Rawdon Brown

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Rawdon Lubbock Brown (1803 – 25 August 1883 in Venice) was a historical scholar.


He spent his life at Venice in the study of Italian history, especially in its relation to English history. He came to Venice in 1833 to find the gravestone of Thomas Mowbray, the banished Duke of Norfolk mentioned in Shakespeare's play Richard II.[1] In 1838, he bought the Palazzo Dario, but sold it four years later due to lack of funds. In 1852, he moved into the Palazzo Gussoni-Grimani-della Vida, which was his home until his death.[2] John Ruskin met him in Venice and had an uneven friendship with him.[3]

He died at Venice on 25 Aug. 1883, and was buried in the Lido cemetery three days later. [4]


His great work, to which he gave some twenty years and for which he received ₤200 per year,[5] was done for the British government on Venetian state papers, particularly on the reports of Venetian ambassadors to England, projecting the publication of A Calendar of State Papers and Manuscripts relating to English Affairs existing in the Archives of Venice and Northern Italy. This was unfinished when Brown died at Venice in 1883, but some further work was done on it by his executor George Cavendish-Bentinck, before in 1889 the completion of the work was taken over by Horatio Brown (no relation).[6][7]


  • Four Years at the Court of Henry VIII (1854)
  • Calendar of State Papers in the Archives of Venice (6 volumes, published 1864-1886)


  1. ^ "Rawdon Brown and The Gravestone of Banished Norfolk" - Charles Eliot Norton in The Atlantic Monthly, Volume 0063 Issue 380 (June 1889) pp 740-745
  2. ^ John Julius Norwich (2007-12-18). Paradise of Cities: Venice in the Nineteenth Century (Kindle Location 1829). Random House, Inc.. Kindle Edition.
  3. ^ Norwich op. cit. Chapter V passim.
  4. ^ Lee 1886.
  5. ^ Norwich op. cit. Loc. 1776.
  6. ^ "Venice, A Cultural and Literary History", Martin Garrett, Signal Books, 2001
  7. ^ John Pemble, 'Brown, Horatio Robert Forbes (1854–1926)', in Oxford Dictionary of National Biography (OUP, 2004)

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