A site dedicated to the life and work of Sir Thomas Browne who
was born 19 October 1605 in London and died 19 October 1682 in Norwich
About this site: this embryonic site has just been started by an informal Thomas Browne Appreciation Society to enable people to get to know Sir Thomas Browne better by collecting information relating to him in one place. We have received some funding to enable us to develop the site and will also be launching a crowd-funding campaign to develop further. Please bookmark and come back regularly for new content. .
Sir Thomas Browne Day 19 October 2017
There is a plan to establish 19th October as Sir Thomas Browne Day in Norwich, and possibly across the country. The idea would be to organise events to commemorate and stimulate knowledge about Browne and also his commitment to curiosity and investigation, learning and thought.
In 2016 Sir Thomas Browne day fell in the middle of the Norwich Science Festival which seems an appropriate time to celebrate and establish a day dedicated to him in the future.
We would also like to start a Sir Thomas Browne Prize for writing aimed at young people and will be talking to partners about how to make this happen.
Sir Thomas Browne Facebook page
Help the Thomas Browne Project
If you would like to make a donation to support the development and maintenance of this site, please donate here
There are lots of interesting articles that mention Sir Thomas Browne, which help us to get to know him bit by bit. Links are included below.
The man who invented popular science used a 17th-century version of clickbait
Interesting link here about Sir Thomas and some of the techniques he used to get people interested in science
Thomas Browne and porcelain
Sir Thomas Browne was interested in alchemy and the science of substances. This article mentions him in relation to trying to work out how porcelain was made, as porcelain, at the time was as valuable as gold and its manufacture was a jealously guarded Chinese secret.
Sir Thomas Browne and words
Sir Thomas Browne invented many of the words we use today . As well as those that stood the test of time many didn't. However he is credited with coining words, numbering second only to Sir William Shakespeare. Here are a few examples.
News and updates
Opening Saturday 8 April 2017
An exhibition of the work of
who illustrated a republished edition of Thomas Browne's Urne Buriall in 1931
The exhibition runs until 20 August 2017
This exhibition at the Sainsbury Centre for Visual Arts brings together a life-time of work by this important British artist who worked through both world wars. He was commissioned to illustrate an edition of his two works Garden of Cyrus and Urne Buriall in 1931 and there is a copy of the book included in the exhibition - photo to follow.
The exhibition is open until 20 August 2017
Current exhibition at Royal College of Physicians: 'A cabinet of rarities': the curious collections of Sir Thomas Browne
30 January to 1 December 2017
Royal College of Physicians of London
11 St Andrews Place, Regent’s Park, London NW1 4LE
A free exhibition on the curious polymath Sir Thomas Browne.
30 January–1 December 2017, Monday–Friday only, 9am–5pm.
FREE ENTRY. Read more here
Sir Thomas Browne’s plants:
a garden trail at the Royal College of Physicians, Regents Park, London
A new trail in the RCP garden of medicinal plants leads visitors around plants and flowers grown by the 17th-century physician and collector Sir Thomas Browne. Written by the RCP head gardener and horticultural curator, Jane Knowles, and based on research done by Dr Harriet Phillips of Queen Mary University of London, the trail accompanies the current exhibition ‘A cabinet of rarities’: the curious collections of Sir Thomas Browne.
Read more here
'The Adventures of Sir Thomas Browne
in the 21st Century'
Now out in paperback and available from bookshops, Amazon and on Kindle etc
Hugh Aldersey Williams' book about Sir Thomas Browne was published by Granta and launched at The Bookhive Norwich in 2015.
See more here
His whole house and garden is a paradise and Cabinet of rarities and that of the best collection, amongst Medails, books, Plants, natural things
'Browne’s own work on plants, The Garden of Cyrus (1658), takes the quincunx – a five-pointed geometrical plantation pattern – as the starting point for an exploration of the chaotic abundance of nature.'
Sam Crosfield, assistant gardener, Royal College of Physicians
Telephone: 020 3075 1543
About Sir Thomas Browne
Sir Thomas Browne lived and worked in Norwich from 1636 until his death in 1682. He was a physician, philosopher, botanist and writer and was very important in England at the time. He was well-liked in Norfolk, well-travelled and educated, religious and respected. There are traces of his time in Norwich all over the city and this site will tell you about his life and where to find out more about him.
If you have images, facts, documents or stories which you would like to add to this site, please email email@example.com for consideration
‘We are not magisterial in opinions, nor have we dictator-like obtruded our conceptions, but in the humility of enquiries or disquisitions, have only proposed them unto more ocular discerners.’
More about Thomas Browne
Listen to Professor Claire Preston and Hugh Aldersey Williams discussing Thomas Browne on BBC Radio 3's Free Thinking, originally broadcast on Tuesday 5th May 2015.
Useful links about Sir Thomas
Links to other resources about Sir Thomas will be posted here
A new video about Sir Thomas Browne and the work that Queen Mary University are doing about him and a new exhibition January-July 2017 (see below) focussing on curiosity - one of the most significant traits of Sir Thomas Browne
Homage to Thomas Browne
The sculpture work on Hay Hill is an Homage to Thomas Browne, made by French husband and wife team of artists, Anne and Patrick Poirer. It was intended to be a set of street furniture, a kind of living room for the city (the Poiriers tend not to make art for simply looking at).
It was a major public art commission, installed in 2008 and paid for by Arts Council England East, Norwich City Council with a contribution by Norfolk County Council. Read more here