Colonel Sir Thomas Robert Gore Browne KCMG, CB, (July 3, 1807 – April 17, 1887) was a British colonial administrator, who was Governor of St Helena, Governor of New Zealand, Governor of Tasmania and Governor of Bermuda.
Browne was born in Aylesbury
. He served with the British Army in Afghanistan
. In 1824 he purchased an Ensigncy
in the 44th Foot
, but three months later exchanged into the 28th Foot
. In 1829 he purchased a Captaincy
. In 1836, as a Major
, he exchanged into the 41st Foot
. In 1842 he was promoted Lieutenant-Colonel
in the Army, in 1845 he purchased the Lieutenant-Colonelcy of the 41st Foot, and in 1849 he exchanged into the 21st Foot
. He became Governor of St Helena
in 1851. He was promoted Lieutenant-Colonel
in the Army in 1854, by which time he was back in his original regiment, the 44th Foot. In 1857 he exchanged from the 14th Foot
to the Lieutenant-Colonelcy of the 43rd Foot
Governor of New Zealand
In September 1855 he was appointed Governor of New Zealand
, replacing temporary Administrator Robert Wynyard
. His handling of Māori land issues were a contributing factor in the outbreak of the First Taranaki War
: despite divisions among Waitara
Maori over the ownership of land, Browne persisted with the purchase of the disputed Pekapeka block, further inflaming tensions between Maori and English settlers. On March 5, 1860, Browne ordered the military occupation of the land, leading to the outbreak of war 12 days later.
The town of Gore in New Zealand was named after him.
Governor of Tasmania
From 1861 until 1868 he was Governor of Tasmania
. He was promoted Colonel
in the Army in 1864.
Administrator of Bermuda
From September 1870 to April 1871 he was Administrator of Bermuda.