Buckingham Notables: Rev. Henry James Brown


Whilst researching my family tree, I discovered a distant cousin who was a portrait painter. In fact, he may have some work in the Smithsonian. As I was searching for images of his portraits I found a blog post about him on WordPress.

The post not only had a painting by him but also some more info that I did not know. Turns out, he moved from Cumberland County to Buckingham County and he was a Reverend too.

The Reverend Brown is the grandson of James Brown who was the son of Buckingham Browne and a descendant of Sir Thomas Browne, a doctor and author who was knighted by Charles II.

Buckingham Browne was the grandson of Sir Thomas who migrated to America and started a family with Elizabeth Mestiche.



 Here is that post on Reverend Henry James Brown…

slate river ramblings . . . .

Buckingham Polka

 Buckingham Female Collegiate Institute

Those of you who follow Slate River Ramblings via the Slate River Press Facebook page will recognize the image above of the Buckingham Female Collegiate Institute. Used to illustrate “The Buckingham Polka” composed by the Institute’s music teacher, Arnaud Préot, this image also appeared with the chapter “A Noble Idea: Buckingham Female Collegiate Institute,” in “At a Place Called Buckingham.”

The drawing was executed by Rev. Henry James Brown (1811-1854), a Methodist minister and fellow instructor at the Institute. He also served as vice-president of its board.  Born in Cumberland County, Brown began painting when he was about sixteen years old, eventually studying with the renowned artist Thomas Sully.  In 1833, Brown married Susan Ann Hobson and together they had eight children.  In 1850, they were living in Buckingham County adjacent Dr. John C. Blackwell, President of the Institute.  In 1854, Brown died at the Institute…

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