Brooke, William Graham (1834–1907), public servant, influential Church of Ireland layman, and promoter of education, was born 16 July 1834 in Wyton, Huntington, England, the second son of Rev. Richard Sinclair Brooke, curate of Glendoen, near Letterkenny, Co. Donegal (and from 1836 chaplain to the Mariners’ Church, Kingstown, Co. Dublin), and his wife Anna (née Stopford). He was a brother of the writer Stopford Brooke (qv). Graduating from TCD in 1860, he entered the King's Inns the same year, attended the Middle Temple, and was called to the Irish bar in 1866. In 1874 he was appointed examiner in chancery and in 1875 chief clerk in the lord chancellor's chambers, a post he held until his death. Although politically conservative, he seldom discussed politics because of his position as a public servant.
A devoted member of the Church of Ireland, he assisted in the reorganisation of the church after disestablishment in 1871. He was a nephew of William Brooke (1796–1881), a prominent lawyer who played an important part in revising the Church of Ireland prayer book after disestablishment. William Graham Brooke was chancellor of the diocese of Limerick, a member of the Dublin diocesan council, a member of the general synod representative body, and of the general synod's standing, elections, record, legislation and standing orders committees.
Keenly interested in the development of education, particularly for women, Brooke sat on the councils of Alexandra College and the Clergy Daughters School. He played a significant role with William Conyngham Plunket (qv), bishop of Meath (1876–84), and Sir Frederick Falkiner (qv), recorder of Dublin (1876–1905), in the development of the Church of Ireland training college in 1884, by persuading a sceptical synod of its benefits and securing government grants. He served as honorary secretary to the governors of the training college. Retaining a great fondness for TCD, he was anxious to preserve its protestant ethos and was involved in organising the erection of the statue of W. E. H. Lecky (qv).
An art lover, he spent much of his leisure time in the NGI, to which he presented a collection of J. M. W. Turner's engravings. He died 27 April 1907 at 14 Herbert Rd, Dublin.