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an eccentric with 'coarse harsh features' and always oddly dressed, was appointed provost-marshal by Governor Phillip in May 1787 as soon as it was learned that the appointed provost-marshal had been left behind in England. Though 50, Brewer had joined the Sirius as a midshipman in order to act as Phillip's clerk. He had studied architecture and carpentry, and had entered the navy as a volunteer in 1778.

Initially a building superintendent, as the settlement grew Brewer took on routine court duties, directed the convict nightwatch, was responsible for good order in the settlement and acted as impounding officer.

After repeated requests, his commission was sanctioned in 1792, and his salary was set at 91 pounds 50s, equal to a surgeons. In 1793 he was granted 50 acres at Concord for his services to the colony. By March 1796 he was ill and Thomas Smyth replaced him in the job of provost-marshal. Brewer died in July 1796.

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