BROOKES, Sir John, 1st. Bt. (c.1635-91), of York and Ellenthorpe, nr. Boroughbridge, Yorks.

Published in The History of Parliament: the House of Commons 1660-1690, ed. B.D. Henning, 1983
Available from Boydell and Brewer



Oct. 1679

Family and Education

b. c.1635, o.s. of James Brookes, merchant, of York by Priscilla Jackson of Howgrave, Kirklington. educ. G. Inn, entered 1650; Christ’s, Camb. adm. 8 Apr. 1652, aged 17. m. c.1670, Mary, da. of Sir Hardress Waller of Kilfinny, co. Limerick, 4s. 7da. suc. fa. 1675; cr. Bt. 13 June 1676.1

Offices Held

J.p. liberty of Cawood 1664-?80, York 1671-?80, (N. Riding) by 1690-d., commr. for assessment, York 1673-4, York and Yorks. (N. Riding) 1677-80, 1689-90.2

FRS 1663-85.


Brookes’s father remained in York whilst it was a royalist garrison during the Civil War and was forced to lend money to the King under the Yorkshire engagement. Nevertheless he served as lord mayor in 1651, and prospered sufficiently to buy the estate of Ellenthorpe, one mile from Boroughbridge. Brookes himself married a regicide’s daughter, and was first returned for Boroughbridge at the autumn election of 1679. A moderately active Member of the second Exclusion Parliament, he was appointed to nine committees, including those to inquire into abhorring and to repeal the Elizabethan statute against nonconformists. He was re-elected in 1681 and attended the Oxford Parliament, seemingly as one of the more militant of the country party, though he took no known part in its proceedings.

Sir John Brookes and divers other Parliament men of the North came to Oxford with 5 or 6 men apiece well-armed with swords, pistols, blunderbusses and carbines, and said they went so provided because they hoped there would be cutting of throats at Oxford.

The Yorkshire informers, Mowbray and Bolron, had their eyes on him, and he may have been fortunate to escape the fate of Stephen College. In 1682 Sir John Reresby described him as ‘one of little judgement and less courage, but the only churchman’ among the ‘factious’ group in York. After the Rye House Plot his house there was searched and he was disarmed. Political conversion seems to have followed, for before the Boroughbridge election of 1685 one observer reported that he ‘sets up altogether for a Tory and has quite forsaken the other party’. He did not stand again, however, and died on 18 Nov. 1691. He was buried in St. Martin’s, Coney Street, York, the only member of the family to sit in Parliament.3

Ref Volumes: 1660-1690

Author: P. A. Bolton


  • 1. Fam. Min. Gent. (Harl. Soc. xxxix), 919-20.
  • 2. Add. 29674, f. 161.
  • 3. VCH York, 180, T.S.L. Tancred, Recs. Yorks. Manor, 11; Royalist Comp. Pprs. (Yorks. Arch. Soc. rec. ser. xx), 109; Cal. Comm. Adv. Money, 902; CSP Dom. 1680-1, p. 432; July-Sept. 1683, p. 62; State Trials, viii. 655; Reresby Mems. 580; Leeds Pub. Lib. Mexborough mss, 25/11.