The Dictionary of Australasian Biography/Browne, Thomas Alexander

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Browne, Thomas Alexander (Rolf Boldrewood), the eldest son of the late Captain Sylvester John Browne, of the East India Company's Service, and of Enmore, N.S.W., and Hartlands, Victoria, by his marriage with Eliza Angell Alexander, was born in England on August 6th, 1826. He arrived in New South Wales with his father in April 1830, and was educated at Mr. T. W. Cape's school in Sydney, and afterwards at Sydney College, when Mr. Cape was appointed head-master and transferred his scholars. Mr. T. A. Browne, when about seventeen years of age, started with a herd of cattle for the Port Fairy district, in Victoria (then only partially explored), and became a pioneer squatter there, forming the station known as Squattlesea Mere. Here he remained until 1856. He visited England in 1860, returning in 1861. Having sold his property in Victoria, he, in 1864, took up a sheep station on the Murrumbidgee. The droughts of 1866 and 1868 were terribly severe, and Mr. Browne's losses were so heavy that he was compelled in 1869 to give up squatting. In 1870 he was made a Police Magistrate and Goldfields Commissioner in New South Wales, and is now Police Magistrate and Warden of Goldfields at Gulgong, Dubbo, Armidale and Albury, in that colony. Mr. Browne contributed to the Cornhill Magazine as far back as 1865, and many tales and sketches from his pen appeared in the colonial press. In 1888 his "Robbery under Arms," which originally appeared in the Sydney Mail, was republished in London under the pseudonym "Rolf Boldrewood," and proved a remarkable success. Since then Mr. Browne has republished in England "The Squatter's Dream," "A Colonial Reformer," and "A Miner's Right," all issued by Messrs. Macmillan & Co. in 1890. All have had a favourable reception; and the same may be said of "A Sydney-side Saxon" and "Nevermore," published in 1891 and 1892 respectively. Mr. Browne, whose father and brother Sylvester were, like himself, pioneer squatters, was married at Mulgoa, Penrith, N.S.W., on August 1st, 1860, to Miss Margaret Maria Biley.