William Brouncker

William Brouncker, lord viscount of Castle Lyons in Ireland: he lived in Oxford when 'twas a garrison for the king. but he was of no university, he told me. He addicted himself only to the study of the mathematics, and was a very great artist in that learning.

His mother was an extraordinary great gamester, and played all games, gold play [for stakes in gold]; she kept the box [bank?] herself. Mr Arundel (brother of the lord Wardour) made a song of the characters of the nobility. Among others, I remember this:

Here's a health to my Lady Brouncker, and the best card in her hand,
And a health to my lord her husband, with ne'er a foot of land.
He was president of the Royal Society about fifteen years. He was of the Navy Office.

He died April 5th 1684; buried on the 14th following in the middle of the choir of St Katherine's near the Tower, of which he was a governor. He gave a fine organ to this church a little before his death; and whereas it was a noble and large choir, he divided it in the middle with a good screen (at his own charge) which has spoiled it.



From John Aubrey's Brief Lives. (Edited by R Barber, Boydell Press, 1982)