Henry Brown was born in 1789 at Kells, County Meath, Ireland. He attested for the 2nd Battalion, 84th (York and Lancaster) Regiment at Auchnacloy, County Tyrone on 25 August 1808.
In July 1809, the Battalion embarked at Harwich for the ill-fated Walcheren Expedition, aimed at destroying the French fleet and fortifications around Antwerp.
Assigned to Lieutenant-General Grosvenor’s 3rd Division at Veere, the 84th took part in the siege of Flushing, near Antwerp,
Having been promoted a Corporal, Brown’s Muster Roll shows that he returned to England ‘sick’ on 16 September. He was promoted to Sergeant on 25 January 1810.
Brown served with the 2/84th Foot during the Peninsular War, disembarking at Passages on Spain’s northern coast on 17 August 1813. Assigned to Major-General Lord Aylmer’s 5th Brigade in Sir Thomas Graham’s 1st Division, the Battalion encamped behind Vera in the Bidassoa Valley.
Brown advanced to Colour-Sergeant on 25 September 1815. Following the disbandment of his Battalion in December 1817, he served as a guard aboard the Dromedary, a convict ship bound for New South Wales. Having left the convicts at their destination, Dromedary received orders to procure large trees in New Zealand as masts for the Royal Navy.
Whilst in New Zealand, his daughter Annie died at the Bay of Islands 27th May 1820 and was buried in the garden of Mr King, one of the Missionaries
Later that year he was the duty serjeant on-board when a fight developed between between Private James Dunleavey and Seaman Aldridge which would result in the murder of the later – See Rank & File entry Dunleavey
Brown re-joined his old Regiment at Cork in December 1821, serving as a Temporary Quartermaster Sergeant at the 84th’s Depot.
He served at Fort Augusta, Jamaica, West Indies from January 1836, where he was promoted Quartermaster Serjeant retiring from the Army on 16 May 1839, described as ‘affected with asthma and chronic rheumatism’, probably resulting from his ordeal at Walcheren.
He emigrated to 196 South Second Street, Philadelphia, when he applied for the post of Barrack Serjeant, a non-military posting, but afforded the same respect. Being accepted he was posted to Ford Malden, Amherstberg, Ontario, CanadaThe humble memorial of Henry Brown late Quarter Master Serjeant 84th Regiment and Chelsea Pensioner. That memorialist served 30 years and upwards in the above Regiment and is now on leave of absence at Philadelphia; his time expires on the 1st October next and will then proceed to his destination at Toronto, Upper Canada.
Your memorialist was present with the Regiment in Holland in the year 1809 under Lord Chatham, and in Spain and France in the years 1813 and 1814 and during those periods was present at the different actions in which the Regiment was engaged, and has further to state that he has been on escort duty over convicts in His Majesty’s Store Sip Dromedary to New Holland in 1819 from whence he proceeded to New Zealand for the purpose of procuring a cargo of timber for the service of His Majesty’s Navy and returned to England 1821. Your memorialist having two sons is anxious to procure a situation in the Barrack Department. He therefore humbly hope your Honour will take his long services into consideration and appoint him to the situation of Barrack Serjeant in any part of the Canada’s where a vacancy may occur. The memorialist has further to state that he has been a non-commissioned officer upwards of 30 years and has always been an unexceptional character. He therefore hopes your honour will grant his request which will serve him very much and as in duty bound he will ever pray – Henry Brown late Quarter Master Sergt. 84th Regiment
He died at Amherstberg, Ontario and was interred Christ Church Anglican Cemetery 22nd March 1870