Captain Thomas Brown FRSE FLS (1785 – 8 October 1862) was a British naturalist and malacologist. (zoologist specialising in the study of molluscs).
Brown was born in Perth, Scotland and educated at the Edinburgh High School.
When he was twenty, he joined the Forfar and Kincardine Militia, rising to the rank of Captain in 1811. When he was quartered in Manchester, he became interested in nature, and edited Oliver Goldsmith's Animated Nature.
After his regiment was disbanded he bought the Fifeshire flax mill. That, however, burned down before Brown had the opportunity to insure it.
He then started to write books about nature for a living.
He was elected a Fellow of the Royal Society of Edinburgh in 1818, one of his proposers being James Jardine. (Jardine was an engineer whose expertise was in relating to mean sea levels which brown was interested in because of his interest in shells.)
In 1840 he became curator of the Manchester Museum, where he served for twenty-two years.
He wrote several natural history books, a few dealing with conchology. He became a fellow of the Linnean Society, a member of the Wernerian, Kirwanian and Phrenological Societies, and president of the Physical Society. Material from his books was used by United States naturalist Thomas Wyatt for his book Manual of Conchology.
A species of sea snail, a marine gastropod, was named after him: Zebina browniana d'Orbigny, 18
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