[taken from Chapter 1 Manx Worthies, A.W.Moore, 1901]

ROBERT BROWN (b. 1792, d. 1846),

the only son of Captain Robert Brown and Jane Drumgold, was born in Douglas.1 His father died at sea when he was a child. He was chiefly educated at the Castletown Academic School. He was both a learned man—his favourite study being ecclesiastical history and a faithful pastor. Learning he loved with a surpassing ardour, and he assiduously and successfully cultivated the charm of a refined and graceful style. This was conspicuous in his sermons, which he composed and committed to memory, since, owing to imperfect vision he was unable to read anything written with facility. 2 With his Manx sermons, one of which he preached every Sunday, he took even more pains than with his English. These sermons were delivered in an exquisitely musical voice, " a voice steeped in delicacy, and vibrant with the most subtle tendencies."3 This, no doubt, contributed to his " magnetic faculty of affecting the strong, rugged natures which were in many respects so sharply contrasted with the delicacy of his own high strung nervous temperament." In his church views he was a pronounced evangelical. Deeply in earnest, he was a simple and faithful preacher of the Gospel. It should be mentioned that he was a musician and a composer, two well known hymn tunes—" Braddan" and " Hatford "—being by him. He was also a poet. In 1826, he published a volume of poems, chiefly on sacred subjects, which are mainly distinguished by the vein of unaffected piety which runs through them. But his best poems, consisting of satires, published in the "Manx Liberal " newspaper, are now completely forgotten. His son, the late Rev. T. E. Brown, pronounces these poems to be " very good, good in the style of Dryden or Pope, with a marked leaning towards Byron," and he farther remarks that "they were polished, witty, humorous, metrically excellent, and marked by that classical turn of phrase and idea which is always unmistakeable.''3 In some respects they resemble the satires of his cousin, John Stowell, to which we refer elsewhere, but, unlike them, they are devoid of coarseness. He was head master of the Douglas Grammar School and Chaplain of St. Matthew's from 1817 to 1832, when he took charge of the Parish of Braddan for the Rev. Thomas Howard, his beloved friend. In 1836, he succeeded him as Vicar of Braddan, and he remained there till his comparatively early death ten years later.

1 For genealogical details, see account of his son, the Rev T. E. Brown.
2 For an interesting account of the way in which these sermons were composed, and for the charming biographical account by the Rev T. E. Brown from which this notice is taken, see the Ramsey Church Magazine
3 The Rev T. E. Brown at the Liverpool Meeting of the Manx Association in 1881.
4 Ramsey Church Magazine.


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