Alfred de Bathe Brandon was born in 1809 in London, the son of Henry Brandon. He was educated for the law and practised in London for a while, where he became interested in the colonising schemes of E. G. Wakefield. In August 1840 he arrived at Wellington in the New Zealand Company's ship London, and soon built up a flourishing legal practice. In the later 1840s he was an active member of the Wellington Settlers' Constitutional Association. When representative institutions were granted, Brandon was elected to the Wellington Provincial Council, remaining a member until its abolition. He acted as Provincial Solicitor during the whole of Featherston's long superintendency, but retired from office a few days after Fitzherbert was elected. From 1858 until 1881 he represented one or other of the Wellington constituencies in Parliament. In politics Brandon was a staunch provincialist and opposed Stafford's centralism. He upheld Weld in his “Self Reliant Policy” and consistently supported Fox until 1870 when Vogel's immigration and public works policy drove him into opposition. He lent his general support to the Atkinson and Hall Ministries, although he disagreed with their electoral policy. In 1883 Brandon was summoned to the Legislative Council, where he remained until his death.
For many years Brandon was the Crown Prosecutor in Wellington, but was not highly regarded as a pleader or public speaker. He was, however, an expert conveyancer and a competent legal draftsman. Brandon was deeply, interested in education and became the first chairman of the Wellington College Board of Governors. He was a director of the Colonial Insurance Co., of the Australian Mutual Provident Society, and president of the Wellington Law Society.
Brandon was twice married: first, in 1840, in London, to Constance Mary Ann, née Brandon; and, secondly, in New Zealand, in 1854, to Lucy Poole. He had four sons and four daughters. Brandon died at Hobson Street, Wellington, on 22 September 1886.
by Bernard John Foster, M.A., Research Officer, Department of Internal Affairs, Wellington.
- Evening Press (Wellington), 23 Sep 1886 (Obit)
- Evening Post, 23 Sep 1886 (Obit)
- New Zealand Times, 23 Sep 1886 (Obit).