Stephen Campbell Brown was born 21 October 1829 in Sydney, New South Wales, Australia to John Brown (bef1829) and Frances Helen Watson (bef1829) and died 16 October 1882 Sydney, New South Wales, Australia of stroke. He married Emma Booth Jones (c1836-1869) 29 January 1859 in St Stephens, Newtown, New South Wales, Australia. He married Jane Garrett (c1835-1920) 20 August 1870 in St Stephens, Newtown, New South Wales, Australia.



It is with extreme regret that we have to announce the somewhat sudden death yesterday afternoon of the Hon. Stephen Campbell Brown, the well known solicitor and a member of the Legislative Council. The deceased gentleman attended the Insolvency Court yesterday and during the forenoon conducted several examinations without betraying any sign of illness, and in the afternoon he returned his duties in the Court with as much vigour as before. About 3 o'clock, however, while examining an insolvent named Harper, Mr. Brown was seized with an apoplectic fit. The Chief Commissioner was the first person to notice Mr. Brown's illness, and finding that the deceased gentleman was fast becoming unconscious. Messrs. J. P. Abbott and Mr.Scarvell, who were present in the Court on business, carried him to the door, where he might have the benefit of the fresh air. Mr. Brown was subsequentlv taken into the room of Mr. Henry (Registrar of the Court), and a few minutes later both Doctor Traill and Doctor Tarrant arrived, and, after making an examination, decided that nothing could be done beyond removing the patient to more comfortable quarters. A stretcher was accordingly obtained from the Infirmary, and Mr. Brown waa removed, still in an unconscious state to the Oxford Hotel, where he was undressed and put to bed. In the meantime Mrs. Brown had been sent for, and she arrived only a short time before the hon. gentleman's death, which occurred about a quarter past 4 p.m.

The deceased gentleman waa a native of the colony, having been horn in Sydney on the 21st October, 1829. His education he received chiefly at the Old Sydney College, under Mr. Cape—the tutor of so many distinguished native Australians. On leaving school Mr. Brown determined to devote himself to the study of the law, in which there was then an excellent opening for a young man of good ability and industrious habits. He went into the office of Mr. Thurlow, then one of the lending solicitors of Sydney, first as a copying clerk, but afterwards under articles. Mr. Brown was unremitting in the pursuit of his legal studies, but at the same time he took great pleasure in the promotion of healthy athletic sports. Cricket was one of his favourite diversions, and he attained no mean place among the wielders of the willow in his day. In one memorable match he made the largest score then on record in the colony, and it is due to his attachment to the game, combined with that of his late friend, Mr. Richard Driver, that this exciting game so early took a hold upon the affections of the sturdy youth of New South Wales. He was also a giant patron of the turf, and was rarely missed at any of the great meetings on the Homebush course in the early days, or at Randwick in later times. In the year 1852 Mr. Brown, having passed a very creditable examination, was admitted as an attorney, solicitor, and proctor of the Supreme Court of New South Wales, and in this capacity he soon began to thrive. He was noted not so much for sharp and brilliant legal acumen as for a power of clearly comprehending the points of a case, and an admirable faculty of tersely and plainly expressing his sentiments before the Courts in which he practised ; and in patient examination or cross-examination of a witness he could hardly be excelled. Of course his practice continuad to increase, and his popularity increased likewise. At the general election that took place at the end of 1864 and the beginning of 1865, Mr. Brown was induced to become a candidate for legislative honours, and was electcd representative of the constituency of Newtown, in the Legislative Assembly, and he continued the representative of that electorate until towards the end of last year. Mr. Brown as a legislator was scarcely a party man; indeed he was looked upon often rather as an umpire between contending sides, and his wise and temperate counsels often tended to moderate the heat of party strife. At the same time Mr. Brown had very strong opinions of his own in certain matters. If, for instance, there was anything that bore the least appearance of corruption, he was its implacable antagonist. He was frequently offered a seat in the Government; in fact, scarcely a Cabinet has been formed during the last 14 or 15 years that he might not have been a member of, if he had so chosen, and he was even sent for by the Governor to form a Ministry. But Mr. Brown had no ambition for power, and the pay attached to place was no attraction to a man who was doing well at his profession, and who had no time to give to public matters unless he neglected his private business. Still he devoted a large amount of time to his legislative duties, interesting himself largely in all matters pertaining to social economy, and especially to the question of education. So noteworthy were his efforts in the latter direction that he was re-elected as a member of the Council of Education, which under the Act of 1866 administered the affairs of the Public schools of the colony, and in this capacity he rendered very valuable service to the country. At the same time Mr. Brown recognised the desirableness of having the educational system of the country under a respoasible Minister, and gave a generous support to the Act of 1880, which now regulates education in New South Wales.

It was not until November of last year that Mr. S. C. Brown could be persuaded to take part in the Government of the country, and the manner in which he did so was eminently characteristic. It will be remembered that in the course of last session the Milburn Creek affair came very prominently before Parliament. Mr. Brown had always consistently opposed any compensation being given to the shareholders of that company, and when it was made to appear that a portion of the award had been appropriated in a way that Parliament had not contemplated, Mr. Brown was highly indignant. It is not necessary to recapitulate minutely the course of events in connection with this affair. It will be remembered that Mr. Baker resigned his seat in the Cabinet, and that subsequently Sir John Robertson severed his connection with the Government. At this juncture the Hon. F. M. Darley and Mr. S. C. Brown, who both approved of the course the Ministry had taken in the matter, in order to express their sympathy in a practical way, threw aside their personal feelings, and accepted office in the Cabinet—Mr. Darley as Vice-President of the Executive Council, and Mr. Brown as Postmaster-General. It was pretty well understood at the time that Mr. Brown only accepted office temporarily, in order that the Government should not be embarressed, and few were surprised to hear that he had resigned his seat as member for Newtown, and had accepted a seat in the Legislative Council, where the duties of a legislator are lighter than those of a member of the Assembly. As a Minister, Mr. Brown was as indefatigable and conscientious in the performance of his duties as he was in all other matters, and during the short time he was in office he carried out several important minor reforms in the department over which he presided. The remainder of his political career is too fresh in the recollection of our readers to require repetition. Immediately after the return of the Premier from Europe, apparently restored to health, Mr. S. C. Brown resigned his portfolio, and devoted himself, if possible, more industriously than over to his clients and his profession. As an independent member of the Legislative Council he rendered services as valuable as those of any Minister. He had charge in particular of the Employers' Liability Bill, to perfect which, and to bring it into accord with recent English legislation, he lent his best energies. There can be very little doubt that it is to over exertion, and too great anxiety to discharge his political and private duties, that his sudden end may be largely attributed.

Mr. Brown leaves a widow and two children. It is needless to say that he was highly esteemed by the members of his profession, and this was evinced yesterday by the anxiety shown when it was known that he had hem seized with illness. Among those who were almost immediately in attendance, and desirous of tendering what service they could under the circumstances, were Mr. J. E. Salomons, Q.C., Mr. M'Laughlin, M.L.A., and Sir John Robertson. A dinner was to have been given yesterday to Sir John Robertson at the Reform Club, in honour of his birthday, but it was put off on account of the melancholy event above related, Mr. Brown having been a prominent and esteemed member of that club.

"DEATH OF THE HON. S. O. BROWN, M.L.C.". The Sydney Morning Herald (NSW : 1842 - 1954) (NSW: National Library of Australia): p. 5. 17 October 1882. Retrieved 2 November 2011. 


Offspring of Stephen Campbell Brown and Emma Booth Jones (c1836-1869)
Name Birth Death Joined with
Frances E Brown (c1860-c1880)
John Stephen Brown (c1862-c1916)
Charles E Brown (c1863-c1926)
Stephen S Brown (c1865-c1892)
William Watson Brown (c1867-c1944)
Mary E Brown (c1868-c1868)

Offspring of Stephen Campbell Brown and Jane Garrett (c1835-1920)
Name Birth Death Joined with
Mary Brown (c1871-1953)
Robert Booth Brown (c1873-1893)
Thomas Watson Brown (c1875-c1876)
George Frederick Brown (c1877)


Some sources confuse him with Stephen Charles Brown (1832-1910).  

Footnotes (including sources)

‡ General
₪ Wedding
  • On Saturday, the 29th ultimo, at St. Stephen's Church, Newtown, by the Rev C. C Kemp, Stephen Campbell Brown, Esq , solicitor, to Emma Booth, youngest daughter of John Booth Jones, Esq, of Camperdown.
The Sydney Morning Herald, 3 February 1859, page 1
2 Wedding 2
  • On the 20th instant, at St. Stephen's Church, Newtown, by the Rev. Robert Taylor, STEPHEN CAMPBELL BROWNE, Esq., M.L.A., to JANE, eldest daughter of ROBERT GARRETT, Esq., Newtown. No cards.
The Sydney Morning Herald, 23 August 1870, page 1
¶ Death
  • BROWN.—October 16, the Honorable Stephen Campbell Brown, M.L.C., aged 52 years.
The Sydney Morning Herald, 17 October 1882, page 1