Thomas Edward Brown, commonly referred to as T.E. Brown was a Manx poet, scholar and theologian.
Brown was born at Douglas, Isle of Man. His father, the Rev. Robert Brown, shared with the parish schoolmaster in tutoring the clever boy until, at the age of fifteen, he was entered at King William's College. Here his abilities soon declared themselves, and hence he proceeded to Christ Church, Oxford, where his position as a servitor cost him much humiliation, which he remembered to the end of his life. He won a double first, however, and was elected a fellow of Oriel in April 1854, Dean Thomas Gaisford having refused to promote him to a senior studentship of his own college, on the ground that no servitor had ever before attained to that honour. Although at that time an Oriel fellowship conferred a deserved distinction, Brown never took kindly to the life, but, after a few terms of private pupils, returned to the Isle of Man as vice-principal of his old school. He had been ordained deacon, but did not proceed to priest's orders for many years.
In 1857 he married his cousin, Miss Stowell, daughter of Dr Stowell of Ramsey, and soon afterwards left the island once more to become headmaster of the Crypt School, Gloucester--a position which in no long time he found intolerable due to the burden of administration. From Gloucester he was summoned by the Rev. John Percival, who had recently been appointed to the struggling young foundation of Clifton College, which he soon raised to be one of the great public schools. Percival wanted a master for the modern side, and made an appointment to meet Brown at Oxford; "and there," he writes, "as chance would have it, I met him standing at the corner of St Mary's Entry, in a somewhat Johnsonian attitude, four-square, his hands deep in his pockets to keep himself still, and looking decidedly volcanic. We very soon came to terms, and I left him there under promise to come to Clifton as my colleague at the beginning of the following term."