Page:Dictionary of National Biography volume 07.djvu/27

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Brown
Brown
21

Charles Lamb, much of his own character is thrown into his books, and in reading them we almost feel as if we became intimately acquainted with the author. And in private he did not belie the idea which his books convey of him. Few men have in life been more generally beloved, or in death more sincerely lamented. He had a singular power of attaching both men and animals to himself, and a stranger could scarcely meet with him even once without remembering him ever afterwards with interest and affection. In society he was natural and unaffected, with pleasantry and humour ever at command, yet no one could suspect any tinge of frivolity in his character. He had read very widely, had strong opinions on many questions both in literature and philosophy, possessed great knowledge of men, and had an unfailing interest in humanity. With all the tenderness of a woman, he had a powerful manly intellect, was full of practical sense, tact, and sagacity, and found himself perfectly at home with all men of the best minds of his time who happened to come across him. Lord Jeffrey, Lord Cockburn, Mr. Thackeray, Mr. Ruskin, Mr. Henry Taylor, and Mr. Erskine of Linlathan were all happy to number themselves among his most attached friends.

There was a strong countervailing element of melancholy in Brown's constitution, as in most men largely endowed with humour. This, we believe, showed itself more or less even in boyhood; but in the last sixteen years of his life it became occasionally so distressing as to necessitate his entire withdrawal for a time from society, and latterly induced him to retire to a great extent from the general practice of his profession. In the last six months of his life, however, his convalescence seemed to be so complete that his friends began to hope he had finally thrown off this tendency, and during the winter immediately preceding his death all his old cheerfulness and intellectual vivacity appeared to have returned; but in the beginning of May 1882 he caught a slight cold, which deepened into a severe attack of pleurisy, and carried him off after a short illness on the 11th of that month.

The first volume of the ‘Horæ Subsecivæ’ was published in 1858, the second in 1861, and a third in 1882, only a few weeks before Brown's death. They have all gone through numerous editions both in this country and in America, while ‘Rab and his Friends’ (first published in 1859) and other papers have appeared separately in various forms, and have had an immense circulation.

[Personal knowledge.]

J. T. B.


BROWN, JOHN CHARLES (1805–1867), landscape-painter, was born at Glasgow in 1805), and resided in London for some time after travelling in Holland and Spain. He then removed to his native city, and finally settled in Edinburgh, where he died at 10 Vincent Street 8 May 1867. He waa an associate of theKoyal Scottish Academy. His picture 'The Last of the Clan' was engraved by W. Richardson for the Royal Association of Fine Arts, Scotland, in 1861. In 1833 he exhibited at the Royal Academy, No. 278, 'A Scene on the Ravensbourne, Kent;' at this period he resided at 10 Robert Street, Chelsea. Two other landscapes he also exhibited in this same year at the British Institution and the Suffolk Street Exhibition.

[Redgrave's Dictionary of Artists, 1878.]

L. F.


BROWN, JOHN WRIGHT (1836–1863), botanist, was born in Edinburgh on 19 Jan. 1836. He was of a delicate constitution, and early showed a great love for plants, in consequence of which he was, at the age of sixteen, placed in one of the Edinburgh nurseries. But the exposure connected with garden work proved too much for his health, and Professor Balfour appointed him to an assistantship in the herbarium connected with the Botanic Garden. Here he improved his opportunities and became well acquainted with botany; he was much interested in the Scottish flora, and contributed a list of the plants of Elie, Fifeshire, to the Edinburgh Botanical Society, of which he was an associate. He died in Edinburgh on 23 March 1863.

[Trans. Bot. Soc. Edinburgh, vii. 519.]

J. B.


BROWN, JOSEPH (1784–1808), physician, was born at North Shields in September 1784, and studied medicine at Edinburgh and also in London. Though the son of a quaker, and educated as such, he entered the army medical service, was attached to Wellington's staff in the Peninsular war, and was present at Busaco, Albuera, Victoria, and the Pyrenees, gaining high commendation for his services. After Waterloo he remained with the army of occupation in France. Subsequently he again studied at Edinburgh, and graduated M.D. in 1819. He settled at Sunderland, and took a leading part in local philanthropy and politics, being a strong liberal and a zealous but not bigoted christian. He was once mayor of Sunderland and a borough magistrate, and also for many years physician to the Sunderland and Bishop wearmouth Infirmary. He was highly cultured, of dignified manners, yet deeply sympathetic with the poor. He died on 19 Nov. 1868. Besides numerous