Page:Dictionary of National Biography volume 07.djvu/42

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Brown
Brown
36


though in feeble health, continued in her on the home station and the coast of Portugal till November 1797, when he was discharged to sick quarters at Lisbon. On his recovery, he was in March 1798 appointed by Lord St. Vincent to the Defence, of 74 guns, and on her being paid off in the following January he commissioned the Santa Dorothea.

In 1805 Brown commanded the Ajax, of 74 guns, and in her was present in the action off Cape Finisterre on 22 July; but by bearing up at the critical moment of the attack, in order to communicate with the admiral, during the prevalence of a fog, he weakened the English van, and must be considered as to.some extent a cause of the unsatisfactory result of the action (James, Naval History, 1860, iii. 361). He afterwards, at the request of Sir Robert Calder, left the Ajax in command of the first lieutenant, and returned to England in order to give evidence at Calder’s court-martial [see Calder, Sir Robert]. He was thus absent from Trafalgar, where the Ajax was commanded by Lieutenant Pilfold. Brown was afterwards for some time commissioner of the dockyards at Malta and at Sheerness. He attained his flag rank in 1812, and in June 1813 was appointed commander-in-chief at Jamaica, where he died, 20 Sept. 1814, after an illness of five days. He married a daughter of Mr. John Travers, a director of the East India Company, by whom he had several children.

[O’Byrne`s Nav. Biog. Dict. under ‘Charles Foreman Brown’ and ‘William Cheselden Browne ;’ Official Correspondence in the Public Record Office.]

J. K. L.

BROWN, WILLIAM, D.D. (1766–1835), historical writer, was born in 1766. He was licensed by the presbytery of Stirling in 1791, was presented to the parish of Eskdalemuir by the Duke of Buccleuch in 1792, and fulfilled there the duties of minister for forty-three ears, ln 1797 he married Margaret Moffat, by whom he had three children. He received the degree of D.D. from the university of Aberdeen in 1816, and died on 2l Sept. 1835. He was the author of the ‘Antiquities of the Jews’ (2nd ed. 1826, 2 vols.), and Wrote the ‘Account of the Parish of Eskdalemuir’ in the ‘Statistical Account of Scotland,’ His work on the Jews enters with great detail into their customs and religious ceremonials, but barely touches upon their political history or ethnical peculiarities.

[Hew Scott's Fasti Ecclesiæ Sooticanæ, vol. i. part ii. 635; Gent. Mag. new series, iv. 554; Chambers's Historical Newspaper.]

N. G.

BROWN, WILLIAM (1777–1857), admiral in the navy of Buenos Ayres, a native of Ireland, accompanied his family to America in 1786, and, being there left destitute by the death of his father, obtained employment as cabin-boy on board a merchant ship. In 1796 he was pressed into an English man-of-war, and served for several years in the navy. Afterwards, having obtained the command of an English merchant ship, he came, in 1812, to Buenos Ayres, where he settled with his family. In 1814 he accepted a naval command in the service of the republic. He engaged a Spanish flotilla at the mouth of the Uruguay, and he fought another and more decisive action off Monte Video, capturing four of the Spanish vessels and dispersing the rest. He received the title of admiral, and fitted out a privateer, in which he cruised against the Spaniards in the Pacific. His ship was visited by an English man-of-war, sent to Antigua, and there condemned, but was afterwards restored on appeal to the home government. Brown lived in retirement at Buenos Ayres till December 1825, when Brazil declared war against the republic and blockaded the River Plate. On 4 Feb. 1826 Brown attacked the enemy of more than four times his material force, and drove them eight leagues down the coast. In February 1827 Brown engaged and almost totally destroyed a squadron of nineteen small vessels at the mouth of the Uruguay. On 9 April he put to sea with a few brigs, and was at once brought to action by a superior force of the enemy. Some of the brigs seem to have got back without much loss; Brown, though badly wounded, succeeded in running one ashore and setting fire to her; the other was reduced to a wreck and captured. The loss obliged the republic to enter on negotiations which resulted in a peace. In the civil war of 1842-5 Brown was again in command of the fleet of Buenos Ayres, and with a very inefficient force kept up the blockade of Monte Video, notwithstanding an order from the English commodore to throw up his command. In 1845, when the English and French squadrons were directed to intervene and restore peace to the river, their first step was to take possession of Brown‘s ships, thus reducing him to compulsory inactivity. He had no further service, but passed the rest of his life on his small estate in the neigbourhood of Buenos Ayres. He died on 3 May 1857. A powerful ironclad, named the Almirante Brown, still keeps his memory living in the navy of the Argentine republic.

[Mulhall's English in South America, p. 144 (with a portrait); Drake; Dict. of American