Who was Mrs. Brooks?

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Who was Mrs. Brooks?

A question from David Wilson

With reference to the Beare stained glass window (right) here is an excerpt from

YANKALILLA MEMORIALS. (1923, June 19). The Register (Adelaide, SA : 1901 - 1929), p. 12. http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article64120955

... Christ Church, Yankalilla, has now four stained glass windows, counting the Hudson Beare two lights as one. The last mentioned was the first placed in the church, and served an the east window for many years. It was given by Mrs. Brooks in memory of her father, Mr. Thomas Hudson Beare, who came out in the Duke of York in 1836 as second in command of the S.A. Company. In later life Hudson Beare took up land at Myponga, and died there on November 1861, and was buried in the Methodist Chapel yard there, according to the rites of the Church of England. The service was read by the Rev. Astley Cooper. The window is in tne German style, with geometrical tracing...

There are several other similar articles. From what I can find, no Beare daughter married a Brooks. Click here to see the Beare family tree that I have been able to piece together. And here is a summary report of the Beare family descendants.

The original donor was anonymous.

... The Church of England here has recently received a handsome donation in the form of a stained glass window, the donor with delicate modesty desiring his name to be concealed. It is fitted up at the chancel end of Christ Church, is of tasteful design, and bears in addition to the orthodox cross and LH.S., the inscription — ' In memory of Thomas Hudson Beare, one of the pioneers of the colony.' The dim religious light admitted through this window falls upon the communion table below, and with its varied and pleasing colors affords an object upon which the eye can rest with comfort and pleasure. The gift is valued at £16.

YANKALILLA. (1862, August 16). South Australian Weekly Chronicle (Adelaide, SA : 1858 - 1867), p. 2. http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article90256400


From Anthea Taylor 20 Apr 2014

Mrs Brooks wasn’t Beare’s daughter, she was probably the wife of his nephew, Edward, who made the window. [The newspaper articles thus should have read: "It was given by Mrs. Brooks in memory of her husband's uncle, Mr. Thomas Hudson Beare, " - ed.] The following is extracted from notes I put together last year for our AGM visit:

“Thomas Beare had arrived at Kangaroo Island on the Duke of York..... After an eventful life, Thomas took up land at Myponga and died there on 6 November 1861 at the age of 69. He was buried at Myponga cemetery and the memorial window is believed to have been donated to Christ Church by the Brooks family. The window was made by Edward Brooks, the colony’s first ecclesiastical glazier and Thomas’s nephew.”

The church history is unclear as to when the window was actually installed at Yankallila; the guesstimate is 1873. I would hazard a guess and say that Rachel Brooks donated the window to the church after Edward’s death, which would make it around mid-late 1874, which is why he wasn’t mentioned as being the benefactor.

I’ve had a further poke around Trove and found the listings re Brooks’ insolvency in 1852, but he obviously bounced back because there’s an article in the Register on 26/12/61 which talks about him designing/installing the stained window at Christ Church, North Adelaide. There’s also several reports on the Coroner’s Inquest into his death at Mt Barker on 29/5/1874. Sounds to me like he probably had a heart attack, but they determined he suffocated because of the way he fell asleep with his head on his chest! I’ve also looked up Bill Holmesby’s book on the Beare family and can confirm that Edward was the son of Thomas Hudson Beare’s eldest sister (Elizabeth, b 1780, Winchester). Elizabeth married Edward Brooks 14/6/1813 at Portsea & their son, also Edward, married Rachel Savage in 1832 before emigrating to Adelaide in 1839.

See more on Edward Brooks: http://hughessg.wordpress.com/2012/02/18/brooks-edward/