Nigel Brown, an Obituary

It is with regret that we learned this week of the death, aged 84, on the 11th February 2021, of the death of the well-known and respected author, Nigel Brown at his retirement home of Sutton Manor.

By profession, Nigel was a solicitor. Previously he had served with 21 SAS from 1959 to 1972 where he specialised in demolition. For thirteen years until 1991 he was legal adviser to, and subsequently Secretary of the Gun Trade Association. Between 1973 and 1983 he was legal adviser to the British Shooting Sports Council. In addition, he sat on the legal and education team of BASC. He wrote many legal and trade articles for the sporting press. He was a Liveryman of the Worshipful Company Of Gunmakers and a member of the Long Sufferers Association to which he was elected Chairman in 2008.

He wrote three outstanding books, London Gunmakers published in 1998, British Gunmakers Volume Two published in 2005 and British Gunmakers Volume Three published in 2009. These books were Nigel’s great opus and within these three volumes, every single British gunmaker from the 18th century to the present day was listed. It was a massive task undertaken with great enthusiasm and today these books are regarded by everyone interested in British gunmaking as definitive and essential in any library. Such was the regard for his research into creating these books, he was awarded the President’s Cup in 2007 by the Historical Breech Loading Small Arms Association.

Nick Holt said of these books “The information he found out about our gunmakers was incredible – he never gave up”.

Nigel was an excellent shot, usually with a Purdey hammer gun and he shot all over the world. His enthusiasm for British gunmaking was immense and I well remember visiting his home and being shown his office which was stuffed from top to bottom with his handwritten notes on British gunmakers he had researched. On a personal note, I would like to pay tribute to Nigel for these three volumes that I constantly refer to virtually every day and find then indispensable.