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|The Right Honourable
The Viscount Brouncker
|Cofferer of the Household|
9 December 1679 – 6 February 1685
|Preceded by||William Ashburnham|
|Succeeded by||Sir Peter Apsley|
|Died||4 January 1688(1688-01-04)
|Resting place||Richmond, London, England|
|Occupation||Courtier and politician|
Henry Brouncker, 3rd Viscount Brouncker (c. 1627 – 4 January 1688) was a Restoration-era courtier who was Cofferer of the Household to Charles II, and served as Gentleman of the Bedchamber to James, Duke of York.
Born around 1627, Brouncker was the second son of William Brouncker, 1st Viscount Brouncker and Winifred Leigh; and the brother of William Brouncker, 2nd Viscount Brouncker, who was President of the Royal Society. The brothers were on bad terms and William at his death in 1684 disinherited Henry, "for reasons I do not think it fit to mention". William instead left most of his wealth to his mistress Abigail Williams-Cromwell, (a cousin by marriage of Oliver Cromwell), with whom he had lived happily outside marriage for many years.
He graduated from Oxford in 1646 as a Doctor of Medicine (M.D.). He was Member of Parliament for New Romney from 1665 to 21 April 1668 but was expelled when charges were brought against him for allowing the Dutch to escape during the Battle of Lowestoft and ordering the sails of the British fleet to be slackened in the name of the Duke of York. Such a decision, taken without the Duke's authority, was an incident seemingly without parallel, especially as his apparent motive was simply that he was fatigued with the stress and noise of the battle.
John Evelyn wrote, "ever noted for hard coteveous vicious man, but for his wordly craft and skill in gaming few exceeded him." He was a famous chess player. He is mentioned in the famous "Memoirs" of Philibert, comte de Gramont, in particular his preference for "Orange seller" girls.
On 29 August 1667 Samuel Pepys called Brouncker: "a pestilent rogue, an atheist, that would have sold his king and country for 6d. almost".
He was a Commissioner of Trade and Plantation in 1673, and he became Cofferer of the Household to Charles II on 9 December 1679 following the death of William Ashburnham. He vacated the office on 6 February 1685 following the death of the king.
- McIntyre, G. S. (2004). "Brouncker, William, second Viscount Brouncker of Lyons (1620–1684)". Oxford Dictionary of National Biography. Oxford University Press. doi:10.1093/ref:odnb/3596. Retrieved 9 January 2011. (subscription or UK public library membership required)
- Bucholz, Robert. "Index of Court Officers: Index B" (PDF). The Database of Court Officers 1660–1837. Department of History, Loyola University Chicago. p. 82. Retrieved 9 January 2011. External link in
- Lee, Sidney (1886). "Brouncker, William". In Stephen, Leslie. Dictionary of National Biography 6. London: Smith, Elder & Co.
|Cofferer of the Household
Sir Peter Apsley
|Parliament of England|
Sir Norton Knatchbull, Bt
Sir Charles Berkeley
|Member of Parliament for New Romney
With: Sir Norton Knatchbull, Bt
Sir Norton Knatchbull, Bt
Sir Charles Sedley, Bt
|Peerage of Ireland|