Brougham (carriage)

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Red Brougham Profile view.jpg
The King of Sweden's brougham (parade coupé) brings the new U.S. Ambassador, Mark Brzezinski, in November 2011.

A brougham (pronounced "broom" or "brohm") was a light, four-wheeled horse-drawn carriage built in the 19th century.[1][note 1] It was named after Scottish jurist Lord Brougham, who had this type of carriage built to his specification by London coachbuilder Robinson & Cook[1] in 1838 or 1839.[1][2] It had an enclosed body with two doors,[1] like the rear section of a coach; it sat two, sometimes with an extra pair of fold-away seats in the front corners,[2] and with a box seat in front for the driver and a footman or passenger. Unlike a coach, the carriage had a glazed front window, so that the occupants could see forward.[1] The forewheels were capable of turning sharply. A variant, called a brougham-landaulet, had a top collapsible from the rear doors backward.[note 2]

Three features specific to the Brougham were:

  1. the sharply squared end of the roof at the back,
  2. the body line curving forward at the base of the enclosure, and
  3. low entry to the enclosure, using only one outside step below the door.[1]

In popular culture[edit]

In the book The Alienist by Caleb Carr, a frequently used mode of transportation for the characters is a brougham.

In Rudyard Kipling's poem "The Mary Gloster", the dying Sir Anthony complains bitterly to his son about never seeing "the doctor's brougham to help the missus unload" – a reference to the effete Dickie's childless marriage and hence the extinction of his family.

In the novel The Crimson Petal and the White, by Michel Faber, William Rackham purchases a brougham as a surprise gift for his wife, Agnes Rackham, with the help of his mistress, a former prostitute known as Sugar.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ The OED gives a first usage in 1851, but the original design dates from about 1838, according to the Encyclopædia Britannica. Brougham died in 1868.
  2. ^ Compare the landau.


  1. ^ a b c d e f Haajanen 2003, p. 24.
  2. ^ a b Stratton 1878, p. 376.


  • Haajanen, Lennart W. (2003). "1Brougham". Illustrated Dictionary of Automobile Body Styles. Illustrations by Bertil Nydén; foreword by Karl Ludvigsen. Jefferson, NC USA: McFarland. pp. 24–25. ISBN 0-7864-1276-3. LCCN 2002014546.
  • Stratton, Ezra (1878). World on Wheels. New York: Bloom. ISBN 0-405-09006-4. Retrieved 2014-09-04.

External links[edit]