Archibald Brown, a Scottish teacher, studied at King's College, Aberdeen, for four years and qualified as Master of Arts (MA). He was one of a number of teachers recruited in Scotland when Lord Charles Somerset made English the official language of the Cape Colony in 1822. At the request of Reverend George Thom* he was evaluated by a panel of three persons in Aberdeen and found to be qualified to teach English, writing, arithmetic and Latin. Upon arriving at the Cape he settled in Stellenbosch.
By 1839 Archibald Brown, presumably the same person, was rector of the Commercial, Mathematical and Classical Academy at 28 Loop Street, Cape Town. The academy re-opened on 7 January that year and advertised a morning and evening class for adults. In another advertisement later that year, Brown announced that he taught navigation, land and maritime surveying, and book-keeping. By 1849 the academy's address was given as 118 Loop Street and evening classes were available in a variety of subjects, including mathematics, land surveying, navigation, and astronomy. In this advertisement Brown was described as a surveyor and civil engineer. He prepared candidates for an examination conducted at the surveyor-general's office, which was one of the requirements for registration as a professional surveyor.
Brown was still associated with the academy in 1857. He died the next year.