Mother: Mary (Sturgeon) Brett. Mary was
the sister of Elizabeth Sturgeon, who married Rev.
Education: Colchester; Pembroke College,
Cambridge, where Edward was admitted on 18 June 1814. Alumni Cantabrigiensis Brett, Edward.
Adm. pens. (age 18) at PEMBROKE, June 18, 1814. S. of Edward, Esq., of
Colne, Essex. B. there.
Matric. Michs. 1814.
Notes: Edward owned a house named Wakes
Colne Place. The house was sold by Edward's son on 15 July 1887. The sale
brochure describes gardens which included brick built melon pits,
exceptionally fine old forest trees and choice fruit trees in full bearing.
The house was "located in a favoured district for Field Sports, within easy
reach of several Packs of Hounds and near good fishing in the rivers Colne
and Stour - a very attractive opportunity...for the immediate occupation of
a family of position." The county families of the United Kingdom (1860)
p73 BRETT, Edward, Esq. (of Wakes Colne).
Second but eldest surviving son of the late William Brett, Esq., by Mary,
dau. of William Sturgeon, Esq., of Tollesbury, Essex ; b. 1796 ; s. 1813 ;
m. 1823 Elizabeth, dau. of Philip Havens, Esq., of Donyland Hall. Educated
at Colchester and Pembroke Coll., Cambridge; is a Magistrate for Essex.
— Wakes-Colne Place, near Halstead, Essex.
Frontispiece of The
Pleasures of Hope (Thomas Campbell, 1806) given to Edward
Brett by his uncle Rev. Shaw King
image from Mike Poyzer
Inscription in The
Pleasures of Hope (Thomas Campbell, 1806) given to Edward
Brett by his uncle Rev. Shaw King
image from Mike Poyzer
Edward is mentioned in the will of his aunt, Elizabeth (Sturgeon) King, who
married Rev. Shaw King. Edward also received
a book, The
Pleasures of Hope with Other Poems by Thomas Campbell (1806)
from Shaw King in 1811. It is unclear if the inscription shown was written
by Shaw King or by Edward Brett.
In August 1910, the 2nd. Gibraltar Boy Scout Troop was formed by members of
the Eastern Telegraph Company with William Arthur Adams as Scoutmaster and
Edward Bryan Brett as Assistant Scoutmaster.
Edward served in World War I as a Second Lieutenant with the Royal Army
Service Corps. On 29 September 1918, Temporary Lieutenant E. B. Brett
relinquished his commission on account of ill health contracted on active
service and was granted the honorary rank of Lieutenant (London Gazette 27 September 1918 p11508).
1901: Kent: Edward Bryan Brett is aged 15, born in Thwaite S Mary, Norfolk.
Occupation: School Boy
Education: St John's College, Cambridge,
where George was admitted on 17 May 1854, and he obtained a B.A. in 1858. Alumni Cantabrigiensis Brett, George Russell.
Adm. pens. at ST JOHN'S, May 17, 1854. Of Essex. S. of Edward, Esq. [B. at
Wakes Colne, Essex.] Bapt. Aug. 17, 1835. Matric. Michs. 1854; B.A. 1858.
Ord. deacon, 1858; priest (Rochester) 1859; C. of Ovington with Tilbury,
Essex, in 1859. C. of Metheringham, Lincs., 1863-4. R. of Thwaite,
Norfolk, 1866-91. Died there Sept. 1, 1891. (Eagle.)
Married: Selina Mercy Sellers in 1873,
district, Norfolk, England
Occupation: Clergyman. George was ordained
deacon in 1858 and priest in 1859. he was curate of Ovington with Tilbury,
Essex in 1859, and curate of Metheringham, Lincolnshire from 1863-4, and
rector of Thwaite, Norfolk from 1866 until his death in 1891. Crockford's Clerical Directory 1872
p105 BRETT, George
Russell,Thwaite St Mary
Rectory, Bungay.- St. John's Coll. Cam. B.A. (Jun. Opt. and
Theol. Trip.) 1858; Deac. 1858, Pr. 1859 by Bp. of Roch. R. of Thwaite St
Mary, Dio. Nor. 1866. (Patron, Edward Brett, Esq., Glebe, 30 acres; Tithe,
179l; Gross Inc. 224l
and Ho; Pop. 137.) Formerly С. of Metheringham, 1863-64.
Death: 1 September 1891, in Thwaite,
Norfolk, England, aged 56
In 1872-3, Herbert was captain of the Anglesey
which sailed to Melbourne. The
Argus (Melbourne, Australia): Monday 3 February 1873 p1 col
WE, the undersigned, saloon passengers of the ANGLESEY, desire
to return our most grateful thanks to Captain HERBERT BRETT for the
kindness and attention he has shown to us during the voyage.
We take leave of him now as a captain with whom wo
should think ourselves fortunate to sail at any future time, and as a
friend for whom we entertain the highest esteem and regard, and wish every
success mid happiness
There remains but one more favour for us to ask of him - namely,
that he will accept from us on our arrival in Melbourne some slight
souvenir, which may sometimes remind him of his first voyage in the
J. H, Parsons
A. J. Paul
James Bentley Dymock Chas. G Sanders
Argus (Melbourne, Australia): Monday 3 February 1873 p1 col
BLACKWALL LINE of PACKETS.
Will be despatched from the Sandridge Railway Pier
On THURSDAY, FFBRUARY 27,
The favourite clipper ship
A1 at Lloyd's, 1100 tons,
H. BRETT (late of the Agamemnon), Commander, belonging to Messrs.
Green, of Blackwall, owners of the Superb, Anglesey, Carlisle Castle,
Highflyer Agamemnon, Newcastle, Renown, Shannon, The Lord Warden, &c.
Passages. -68, 75, 74, 71, 69, 69 days.
Last passage, 75 days.
The SALOON CABINS are fitted with cabin furniture, and are ROOMY,
well ventilated and lighted.
Ladles' and gentlemen's bathrooms are provided.
A milch cow is carried.
The SECOND and THIRD CLASS accommodations are fitted with the
utmost regard for the comfort and convenience of passengers. In the
second-class mess utensils and steward's attendance are provided.
An experienced surgeon accompanies the ship.
For freight or passage, circulars, plans, &c., apply to J. H.
WHITE and Co., agents, Collins-street west.
Memorial to Herbert Brett in All Saints,
Wakes Colne, Essex:
TO THE BELOVED MEMORY OF
YOUNGEST SON OF EDWARD BRETT, ESQRE,
OF THIS PARISH,
WHO DIED NOVEMBER 15TH 1875, AGED 38 YEARS.
THIS TABLET IS ERECTED BY HIS WIDOW.
School, Charterhouse Square, London, which he left in 1892. Merchant Taylors' School register, 1871-1900 p349
(William Baker, 1907) Brett, William George Arthur, b.
16 July 1877, s. of George R. and Selina M., Clergyman, Bungay.
Left 1892.- Enlisted in 60th Rifles 1896; obtained commsn. in Duke of
Wellington's Regt. 1900; transferred to Indian Army 1901; Lieut. 1902. W. G. A. Brett, Esq., 76th Punjabis,
Secunderabad, Deccan, 1ndia.
In April 1902, William participated in a hunt for a famed rogue elephant,
Napier, that had rampaged in the region for over 12 years. The expedition is
described by C.A. Rogers in an article "The Destruction of a Rogue Elephant
in the Andamans." published in The Indian Forester vol 28 pp382-7
On the 24th April a party, consisting of Lieutenant W.G.A. Brett and
Corporal W. Ward, both of the 2nd battalion of the Duke of Wellington's
(West Riding) Regiment and myself, started from Port Blair in the steam
launch Eileen for Shoal Bay, a
creek about 18 miles north of Port Blair, into which the Jatang stream
flows. The launch anchored off Pirij, another forest camp on the Shoal Bay
Creek, and a rowing boat was ready to take us up the Jatang creek to the
The weather was extremely hot and the sun simply poured down upon
us as we slowly progressed up the wide creek, and then the narrow stream
which succeeded it and meandered through a vast mangrove swamp, which
while it kept off what little breeze there was, did not afford us any
shelter from the sun's rays, and we were, indeed, glad when the boatmen
laid aside their oars and took to stout bamboos, with which they poled us
up the last mile of the stream. The tide was against us, which made our
rate of progress more than usually slow. At last we reached the jetty
guard, landed and walked over felled surjan (Dipterocarpus,
sp.) logs to the hillock on which the camp was situated, and very glad we
were to rest in the bamboo hut which serves as a forest rest-house.
The news about Napier was not at all reassuring. He had not been
seen since the day that the police had fired volleys at him, and he had
only been heard of once or twice since that date.
In the afternoon we carefully studied Sanderson's book Twenty
years among the Wild Beasts of India, to learn what we could of
the habits of elephants, also the shots by which they could be killed, and
when the elephants returned from their work in the evening, studied then
carefully in order to make sure of the vulnerable spots so clearly
described by Sanderson.
The next thing to be done was to test the sighting of our rifles,
so we put up a target with a black triangular bull's-eye marked as to
represent the ear shot which Sanderson says is the most fatal one.
We were armed with Lee-Metford rifles, kindly lent by Captain P. A.
Turner, commanding the detachment of the West Ridings stationed at Port
The target was put against a log about 30 yards off, as the jungle
was too dense to allow of any long shot being obtained, and we knew that
if we did get a shot at all it would be at close quarters, so we wished to
see if the rifles threw high at such a short range. Some of the bullets
had had their noses filed off so as to expose the lead core, and we wished
to see if this in any way affected their trajectory. We each fired two
bullets, one ordinary and the other with the nose filed off, and all six
bullets pierced the bull's-eye, and satisfied us on the vital point as to
the correctness of the sighting of our rifles at very short ranges. The
bullets with the filed noses did not make any larger holes in the log of
wood than did the Service ammunition.
Napier did not turn up at the camp during the night, but early the
next morning news was brought in by the road-making file that his fresh
footprints had been found in a stream about half a mile from the camp. We
at once started for the spot, picked up the fresh tracks in a new clearing
that had been recently made, and after some little search, found the
place, but Napier had broken out of the clearing and had made off into the
thick jungle. Two convicts Naingul and Pershadi, accompanied us, and,
together with two Andamanese, picked up the tracks, and off we went. I
must confess that the Andamanese did not take kindly to this form of
tracking, and that the convicts who were familiar with the ways of tame
elephants really did the tracking. After following the fresh tracks for
about two hours, we crossed a stream at which Napier had evidently
quenched his thirst, and soon after came into some fairly open bamboo
forest where he had been feeding, and we were in great hopes of finding
him still here. Our hopes were destined to be disappointed, as Napier was
not in the bamboo forest; so we sat down, rested, and had some food, while
Naingul and Pershadi went a ahead into the thick jungle which succeeded
the bamboo forest, to see if they could find any tracks of the elephant.
They returned in about half an hour with the welcome news that they had
heard Napier; so we at once started in pursuit and arrived at the place
where he had been seen. We could not see him, but only heard him crashing
through the tangled mass of creepers and young saplings which constituted
the forest just here.
The current report about Napier was that he charged you on sight;
so we got behind the buttressed root of a large tree, near which we found
ourselves, and awaited his onslaught. We heard him breaking down the
saplings near us, but could not see him, and at last, as he did not seem
to be coming nearer to us, we came out of our cover and followed after the
noise he made crashing through the forest and soon got a glimpse of him.
As we could not see his head we did not fire, but waited for him to turn
on us. This he did not do, but suddenly turned and made off into the dense
undergrowth once more. We followed in the lane he made, as the forest was
elsewhere too dense for us to penetrate without cutting our way. The noise
Napier made was tremendous, and the crashings of sapling and tearing of
creepers was decidedly awe-inspiring. However, we could only follow him up
in the path he had made for us, and this we did, and after about half an
hour's chase we saw him again about 30 yards off, but could not get a
clear shot at him. He turned as if to charge us, and Ward and myself
covered him, but as neither of us were quite sure of our shots, and there
were many branches between the elephant and us, any one of which might
have turned our light bullets, we refrained from firing, as Napier thought
better of his idea of charging us, and once more turned and made off into
the tangled undergrowth. That was the last we saw of him that day. We
followed him up for another half hour, and as we seemed to get no nearer
to him, we abandoned the chase, pretty dead beat, about 1 o'clock, and,
after a good long rest, proceeded wearily towards camp. Sugar had been put
in our bottles containing tea by an inexperienced servant, so we had to
choose between sweetened tea and such little pools of muddy water, and few
and far between they were, with which to quench our thirst.
We reached camp about 3 o'clock and enjoyed such as only really
thirsty men can, a long cool drink, followed by a hot bath and a siesta.
That evening, the 26th April, we were roused from our slumbers
about 11 o'clock by the police guard, who had heard Napier in the jungle,
near a small stockade which had been some time ago constructed with a view
to entrapping him. This stockade was on the far side of the nullah and
close to where Napier had stood when the police fired at him on the 14th
April 1902. A pit had been dug across its entrance for Napier's benefit.
There was a bright moon, so we got up and waited for Napier to
cross the nullah and come towards the large enclosure in which the tame
elephants were picketted. We waited in vain. Napier remained in the shadow
of the trees on the far side of the nullah, amused himself by breaking
down trees and digging up ant-hills, but would not come into the open, and
disappeared into the thick jungle just before day broke. He must have
followed along the track we returned to camp by, probably out of
The next morning we went to see where Napier had stood and what
trees he had broken down. The trees were at the entrance of the pitted
stockade above referred to, so we decided to tie up a tame elephant inside
the stockade and to sit up all night with her in case Napier, who was
reported to be "must," should be
tempted to try and enter the stockade, when he would have fallen into the
pit. The stockade and pit had been made about a year ago, and creepers had
grown all over the bamboo trelliswork which had been put over its mouth,
and it was very hard to say where the firm ground ended and the pit began.
The moon would rise about 9 p.m., so we had an early dinner and were in
the stockade at sunset, ready for a night long watch. We had whitened the
sights of our rifles with slaked lime, which made them fairly visible when
the moon was bright. Each was to take a two-hour watch and was to awaken
the sleepers, should their be any, if Napier turned up. Napier did not
appear, and at daylight we retired to our hut and slept. We sat up on the
night of the 27th April also, but Napier did not appear. On the morning of
the 28th, just as we were retiring to rest, a convict came to say that the
petty officer in charge of the tame elephants had discovered fresh
footprints of Napier's at the stream where the tame elephants drank on
their way to their dragging work, and asked if the elephants should be
brought back to camp. I told him that the elephants should go to work as
usual, and that we would come and see where Napier had been when we were
sufficiently rested. After breakfast we started off with our rifles to
look at the place where Napier had been seen and to arrange what we should
do next. We followed along the elephant dragging path for about
three-quarters of a mile, when on turning a corner in the path we found
ourselves face to face with Napier. He entirely filled the path, was
standing about 20 feet above us, and was 30 yards distant: we paced the
distance afterward. I was leading, so knelt down and covered him with my
rifle, while Brett got his rifle and was ready to fire. The bullet in my
rifle had its point filed off, that in Brett's was an ordinary Service
bullet. Ward could not get a shot, so stood behind and watched the effect
of our shots. As soon as Brett fired I fired. Both our bullets struck
Napier on the head, mine on the right joint below the bump which forms the
base of the trunk, and Brett's a little to the left of the bump and above
it. Ward says that clouds of dust came out of the elephant's head when he
was hit, and that he at once turned round and retreated as fast as he
could. I ran after him, loading my rifle as I went, and got a sight of the
elephant on fairly level ground as he was running away, and fired an
ordinary bullet horizontally into the middle of his body. This bullet must
have pretty well traversed his body and penetrated his lungs, as we found,
on following up the wounded animal, that he had been coughing up red froth
and pieces of some internal organ which looked like lung. We followed him
for over two miles by blood. At first he bled copiously from both head
wounds and then from one only. Napier went straight towards where the tame
elephants were working and we after him as hard as we could go. The tame
elephants scented Napier when he got near, and the police fired two
volleys of ball in our direction and at a close range before we could stop
them, but fortunately did not hit any of our party. Napier turned back
from the tame elephants and broke away into the forest between us and
them, having turned back on his own tracks for a short distance, and on
hearing us coming along his original track, he left it and turned away
into the thick jungle. The bleeding ceased soon after this, so we left two
convicts and two Andamanese to track him up as far as they could before
nightfall and returned to camp. Naingul, the tracker returned in the
evening to say they had followed up the elephant for about one mile
further, but had not seen him.
We started at sunrise the next morning, the 29th April, with food
to last us all day, with the intention of having a long day after Napier,
as we had to return to Port Blair the following day. Sanderson says in his
book that he has never known of an elephant hit in the head with the front
shot, which has not been dropped dead, being followed up and bagged, but
as Napier had also been wounded in the body and had bled so profusely, we
hoped that we might come up with him and kill him. Our party consisted of
Brett, Ward and myself, two convict trackers and two Andamanese. We walked
rapidly to the place where Naingul had abandoned the chase the previous
evening, and found that Napier had retreated along the same path as he had
when Deputy Banger Hussain Ali had followed him up in April 1901. This
track took us over a low watershed into a stream flowing north, up which
Napier had gone. He had evidently lain down in a deep pool about half a
mile up the stream: he had gone further upstream, as we found his tracks
for about a mile more, when he turned off into some thick jungle on the
left bank of the stream, whither we followed him. After following his
tracks for about a mile in this jungle, I sent on Naingul and one
Andamanese to go quietly on and see if they could locate the elephant, as
our party of seven naturally made a good deal of noise going through the
tangled undergrowth which characterises the Andamans forests. About half
an hour after Naingul and the Andamanese returned, with the welcome news
that they had heard the elephant, so we started after him once more, what
wind there was being from him to us. After following his tracks for about
half an hour we heard him moving on a slope above us, but could not see
him. We waited for a few minutes for him to come and attack us, but as he
did not, we cautiously advanced in his direction and we heard him again,
and on reaching the top of a small ridge, saw his hind quarters distinctly
in the jungle, so Brett and myself fired at him, as he was slightly below
us. His hind legs seemed to give to the shots and he half sat down,
exposing his head slightly. Napier then went away circling to the right,
and Ward put two or three more shots into him as he saw him indistinctly
moving through the undergrowth. These shots turned Napier down towards a
rather open stream, which he had to cross to enter the dense jungle on its
far side. I jumped down into the stream and saw Napier side on about 15
yards off, and getting a splendid shot at his ear, fired. The result
exceeded my fondest anticipation. The huge animal leapt into the air,
turned a complete somersault backwards and feel upon his head. Death must
have been instantaneous. He never attempted to get up; but as his legs
moved a good deal, we got on the bank above him and fired several more
bullets into him to make sure that he was dead. A police orderly who was
with me fired to or three snider bullets at the elephant at close quarters
after he was dead, but they did not penetrate the skin, which shows that
the volleys fired at Napier by the police could have done little if any
harm. It was twenty minutes to ten when Napier breathed his last.
Memorial to William George Arthur Brett
This plaque is thought to have originally been from a bench in a
church in Edinburgh