Thomas Gore Browne

For other people named Thomas Browne, see Thomas Browne (disambiguation).
Sir Thomas Robert Gore Browne
Governor of Saint Helena
In office
18 July 1851  15 December 1854
Monarch Victoria
Preceded by Patrick Ross
Succeeded by Edward Hay Drummond Hay
4th Governor of New Zealand
In office
6 September 1855  3 October 1861
Monarch Victoria
Premier Henry Sewell
William Fox
Edward Stafford
Preceded by Sir George Grey
Succeeded by Sir George Grey
2nd Governor of Tasmania
In office
11 December 1861  30 December 1868
Preceded by Sir Henry Young
Succeeded by Charles Du Cane
Personal details
Born (1807-07-03)3 July 1807
Aylesbury, Buckinghamshire, England, UK
Died 17 April 1887(1887-04-17) (aged 79)
London, England, UK
Nationality British

Colonel Sir Thomas Robert Gore Browne KCMG CB (3 July 1807 – 17 April 1887) was a British colonial administrator, who was Governor of St Helena, Governor of New Zealand, Governor of Tasmania and Governor of Bermuda.

Early life

Browne was born in Aylesbury, Buckinghamshire, England, the first son of Robert Browne of Morton House, in Buckinghamshire, and of Sarah Dorothea Steward; his younger brother was Harold Browne (later Bishop of Winchester.) He served with the British Army in Afghanistan and India. In 1824 he purchased an Ensigncy in the 44th Foot, but three months later exchanged into the 28th Foot. In 1829 he purchased a Captaincy. In 1836, as a Major, he exchanged into the 41st Foot. In 1842 he was promoted Lieutenant-Colonel in the Army, in 1845 he purchased the Lieutenant-Colonelcy of the 41st Foot, and in 1849 he exchanged into the 21st Foot. He was Governor of St Helena from July 1851 to December 1854.[1] He was promoted Lieutenant-Colonel in the Army in 1854, by which time he was back in his original regiment, the 44th Foot. In 1857, he exchanged from the 14th Foot to the Lieutenant-Colonelcy of the 43rd Foot.

Governor of New Zealand

In September 1855, he was appointed Governor of New Zealand, replacing temporary Administrator Robert Wynyard. His handling of Māori land issues were a contributing factor in the outbreak of the First Taranaki War: despite divisions among Waitara Maori over the ownership of land, Browne persisted with the purchase of the disputed Pekapeka block, further inflaming tensions between Maori and English settlers.[2]

On 5 March 1860, Browne ordered the military occupation of the land, leading to the outbreak of war twelve days later.

The town of Gore, New Zealand was named after him.[3]

Governor of Tasmania

From 1861 until 1868 he was Governor of Tasmania. He was promoted Colonel in the Army in 1864.[4]

Administrator of Bermuda

From September 1870 to April 1871, he was Administrator of Bermuda. He died in London on 17 April 1887.[2]


He married Harriet, daughter of James Campbell of Craigie, Ayrshire, who survived him. They had several children. The eldest son, Harold, commanded the first battalion king's royal rifle corps in the Boer war of 1899-1900, and took part in the defence of Ladysmith.[2] His daughter Ethel married Hugh Locke King, they built the Brooklands motor racing circuit on estate they farmed. His youngest son, Wilfrid was the first Bishop of Kimberley and Kuruman in South Africa. ,

See also


  2. 1 2 3  This article incorporates text from a publication now in the public domain: Lloyd, Ernest Marsh (1901). "Browne, Thomas Gore". In Sidney Lee. Dictionary of National Biography, 1901 supplement. London: Smith, Elder & Co.
  3. "District Information". Gore District, New Zealand. Retrieved 4 July 2015.
  4. Amos, Helen M. (1969). "Browne, Sir Thomas Gore (1807–1887)". Australian Dictionary of Biography. Canberra: Australian National University. Retrieved 3 May 2008.
Government offices
Preceded by
Patrick Ross
Governor of Saint Helena
Succeeded by
Edward Hay Drummond Hay
Preceded by
Sir George Grey
Governor of New Zealand
Succeeded by
Sir George Grey
Preceded by
Sir Henry Young
Governor of Tasmania
Succeeded by
Charles Du Cane
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