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"We fight to gain what we cannot take with us. It's in our nature."
―Brewster's final words, 1868.[src]-[m]

Sir David Brewster (1781 – 1868) was a Scottish Templar and scientist known for his contributions to the field of optics, being well-recognized as the inventor of the kaleidoscope.


Early life

"Why? It's God's Apple, not hers! I will display it in public! Darwin will be vanquished, banished in shame to the blasted Galápagos to roost with his beloved finches."
―Brewster, on the Apple of Eden and Charles Darwin, 1868.[src]-[m]

Born the third of six children, Brewster was raised by god-fearing Presbyterians. When he was twelve years old, his parents sent him to the University of Edinburgh to join the clergy. However, Brewster was far more interested in science, becoming fascinated with optics.[1]

Motivated by contemporaries, Brewster continued studying the diffraction of light, including reflection and refraction, and eventually invented the kaleidoscope. Much later, he joined fellow clergymen to start a scientific magazine, The Edinburgh Journal of Science, and was knighted by Queen Victoria. Brewster also became a vocal opponent of Charles Darwin's evolution theory.[1]

Studying the Apple

Brewster: "I need two more weeks with the device."
Thorne: "Your questionable practices are beginning to draw unwanted attention. You've been given more than enough time to achieve results, Sir David."
—Thorne and Brewster arguing, 1868.[src]-[m]

At some point, Brewster joined the British Rite of the Templar Order and was tasked with researching an Apple of Eden that had been unearthed at the construction site of London's first underground railway since 1862.[2] He and Reynolds, his assistant, subsequently set up a secret laboratory beneath a train yard in Croydon and began their studies. Brewster also had local workers kidnapped to experiment on them.[3]

Brewster pleading with Thorne for more time

However, the Templars gradually grew dissatisfied with Brewster's slow progress. In February 1868, Lucy Thorne, the Order's resident expert on the Pieces of Eden and Crawford Starrick's second-in-command, visited Brewster and pressured him to work faster, claiming he had received more than enough time. She also pointed out that the amount of missing laborers was starting to draw unwanted attention.[3]

After Thorne departed, two guards brought forth a trespasser, whom they believed to be working for Henry Green. Brewster ordered them to interrogate the man and then send him to the laboratory. The scientist subsequently returned to the lab himself and continued his experiments on the Apple, exposing it to high voltages of electricity in an effort to activate it.[3]


At this, Reynolds expressed his concern, but Brewster dismissed him, claiming they needed results as quickly as possible. As the experiment continued, the scientist entertained the idea of displaying the Apple in public and using it to destroy Darwin's reputation, to which Reynolds objected. Brewster laughed it off as a "wee joke", claiming that the Templars' grip on London would become absolute once they unlocked the artifact's secrets; both the Assassins and Darwin would be vanquished.[3]

A dying Brewster being held by Evie

However, as Brewster conducted his research, the Assassin Evie Frye leapt upon him and assassinated him. In his final moments, the scientist revealed Thorne had already discovered another Piece of Eden. When Evie claimed that she would take that one from the Templars as well, Brewster lamented how humanity inherently focused on the material, which they would inevitably lose upon death. After he breathed his last, Evie hurriedly made her escape, as the Apple detonated from all the electricity that it had been exposed to, completely destroying the underground laboratory.[3]

Personality and characteristics

Evie: "Do not be afraid."
Brewster: "I am not. God will protect me."
—Brewster to Evie during his final moments, 1868.[src]-[m]

Most unusually for a Templar, Brewster was a fiercely religious man who frequently made references to God, rather than discard religion as some fanciful tale or illusion. As such, he possessed a deep-rooted dislike of Charles Darwin and his theories of evolution, which he was determined to prove wrong. In line with his faith, he regarded the Apple of Eden as something that genuinely came from God, rather than the Precursors. Brewster was also an impassioned researcher who wanted to discover new things; however, his practices of abducting people to experiment on showed a willingness to commit amoral acts in the name of science.[4]

Behind the scenes

David Brewster is a historical figure introduced in the 2016 video game Assassin's Creed: Syndicate, where he was voiced by Peter Messaline. Historically, he died of bronchopneumonia in Allerly House, Gattonside, Roxburghshire.[5]

Brewster's last words appear to reference the verse 1 Timothy 6:7 from the Bible, "For we brought nothing into the world, and we can take nothing out of it".