BROWNE, Robert I (by 1507-58), of Leiston, Suff. and the Middle Temple, London.
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Family and Education
Bencher, Lent reader, M. Temple 1530, Autumn reader 1544.
J.p. Suff. 1537-d.; commr. relief 1550; other commissions 1538-d.; chamberlain and receiver, ct. of gen. surveyors 1545; baron of Exchequer May 1550-d.2
Robert Browne’s parentage is obscure. He was probably descended from the Leiston family which had favoured the baptismal name Robert since the early 14th century. He was presumably related to Thomas Browne alias Singer bailiff of the lands of Leiston abbey at its dissolution in 1536 who leased the site and capital messuage of Leiston: in June 1547 Robert Browne was granted this lease by patent of the court of augmentations. Another hint of a connexion between the two men is that both chose a Hopton for testamentary duties, Thomas appointing John Hopton of Blythburgh his executor in 1545 and Robert making Owen Hopton† his supervisor in 1558.3
If Robert Browne of Leiston is to be distinguished, as he doubtless should be, from a namesake who served as royal page and sewer between 1514 and 1520 and became steward of the honor of Wormegay in Norfolk and Suffolk as early as 1519, the first known fact about him is his admission to the Midd