Brown, Robert 1773-1858

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Robert Brown was born in Montrose, Scotland. His life was also completely associated with botanical research. At 32 he returned from Australia with plant specimens. It has been stated that "thereafter nothing was allowed to divert his eye from his microscope and his books." In 1827 he made a deal with the trustees of the British Museum that if he transferred the Bank's collection to the museum he was to be appointed "keeper." These collections now are located in the magnificent herbarium of the University of London and are the authority of the systematic work in Britain to the present day.

While "keeper" of the Botanical Department of the British Museum he examined collections obtained from all parts of the world. These formed the basis for a series of monographs and papers explaining the natural affinities, geographical distributions, morphology and anatomy of the Plant Kingdom. He announced the existence of the cell nucleus and the distinction between gymnosperms and Angiosperms and the so-called "Brownian" movement of small particles suspended in liquids. It has been stated that "nearly every group of flowering plants today bears the mark of this genius."

Robert Brown