Monday, April 11, 2016

BRS 11 Scottish families of Bracken Ridge David Laughlin Brown and William Brown

According to the maps David Loughlin Brown and William Brown owned Lot 93, which was located at the Telegraph Road junction with Denham Street.  He arrived in 1862 on the "Clifton"

The story David Laughlin Brown and his family is one of those "stories behind the story".

The electoral rolls of 1905 show that David Lachlin Brown, a man of Independent means was at the owner of the property.  He was residing with his wife and daugher.

Who then was David Lachlin Brown?     His name was in fact David Laughland Brown.  

David Loughland Brown was another of those Scottish men who were all intrinsically linked to the early settlement of Brisbane.  He was born in Scotland and arrived in Queensland onboard the Clifton.
A successful merchant and Brisbane businessman in those early days.  He died in 1907.  

His biography reveals the facts of his life

Brown, David Laughland (1839–1907)

This article was published in Australian Dictionary of Biography, Volume 3, (MUP), 1969

David Laughland Brown (1839-1907), merchant, was born on 1 February 1839 at Stewarton, Ayrshire, Scotland, son of John Brown, farmer, and his wife Janet, née Laughland. He was trained in the soft-goods business.

In 1862 his elder brother Thomas, who had founded a drapery in Glasgow, sent David with thirty-two packages in the Clifton to launch an importing branch of the firm in the capital of the newly-independent colony of Queensland. Accompanied by his wife Margaret, née Bethune, whom he had married at Glasgow in 1859, his nineteen-year-old cousin William Brown (1842-1925) who was his first employee, and his own three-year-old son John (1859-1945), David Brown landed in Brisbane on 10 April.

Despite major losses in the 1863 and 1893 floods and a devastating fire in 1888 the Browns built a large distributing business, apparently in a bid to expand trading with the centres of German settlements in Queensland. As wholesale drapers in the 1860s, D. L. Brown & Co. began to import other goods in the 1870s and in the next decade acquired the 90-ton Kalara, the 100-ton Fearless and the 214-ton Coquette to distribute merchandise to the Tweed River district and the South Sea Islands. 

In addition to a private wharf at the main warehouse in Eagle Street, the firm acquired at auction in 1877 from J. and G. Harris wharfage facilities in Short Street which it expanded into a major overseas terminal. There the Cutty Sark loaded a record cargo of wool in 1894.

The first Eagle Street warehouse was totally destroyed in 1888, and the architect, F. D. G. Stanley, designed for the Browns one of the most imposing and ornate commercial buildings in a style then much in fashion in Brisbane, with Italian Renaissance elevations both to the river and to Eagle Street. 

In the late 1880s Thomas Brown of the parent firm sent out his own two sons, John Hunter (1861-1917) and Thomas Herbert (1862-1920), whose education for the importing business had been crowned by language training for a year in Germany and fifteen months in Paris.

In 1898 D. L. Brown & Co. was reconstituted a public company under the name of Thomas Brown & Sons and David retired leaving the management to his nephews. Although the directorate later became fixed in London, the company continued to grow in Queensland and established a branch at Darwin. 

David Brown's successors absorbed the Beenleigh rum distilleries in 1918, then took over several clothing manufacturing and food processing firms, and later acquired and greatly expanded a retail supermarket chain.

 David had made his family home, Langley Bank, on twenty-two acres (9 ha) at Bowen Bridge. He sold this property to the Queensland National Bank in 1901 and moved to Bowen Terrace, Brisbane. 

There he died aged 68 of a kidney disease on 15 June 1907. He was buried in the Presbyterian section of the Toowong cemetery. He was survived by his second wife Marion, née Wight (1851-1928), whom he had married at Brisbane on 29 November 1870, and by ten of their twelve children and by a son of the first marriage. 

Thomas Brown made several visits to Queensland, the first in 1882, and at 80 died in Kensington, London, on 4 April 1912 from pneumonia.

Classified Advertising  The partnership is dissolved
The Queenslander (Brisbane, Qld. : 1866 - 1939) Saturday 29 March 1890 p 618 Advertising
... BrownDavid Loughland Brown, Robert Langlands Armour, John Hunter Brown, Thomas Herbert Brown, and ..

Sale of his lands at Wilston

 Thomas Brown & Sons building on Eagle Street, Brisbane, circa 1898. Picture State Library Queensland

Thomas Brown with son, T.S.G. Brown, and Sir Samuel Walker Griffith on the right Picture State Library Queensland                                                        The business was destroyed by fire c 1887.

The Thomas Brown and Sons buildings were used by servicemen in World War 2


The Amazing Family of David Laughland Brown

In research, it is the "stories behind the stories" that give an insight into like as it was 100 years ago.
No more so than the children of David Laughland Brown and his wife Marion Wight.
After the death of his first wife, Margaret, David remarried in 1870 to Marion Wight.

Marion was the daughter of Rev George Wight and his first wife Jessie Clapperton Chapman.  George and Jessie married June 1845 at Canongate, Edinburgh.  Marion was born April 1851 and she died in 1928, in Brisbane.

They had a large family:
Helen Douglas Brown                   Born 1871
Marion Gertrude Brown                Born 1873  m Thomas Snelling 1903  died 1940
Ruby Davina Mary Brown             Born 1877                             died 1947
Janet Laughland Brown                 Born 1878                             died 1887
Archibald Lorimer Brown              Born 1880                             died 1935
James Stewart Brown                    Born 1882                             died 1882
David Laughland Brown                Born 1884             m Nell Ling in 1910    died 1955                                                                                                                 Stockman in Charters Towers
Dorothy Brown                             Born 1886             m Eric Wren 1918               died 1970
Gladys Kathleen Brown                 Born 1888                             died 1960
Marjory Elizabeth Young Brown     Born 1891
Agnes Evelyn Brown                     Born 1894
George Thomas Brown                                                               died 1958

The lives of the siblings were quite diverse.  As pioneers of the early days, their contribution is a worthy one.

Three of the children enlisted in World War I.  Two of the girls and a son.  The girls were "trailblazers." part of the uniqueness of early Australian history.

It is my belief that there are so many untold stories of those who lived through the horrors of World War I.  With the centenary of the beginning of the War, research was done of all those who enlisted World Wide, with the same surname as my grandmother.     

They all had stories to tell, and it was a way of perpetuating their memories for future generations.  An Anzac Tribute has become my personal contribution to those who perished at Gallipoli, my great uncle included.   His braveness as with that of all of his "mates" who never made it home, and for those who then faced the onslaught of the war on the Western Front, should never be forgotten. 

To walk in their footsteps, in Gallipoli and on the Western Front in Belgium and France is very moving, and the experience is one that we will never forget.

The Brown siblings were no exception.

Dorothy Brown was a Nursing Sister, who, at age 28 she enlisted to serve with Australian Army Nursing Service.  She was posted to the No 3 Australian General Hospital of the .  She served at Lemnos treating the wounded from Galliopoli.  Unfortunately she contracted "beri beri", and was rather ill.  

She returned home in 1917, and resigned so that she could marry.

The Australian War Memorial hold a great many photos, and stories of the nurses. The one that has always stuck, is of a "piper" marching the girls into Lemnos. 

Here the girls are at No 3 Australian General Hospital, matron is doing the rounds, tending the sick, and the last photo is of the sick nurses, in the sun on Lemnos. 

On arrival at Lemnos, the nurses were marched into camp, led by Matron Grace Wilson and Lieutenant Colonel James Dick.

Sisters mess and kitchen, 3rd Australian General Hospital, Lemnos 1915. Albert Savage Collection and AWM 


Before she left for overseas Dorothy was given a presentation from the staff at the Hospital in Brisbane

Staff Nurse Ruby Davina Mary Brown was a member of the Australian Army Nursing Service from August 1916.  She enlisted when she was 39 and was sent overseas in March 1917, on board the Kanowna.  Her mother lived in Bowen Street.  She served in the Middle East and Salonika as a Sister before returning home in September 1919 on board the Argylish.

The Kanowna was again requisitioned on 1 June 1915 by the Commonwealth, and was transferred to England where it was converted to a hospital ship that could accommodate 452 patients. It was used to transfer ill and injured people between the United Kingdom and Australia for 3 years, during which time it was known as HMAS Kanowna. Nurses aboard the requisitioned Kanowna


Archibald Lorimer Brown was a farmer, aged 36 when he enlisted in the 15th Battalion in September 15.  He was sent to France and was injured in the arm.  He returned to the battlefield, and he was reported as missing on 2nd September 1917

He was a prisoner of war in an German Prisoner of War Camp at Limburg. According to the German records he was captured at Grendecourt, and was shell shocked. 

He had been reported missing, and the Red Cross records from the AWM, contain copies of two letters he wrote home.  It amazes me that for those who have gone through so much, they could write the words they did.

They suffered terribly, but didn't want their families to know.

A visit to Saschenhaven Prisoner of War camp, in Germany, even now, is a chilling reminder of how things were 100 years ago.

Life back in Australia.

Sister Dorothy Brown returned to Australia, to marry.  She married Eric Wren.

Captain Eric William Greg Wren, from Bery in New South Wales, enlisted in World War I when he was 26 years old, at Randwick.  He was a member of the 3rd Battalion. 

He served in Gallipoli, at the Battle of Lone Pine, and was wounded twice.  He then was sent to the Western Front.  He served at Ypres, Passchendale, Hindenburg Line and 2nd Bullencourt.  All of these battles were severe, with huge loss of life.  He was again wounded but his time gangrene set in, and his arm had to be amputated.

After 8 months recuperating, he was then posted to the 14th Training Battalion, were he was second-in-command.

He became the Honorary Historian of the 3rd Battalion, and wrote a book "From Randwick to Hargincourt History of 3rd Battalion AIF 1914 - 1918"

He was awarded the Croix de Guerre medal for bravery, by the French President.

The Croix de guerre may either be awarded as an individual or unit award to those soldiers who distinguish themselves by acts of heroism involving combat with the enemy. The medal is awarded to those who have been "mentioned in dispatches", meaning a heroic deed or deeds were performed meriting a citation from an individual's headquarters unit. The unit award of the Croix de guerre with palm was issued to military units whose members performed heroic deeds in combat and were subsequently recognized by headquarters.

Captain Wren died 1941 in Victoria

Sister Ruby Davina Mary Brown returned to Australia, but she did not marry.  She continued with her nursing career, and was appointed Nurse in Charge of the Rockhampton in 1929.  She later was appointed Matron.  Ruby Brown died in 1947, at Tugun.  She had lived in "Wyuna" Bowen Terrace Brisbane, the family home.     

Private Archibald Lorimer Brown did not marry and he was a farmer at Proserpine.  He died in the Brisbane Hospital.  Perhaps he like so many others did not ever recover from the horrors of World War I.

Agnes Evelyn Brown was a school teacher at the Central Technical College in Brisbane.  She lived at the family home in Bowen Terrace Brisbane  

Gladys Kathleen Brown lived all her life as a farmer.  Her residence in 1903 referred to her living at Rose Hill, then Rose Hill, Sandgate.  She like her sisters did not marry.  She died in 1960, but it seems she was executrix of some of the wills of her siblings. 

David Laughland Brown married Nell Ling and was a stockman in Charters Towers.  He died in 1953.

George Thomas Brown married Alice and they lived at Samford.  In 1914, his brother Archibald was also living at the Samford property. The Brown's raised pigs at their property Braemead, Samford Valley.  He died in 1958 

Marion Gertrude Brown married Thomas Arthur Snelling 1903.  Marion Snelling (perhaps her daughter) had gone to school at St Margaret's at Albion, and the family lived in Hamilton.  Her husband became the manager of  the Queensland Pastoral Company and she  died 1940   

Their older half brother John was also listed as living at Rosehill, Sandgate on the electoral rolls. At his death, Gladys was again the executor.

 John Brown died in 1945, as per the death notice.  Eldest son of D.L. Brown

Helen Douglas Brown, lived the whole of her life on the farm, occupation, domestic duties.
In the Electoral rolls, she was listed at living at Rosehill Sandgate.  Then in 1936, her address changed to Rosehill, Brackenridge, Sandgate.

This was in contrast to Gladys, who although living at the same place, was listed as Rose Hill Sandgate for the each roll. 

Helen died August 1965, and her death was recorded in the Sydney Morning Herald.

Marjory Elizabeth Young Brown was a kindergarten teacher, in Brisbane and Toowong.  She also lived at the family home at Bowen Terrace and had begun as a Kindergarten teacher by 1913.  The C&K began in 1907. In 1963, Marjory was living at the Bracken Ridge property with Helen.  In the next Roll in 1968, she was living at 196 Bowen Terrace Brisbane

By comparison with the land usage and he original map, keeping the Cemetery in perspective, and the manure grounds to the bottom, it is obvious that David Brown, either by himself or with others extended their land holdings in the area quite considerably in the period around 1880.

His purchases particularly must have included all of William Loudon's Lot 25.

Some interesting streets existed in Bald Hills, Brown's Road, Simpson's Road, Telegraph Road,

Did Brown's Road lead to the Brown's farmlands, and did Simpson's Road lead to the Simpsons' Farm?  Telegraph Road was named for the telegraph line, and Depot Road for the manure depot, Cemetery Road for the cemetery, so it is highly likely.

In 1913 John Brown's bull strayed.  He advertised for quite a while.

Focusing now on David Laughland Brown  -  His life and his real estate transactions

He was appointed a Magistrate in Brisbane in 1871

The Brisbane Courier (Qld. : 1864 - 1933) Monday 22 May 1871 p 3 Article
... —David Laughland Brown, Brisbane; Allen Stewart Cameron, Jingi Jingi,   Dalby; William Graham, North ... 282 words


 In 1878, the will and caveat of his first wife, Margaret Bethune was proven in the Supreme Court.  His son John became the owner of Lot 93.  This information then proves that the details on the maps prepared so many years later, was perhaps done before 1878.  Perhaps at some time before her death, the lands were transferred into her name.


Lot 93, was originally owned by Margaret Bethune his first wife.  It was transferred into John Brown's name in 1878 as the rightful heir.

Did this also mean that there were more than one dwelling on the lands, and did John Brown live in the dwelling that burnt down in 1910

According to the report a caretaker was living at the property in 1910, when the fire burnt the home.

The Telegraph (Brisbane, Qld. : 1872 - 1947) Saturday 9 November 1878 p 4 Advertising
... GRANTED to DAVID LAUGHLAND BROWN, of Brisbano, in tho said colony, merohant, tho Inwfidly constituted ...

Lot 67 contained 169 acres  and part lot 97
The Telegraph (Brisbane, Qld. : 1872 - 1947) Monday 6 May 1889 p 3 Advertising
... David Laughland Brown and Robert Langlands Armour, a provisional Deed »t 3rant No. 30632, for 169 acres ... section ot The Real Property Act of 1861, to issue, in the name of David Laughland Brown and Alexander ... 


The Telegraph (Brisbane, Qld. : 1872 - 1947) Monday 5 August 1889 p 8 Advertising
... 'Gavin to David Laughland Brown and Alexander Tnomson, of the land described in -^Certificate of Title No

The reference now is to Lot 25  Previously Loudons

 From this reference, Brown bought Lot 25, alongside his own fronting Telegraph Road.


The Telegraph (Brisbane, Qld. : 1872 - 1947) Wednesday 13 November 1889 p 5 Advertising
... Trustees, No. 1S5628, from Robeit Langlands Armour, Robert Fleming, and David Laughland Brown, to Robert ... Langlands Armour, David Laughland Brown, and William John Brown, of the land described in


The Brisbane Courier (Qld. : 1864 - 1933) Monday 17 February 1896 p 2 Advertising
... -lands Armour, Robert Fleming, and David Laughland Brown, to Robert Langlands Armour, David Laughland Brown

              Lot 97 originally owned by J. Grant


The Brisbane Courier (Qld. : 1864 - 1933) Saturday 30 May 1896 p 2 Advertising
... consent so far as regards the said David Laughland Brown and John Brown the Younger, who retire from the ... given that thf» JL^ PARTNERSHIP lately subsisting between us, the undersigned THOMAS BROWN, DAVID

After resigning from the family business, he began work with Robert Armour, the same man who he was in partnership with all the land dealings.

Both David and his son John resigned from the partnership.

He then commenced work with Robert Langlands Armour.

The Telegraph (Brisbane, Qld. : 1872 - 1947) Friday 26 June 1896 p 1 Advertising
... Machinery, &o." QUEEN STREET, BRISBANE, Opposite H. H. Customs.. 'mr. david laughland brown, who was one of

The Brisbane Courier (Qld. : 1864 - 1933) Saturday 22 November 1902 p 7 Advertising
... named in the said Will, «having prede-ceased the Testator and the other Executor : DAVID LAUGHLAND BROWN ... the said -David Laughland Brown and Queensland Trustees Limited. ,

 David Laughland Brown had a business relationship with Robert Langlands Armour.  Robert Langlands Armour was a partner in the T Brown and Sons business, and Langlands was the name of the property that David Brown owned.

Perhaps the Langlands was a family name, and that Robert was a close family member of the Brown family.  He was the son of William Armour and Mary Greenwell.  He died in 1899


Mr John Pettit had been working on John Brown's farm in 1937, and when he died he nominated Mr Joseph Albury as beneficiary.  Joseph Albury was the father of Sydney Albury, and he was the President of the Turf Cricket Club n 1926.   

In the year 1924 a lady who lived at Rose hill was quite opposed to the Bruce Government and wrote a series of letters voicing her opinions.  

But before leaving the Brown connection, reference is made to another of the original settlers.
William Anthony Brown was the owner of Lot 8 in Sandgate.

The records indicate that there were 3 land transactions for  Lot 8, and the owners were

John Mc Connell                  10th January 1845          169 acres  Near North Brisbane
William Anthony Brown              2nd April 1855          106.7 acres
William John London (Loudon)    2nd April 1855          106.7 acres

William Anthony Brown was the Sheriff of Brisbane.  He died in 1864 and was buried at the old Paddington Cemetery.    The reason for his inclusion is the links with the next story.

William Anthony Brown
Death Date:
12 Feb 1864
Death Place:
Father's name:
William Brown
Mother's name:
Emmeline Bayley Villiers
Registration Year:
Registration Place:
Registration Number:

1864.—No. 378, William Anthony Brown,* Sheriff of Queensland, died 12th February, 1864, aged 40 years. Buried by the Rev. John Bliss

William Anthony Brown
Death Date:
13 Feb 1864
Death Place:
Queensland, Australia
Paddington Cemetery (Defunct)
Burial or Cremation Place:
Milton, Brisbane City, Queensland, Australia
Has Bio?:

This William Brown also had a son called William Brown, who died in 1915 and a daughter Caroline who married Lieut David Seymour.

SEYMOUR-BROWN.-On the 28th January, at St. John's Church, by the Rev. John Bliss,
M.A., David Thompson Seymour, Lieut, H.M.12th Regiment, third son of Major Seymour of
Ballymore Castle, County Galway, Ireland to Caroline Matilda, only daughter of W.A. Brown, 
Esq.. Sheriff of Queensland

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