Brouncker, Sir Henry (c.1550–1607), soldier and administrator, was second son of Henry Brouncker of Melksham and Erlestoke, Wiltshire, and his second wife Ursula (née Yate) of Lyford, Berkshire. Educated at the Middle Temple (1566), he held three parliamentary seats in south-west England between 1572 and 1601, and appears to have entered royal service in the mid 1570s, when he was in Ulster with the 1st earl of Essex (qv). From 1584 he contracted to pay £2,000 a year for the right to collect duties on wines imported into Ireland; the fullness and regularity of his payments was disputed, but in December 1599 the grant was renewed for eleven years at £1,500 a year. From 1589 he held the office of ‘surveyor of all issues lost by jurors’. In 1597–8 he surveyed possible invasion sites in Munster, was knighted (September 1597) at Drogheda by the lord deputy, Thomas, Lord Burgh (qv), and assisted Bishop Thomas Jones (qv) in negotiations with the earl of Tyrone (qv).
Brouncker, an informed judge of strategy, enjoyed the respect of army commanders, and was considered as a possible successor to Richard Bingham (qv) as marshal. Instead, he was sent on an official mission to Scotland (1600), in which he made a good impression, and in 1603 he became a member of the royal household. On 4 June 1604 he was appointed president of Munster. In this position, he confronted the urban catholic revival with a rigorous enforcement of the English provisions for church uniformity and royal supremacy, banning catholic clergy from the towns, and fining and imprisoning local officeholders and others who did not conform. To the privy council, who favoured less confrontational means, he argued (November 1606) that he felt likewise, but had been driven to severity by finding that offenders took advantage of a gentle approach. The council, concerned to avoid provoking the towns into reaction, discreetly ordered him in April 1607 to be more moderate. He died 3 June 1607 after six weeks’ illness.
He married Ann Parker (d. 1612); they had three sons (one, William, became 1st Baron Brouncker) and several daughters. The many variants of the name include Brunkhorn, Brunker, Bruncare, Bronckerd, Brouncar, Broncar, and Brunkard.