BROWNE, Robert (d.1623), of Walcot, Northants.
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Family and Education
2nd s. of Robert Browne (d.1572) of Walcot by Margaret, da. of Philip Barnard of Akenham, Suff., wid. of Sir Bernard Whetstone. m. (1) Anne, da. of Roger Capstock, s.p.; (2) 1610, Elizabeth, da. of John Doyley of Chislehampton, Oxon., wid. of Francis Harby, 3s. suc. bro. Sir William Browne 1603/4; cr. Bt. 21 Sept. 1621.
Among so many Brownes, the identity of the 1601 Lichfield MP is established by his being described as of Northamptonshire on the election return. He is not known to have played any part in the business of the Parliament. He received only a small annuity and a little property from his father, and it was many years before he succeeded to the main family estates in Northamptonshire, Lincolnshire, Stamford and London. Both his father and brother were friends of Thomas Cecil, 2nd Lord Burghley; the former appointed his ‘very good friend’ Thomas Cecil as an executor in 1572, and in 1602 Sir William bequeathed to Burghley and his wife a piece of plate ‘as a pledge of the love I have ever bore unto them’; he also mentions £320 that Burghley owed to him. It is possible that Browne was in the service of Burghley or his brother Robert Cecil, and virtually certain that his return for Lichfield was due to the Cecils’ influence after the fall and execution of the Earl of Essex, whose influence had previously been paramount in the borough.
Browne made his will 24 Sept. 1623, two days before his death. He asked his wife to purchase the wardship of his eldest son, aged 12, and made provision for the two younger boys. He appointed his wife as executrix, and she proved the will 9 Feb. 1624