Brown, John (1780-1859) (DNB01)

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BROWN, JOHN (1780–1859), geologist, born at Braintree in Essex in 1780, was apprenticed to a stonemason. While working in his master's yard, like Hugh Miller [q. v.] he was attracted to the study of geology. After the expiry of his indentures he worked at Braintree for a few years as a journeyman, and when about twenty-five removed to Colchester, where he carried on business at East Hill for another twenty-five years, retiring from active work in 1830. He removed to Stanway, near Colchester, purchased a house and farm, and devoted the rest of his life to the study of geology and kindred subjects. His researches along the coasts of Essex, Kent, and Sussex brought to light interesting remains of the elephant and rhinoceros, and he made a very fine collection of fossils and shells. His collections were bequeathed to his friend (Sir) Richard Owen, by whom the bulk of them were presented to the British Natural History Museum. Brown died at Stanway on 28 Nov. 1859, and was buried in the churchyard on the north side of the church on 5 Dec. He was twice married, but left no children. He was a contributor to the 'Magazine of Natural History,' the 'Proceedings' of the Ashmolean Society, the 'Proceedings' of the Geological Society,' 'Annals of Natural History,' the 'London Geological Journal,' and the 'Essex Literary Journal,'

[Essex Naturalist, 1890, iv. 158-68; Proc. of the Geological Soc. 1860, vol. xvi. p. xxvii.]

E. I. C.