was appointed assistant surgeon by Principal surgeon
James Bowman in 1819 and was resident in Newcastle as
assistant surgeon in
1822. In these early years he and
his convict servant were supplied from the stores in
Newcastle and probably lived in the quarters at the
In 1824 he had the burden of running the
hospital with untrained, inadequate female assistants
and convicts and possibly inadequate supplies. He had the usual problems
with recalcitrant convict servants – assigned servants George Harwood and
Samuel Roe who recommended that Brooks
accompany William Carter who was sent by Governor Darling to enquire into
troubles with native at Hunter River in 1826. Reid wrote that
residence of several years at Newcastle, Dr. Brooks had taken great pains to
civilize some of the natives, and to some extent had made himself acquainted
with their language.'
Although he was a respected member in
the young township Brooks often came under criticism from the editors of the
Australian newspaper because of his government positions.
sentenced to 50 lashes in 1833 for misconduct.
Brooks was held in high regard by
In 1825 he applied for and received a
warrant to purchase Crown land.
1828 George Brooks married Mary
Stephena Cowper, the
daughter of Hannah (Horner) and Rev. William Cowper. Mary brought to the
marriage a land grant of 1280 acres to be named 'Maryland'.
They built their family home on land he had
purchased nearby. By 1829 George and Mary had a daughter Hannah. John
was born in 1833 and Mary in 1837.
George Brooks participated in town life in the
Hunter Valley. He may have attended social
functions such as Balls and Race Days. In the summer of
1834 George and Mary accompanied
Sir Edward Parry
riding from Newcastle to Maitland. They called on
& Mrs. Wood
where they dined in the Wood’s new log hut. They stayed
the night at Mr. Bloomfield's property and heard the
news of the latest devastating floods, Maitland
being in ‘broad sheets of water’ at the time
. On a
stormy day in 1836 he accompanied traveller James
Backhouse around the settlement, acquainting him with
the Christ Church burial ground where convicts could be
seen toiling as well as other sights around the town.
As Vice President of the Newcastle
Mechanics Institute, he was one of the citizens of Newcastle who campaigned to
make Newcastle a free warehousing port in the 1840's. Other Newcastle citizens
who attended meetings with him
James Henry Crummer,
Dr. William Wilton
and Mr. Wallace.
Around the same time charters of
incorporation were issued for Newcastle and George Brooks became a member of the
district council along with
Alexander Walker Scott,
In 1841 George Brooks' residence was
nearby the Hospital - Newcomen Street Newcastle - possibly on the
site that Newcomen House was later to be built. He resigned from his position of
Colonial Surgeon due to ill health in April 1847.
He died in 1854 aged 57 and is buried in Christ Church
burial ground where Mary who died in 1859 was also laid to rest.