Reference Entry

Brown, James .

H.R. Costello

in Oxford Companion to Black British History

Published in print January 2005 | ISBN: 9780192804396
Brown, James .

Show Summary Details


Previously known as Cato, or James Cato (b. 1750 ), black crewman on Nelson's flagship, the Victory. Brown was originally known as Cato, following the common practice of slave owners of giving slaves Roman or Greek names. Brown is thought to have been a black Loyalist , a slave siding with the British during the American War of Independence. Living in Nova Scotia, he was of mixed parentage, his mother reputed to be a member of the prominent Liverpool merchant Gough family.Cato left Nova Scotia, running away to sea while still a child, ironically serving on ships involved in the slave trade, and assuming the name James Cato . He later joined the Royal Navy and changed his name again, to James Brown , serving on one of the most famous ships of all time, Nelson's flagship Victory at the Battle of Trafalgar in 1805 . When he left the Navy, James, a very large man (20 stone in weight), worked in Liverpool as a foundry worker, marrying three times to local women. His two sons were John Gough Brown , a temperance advocate born in the early 19th century, and James Brown , Jr. ( 1815 – 81 ), who became involved in the Chartist cause in the Isle of Man. One of the younger James's sons was James William Ross Brown (b. 1858 ), who became a lawyer on the northern circuit at the age of 30 in 1888 , rising to become a deputy judge.

Reference Entry.  295 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: History

Full text: subscription required

How to subscribe Recommend to my Librarian

Buy this work at Oxford University Press »

Users without a subscription are not able to see the full content. Please, subscribe or login to access all content. subscribe or login to access all content.