Sir Frederick Napier Broome
Second Governor of Trinidad and Tobago
Born on the 18th November 1942 in Canada
Died on the 26th November 1896 in Trinidad
He was the eldest son of Rev. Frederick Broome, rector of Kenley, Shropshire, mother Catherine Eleanor (eldest daughter of Lieut.-Colonel Napier, formerly Superintendent, Indian Department, Canada).
He was born in Canada and educated at Whitchurch Grammar School, Shropshire.
He married Mary Anne Barker on 21st June 1865. The couple moved to New Zealand where he had a sheep station, in the Malvern Hills, province of Canterbury.
He was a colonial administrator in the British Empire and served in Natal, Mauritius, Western Australia, Barbados, and finally Trinidad.
The Western Australian towns of Broome and Broomehill are named after him.
When he returned to London in 1869, he was a regular contributor to The Times, as the newspaper's correspondent at the Duke of Edinburgh's marriage at St. Petersburg, and on many other occasions.
He wrote literary reviews, art critiques, and miscellaneous articles.
He published two volumes of verse, Poems from New Zealand (1868) and The Stranger of Seriphos (1869), and contributed verse to the Cornhill, Macmillan's Magazine, and other periodicals.
He was appointed Secretary to the St. Pauls Cathedral Completion Fund in 1970.
He was selected by Earl of Carnarvon in 1875 to proceed the Lord Garnet Wolseley on a special mission to Natal as colonial secretary to that colony, and held that post till 1878, until promoted to colonial secretaryship of Mauritius, where he administered the government in 1879, then became lieutenant-governor of the island from 1880 to 1888.
He served as the 14th governor of Mauritius from 9th Dec 1880 to 5th May 1883.
He was created CMG (Companion) in 1877, and KCMG (Knight Commander) in 1884. The honour is given to British Ambassadors to foreign who have rendered important services in relation to the Commonwealth or foreign nations. A person is appointed to the order not awarded.
Upon receiving the news of Britain's military disaster at Isandlwana in 1879, he despatched assistance to Lord Chelmsford, almost the entire garrison of the colony, also a half battery of artillery. He was warmly thanked by the governor and high commissioner of the Cape Colony, Sir Bartle Frere, and by the colony of Natal through its lieutenant governor, Sir Henry Bulwer.
He was appointed governor of Western Australia on the 14th December 1882 and assumed office in June 1883. He visited England in 1885, with the "view of extending knowledge of the resources of what was at that time a little known colony", he read an excerpt from a paper on "Western Australia" before the Colonial Institute, H.R.H. the Prince of Wales taking the chair. He donated a small yet significant collection of Aboriginal artifacts from Western Australia to the British Museum.
During his time as governor of Western Australia, there was great progress through the extension of railways and telegraphs. During such time the colony was prepared for responsible government, he acted as the intermediary between the Legislative Council and the British secretary of state. After the details of the new constitution were settled, and a bill, approved by Her Majesty's Government, was passed by the local legislature in 1889.
However complementary legislation was needed from Westminster to transfer Crown lands to the colonial legislature, this bill was at once introduced by Lord Knutsford, and passed the House of Lords, but due to strong opposition to handing over an immense tract of Crown lands to the colonists, the bill could not be proceeded within the House in 1889, and had to be deferred to the following year.
He along with two leading members of the Western Australian legislature travelled to England in December 1889 to give evidence before a select committee of the House of Commons, in an early session of 1890, the Constitution Bill was referred. And the committee reported in favour of the bill and of the transfer of all lands to the colony.
The British Parliament passed a bill for the whole of the lands to be freely handed over to the legislature of Western Australia, there being no opposition to the bill in the House of Lords. He left Western Australia in December 1889, on a mission to England in connection with the Constitution Bill, and his tenure as governor ended in September 1890.
He was transferred to serve as acting governor of Barbados in the West Indies and, in July 1891, was appointed governor of Trinidad and Tobago.
Both his wife and himself took a great interest in colonial affairs, and constantly toured the rural districts and promoted charitable and philanthropic movements.
While governor of Trinidad and Tobago he visited England each year for health reasons where he died on the 26th November 1896 and is buried in Highgate Cemetery.