Broun, Sir Richard
b. 1801-04-22
d. 1858-12-10
Richard Broun was born 22 April 1801 in Lochmaben, Scotland and succeeded his father as eighth baronet of Nova Scotia in 1844. Not much else is known about Broun's private life, however he maintained an infamous reputation in English political circles.1
Broun was largely known as a schemer, and later as a scammer. He was particularly interested in railway schemes throughout Europe, Asia and North America, as he was interested in connecting Europe and Asia for the purposes of trade and colonial development. However, he wanted to do so through the construction of railway systems in North America. In addition, he hoped that all vacant land touched by the proposed railway systems would be colonized by England.2 In 1858 Broun published a pamphlet entitled, European and Asiatic Intercourse via British Columbia by means of a Main Through Trunk Railway from the Atlantic to the Pacific.3 He subsequently wrote Lytton proposing a meeting; but was dismissed by Merivale as a “monomania[c].”4 Broun was later the director of the Paris-Dieppe Railway.
In 1842, Broun joined the British-American Association for Emigration and Colonization, in which the association aimed to provide funds for British subjects travelling to North America. However, in 1842, the same year Broun joined, the association collapsed.5 The Globe speculated that Broun had played a role in the failure, and was subsequently sued by Broun. At the trial, it was found that Broun had taken funds from the association from loans he personally secured and that he had not been previously knighted, and thus had no grounds to be called “Sir.”6 Broun did not win the case against the newspaper.7
Broun spent some time as the honorary secretary for the Royal Agricultural Association of England in 1840.8 Then, in the 1850s, Broun introduced a proposal for a cemetery, as England was faced with increasing amounts of corpses due to large cholera outbreaks. Therefore, Broun suggested the construction of a necropolis in Surrey, England accessed via the railway.9 The proposal led to the construction of Brookwood Cemetery in Surrey, the largest in the United Kingdom today.10 Broun died 10 December 1858 in Chelsea, apparently impoverished and unwed.
Mentions of this person in the documents
People in this document

Lytton, Edward George Earle Bulwer

Merivale, Herman

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Nova Scotia