BROWNE, John I (by 1528-?1602), of Leiston, Suff.

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 1528, 1st s. of Robert Browne I by 1st w. educ. M. Temple, adm. 15 Nov. 1552. m. (1) Agnes, da. of John Smith of Cavendish, Suff., wid. of John Gardener (d.1560) of Columbine Hall, Suff., 3 or 4s. 1da.; (2) ?Anne Jerningham, s.p. suc. fa. 21 Dec. 1558.1

Offices Held

J.p. Suff. 1573-86.


John Browne was admitted to the Middle Temple on 15 Nov. 1552 at his father’s request and was allowed to use the elder Browne’s chambers. He does not appear to have taken up a career in the law, and there is no further record of him at the inn. His return for Dunwich to the last Parliament of Mary’s reign was presumably the work of his father who had sat for the town on three earlier occasions. He received 20s. as payment for the first session. His departure for the second session was probably the reason behind his dying father’s threat to disinherit him, but presumably the pair were reconciled on his re-appearance after the dissolution, for at his stepmother’s death in 1568 he inherited the family’s manor of Leiston. At that time he also had considerable property in Dunwich, where his assessment on lands worth £30 showed him to be the richest man in the town. Apart from his attendance at one Parliament he seems to have been entirely occupied with local and private affairs. Although he was named continuously for a period of 14 years on commissions of the peace he was never of the quorum. Towards the end of his life, in May 1601, he made a settlement of the manor of Leiston with lands in Theberton upon himself and his wife for life, with remainder to his son John. In a will drawn up on 3 Nov. 1602, John Browne junior referred to a lease of this property held of his father to whom he was paying an annuity of £120. The elder Browne is said to have died in December 1602, but no will or inquisition post mortem has been found.2

Ref Volumes: 1509-1558

Author: M. K. Dale


  • 1. Date of birth estimated from age at fa.’s i.p.m., E150/654/11. Add. 19121, ff. 31-32; Vis. Suff. ed. Metcalfe, 31; Norwich consist. ct. 178 Candler.
  • 2. M.T. Mins. i. 89; Suckling, Suff. ii. 458; C3/56/91; 142/293/33; PCC 2 Chaynay; Copinger, Suff. Manors, ii. 113; Suff. Green Bks. xii. 65; Add. 19121, ff. 31-32; Norwich consist. ct. 178 Candler.