Thomas Ross Brown's headstone - Southport Ross grave, UK, including Jane Ocheltrie Ross (nee Brown)
Thomas Ross Brown b. 1856 d 1897
Horses and taxidermy
Thomas Ross Brown was the first child of Thomas Huntley Brown and Jane Rider, born at Limestone, aka Ipswich on 15 Mar 1856.
His formative years were spent in Ipswich and the Brisbane River Valley and it is unlikely, aged 24, he joined the Eversdens and the Dockrills at Tartha in 1880. He was an adept taxidermist - both sea eagles and stone fish fell within his skill range. A large - some would say, repulsive - stone fish in a glass display case greeted Clara Eversden's visitors at 27 Royal St, Virginia.
Probably in the1870s, Thomas moved to the Northern Territory where he engaged in horse racing and breeding, the cattle industry, and land selection.The following newspaper articles provide information on Thomas's movements and activities in the Northern Territory.
1891 Thomas Ross Brown was a drover at Corrella Station:
NORTHERN TERRRITORY PASTORAL BLOCKS. Crown Lands Office, Palmerston, March 4th 1895 Leases fall due April 1 1895: Application No. 1620 NameT R Brown Area380 acres Rent Due£9/10/-
1896 Glimpses into the horse racing and breeding ambitions of Thomas Ross Brown. Laplander was sold in 1896 to H.H. Bryant.
March 20 1896 Northern Territory Times and Gazette Mr. T. Brown, from the Macarthur side, has one or two racers at Pine Creek or Wandi.
1 May 1896http://trove.nla.gov.au/ndp/del/article/3331856 The entries for the Katherine races are certainly poorer than was to be expected, and apparently the best of the visiting horses are held in reserve for better things later on. It is rather surprising to find Carradoo in the list, but the colt has doubtless satisfied his owner that he is worth another trial. Gilbert and Guardsman are two of Mr. Hardcastle's lot. Laplander is a lively customer bred in the Macarthur district and brought over by Mr. T. Brown. The handicapping was entrusted to Mr. R. Palmer, who has declared weights which can in no sense be called severe.
Thomas Ross Brown developed liver disease in 1896 and returned to Brisbane to seek medical assistance. This obituary has all the hallmarks of Lewis Eversden's prose and the editorial comment may have originated from J.R. Barker, a fellow descendant of emigrants on the General Hewitt in 1854:
2 Feb 1897 Queensland Times DEATH OF MR. T.R BROWN. Our Southport contemporary of Saturday last says: After an extended and painful illness Mr. Thomas Ross Brown, stepson of Mr. L. J. Eversden, of Cambridge House, passed away at the residence of his parents on Monday afternoon. The deceased, who had attained the age of forty years, had for a number of years been residing in the Northern Territory, where fortune favoured him, until May last, when he became afflicted with an affection of the liver, and had since been a martyr to fearful sufferings. Many of the leading doctors of Brisbane were consulted, but without avail, and a short time back the deceased arrived at Southport. He immediately placed himself in Dr. Brockway's hands, but the case was pronounced hopeless. The poor fellow endured his painful agonies calmly and patiently until relief came to him at 5 o'clock on Monday. To the bereaved parents and relations we tender our heartfelt sympathies. The interment took place on Wednesday afternoon, the Rev. R. J. Wallace officiating at the grave. (The deceased resided with his parents in this town some years ago, and there are many still in Ipswich who will read this announcement of his death with feelings of regret. - QT Ed.)
The Legacy of Thomas Ross Brown Thomas's early death meant he left no significant legacy, apart from a stuffed eagle in a glass case. Today, the whereabouts of Clara's stone fish are unknown.
Images above: 1. 1856 Thomas Ross Brown's birth certificate 2. 1897 Brown's headstone, Southport General Cemetery - alongside his mother's grave 3. 1896 Laplander entered in the Flying Handicap, Katherine River Turf Club, owner Mr H.H. Bryant
Comments Thomas's names combine those of his father and his aunt's husband, Dr Daniel Ross 1812 - 1877. Jane must have known of the Captain's siblings ... but it is doubtful she was aware of his first wife, Harriet, and their 2 children, Ann Isabella and John.
Trove provides several insights into Thomas's career in the Northern Territory. His great niece relayed stories about his taxidermy skills, thus explaining Clara Eversden's stone fish. Thomas and his brother James Brown were involved in the cattle industry and both had a love of horses and horse racing. Were these skills acquired during their time at Belle View Station and Laidley, or between 1865 - 1880 in Ipswich? They both gravitated to horse racing, suggesting they must have spent time in and around horse stables and the horse racing fraternity, perhaps in Ipswich.
Thomas's exploits in the Northern Territory show he was a risk taker: high risks, high rewards. As his father before him, Thomas had travelled to the edge of civilisation and gambled on finding fortune. It is very likely that Thomas's obituary was penned by Lewis Eversden. Understated as ever, Eversden lends patient support to this assessment with the words "where fortune favoured him".