* Genealogy of the Brietzcke Family *
(version October 22, 2020)
Please email corrections to Mike Clark


  1. Daniel Christian Brietzcke (c.1704-1753) is shown in some online genealogies to be the son of Gabriel Christopher Brietzcke, who was born in perhaps the late 1600s in that part of Lüneburg, Saxony that today is part of Poland. However, we have no evidence to verify any of this. We do know that Daniel was born about 1704 in Prussia (Poland), and that after he came to England, he became a servant and confidante to the Duke of Grafton (Charles Fitzroy, who lived from 1683 to 1757, and was the 2nd Duke of Grafton). Also, there is record of a Daniel Brietzcke, bachelor, who on June 6, 1729 married Biddy Collins at St. Andrew by the Wardrobe in the City of London. Then there is also record of a Daniel-Christian Brietzcke, of the parish of St. George Hanover Square, who on Dec. 19, 1732 married Elizabeth Catherine Deane (d. 1778) of the same parish at St. Pauls Church in Covent Garden, London. If these reference the same man, then Daniel Brietzcke married twice, and his first wife Biddy Collins presumably died sometime before the second marriage.

    Although the names of Daniel and Elizabeth are not mentioned, Thomson (1932) on page 180 has a passage referring to their son Charles that reads, "Brietzcke. This gentleman was recommended to my Lord Holdernesse when he was Secretary of State by my Lady Harrington; his father was a Prussian and vallett de chambre to the late Duke of Grafton. His mother is one of the House keepers at Sommer [Old Somerset] House.". The records of the Royal Household Staff show that Elizabeth Brietzcke on Sept 2, 1750 did indeed receive a Royal Warrant to serve as a house keeper at Sommer House, where she remained for the rest of her life.

    Murray (2017) writes the following about his ancestor (but with no references), "Daniel Breitzcke left his home in Lüneburg Lower Saxony in the year 1724, after being persuaded by his German speaking former compatriot, who was now King George I of England, to travel to London in the company of Thomas Wentworth the 1st Earl of Strafford. ... King George was later to arrange for Daniel Brietzcke to become the confidential assistant to Charles Fitzroy, the 2nd Duke of Grafton. ... Eight years after arriving in London from Lower Saxony, Daniel Brietzcke proposed marriage to an English woman named Elizabeth Deane in 1832, and [they] were married in December of the same year. Elizabeth's mother was the Mistress of the Wardrobe at London's Somerset House Palace, that, from the time of their marriage, Daniel Brietzcke was to spend the remainder of his years living and working as a courtier to Britain's Hanoverian Monarchy until he died in 1753 at the age of forty nine."

    Daniel Brietzcke died on March 2, 1753 in Westminster, and was buried at the age of 49 years on March 11, 1753 in the churchyard cemetery that was used by the German Lutheran Congregation that met at the Savoy Chapel in Strand, London. Elizabeth died many years later, and she was buried on October 30, 1778 in in a family vault at the Old Marylebone Churchyard. It needs to be noted that Richard Betenson Brietzcke, the son of Charles Brietzcke, and therefore a grandson of Daniel and Elizabeth Brietzcke, changed his surname in 1801 from Brietzcke to Dean, which confirms the connection of the Brietzcke family to the family of Elizabeth Deane.

    • George Brietzcke (1733-1777) was born on Nov. 4, 1733, probably in London, and baptized on Nov. 14, 1733 at St. George Hanover Square in London. He received a warrant on Jan. 9, 1737, when he was only 4-years old, to serve as a page in the court of King George II, and he served in that capacity for the rest of his life. There does appear to have been 4 or so year break in this routine as starting on Nov. 19, 1743 he was accepted as a student at the Charter House School in Godalming, Surrey, but this ended sometime before July 7, 1749 when he was "taken away due to his incapacity to improve his learning." He married Catherina Pickel (1736-1806) on Sept. 29, 1756 at St James, Westminster in London, and they had at least four sons. George died in 1777 in London (Elma Hailey incorrectly gives 1767 as his death date), and he was buried on Sept. 20, 1777 in the family vault at the Old Marylebone Churchyard. He was succeeded in his position as a page at court on Sept. 29, 1777 by one William Whissel, and the records note that Whissel succeeded on the decease of the previous page. One of George's sons Charles Brietzcke (1762-1807) received a warrant in 1780 to serve as sewer to George III. However, he ultimately pursued a career in the military, and served in India where he married Elizabeth Green on July 22, 1794 in Calcutta. He eventually became a lieutentnat colonel in the Bengal Native Infantry Regiment.

    • Harriot Brietzcke (1735-1786) was born on May 9, 1735, probably in London, and baptized on May 18, 1735 at St. George Hanover Square in London. She died on Dec. 22, 1786 in Knightsbridge in London, and her brief obituary in "The Lady's Magazine" and the London "Whitehall Evening-Post (Dec. 26, 1786 issue)" identifies her as the "eldest sister of Charles Brietzcke, esq. of the secretary of states-office".

    • Ann Brietzcke (1736-1810) was born on Oct. 5, 1736, probably in London, and baptized on Oct. 15, 1736 at St. George Hanover Square in London. She probably lived with her sister Caroline in her later years in the New Brentford parish, and she was buried on Oct. 4, 1810 at St. Lawrence Church in New Brentford, London.

    • Charles Brietzcke (1738-1795), who follows:

    • John (Jack) Brietzcke (1742-1768) was born on Feb. 28, 1742, probably in London. He served as a lieutenant in the Royal Artillery, and he lived in the household of his brother Charles when Charles wrote his diaries. Jack died in 1768, and he was buried on April 24, 1768 in the family vault in the Old Marylebone Churchyard.

    • Caroline Brietzcke (1746-1807) was born about 1746, probably in London. She probably lived with her sister Ann in her later years in the New Brentford parish, and she was buried on July 16, 1807 at the age of 61 years at St. Lawrence Church in New Brentford, London.


  3. Charles Brietzcke (1738-1795), the son of Daniel Christian Brietzcke and Elizabeth Catherine Deane, was born on May 24, 1738, probably in London, and baptized on May 26, 1738 at St. George Hanover Square in London. Some online genealogies show his middle name as George, but this may or may not be true. He served in the Secretary of State's Office, from 1756, when he was 18-years old, until his death in 1795 at the age of 57. He served part of the time under Lord Holderness (Robert Darcy), and he eventually reached the position of Under Secretary. However, he is best known for a diary of his life in London that he wrote from 1759 to 1765, during the early years of his career when he was living with his mother, sister and grandmother at St. James Place in London. Although his diary is not available as a single publication, what survives of it was transcribed by Elma Hailey, who published it in several installments from 1951 to 1964 in various issues of Notes and Queries, which can be viewed at many university libraries. Much of what we know about Charles Brietzcke comes from this diary, and from published notes by transcriber and editor Elma Hailey. See The Diary of Charles Brietzcke (1759-1765).

    Charles Brietzcke married Catherine (Kitty) Ware (c.1733-1830), the daughter of Richard Ware of Ludgate Street in London, on Oct. 26, 1769 at St. Bride Fleet Street, in the City of London, and they had four children. Charles died on June 5, 1795 at the age of 57 years in London, and he was buried in a family vault in the churchyard of the old parish church of St. Marylebone. A monument placed there in his memory identifies him as having been a clerk at the Secretary of States office, and this monument survives today in the new Marylebone church, where it has been placed on one of the inside walls of the church. Kitty survived him by many years and died at the age of 97 on Aug. 23, 1830 at Park Place, St. James in London. She was buried on Aug. 28, 1830 in the Old St. Marylebone churchyard, in the same vault as Charles and other members of the family.

    • Carolina Brietzcke (1770-1845) was born on Sept. 13, 1770 at St. James Place, London and baptized Oct. 11, 1770 at Saint Martin-in-the-Fields, in Westminster. She was married on Sept. 4, 1800 in St. James, Westminster to John Edmund Dowdeswell (1772-1851), a politician, who from 1812 to 1832 served Tewkesbury as a Member of Parliament. She died on May 6, 1845 at Park Place, St. James Westminster and was buried on May 25th at St. Peter's Church in Bushley, Worcestershire (see Howard, 1907, p. 73; and the Nat. Burial Index).

    • Richard Betenson Brietzcke (1772-1850), who later took the name Richard Dean, was born on Dec. 29, 1772 in London and baptized on January 27, 1773 at Saint Martin-in-the-Fields, Westminster. He began his education on Jan. 21, 1784 at Charter House School in Godalming, Surrey, where his Uncle George had attended over 40 years previous. He resigned as a student there in Feb. of 1790 after a disagreement with the Governors of the school. He was subsequently admitted on March 1, 1790 to Oxford University, and became a member in 1792 of Lincoln's Inn, one of the four barristers societies in Britain. He continued his Oxford studies, receiving in 1794 a Bachelor of Arts degree, and then in 1796 a Master of Arts. He was called in 1798 to the bar, and presumably served as a barrister (a type of lawyer) during the early part of his career. He took his maternal grandmothers surname of Dean by Royal License on May 5, 1801 in lieu of Brietzcke, presumably to gain an inheritance, and then on August 6, 1806 he married Sobieskie Owen (c.1777-1858) at Saint Chad, Shrewsbury, Shropshire. He received an appointment in 1810 as a Commissioner of Customs and eventually became Chairman of the Board of Customs, in which capacity he served for many years. He died on July 1, 1850, probably at his home on Albemarle Street, off Piccadilly in London, and he was buried in the family vault in the Old St. Marylebone churchyard. His wife died at the age of 81 on Nov. 25, 1858, with her estate settled in probate, and she was buried with her husband on Nov. 30, 1858 at the Old St. Marylebone Church. They had several children. He is listed in Wikipedia as Richard Betenson Dean.

    • Charles Ware Brietzcke (c.1774-1795), the second son of Charles Brietzcke, was born on Oct. 9, 1774, probably in London, and baptized on Nov. 10, 1774 at St. Martin-in-the-Fields in London. He accepted an appointment as a Lieutenant on the H.M.S. Hannibal, went to sea, and died at the age of 20 of Yellow Fever in Oct. of 1795 in the West Indies, just a few months after the passing of his father. There is a monument to him and his his father in the St. Marylebone parish church that was removed from a family vault at the Old Marylebone Churchyard and placed on an inside wall of the new church.

    • George Purcas Brietzcke (c.1778-1817), who follows:


  5. George Purcas Brietzcke (c.1778-1817), the son of Charles Brietzcke and Catherine Ware, was most likely born about 1778 in either London or Westminster, as he was baptized on January 11, 1778 at Saint Martin-in-the-Fields, in Westminster. Like his father, he worked as a clerk in the Secretary of State's Office at Sommer House, serving from Oct. 24, 1794 when he was just 16-years old until his death some 23 years later. He married a woman named Mary, probably around 1799, and had at least one child with her, a daughter named Carolina. Mary must have died soon afterward, as George married his second wife Susannah Isham (1767-1849) on Oct. 4, 1800 at Westminister St. James in London. It would appear that another ceremony also took place, possibly the day after, at Lamport Hall, Northamptonshire. Susannah was the daughter of Sir Justinian Isham (1740-1818), the baronet of Lamport, and his wife Susannah Barrett (1744-1823). George died on April 27, 1817 in Bath, and he was buried on May 2, 1817 in the floor of the south transept of Bath Abbey in Somerset, where his memorial stone has been worn smooth so that the inscriptions on it are no longer visible. Subsequent to his death, the London Morning Chronicle on May 30 and June 5, 1817 ran the following advertisement, "at Mr. Edward Foster’s Office, 13, Greek-street, Soho-square. Paintings, curious China, Snuff Boxes, Fire Arms, valuable Library, a few Lots of Wines, and Effects of the late George Brietzcke, Esq. deceased." Susannah died many years later on Dec, 18, 1849 at the age of 82 in Hampstead, which is part of the Borough of Camden in Inner London, and she is buried with two of her daughters in Highgate Cemetery, which opened in London only ten years previous to her death.

    • Carolina Ann Brietzcke (b. 1800) was born on July 15, 1800 to George Purcas Brietzcke and his first wife Mary. Carolina was baptized on Aug. 15, 1800 at St. Martin in the fields, Westminster. Her mother died not long after she was born, possibly in childbirth. Nothing further is known of Carolina.

    • Georgiana Elizabeth Brietzcke (1801-1875), the first child of George Purcas Brietzcke and his second wife Susannah Isham, was born Dec. 1, 1801, probably in London, and baptized March 4, 1802 at St. James, Piccadilly in Westminster (London). She lived with her sister Maria, and died a spinster on March 1, 1875 at Kensington (Middlesex), London. She is buried in Highgate Cemetery with her mother, and her sister Maria.

    • Maria Susan Brietzcke (c.1893-1875) was born c.1803, probably in London. She lived with her sister Georgiana and died a spinster on April 21, 1875 at the age of 72 at Kensington, London. She is buried in Highgate Cemetery with her mother, and her sister Georgiana.

    • Louisa Sophia Brietzcke (1804-1901), who follows:

    • Edmund Isham Brietzcke (c.1806-1900) married Mary Anna Overy Codrington (1809-1877), and died on Oct. 10, 1900 in Hastings, East Sussex at the age of 94 years. He and Mary Anna had several children, including the son listed below.

      • Henry Brietzcke (1841-1879) was born on Sept. 4, 1841 in Islington, London, and baptized there on Oct. 13 in the parish church. He married Helen Kate Smith (1851-1923) on Oct. 14, 1874 in Edinburgh, Scotland, and died on March 11, 1879 as the medical officer of the Portsea Convict Prison in Southampton, Hampshire. Henry and Helen has a son Edmund Henry Brietzcke (1878-1967), who was an engineer, and who married Helen Shackleton (1882-1962), a writer for the Montreal Daily Star in Canada. Her brother was the author and Antarctic explorer Sir Ernest Henry Shackleton (1874-1922).

    • George John Brietzcke (1809-1840) was born on Sept. 14, 1809, probably in London, and baptized on Oct. 28, 1809 at St. Martin in the Fields, London. He was nominated on Nov. 18, 1829 by one of the directors of the East India Company for a military cadet appointment, and later served in the infantry in India. He died suddenly on Jan. 16, 1840 at Neemuch, India as a Lieutenant in the 49th Bengal Northern Infantry.


  6. Louisa Sophia Brietzcke (1804-1891), the daughter of Susannah Isham and George Purcas Brietzcke, was born on Nov. 6, 1804 in Westminster (London), and baptized on Dec. 1, 1804 at St. Margaret's Church in Westminster. Because Louisa was the grandaughter of Sir Justinian Isham (1740-1818), the baronet of Lamport and owner of Lamport Hall, she was also the first cousin of Sir Charles Edmund Isham (1819-1903), who eventually became the 10th baronet. As such, she is 18th in direct descent from King Edward I. She married William Abbott (1804-1866) on Aug. 28, 1832 at Christ Church in St. Marylebone, Westminster, William, who was the son of William Abbott (1766-1852) of Madras and his wife Elizabeth Lee (c.1766-1837). Louisa Sophia's husband was a partner with his father in a company that manufactured and sold felt. However, this company went bankrupt in the 1850s as a consequence of the elder William's business interests in India, afterwhich Louisa's husband, the younger William, became a firewood and wood-paving merchant. He then went bankrupt a second time in 1862 when he became embroiled in the "Possidhon affair", which was a notorious insurance scandal widely reported in the press.

    During the time of the Possidhon affair, Louisa Sophia's daughter Mary Eliza (Maria Elizabeth) Abbott and Mary's husband Theophilus Wathen Thompson were members of Louisa Sophia's household. Louisa Sophia's husband William in 1866 died suddenly from a heart attack, afterwhich Louisa Sophia retired to the Hanover Square area of London, where she had lived much of her life. She died on January 11, 1891 at the age of 86 at 50 Gloucester Street in London, and she is buried with her husband in the Kensal Green All Souls Cemetery in London. The ambrotype on the right, which dates from the 1850s and came from the household of her daughter Mary Eliza, is a possible photograph of Louisa Sophia. However, the identity of the woman in the photograph is not known with certainty. Please see the Abbott Genealogy for the children of Louisa Sophia and William.


    The Isham Family ancestors of Louisa Sophia Brietzcke are direct descendants of the Kings of England and France.
    This pedigree can be explored in more detail on the page that covers the Isham Family Genealogy.







  • The documentation for many of the dates and places listed in this history are found in the Ancestry.com online databases (subscription required).

  • Brietzcke, Charles (1765), Diary of Charles Brietzcke, 1759-1765, edited by Elma Hailey and published in various issues of Notes and Queries from 1951 to 1964. The two issues of most relevance to the family history are as follows.

    Hailey, M. E. (1951), The Brietzcke Diary, 1759–1765, CXCVI (April), p. 185-188.
    Hailey, M. E. (1964), Charles Brietzcke's Diary (1765), 11 (November), p. 406-410.

  • Ditchfield, Sanfra (2014), Dickens Family Tree, an online family tree on Ancestry.com (subscription required).

  • Grave and burial locations where known are listed with tombstone photos (when available) on  

  • Howard, Joseph Jackson (1907), Visitation of England and Wales, Privately printed by the College of Arms (Great Britain), v. 7, p. 73.

  • Murray, Richard (2017), Compassionate Magna Carta, AuthorHouse (a print on demand book), Bloomington, Indiana, p xii-xiii, 25-26 & 32-47. This work is mainly an autobiography of Murray (AKA Cynthia Mary Magdalena Dean, 1909-1971), who is a direct descendant of Daniel Brietzcke. However, she also addresses her ancestry in the book, and what is significant is that Murray/Dean had access to extensive family papers from the estate of Daniel Brietzcke's grandson Richard Betenson Dean.

  • Thomson, Mark Alméras (1932), The Secretaries of State, 1681-1782, Clarendon Press, 206 p.

  • Wikipedia, Richard Dean (died 1850). Accessed Feb. 27, 2015.




by Mike Clark & Family

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Copyright © Michael S. Clark, Ph.D., 1998- - All rights reserved.