Page:Dictionary of National Biography volume 07.djvu/34

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Brown
Brown
28


1817 improvements in suspension bridges, the tent including a special sort of link which enabled such bridges to be constructed on a larger scale than had ever before been possible. The first large snsplension bridge was the Union Bridge across the Tweed near Berwick, a picture of which, painted by Alexander Nasmyth before the erection of the bridge in order to show what it would be like when completed, is now in the possession of the Society of Arts. His principle was also used by Telford in the suspension bridge across the Menai Straits. In 1823 he constructed the chain pier at Brighton. Besides those for his inventions connected with chains and chain cables, he took out numerous other patents (ten in all), most of them for matters connected with naval architecture or marine engineering. Brown died at Blackheath on 15 March 1852. He married Mary, daugthter of John Horne of Edinburgh, writer to the signet, 14 Aug. 1822.

[Gent. Mag. 1852, i. 519; Records of the Patent Office.]

H. T. W.

BROWN, SAMUEL (1817–1856), chemist, fourth son of Samuel Brown of Haddington, founder of itinerating libraries, and grandson of Dr. John Brown, author of the ‘Self-interpreting Bible’ [q. v.], was born at Huddington on 23 Feb. 1817, and, after attending the grammar school of Huddington and the high school of Edinburgh, enter the medical classes of the university of Edinburgh in 1832. He graduated M.D. in 1839, but devoted his chief attention to chemical research. An account of his experiments on ‘Chemical Isomerism' was published in the ‘Transactions of the Royal Society of Edinburgh, 1840-1,’ and during the same winter he delivered, along with Edward Forbes, a course of lectures on the philosophy of the sciences. In 1843 he was a candidate for the chair of chemistry in the university of Edinburgh, but on account of his failure to establish the proposition of the isomerism of carbon and silicon, his other high qualifications were disregarded. From this time he retired very muc from public life, and gave himself over to the task of realising experimentally his doctrine of the atomic constitution of bodies, only desisting when failing health rendered it imperative on him to do so. He died at Edinburgh on 20 Sept. 1856. His ‘Lectures on the Atomic Theory, and Essays Scientific and Literary’ were published in 1858 in two volumes. He was also the author of a tragedy, ‘Galileo Galilei,’ 1850, and of ‘Lay sermons on the Theory of Christianity.’

[Preface by his cousin, Mr. Joan Brown, author of Itab and his Friends, to Lectures on Brown the Atomic Theory; Recollections of Professor Masson in Macmillun’s Magazine, vol. xii. ; North British Review, vol. li.]

T. F. H.

BROWN, SAMUEL (1810–1875), actuary and statist, entered the ofiice of the old Equitable Life in 1829 as a junior. He was appointed actuary of the Mutual Life Office in 1850, and of the Guardian Insurance Company in 1855. He contributed numerous papers to the ‘Assurance Magazine,‘ and also to the ‘Journal of the Statistical Society.' He took a very prominent part in the decimal coinage movement, and several times discussed the question before the International Statistical Congress. He also advocated uniform weights and measures throughout the commercial world. He took un active part in founding the Institute of Actuaries in 1848, and became its president in 1867, holding the office for three consecutive years. He was also joint editor of the ‘Journal of the Institute of Actuaries.’ In 1868 he was president of the Economic section of the British Asociation at Norwich. He instituted the ‘Brown Prize’ at the Institute of Actuaries, and the first award under the terms of the endowment-fifty guineas for the best essay on the history of life insurance-was made in 1884. He gave evidence before various parliamentary committees on insurance and kindred topics. He died in 1875, aged 65.

[Walford`s Insurance Cyclopædia.]

C. W.

BROWN, STEPHEN (fl. 1340?), theologian, a native of Aberdeen, was a doctor of theology and a Carmelite monk. He is mentioned as one of the twelve scholars of special reputation in Scotland whom Edward I is said to have invited to Oxford; and ‘certain collections of sermons, theological treatises, expositions, and letters are attributed to him. Brown's identity is, however, extremely doubtful; and the very date at which he is said to have flourished is hardly compatible with the facts related of his life. He has apparently been confounded with another Stephen Brown who was apppointed to the see of Ross, in the province of Munster, by a papal provision dated 22 April 1399 (C. de Villiers, Bibliotheca Carmelitana, ii. 767), and who, ‘having made the requisite declarations and renounced all clauses in in the pope’s bull which were prejudicial to the rights of the crown, was restored to his temporalities on May 6,1402‘ (H. Cotton, Fasti Eccles. Hibern. i. 352, 2nd ed. 1851). This confusion of the two persons has, in fact, been made by the historian of the Carmelite order (l.c.); and, to add to the difficulty, Bale describes Brown as bishop of Ross in