Brooke, Sir George Frederick (1849–1926), landlord, wine merchant, and banker, was born on 13 August 1849, the eldest son of the three sons and three daughters of Francis Richard Brooke (1817–67), of Summerton, Castleknock, Co. Dublin, and Coolgreany, Co. Wexford, and the Hon. Henrietta Monck (d. 1911), daughter of Charles Joseph Kelly Monck (1791–1849), third Viscount Monck, and Bridget Monck (d. 1843), daughter of John Willington. The Brooke family owned 6,500 acres, mostly in counties Wexford and Kildare, which Brooke in due course inherited.
Educated at Eton, Brooke spent a year at Trinity College, Cambridge, before returning to the family wine business of George F. Brooke & Son, of 1 Gardiner's Row, Dublin, which had been founded by his paternal grandfather, George Frederick Brooke (1779–1865), in 1806. Despite his one-third share in the business, and his holding the senior management position for fifty years, he took little interest in the day-to-day running of the large firm, preferring instead to indulge his other interests. A keen hunter, from 1869 to 1910 he maintained a prestigious pack of harriers that later became the North Kildare Harriers.
The Brooke estate saw a great deal of agrarian unrest during the 1880s. This was due in part to the fact that the family land agent, Captain E. C. Hamilton, was the energetic director of the Property Defence Association and in part to Brooke's own belligerence. More than seventy families were evicted in a fortnight in July 1887. This prompted William J. Walsh (qv), archbishop of Dublin, to write to the Freeman's Journal, urging the government to suspend the power of eviction in Ireland until after the Land Bill became law the following August. The unionist MP, T. W. Russell (qv), wrote an article for the Times (16 Mar. 1889) on the Plan of Campaign (1886–91) on Brooke's estate that resulted in the foundation of the Cultivation of Derelict Land (Ireland) Trust. Although the trust was formed to find suitable tenants to take over the farms of those who had been evicted, the land was badly managed and the new tenants did not pay their rents. Regardless of this, Brooke claimed ‘triumph’ over the Plan of Campaign and further that this had been at a personal cost of £20,000. Having considered himself successful against agrarian unrest, Brooke was indefatigable in his pursuit of a baronetcy, for which he recruited more than a dozen Irish peers to write on his behalf. Arthur Balfour (qv), although he found Brooke's persistence tiresome, created him a baronet on 12 October 1903.
Brooke was lavish in his entertainment and lifestyle, but his finances proved to be less than resilient, and in February 1911 the family home at Summerton had to be sold. He then moved into an apartment over the wine business. A director (1891–26) of the Bank of Ireland, he also served as deputy governor (1902–4) and governor (1904–6). In addition he was high sheriff of Co. Wexford (1882) and of Co. Dublin (1898), DL for Co. Dublin, and a trustee of Simpson's Hospital, Dundrum, Co. Dublin.
On 4 April 1875 Brooke married a cousin, Anna Maria, daughter of Geoffrey Joseph Shakerley of Belmont Hall, Chester, and his second wife. She died 13 June 1877, having given birth to their son George three days earlier. George Brooke (1877–1914) was gentleman-in-waiting to the lord lieutenant of Ireland before serving as lieutenant with the Irish Guards in the Boer war and the first world war. He died 7 October 1914 from wounds sustained during battle in France. There is a stained glass window by Harry Clarke (qv) to his memory in St Brigid's Church of Ireland church in Castleknock, Dublin. The couple also had one daughter. Brooke married secondly, on 21 April 1881, the extremely religious Emily Alma Barton (d. 28 September 1910), daughter of Augustine Hugh Barton of Rochestown, Co. Tipperary; they had seven sons (including Raymond F. Brooke) and two daughters. George Frederick Brooke died 21 August 1926 at his residence, Pickering Forest, Celbridge, Co. Kildare. There is a portrait of him by Sir William Orpen (qv).
The Brookes were related to the Brookes of Colebrook and the Parnells of Avondale.