George Edwards Brown
||This article may be expanded with text translated from the corresponding article in the Spanish Wikipedia. (December 2011)|
George Edwards Brown (1780–1848) was a Chilean businessman.
George Edwards was the son of a carpenter John Edwards and his wife Elizabeth Brown, as stated in his baptism certificate in the parish of Saint Leonard's of London.
He sailed from a young age in British ships engaged in trade and privateering or looting. He travelled across Spanish South America visiting Chile for the first time in 1797. It was not until 1804 that his name could be inscribed in the history of Chile. The previous year he had enlisted as a surgeon in the British raider “Blackhouse” or “Bacar” who were dedicated to looting and plundering ships and ports in the Spanish colonies in South America. During this trip, Bacar anchored in the bay of Coquimbo and then taken by assault the city which was unguarded.
During the sack of the city Jorge Edwards entered the house of Diego de Ossandón to steal, but he found his daughter, Isabel de Ossandón, who he fell in love with immediately. He decided to desert the ship and asking for shelter in the house of Diego Ossandón. Family tradition says that when Edwards did not return to the British ship, they spent three days looking for him through all the houses in the city. Edwards hid for three days, hiding in a barrel of wine from his former shipmates. On the third day Spanish reinforcements arrived, forcing the British to retreat from the city, to continue their raids to the north. Once the Spanish authorities were aware of the presence of Edwards in La Serena, he was arrested and sent to Callao, where he was detained.
Once released he returned to La Serena in 1805 he was baptized into the Catholic faith. The baptism certificate recognizes that parents are Juan Eduardos (John Edwards) and Isabel Pardo (Elizabeth Brown), Spanish forms of their Welsh and English names respectively.
After that he went to work as a doctor and surgeon for some years, but quickly became the enabler or lender of small miners in the area of Coquimbo, which allowed him to build a small fortune after 10 years. His distinctly anti-Spanish feelings made him a supporter of the patriot cause during the Chilean Wars of Independence, making donations to build the fleet for the liberation of Peru, commanded by a fellow Brit, Lord Thomas Cochrane.
The Supreme Director of Chile, Bernardo O'Higgins granted Edwards Chilean citizenship papers in 1818 as a reward for his services to the Independence cause. He was appointed Deputy for Huasco in 1822. He was President of the Provincial Assembly of Coquimbo in 1825, Deputy for Andacollo in 1826 and Deputy of Vallenar in 1834.
Jorge Edwards married his first wife Isabel Ossandón Iribarren in 1807, with which he had 8 children, including Agustín Edwards Ossandón. Widowed in 1834, he married his second wife Ventura Argandoña Subercaseaux, with whom he had children.