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Brown, Francis John, Captain, 1841–1909 (Master mariner, Surveyor, Anglican missionary)



  • Existence: 28 Sep 1841 - 22 Oct 1909


Brown was born in 1841 in Ringwood, England, of Richard Brown, a law clerk, and Mary Anne Pritchard. He was educated in the Jesuit College at Point Levy, Quebec 1855-56, and in 1857 started as an apprentice on ships. In 1861 he joined Captain Heiter on Lady Milton as seaman, in 1862 he qualified as a Second mate, and joined the Merchant Navy service. He married Hannah Heiter in 1867, and moved to Oakville, Ontario to profit from the booming export business on the Great Lakes. He acted as surveyor for the Grand Trunk Railway, invested in oil initiatives in Ontario. He and Hannah had five children, Henry, Francis, Mary Anne, Emma, and George Brown. Through their local Anglican church, St. Jude, Brown joins the Church Missionary Society on the 1841 Niger Mission, captain of the shallow river vessel, the Henry Venn. He would continue his involvement with the CMS on the 1868 mission to Japan. He retired to Ontario in 1907 and passed away in 1909, at age 68.

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