William Brocket 1677-1745
William BROCKET 1677-1745
Son of John Brocket of London and Willingale Spain, Essex, lawyer. Admitted at the Middle Temple 1697, after which he developed his own legal career; Clerk of Christ's Hospital 1711-45. In 1744 he inherited the estate of Spains Hall, Essex from his elder brother John.
Brocket used an engraved armorial bookplate (Franks 3790). The extent of his library is not known; in his will, he directed that all the residue of his estate "except such English books as my wife and daughter shall have a mind to" be inherited by his eldest son William (1719-91), who was also a lawyer.
This bookplate is found in one of the Shakespeare First Folios in the Folger Library, where (following West) it is attributed to the younger William, 1719-91. If he did use the plate, it seems more likely (on date/design grounds) to have been used originally by his father. The Folio has inscriptions of "Elizabeth Brocket" dating between 1695 and 1712; she was William's sister (1681-1759) and it seems reasonable to speculate that its first Brocket owner may have been John, 1649-1704, that it was in his household when first inscribed by Elizabeth, and it then stayed in the family over many generations.
- Will of William Brocket, The National Archives PROB 11/744/270.
- Brockets of London.
- Folger Library STC 22273 Fo.1 no.23.
- Gambier Howe, E. R. J. Franks bequest: catalogue of British and American book plates bequeathed to the ... British Museum. London, 1903.
- West, A.J., The Shakespeare First Folio: the history of the book, Oxford, 2003, p.166.