Robert Broughton

Robert Broughton, Bruton or Burton was born at a time when the spelling of names had not yet become standardised. That results in some problems for his descendants! At his baptism his name was recorded as Robert Burton, the son of Robert and Marey.

He was born at Willoughton, 13km east of Gainsborough in Lincolnshire, and married in Gainsborough where he settled down. As a surgeon and apothecary it probably made sense to live in the market town. He would have more patients there than in the rural outskirts. He took on an apprentice surgeon the year after his marriage and another one six years later. The likely reason was that the first apprentice was now qualified and would move on to establish his own career.

Many surgeons at this time were also barbers, but Robert seems to have been an early doctor in the sense we would use the word. The birth (and, sadly, death) records of his children describe him as an apothecary. That implies that he would be using medical as well as surgical techniques. Perhaps he was familiar with advances on the national scene.

Robert himself lived to be over seventy, a good age in the mid-eighteenth century. He is described as “Mr Robert Broughton” in his burial record: a title accorded to very few of our ancestors!

Father of Mary Bruton and son of Robert and Mary Burton

Baptised in 1693 at Willoughton, nr Gainsborough, Lincolnshire

Married Elizabeth Wells on 5 January 1718

Buried 5 October 1767

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