John Brown and John Allen Brown collection

Scope and Content

The collection comprises of material created by both John Brown and later his son John Allen Brown regarding the Antarctic explorer James Weddell.

Administrative / Biographical History

John Brown was born at Dover on 2 August 1797. In 1811 he was appointed midshipman a board Surrey captain Beadle later he sailed to the East Indies on Scaleby Castle captain Harrington. After returning from China, Brown became a wholesale goldsmith and diamond merchant. He retained his interest in exploration particularly in the Polar Regions as well as studying geology, mineralogy and geography. Brown was made a fellow of the Royal Geographical Society and Captain Kellett gave Brown's name to headlands on Prince Patrick Island during his voyage of 1853. Brown was a fried of the Antarctic explorer James Weddell and collected biographical material on him, which he wrote up in a biography. Brown died on 7 February 1861 leaving 3 sons and 2 daughters.

His son John Allen Brown continued to retain his fathers notes on Weddell and added to them information on portraits and other material regarding him.


The collection is arranged chronologically.

Access Information

By appointment.

Some materials deposited at the Institute are NOT owned by the Institute. In such cases the archivist will advise about any requirements imposed by the owner. These may include seeking permission to read, extended closure, or other specific conditions.


Anyone wishing to consult material should ensure they note the entire MS reference and the name of the originator.

The term holograph is used when the item is wholly in the handwriting of the author. The term autograph is used when the author has signed the item.

Descriptions compiled by N. Boneham, Assistant Archivist with assistance from R. Stancombe and reference to Robert Keith Headland Antarctic Chronology, unpublished corrected revision of Chronological list of Antarctic expeditions and related historical events, (1 December 2001) Cambridge University Press (1989) ISBN 0521309034 and The Gentleman's Magazine May 1861

Other Finding Aids

Clive Holland Manuscripts in the Scott Polar Research Institute, Cambridge, England - a catalogue, Garland Publishing New York and London (1982) ISBN 0824093941.

Additional finding aids are available at the Institute.

Conditions Governing Use

Copying material by photography, electrostat, or scanning device by readers is prohibited. The Institute may be able to provide copies of some documents on request for lodgement in publicly available repositories. This is subject to conservation requirements, copyright law, and payment of fees.

Copyright restrictions apply to most material. The copyright may lie outside the Institute and, if so, it is necessary for the reader to seek appropriate permission to consult, copy, or publish any such material. (The Institute does not seek this permission on behalf of readers). Written permission to publish material subject to the Institute's copyright must be obtained from the Director. Details of conditions and fees may be had from the Archivist.


Further accessions possible.