William Locke Brockman

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About William Locke Brockman

William Locke Brockman was an early settler in Western Australia, who became a leading pastoralist and stock breeder, and a Member of the Western Australian Legislative Council.

Born in Kent, England in 1802, William Locke Brockman was a member of the Brockman family, a prominent Kent family with a history dating back to the 14th century. Little is known of his early life, except that he was a farmer with land in the Romney Marsh area. In 1827, Brockman married Ann Francis Elizabeth Hamersley. They would have six sons and three daughters.

Other References

William Locke Brockman (1802-1872), pastoralist and stockbreeder, was the fifth son of Rev. Julius Drake-Brockman (b.1768) of Cheriton, England. In 1827 he married Anne Frances Elizabeth, daughter of Hugh Hamersley, the rector of Pyrton, near Oxford. Soon afterwards he sold his Romney Marsh farm to go to the Swan River settlement.

With his wife and son, Edmund Ralph (b.1828), he arrived at Fremantle in January 1830 in the Minstrel. Among his livestock he had three rams and forty-six pure merino ewes. He also brought a prefabricated house and seven servants, whose passage money he had advanced. Brockman became the original grantee of Location Nine, Herne Hill, Upper Swan. Crops were put in as soon as possible but milling presented a problem. In May 1832 he had wheat ground at Fremantle, but by 1837 his own horse-mill was operating. Agriculture was necessary in the infant colony but Brockman's main service was in the breeding of blood horses and pedigree sheep. With Margeaux, the dam of many fine horses, his stock soon commanded high prices and later he exported horses to India. He made a number of exploratory journeys seeking good pastoral land and at his death was one of the colony's largest landed proprietors. He bought Seabrook, near Northam, for his son Edmund to manage, took up Cheriton, near Gingin, as a large farm and fattening station, and leased other properties.

In June 1831 Brockman was elected a foundation member of the Swan Agricultural Society, and served a term as president. He was also on the committee of the Guildford Mechanics' Institute from its inception. He had been appointed justice of the peace and magistrate for Swan district in 1833 and served until his death. In 1839 Brockman was a non-official nominee in the Legislative Council; after reconstruction of the council in 1868, he served for six months in 1872 as an elected member for the province of Swan.

Under an 1842 Act for the construction and management of roads, a central committee and eight district committees were formed. Brockman was appointed a member of both the Central and the Swan district committees. When the Districts Road Act of 1871 created road districts, Brockman was the first chairman of the Swan Road Board. Upon his death on 28 November 1872 at Herne Hill and interment in the Middle Swan Church of England cemetery, an obituary termed him 'Father of the Swan and one of its most persevering and active of settlers'. His widow returned to England and died on 5 March 1876.

Brockman's other nine children were born in the colony. His daughter Elizabeth's marriage on 18 March 1852 to Gerald de Courcy Lefroy formed a link with another prominent pastoralist family of Western Australia as did his own marriage with the Hamersleys.


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William Locke Brockman's Timeline

May 18, 1803
Cheriton, Kent, England
October 22, 1828
Age 25
Kent, England
December 28, 1831
Age 28
Herne Hill, Western Australia, Australia
December 20, 1833
Age 30
June 24, 1836
Age 33
Herne Hill, Western Australia, Australia
July 2, 1838
Age 35
Herne Hill, Middle Swan, Western Australia
Age 37
Age 38