Outlander Wiki
Outlander Wiki
This page contains MAJOR SPOILERS about Lionel Brown from the Outlander book series, which may not yet have aired in the TV series. Read at your own peril!

Lionel Brown is a resident of Brownsville, and the brother of Richard Brown and Thomasina Brown.

Personal History

Lionel and his brother Richard have both been a source of trouble for the Fraser family since their first encounter in The Fiery Cross when the brothers attempt to kill Isaiah Morton, a member of Jamie Fraser's militia.

Events of the Novels

The Fiery Cross

In December 1770, while gathering more able bodied men for the militia Roger MacKenzie, Fergus Fraser and the rest of the regiment head into Brownsville while Jamie and Claire Fraser go to Beardsley's Trading Post.

Upon the arrival of the militia in the town, Lionel and his brother, Richard Brown, open fire in an attempt to kill Isaiah Morton, who had dishonored Lionel's daughter Alicia. They miss their target and Morton runs off to hide. Roger and Fergus defuse the situation the best that they can.

When Jamie and Claire arrive in Brownsville, they bring with them the abandoned daughter of Fanny Beardsley. Given that the child was born during Fanny's marriage to Aaron Beardsley, who is now deceased, the infant is the heiress to Beardsley's land and trading post. Seeing the opportunity to expand their power and wealth, the brothers determine that their family will take the infant in.

After word is received that the militia has been disbanded, Alicia and Isaiah run away together in the middle of the night to avoid being caught by Lionel and Richard.

In May 1771, during the Battle of Alamance, the brothers are part of Jamie's company. During the fighting they set their sights on Morton, managing to shoot him in the back. Thinking they have killed him, they do not report in after the battle. Claire, however, is able to save Morton's life.

A Breath of Snow and Ashes

In April 1773, Lionel and Richard decide they will form a Committee of Safety. After they stop at Fraser's Ridge to announce this committee, Jamie chooses to become an Indian Agent.

In October 1773, Lionel is party to a gang of men who attack Claire and Marsali Fraser near the Frasers' malting shed. Among the group of men are Arvin Hodgepile, erstwhile clerk at the Crown's warehouse in Cross Creek; Tebbe, a mulatto who fears supernatural retribution from Claire; Harley Boble, former thief-taker whom Claire had met at the Gathering in 1770; and a man named Donner, who later reveals that he is originally from the year 1968. They leave Marsali for dead and take Claire hostage, thinking she can tell them where the whisky cache is hidden.

Claire recognizes Lionel, who at first tries to warn the others against taking her, not wanting to bring about Jamie's wrath. However, after his warnings go ignored, he chooses a different tack: killing Claire, thereby preventing Jamie from finding out about Lionel's involvement in her kidnapping. Hodgepile ties Claire to a tree trunk on the second night, and she is then beaten, sexually assaulted and raped.

At dawn on the third day of Claire's captivity, Jamie, Ian, Roger, Fergus, Arch Bug, Tom Christie, and Kenny Lindsey arrive and slaughter the entire group except for Lionel Brown, whom they take back to the Ridge for questioning.

Jamie interrogates Lionel Brown, who is being kept at the Bugs' cabin. Brown reveals that Hodgepile's gang had attacked and begun looting the Beardsley trading post, and the Browns' Committee of Safety had reached an agreement of mutual benefit to the gang and the Browns.

Days later, Lionel Brown crawls from the Bugs' cabin all the way to the Big House, where Claire tends to his injuries and he implores her for mercy. While Claire is out of the surgery for a minute, Mrs. Bug smothers Brown with a pillow and kills him. In anticipation of retribution, Arch Bug offers his own life in place of wife's, but Jamie spares them both.

Jamie and Claire, alongside Bird-who-sings-in-the-morning, peace chief of the Snowbird Cherokee, lead a convoy of Ridge residents and Indians to deliver the body of Lionel Brown to his brother, Richard, at Brownsville.


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Physical Appearance

Described as a scrawny man with a straggling beard.[3] Lionel, like his brother, has a spare, almost gangly build, with hair the color of dried tobacco. Lionel is slightly taller than Richard.[4]


  • Lionel is the diminutive of Léon,[5] the French form of Leon[6] which is derived from Greek λεων (leon) meaning "lion".[7]
  • Brown is originally a nickname for a person who had brown hair or skin.[8]


TV Series

Actor Ned Dennehy portrays Lionel Brown in the Outlander television adaptation.


Season Five



  1. Smothered by Mrs. Bug in A Breath of Snow and Ashes.
  2. The Fiery Cross, Chapter 31: Alicia confesses to Claire that her mother knows of her pregnancy.
  3. The Fiery Cross, chapter 28.
  4. A Breath of Snow and Ashes, chapter 9.
  5. Behind the Name: Lionel - accessed 05 June 2016
  6. Behind the Name: Léon - accessed 05 June 2016
  7. Behind the Name: Leon - accessed 05 June 2016
  8. Behind the Name Surnames: Brown - accessed 05 June 2016