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The Life and Correspondence of Sir Isaac Brock

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The Guernsey family of BROCK is probably of English origin, but we have been unable to ascertain the period of its first establishment in the island. The parochial register of St. Peter-Port extends only to the year 1563, soon after which time it contains the name of Philip Brock. By "Robson's Armorial Bearings of the Nobility and Gentry of Great Britain and Ireland," eight families of the name of Brock appear to bear different arms, one of which was borne by all the Brocks of Guernsey—viz. azure, a fleur de lis or, on a chief argent a lion pass. guard. gu.—crest, an escallop or—until the death of Sir Isaac Brock, when new and honorary armorial bearings were granted by the sovereign to his family. Brock is the ancient Saxon name for badger, and as such is still retained in English dictionaries. Froissart, in his Chronicles, makes mention of Sir Hugh Brock, an English knight, keeper of the castle of Derval, in Brittany, for his cousin Sir Robert Knolles, who was governor of all the duchy, and resided in Brest, during the absence of the duke in England. The French overran Brittany at this period, and leaving 2,000 men near Brest, so as to prevent its receiving succours, sat down with "great engines" before the castle of Derval, to the siege of which came the constable of France, the Duke of Bourbon, the Earls of Alençon and of Perche, and a great number of the barony and chivalry of France. The castle being sore oppressed, Sir Hugh Brock was at length constrained to agree to surrender it at the end of two months, if not relieved by that time. Sir Robert Knolles, hearing this, also began to treat with the French; and while at the head of 30,000 men, he was afterwards defeated by Bertrand du Guesclin. These events occurred in the reign of Edward the Third, about the middle of the fourteenth century, when the English were driven out of France; and as Guernsey is in the direct course between Brittany and England, may not one of Sir Hugh Brock's family, on his passage across the Channel, have visited the island and settled there?

The common ancestor of the present Guernsey family of the name of Brock was William Brock, Esq., a native of the island, who died in the year 1776, and was the grandfather of the subject of this volume. He had three sons and one daughter, who became connected by marriage with some of the principal and most ancient families of Guernsey; namely, William, married to Judith, daughter of James De Beauvoir, Esq.; John, married to Elizabeth De Lisle, daughter of the then lieutenant-bailiff of the island; Henry, married to Susan Saumarez, sister of the late Admiral Lord de Saumarez; and Mary, wife of John Le Marchant, Esq

John Brock, Esq., born January 24, 1729, second son of the above-named William, had by his wife, Elizabeth De Lisle, a very numerous family of ten sons and four daughters, of whom eight sons and two daughters reached maturity. He died in June, 1777, at Dinan, in Brittany, whither he had gone for the benefit of the waters, at the early age of forty-eight years. In his youth he was a midshipman in the navy, and in that capacity had made a voyage to India, which was then considered a great undertaking. As he was possessed of much activity of mind and considerable talent, his death was an irreparable loss to his children, who were of an age to require all the care and counsels of a father; the eldest, John, having only completed his seventeenth year. They were left in independent, if not in affluent, circumstances; but the fond indulgence of a widowed mother, who could deny them no enjoyment, tended, notwithstanding their long minority, to diminish their patrimony....