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(21 December 1843 – 16 February 1898 / Clones, County Monaghan)

Thomas Bracken
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a late 19th century poet. He wrote "God Defend New Zealand", one of the two National anthems of New Zealand and was the first person to publish the phrase "God's Own Country" as applied to New Zealand.

Background and Early Years

Bracken was born at Clones, County Monaghan, Ireland. His mother died when he was an infant and his father when he was 10 years old. He was sent to Australia when 12 to join his uncle, John Kiernan, at Geelong, Victoria. He was apprenticed to a pharmacist, but moved around to work on farms as a shearer and drover, and for a time was a gold fossicker and store keeper. At that time he began writing tales about the activities of the diggers ... more »

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