BROOKS, EDWARD PAKENHAM

1849 - 1896 from England


colonial secretary, was born in Bath on 18 July 1849 and entered the Royal Navy as naval cadet in 1862. He passed for lieutenant on 27 June 1870. On 20 September he 'ran' from the navy - ie went absent without leave or deserted. His father explained to the Admiralty that he had 'run' on account of his debts and on 15 December 1871 he was 'discharged the Service to avoid a court martial'. He was appointed assistant district clerk at Grand Port, Mauritius in 1874 and selected by the governor to enquire into the treatment of labourers employed in the lesser dependencies of that colony. In 1876 he was appointed to the colonial secretary's office and in following years served as joint district clerk and assistant officer to two interior districts.

Brooks was appointed colonial secretary and police magistrate for the Falkland Islands in 1883 at a salary of £450 and arrived on the Kosmos steamer on 15 February. He also acted as treasurer, collector of customs, postmaster, harbour and shipping master, registrar general, receiver of wrecks and coroner, and was a member of Executive and Legislative Councils. In 1885 he blotted his copybook by opening a letter returned unopened to a respectable colonist which revealed that a planned visit to London, supposedly for a Swedenborgian* meeting, was in fact to meet a lady in St John's Wood. Governor KERR noted that as postmaster Brooks was morally if not legally bound to respect the secrecy of the post: there was a 'complete estrangement between Mr Brooks and myself ... in consequence of his disrespectful manner and conduct'. When Lt-Governor BARKLY took over during Kerr's leave he urged leniency and wrote that his relations with Brooks 'have been perfectly satisfactory and he has performed all his duties with regularity, efficiency and despatch'.

In 1886 he returned for home leave and Kerr noted his satisfactory performance of his various duties. In October 1888 he applied to be posted to another colony on promotion, but was disappointed. From July 1889 to February 1890, he administered the government in the absence of Kerr. In September 1890 he applied to become governor; 'he is persistent and flies high' minuted an official in the Colonial Office, but his request was turned down. In March he requested six months' leave because of his wife's poor health and he left the Falklands in July, to be succeeded by Frederick SANGUINETTI. His leave was extended and in September 1891 his appointment in Stanley was ended.

Brooks was appointed treasurer of Grenada in the West Indies at £500 a year in 1892. The Falklands Archives note that he died in August 1896.

Authors

David Tatham