14 Facts About Thomas Browne


Sir Thomas Browne was an English polymath and author of varied works which reveal his wide learning in diverse fields including science and medicine, religion and the esoteric.


Thomas Browne settled in Norwich in 1637 and practised medicine there until his death in 1682.


In 1641, Thomas Browne married Dorothy Mileham of Burlingham St Peter, Norfolk.


Thomas Browne bore him 10 children, six of whom died before their parents.


In 1646 Thomas Browne published his encyclopaedia, Pseudodoxia Epidemica, or, Enquiries into Very many Received Tenents, and commonly Presumed Truths, the title of which refers to the prevalence of false beliefs and "vulgar errors".


In Religio Medici, Thomas Browne confirmed his belief, in accordance with the vast majority of seventeenth century European society, in the existence of angels and witchcraft.


The courtier John Evelyn, who had occasionally corresponded with Thomas Browne, took good use of the royal visit to call upon "the learned doctor" of European fame and wrote of his visit, "His whole house and garden is a paradise and Cabinet of rarities and that of the best collection, amongst Medails, books, Plants, natural things".


Thomas Browne's skull was removed when his lead coffin was accidentally re-opened by workmen in 1840.


The Library of Sir Thomas Browne was held in the care of his eldest son Edward until 1708.


Thomas Browne is widely considered one of the most original writers in the English language.


Thomas Browne has a paradoxical and ambiguous place in the history of ideas, as equally, a devout Christian, a promoter of the new inductive science, and an adherent of ancient esoteric learning.


However, the complexity of Thomas Browne's labyrinthine thought processes, his highly stylised language, along with his many allusions to Biblical, Classical and contemporary learning, along with esoteric authors, are each contributing factors for why he remains obscure, little-read, and, thus, misunderstood.


Thomas Browne appears at No 69 in the Oxford English Dictionarys list of top cited sources.


Thomas Browne has 775 entries in the OED of first usage of a word, is quoted in a total of 4131 entries of first evidence of a word, and is quoted 1596 times as first evidence of a particular meaning of a word.