Robert Brown

Scottish Botanist
Born Dec 21, 1773

Robert Brown FRSE FRS FLS MWS was a Scottish botanist and palaeobotanist who made important contributions to botany largely through his pioneering use of the microscope.

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1773 Birth Brown was born in Montrose on 21 December 1773.


1788 14 Years Old He was the son of James Brown, a minister in the Scottish Episcopal Church with Jacobite convictions so strong that in 1788 he defied his church's decision to give allegiance to George III. … Read More
1790 16 Years Old As a child Brown attended the local Grammar School (now called Montrose Academy), then Marischal College at Aberdeen, but withdrew in his fourth year when the family moved to Edinburgh in 1790. … Read More
1792 18 Years Old Highlights for Brown during this period include his discovery of a new species of grass, Alopecurus alpinus; and his first botanical paper, "The botanical history of Angus", read to the Edinburgh Natural History Society in January 1792, but not published in print in Brown's lifetime.
1793 19 Years Old Brown dropped out of his medical course in 1793.


1794 20 Years Old Late in 1794, he enlisted in the Fifeshire Fencibles, and his regiment was posted to Ireland shortly after.
1795 21 Years Old In June 1795 he was appointed Surgeon's Mate. … Read More
1796 22 Years Old During this period Brown was especially interested in cryptogams, and these would be the subject of Brown's first, albeit unattributed, publication. Brown began a correspondence with James Dickson, and by 1796 was sending him specimens and descriptions of mosses. … Read More
1798 24 Years Old In 1798, Brown heard that Mungo Park had withdrawn from a proposed expedition into the interior of New Holland (now Australia), leaving a vacancy for a naturalist. … Read More
1800 26 Years Old 1 More Event
Banks approved Flinders' proposal, and in December 1800 wrote to Brown offering him the position of naturalist to the expedition. … Read More


1805 31 Years Old Brown remained in Australia until May 1805. … Read More
1809 35 Years Old In early 1809 he read his paper called On the natural order of plants called Proteaceae to the Linnean Society of London. … Read More
1810 36 Years Old In 1810, he published the results of his collecting in his famous Prodromus Florae Novae Hollandiae et Insulae Van Diemen, the first systematic account of the Australian flora. … Read More


1818 44 Years Old In 1818 he published Observations, systematical and geographical, on the herbarium collected by Professor Christian Smith, in the vicinity of the Congo.
1822 48 Years Old In 1822, he was elected a Fellow of the Linnean Society and a foreign member of the Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences.


1827 53 Years Old In 1827 he became correspondent of the Royal Institute of the Netherlands, three years later he became associated member. … Read More
1831 57 Years Old In a paper read to the Linnean society in 1831 and published in 1833, Brown named the cell nucleus. … Read More


1837 63 Years Old After the division of the Natural History Department of the British Museum into three sections in 1837, Robert Brown became the first Keeper of the Botanical Department, remaining so until his death. … Read More
1849 75 Years Old He served as President of the Linnean Society from 1849 to 1853.
1858 85 Years Old Brown died at 17 Dean Street, Soho Square in London, on 10 June 1858. … Read More
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