BROOKE, THOMAS WARWICK

fl 1855 from Unknown (also England)


magistrate. No information is available on Brooke's ancestry or place or date of birth, though his middle name suggests some link to the earls of Warwick, whose family name is Brooke. His position as magistrate was confirmed by the secretary of state, Lord John Russell, on 5 January 1855 at a salary of £400 a year. Brooke arrived from San Francisco and began by boarding with Governor MOORE, but their relations soon deteriorated. He formed an alliance with LANE, the FIC manager who was the only trained lawyer in the colony and highly litigious. Brooke attempted to assert his authority over the soldiers of the garrison and tried to use them as jurors. He also imprisoned an American sea-captain, Sweeney, for non-payment of his steward - an action which the captain alleged was inspired by Lane. In July 1860, while Brooke was on leave and angling for another job, a Colonial Office official minuted: 'he is a perverse functionary, bad in his judgement and vexatious in his conduct: but he has never gone beyond the law' [ie and cannot be dismissed].

Reason for dismissal was soon provided: Governor Moore informed London that when clearing his wife Emma's papers after her death, he had come across a letter from Brooke in terms which would have justified him throwing Brooke out of the house. When the Colonial Office taxed Brooke with 'domestic treachery', he replied with a long letter accusing Moore of brutish and suspicious behaviour, but without specifically denying the implied relationship with Emma Moore. 'The letter can not be read without a most unfortunate impression of Captain Moore's character', noted the Colonial Office, 'but that can not alter the decision as to Mr Brooke'. Indeed Brooke disappears from view at this point.

Authors

David Tatham