Family History ACT

The Heraldry & Genealogy Society of Canberra Inc.


Monthly Meeting - 7.30pm 6 September, 2016

Richard Brooks: From Convict Ship Captain to Pillar of Early Colonial Australia.

Captain Richard Brooks (1765-1833), a former privateer, made six voyages to Australia before settling in Sydney in 1814, the first as master of the infamous convict ship Atlas (1802). An active participant in the ‘Rum Rebellion’, when his ship Rose was impounded by the rebels as an illicit trader, Brooks was later shipwrecked in the Falkland Islands. Friend or foe to six Governors, Brooks, a Macquarie magistrate and leading merchant, made a fortune as a rum trader and convict shipping contractor. His acquaintances were a veritable who’s who of the early colony. Brooks established a powerful pastoral dynasty through the marriages of his six daughters into the Cox, Blomfield, Riley, Powell, Wilson and Zouch families. His illegitimate son Richard Brooks Jnr is acknowledged as the Monaro’s earliest settler.
Join local author Christine Maher as she outlines the value of using ships' logs in researching convict ancestors, overcoming 'false memory' in family papers and tracing ex-nuptial family branches in this new biography of an early magnate, complete with convicts, dynastic marriages, mistresses, wayward sons, disinheritance and bankruptcy.