Reference code





  • 1808-1974 (Creation)

Level of description


Extent and medium

Five archive boxes; circa 400 items

Name of creator

Biographical history

The collection relates to the Brown, Solomon, Middleton and Naude families, their individual lives, and their inter-relationship. The Brown Family Papers refer to John Brown of Carpow (ca. 1695-1733) the honest weaver; John Brown of Haddington, Scotland (1722-1787) author of the self-interpreting Bible; John Brown of Whitburn (1754-1832); Samuel Brown (1779-1839[?]), founder of Village Itinerary Libraries; John Croumbie Brown (1808-1895), missionary of London Mission Society, and later Colonial Botanist (1862-66), and Professor of Botany, S.A.C., 1862-67; John Brown medical practitioner, ('Rab') (1810-1882); John Brown (1842¬1929) District Surgeon, Fraserburg (1865-1876), later of Edinburgh, and Burnley, Lancashire. John Brown of Haddington's first wife was Janet Thomson, and after her death, his second wife was Violet Croumbie. Janet bore him 8 children, of whom John Brown of Whitburn was the eldest son. He first married Isabella Cranston, and afterwards Agnes Fletcher. Their daughter Erskine married John Croumbie, eldest son of Samuel Brown. John Croumbie and Erskine's 4th child married Mary Solomon, 3rd child of Henry Solomon and Julia Middleton. Out of this alliance Rachel, their 2nd child, married James Dick, and their eldest daughter Margaret (Mollie) first married Stanley F. Smith, and later L. Marriott-Earle. Janet, their 2nd daughter, married Archibald McGregor, whose eldest daughter Sheila married Stewart Truswell. Pieter Hugo Naude's connection with the Brown family arose because of his marriage to Julia Mary, 3rd child of John Brown and Erskine Brown.
Solomon Family
There are references to Nathaniel Solomon of Kent, married to Phoebe de Mitz of Leyden, 3 of whose 21 children, Saul (1776 - ?), Joseph and Benjamin, went to St. Helena. Joseph married Hannah Moss, and later came to Cape Town. The most prominent children of this marriage were Henry Solomon (1816 - 1900), Saul (1817-1892), and Edward (1820-1886). Henry married Julia Middleton. Mary, 3rd child of their family of 11 children, married Dr. John Brown, Fraserburg. Saul married Georgiana Thomson, 3 of whose offspring were Saul, W.E. Gladstone and Daisy. Of Edward's marriage to Jessie Matthews were born Edward (later Sir), Richard (later Sir), William (later Sir) and Emilie. A family connection of the Solomons is William Harry Ramsbottom (1894-1960). Apart from the family, amongst those referred to in the collection are: Thomas Arbousset, John Bokwe, J. Buchanan (later Sir John Buchanan), Napoleon Buonaparte, Rev. James Cameron, (S.A.C. Professor of Latin and History), H.M. Cameron, Capt. Campbell, John Cane, Jean-Eugene Casalis, Rev. G.F. Childe, (S.A.C. Professor of Mathematics), Sir Lowry Cole, Rev. Cousins of Madagascar, Dr. Drew, Dingaan, H.M. Dyke, Dr. Ebden, John Fairburn, F.G. Farewell, Rev. Fraser, Sir John Fraser, T.E. Fuller (later Sir Thomas Fuller), Francis Fynn, George Greig, Bishop Gray, George Grei, Hlambabanzi, Lieut. James S. King, Rudyard Kipling, Dr. Lister, Sir Henry Littlejohn, David Livingstone, Sir James MacKenzie, Rev. John Moffat, Moss Family of St. Helena, Prof. R. Noble (S.A.C. Professor of Literature and Physical Science), Dr. John Philip, Thomas Pringle, Olive Schreiner, Shaka, Dr. Shand (Tulbagh District Surgeon), Dr. Simpson, Col. Somerset, Sir Richard Southey (Colonial Secretary), R.L. Stevenson, Dr. J. Stewart, A.C. Swinburne, W.M. Thackeray.

Archival history

Immediate source of acquisition or transfer

Donor: Mrs J McGregor on behalf of her sisters, Mrs L Earle, Miss M and N Dick, whose mother Mrs Rachel E Dick was responsible for preserving this collection.

Scope and content

The Brown Papers were presented to the University of Cape Town Libraries in 1975 by a descendant of the Brown Family, Mrs. J. McGregor, and number approximately 377 items. The papers reflect family histories, social, religious and historical matters, and some medical aspects. The geographical areas covered are Fraserburg, Cape Town and district, and Natal in South Africa; St. Helena; Haddington and Edinburgh, Scotland, and Burnley, Lancashire, England. The collection includes references to church work and ministers in Congregational, English, Dutch and United Presbyterian churches; missionaries and missions, including London Missionary Society; social reform in many facets in Christian Temperance Societies, Mutual Improvement Society Women's suffrage, Poor Law and workhouse; and the early days of printing in the Cape in 'The Commercial Advertiser.


System of arrangement

Conditions governing access

Contact University of Cape Town Libraries: Special Collections for information about accessing this collection.

Conditions governing reproduction

Language of material

  • English

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Physical characteristics and technical requirements

Finding aids

Only a high level record is currently kept in AtoM. For a detailed list of contents see

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  • Shelf: 64a