BROWNE, Samuel I (1598-1668), of Arlesey, Beds.
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Family and Education
b. bef. 6 Jan. 1598, 1st s. of Nicholas Browne, BD, vicar of Polebrooke, Northants. and preb. of Peterborough, by Frances, da. of Thomas St. John of Toddington, Beds. educ. Queens’, Camb. 1614; L. Inn 1616, called 1623. m. c. May 1629, Elizabeth, da. of John Meade of Nortofts, Finchingfield, Essex, 6s. (4 d.v.p.) 4da. suc. fa. 1608; kntd. 4 Dec. 1660.1
Recorder, Bedford 1640-61; bencher, L. Inn 1641, reader 1642, treas. 1647-8; commr. for assessment, Beds. 1643-8, 1657, Aug. 1660-d., Bedford 1647-8, sequestrations 1643, levying of money 1643, execution of ordinances 1643; j.p. Essex 1644-?49, Beds. Mar. 1660-d.; commr. for new model ordinance, Beds. 1645; elder, Serjeants’ Inn classis 1645; commr. for appeals, Oxf. Univ. 1647, militia, Beds. 1648, scandalous ministers 1654.2
Commr. for great seal 1643-6, preservation of records 1643; member, committee of both kingdoms 1644-8; commr. for exclusion from sacrament 1646, abuses in heraldry 1646, scandalous offences 1648, treaty of Newport 1648; serjeant-at-law 1648; chief baron of the Exchequer 30 Oct. 1648-9 Feb. 1649; j.c.p. 3 Nov. 1660-d.
Browne’s father obtained ecclesiastical preferment after a distinguished academic career at Cambridge, and acquired property in several counties. Browne became a lawyer, purchasing Arlesey in 1646. Until Pride’s Purge he followed closely in the footsteps of his cousin Oliver St. John, taking an effective part in the prosecution of Archbishop Laud and acting as chairman of the committee to investigate allegations of treachery against the leaders of the peace party at Westminster. He was made a judge in 1648, but refused to act after Pride’s Purge and held no office under the Commonwealth. Although he had been a Presbyterian elder, he came under the influence of Archbishop Ussher during the Interregnum.