Basic Biographical Details

Name: Thomas Brown I
Designation: Architect
Born: c. 1781
Died: 5 June 1850
Bio Notes: Thomas Brown was born c.1781 in England. By 1809 he had established himself as a surveyor and drawing master. On 22 March 1817 he married Jane Dick Brown, daughter of Robert Brown of Much Coldstream.

In 1819 he was appointed Superintendent of the City Works in Edinburgh in place of Thomas Bonnar (who had been dismissed in the previous year) with a salary of 250 without freedom to practise privately, a condition not strictly adhered to. In 1847 he retired on a pension of 150.

In 1824 Brown subscribed to the fund for erecting a memorial to James Watt.

Jane Dick Brown had died on 31 August 1839, aged 48. The 1841 Census shows Thomas Brown living with two female servants. Brown died at 54 George Square on 5 June 1850 at the age of 69 and was buried in Greyfriars Churchyard. In his later years, David Cousin joined him from William Henry Playfair's office as his principal assistant and succeeded him as superintendent of the City Works. Brown's office papers were integrated with that of Thomas Brown II of Uphall who was previously thought to be his son, but has now been proved otherwise.

Private and Business Addresses

The following private or business addresses are associated with this architect:
 AddressTypeDate fromDate toNotes
Item 1 of 5Edinburgh, ScotlandBusiness   
Item 2 of 511, Infirmary Street, Edinburgh, ScotlandPrivate/business(?)c. 1815  
Item 3 of 57, Hill Place, Nicolson Square, Edinburgh, ScotlandBusiness1819  
Item 4 of 56, Argyle Square, Edinburgh, ScotlandPrivate1841 *  
Item 5 of 554, George Square, Edinburgh, ScotlandPrivate1850  

* earliest date known from documented sources.

Employment and Training

Employees or Pupils

The following individuals were employed or trained by this architect (click on an item to view details):
 NameDate fromDate toPositionNotes
Item 1 of 3John Cunningham  Apprentice 
Item 2 of 3Thomas Brown IIBefore 1833Before 1837Apprentice 
Item 3 of 3David Cousin1841 Principal Assistant 

Buildings and Designs

This architect was involved with the following buildings or structures from the date specified (click on an item to view details):
 Date startedBuilding nameTown, district or villageIslandCity or countyCountryNotes
Item 1 of 401804Broughton Parish ChurchCalzeat PeeblesshireScotland 
Item 2 of 401809Exchange Buildings and Assembly RoomsLeith EdinburghScotlandNew frontage and extensive additions
Item 3 of 401815Channelkirk ManseChannelkirk BerwickshireScotlandAddition at east end of north elevation
Item 4 of 401815Nicolson Square Methodist Church  EdinburghScotland 
Item 5 of 401816Trinity HouseLeith EdinburghScotland 
Item 6 of 401817Comely Bank  EdinburghScotland 
Item 7 of 401818North Leith UP ChurchLeith EdinburghScotland 
Item 8 of 401819London Street  EdinburghScotlandRevision of Reid's elevation for the south side of street
Item 9 of 40c. 1819Bellevue Crescent, Northern Half  EdinburghScotlandRevised Thomas Bonnar's original design after Bonnar's dismissal
Item 10 of 401820Green Market  EdinburghScotland 
Item 11 of 40Before 1820New Calton Burying Ground  EdinburghScotlandAttribution by B of S
Item 12 of 401821Fettes Row  EdinburghScotlandElevations
Item 13 of 401821Tenement, Market Street  EdinburghScotland 
Item 14 of 401822Infirmary Street UP Church  EdinburghScotland 
Item 15 of 4018235-57 Inverleith RowInverleith EdinburghScotlandOnly the layout is documented although he probably did design many of the houses
Item 16 of 401823Cumberland Street  EdinburghScotlandDesign of elevations
Item 17 of 401823Housing, James PlaceLeith EdinburghScotland 
Item 18 of 401823St Mary's Church  EdinburghScotland 
Item 19 of 401823The Binns  West LothianScotlandEast Gate
Item 20 of 40182486-102 South Clerk Street  EdinburghScotland 
Item 21 of 401824Bathgate AcademyBathgate West LothianScotlandDesign only
Item 22 of 401824Leith PrisonLeith EdinburghScotland 
Item 23 of 401824West Preston Street  EdinburghScotland 
Item 24 of 40c. 1824Trinity Crescent  EdinburghScotland 
Item 25 of 401825Houses, 3-6 West Newington Place  EdinburghScotland 
Item 26 of 401825Newington Road  EdinburghScotland 
Item 27 of 401825Royal Crescent  EdinburghScotlandDesign of elevations
Item 28 of 401825Tenement, 1-2 West Newington Place and 56 Newington Road  EdinburghScotland 
Item 29 of 40c. 1825St Stephen Street  EdinburghScotlandDesign of quadrant linking Stockbridge Market to St Vincent Street- not built
Item 30 of 40182621-25, 37 and 39 Inverleith PlaceInverleith EdinburghScotlandNos 21-25, 39
Item 31 of 40Before 1826120-134 Trinity Road  EdinburghScotland 
Item 32 of 401829Clarence Street corner block  EdinburghScotland 
Item 33 of 401829West Hall, farmstead and farm offices, cottages etcMonimail FifeScotlandAlterations and repairs proposed
Item 34 of 4018313 and 5 Hamilton Place  EdinburghScotland 
Item 35 of 401831Tolbooth St John's Church  EdinburghScotlandDesign only - not built
Item 36 of 401839Edinburgh City Chambers  EdinburghScotlandAlterations for City Chambers
Item 37 of 401842St Giles Cathedral  EdinburghScotlandRefitting of the nave as St Giles West Parish Church
Item 38 of 401845West Hall, farmstead and farm offices, cottages etcMonimail FifeScotlandInspected work on farmhouse and offices - or younger Brown?
Item 39 of 401846Auchterderran ManseAuchterderran FifeScotlandRepairs and alerations
Item 40 of 401849Manse and offices, CeresCeres FifeScotlandDrew up report and plans on manse accommodation - plans by Brown not executed


Bibliographic References

The following books contain references to this architect:
Item 1 of 1Colvin, H M1995A Biographical Dictionary of British Architects 1600-18403rd editionNew Haven and London: Yale University Press 

Periodical References

The following periodicals contain references to this architect:
 Periodical NameDateEditionPublisherNotes
Item 1 of 2Caledonian Mercury8 April 1819   
Item 2 of 2Caledonian Mercury12 August 1824   

Archive References

The following archives hold material relating to this architect:
 SourceArchive NameSource Catalogue No.Notes
Item 1 of 6Census RecordsCensus 1841  
Item 2 of 6Edinburgh City ArchivesEdinburgh Dean of Guild  
Item 3 of 6Edinburgh City ArchivesEdinburgh Town Council Minutes  
Item 4 of 6GROSRecords of Marriages  
Item 5 of 6H M Register HouseDeath Register  
Item 6 of 6Steve RobbInformation from Steve Robb (from Scotland's People website) Sent May 2011