William Thomas Brande bigraphy, stories - Chemists

William Thomas Brande : biography

11 January 1788 - 11 February 1866

William Thomas Brande FRS (11 January 1788 – 11 February 1866) was an English chemist.


In 1834, 1836, 1839, 1842, 1844, 1847 and 1850 Brande was invited to deliver the Royal Institution Christmas Lecture on Chemistry; Chemistry of the Gases; The Chemistry of the Atmosphere and the Ocean; The Chemistry of the Non-Metallic Elements; The Chemistry of the Gases; The Elements of Organic Chemistry and The Chemistry of Coal respectively.



Brande was born in London, England. After leaving Westminster School, he was apprenticed, in 1802, to his brother, an apothecary, with the view of adopting the profession of medicine. However, Brande's bent was towards chemistry, a sound knowledge of which he acquired in his spare time. In 1812 he was appointed professor of chemistry to the Apothecaries' Society, and delivered a course of lectures before the Board of Agriculture in place of Sir Humphry Davy, whom in the following year he succeeded in the chair of chemistry at the Royal Institution, London. From about 1823 onwards, Brande worked increasingly with the Royal Mint, eventually becoming Superintendent of the Coining and Die Department.

Brande's Manual of Chemistry, first published in 1819, enjoyed wide popularity, and among other works he brought out a Dictionary of Science, Literature and Art in 1842. He was working on a new edition when he died at Tunbridge Wells.

He contributed articles to Rees's Cyclopaedia on Chemistry, but the topics are not known.


Brande died in 1866, and is buried in the large metropolitan cemetery of West Norwood, London (grave 1177, square 98).

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