The history of the proper noun
As well as a word, Broket is and has been a surname
and a place name.
Compared with many surnames Broket has been stable
and variant spellings are minor. Only 4 have been
common: Broket, Brokett, Brockett and Brocket, with the 2
t spelling predominating. The 2 earliest records of the nameas
of the wordwere
spelt Brochet. The ch was an early scribal convention for
the k sound
and for the rest of the 13th and 14th C the name was
spelt Broket, apart from one instance of Brocket
in 1372. Brokett
was becoming common by the 15th and Brockett by the 16th.
Spellings without a c had died out in England by the
17th C, but continued in Scotland until 1831. Brockett
and Brocket were used interchangeably 16-18th C, sometimes
in the same document. But by the 19th C the 1 t spelling was
becoming less common and today is comparatively rare. An all-but-unique
Brockette was adopted in the 20th C by one American family.
There have been chapels, properties, a manor, farms, fields,
roads, a wood and even a castle in Britain called Brocket,
but there has only been 1 actual place name: Brocketsbrae,
a hamlet of a dozen or so houses on the hillside east of Lesmahagow
in Lanarkshire. The possessive s signifying 'brae of Brocket'
suggests that the hill was named after a person or
family rather than being a place name after which
inhabitants were named. The same holds true of other non-human
occurrences of the name Brocket: the origin of the
surname was not locative, even in Scotland. Nor was
it a Viking, Domesday or Anglo-Saxon name or place-name (Searle
1897; Björkman 1910; Keats-Rohan & Thornton 1997);
it came later.
In order to govern the feudal system and raise revenue the king
and his administrators needed to know what service each knight
owed him. Unlike the Vikings and Anglo-Saxons, the Normans
used a small number of first names and officials needed
a new way to identify men beyond dispute (Reaney 1995 p xl ff).
Which William, John, Roger or Richard was it?
Men therefore received bynames. Not only landowners, but
tenants and others also needed to be identified for tax, so
bynames arose according to:
- father's name
Broket was not a first name, so it did not originate as a
father's name, nor was it an occupationit was not a
variant of Broker. It has been suggested that it was locational,
but on reflection there is no doubt that Broket began
as a nickname (Reaney 1995 p 66; cf Hey 1993 pp 27,
1997 p xi, 1998 pp 428-30; but Hanks et al 1988, 2002 did
not mention it).
The word brocket meant a young male deer,
common among the predominantly rural population at the time
of surname formation. Animal bynames mostlyif not alwaysoriginated
as nicknames. Some domesticated animal bynames, like Pigge or
Bull, might have had an occupational origin with someone who
looked after the animal, although a nickname seems more likely
with these two too.
Brockets of course were wild creatures,
so like Buck, Crow, Deere, Foxe, Hare, Hawke, Hind, Lovell,
Roe, Stagg, Todd, Wolfe and others, the byname Broket
originated as a wild-animal nickname. What occupation
looked after young male deer? A man acted like a young deer
perhaps, or had big ears, or had the skull of a brocket with
its single-spiked antlers over the door to his house.
If a man in Yorkshire was nicknamed Fox or Crow or Broket,
another man in Oxfordshire could have been too. Nicknames
were not limited by place, but by usage of the word. The word
brocket was not provincial in origin, it had come
from France. The earliest
records of the name Broket show provenances too far flung
to suggest that these Brokets had moved out from one source.
Some were given the nickname independently.
If Scottish Brokets had not come up from England, it is possible
that the nickname there originated because of a spotted,
streaked or black-and-white characteristic of some kind.
Before the 14th C bynames were often not hereditary
and changed from father to son, but of the 4 types of bynames
nicknames became hereditary most readily. The earliest Broket
record in 1207
is of 2 together, implying at least 1 preceding generation,
and connections between Yorkshire Brokets in 1240/50
point to forbears with the name there too. This is confirmed
by relatively regular records of the name between 1260 and
1379 from a small rural area near the city of York despite
the ravages of the Black Death, which hit the city 5 times
between 1349-78 (VCH , City of York, p 85).
Although Broket was not locational in origin,
the faint possibility of such an origin for perhaps some bearers
of the name should not be ignored:
- It has been suggested for the Scottish
name Brocket, but it is more likely there also that the
property was named after a person.
- Lower (1860) guessed that the name
Brockett derived from the Anglo-Saxon locative compound
brochesheved meaning 'brook's head'. A Luca de
Brochesheved was indeed recorded in the Pipe Rolls for the
3rd year of King John for Essex in 1201, and the author
of the 1860 Gateshead
pedigree cited this man at the very top as though Brochesheved
were the original form of the name Broket. But for the name
Broketalready hereditary in 1207to derive from
de Brochesheved of 1201 Essex is not possible. Moreover,
sound and emphasis shifts from shéved to
et are not elsewhere found.
- Leland used the word brocket to mean 'streamlet'
and it was once apparently attested as a fieldname
near Bradford, although the details are lost. That this
might have been an origin of someone's Broket byname is
implausibleno Brokets were recorded nearby.
- The earliest locative form of the name recorded in the
vicinity of people called Brocket is Brocket
Wood in Bolton Percy, clearly named after its owners
rather than the other way round.
Scribes wrote names as they heard them and records show
a number of scribal variantsbut none were substantial:
- The first syllable Brok carried the stress
and its consonants and vowel remained distinct.
Braket, Briket, Burkit, Boket and their variants are all
- The k sound was interchangeably spelt
k or ck, occasionally kk. Two of the earliest records spelt
it chBrochetand one gBroget.
- The final vowel was unstressed so could
be written at, et, it, ot or yt (but Brokut hasn't been
- The final t might or might not be doubled
and very occasionally an e was added at the endwithout
any effect on the stress.
The stability of the sound and its link to a common word
have led to no oral variants as such; nothing
like Bolsover > Bowser (Hey 1993 p 22).
- The 2 instances of the definite
del Broket 1344 and Drugo le
Broket 1416were on the one hand the Europeanisation
of a foreign (i.e. English) name, and on the other the common
insertion of le by Latin scribes in front of a
[supposed] foreign name.
- Brocketman meant servant of Brocketattested
only in 1379
- Names like Brocard, Brocas, Brock, Brocup, Brokert, and
their variants and the 19th C Brochet and Broquette are
Variety in spelling the name survived
longer in Scotland than in England.
(Sasine RS42/16 f 302v). This variant suggests the name
may have had a slightly longer o sound in Scotland than
in England, but its isolated occurrence among hundreds
of other Carnwath Broket records makes this unlikely,
indeed in the Sasine the name was mainly spelt Brockate.
Similarly its rarity should not be taken as hinting at
a different origin. See also Broocket.
||Elizabeth Ash's IPM; Scotland 1546-.
|| 1207 and 1214 Lincolnshire;
The ch spelling was recorded in the IGI
about a dozen more times between 1595 and 1834, excluding
the different Walloon name.
||'In [Bolton Percy] parish stood Brochett-hall, antiently
the seat of the Brochetts of this county' (Drake 1736
p 388, citing the name as Brocket on p 386).
||The 19th C Carstairs
& Glasgow family used this spelling consistently.
Hampshire; 1627 Dunton.
|| Used interchangeably with Brockett 16-18th
C, but by the 19th C had become less common, and now is
comparatively rare; mainly found in Scotland and New Zealand.
||When the Brocketts were living at Brocket
Hall in Hertfordshire the name was more often spelt Brokett
or Brockett, as well for the Hall. Its single t spelling
became fixed long after it had passed into other hands.
||This doesn't represent stress on the second
syllable. Found earlier very occasionally, e.g. 1571 Surrey,
It was adopted by 1 family in the 1940s to distinguish
themselves from Lord Brocket,
a Nazi sympathiser.
||Scotland 1787, but Brocket for the same man 1789-93.
||Mostly in Scotland, except 1657-88 Suffolk;
||Several, e.g. 1655-79 York;
||Brockott of Silesia, southwestern Poland,
with a deer as their arms would have been an indigenous
clan whose name emerged as a separate nickname (Rolland
||3 relatives in a Yorkshire
1301 poll tax return. Subsequently spelt Broket.
1294 & Kirkeby
Malore 1316. Common in Scotland 1506-1743.
||The spelling in England till the 14th C,
carrying through occasionally to the 16th, e.g. York,
and in Scotland till the 17th (once in the 19th: Renfrew
||The most common spelling 15-17th C.
Herts. The ette was a scribal tautology, not indicating
stress on the second syllable.
||Scotland, apart from 1801 Bromham.
It is just possible that an isolated family
in Alloa whose name was
spelt 3 times out of 7 with oo in the OPRs 1730s, may
not be a mistranscription but an example of the Scottish
name having a different origin to the English one. But
since records of this family were spelt more times with
o and since it is otherwise unique in Scotland, it most
likely simply indicates a local Scottish lengthening
of the vowel, similar perhaps to the spelling Broakate.
Recorded first as Brocket, the surname of John and Mary
Crumbie's children was recordedall
but the last in Alloa, Clackmannanshireas:
| 1. Brocket - Helen bap
13 Jun 1731
2. Broocket - William bap 13 Jul
3. Brooket - Janet bap 29 Dec 1734
4. Brocket - William bap 20 Feb 1737
5. Brookit - Mary bap 20 Oct 1738
6. Brocket - Edward bap 5 Oct 1740
7. Brokat - Elizabeth bap 2 May 1743 (St Cuthberts
More scribal variantsor errorsare found in the
Scribes and compilers of indexes of course sometimes made errors
as they copied written documents:
- Thus for instance Braketand Bracket, Brackettalthough
a well-attested name in its own right, occured as an error
- a and o are more similar in shape than a and i; Briket
has only once been found as a scribal error.
- Similarly l can be an uncrossed t and Brockell mistakes
- Breket is recorded twice, but is not otherwise a name.
- Brockeff and Drokettalso not otherwise nameshave
each been found once.
These were simply errors of transcription so couldn't carry
over to the people concerned. Brocketts in the States, even
if recorded in a cenus as Brackett, could not originally have
Sir John Blaket mistakenly called Sir John Broket.
|| A 20th C mistranscription of a 13th
C Broket entry; 1697
||Andrew Brocket's marriage in Lesmahagow 1783 was also
recorded in Stewarton as Bracket. Mary
Brockett of Durham's burial in 1692 was indexed as Bracket.
Examples of Brockett mistranscribed as Brackett:
- Willliam Alfred, 1880 (Scottish OPR).
Examples of Brackett mistranscribed as Brockett:
- Mary, Somerset
- Perceval, b Hackney 1847 (GRO).
||Mistranscription of the 1207
Curia Regis Roll in the 1931 Calendar. Brechet is not
attested elsewhere as a name.
||Susan b 1863 Carnwath Lanark.
||Mistranscription of broket in the
mid-14th century Gonville and Caius College ms 424/48
of Le Venery.
Breket is not attested elsewhere as a word or
Brockett wrongly transcribed in the IGI transcription
of the 1881 census for London.
||Mistranscription of Margarett Briket as
Broket in the Catalogue for a 1538-44 action of debt (PRO
C1/737/7). The only occurrence of the name in the original
clearly has Briket (l 2).
||Maggie Brocket 1901 census Scotlanda
mistranscription of the original return. Two other mistranscriptions
of marriages in Ayrshire: 1783 Stewarton, 1814 Kilmarnock.
|| 1422 Westminster.
|| 1540-42 Ayrshire.
of London's marriage certificate 1861. Brockell is a name
in its own right and ought not to be assumed to have uncrossed
ts unless obviously so. Mathewe
Brokell of York 1597 for instance was not a Brokett, nor
Brockil of Newark 1736-7. Conversely Brocket has been
found in error for Brockel: in Cambridge
1737 and Barnard
Castle 1668, 1757 (will of William, pr York).
||1741 Durham St Oswald Parish Register Index for Elisabeth.
||A flourish usually indicating the plural
es was added to the final t of the name a 15th
C York Constable.
A Miss Brocketts was recorded in the IGI transcription
of the 1881 census for Middlesex.
||This was a double error. The original parish clerk in
wrote Brocktet and the 1935 transcriber misread the e
as an o.
(IGI misinformation; 3 F# entries). The IGI
has a number of Brooket misspellings in England. See also
the Scottish Alloa family.
|| 1617/8 Dunton.
Drokett: licence to alienate the manor of Este Rede, Herts
(Calendar of Patent Rolls vol 4 p 3052).
As with Brackett and Brockell, Brokett has been found in
error for Blaket.
- Boket/Bockett of Hitchin. See John
of Offley's will and Howlett (2000 p 66). Reaney (1995 p
51) related it to Burchard and Hanks et al (2002 p 75) to
its variant Burkett.
- Braket was recorded 1214; a diminutive
of brache 'a hound which hunts by scent' (Reaney
1995 p 59).
- Briket. A variant of Birkett 'dweller
by the birch-covered headland' 1301 (Reaney 1995 p 64; Hanks
et al 2002 p 92, 69).
- Brocard. Recorded in England with Osbert
Brochard in Hampshire 1175 (PRO E372/21, Calendar of
the Great Roll of the Pipe 21 Hen II, London 1897 p
187) and John Brocard in Cambridge as late as 1327, Brocard
has only continued as an English name extremely rarely.
A search through relevant books and
documents in La Bibliothèque Généalogique,
rue de Turbigo, Paris showed a long-established
Brocard name in various parts of Franceone
as early as 1350but no Broket. Some had a stag as
the motif on their arms (Rolland pl 323).
- De/du Brocas, Broquas, Brocquas, Broca.
That the Brokets originated in 14th C Gascony
where the de Brocas name is recorded (H Andrews 1927 p 401)
is unreferenced speculation and does not fit with the existence
of earlier English Brokets.
- Brochet was recorded with 19th C Walloon
emigrants from mainland Europe to Norwich and Canada with
the t unpronounced.
The spelling k or ck had become standard
for a k sound
by the 15th C, so a post
16th C ch spelling after a short vowel represented
not a scribal error.
- Brock was always distinct from Broket,
with the Durham
exception to prove the rule.
- Brockey. A mistranscription
of this name as Brocket occurred in the Parish Register
Lincs 1679. Otherwise the names have been unrelated.
- Brocup, Brockup, Brokup.
Two mistranscriptions of this name as Broket occurred in
the Parish Register and BT of Quadring
Lincs 1608 and 1613/4. Otherwise the names have been unrelated.
- Broker/Brocker. An occupational name
meaning 'agent, purveyor' le Brokour 1276 (Reaney 1995 p
- Brokert and Brokart are found in Ireland,
with 8 births, marriages or deaths in London 1865-1928 (GRO
- Brokest. Found once in London in 1873
as a variant of Brockert.
- Broketod was recorded once in Suffolk
1176 (PRO E372/22, Calendar of the Great Roll of the
Pipe 22 Hen II, London 1904 p 66) but this name hasn't
been considered a variant of Broket. The -od ending
is typical of a place name, comparable perhaps to Broxted.
- Broquet/Broquette. Recorded twice from
1680 and 96. These were isolated occurrences, most probably
with the stress on the second syllable and perhaps Anglicisations
of a continental name, perhaps Brocard or the like.
- Burkett. Hanks et al (2002 p 101) said
Birkett and Burkett get confused but have different origins.
There has only been 1 Brocket place name, as distinct from
field or property names:
To the east and north east of Lesmahagow the land rises gently
and half way up is a small hamlet called
Brocketsbrae. The maps of Pont 1596, Ross 1773 and Forrest
1816 did not show it and while Thomson's 1822 Map of Lanarkshire
showed tiny nearby settlements like Kilslack3 cottagesit
did not show Brocketsbrae either. The 1821 census
listed residences in Brocketsbrae (Devon quarter
nos 687, 689) and the 1841 census did too, but the 1851 census
recorded none. 1858 is the earliest reference to it
on a mapthe 1st edition of the OS mapalbeit
Before the original Lesmahagow railway station was built
on Brocketsbrae in the 1850s, there were few if any houses
there. It seems that before the 1850s the hill as
a whole was called Brocketsbrae and was largely uninhabited;
then after the 1850s the name came to refer increasingly to
the railway station and the settlement that grew up around
it rather than to the hill. Now that the
station has gone, Brocketsbrae refers to the remaining
The possessive genitive form of the name 'brae of Brocket'
suggests that the braethe hillwas named after
an owner or inhabitant rather than the other way around. It
would not originally have been named
for being a hill frequented by animal brocketswild
brockets lived alongside older and younger deer, and roamed
areas far wider than one hill. However, human Brockets
lived in the
parish; they held land there in the late 16th
early 17th C and a clan lived on through to the 20th
The name is most likely to have become attached to the hill
during a time when it was associated with Brockets.
Perhaps it was a way in local conversation to refer to the
next landmark going north from Devonburn on the old
Carlisle-to-Glasgow coaching road. It may also not be a coincidence
that Castle Brocketabout
5 miles to the west in the Kype valleycan be seen from
the top of Broketsbrae.
Five counties in Britain have had Brocket field and property
names. Most were named after people.
- Brockethall Manor
- Brockett Chapel
- Brocket Wood or Hagg
- The Brocketts
- Brocket Holes Gill
- Brockett Field
1-4 were associated with the Broket family of Appleton, 5-7
1. The Brockethall
Manor house stood on the south of the moat enclosure
at the east end of Appleton in the Ainsty.
The manor house has long gone, but the moat
remains as one of the best preserved in Yorkshire
andalthough not found on smaller modern mapsis
still known as Brocket Hall (Le Patourel 1973 p 122, Plate
IV is unclear; Ordinance Survey maps 1865, 1890as reproduced
by Selby District Council's Map of the Village of Appleton
Roebuck, 1995, no 4, and in excellent detail in 1965
SE5442 and 5542).
The moat may have been constructed by the Fauconbergs
in the 2nd half of the 12th C when it 'would no doubt
have held a large timber famed house, a gate house and other
buildings. It had a huge platform and was capable of housing
the entire population and their stock if necessary during
the troubled times of the 12th and 13th century' (M J Harrison
2000 p 71).
|'Brockett Hall is a goodly moated
site at the head of Daw Laneof rectangular form,
and divided in the centre by a deep trench and rampart,
each space measuring within the inner bank about one hundred
and twelve yards by sixty' (Bogg 1902 p 294).
It was formerly called Southwood Manor (M
J Harrison 2000 pp 70, 75, 192, 257) and would have been renamed
Brockethall after Thomas
Broket inherited it by marriage to the heiress Dionisia Sampson.
A H Smith (1961-2 pt 4 p 220) missed out this surname stage
and unconvincingly said that Brocket Hall and Brocket Hagg
derived from late Middle English word broket meaning a red
deer in its 2nd year.
Thomas appears to have rebuilt or extended
it, perhaps inserting a storey into the single medieval hall
open to the rafters (Palliser 1979 p 34). The Abbot of Selby
paid him 60 ash trees c 1401 for pleading on his behalf as
in the court of the Exchequer. The next entry in the Abbot's
accounts shows the same number of trees being given to a prior
at York to renovate a house. In York City timber-framed houses
at this time were of oak (Palliser 1979 p 31) and the Gatehouse
at Bolton Percy Church, although more recent, is oak-framed.
Brocket Hall was sold by Sir John Brockett of Herts to Thomas
Fairfax in 1565 and the last known occupant was his son Charles
Fairfax in 1602, whereafter the buildings decayed (M J Harrison
2000 pp 92, 99).
There had always been 3 manors in Appleton. The largest was
Southwood, then Woolas, but there is doubt over the 3rd. Was
it Nun Appleton? No records actually refer to it as a manor.
Or was it Jew Leas? Edward
Broket of Appleton and Wheathampstead bequeathed 'the maner
of Julies' to his second son Robert.
2. Brockett Chapel
is the south transeptor the end of the south aisleof
Bolton Percy parish church, endowed by Thomas
Lord of Appleton during the Church's rebuiding (1413-23).
Also called St Mary's Choir, it is referred to as the Brockett
Chapel in the Guide for the Visitor currently available
in the Church (also Jackson 1938 p 15). It was originally
a Broket family chapel, probably a chantry for Thomas and
Dionisia, and later a Lady Chapel (Jackson 1938 p 15; M J
Harrison 2000 p 14).
There have been no extensions to the outer fabric of the
Church and the Broket arms emblazoned and set into
the external east wall above the window of
the chapel are original.
3. Brocket Wood
consisting mainly of oak in 2004, can be found on modern large-scale
Ordnance Survey maps, about a mile N of Appleton Roebuck,
on the north side of the road. It has also been called Brocket
Hagg, 'hagg' being a local word for 'wood'. On Jeffrey's
map of 1596 it is spelt Brocked-wood (BI PR BP 15). Frances
White's map of 1783 has Brockit Woodpossibly Brackitand
Robert Cooper's map of 1832 has Brocket Wood. Its size was
20 acres in an 1840 document of sale held by the East Riding
of Yorkshire Archives (DDGU/3/3). It used to be larger, lying
on both sides of the road, and included pasture land, according
to its sale in 1563 by John
Brockett Esq and Elena, his wife, of Herts (YASRS vol
2 'Yorkshire Fines' p 274).
As with Brocketsbrae, it is safe to say that Brocket Wood
was originally named after its 15th C owners.
4. The Brocketts was a house in the centre
of Appleton village by the old school house in the vicinity
of the moated site and named after the site. It, and the nearby
house called Brockett Willows, were on the 1965 OS map.
was a field name recorded 1334 in Elland, c 3 m NW of Huddersfield,
West Yorkshire (A H Smith 1961-2 pt 7 p 163). Smith gave no
source and the Place Name Society no longer have his notes.
He linked it to the Early Modern English 'brooket',
a small brook or streama rare word recorded only from
Leland. Assuming nonetheless that this field was named after
a little stream, it and no. 6Brocket Holes Gillare
probably the only field names not named after a human Broket.
6. Brocket Holes Gill was situated in Backgate
in Ingleton in Ewcross wapentake, West Yorkshire (A H Smith
1961-2 pt 6 p 245). Smith made no suggestion of origin, but
the field name Brock Holes occured in the
same area and in the West Riding another dozen or so times.
Brock Holes has a clear origin in 'badger hole' and Brocket
Holes Gill was an exceptional example of the name Brocket
deriving from Brock.
For a similar exception, but with a surname rather than a
field name, see Henry
Brocket. However, to argue from this that the word brocket,
and then the surname Broket, derived from brock meaning 'badger'
would be to make a generality out of an all-but-unique exception.
7. Brockett Field
was a small parcel of land sold among many others in 1721/2
at Aislaby, 4 miles west of Whitby. Perhaps it had had some
connection with a Brockett from Whitby
(Durham County Record Office: Eldon Estate and Family Records,
Ref No D/El 1/53, 54 from http://www.durham.gov.uk/recordoffice
There have been 4 or 5 property and field names in Hertfordshire
associated with the Broket family of Hertfordshire:
- Brocket Hall and Park
- Brocket Chapel, Wheathampstead
- Brocket Chapel, Hatfield
- Brockets Bushes
- Brocket Arms
1. Brocket Hall and
Brocket Parkor simply Brocketformerly
in the parish of Hatfield, lie a few miles north of Hatfield
and c 40 miles north of the centre of London. Saxton's 1577
map of Herts shows 'Brockethall parck' in the centre as an
enclosed area with woods and a large house. 'This seat stands
in a beautiful park on the North-East bank of the river Lea.
It derives its name from its antient proprietors,
the family of Brocket' (Clutterbuck 1815-27 vol 2 p 359; Gover
et al 1938 p 127). Chauncy (1826 vol 2 p 16) described Brocket
|'the ancient Seat of the Brockets,
situated upon a dry Hill in a fair Park, well wooded and
greatly timber'd, enclosed with a brick Wall on the West
Side of the Road, for the Length of a Mile, and plentifully
water'd with the River Lea. It came to Thomas Read,
by the marriage of Mary the fifth Daughter of Sir John
Two original properties combined
to form Brocket Hall: Waterships and Durantshyde.
Others like Cromerhyde were added later (VCH
vol 3 1912 pp 101-2; Andrews H 1927 p 398).
FitzSimon land since the early 13th C Waterships
and Durantshyde had descended to Elizabeth Ash
and thence to her husband Thomas Broket in the 1430s. They
remained primarily Elizabeth's as shown when the IPMs on their
deaths without issue in 1477 and 1482 (Thomas:
PRO C140/62 ll 29-41; Elizabeth:
PRO E149/244 ll 7-13) both said that 'a messuage called Watershepis
with appurtenances and a hide of land with appurtenances called
Duranteshide in Bishops Hatfield' were to devolve to Robert
and Elizabeth Mosely; then if they too died without
issue they were to devolve to 'the right heirs of Thomas Broket
himself for ever'.
Robert and/or Elizabeth Mosely must have lived beyond 1488
as Waterships and Durantshyde were not mentioned in the IPM
of Thomas' immediate heir his brother Edward
(PRO C142/4). Thereafter they devolved from the Moselys to
Edward's heir John
of Wheathampsteadrecorded for the first time as the
manor of Waterships in his IPM of 1532 (PRO
C142/397 ll 27-31).
This John, the first Broket in
Herts to be called 'of Brocket Hall' (recorded 1522-3)
probably built the Hall, or at least extended
it as his grandfather had done to Southwood
the Hall, privately printed by current owners, date the
rebuilding 1440, which is too early. They further mistakenly
say that the Hall remained in the family till 1746 citing
alledged rumours that it was sold 'as a result of one
of the Brocket sons getting a local girl pregnant; the
family moved away and the errant son was sent to the worst
possible place that could be thought of the timeAmerica'.
A fortnight before she became Queen in 1558, Elizabeth
was staying at Broket Hall, as shown by a letter signed by
Vespasian FIII no.25)
|Your verye lovinge
Withe our right hartie comendacions we haue
thought good taddresse these fewe lynes
vnto you . to render our like thankes for your
gentillnessez and the redynesse euermore of
your good wille to do vnto vs all the pleasur
ye cann, which we sufficiently vnderstand
may well assure yourself that we neyther
do nor cann forgrate the same As whensoeuer
tyme and power may serue ye shall well
fynde vpon prouffe at our handes God
willing To whome we comende you At
Broket Hall the 28 of octobr 1558
All that remains of the Brockett Hall of the Brocketts is
the Tudor basement,
and perhaps one or two of the grand old oak trees nearby.
The present Hall dates from the mid 18th C.
| Either side of the main staircase
of Brocket Hall today are two large portraits
with arms, attributed to the Dutch artist Antonio
More. They are said to be of Sir John II (born c 1540)
and his second wife Elizabeth Fowler (H Andrews 1927 pp
402-3), but this is mistaken. Their arms are mainland
Europeanpossibly from Flandersand
their dress is Flemish c 1550 (private communication
from R M Jammart, a Belgian historian of costume 1999).
In 1798 Manson of Pall Mall published
an engraving of the male portrait saying that the original
picture came from one of Sir John's daughters' houses
in Wheathampstead where 'the arms of Brockett, correspondent
with those in the picture, were carved over the mantelpieces
of the two parlours' (Andrews H 1927 p 403). This has
not been verified. E J Brockett (1905 p 228) reproduced
the male portrait from Manson.
A label on the lady's painting says, 'Aetatis suae 22
anno 1566', making her birth c 1544. Her arms are on a
lozenge: 'Or, a fess counter campony gules and argent'.
The crest is a lion. Apparently there are similarbut
not identical armsbelonging to the family La Marcke
(Vredius 1642 p 15) and the family Calckine (De l'Espigny
A label on the gentleman's painting says, 'Aetatis suae
23 anno 1568', making his birth c 1545. His arms are 'Vert,
three greyhounds, two and one, proper, the upper two courant
to sinister, the lower one seated on a dog collar or ring
or slip proper', without a crest. These are not British
and there are no similar arms in Rolland's edition of
Rietstap; but European arms number many millions.
2 & 3. Brocket Chapels are situated
in the south transept of both St Helen's Wheathampstead and
St Etheldreda's Hatfield.
The chapel in St Helen's Wheathampstead
was originally a Lady Chapel, dedicated to Mary. In 1532 John
of Wheathampsted Esq willed
to be buried 'in the Chapell of our Lady' (l 6). In 1557 Sir
John I willed
to be buried 'in the Chappell whereas my Auncestours be buried'.
|The ancestors were probably: Thomas
and Elizabeth Ash, Edward and Elizabeth Thwaites, and
his grandparents John and Lucy Pulter.
It may have been Sir John I and Lady Margaret's imposing
alabaster tomb altar (VCH Herts vol 2 p 311) which
fixed the name as the Brocket Chapel; soon
after John's death the Catholic revival under Mary ended.
Sir John II, whose father's tomb altar
dominated the Brocket Chapel in St Helen's Wheathampstead,
for his own tomb to be set up in the Brocket Chapel in St
Etheldreda's Hatfield in 1598, where it still standsalthough
in need of restoration.
| 'In accordance with his wishes,
his tomb bears his arms on a shield of thirteen quarterings,
to show his family alliances, with others on the front
of the monument, and at the back those of his six daughters.
Under the canopy are alternate crosses patonce (from his
arms) and chained brockets (young stags) from his crest,
which would have surmounted his helmet still hanging above
his tomb.' (Rosenthal 1981 p 16)
Although Sir John II and his wives were buried in the Chapel
in St Etheldreda's, it was named after the Hall rather
than after the Brockett family itself'it was
used as a mortuary chapel by the owners of Brocket Hall for
two hundred years' (Rosenthal 1981 p 14). The VCH
(vol 3 1912 p 106) has a picture. Daily services are
4. Brockets Bushes was a field name on
Benwick Hall Estate near Stapleford, recorded on a late 17th
C map but not in the Tithe Commutation Assessment of 1837
(R T Andrews 1908-11 pp 100-1). It dated perhaps from
the times when the Wheathampstead Brokets owned nearby Bengeo
Manor, but changed its name to Bardon Clumps on enclosure.
5. The Brocket Arms is a pub in Ayot St
Lawrence, a couple of miles north of Wheathampstead. Parts
of the inn date to the 14th Century and it is said to be haunted
by a phantom monk. It is near Minsden Chapel, once owned by
the Brokets. Nowadays the pub's sign is the coat of arms of
There is also a Brocket Arms Hotel on Mesnes
Road, Clitheroe, Lancashire.
Castle Brocket is a farm overlooking
the Kype Water in Avondale parish about 2 m SE of
Strathaven and 5+ miles as the crow flies from Lesmahagow
and Brocketsbrae. Probably originally
a 16th C tower house situated within the
current c 60x45 ft courtyard of the farm buildings, there
are no remains today. The present owners, there since 1921,
once dug up the courtyard with a mechanical digger to repave
it but noticed no trace of a castle. Downie (1979), the only
modern history of the area, mentioned it twice: on p 53 that
Blaeu's map showed pre-reformation Chapel buildings and p
301 re an owner Abraham Torrance 1820-45.
Working backwards with maps from 1911 it
is probable that it was on the earliest ones:
- The 1911 OS map (25"=1 mile) had
'Castle Brocket on Site of Castle'.
- The 1897 OS map (25"=1 mile) showed
the site of the castle in the courtyard of the farm buildings.
- The first OS map (6"=1 mile), surveyed 1858
and published 1864, showed it as a courtyard farm building
with 'Castle (site of)' in Gothic writing underneath
indicating an antiquity.
- Forrest's 1816 map showed 'Castle Brocket
in ruins' as a large building. It is surrounded
on all sides on the map by names with 'Kype' in them: West
Kype and Kype Rig to the west; Kypes Rig, Kypesrig, Kypes
Water to the south; Little Kypes, High Kypeside and Nether
Kypeside to the east (in Lesmahagow parish); and Kypes Water
again to the north. But Forrest showed no Langkipe.
- Ross's 1773 Map of Lanarkshire clearly
- On Pont's 1596 handwritten map the second
part of the name is illegible, but it probably represented
Broket. Blaeu's 1654 Atlasa printed
version of Pontprobably mis-deciphered it as 'Cast.
The index of the Register of the Great Seal does
not mention Castle Brocket, however it was recorded a few
times in Lanarkshire Sasines:
- Sasine RS42/16 f 232r, l 45: Castlebroket occurred with
reference to Joseph Allan of St Laureance Chapple. James
Allan was still the recorded owner in 1771 (Lanarkshire
Valuation Roll, SRO E106/36/7).
- Sasine RS42/17 f 112v, ll 36, 60, f 113r l 16 linked it
to land called Kype: The 'Thirteen Shilling four penny Land
of the Lands of Meikle Kype called Castle Brocate'
owned by Joseph Allan of St Lawrence Chapple.
- RS42/17 f 112v ll 26-33 further showed that Joseph Allan
acquired it from Rev John Steel of Stair, eldest son of
Rev John Steel of Cumnock, who had inherited it from William
Porterfeild of that Ilk and Juliana Steel.
- Sasine RS40/5 ff 223v-224r, ll 27-37 confirmed this ownership
descent, taking it back further to Margaret Hamiltoun
, natural sister of Robert Hamiltoun of ...
- Sasine RS40/5 ff 248v-249r, ll 30, 45 specifically placed
Castellbrokat or Castellbrocket in the
meere of Langkype.
When it acquired its Broket name is unknown, but that it
was named after owners or occupiers rather than after
a place is suggested by the word order. Place names normally
precede Castle, like Edinburgh Castle or Glamis Castle. There
must have been a connection between Castle Broket and
who was holding land in Langkipe from David Hammiltoun
of Prestoun and Alexander Hammiltoun of Silvertounhill in
Brocketnow called Brocket
Farmis a small farmhouse with an acre
or 2 of land overlooking Monkton and modern-day Prestwick
Airport, c 24 m W of Castle Brocket.
Derelict until recently rebuilt, it adjoins the much larger
Rosemount estate to the west, but doesn't seem to have been
a part of it. Adamton Mains Farm is on the east side of Rosemount.
The first record is Pont's 1596 map as Brokat,
then Blaeu's 1654 printed version of Pont, then Armstrong's
1775 map of Ayrshire as Brackett. It was one of a long list
in a 1621 inquisition into the properties
and lands of the Earl of Abercorn (as Brokat), and in another
in 1662 (as Brockatt) into those of Lord Barganie (Inquisitionum
retornatum abbreviato nos 201, 525). By the time of the
1856 and 1910 Ordnance Survey maps the spelling had settled
Every Scottish dwelling, large or small, had its own name
and maps of sparsely-populated areas of Scotland would record
them all. What might seem at first glance to be a
town or village often turns out to be a house or cottage.
So it is with Brocket. Neither book of Scottish place namesJohnstone
1934 nor Nicolaisen 1976mentioned it and it does not
figure in standard local histories of Ayrshire (Paterson 1852,
Black (1962 p 104) said it was probably the origin
of the surname Brocket, followed by Burke's Peerage World
Book of Brocketts (1997 p 2.3; New World Book of
Brocketts, p 4.4). But the opposite is more likely true:
that this Brocket was a small farm named after a 16th
C owner. Records from 1540-2 showed a George
Brokett renting a tenement and land in the Burgh.
Although the earliest Scottish records of Brokets are only
about a generation earlier than George, one would have to
posit a 200-year-long line of unrecorded Brokets in this small
homestead to plausibly suggest that it was the origin of hisand
theirsurname. Most English surnames emerged in the 13th
C, Scottish ones not much more than a century later. Again,
although the land at Brocket Farm is heavy and hard to gain
a living from, it would be too much of a coincidence that
a 16th C Broket lived in or near a place already called Broket
on account of its boggy ground. This rare attributive usage
of the word with ground
was apparently actually Irish rather than Scottish.
A house or hall in Tendring parish, whose origin is so far
unknown. The Essex historian Morant (1763-8 vol 1 p 473) under
other estates in Tendring parish said: 'Brockets
belongs to the widow of Henry Bevan Esq'. In the 19th C John
Thompson senior 'was resident at Brockett's Hall'
(White's Essex 1863). Tendring is about 8 miles E
of Colchester and 8 SW of Harwich.
Bocketts Farm, sometimes wrongly called Brocketts
Farm, is a contemporary working farm south of Leatherhead
in Surrey. None of its early owners had the surname Bockett
or Brockett (Blair 1977 pp 3-8). Deeds relating to it 1475-1922
are in Surrey Archives reference K3/5-189. Gover et al (1934
p 80) suggested an etymology: 'This estate covers the fields
marked in a survey of 1629 as Great, Lower Great, Lower Bockett
and Bockett Fields. The s is therefore the plural sign, not
the possessive. Bocket(t) would seem to be an et-derivative
of boc, 'beech'.'
- Brocket Road leading to Brocket Hall, Wheathampstead
- Brockett Close, Newton Aycliffe, Co Durhamnamed
after one of the Gateshead Brocketts?
- Brocket Close, Stourton on Severn, Worcestershire
- ?Brocket Gardens, Penicuik, Scotland.