BROWNE, George (by 1517-62 or later), of Berwick-upon-Tweed, Northumb.

Published in The History of Parliament: the House of Commons 1509-1558, ed. S.T. Bindoff, 1982
Available from Boydell and Brewer



Family and Education

b. by 1517.1

Offices Held

Mayor, Berwick-upon-Tweed, 1547-8, 1553-4.2


George Browne was a prominent freeman of Berwick. He is not to be confused with his better-known namesakes, one of whom was master of the ordnance of Calais and captain of Hammes, and the other attorney of the duchy of Lancaster, a member of the council in the north and a leading figure on commissions in the north. George Browne of Berwick probably belonged to a family which had been much connected with the municipality and guild of the town in the early 16th century. One of that name was present among the Twelve at the earliest recorded meeting of the guild in 1506; Ralph Browne, who also attended that meeting as alderman, was afterwards mayor several times, and Thomas Browne was mayor in 1509.3

George Browne was himself an important figure in the affairs of the guild; by 1538 he was one of the Twelve and he afterwards appears frequently in this capacity. He was also twice mayor of the town, and it was during his second mayoralty that he was returned to Parliament. In January 1554 Browne had been involved in a dispute with his fellow magistrate Thomas Bradford about a forfeit of £100 for the breach of an indenture, and later Bradford accused him of taking money during one of his mayoralties. In 1555 Browne was recorded as owing a total of £27 his fellow-Member Odinel Selby for certain goods and for the hire of a loft.4

In a royal survey of Berwick made in 1562 Browne appears as the owner of a tenement in the town. It is not known whether he owned property outside it as did other of his parliamentary and municipal colleagues, but like Odinel Selby he is styled ‘gentleman’ in the list of Members for the Parliament of April 1554. He may have lived at Lamidon in the parish of Newburn where a George Browne, one of the churchwardens, gave evidence in a case heard about 1570 before the consistory court of Durham concerning the non-residence of the vicar of Newburn. Browne was evidently still alive in 1562 but the date of his death is not known.5

Ref Volumes: 1509-1558

Author: M. J. Taylor


  • 1. Date of birth estimated from first reference.
  • 2. J. Scott, Berwick, 479.
  • 3. Arch. Ael. (ser. 4), xiv. 63; APC, i. 153; ii. 490; LP Hen. VIII, xviii; Somerville, Duchy, i. 483-4; Stowe 571, f. 20; Lancs. RO, Stanley pprs. DDK 6/3, p. 18; R. R. Reid, King’s Council in the North, 284, 493; CPR, 1548-9, p. 135; 1554-5, p. 59; 1555-7, p. 163; 1560-3, pp. 94, 187, 436; 1563-6, pp. 21, 77, 124, 176, 246, 255, 272.
  • 4. Berwick guild bk. 1508-68, unfoliated; Wills and Inventories, i. (Surtees Soc. ii), 144.
  • 5. Scott, 461; Depositions and Eccles. Procs. (Surtees Soc. xxi), 217-18.