- Some automobile manufacturers make a model they call a brougham. It's usually a distinguished, more expensive model. At one time broughams were built with no roof over the chauffeur's section. It was quite a snazzy-looking car, even though the chauffeur had a problem when it rained.The car style derived from a carriage style. The horse-drawn brougham was one of the most popular styles during the days before the gasolinefired motor. It consisted of a four-wheel carriage—a closed, low-slung cab for two passengers—drawn by one horse, with the driver's seat high above the wheels. It was named in honor of Henry Peter Brougham, Baron Brougham and Vaux (1778-1868), a leading legal reformer in the nineteenth century. Brougham, born in Scotland, was a versatile and brilliant man—a noted lawyer, orator, politician, writer, and a remarkable wit. He was most remembered for his defense of Queen Caroline against the charge of her husband, the regent and later King George IV, that she was guilty of adultery.Some people say that the four-wheeled carriage with an open driver's seat got its name because Brougham was frequently seen in this "garden chair on wheels," often in the company of Disraeli or Gladstone. As they drove by, the townspeople would say, "There goes Brougham." It didn't take long before the vehicle itself was called a brougham after its distinguished occupant.The brougham became a public service vehicle and was London's most popular means of transport until eclipsed by the hansom cab.
Dictionary of eponyms. Morton S. Freeman. 2013.