Encyclopedia Titanica

Thomas William Solomon Brown

Thomas William Solomon Brown
Thomas William Solomon Brown

Mr Thomas William Solomon Brown was born 13 July 1851 at Kuilsrivier, Western Cape to James Solomon, a storekeeper (b. 9 March 1817 in Greenwich, Kent), and Harriet (née Holloway; born about 1820 in London, England). He was christened on 25 August 1851 in Cape Town in the Church of England tradition. His parents had married 5 April 1846 at St. Paul's Church in Rondebosch. South Africa. They lived in Rooibloem at the time of their marriage.

bown's known brothers and sisters included Edward William, b. 28 March 1854, John Andrew, b. 11 May 1857, and Elizabeth Maria Charlotte, b. 2 September 1858.

He and his first wife Gracilda Isabella (nee Willoughby; b. ca. 1853) had married 6 May 1873 at St. John’s Church in Cape Town, South Africa. Their children were William James, b. 1875 (d. 1875), Lillian Henrietta (b. 26 April 1878), Harriett Elizabeth Maria (b. 27 May 1880), Thomas Andrew Ralph (b. 18 February 1882), and Ernest Herbert Willoughby (b. 28 January 1886).

Isabella died in the Cape Colony in November 1889. Brown married Elizabeth Catherine Ford, 20 years his junior, on 11 August 1890 at St. Mary’s (Anglican) Church in Woodstock, Western Cape, South Africa.

Mr. Brown was listed as a storekeeper at the time of their marriage. He had two daughters by her, one of whom died at the age of 8 from diphtheria.

He had been a hotel manager in South Africa but business had declined so he had decided to resettle in Seattle, Washington where his sister-in-law lived.

Mr Brown, his wife, and his daughter Edith Eileen (born 27 October 1896) boarded the Titanic at Southampton as a second class passengers. They bought ticket number 29750 for £39. 

Mother and daughter, together with two other Ladies, occupied a four-berth cabin, while Thomas Brown was accommodated in another.

After the collision, Brown placed his wife and daughter in lifeboat 14 and stepped back, just smoking a cigar and awaiting his fate.

He died in the sinking. His body, if recovered, never was identified.


  1. Birth date sometimes given as 8 August 1851.

Research Articles

David Haisman Titanica! (2003) The Browns Prepare to Abandon Ship

Newspaper Articles

Unidentified Newspaper (10 April 1996) Oldest Titanic survivor plans visit to site
Ceremony will honor tragic sinking


Seattle Daily Times (1912) Thomas William Solomon Brown

Documents and Certificates

(1912) Contract Ticket List, White Star Line (Southampton, Queenstown), National Archives, London; BT27/776,780


James Pellow with Dorothy Kendle (1995) A Lifetime on the Titanic. The Biography of Edith Haisman, Britains Oldest Survivor of the Titanic Disaster., Island Books. ISBN 1 898198 10 1
Judith Geller (1998) Titanic: Women and Children First, Haynes, ISBN 0393046664
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Titanic Passenger Summary

Name: Mr Thomas William Solomon Brown
Age: 60 years 9 months and 2 days (Male)
Nationality: South African
Religion: Anglican (Church of England)
Marital Status: Married to Elizabeth Catherine Ford
Last Residence: in Cape Town, South Africa
Occupation: Hotelier
Embarked: Southampton on Wednesday 10th April 1912
Ticket No. 29750, £39
Died in the Titanic disaster (15th April 1912)
Body Not Recovered

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