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Old Thursday 6th June 2019, 17:52   #1
Taphrospilus
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Any input on browni welcome

According HBW key:

Quote:
Wilmot Wood Brown, Jr. (b. 1874) US field-naturalist, collector in Colombia, Panama and Mexico (subsp. Elaenia frantzii, syn. Grallaricula ferrugineipectus, subsp. Sicalis citrina, subsp. Spizella wortheni, Thryorchilus, syn. Vermivora crissalis, subsp. Vireo brevipennis).
But here he is born 1868 and according The Eponym Dictionary of Birds (c1878-c1953). I have no clue where all this dates derived from.

So anyone might enlight us/me about his real life dates? The middle name seems to be correct or at least we can find him e.g. in Naturalists on the Isthmus of Panama: A Hundred Years of Natural History on the Biological Bridge of the Americas where on p. 75 starts a chapter The Explorations of Wilmot Brown, Jr (1900-1904).

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Old Thursday 6th June 2019, 21:19   #2
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Wilmot Wood Brown Jr (Birdkiller Brown as he was known on the Cayman Islands) was born on 19 May 1868 in Charlestown, Mass. The son of Wilmot Wood Brown Snr and Anne L. Brown. He died at 11 am on 10 Jul 1953 at the Hotel Mexico, Chilpancingo, Guerrero, Mexico.

He seems to have had issues remembering his birth year, as on various official forms it was given as 1868, 1869, 1870 and 1871. Given that such "amnesia" is often due to vanity I have chosen to use the earliest date and that suggested by the 1880 census. He lived at various times in Somerville, Mass and El Paso, TX. His birthdate is certainly not in the late 1870s.

By the way having read a bit about Mr Brown, he is honestly one of the most contemptible of all the people that have been honored in ornithology. The fact he is recognized in several names is stomach churning. If there was a process for removing his honorifics through the IUZN I would seriously think about doing so...

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Old Friday 7th June 2019, 06:44   #3
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Thank you for this.

Surely his life was not oriented to protect birds/annimals. But in this case you have to remove many collectors like Henry Whitely, the Verreauxs (remember the story of Negro of Banyoles), Jules Prosper Goudot and Justin Marie Goudot etc.. Many of them discussed in this forum.
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Old Friday 7th June 2019, 07:45   #4
Calalp
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In my MS I have him as: "... den amerikanske insamlaren ”Mr. W. W. Brown, Jr” (Wilmot Wood Brown jr, född 1874), som åsyftas i det vetenskapliga namnet på t ex trädgränsgärdsmyg Thryorchilus browni."

Which, in English, would be something like:
... the American [read; US] collector ”Mr. W. W. Brown, Jr” (Wilmot Wood Brown Jr, born 1874), who is commemorated in, for example, the Timberline Wren Thryorchilus browni.

Note: This far I haven't checked him any deeper, as he's only mentioned in context, as one who's not to be confused with neither the Scottish missionary George Brown (1835–1917), nor with the Scottish botanist and librarian Robert Brown (1773–1858).

In the case of ”Mr. W. W. Brown, Jr” I simply trusted Jobling.

Björn

PS. If we would judge all early naturalist, explorers, leaders of expeditions etc., etc., by today's morale, or "high" standard, we wouldn't have many eponyms left
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Old Friday 7th June 2019, 08:23   #5
Taphrospilus
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Calalp View Post
to be confused with neither the Scottish missionary George Brown (1835–1917), nor with the Scottish botanist and librarian Robert Brown (1773–1858).
Of course there are other Browns we should not confused with in the key e.g. there is some room for improvement in life dates of...
  • Peter Brown (fl. 1790)
  • Edward Johnson Brown (1866-?1931)
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Old Friday 7th June 2019, 09:28   #6
Calalp
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Quote:
Originally Posted by PScofield View Post
...Given that such "amnesia" is often due to vanity ...
Minor detail, Paul, I'm not so sure of the vanity part (in those days such expressions was more common in female cases), when it came to males lowering or raising ones birth year was more a question of getting accepted resp. unaccepted/disqualified.

There'are quite a few cases when we've seen guys declairing an earlier birth year to be accepted to participate in an expedition, or on a voyage, etc., etc., but also the opposite, of given a later birth year (most often to avoid being drafted, called in for military service).

In those days most guys wanted, and tried, to appear older, more mature, like "real men", worthy of the task ... even if they weren't. Like when youngsters sneek into a pub, far to young, stubbornly claiming the proper age, and so on.
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Old Friday 7th June 2019, 09:33   #7
Calalp
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Taphrospilus View Post
Of course there are other Browns ...
Yes, sure, but not in my MS.

Good luck in trying to find them as well!
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Old Friday 7th June 2019, 11:37   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Taphrospilus View Post
  • Peter Brown (fl. 1790)
  • Edward Johnson Brown (1866-?1931)
Anyway according Biographies of Members of the American Ornithologists' Union here

Quote:
Brown, Edward Johnson, an Associate of the American Ornithologists' Union, died at Eustis, Fla., February 14, 1934, at the age of 67. He was the son of Samuel K. and Ann Watson Brown and was born in Philadelphia, Pa., October 4, 1866. Many years of his life were spent in Washington, D. C., where for some time he was engaged with his father in the furniture business.
Some more Peter Brown here or here:

Quote:
Peter Brown, the man who painted Tupaia's bird after it arrived in England, was a natural history artist of Danish descent who exhibited at the Royal Academy, and was botanical draughtsman for the Prince of Wales. He is most famous for his book, New Illustrations of Zoology ..., which includes the earliest published illustration of an Australian bird, described as a ‘Blue-headed and bellied Parrot’ that had been brought to England from Botany Bay, New South Wales, by Joseph Banks. The caption also records that the painting was made on ‘November 3 1774’ — evidence that Tupaia’s bird was still alive on that date.

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Old Saturday 8th June 2019, 22:08   #9
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Peter Brown is of considerable interest to Australasians being the first European to draw Australian Birds but his life is very poorly known. An Ancestry.com tree for Peter Brown created by a putative direct descendent has the dates 1747-1795. This assumes that the Painter Peter Brown was born and died in Tower Hamlets, East London and was the son of Peter (?Peder Bruun) and Christiana Brown. However there is no evidence directly linking Peter Brown the painter and Peter Brown of Tower Hamlets and hence I wonder if this is simply wishful thinking on the part of the descendent. The only solid information on Brown are a bunch of addresses in the west London area that date to his time exhibiting at the RA. If he genuinly of Danish descent perhaps one of the Scandinavians contributing here can find more??
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Old Sunday 9th June 2019, 23:53   #10
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Have found some references to Peter Brown that make him somewhat interesting to Calalp, I suspect.

Here

This, and other early references makes it apparent that Brown was regarded as Norwegian by many Brtis but this was of course during the period of the Dano-Norwegian union.
He also apparently went to school from 6 to 17 at school in Sheen (which Mellor (2009) states is supposedly in Sweden – though I can’t find it on a map (any suggestions)).

Mellor, A. K. (2009). The Baffling Swallow: Gilbert White, Charlotte Smith and the Limits of Natural History. Nineteenth‐Century Contexts, 31(4), 299-309.

P

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Old Monday 10th June 2019, 08:53   #11
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Paul, first regarding your post No. #9, ... I think you're right in the "wishful thinking on the part of the descendent", for the Peter Brown of Tower Hamlets, London, to me it does look like "our" guy truly was of Scandinavian descendent. And I will look into the apparently interesting piece of your post No. #10, later ... when time allows.

Below is the only additional info I have in my notes (altered into English, and now somewhat expanded, due to this thread) regarding ...

browni as in:
• the invalid "Falco browni" SHAW 1809, here, a k a "Brown's Hawk" or/and also, easy to misinterpret; Brown Hawk", by Latham!
[Synonymous of the Shikra Accipiter badius GMELIN 1788 (here)]
Quote:
"Described and figured in Peter Brown's Illustrations of Zoology; ..."

[SHAW 1809]
In today's Key we find:
Quote:
browni / brownii
● Peter Brown (fl. 1790) Danish/English natural history painter and botanical illustrator (syn. Accipiter badius).
[...]
Following the OD itself takes us to this work from 1776 , where he is a k a "Pierre Brown", in French (here), and the illustration itself; Le Faucon brun/The Brown Hawk (here).

If we follow one of the (many) clues given in the Preface: "Gratitute likewise prompts me to mention the great and valuable assistance I recieved from THOMAS PENNANT Esq; of Downing in Flintshire, and Dr. JOHN REINHOLD FORSTER, both Gentlemen well known ..." I think we could get a bit closer to the unknown "Peter Brown" (or "Pierre" ditto).

See this piece about "Fåglarnes Hemligheter" (The Secrets of Birds), by the Giant Swedish Author August Strindberg, from his "Blue book" (one of his most odd, and hard-to-read, titles, full of delusions), written in 1906-1907 (all in Swedish):

Quote:
Quote:
"Peter Brown (Bruun) norsk målare (?) berättar för samme Forster att han under skoltiden i Skien, mellan hans 6:e och 17:e år regelbundet uppfiskade svalor under isen i ett träsk, och att fåglarne kommo till liv i ett varmt rum."
... which, in English, would be something like:
Quote:
"Peter Brown (Bruun) Norwegian Painter (?) told the same ["John Reinhold", i.e. the German Naturalist Johann Reinhold] Forster that he during his School years in Skien, between his 6th and 17th year regularly fished up Swallows beneath the Ice of a swamp, and that the Birds came to life [when placed] in a warm room."
Obviously, the story that "Peter Brown (Bruun)" told Forster about Swallow-fishing is complete nonsense, but it reveals that his true name might have been Bruun, and also of a possible Norwegian Heritage (Norway was a Province of Denmark in those days), and "Skien" is most likely the town by the same name (as of here, earlier, until 1914 a k a "Scheen"). This Skien, or Scheen (though not "Sheen") was, in those days, as one of Norway's oldest cities, a hub for most sciences.

Also note than brun/bruun means brown (the colour) in most Scandinavian countries [for example; the Swedish name for the related species Brown Goshawk Accipiter fasciatus is brunduvhök, earlier written, in two words, as brun duvhök, simply meaning (a) brun/brown duvhök/Goshawk].

To me it looks like our "Peter Brown" was a Norwegian (alt./or, in his days, Danish) guy, who'd emigrated (to London), where he possibly altered his surname into a more understandable version (!?). If so his first, given name could, originally, have been either Pehr or Per (a common given name), often altered into Peter* alt. Pierre outside Scandinavia (either way, Peter is also, as well, a very common name in Scandinavia).

Other than that, the only longer text, that I know of, about "Peter Brown" is found in this fairly recent book The Life of Governor Joan Gideon Loten (1710-1789): ..., by Alexander Raat (2010), see pp. 550-557 (and note that "Peter Brown" himself mentioned Mr. Loten, in the foot-note, of the very same Preface, above):
Quote:
"Biographical information about natural history Painter Peter Brown is scarce. We do not know when or where he was born. Thomas Pennant tells us that he was a Dane by birth and a “very neat limner”. However, in September of 1772 Loten refers to “one Brown, born in Norway, but living in London”. Daines Barrington refers to “the ingenious painter” Peter Brown as a Norwegian, who “from the age of 6 to 17 attended a School near Scheem” [sic, ought to be Scheen, the earlier name for Skien]. The latter suggests ..."
... and onwards.

[Note: No. of Raat's various references not included in the quote above. Some of them might be worth having a closer look at?]
That´s all I´ve got. At this point I haven't tried to find any Peter (or Pehr alt. Per, or even Petrus) Brown (or Bruun) in or from Skien, Norway (or the surrounding parts of Telemark county), and I don't know if I will find time to do it.

For anyone keen on giving it a try; remember than Bruun (or Brun) are common surnames in Scandinavia (as common as Brown/Browne, in "English" countries), and a search for P-whatever and Bruun/Brun will (most likely) result in a myriad of different people. Thereby, some sort of close connection/link to either London, zoological illustration or the Naturalists mentioned are essential to find. And then, onwards ...

Take the above for what it's worth. Hopefully of some help.

Björn
_____________________________________________________________________________
*Similar (but the other way around!) to the name of the far more well-known, Swedish naturalist Peter Forsskål (1732–1763),
that many "Foreigners" (read; Non-Scandinavians) still believe was Pehr Forsskål, or latinized into Petrus ditto [... like, for example, James, in his HBW Alive Key ]

Last edited by Calalp : Monday 10th June 2019 at 16:57. Reason: typo
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Old Tuesday 11th June 2019, 18:34   #12
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Wilmot Wood Brown, Jr.
I agree with Martin. Scientific names are merely labels. Wilmot Wood Brown, Jr., may have been less than likeable, but if we had to replace all scientific names that honoured tyrants, dictators, mass murderers, criminals, fraudsters, militarists, imperialists and conquistadores, slave-traders, big-game hunters, and those that slaughtered birds, the nomenclatorists would have a very busy time.
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Old Saturday 15th June 2019, 09:23   #13
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Peter Brown's Brown "Falcon" ...

Paul, I didn't find anything additional in Barrington's text (as of the link in Post #10). But clearly this piece was what dear old August Strindberg had read (and believed).

However; no Swedish connection found, nor known (this said without having read the piece by Mellor, 2009).

The only addition to the Key's entry, would/could possibly be: "Peter Brown ... died in London in 1799." (according to Alexander Raat, 2010, p.551). How reliable this claim is, or based on what, are all unknown to me. He is also, in several texts, listed as "(fl.1758-1799)", like, for example; here.

Either way, to me it looks like he was (probably) born in Skien, in today's Norway (a bit tricky to rely solely on a polemical Author like Strindberg). But, under what name? Well, I haven't got a clue. Other common Scandinavian names, that could easily have been turned into Peter (Brown) are Peder and Petter (Bruun/Brun).

As of here (p.188) we can read nothing more, than:
Quote:
BROWN, PETER, a flower painter, exhibited at the Royal Academy from 1770 till 1791. He was a member of the Incorporated Society of Artists and Botanical Painter to the the Prince of Wales.
If trustworthy (?) possibly adding a single year to the Key's "fl.1790". Though, if he truly was still going in "1791" is far harder to tell, as I assume this claim of him exhibiting in -91, origins from here (p.41-42), telling us only that he was noted in a List of Exhibitors from 1891, as someone whose paintings, at that point, had been on show (but the paintings themselves, were made in 1866 till 1883). If the Artist/Exhibitor himself was still alive in that particular year is a completely different thing (a fact all unknown to me).

This far I wouldn't dare to stretch it further than James have done, as "fl.1790", though the most interesting part of the above is (at least in my mind) that he, in the latter link, suddenly is given an address: "Peter Street, Bloomsbury". An address that might help you/us/anyone forward ... who knows?

Good luck finding him.

Björn

PS. Paul, if you have the paper by Mellor, and want me to have a look at it, just let me know. If so; use BirdForum's Private Message system, and I will reply (with my private e-mail-address).
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Old Sunday 16th June 2019, 09:34   #14
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Post Peter Brown (Bruun) windup

Mike Earp have kindly supplied me with the Mellor piece (thanks again, Mike!), and ... well, nothing new.

See attached excerpt (i.e. the only part dealing with Brown). Where Anne K. Mellor found a place by the name "Sheen", in Sweden, or the basis for this claim [in square brackets], is all unknown to me. I've never heard of such a place, and it doesn't look similar to any place that I know of. The spelling itself doesn't look Swedish at all, not in my mind. The "Sh"+ vowel is rarely used in Sweden. In any word. The "German" version Sch/sch is far more common.

This far, I´ll stick to the theory that Peter Brown (Bruun) was born in Skien (old Scheen), in today's Norway.

And; that's it. I don't think I can reach any further on Brown/Bruun. He remains a mystery.

To anyone keener, more stubborn; good luck!

Björn

PS. Sure glad he's not one of "my guys".
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Old Tuesday 18th June 2019, 03:54   #15
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Calalp,
My apologies for the delay in replying. The confusion between Sheen and Skien is infuriating. Clearly the contemporary reference to Brown's observations on swallows by Barrington spells Brown's school district as "Sheen'. It is subsequent authors supposition that this was a misspelling of Skien given his Norwegian origins and the fact that Barrington actually calls Brown an "inhabitant of [the northern parts of Europe]" in his account. An examination of the birth records for Telemark indicates that Peter Brun is actually a common name in this district and hence it is highly likely.

What I can tell you however unfortunately is that there is a Sheen (or east Sheen) in London in the Borough of Richmond that has several notable old schools. It just possible that Peter Brown did go to school in Sheen, London (though I doubt it).

I suspect the answer will be found in the archives of the Skien Geneological Society but trying to read 19th century Norwegian in cursive is well outside my skill set.

Paul

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Old Tuesday 18th June 2019, 10:28   #16
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No worries of the late reply, Paul ...

The only context where I can find Sheen in Swedish texts (except for Charlie and Martin Sheen, etc., etc., of course) are in old stories of; Sheen (Sion, Syon) [och/and Isleworth], but as such only as Brigittine Monastery/ies, located in England, back in the late Middle Ages... thereby way, way off our horizon.

To me, a random search, in the archives of Skien Geneological Society, for any possible Peter/Petter/Peder/Per/Pehr/Petrus Brun/Bruun (that could have, presumably altered his name into Peter Brown), without knowing even his closest Family, not even knowing in which decade to start, in some later connection to any of those English naturalists, or various addresses in London, alt. different Artist Societies, seems a task far, far too time-consuming for my taste (read; my Calendar, alt. against the clock).

Sorry, I´ll leave him here. In the dusk.

Björn
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Last edited by Calalp : Tuesday 18th June 2019 at 10:35. Reason: typo
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