BRODIE, Charles


per SUSAN 1834

Charles Brodie, a native of Essex, was transported to Australia in 1834 for the crime of ‘Stealing cloth’. He was duly committed and subsequently convicted in the Gloucestershire Assizes on the 19 August, 1833 receiving a sentence of 7 years. Departing London in the Barque SUSAN on 10 March, 1834, Brodie arrived into Port Jackson on 8 July of the same year. He was one of 292 male convicts onboard (eight having died on the voyage) and disembarked on 29 July after several other prisoners had already been removed to hospital. 

Charles was 22 years old, unmarried, and could read and write reasonably well. It would seem that he was of a mind to improve himself in his new surroundings as he received his Ticket of Leave for the Illawarra on 1 July, 1839 where it is noted that it was:

          ‘Altered to Sydney for as long as he may be employed in the Police.’

This employment was far different from his previous trade of Pawnbroker and marked the beginning of a very successful career.  In 1844 Charles is recorded as being Chief Constable of the recently proclaimed Port Phillip, still a district of Sydney, and also, in 1844, of the Bourke District.

In 1847, during his time as Chief Constable, he married Martha Turner and in 1863, as a widower, married Mary Anne White.

About the same time Charles became Governor of Geelong Gaol and remained in this service for 15 years until his retirement, with only one glitch when he was reprimanded for:

          ‘… permitting a prisoner to go to town shopping …’

Charles died on the 24 September, 1878 and his Obituary in ‘Town Talk’ a few days later, states:

           ‘The deceased was much respected, and has left a widow in very comfortable circumstances.’

From Pawnbroker and thief to Chief Constable of Melbourne and Governor of Geelong Gaol is a remarkable achievement for this Transportee.