James Thompson Middlebrook was the younger brother of my 2x Great Grandfather Samuel.
He lived in Matahoke ( probably on land the family had bought there in the 1860s ) and later at Opua , and was a carpenter .
At the age of 28, in 1886 he married Elizabeth Edgar, however it appears that this was not a happy union as described in the AUckland Star of 25h August 1902 as transcribed in the layouts below
Journalling on this layout reads as follows
James Thompson Middlebrook v Elizabeth Edgar Middlebrook ( application for Decree nisi)- Mr Brookfield appeared for the applicant. There was no appearance for the respondent. Mr Brookfield said the application was for decree nisi, on the ground of desertion since 1892.
James Thompson Middlebrook, Carpenter, deposed he had lived at Opua, Bay of Island, for 17 years. He was married in 1886 but had no children, His wife left him in October 1892. Prior to that she had left him once before and returned to him. She had then written saying she had not intended to return to him. but having been ill she had time to think, and she was willing to come back again and try to do her duty. She added,”It was very wrong of me to leave you, so forgive me.” He then wrote stating that he would take her back and she returned home about 3 weeks afterwards. Afterwards she again left him in 1892. She came to Auckland, He thought she was coming home, but she wrote stating she would not return. He had occasion to speak to his wife about her conduct before she left him the second time, He wrote asking his wife to come home. She replied that she would never return He wrote again and begged of her to come home, and she again refused. After that he heard no more of his wife for some years. He wrote, but his letter was returned. He went personally to Napier to look for her, as he thought she might be with her sister. He, however got no tidings of her until about two years ago, when she telegraphed him from Wellington that she was dangerously ill. He went to Wellington to see her. He found his wife ill in bed. She asked him to forgive her which he did, and promised to take her back. She said as soon as she was out of the doctor’s hands she would return home. He left her in Wellington, but sent her money from time to time to support her and pay doctors expenses . As soon as his wife was better she went to Melbourne instead of coming home. He sent his wife about £20 to £25 while she was in Wellington. He would have He wrote, to his wife in Melbourne, but she said she would not return home. His wife had suggested that he should get a divorce. It was not by any wish of his that they lived separate. He would have taken his wife back right up to the time proceedings were commenced. By His Honor: His wife gave no reason for leaving him. She only complained that it was a little lonely and there was not enough company for her. Mrs Jane McCrae, sister of last witness, deposed she was in the habit of visiting her brother and his wife. They had a very comfortable home. The only thing his wife complained of was that the place was too 'lonely She liked more society. So far as she could see, the husband did all he could to make the home comfortable. She knew of no reason why the wife should have left home. His Honor said it was not a very satisfactory case. He would like to have had some later evidence. Still the letters showed she had no reasonable ground for leaving her husband. He would therefore grant the decree nisi.
Auckland Star, Volume XXXIII, Issue 201, 25 August 1902, Page 2
On 7 Dec 1902 James Middlebrook remarried, widow, Julia Ann Bartle Sullivan, and mother of 4. Frank Arnold born 1887 ( who went on to be killed in action in WW1, Arthur Randolf, born 1888.
James and Julia went on to have a further 4 children together. Farrar, born 1903, Nelson Bartle and Eva Rhys born 1905 and Charles Russell, born 1908. James died in 1930 and is buried next to his mother at Purewa Cemetery. Auckland