Brokesby, Francis

, was born at Stoke Golding, in Leicestershire, Sept. 29, 1637, and educated at Trinity college, Cambridge, and was afterwards rector of Rowley, in the East riding of Yorkshire. He wrote a “Life of Jesus Christ;” and was a principal assistant to Mr. Nelson in compiling his “Feasts and Fasts of the Church of England.” He was also author of “An History of the government of the primitive Church, for the three first centuries, and the beginning of the fourth,” printed by W. B. 1712, 8vo. In a dedication to Mr. Francis Cherry, dated Shottesbroke, Aug. 13, 1711, the author says, “The following treatise challenges you for its patron, and demands its dedication to yourself, in that I wrote it under your roof> was encouraged in my studies by that respectful treatment I there found, and still meet with; and withal, as I was assisted in my work by your readiness to supply me, out of your well-replenished library, with such books as I stood in need of in collecting this history. I esteem myself, therefore, in gratitude obliged to make this public acknowledgement of your favours, and to tell the world, that when I was by God’s good providence reduced to straits (in part occasioned by my care lest I should make shipwreck of a good conscience), I then found a safe retreat and kind reception in your family, and there both leisure and encouragement to write this following treatise.” As Mr. Brokesby’s straits arose from his principles as a nonjuror, he was, of course, patronised by the most eminent persons of that persuasion. The house of the benevolent Mr. Cherry, however, was his asylum; and there he formed an intimacy with Mr. Dodwell, whose “Life” he afterwards wrote, and with Mr. Nelson, to whom the Life of Dodwell is dedicated. He died suddenly soon after that publication, in 1715. Mr. Brokesby was intimately acquainted with the famous Oxford antiquary, Hearne, who printed a valuable letter of his in the first volume of Leland’s Itinerary; and was said to be the author of a tract, entitled “Of Education, with respect to grammar-schools and universities,1710, 8vo. 1


Nichols’s Hist, of Hinckley, and Hist, of Leicestershire, where is Mr. Brokesby’s curious diary, &c.