Brooksby Genealogical Records

Brooksby Birth & Baptism Records

England & Wales Birth Index (1837-2006)

An index to births registered throughout England & Wales. Provides a reference to order copies of birth certificates from the national registrar of births, marriages and deaths – the General Register Office.

FreeBMD Births (1837-1957)

An index to births registered at the central authority for England & Wales. The index provides the area where the birth was registered, mother's maiden name from September 1911 and a reference to order a birth certificate.

British Army Birth Index (1761-2005)

An index to births registered to British Army personal at home and abroad.

Birth Notices from The Times (1983-2003)

An index to over 100,000 birth and christening notices from The London Times.

London Clandestine Marriages & Baptisms (1667-1754)

Registers of clandestine marriages and baptisms from the Fleet Prison, King's Bench Prison, the Mint and the May Fair Chapel. These events were recorded to avoid church regulations. Although the majority of records related to people in the London area, they cover people from throughout Britain and in some cases abroad.

Brooksby Marriage & Divorce Records

England & Wales Marriage Index (1837-2005)

An index to marriages registered throughout England & Wales. This is the only national marriage index that allows you to search by both spouse's names. Provides a reference to order copies of marriage certificates from the national registrar of births, marriages and deaths – the General Register Office.

Leicester Archdeaconry Marriage Licences (1570-1729)

An index to marriage bonds and allegations issued by the Archdeaconry of Leicester. Contains the name of both parties (indexed by groom), their abodes and year of allegation.

Vicar General’s Office Marriage Licences (1600-1679)

Abstracts of marriage licences granted by the Vicar-General in London. These licences could be used to marry in any church in the Province of Canterbury.

Leicestershire Marriage Transcripts (1537-1939)

Transcripts of Anglican marriage registers from over 100 churches in Leicestershire.

UK Divorce Records (1858-1911)

Digital images of documents from civil divorce cases. The cases cover both the cause of the case and the outcome, such as division of property and visitation rights. These records also contain details of illegitimate children. Cases can be searched by a name index.

Brooksby Death & Burial Records

England & Wales Death Index (1837-2006)

An index to deaths registered throughout England & Wales. Provides a reference to order copies of death certificates from the national registrar of births, marriages and deaths – the General Register Office.

Deceased Online (1629-Present)

Images of millions of pages from cemetery and crematoria registers, photographs of memorials, cemetery plans and more. Records can be search by a name index.

FreeBMD Deaths (1837-1964)

An index to deaths registered at the central authority for England and Wales. To 1866, only the locality the death was registered in was listed. Age was listed until 1969, when the deceased's date of birth was listed. Provides a reference to order a death certificate, which has further details.

British Army Death Index (1796-2005)

An index to deaths of British Army personal at home and abroad.

Death Notices from The Times (1982-1988)

An index to over 54,000 death notices and obituaries from The London Times.

Brooksby Church Records

Leicestershire & Rutland Churches (849-Present)

Profiles of parish churches in the counties of Leicestershire and Rutland. Richly illustrated with professional-grade photographs.

Act Books of the Archbishops of Canterbury (1663-1859)

An index to names and places mentioned in act books of the Province of Canterbury. It records various licences and conferments, such as marriage and physician licences.

England Parish Registers (1914-2013)

Documentation for those baptised, married and buried at England. Parish registers can assist tracing a family back numerous generations.

England Parish Registers (1817-1934)

The primary source of documentation for baptisms, marriages and burials before 1837, though extremely useful to the present. Their records can assist tracing a family back numerous generations.

Crockford's Clerical Directories (1868-1914)

Brief biographies of Anglican clergy in the UK.

Brooksby Census & Population Lists

England, Wales, IoM & Channel Islands 1911 Census (1911)

The 1911 census provides details on an individual's age, residence, place of birth, relations and occupation. FindMyPast's index allows searches on for multiple metrics including occupation and residence.

1901 British Census (1901)

The 1901 census provides details on an individual's age, residence, place of birth, relations and occupation. FindMyPast's index allows searches on for multiple metrics including occupation and residence.

1891 British Census (1891)

The 1891 census provides details on an individual's age, residence, place of birth, relations and occupation. FindMyPast's index allows searches on for multiple metrics including occupation and residence.

1881 British Census (1881)

The 1881 census provides details on an individual's age, residence and occupation. FindMyPast's index allows for searches on multiple metrics including occupation and residence.

British Phone Books (1880-1984)

Directories containing over 275,000,000 entries. As well as name, address and phone number, occupations are often recorded. A useful census substitute.

Brooksby Wills & Probate Records

England & Wales National Probate Calendar (1858-1966)

Searchable index and original images of over 12.5 million probates and administrations granted by civil registries. Entries usually include the testator's name, date of death, date of probate and registry. Names of relations may be given.

Archdeaconry of Leicester Will & Admon Index (1660-1750)

A calendar to wills and admons granted by the Archdeaconry of Leicester. Contains year of the grant, name and residence.

Derbyshire Will Index (1858-1928)

An index to wills, proved by the Derby Probate Registry. Index includes name, residence and year of probate. Contains entries for Yorkshire, Cheshire, Lancashire, Staffordshire, Leicestershire, Nottinghamshire and other counties.

Prerogative Court of Canterbury Admon Index (1649-1660)

An index to estate administrations performed by the Prerogative Court of Canterbury. The index covers the southern two thirds of England & Wales, but may also contain entries for northerners.

Prerogative Court of Canterbury Admon Index (1581-1595)

An index to estate administrations performed by the Prerogative Court of Canterbury. The index covers the southern two thirds of England & Wales, but may also contain entries for northerners.

Newspapers Covering Brooksby

Nottingham Evening Post (1878-1944)

A local paper including news from the Nottingham area, legal & governmental proceedings, family announcements, business notices, advertisements and more.

Grantham Journal (1854-1924)

This fully searchable newspaper will provide a rich variety of information about the people and places of the Grantham district. Includes family announcements.

Leicester Chronicle (1827-1900)

A database allowing full text searches of a newspaper covering local news, family announcements, obituaries, court proceedings, business notices and more in the Leicester area.

Leicester Journal (1810-1881)

Local news; notices of births, marriages and deaths; business notices; details on the proceedings of public institutions; adverts and a rich tapestry of other local information from the Leicester district. Every line of text from the newspaper can be searched and images of the original pages viewed.

Leicestershire Mercury (1837-1864)

A database allowing full text searches of a newspaper covering regional news, family announcements, obituaries, court proceedings, business notices and more in the Leicestershire area.

Brooksby Obituaries

iAnnounce Obituaries (2006-Present)

The UKs largest repository of obituaries, containing millions of searchable notices.

United Kingdom and Ireland Obituary Collection (1882-Present)

A growing collection currently containing over 425,000 abstracts of obituaries with reference to the location of the full obituary.

Quakers Annual Monitor (1847-1848)

A collection of 364 obituaries of Quakers from the British Isles. The volume was published in 1849 and includes obituaries of those who died in late 1847 through 1848.

Musgrave's Obituaries (1421-1800)

This transcribed and searchable work by Sir William Musgrave contains 10,000s of brief obituaries. The work is a reference point for other works containing information on an individual.

British Medical Journal (1849-Present)

A text index and digital images of all editions of a journal containing medical articles and obituaries of medical practitioners.

Brooksby Cemeteries

Leicestershire Church Monuments (1300-1900)

Photographs and descriptions of Leicestershire's most illustrious church monuments, often featuring effigies, medieval inscriptions and heraldic devices.

Deceased Online (1629-Present)

Images of millions of pages from cemetery and crematoria registers, photographs of memorials, cemetery plans and more. Records can be search by a name index.

Billion Graves (1200-Present)

Photographs and transcriptions of millions of gravestones from cemeteries around the world.

Maritime Memorials (1588-1950)

Several thousand transcribe memorials of those connected with the nautical occupations.

Rail & Canal Photographs Catalog (1880-1970)

A searchable database of photographs relating to railways and canals in Britain.

Brooksby Directories & Gazetteers

Wright's Directory of Leicester & Vicinity (1883-1884)

An overview of the district, with seats of the nobility, gentry and clergy; supplemented with directories for conveyance, trades, churches & streets.

Wright's Directory of Leicester & Six Miles Round (1878)

An overview of the district, with seats of the nobility, gentry and clergy; supplemented with directories for conveyance, trades, churches & streets.

Kelly's Directory of Leicestershire & Rutland (1941)

A directory of settlements in Leicestershire & Rutland detailing their history, agriculture, topography, economy and leading commercial, professional and private residents.

Kelly's Directory of Leicestershire & Rutland (1928)

A comprehensive place-by-place gazetteer, listing key contemporary and historical facts. Each place has a list of residents and businesses. Contains details on local schools, churches, government and other institutions.

Kelly's Directory of Leicestershire (1925)

A directory of settlements in Leicestershire detailing their history, agriculture, topography, economy and leading commercial, professional and private residents.

Act Books of the Archbishops of Canterbury (1663-1859)

An index to names and places mentioned in act books of the Province of Canterbury. It records various licences and conferments, such as marriage and physician licences.

Home Office Prison Calendars (1868-1929)

Records of over 300,000 prisoners held by quarter sessions in England & Wales. Records may contain age, occupation, criminal history, offence and trial proceedings.

Central Criminal Court After-trial Calendars (1855-1931)

Over 175,000 records detailing prisoner's alleged offences and the outcome of their trial. Contains genealogical information.

Prison Hulk Registers (1802-1849)

From the late 18th century many prisoners in Britain were kept on decommissioned ships known as hulks. This collection contains nearly 50 years of registers for various ships. Details given include: prisoner's name, date received, age, year of birth and conviction details.

England & Wales Criminal Registers (1791-1892)

This collection lists brief details on 1.55 million criminal cases in England and Wales between 1791 and 1892. Its primary use is to locate specific legal records, which may give further details on the crime and the accused. Details may include the accused's age, nature of crime, location of trial and sentence. Early records can contain a place of birth.

Brooksby Taxation Records

Land Tax Redemption (1798-1811)

This vital collection details almost 1.2 million properties eligible for land tax. Records include the name of the landowner, occupier, amount assessed and sometimes the name and/or description of the property. It is a useful starting point for locating relevant estate records and establishing the succession of tenancies and freehold. Most records cover 1798, but some extend up to 1811.

Duties Paid for Apprentices' Indentures (1710-1811)

An index linked to original images of registers recording apprenticeship indentures. Details are given on the trade and nature of apprenticeship. Many records list the parents of the apprentice.

Red Book of the Exchequer (1066-1230)

A compilation of records from the Court of the Exchequer primarily dealing with taxes and land. These records are in Latin.

Index to Death Duty Registers (1796-1903)

An index to wills and administrations that incurred a death duty tax. The index can be used to order documents that give a brief abstract of the will and details on the duty. It can be used as a make-shift probate index.

Index to the Royalist Composition Papers (A-F) (1646-1656)

Index to personal names listed in the Royalist Composition Papers that dealt with the estates of royalists.

Brooksby Land & Property Records

Land Tax Redemption (1798-1811)

This vital collection details almost 1.2 million properties eligible for land tax. Records include the name of the landowner, occupier, amount assessed and sometimes the name and/or description of the property. It is a useful starting point for locating relevant estate records and establishing the succession of tenancies and freehold. Most records cover 1798, but some extend up to 1811.

UK Poll Books and Electoral Rolls (1538-1893)

Poll books record the names of voters and the direction of their vote. Until 1872 only landholders could vote, so not everyone will be listed. Useful for discerning an ancestor's political leanings and landholdings. The collection is supplemented with other records relating to the vote.

Calendar of Inquisitions Post Mortem (1236-1291)

Abstracts of records detailing the estates and families of deceased tenants from the reigns of Henry III and Edward I.

Red Book of the Exchequer (1066-1230)

A compilation of records from the Court of the Exchequer primarily dealing with taxes and land. These records are in Latin.

Return of Owners of Land England (1873)

A list of landowners in England giving their primary residence, extent of their land and estimated yearly rental.

Brooksby Occupation & Business Records

Midlands Mines Index (1896)

Profiles of coal and metal mines in the Midlands region of England.

Lost Pubs of Leicestershire (1750-Present)

Short histories of former public houses, with photographs and lists of owners or operators.

Teacher's Registration Council Registers (1870-1948)

A name index linked to original images of registers recording the education and careers of teachers in England & Wales.

UK Medical Registers (1859-1959)

Books listing doctors who were licensed to operate in Britain and abroad. Contains doctor's residencies, qualification and date of registration.

Railway Employment Records (1833-1963)

A rich collection of records documenting those who worked for railway companies that were later absorbed by the government. Records include: staff registers, station transfers, pensions, accident records, apprentice records, caution books, and memos. Records may include date of birth, date of death and name of father.

Brooksby School & Education Records

Teacher's Registration Council Registers (1870-1948)

A name index linked to original images of registers recording the education and careers of teachers in England & Wales.

Oxford University Alumni (1500-1886)

A name index linked to original images of short biographies for over 120,000 Oxford University students. This is a particularly useful source for tracing the ancestry of the landed gentry.

Cambridge University Alumni (1261-1900)

A transcript of a vast scholarly work briefly chronicling the heritage, education and careers of over 150,000 Cambridge University students. This is a particularly useful source for tracing the ancestry of the landed gentry.

Cambridge Alumni Database (1198-1910)

A searchable database containing over 90,000 note-form biographies for students of Cambridge University.

Dissenting Academy Database (1660-1860)

Histories of schools operated by non-conformist clergy.

Pedigrees & Family Trees Covering Brooksby

Victoria County History: Leicestershire (1086-1900)

A detailed history of the county's hundreds, parishes and religious houses.

British & Irish Royal & Noble Genealogies (491-1603)

Extensive and impeccably sourced genealogies for British, Irish & Manx royalty and nobility. Scroll down to 'British Isles' for relevant sections.

FamilySearch Community Trees (6000 BC-Present)

A searchable database of linked genealogies compiled from thousands of reputable and not-so-reputable sources. Contains many details on European gentry & nobility, but covers many countries outside Europe and people from all walks of life.

Visitation of England and Wales (1700-1899)

Over 600 pedigrees for English and Welsh families who had a right to bear a coat of arms.

Ancestry Member Family Trees (6000 BC-Present)

A compilation of lineage-linked family trees submitted by Ancestry users. The database contains over 2 billion individuals and is searchable by numerous metrics.

Brooksby Royalty, Nobility & Heraldry Records

Victoria County History: Leicestershire (1086-1900)

A detailed history of the county's hundreds, parishes and religious houses.

Leicestershire Church Monuments (1300-1900)

Photographs and descriptions of Leicestershire's most illustrious church monuments, often featuring effigies, medieval inscriptions and heraldic devices.

British & Irish Royal & Noble Genealogies (491-1603)

Extensive and impeccably sourced genealogies for British, Irish & Manx royalty and nobility. Scroll down to 'British Isles' for relevant sections.

FamilySearch Community Trees (6000 BC-Present)

A searchable database of linked genealogies compiled from thousands of reputable and not-so-reputable sources. Contains many details on European gentry & nobility, but covers many countries outside Europe and people from all walks of life.

Visitation of England and Wales (1700-1899)

Over 600 pedigrees for English and Welsh families who had a right to bear a coat of arms.

Brooksby Military Records

The Fifth of Leicestershire (1914-1919)

A history of the firth's WWI movements and campaigns.

Leicestershire WWI Memorials (1914-1918)

A list of names found on World War One monuments in Leicestershire, with some service details.

Leicestershire WWII Memorials (1914-1918)

A list of names found on World War Two monuments in Leicestershire, with some service details.

Prisoners of War of British Army (1939-1945)

A searchable list of over 100,000 British Army POWs. Records contains details on the captured, their military career and where they were held prisoner.

British Prisoners of World War II (1939-1945)

Details on around 165,000 men serving in the British Army, Navy and Air Force who were held as prisoners during WWII.

Brooksby Immigration & Travel Records

Passenger Lists Leaving UK (1890-1960)

A name index connected to original images of passenger lists recording people travelling from Britain to destinations outside Europe. Records may detail a passenger's age or date of birth, residence, occupation, destination and more.

UK Incoming Passenger Lists (1878-1960)

A full index of passenger lists for vessels arriving in the UK linked to original images. Does not include lists from vessels sailing from European ports. Early entries can be brief, but later entries may include dates of births, occupations, home addresses and more. Useful for documenting immigration.

Alien Arrivals in England (1810-1869)

Details on over 600,000 non-British citizens arriving in England. Often includes age and professions. Useful for discerning the origin of immigrants.

17th Century British Emigrants to the U.S. (1600-1700)

Details on thousands of 17th century British immigrants to the U.S., detailing their origins and nature of their immigration.

Migration from North America to Britain & Ireland (1858-1870)

A list of over 40,000 passengers traveling from North America to the British Isles. Details of passengers may include: occupation, nationality, gender, age, martial status, class, destination, and details of the vessel they sailed on.

Brooksby Histories & Books

Victoria County History: Leicestershire (1086-1900)

A detailed history of the county's hundreds, parishes and religious houses.

Leicestershire & Rutland Churches (849-Present)

Profiles of parish churches in the counties of Leicestershire and Rutland. Richly illustrated with professional-grade photographs.

Leicestershire Church Photographs (1890-Present)

Photographs and images of churches in Leicestershire.

Leicestershire Windmills (1998-Present)

An index of windmills in the county, with brief notes and some photographs.

Geograph: Photos of the UK and Ireland (2005-Present)

A growing database including millions of photographs of the United Kingdom, Isle of Man and Ireland catalogued by latitude & longitude and OS grid reference.

Biographical Directories Covering Brooksby

Oxford University Alumni (1500-1886)

A name index linked to original images of short biographies for over 120,000 Oxford University students. This is a particularly useful source for tracing the ancestry of the landed gentry.

Cambridge University Alumni (1261-1900)

A transcript of a vast scholarly work briefly chronicling the heritage, education and careers of over 150,000 Cambridge University students. This is a particularly useful source for tracing the ancestry of the landed gentry.

Crockford's Clerical Directories (1868-1914)

Brief biographies of Anglican clergy in the UK.

The Concise Dictionary of National Biography (1654-1930)

A directory containing lengthy biographies of noted British figures. The work took over two decades to compile. Biographies can be searched by name and are linked to images of the original publication.

Church of England Clergy Database (1500-1835)

A database of CoE clergy, giving details of their education of service. Contains references to source documents. Also contains profiles of various church institutions.

Brooksby Maps

Maps of Leicestershire (1611-1900)

Digital images of maps covering the county.

Ordnance Survey 1:10 Maps (1840-1890)

Maps showing settlements, features and some buildings in mainland Britain.

A Vision of Britain (1190-Present)

A sprawling website setting out and describing the historical divisions of Britain. Also contains countless maps of various sorts. Covers the UK, Ireland, Isle of Man & has fleeting details of other localities.

Speed's Maps of Britain (1612)

County and national maps covering the British Isles, extracted from John Speed's landmark work, Theatre of the Empire of Great Britain.

Maps of England (1360-1922)

Digital images of maps covering the country.

Brooksby Reference Works

England Research Guide (1538-Present)

A beginner’s guide to researching ancestry in England.

Parish Register Abstract (1538-1812)

Compiled in 1831, this book details the coverage and condition of parish registers in England & Wales.

Building History Research Guide (1066-Present)

A comprehensive guide to researching the history of buildings in the British Isles.

Surname Origins (1790-1911)

A service that provides advanced and custom surname maps for the British Isles and the US.

British Family Mottoes (1189-Present)

A dictionary of around 9,000 mottoes for British families who had right to bear arms.

Brooksby Information

Ecclesiastical Juristiction:

  • Canterbury province
    • Leicester diocese
      • Leicester archdeaconry
        • Goscote deanery

    Historical Description

    Brooksby, formerly a village, though now reduced to a gentleman’s house and farm. This demesne belonged to the Villiers family for many generations. Of this family was George Villiers, first Duke of Buckingham, who was born here on the 28th of August, 1592, and whose name is memorable in English history for having been the favourite of two kings, &c. He was the youngest son of Sir George Villiers, by a second wife, Mary, daughter of Anthony Beaumont, Esq. of Cole Orton, in this county. In his youth he received a liberal education, and was particularly instructed in dancing, fencing, and other polite accomplishments. — Having travelled into France for further improvement in these genteel exercises, he returned at the age of 21 to his native country, when, by the beauty of his person, and the politeness of his address, he soon attracted the notice of his majesty King James I. who was apt to be struck with superficial endowments.

    His first place at court was that of cup bearer to the king; from whence he rose, by a quick and rapid progress, to be gentleman of the bed-chamber, master of the horse, knight of the garter, baron of Whaddon, Viscount Villiers, Earl and Marquis of Buckingham, lord high admiral of England, chief justice in Eyre, master of the King’s bench, steward of Westminster, constable of Windsor-Castle, earl of Coventry, and last of all Duke of Buckingham.

    He proved himself one of those supple and insinuating courtiers who can condescend to flatter the vices or follies of a monarch, or any person of superior fortune, to promote his own interests. This, Villiers did to an amazing extent, and was progressively advanced in dignity from a commoner to a dukedom. Sir Henry Wotton quaintly remarks, that favours poured upon him "liker main showers, than sprinkling drops or dews."

    " Of this extraordinary personage Hume gives the following character, by stating that he "governed with an uncontrolled sway, both the court and nation; and could James’s eyes have been opened, he had now full opportunity of observing how unfit his favourite was to the high station to which he was raised. Some accomplishments of a courtier he possessed, of every talent of a minister, he was utterly devoid: headlong in his passions, and incapable equally of prudence or of dissimulation, sincere from violence rather than candour, expensive from profusion more than generosity, a warm friend, a furious enemy, but without any choise or discernment in either. With these qualities he had early and quickly mounted to the highest rank, and partook at once of the insolence which attends a fortune newly acquired, and the impetuosity which belongs to persons born in high stations and unacquainted with opposition. Among those who had experienced the arrogance of this overgrown favourite, the Prince of Wales himself, had not been entirely spared: and a great coldness, if not an enmity, had, for that reason, taken place between them. "Such is the character of an eminent statesman, who exercised those passions and powers for many years. The House of Common at length had courage to impeach him, and charged him with having united many offices in his own person (a crime that still seems very prevalent); of having bought two of them; of neglecting to guard the seas, in consequence of which several merchant ships had been taken by the enemy; of delivering ships to the French king, in order to serve against the Huguenots; of being employed in the sale of honours and offices; of accepting extensive grants from the crown; of procuring many titles of honour for his kindred; and of administering physic to the late king, without acquainting his physicians. Another charge was, that of extorting 10, 000l. from the East India company, &c. The impeachment never came to a determination; and the validity of the charges are left for the investigation and decision of the historian, who being enabled to review past events untrammelled by partiality, bribery, or fear, may, with tolerable safety, pronounce sentence of condemnation, or acquittal, on this public plunderer, as well as on many others. Villiers was at length assassinated by Felton in 1628, and interred in Henry the Seventh’s chapel at Westminster. His son, George Villiers, Duke of Buckingham, was a distinguished profligate in the licentious court of King Charles the Second; and, as a consummation and just reward of his vicious career, died a beggar. He was author of "The Rehearsal," and distinguished himself by his wit and talents as well as by his vices.

    The elder Buckingham accompanied prince Charles to Spain in 1623, in order to make up the long depending match between him and the Infanta of that kingdom. On the death of King James, and the accession of King Charles, he continued to enjoy the same degree of favour with the son which he had so long possessed under the father. His spirit and his ambition were equal to his high fortune; for being sent to Paris, in order to conduct to England the Princess Henrietta Maria, the king’s intended consort, he had the presumption to make his addresses to the Queen Dowager of France; and, being thwarted in his views, engaged his sovereign, by way of revenge, in a war with that kingdom. But he lived not to see the issue of it; for having now become universally odious to the people, he was suddenly cut off by the hands of an assassin; the particulars of which are as follow.

    Rochelle in France having been for some time besieged by the French, the earl of Denbigh was dispatched with a fleet to the relief of that place; but neglecting to attack the French fleet, had returned with dishonour. In order to wipe out this stain, the duke of Buckingham resolved to take the command upon himself, and accordingly repaired to Portsmouth, where the fleet and forces were rendezvoused; but before he could set out on his expedition, he was murdered. The assassin who committed the horrid deed was one John Felton, a gentleman by birth, who had been a lieutenant of infantry, and disappointed in his expectation of a captain’s commission, which Buckingham had promised him, but had bestowed upon another. This man was a fanatic in religion, and his revenge seemed to co-operate with his enthusiasm. The duke was walking with Sir Thomas Fryar through an entry in the house where he lodged, that led from one apartment to another, when Felton, who by some means or other had got admittance into the house, coming behind him, stabbed him with a knife, which he left sticking in the wound. The Duke immediately exclaimed. "The villain hath killed me! "and, pulling out the knife, dropped down and expired on the floor. The assassin, instead of endeavouring to make his escape, seemed to rejoice in his crime, and immediately surrendered himself to justice. Thus fell, in the flower of life, being only 36 years of age, George Villiers, duke of Buckingham, whose rise was sudden, his promotions rapid, and his end untimely. The chief misfortunes which attended this great man proceeded from jealousy in others, who thought the extensive power he enjoyed dangerous to the rights of a free people. He was of a noble and generous disposition, and seldom studied to conceal his resentments. His courage was great, but it sometimes carried him to impolitic lengths; for if he had a little yielded to the times, and withdrawn from those storms he could neither prevent nor allay, he might, perhaps, have found a milder fate than that which befell him on the 23rd of August, in the year 1628.

    Clarendon, after giving an account of this great favourite, remarks, that there were several prophecies and predictions scattered about concerning the duke’s death; among which he mentions one, which, from its singularity, and the respectability of the narrator, may not prove uninteresting to our readers; we shall therefore relate it in his own words.

    "There was (says he) an officer in the king’s wardrobe in Windsor-Castle, of a good reputation for honesty and discretion, and then about the age of 00 years or more. This man had been bred in his youth in a school in the parish where Sir George Villiers, the father of the duke, had lived, and had been much cherished and obliged in that season of his age by the said George, whom afterwards he never saw. About six months before the miserable end of the duke of Buckingham, about midnight, this man, being in his bed at Windsor, where his office was, and in very good health, there appeared to him, on the side of his bed, a man of very venerable aspect, who, fixing his eyes upon him, asked him if he knew him: the poor man, half dead with fear and apprehension, being asked the second time whether he remembered him, and having in that time called to his memory Sir George Villiers, and the clothes he used to wear, answered, that he thought him to be that person. He replied, that he was in the right, that he was the same, and that he expected a service from him; which was, that he should go from him to his son, the duke of Buckingham, and tell him, that if he did not do something to ingratiate himself with the people, or at least to abate the extreme malice they had against him, he would be suffered to live but a short time. After this discourse he disappeared, and the poor man slept very well till the morning, when he believed all this to be a dream, and considered it no otherwise.

    ". Next night, or shortly after, the same person appeared to him again in the same place, and about the same time of the night, with an aspect a little more severe than before; and asking him whether he had done as he required him, and perceiving he had not, he gave him very severe reprehensions, and told him he expected more compliance from him; and that, if he did not perform his commands, he should enjoy no peace of mind, but should be always pursued by him. But the next morning waking extremely perplexed with the lively representations of all that had passed, he considered that he was a per son at such a distance from the duke, that he knew not how to find admittance into his presence, much less any hope to be believed in what he should say; and therefore, with great trouble and disquietude, he spent some days in thinking what he should do.

    "The commands of the nocturnal visitor not being complied with, he attended a third time, with a much more severe countenance than he had shewn before, and reprehended him in much harsher terms. When the poor man had a little recovered from his fright, he told him, "That in truth he had deferred the execution of his commands upon considering how difficult a thing it would be for him to get access to the duke, not having acquaintance with any person about him; and if he could gain admission to him, he should never be able to persuade him that he was sent in such a manner, but he should at best be thought to be mad, or to be set on and employed by his own, or the malice of other men, to abuse the duke, and so he should be sure to be undone." The person replied, as he had done before, that he should never find rest till he should perform what he required, and therefore he were better to dispatch it; that the access to his son was known to be very easy; that few men waited long for him; and for the gaining him credit, he would tell him two or three particulars, which he charged him never to mention to any person living, but to the duke himself; and he should no sooner hear them but he would believe all the rest he should say; and so, repeating his threats, he left him.

    " In the morning the poor man, more confirmed by the last appearance, made his journey to London, where the court then was. He was very well known to Sir Ralph Freeman, one of the masters of the requests, who had married a lady that was nearly allied to the duke. To him he went, and though he did not acquaint him with all the particulars, he said enough to let him see there was something extraordinary in it; and the knowledge he had of the sobriety and discretion of the man, made the more impression on him. He desired that by his means he might be brought to the duke to such a place, and in such a manner as should be thought fit; affirming that he had much to say to him, and of such a nature as would require much privacy, and some time and patience in the hearing.

    "Sir Ralph promised he would speak to the duke of him, and then he should understand his pleasure. Accordingly, he took the first opportunity of acquainting the duke with the reputation and honesty of the man, and then what he desired, and all he knew of the matter. The duke, according to his usual openness and condescension, told him, that he was the next day, early, to hunt with the king; and that his horses should attend him at Lambeth-Ferry, where he would be by five o’clock in the morning, and if the man attended him there at that hour, he would walk with him as long as should be necessary.

    "The next morning Sir Ralph went with the man and presented him to the duke, who received him courteously, and walked aside in conference with him near an hour. Only his own servants and Sir Ralph were near the place, but at such a distance that they could not hear a single word, though the duke sometimes spoke with great commotion; which was more particularly perceived by Sir Ralph, from his keeping his eyes constantly fixed upon the duke.

    After the conference was over, and the duke had parted from the man, the latter told Sir Ralph that when he mentioned those particulars which were to give him credit, the substance whereof he said he durst not impart to him, the duke’s colour changed, and he swore he could come by that knowledge only from the devil, for that those particulars were known only to himself and one person more, who he was sure would never speak of it.

    "The duke pursued his course of hunting, but was observed to ride all the morning with great pensiveness, and in deep thought, without any delight in the exercise he was upon; and before the evening was spent, he left the field, and retired to his mother’s lodgings at Whitehall. He continued in converse with her several hours, the noise of their discourse frequently reaching the ears of those who attended in the adjoining rooms; and when the duke left her, he appeared full of trouble, with a mixture of anger in his countenance, which was never before observed after a conversation with his mother, towards whom he paid the most profound reverence. The countess herself, on the duke’s leaving her was found overwhelmed with tears, and in the greatest agony imaginable.

    " Whatever there was in all this (continues our author) it is a notorious truth, that when the news of the duke’s murder (which happened within a few months) was brought to his mother, she seemed not in the least degree surprised, but received it as if she had foreseen it; nor did she afterwards express such a degree of sorrow as was expected from such a mother for the loss of such a son."

    Topography of Great Britain, written: 1802-29 by George Alexander Cooke

    BROOKSBY is a parish near the river Wreak, with a station on the Syston and Peterborough branch of the Midland railway, 6 miles south-west from Melton Mowbray, 9 north-east from Leicester and 112 from London, in the Eastern division of the county, East Goscote hundred, Melton Mowbray petty sessional division, union and county court district, rural deanery of Goscote (second portion), archdeaconry of Leicester and diocese of Peterborough. The church of St. Michael is a building of stone in the Decorated style, consisting of chancel, nave, north aisle, north and south porches and an embattled western tower with pinnacles and spire (restored in 1620) and containing 1 bell, dated 1749: on the north side of the chancel is a mural monument of white marble, with shafts of grey marble and standing effigies, to Sir William Villiers bart. and M.P. for the county, the last male representative of the elder branch of the Villiers family, d. 27 Feb. 1711, and Anne (Potts), his wife, d. 31 July, 1711: the arms of some early members of the same ancient family appear in the windows: the church was restored in 1879, by Ernest Chaplin esq. late of Brooksby Hall, at a cost of 800, when a new roof of pitch pine was fixed, the interior reseated and a handsome carved oak pulpit on a stone base introduced: there are 100 sittings. The register dates from the year 1620. The living is a rectory, net yearly value £160, in the gift of J. G. Williams esq. and held since 1887 by the Rev. Arthur Carter, of Pembroke College, Cambridge, who resides at Syston. Brooksby Hall, an ancient mansion, near the church, was considerably enlarged in 1891, and is the seat of Captain Gordon Chesney Wilson and Lady Sarah S. Wilson; J. G. Williams esq. of Pendley Manor, Tring, Herts, is lord of the manor and principal landowner. The soil is rich loam; subsoil various. The chief crops are wheat, oats and roots. The area is 867 acres; rateable value, £2,659; in 1891 the population was 42.

    The children of this place attend the school at Rotherby.

    Kelly's Directory of Leicestershire & Rutland (1899)

    Surnames Found in Brooksby

    RankSurnameNo. of People% of Population
    1Chaplin913.43
    2Smith68.96
    3Bradley68.96
    4Butter57.46
    5Bennett57.46
    6Gilby45.97
    7Felstead45.97
    8Ward45.97
    9Wade34.48
    10Elmhirst22.99
    11Milson11.49
    12Wilford11.49
    13Apperton11.49
    14Madden11.49
    15Tomlin11.49
    16Beasley11.49
    17Cookson11.49
    18Clarke11.49
    19Gray11.49
    20Todd11.49
    21Douglas11.49
    22Bedford11.49
    23Guest11.49
    24Langford11.49
    25Burrell11.49
    26Lattermore11.49

    * Statistics based on the 1881 census