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BRANDE, George William (1785-1854)

Naval Officer in Bombay Marine [HEIC], travelling companion to Lachlan Macquarie in 1807; and later Chief Clerk of the Treasury, and Secretary to the Commissioners of Colonial Audit.

Son of Augustus Everard Brande (1746-1834) of Arlington St. London and Anne nee Thomas (1753-1837). Brande's father, born in Hanover (naturalised, 1784), was apothecary to Queen Charlotte, 1783-1801. The Brandes were a wealthy family of apothecaries with appointments to the Hanoverian and London Courts dating back to the beginning of the eighteenth century.

George William Brande was one of six children. Amongst his siblings were Everard Augustus Brande (1776-1868), [also apothecary to George III and Queen Charlotte]; and William Thomas Brande (1788-1866) [professor of chemistry, noted writer on chemistry and pharmacy, and also superintendent of the die department of the Mint 1825 and 1854].

George William Brande was commissioned as a midshipman on 27 February 1803 and served initially on the Bombay Marine ship the Mornington [24 guns], later becoming a Lieutenant. The Bombay Marine was the naval force of the Honourable East India Company (HEIC).

Brande had left England in August 1802 on board the 808-ton private merchant ship Caledonia. After reaching the Cape of Good Hope in late November he sailed on to Bengal on 1 December and arrived in Calcutta on 14 February 1803. Brande was approximately 18 years of age.

Brande was serving on board the Bombay Marine brig Grappler in late August 1806 when it was captured off the west coast of India on voyage to Calcutta, by the 46-gun French frigate la Piémontaise under the command of Captain Louis Jacques Epron (1768-1841). The Piémontaise was one of a fleet of French warships and privateers based at the Ile de France (Mauritius) that were highly successful in intercepting ships operating in the Indian Ocean, Arabian Sea, Bay of Bengal and the Persian Gulf. For two years, between 1806-1808, la Piémontaise cruised the Indian Ocean capturing HEIC and 'country trade' vessels.

The captured crew and passengers of the Grappler were granted 'paroles' as prisoners of war and placed on board an Arab-owned ship called the Allamany which was then instructed to sail for Madras. It arrived there on Monday 15 September and soon afterwards continued on to Calcutta. Amongst the passengers were Lieutenant G.W. Brande and Assistant-Surgeon William Thomas who arrived in Calcutta in late September.

In December 1806 Brande and Thomas departed for Bombay on board the ship Northumberland and arrived in mid-February 1807. Both men must have quickly availed themselves of the opportunity to join Lachlan Macquarie on his planned return trip to Britain and they departed on 18 March on board the Bombay Marine cruizer Benares for the Persian Gulf.

In 1807 Brande was approximately 23 years of age. He travelled in company with Macquarie (in a party that now also included Major Robert O'Neil, 56th Regiment of Foot, who had joined them in Baghdad) through Ottoman-controlled Iraq, and Persia (Iran) by caravan, sailed across the Caspian Sea from Bandar-e Anzali to Astrakhan. Here the party separated while Macquarie and his servant 'George' travelled on independently, but they were all reunited again in Moscow and travelled on to St. Petersburg, before finally sailing home to Britain on board HMS Calypso in September 1807. Soon after his return to Britain in October 1807 Brande, and Assistant-Surgeon William Thomas, commenced the necessary arrangements to fulfil their parole requirements with the Board of Transport. By December 1807 Brande had successfully effected his exchange as a prisoner of war. He submitted his resignation to the Court of Directors of the HEIC in July 1809 rather than resume his duties with the Bombay Marine. This was accepted in February 1810. There is no evidence to indicate he ever had any further contact with Lachlan Macquarie after their arduous 1807 overland journey.

Brande began working within the Treasury Department, firstly, as an Inspector in the Colonial Audit Office, and, by 1820, had become Secretary to the Commissioners of the Board of Colonial Audit. He later became a senior Treasury official.

He died on 18 June 1854 at Exeter, aged 69 years.

Brande had married Mary Anne Charlotte Horne (1790-1857), only daughter of Thomas Horne DD of Manor House, Chiswick (London) and Francis Ann (nee Price), in St Nicholas, Chiswick on 29 August 1818. She died at Southampton 1 January 1857. They had three (3) daughters: Mary Ann Frances Brande (1819-1861); Augusta Frederica; and Anne Sophia Brande (c1829-1895).

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Primary Sources:
Minutes of the Court of Directors: [1809-1810] B146-150.[India Office Records].
East India Register and Directory 1804, 1806, 1807, and 1808.
Will of George William Brande, Secretary to the Commissioners of Colonial Audit of Saint George Hanover Square, Middlesex. 5 August 1854. PROB 11/2195. Records of the Prerogative Court of Canterbury and related Probate Jurisdictions.
Will of Mary Ann Charlotte Brande, Widow of Oxford Square Hyde Park, Middlesex [Wife: G. W. Brande] Date: 23 January 1857. PROB 11/2244. Prerogative Court of Canterbury and related Probate Jurisdictions.
Bombay Courier [1803, 1806-1807].
Naval Chronicle Vol. 18, 1807 pp.481-485.
Death Notice. Gentleman's Magazine July-December 1854 p.203; and Times [London] Saturday 24 June 1854 [Issue 21776] p.1a.

Secondary Sources:
AUSTEN, H.C.M. Sea Fights and Corsairs of the Indian Ocean, being the history of Mauritius from 1715 to 1810. Port Louis, Mauritius: R.W. Brooks, 1934 pp.95-96 and 102.
BOASE, F. Modern English Biography. London: Frank Cass, 1965 Vol. 1 p.381.
WINFIELD, Rif. British Warships in the Age of Sail 1793-1817. London: Chatham, 2005 pp. 159, and 179
'Clerk for Colonial Business 1832-56' in Sainty, J.C. Office-Holders in Modern Britain: Volume 1: Treasury Officials 1660-1870. London: Institute of Historical Research, 1972 p. 62.
Friends of Northwood Cemetery: FOWNC Newsletter No. 47. [May 2003] and No 56. [May 2006].

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