BRISBANE, Sir THOMAS MAKDOUGALL (1773-1860), governor, was born on 23 July 1773
at Brisbane House, near Largs, Ayrshire, son of a family of ancient Scottish
lineage. He was educated by tutors and attended both the University of Edinburgh
and the English Academy, Kensington. In 1789 he was commissioned an ensign in the
38th Regiment, which next year he joined in Ireland; there he struck up a long and
profitable friendship with a fellow subaltern, Arthur Wellesley. From 1793 to 1798
he served in Flanders as a captain, from 1795 to 1799 in the West Indies as a
major, and from 1800 to 1803 he commanded the 69th Regiment in Jamaica as a
lieutenant-colonel, earning high praise from the governor, Sir George Nugent. From
1803 to 1805 he served in England, but when the 69th was ordered to India went on
half-pay in Scotland because of his health.
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(Sir) Thomas Makdougall Brisbane, a respected and successful soldier, was Governor of New South Wales 1821-25. During this period he furthered his astronomical studies, built an observatory at Parramatta and made the first extensive observations of the southern stars since Lacaille in 1751-52.
Born near Largs, Ayrshire, Scotland, 23 July 1773. Died Largs, 27 January 1860. KCB 1814; KCH 1817; Baronet 1836; GCB 1837. Educated University of Edinburgh and the English Academy, Kensington. Commissioned an Ensign in the 38th Regiment 1789; in Ireland 1790; captain in Flanders 1793-98; major in the West Indies 1795-99; lieutenant-colonel, 69th Regiment, Jamaica 1800-03; served in England 1803-05; built the second observatory in Scotland at Brisbane House 1808; promoted colonel 1810; promoted brigadier-general 1812; promoted general 1841; governor of New South Wales 1821-25. Set up an agricultural training college in New South Wales and was the first patron of the New South Wales Agricultural Society 1822. Conducted (largely unsuccessful) experiments in growing Virginian tobacco, Georgian cotton, Brazilian coffee and New Zealand flax. Built an observatory at Parramatta and made the first observations of stars in the southern hemisphere since Lacaille's in 1751-52; built another observatory at Makerstoun 1826; later became president of the Edinburgh Astronomical Institution and did much to make the Edinburgh Royal Observatory highly efficient. Fellow, Royal Society 1810. President, Royal Society of Edinburgh 1832.
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