The cover has a ‘TWO PENCE’ Sydney Views stamp of New South Wales cancelled with the Barred Numeral ‘55′ of Newcastle and it is addressed to John Brown/Broun Esq., Colstoun, Gresford, Upper Paterson (New South Wales) (Figure 1).

The reverse has an oval NEWCASTLE/ [Crown]/ AU [Rosette] 10/ 185(1)/ NEW S WALES originating postmark (Figure 2).

At an ancestry website devoted to the ‘Brouns of Scotland, Denmark and Australia’, I found a wonderful account of the Brouns and the Browns, with a positive identification of the individual addressed on the cover, as follows: “George Broun (b. abt 1573) married Euphemia Hoppringle in 1599, and they had the following issue of George Broun (b. about 1599) m Marion Turnbull in 1633, and James Broun (b. 14/6/1601) m Anna Herriot in 1625. John Brown, my ancestor, descends from James Broun (who was his 4th great grandfather), whereas another branch in Australia (the David Limond Broun family) descends from James’s brother, George Broun. The descendants of George Broun, who became the baronets of Colstoun, Scotland kept the original spelling of their name, whereas many of his brother’s descendants changed to Brown. Even in France members of the family were known as ‘Brown de Colstoun’ “.

“Our family historians advise that John Brown/Broun’s grandfather had to flee Scotland after the Battle of Culloden in 1746. Lord William Broun of Colstoun was killed at Culloden. Two of his sons went to France and one went to Denmark. The oldest son established himself in Denmark and acquired the home ‘Kokkedal’, about 25 miles out of Copenhagen. John Broun was born there on 28 April 1787. John’s father William Broun / Brown, died in 1788, when John was only one year old, and his mother Elizabeth married again”. A picture of the adult John Brown of Colstoun, Upper Paterson N.S.W. is seen as Figure 3.

“At some point John went to India where he married Charlotte Dowling in 1823. It has been said that she was the daughter of a Judge, perhaps even the Chief Justice, in India but I haven’t been able to confirm that. In India, family stories say, John and Charlotte Brown “made a lot of money out of indigo plantations and lived in great splendour, entertaining King Christian on many occasions”. Then someone invented a chemical dye and the bottom dropped out of the indigo market so John Broun decided to come to Australia. He chartered the ship Marquis of Hastings and brought his wife and nine children, two servants and all his household furniture and treasures to this new country”. A picture of Charlotte Brown, nee Dowling of Colstoun, Upper Paterson N.S.W. is seen in Figure 4.

“The family arrived in Sydney, Australia on 23 January 1838, having left England on 20 September 1837. John Brown was 51 years of age when they arrived. They acquired a house at Parramatta where they lived while they looked for a suitable property to buy. John Brown found one in the Upper Hunter and called it “Colstoun” after the ancestral home in Haddington, Scotland. Many members of their large family settled in the district while others moved to the Tumut, N.S.W. area. There are many descendants in Australia today – Dowling Brown and le Brun Brown are last names associated with the family”.

“In 1860 John Brown became ill (aged 73) and went to Parramatta where his son-in-law, Dr Walter Brown. cared for him. He died, however, and is buried in St John’s Cemetery, Parramatta. The memorial in the Cathedral of St John, Parramatta reads:

Also in memory of WILLIAM, his son.
Born at Serampore, India, October 5th 1826.
Who was barbariously murdered by the Chinese at Canton together with five of his companions December 5th 1847. Aged 21 years.
His remains rest in the British cemetery at Whampoa
 “Come unto me all ye that labour and are heavy laden and I will give you rest”
“The Lord is my light and my salvation; whom shall I fear? The Lord is the strength of my life; of whom shall I be afraid?”

The email address given for the author of this fine paper, Janet Keats (nee le Brun Brown), an Australian granddaughter of John Brown and Charlotte Dowling, was no longer active, and I wished to ask her for use of the use of her family history, as well as to share the cover with her.

In memory of
of Colstoun, Upper Paterson N S Wales
Born at Copenhagen, April 28th 1787. Died at
Parramatta, July 9th 1860. Aged 73 years.
His remains rest in the cemetery of St John’s Parramatta.

Categories: Family History