John Brown (1810-1882), Scottish physician and author, son of John Brown (1784-1858), was born at Biggar, Scotland, on the 22nd of September 1810. He graduated as M.D. at the university of Edinburgh in 1833, and practised as a physician in that city. His reputation, however, is based on the two volumes of essays, Horae Subsecivae (i.e. "leisure hours") (1858, 1861), John Leech and other Papers (1882), Rab and His Friends (1859), and Marjorie Fleming: a Sketch (1863). The first volume of Horae Subsecivae deals chiefly with the equipment and duties of a physician, the second with subjects outside his profession. He was emphatic in his belief that an author should publish nothing "unless he has something to say, and has done his best to say it aright." Acting on this principle, he published little himself, and only after subjecting it to the severest criticism. His work is invariably characterized by humour and tenderness. He suffered during the latter years of his life from pronounced attacks of melancholy, and died on the 11th of May 1882.
See also E. T. McLaren, Dr John Brown and his Sister Isabella (4th ed., 1890); and Letters of Dr John Brown, edited by his son and D. W. Forrest, with biography by E. T. McLaren (1907).