1773 – He was born at Largs in Ayrshire, Scotland on the 23rd of July.
– He was educated in astronomy and mathematics at the University of Edinburgh.
1789-1793 – He joined the British Army and had a distinguished career in Flanders, the West Indies, Spain and North America.
1808 – He had an observatory built at his ancestral home.
– He served under the Duke of Wellington.
1813 – He was promoted to Major-General.
1814 – He went in command of a brigade to the United States.
1819 – In November, he married Anna Maria Makdougall.
1821 – On the recommendation of Wellington, he was appointed Governor of New South Wales.
– He took over the government on the 1st of December, and at once proceeded to carry out some of the reforms recommended in the report of John Thomas Bigge.
1822 – In April, he discovered with some surprise the ease with which grants of land had hitherto been obtained.
– He established an observatory at Parramatta west of Sydney.
1823 – He also encouraged agriculture on government land, streamlined granting of tickets of leave and pardons and introduced, a system of calling for supplies by tender.
– Brisbane sent Lieutenant John Oxley to find a new site for convicts who were repeat offenders. Oxley discovered a large river flowing into Moreton Bay.
1826 – Brisbane visited the settlement. Oxley suggested that both the river and the settlement be named after Brisbane.
1826 – He added the name of Makdougall before Brisbane, and settled down to the life of a country gentleman interested in science, his estate, and his regiment.
1828 – He was the first patron of science in Australia, and as such was eulogized by Sir John Herschel when he presented Brisbane with the gold medal of the Royal Astronomical Society.
1832 – He was elected president of the Royal Society of Edinburgh in succession to Sir Walter Scott.
1833 – He was elected president after the death of Sir Walter Scott, and in the following year acted as president of the British Association for the Advancement of Science.
1835 – He published The Brisbane Catalogue of 7,385 stars of the Southern Hemisphere.
1836 – He was created a baronet.
1848 – He was a member of the Royal Society of Edinburgh and received their Keith Prize.
– He founded a gold medal for the encouragement of scientific research to be awarded by the Royal Society of Edinburgh.
1860 – He died much respected and honoured on the 27th of January in Largs.