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Bromley, Edward Foord (1852–1934)

by Chris Cunneen

This article was published:

Coombemartin Station (Qld) 'perjurers', 1894 [Bromley is middle, top row]

Coombemartin Station (Qld) 'perjurers', 1894 [Bromley is middle, top row]

Queensland Police Museum, PM0270

Edward Foord Montfort Bromley (1852-1934) drover, police constable, gaoled storekeeper 

Birth: 8 July 1852 in Hamilton, Tasmania, son of native-born parents Edward Samuel Foord Greennow Bromley, farmer and settler, and Margaret Louisa, née Bastian, boarding-house keeper. Marriage: 28 August 1880 at All Saints Catholic Church, Roma, Queensland, to Irish-born Josephine Butler (c.1857-1938). They had four daughters and three sons. Death: 23 December 1934 in Brisbane Hospital. Religion: “freethinker” nominally Catholic. 

  • His grandfather Edward Foord Bromley (1776-1836) was a surgeon on convict ships, then naval officer at Hobart Town from 1820. His grandmother Sarah Greennow (1797-1843) was his housekeeper before they married.
  • Montford Bromley, as he was sometimes known, was a teacher in Glenorchy, Victoria, in 1872. A few years later he was a drover, and served a sentence for larceny as a bailee. By 1880 he was a police constable in Townsville, but resigned to go “hawking to better my position”.
  • During the shearers’ strike of 1894 he was an auctioneer and storekeeper at Longreach and also a casual reporter for the Central Standard newspaper there. He was sent to Coombemartin station, by his own account, to report for that paper on the activities of the striking shearers. Gave evidence for the defence in the trial of Charles Prior at the Circuit Court, Rockhampton in September, alleging that Inspector Carr shot Prior.
  • For that evidence he was arrested on 4 October on the Maneroo Road, Longreach - having been seriously injured in a springcart accident – and charged with perjury. He spent over two weeks in hospital and on release walked with crutches.
  • With six other men, Bromley was found guilty on 26 November at District Court, Rockhampton, and sentenced by judge Miller to four years imprisonment with hard labour.
  • In St Helena prison, Bromley worked in the tailors’ shop and was reported to have slimmed down from 17 stone 4 lb (109 kg) when arrested to 14 stone (18 kg) in February 1895 and to be “rather pleased at losing his superfluous fat”.
  • Prison records described him as a storekeeper, able to read and write, aged 43, born in Tasmania, 5 ft 8 inches in height, stout, with a fair complexion, brown hair and grey eyes. He had a wart in the centre of his back, and scars on his nose and right cheek. Gave his religion as “freethinker”. Weight on admission to St Helena on 8 January 1895 was recorded at 15 stone 4 lbs (97kg).
  • Although some of his fellow prisoners were released to celebrate the diamond jubilee of Queen Victoria, the Queensland Home Secretary Tozer refused to shorten Bromley’s sentence as he was regarded as a ringleader in the offence. In response, all the prisoners denied that he was a ringleader and asserted that they had never met him until they were together in the dock. He was eventually discharged on 22 March 1898, weighing 13 stone 11 lbs (87 kilos).
  • After his release he worked as a grocer at Rockhampton (1903) then was a storekeeper in Mount Morgan (1905-1913) and later (1925) a commission agent at Paddington, Brisbane. In the 1934 electoral roll his last occupation was an appropriate one — “traveller”.

Additional Resources

Citation details

Chris Cunneen, 'Bromley, Edward Foord (1852–1934)', People Australia, National Centre of Biography, Australian National University, https://peopleaustralia.anu.edu.au/biography/bromley-edward-foord-32359/text40108, accessed 3 December 2022.

© Copyright People Australia, 2012

Coombemartin Station (Qld) 'perjurers', 1894 [Bromley is middle, top row]

Coombemartin Station (Qld) 'perjurers', 1894 [Bromley is middle, top row]

Queensland Police Museum, PM0270