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Brown of Lanfine Collection

TitleBrown of Lanfine Collection
DescriptionThis collection, which consists largely of around 600 minerals, was donated from the estate of Dr Thomas Brown of Waterhaughs and Lanfine (1774-1853), by his daughter Martha in 1874. It is part of one of the great 19th century Scottish mineral collections, the other half of the collection having been given to Glasgow University, along with most of the rest of his collections of fossils and other artefacts. His collection contains a variety of fine specimens from type and classic localities in Scotland, England, Europe and worldwide. The son of a wealthy surgeon and banker, Thomas Brown studied medicine at Edinburgh University under Daniel Rutherford, Professor of Botany and Medicine 1786-1819) and was appointed as a botany lecturer at Glasgow University in 1799, a post he held until 1815. He went on to become a well known and popular doctor in Glasgow. Brown succeeded his cousin to the Lanfine and Waterhoughs estates in Ayrshire, in 1829. Brown’s collection can be dated from 1803, when he received a donation of 200 minerals from Major Thomas Wilson. His earliest records of field collecting are from 1816. He also bought and exchanged specimens with many famous mineral collectors and dealers including Krantz of Berlin, Professor Matthew Forster Heddle, William Nicol and Alexander Rose. His written catalogue of minerals was begun in 1832, a copy of which is still used by the Cockburn Museum today. In 1849 Heddle noted that Brown’s collection was the largest in Scotland and in 1851, Alexander Rose valued the collection at £1751. Alexander Rose noted in his valuation of Brown’s collection: "11 specimens with several crystals of greenockite of uncommon size and splendor £25" Brown is thought to be the first person to find Greenockite, although at the time he did not know he had found a new mineral. In 1816 he recorded a find of Blende (Sphalerite) from Kilpatrick which was later identified as Greenockite, following its discovery at the type locality of Bishopton, Renfrewshire in 1840 by Robert Jameson.
CustodianDr Thomas Brown of Waterhaughs and Lanfine (1774-1853)
Custodial HistoryDonated to the University by Martha Brown, daughter of Dr Thomas Brown of Waterhaughs and Lanfine, in 1874.
OriginEdinburgh; England; Europe; Europe; Glasgow; Scotland; United Kingdom
Parent Collection Geology Collection

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