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Biographical entry Brown, Robert (1773 - 1858)

Born
21 December 1773
Montrose, Scotland, United Kingdom
Died
10 June 1858
Soho Square, London, England
Occupation
Botanist

Summary

Robert Brown was naturalist on the Matthew Flinders expedition of 1801 to 1803. After the trip he settled in New South Wales where he collected botanical specimens and in Van Diemen's Land (1803 to 1805). He published various works on the flora of Australia, including his book Prodromus Florae Novae Hollandiae v.1 (1810). His botanical artist, Ferdinand Bauer, published a separate book with illustrations for the Prodromus in 1813.

Details

Robert Brown is also recognised as the discoverer of the process of molecular agitation which has since been called 'Brownian movement' in his honour. He actually trained as a doctor at the University of Edinburgh in Scotland before the Flinders expedition, but did not graduate.

Events

1795 - 1800
Career position - Commissioned Surgeon's Mate with the Fifeshire Regiment of Fencibles
1801 - 1805
Career position - Naturalist on the Matthew Flinders expedition on the Investigator
1805 - 1810
Career position - Clerk, Librarian and Housekeeper to the Linnean Society
1810
Career position - Prodomus Florae Novae Hollandiae et Insulae Van-Diemen published
1810 - 1820
Career position - Librarian to Joseph Banks
1820
Career position - Bequeathed a life interest in Banks's collections
1827
Career position - Banks collection transferred to the British Museum
1913
Taxonomy event - Eucalyptus brownii Maiden & Cambage (1913) was named in his honour.

Collaborator

Archival resources

JS Battye Library of West Australian History, State Library of Western Australia

  • Robert Brown - Records, 1801 - 1802, LBWA/497A; JS Battye Library of West Australian History, State Library of Western Australia. Details

National Library of Australia Manuscript Collection

  • Robert Brown - Records, 1801 - 1805, mfm G 10022; National Library of Australia Manuscript Collection. Details
  • Robert Brown - Records, 1802, MS 1182; National Library of Australia Manuscript Collection. Details

Published resources

Encyclopedia of Australian Science Exhibitions

Books

  • Bauer, Ferdinand, Ferdinandi Bauer Illustrationes florae Novae Hollandiae, sive, Icones generum quae in Prodromo florae Novae Hollandiae et Insulae Van Diemen descripsit Robertus Brown, Veneunt apud auctorem, 10 Russel Street, Bloomsbury, Londini, 1813, 15 pp. Details
  • Brown, R., Prodromus florae Novae Hollandiae et Insulae Van-Diemen, typis R. Taylor et socii, Londini, 1810. Details
  • Brown, R., Supplementum primum prodromi floræ Novae Hollandiae, Typis Ricardi Taylor, Londini, 1830, 40 pp. Details
  • Hewson, Helen J., Brunonia Australis: Robert Brown and his Contribution to the Botany of Victoria, Centre for Plant Biodiversity Research, Canberra, 2002, 51 pp. Details
  • Mabberley, D. J., Jupiter Botanicus: Robert Brown of the British Museum, Verlag von J. Cramer, Braunschweig, 1985, 500 pp. Details
  • Vallance, T. G., Moore, D.T. and Groves, E. W., Nature's Investigator: the Diary of Robert Brown in Australia, 1801-1805, Australian Biological Resources Study, Canberra, 2001, 666 pp. Details
  • Willis, J.H., Botanical Pioneers in Victoria, Victorian Naturalist, vol. 66, [Brown Pier Anderson], [Melbourne], 1949, 19 pp. Details
  • Wrigley, J. and Fagg, M., Eucalypts: A Celebration, Allen & Unwin, Crows Nest Australia, 2010, 344 pp. Details

Book Sections

  • Burbidge, N. T., 'Brown, Robert (1773-1858), botanist', in Douglas Pike (ed.), Australian Dictionary of Biography, vol. 1, Melbourne University Press, Melbourne, 1966, pp. 166-167. Also available at http://www.adb.online.anu.edu.au/biogs/A010149b.htm. Details
  • Edwards, Phyllis, 'The botany of Flinders voyage', in Carr, D. J. and Carr, S. G. M. (eds), People and Plants in Australia, 1981. Details
  • Mabberley, D. J., 'Robert Brown, 1773-1858', in Oxford Dictionary of National Biography, Oxford University Press, Oxford, 2004. Details

Conference Papers

  • Grandison, R., 'Retracing the Route Taken by Robert Brown and Company in a Portion of the Flinders Ranges, South Australia', in Short, P.S. (ed.), History of Systematic Botany in Australasia: Proceedings of a Symposium Held at the University of Melbourne, 25-27 May 1988, Australian Systematic Botany Society, Melbourne, 1990, pp. 105-108. Details

Edited Books

  • Wege, Juliette (ed.), Matthew Flinders and his Scientific Gentlemen: the Expedition of HMS Investigator to Australia, 1801-05, Western Australian Museum, Perth, 2006, 184 pp. Details

Journal Articles

  • Barker, Robyn M., 'The Botanical Legacy of 1802: South Australian Plants Collected by Robert Brown and Peter Good on Matthew Flinders' Investigator and by the French Scientists on Baudin's Géographe and Naturaliste', Journal of the Adelaide Botanic Gardens, vol. 21, 2007, pp. 4-55. Details
  • Benson, Douglas; Howell, Jocelyn, 'In the Footsteps of Robert Brown', Australian Garden History, vol. 14, no. 3, 2002, pp. 11-14. Details
  • Blake, S. T., 'Some Pioneers in Plant Exploration Classification', Proceedings of the Linnean Society of Queensland, vol. lxvi, no. 1, 1954, pp. 1-19. Details
  • Burbidge, Nancy T., 'Robert Brown's Australian collecting localities', Proceedings of the Linnean Society of New South Wales, vol. 80, 1956, pp. 229-33. Details
  • Burbridge, Nancy, 'Robert Brown's Australian Collecting Localities', Proceedings of the Linnean Society of New South Wales, vol. lxxx, 1955, pp. 229-233. Details
  • Davis, Michael, 'Encountering Aboriginal Knowledge: Explorer Narratives on North-east Queensland, 1770 to 1820', Aboriginal History, vol. 37, 2014, pp. 29-50. Details
  • Edwards, P. I., 'Robert Brown (1773-1858) and the natural history of Matthew Flinders' voyage in H.M.S. Investigator, 1801-05', Journal of the Society for the Bibliography of Natural History, vol. 7, 1976, pp. 385-407. Details
  • Edwards, P. I., 'Robert Brown (1773-1858) and the natural history of Matthew Flinders' voyage in H.M.S. Investigator, 1801-1805', Journal of the Society for the Bibliography of Natural History, vol. 7, no. 4, 1976, pp. 385-407. Details
  • Giblin, R.W., 'Flinders, Baudin and Brown at Encounter Bay', Proceedings of the Royal Society of Tasmania, 1929, pp. 1-6. Details
  • Giblin, R.W., 'Robert Brown at Port Dalrymple', Proceedings of the Royal Society of Tasmania, 1929, pp. 25-32. Details
  • Grandison, Ralph, 'The Overland Route and Collecting Localities of the Robert Brown Party to Mt Brown 10th and 11th March 1802', South Australian Geographical Journal, vol. 99, 2000, pp. 23-35. Details
  • Groves, E. W. and Moore, D. T., 'A catalogue of plants written by Robert Brown (1773-1858) in New South Wales: first impressions of the flora of the Sydney region', Archives of Natural History, vol. 24, no. 2, 1997, pp. 281-93. Details
  • Hurburgh, Marcus, 'Robert Brown: Botanist [1773-1858]', Tasmanian Tramp, vol. 24, 1982, pp. 35-38. Details
  • Kantvilas, G., 'A Brief History of Lichenology in Tasmania, Australia', Proceedings of the Royal Society of Tasmania, vol. 117, 1983, pp. 41-52. Details
  • Keighery, Greg and Gibson, Neil, 'The Influence of Robert Brown on Western Australian Botany', Australian Garden History, vol. 14, no. 3, 2002, pp. 5-8. Details
  • Kellermann, Jurgën, 'Robert Brown's Contribution to Rhamnaceae Systematics', Telopea, vol. 10, no. 2, 2004, pp. 515-524. Details
  • Kennedy, K., 'Botanists in Australia: Robert Brown', Townsville Naturalist, vol. 4, 1963, pp. 5-8. Details
  • Maiden, J.H., 'Robert Brown, the Botanist.', Journal of the Royal Australian Historical Society, vol. ii, 1907, pp. 87-89. Details
  • Maiden, J.H., 'Records of Australian Botanists - (a) General, (b) New South Wales', Journal and Proceedings of The Royal Society of New South Wales, vol. xlii, 1908, pp. 60-132. Details
  • Maiden, J.H., 'Records of Tasmanian Botanists', Proceedings of the Royal Society of Tasmania, 1909, pp. 9-29. Details
  • Maiden, J.H., 'Records of Queensland Botanists', Australasian Association for Advancement of Science, vol. xii, 1909, pp. 373-383. Details
  • Moore, D. T., 'Some aspects of the work of the botanist Robert Brown (1773-1858) in Tasmania in 1804', Tasforests, vol. 12, 2000, pp. 123-46. Details
  • Moore, D. T., 'A synopsis of dated entries in the biological collecting notes from eastern and northern Australia made by Robert Brown (1773-1858) on the Investigator voyage of 1801-1805', Archives of Natural History, vol. 29, no. 3, 2002, pp. 383-98. Details
  • Moore, D.T. and Beasley, M.A., 'The Botanical Manuscripts of Robert Brown', Archives of Natural History, vol. 24, no. 2, 1997, pp. 237-280. Details
  • Osborn, T. G. B., 'Robert Brown (1773-1858).', Australian Journal of Science, vol. 21, 1958, pp. 127-130. Details
  • Salkin, A. I., 'Short History of the Discovery and Naming of Banksias in Eastern Australia: Part 4, The Abbe Antonia Jose Cavanilles, Robert Brown and Franz W. Sieber', Victorian Naturalist, vol. 98, no. 5, 1981, pp. 191-194. Details
  • Vallance, T. G., 'Jupiter botanicus in the bush: Robert Brown's Australian field work, 1801-5', Proceedings of the Linnean Society of New South Wales, vol. 112, 1990, pp. 49-86. Details
  • Webb, Joan B., 'George Caley - Robert Brown's Collecting Partner', Australian Garden History, vol. 14, no. 3, 2002, pp. 15-16. Details
  • Willis, J. H., 'Robert Brown's Collectings in Victoria', Muelleria, vol. 1, 1956, pp. 51-54. Details

Reviews

  • Maroske, Sara, review of Vallance, T. G., Moore, D.T., and Groves, E. W., Nature's Investigator: the Diary of Robert Brown in Australia, 1801-1805, Australian Biological Resources Study, Canberra, 2001, 666 pp., Historical Records of Australian Science, vol. 14, no. 2, 2002, pp. 219-221. Also available at http://www.publish.csiro.au/?act=view_file&file_id=HR02011.pdf. Details

Online Resources

McCarthy, G.J., Moje, C. & Walsh, N.