For a time Brown was acting Treasurer until an official appointment was made in 1832. After this time he seems to have continued in the role of private banker. When bank notes became scarce he started issuing
promissory notes and this brought with it accusations of fraud.
Will Shaw verbally assaulted Brown in the street and although Shaw was fined for the outburst, he went on to slander Brown to other colonists. Brown took Shaw to court and won the case easily.
Brown sold much of his property and stock in order to make good on the promissory notes and even gave up 25% of his pay until the debts were settled. As a result his good name remained intact.
He was a member of the first Legislative Council that also included James Stirling, F.C. Irwin, John Septimus Roe
and W.H. Mackie. He was also clerk of the councils and in civil government he was second only
to James Stirling.
Brown was essentially a public servant (to a large extend the founder of the public service in W.A.) and though his name appears numerous times in historic literature there is rarely any information about him or his
duties. He appears to be one of the many people who did a lot of necessary and important work but none of it was glamorous or exciting and so he became just a foot note in most history books.
178 volumes of his official correspondence, that are now housed in the Battye Library, give some indication of the work load Broun was responsible for. With the arrival of Governor John Hutt
and the formation of the Legislative Council at least some of Broun's work load was diminished.
After 17 years of service, Peter died in Fremantle on November 5th 1846. His wife left the colony for England aboard the Hindoo and was fortunate to be rescued when the ship she was on caught fire and burned
to the water line. Sadly all Peter's papers and journals were lost in the fire. Peter's wife and family got no pension after his years of selfless devotion to the government.
1797 - Born August 17th.
1825 - Married Caroline Simpson.
1828 - Appointed Secretary of Government for the Swan River Colony in December.
1842 - Elected to the first Perth Town Trust.
1846 - Died November 5th.
Links to more information:
Broun, Peter Nicholas (1797-1846)