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Major General Sir Thomas Makdougall Brisbane, 1st Baronet, GCB, GCH, FRS, FRSE (23 July 1773 – 27 January 1860), was a British Army officer, administrator, and astronomer. Upon the recommendation of the Duke of Wellington, with whom he had served, he was appointed governor of New South Wales
New South Wales
from 1821 to 1825. A keen astronomer, he built the colony's second observatory and encouraged scientific and agricultural training. Rivals besmirched his reputation and the British Secretary of State for the Colonies, Lord Bathurst, recalled Brisbane
Brisbane
and his colonial secretary Frederick Goulburn. Brisbane, a new convict settlement, was named in his honour and is now among the largest cities in Australia.

Contents

1 Early life 2 Governor 3 Astronomer 4 Later years 5 Legacy 6 Notes 7 References 8 External links

Early life[edit] Brisbane
Brisbane
was born at Brisbane
Brisbane
House in Noddsdale, near Largs
Largs
in Ayrshire, Scotland, the son of Sir Thomas Brisbane
Brisbane
and Dame Eleanora Brisbane. He was educated in astronomy and mathematics at the University of Edinburgh. He joined the British Army's 38th (1st Staffordshire) Regiment of Foot in 1789 and had a distinguished career in Flanders, the West Indies, Spain and North America. He served under the Duke of Wellington, and in 1813 he was promoted to major general. He saw much action during the Peninsular War, including leading a brigade in the 3rd Division that broke through at the Battle of Vitoria. He continued as a brigade commander in the War of 1812, where in 1814 he led a brigade at the Battle of Plattsburgh, which Brisbane claimed they could have won if they had been allowed to launch a full infantry attack.[1] During the battle, he used the Charles C. Platt Homestead as his headquarters.[2] For his services in the Peninsula, Brisbane
Brisbane
received the Army Gold Cross
Army Gold Cross
with one clasp for the battles of Vitoria, the Pyrenees, Nivelle, Orthez, and Toulouse; and the silver war medal with one clasp for the Nive. In November 1819 he married Anna Maria Hay Makdougall of Makerstoun, Roxburghshire, Scotland. On his father-in-law's death, Brisbane assumed the additional surname, becoming Makdougall Brisbane.[3] Governor[edit] In 1821, on the recommendation of Wellington, Brisbane
Brisbane
was appointed Governor of New South Wales, a post he held until 1825. Brisbane
Brisbane
took over the government on 1 December 1821, and at once proceeded to carry out some of the reforms recommended in the report of John Bigge. While Governor he tackled the many problems of a rapidly growing and expanding colony. He worked to improve the land grants system and to reform the currency. Brisbane's keen interest in science led him to accept the invitation to become the first President of the Philosophical Society of Australasia that later became the Royal Society of New South Wales, the oldest learned institution in the Southern Hemisphere. He also set up the first agricultural training college in New South Wales
New South Wales
and was the first patron of the New South Wales Agricultural Society. He conducted experiments in growing tobacco, cotton, coffee and New Zealand flax
New Zealand flax
in the colony. However, Brisbane
Brisbane
did not always receive loyal support from his administrative officers, and in particular from Frederick Goulburn, the colonial secretary. A reference to Brisbane's dispatch to Earl Bathurst dated 14 May 1825 shows that Bigge's recommendations had been carefully considered, and that many improvements had been made.[4] Brisbane
Brisbane
did not limit his attention to Bigge's report. Early in April 1822 he discovered with some surprise the ease with which grants of land had hitherto been obtained. He immediately introduced a new system under which every grant had the stipulation that for every 100 acres (400,000 m2) granted the grantee would maintain free of expense to the crown one convict labourer. He also encouraged agriculture on government land, streamlined granting of tickets of leave and pardons and introduced, in 1823, a system of calling for supplies by tender. When Dr. Robert Wardell and William Wentworth brought out their paper the Australian in 1824, Brisbane
Brisbane
tried the experiment of allowing full latitude of the freedom of the press. In 1823 Brisbane
Brisbane
sent Lieutenant John Oxley
John Oxley
to find a new site for convicts who were repeat offenders. Oxley discovered a large river flowing into Moreton Bay. A year later, the first convicts arrived at Moreton Bay. Brisbane
Brisbane
visited the settlement in December 1824. Oxley suggested that both the river and the settlement be named after Brisbane. The convict settlement was declared a town in 1834 and opened to free settlement in 1839. Brisbane
Brisbane
was doing useful work, but he could not escape the effects of the constant faction fights which also plagued previous governors. Henry G. Douglass, the assistant-surgeon, was the centre of one of the bitter conflicts. Consequently, charges of various kinds against Brisbane
Brisbane
were sent to England. The worst of these, that he had connived at sending female convicts to Emu Plains for immoral purposes, was investigated by William Stewart, the lieutenant-governor, John Stephen, assistant judge, and the Rev. William Cowper, senior assistant-chaplain, and found to be without the slightest foundation. Brisbane
Brisbane
discovered that Goulburn, the colonial secretary, had been withholding documents from him and answering some without reference to the governor, and in 1824 reported his conduct to Lord Bathurst. In reply, Bathurst recalled both the governor and the colonial secretary in dispatches dated 29 December 1824. Astronomer[edit] Brisbane
Brisbane
was a keen astronomer throughout his career. He had an observatory built at his ancestral home in 1808. From this observatory he was able to contribute to the advances in navigation which took place over the next hundred years. He took telescopes, books and two astronomical assistants, Carl Ludwig Christian Rümker
Carl Ludwig Christian Rümker
and James Dunlop to New South Wales
New South Wales
with him. On arrival he had the first properly-equipped Australian observatory built at Parramatta while waiting for his predecessor, Governor Macquarie to complete his final arrangements. The Parramatta observatory recorded stars of the southern hemisphere, the first detailed observations from the continent. Its major contribution was Rumker's rediscovery of Enke's comet in 1822. Brisbane
Brisbane
left his equipment and books in the colony when he returned to Scotland. Remnants of this collection survive in the Sydney Observatory. Later years[edit] Brisbane
Brisbane
left Sydney in December 1825 and returned to Scotland. In 1826 he was made Colonel of the 34th (Cumberland) Regiment of Foot. He added the name of Makdougall before Brisbane, and settled down to the life of a country gentleman and took interest in science, his estate, and his regiment. He was elected president of the Royal Society of Edinburgh (1832) in succession to Sir Walter Scott, and in 1836 he was created a baronet.[5] In the same year he was offered the command of the troops stationed in Canada and two years later the chief command in India, but declined both. He continued his astronomical researches, and did valuable work. He was the first patron of science in Australia, and as such was eulogised by Sir John Herschel
John Herschel
when he presented Brisbane
Brisbane
with the gold medal of the Royal Astronomical Society
Royal Astronomical Society
in 1828. Oxford and Cambridge Universities gave him the honorary degree of DCL, and he was elected a fellow of the Royal Societies of both London and Edinburgh. He was created Knight Commander of the Order of the Bath
Knight Commander of the Order of the Bath
in 1814 and Knight Grand Cross of the Order of the Bath
Knight Grand Cross of the Order of the Bath
in 1837. In 1828 he won the Gold Medal of the Royal Astronomical Society. He published The Brisbane
Brisbane
Catalogue of 7,385 stars of the Southern Hemisphere in 1835. The Observatory
Observatory
was used until 1855.

The Brisbane
Brisbane
family vault in Largs

When Brisbane
Brisbane
returned to Scotland he continued his studies and built a further observatory on his wife's estate, Makerstoun, near Kelso in the Borders. He was a member of the Royal Society of Edinburgh
Royal Society of Edinburgh
and received their Keith Medal
Keith Medal
in 1848. He was elected president in 1832 after the death of Sir Walter Scott, and in the following year acted as president of the British Association for the Advancement of Science. He founded a gold medal for the encouragement of scientific research to be awarded by the Royal Society of Edinburgh. Brisbane
Brisbane
died much respected and honoured on 27 January 1860 in Largs. His four children predeceased him. He is buried in the Brisbane
Brisbane
Aisle Vault, which is in the small kirkyard next to the remains of Largs
Largs
Old Kirk (known as Skelmorlie Aisle). Legacy[edit] The following features are named after Thomas Brisbane:

Brisbane, the Australian state of Queensland's largest city and capital.[a] Brisbane
Brisbane
River in Queensland, Australia. Brisbane, a crater on the Moon. Brisbane
Brisbane
Street, Greenock Brisbane
Brisbane
Water, an estuary on the Central Coast of New South Wales.[6] Sir Thomas Brisbane
Brisbane
Planetarium, located in Brisbane, Queensland. Noddsdale, the valley near Largs
Largs
where his birthplace Brisbane
Brisbane
House was situated, was renamed Brisbane
Brisbane
Glen in his honour.[7] Isabella Plains, a suburb in Canberra, named in honour of Isabella Brisbane, a daughter of Sir Thomas. Brisbane
Brisbane
House Hotel in Largs, a town located by the sea in North Ayrshire, Scotland. Thomas Makdougall Brisbane
Brisbane
bridge in Largs Makdougall Brisbane
Brisbane
prize of the Royal Society of Edinburgh.[8]

Many other uses of Brisbane
Brisbane
derive from the Australian city and hence are indirectly named after Thomas Brisbane. Notes[edit]

^ The city of Brisbane, California, may in turn have been named after Brisbane, Queensland, but the derivation is disputed.[citation needed]

This article includes a list of references, but its sources remain unclear because it has insufficient inline citations. Please help to improve this article by introducing more precise citations. (April 2009) (Learn how and when to remove this template message)

^ People & Stories, War of 1812
War of 1812
Archived 23 May 2008 at the Wayback Machine., URL accessed 18 October 2006 ^ C.D. DeRoche & Russell Bordeau (September 1978). "National Register of Historic Places Registration: Charles C. Platt Homestead". New York State Office of Parks, Recreation and Historic Preservation. Retrieved 24 June 2010.  ^ Person Page 43467. Thepeerage.com. Retrieved on 2013-07-16. ^ (Historical Records of Australia, vol. XI, pp. 571–88) ^ "No. 19359". The London Gazette. 23 February 1836. p. 358.  ^ " Brisbane
Brisbane
Water". Geographical Names Register (GNR) of NSW. Geographical Names Board of New South Wales. Retrieved 28 December 2012.  ^ " Brisbane
Brisbane
Glen, Largs". Ayrshire
Ayrshire
Birding. Archived from the original on 5 January 2009. Retrieved 2 November 2009.  ^ "Makdougall Brisbane
Brisbane
prize". Royal Society of Edinburgh. 

References[edit]

 Baynes, T.S., ed. (1878), "Sir Thomas Makdougall Brisbane", Encyclopædia Britannica, 4 (9th ed.), New York: Charles Scribner's Sons, p. 347   Chisholm, Hugh, ed. (1911), "Brisbane, Sir Thomas Makdougall", Encyclopædia Britannica, 4 (11th ed.), Cambridge University Press, p. 573  Heydon, J.D. (1966), "Sir Thomas Makdougall Brisbane
Brisbane
(1773–1860)", Australian Dictionary of Biography, Vol. I, Melbourne: Melbourne University Press, pp. 151–155  Mennell, Philip (1892), "General Sir Thos. Makdougall Brisbane", The Dictionary of Australasian Biography, London: Hutchinson & Co  Serle, Percival (1949), "Sir Thomas Makdougall Brisbane", Dictionary of Australian Biography, Sydney: Angus & Robertson 

External links[edit]

Wikimedia Commons has media related to Thomas Brisbane.

Thomas M. Brisbane
Brisbane
papers, William L. Clements Library, University of Michigan.

Government offices

Preceded by Lachlan Macquarie Governor of New South Wales 1821–1825 Succeeded by Ralph Darling

Baronetage of the United Kingdom

New title Baronet(of Brisbane, Ayrshire)1836–1860 Extinct

v t e

Governors of New South Wales

Before Federation

Phillip Hunter King Bligh Macquarie Brisbane Darling Bourke Gipps FitzRoy Denison Young Belmore Robinson Loftus Carrington Jersey Duff Hampden Beauchamp

After Federation

Rawson Chelmsford Strickland Davidson de Chair Game Gowrie Anderson Wakehurst Northcott Woodward Cutler Rowland Martin Sinclair Samuels Bashir Hurley

Authority control

WorldCat Identities VIAF: 94380103 ISNI: 0000 0000 8006 8582 GND: 116522305 NLA: 36142364 SN

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