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Brockman, William Locke (1802–1872)

from Inquirer & Commercial News (Perth)

Happily for this colony we seldom have to record the double loss sustained by the death, within a few days of each other, of two of the leading members of our Legislative Council, the Honorable William Locke Brockman, member for the Swan, and the Honorable Edward Newman, member for Fremantle. The former, after a lingering illness, having reached the allotted term of three-score years and ten, has been gathered to his fathers, leaving behind him the long partner of his life, and a grown-up family, to mourn his departure. The latter gentleman has been cut off in the prime of manhood by a fatal accident, and leaves behind him, to deplore his loss, a sorrowing wife and a youthful family, to whom this bereavement is irreparable.

Mr. Brockman departed this life at his residence, Herne Hill, Middle Swan, on Thursday morning, the 28th ultimo, and was interred in the Middle Swan Church of England Cemetery on the following Saturday, in the presence of many members of his family, and a large assemblage of friends of the deceased. Mr. Brockman was one of the pioneers of the colony, and has been a Justice of the Peace for the last 42 years; he was termed the Father of the Swan, and was distinguished as being one of the most energetic, persevering, and active of settlers. He took a lead in agricultural and pastoral interests, and was a large importer of agricultural machinery and live stock. While many of the early settlers were discussing and talking about the capabilities of the soil, and the products most likely to succeed, he was actively engaged in testing them; and was, we believe, the first person in the colony to sow wheat. To his example, and his practical experience, many of the settlers owe their success in life. Mr. Brockman, in his earlier years, explored much of the country to the eastward; twice he suffered by fire and lost his all, but each time he recovered himself, and at his death was one of the largest landed proprietors in the colony. Under the old regime Mr. Brockman was a nominee member of the Council, and at the last general election he was the successful candidate for the Swan. As a member of the Legislative Council of this colony, Mr. Brockman was thoroughly independent; he was an educated English gentleman, and while in the House commanded the attention of his hearers. He upheld the dignity of his office, and his memorable motion in the House on the occasion of the removal of his and other names from the Commission of the Peace, although withdrawn, had the desired effect, and will long be remembered as characteristic of his bold determination. In private life he was esteemed by all classes for his manly, straightforward, and honorable conduct. In his immediate domestic circle he was a kind, forbearing, and affectionate parent. He was the patron of several learned societies, president of the Swan Agricultural Society, and of the Guildford Mechanics' Institute; in these capacities he enjoyed the goodwill, confidence, and respect of the whole community. During the present crisis of the colony he was one whom we could ill spare, but his cup was full, and God's will must be done. In the fullness of years, after a long life of toil and indefatigable exertion, he has departed from among us to rest from his labors in a far off and happy land. We would not wish to recall him, but his memory will long be cherished as having during his sojourn on earth led the life of a Christian, and having been a pattern of rectitude and straightforward manly uprightness to all around him.

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'Brockman, William Locke (1802–1872)', Obituaries Australia, National Centre of Biography, Australian National University, http://oa.anu.edu.au/obituary/brockman-william-locke-1828/text24525, accessed 13 December 2017.

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