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Biographical entry Brisbane, Thomas Makdougall (1773 - 1860)

FRS

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    Sir Thomas Makdougall Brisbane, courtesy of Bureau of Meteorology.
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Born
23 July 1773
near Largs, Ayrshire, Scotland
Died
27 January 1860
Occupation
Astronomer and Patron of science

Summary

(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.

Details

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.

Related Corporate Bodies

Archival resources

Mitchell and Dixson Libraries Manuscripts Collection, State Library of New South Wales

  • Christian Carl Ludwig R├╝mker - Records, 1825 - 1845, MS Q569; Mitchell and Dixson Libraries Manuscripts Collection, State Library of New South Wales. Details
  • Thomas Makdougall Brisbane - Records, 1715 - 1860, MS 1191; Mitchell and Dixson Libraries Manuscripts Collection, State Library of New South Wales. Details
  • Thomas Makdougall Brisbane - Records, 1812 - 1837, FM 4/1626-7; Mitchell and Dixson Libraries Manuscripts Collection, State Library of New South Wales. Details
  • Thomas Makdougall Brisbane - Records, 1818 - 1849, ML MSS 419; Mitchell and Dixson Libraries Manuscripts Collection, State Library of New South Wales. Details
  • Thomas Makdougall Brisbane - Records, 1824 - 1836, A2166; Mitchell and Dixson Libraries Manuscripts Collection, State Library of New South Wales. Details

National Library of Australia Manuscript Collection

  • Thomas Makdougall Brisbane - Records, 1812 - 1858, MS 4036; National Library of Australia Manuscript Collection. Details

Published resources

Books

  • Gibbs, W. J., The Origins of Australian Meteorology , Metarch Papers No. 12, Bureau of Meteorology, 1998. Details

Book Sections

  • Sweetman, John and Mcconnell, Anita, 'Sir Thomas Makdougall Brisbane, 1773-1860', in Oxford Dictionary of National Biography, Oxford University Press, Oxford, 2004. Details

Journal Articles

  • Bhathal, Ragbir, 'Some Scientific Aspects of Parramatta Observatory', Journal and Proceedings of the Royal Society of New South Wales, vol. 145, 2012, pp. 111-27. Details
  • Liston, Carol, 'Sir Thomas Brisbane - a man of scientific method', Journal and Proceedings of the Royal Society of New South Wales, vol. 145, 2012, pp. 136-45. Details
  • Maiden, J.H., 'Portraits of Scientific Men of New South Wales', Journal and Proceedings of The Royal Society of New South Wales, vol. xliv, 1912, pp. 17-20. Details
  • Morrison-low, A. D., 'The Soldier-Astronomer in Scotland: Thomas Makdougall Brisbane's Scientific Work in the Northern Hemisphere', Historical Records of Australian Science, vol. 15, no. 2, 2004, pp. 151-176. Also available at http://www.publish.csiro.au/paper/HR04008.htm. Details
  • O'Hagan, J. E., 'Sir Thomas Brisbane, FRS, A Founder of Organised Science in Australia.', Journal of the Royal Historical Society of Queensland, vol. vi, 1960, pp. 594-603. Details
  • Russell, H.C., 'Astronomical and Meteorological Workers in New South Wales, 1778-1860', Australasian Association for Advancement of Science, vol. 1, 1888, pp. 45-94. Details
  • Saunders, Shirley D., 'Sir Thomas Brisbane's Legacy to Colonial Science: Colonial Astronomy at the Parramatta Observatory, 1822-1848', Historical Records of Australian Science, vol. 15, no. 2, 2004, pp. 177-209. Also available at http://www.publish.csiro.au/paper/HR04009.htm. Details
  • Tyler, Peter J., 'Seeing Stars in the City: a History of Early Astronomy in Sydney', Journal and Proceedings of the Royal Society of New South Wales, vol. 142, no. 3/4, 2009, pp. 1-14. Details
  • Tyler, Peter J., 'Sir Thomas Brisbane - Patron of Colonial Science', Journal and Proceedings of the Royal Society of New South Wales, vol. 145, 2012, pp. 128-35. Details

Online Resources

See also

Digital resources

Title
Sir Thomas Makdougall Brisbane
Type
Image
Publisher
Bureau of Meteorology

Details

McCarthy, G.J.