature is reproduced below an engraving of him. Born 21 Sep 1788 Witton Gilbert (DNB; Gateshead Tracts n d p 4), died 12 Oct 1842 Albion Place, Newcastle. Married 1814 Durham Isabella BELL, alive 1863-4 (Gateshead Tracts n d p 4). Children:
    1. John Trotter. Lawyer. Died 23 November 1834 Albion Place, Newcastle.
    2. William Edward Nov 1842 admitted Attorney of Queens Bench, Westminster and Solicitor in Chancery. Farmed and kept horses at Whickham—about 2 m SW of Gateshead. Bankruptcy proceedings were filed against him 19 Nov 1855. He absconded and was declared an outlaw soon after. Married 11 June 1840 Chester-le-Street Maria Margaret SHIELD (Gateshead Tracts n d p 4). Children:
      1. Edward Spencer b 1847 Gateshead, d there 1848
      2. Frederick William Spencer b 1848 Gateshead
      3. Caroline Harriett bap 6 Dec 1850 Whickham (IGI; no St Catherine's record).
  2. Margaret. Sole executrix of her mother's will in 1833, still a spinster. Her death is not recorded in St Catherine's Index, which began in 1838, so perhaps she died between 1833-8. It is unlikely that she married after 1833 and was no longer a Brockett.
  3. George. A mural monument in St Mary's Gateshead recorded his death 'in Havana 7 May 1818 from a malignant fever' aged 23 years—therefore b c 1795. Administration of George Brockett of Gateshead, Master Mariner, Bachelor 1818 (DUASC A 83).
  4. Mary bap 30 June 1799 Witton Gilbert
  5. William Henry born 22 Jan 1804 (Gateshead Tracts n d p 4) mayor, newspaper owner, genealogist and prominent member of the Gateshead community
  6. Henry b c 1807. Elected Member of the House of Assembly for Hanover Parish Jamaica, from which post he resigned in 1852 (newspaper cuttings in the Brockett Papers vol 10 pp 35-7, 41-2). Had returned to England by 1881, when he was recorded in the census living in Heath Lodge, Iver, Buckinghamshire, described as 'Lieutenant Colonel of Militia and JP of Jamaica', with wife Eliza H, wife's mother Charlotte Winckler, both born Jamaica and a housemaid and a cook. No issue.

iv. Henry 1774

Will of Henry Brockett of Newcastle, Merchant, 1774 (DUASC T 26). Son of Hugh? All effects real and personal to wife Dorothy, sole executrix, except legacies of £4 each to daughters Mary Smith and Margaret Campbell.

v. Joseph 1788

Will of Joseph Brockett of Midlestone Durham, pr 25 Apr 1788 (DUASC T 45). Sole executrix great niece Jane Birdwhistle, formerly Bolam.

vi. Robert 1818

Will of Robert Brockett of Newcastle, Cooper, written 26 Jan, pr 21 May 1818 (DUASC T). All personal effects to wife Mary. Sole executor Ralph Hopper, Cooper of Newcastle. Robert's signature.

vii. Mary 1832

Will of Mary Brockett of Newcastle, Widow of Robert, written 31 Jul 1830, pr 27 Apr 1832 (DUASC T). Everything to Ralph and Sarah Hopper, sole executrix. Mary's signature.

viii. John 1843

Will of John Brockett of Newcastle, Cork cutter, d 30 Mar 1843, written 19 Apr 1838, codicil 7 Jul 1840, pr 22 Apr 1843 (DUASC T & C). Everything to wife Sarah for term of life, except his half of 2 properties in Aldgate London. Thereafter to daughter Hannah Harrison and heirs of late daughter Mary Davison. John's signature.