Brander, Gustavus (DNB00)

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BRANDER, GUSTAVUS (1720–1787), merchant and antiquary, descended from a Swedish family, was born in London in 1720, and brought up to trade, which he carried on with great success in the City. For many years he was a director of the Bank of England. Having inherited the fortune of his uncle, Mr. Spicker, he employed much of his wealth in forming collections of literary interest. Among his principal curiosities was the magnificent chair in which the first emperor of Germany was said to have been crowned. Engraved upon it in polished iron were scenes from Roman history, from the earliest times to the foundation of the empire. Brander was a fellow of the Royal Society, a curator of the British Museum, and one of the first supporters of the Society for the Encouragement of Arts. While he lived in London in partnership with Mr. Spalding, his library and pictures narrowly escaped the flames which destroyed their house in White Lion Court, Cornhill, on 7 Nov. 1766. Thence he removed to Westminster, and at length into Hampshire, where he purchased the site of the old priory at Christchurch. Having completed his villa and gardens in this beautiful spot, he married, in 1780, Elizabeth, widow of John Lloyd, vice-admiral of the blue, daughter of Mr. Gulston of Widdial, Hertfordshire. In the winter of 1786 he had just completed the purchase of a house in St. Alban's Street, London, when he was seized with an illness which carried him off on 21 Jan. 1787.

To him the British Museum is indebted for a collection of fossils found in the cliffs about Christchurch and the coast of Hampshire. Copper-plate engravings of them, executed by Green, and accompanied by a scientific Latin description by Dr. Solander, were published in a volume entitled 'Fossilia Hantoniensia collecta, et in Museo Britannico deposita, à Gustavo Brander,' 1766. Brander communicated an account of the effect of lightning on the Danish church in Wellclose Square to the 'Philosophical Transactions' (xliv. 298); and from a manuscript in his possession Dr. Pegge printed in 1780, for private circulation, 'The Forme of Cury. A Roll of antient English Cookery, compiled about the year 1390.'

[Nichols's Lit. Anecd. vi. 260 and index; Addit. MS. 29533, f. 55; Ayscough's Cat. of the Sloane and Birch MSS. 743, 908.]

T. C.