- David S. Shields
Brooke, Henry (01 October 1678–06 February 1736), poet and politician, was born at Norton Priory in England, the youngest son of Sir Henry Brook, baronet of Norton. His mother’s name is not known. He was probably the Henry Brooke who graduated from Bracenose College, Oxford, in 1693. He went to Pennsylvania in 1702 seeking his fortune. An Episcopalian, Brooke had difficulty securing a place in Quaker-controlled Philadelphia, so he accepted the office of queen’s customs collector for Lewes Town, a trading settlement at the mouth of the Delaware River. While serving as collector he saved Newcastle from plunder by a French privateer in 1709, leading local inhabitants in a sortie against the raider....