Peter Brown Family History




Adrian Channing has kindly allowed me to use his transcription of Matthew Browne's will. First his annotations, then the will itself:

( / = line end; // new page; my remarks in square brackets; ^text^ is either 
raised characters or a word inserted; "____" are words I cannot work out, and text followed by (?) are words I am not sure about or look wrong. There are quite a few contractions, and much use of the symbol "p" but with the tail crossed through which stands for per or par, thus p'f' in my transcription is short for perfect. The spelling is a bit weird at times, "said" is always given as what looks like "sared", but for ease of reading I have changed this 
throughout, sometimes "paid" is given a similar spelling. Richard is Richarga couple of times, and the name Olken would seem to be Owen. At one point, when listing his sons, Walter has been omitted. I assume these are errors copying the Will into probate.)

In the name of god Amne the iiij ^th^ day of the month of December / in the 
year of our lord god a thousand fyve hundred liij in the first yere of the Reyn' lady ^sovreign?^ mary by the grace of / god Queen of England ffrance and Irland defender of the faith vc(?) I Mathew Browne of west bechworth / w'tin the p'ys of dorking in the Countie of Surrey Knight being of whole mynde and in good and p'f'' / remembrance laude and prayse be unto almightie god I forsake and renowse all my foym' and last wills / and make and ordayn and declare this my prsent testament conteyning my last will in man' and forme / following ffist I bequest and comende my soule unto almightie god my maker and redem' And my body / to be burial in the Church of Dorking near unt' the place where ffrydyswyde my late wyf lyeth buryall or else / where it shall please god that my body shall dep't Item I bequueth toward the reaniton(?) of the same Church/of dorking x^s^ Item I will and my mynde and intent' is that all such debtes and denfics(?) as I owe of right / or of consident(?) to any person or persons be well and truly contented and paid by myn executors hereafter / in this my present will and testament named or ells ordyned and so to be paid wythout any delay or / contridiction Item I gyve and bequeth to Agnes my daughter toward 
her maryage thre hundecth markes w'ch / I will to be remyted and levyed of 
the rents revenues and p'fitts of the manner of kingesnoth and mylton / wythin the countye of kent And that the yssues rememns(?) and profitts of the said man's of kyngsnothe and / mylton afowsaid be ymployed to no other use untill the said som of three hundeth marks be paid to my / said Daughter Item I will that my said executors at the tyme of my dep'ting distributed and gyven in / almes to certen poor people as they shall think good by their discretions tenne pounds Item I gyve and / bequeth to Thomas Browne sonne and heyre of Henry Browne my late sonne and heire apparant deceassed / whos soule Jhus pardon all my ymplements of household w'ch I have in west betchworth that is to saye / hanginge bedsedills(?) formes tabells coverds brewyng vessells polts of yron panns of yron and yridspytts(?) / of yron pewter vessell lattred can'sticks tables valts stolis elpesce(?) etreting(?) cheynes all fether bedds all / covletts all boulsters all pillowes all blanketts all payers of lynnyn shetts all cornterwynts all / payer of complete harnes all bilts (or bitts) for the warrys all besers of beddes all cuysshens and all man' of lyanyng(?) / and instuf(?) 
whatsoev' yt be, my chayne of gold and all my plate of sylve and gilte spones of silver / and baser and ewer of silv' Item I will that my said executers paye unto my s'ants (servants) ymedeatly after / my deceasse all such wage as I owe theym for their service(?) And I will to any of my s'ants being in my / s'vyce at the day of my deceasse or dep'ting my lyf from this transytory world any one of theym one quartes / wages The residue of all my goods and catalls not willed before written nor(?) hereafter in this my p'sent / will and my last testament I gyve and bequeth to the said Thomas Browne and Richard Browne my / sonne whom I ordeyn and make my executors and they to pay my debtes and ffuneralls charge and to p'forme / this my last will and testament Item in my most hartie wyse I desyre John Oaryll esquire to be my / ov'seer and hym I make to be my sole ov'seer of this my last will and I gyve hym for his cormpell(?) / and labor therof xl^s^ ffor the dispositon of my landes first I will and myn intent and mynd is that / Thomas Browne sonne and heire of my late sonne Henry Browne my heir apparent esquirer deceassed / have hold and injoye all my man's lands tenerments rents rev'sions servyce(?) and hereditaments what / so ev' they 
be wythall and singular there appertenning Stitnat(?) lynig and being in the 
counties of Kent / Sussex Surrey and the citie of London except and forprysed out of this my will and gifte the third / p'te of all such lands and tenements rents and sevice(?) as or holdyn of our said soverign lady the queens(?) / grace in cheapse (?) by buyghte (=burgage?) servyce(?) And also except and forprised(?) all such my man's lands tenitments rents / Servics and other my hereditaments whatsoev' they be in the said counties of Kent wherof Gavilkynd / tenure according to the custome of the said countie of Kent to have and to hold the said man's lands tent's / rents revisions servyce(?) and hereditament w'tall and singuler their appertening ^_____^ before excepted to the said / Thomas Browne and to his heyres mayles of his body lawfully begotten according and after the trenet(?) / meanyng and intent of the last will and testament of Sir George Browne knyght my father and in / fulfilling and p'formyng all covenanets grants and agrements made and contyned in a payer/of Indentyres betwene me the said Sr Mathew Browne knyght on the one p'te ("and" crossed out) and Sr 
Will'm Shelley / knyght deceassed on the other p'te concernying maye (=made) solernpinsed and hadd by my said sonne Henry Browne / deceassed and Katheryn his late wif also deceassed and daughter of the saied Sr Willi'm Shelley and to / the residue of my said landes (crossed out or underlined) man's lands and other the p'miss wyth their appurten'ts of the tenure / and nature of Gavylkynde in the countie of Kent aforesaid my very will and mynd is by this my / last will and testament that the said man's lands tenemnents and all other the p'misss last before / mensioned shalle by me the said Sir Mathew willed alloted gyven and declared in advoding of debate and / stryfs that might herafter come and grow amongst my children and the said Thomas Browne and / unto Philip Browne sonne of Edward Browne my late sonne And in avoding of the said debate // and styfes between the said p'ties I gyve and bequeth to the and Richard Browne George Browne / Walter Browne and Olken (=?Owen) Browne my sonnes and Phillip Browne any of thym x^li^ by the yer(?)/of yearly rent and annuytie to have hold and yerely p'mynt(?) the yearly rent and ann(u)ytie of x^li^ by the yere / to any of the said Richarge George Wa(l)ter Olken and Philip Browne their executors and assynes during / there naturall lyffes and the longer lyfe of theym 
out of all the said man's lands tenements and other the / p'miss being the 
Gavylkynde lands in the said countie of Kent at the ffeastes of the annutiacon of our blessed / lady and saynt mary all thar channgell by evyn porcons and yf it happen the said yerly rent or annuytie / of tenne pounds by the yere ^be^ behynde unpaid to any of the said Richarde George Walter Olkyn (=Owen?) and Philipp / Browne their executors or assignes at eny of the said ffeasts above mentioned by the space of xx^t^ dayes and / laufully asked that then yt shalbe lawfull for the said Richarde George Walter Olken (=Owen?) and Philip Browne / and everry of theym sev'ally or joyntly their executors or assynes to enter and distrayn into the man's lands / Tenements and other the p'miss of Gavylkynd land and any p'te (=part) and p'cell therof and the distresses their so / takyn yt to lede dryve impark retayne and kepe unto such tyme the said yerely rent or annuytie of tenne / pounds by the yere be to any of the said Richard George Owen (no Walter?) and Philip Browne sonne of the said / Edward wyth the arrerayes of the somme, yf any be, be fully satisfied contented and paid and I gyve / will and allot by this my last will and testament All my said man's lands te'nts rents ser(v)yce and / hereditaments whatsoev' they be being Gavylkynd lande to the said Thomes Browne his heirs and / assignes to have and to hold the said man's lands tenements and all other the p'misses called Gevylkynd / landes wyth all singuler their appurtaning to the said Thomas Browne his heirs and assignes for ev' / In wytness hereof to this p'snt my last will and testament I the said Sr Mathew Browne here / suscribed my name and putto my seale the day and yere above said in the p'sents of Sir Mathewe / Browne



From: Adrian Channing< > 
Subject: Re: Belknap, Browne, Gorsuch 
Date: 26 Jul 1998 12:17:26 -0700

Most of my data comes from "The Brownes of Betchworth Castle" by John Pym
Yateman (1903)

THOMAS BROWNE alais MILLS (1414-20 Jul 1460 Hung drawn and quarterd, with
five others, on the day of his conviction) Sir; of Eygthorne, Kent;
Betchworth Cstl, Surrey; London; and other properties in Kent; Lancastrian;
Treasurer of royal household; In 1444 & 1460 said to have been sheriff of
Kent, but this dose not agree to list of sheriffs given by Hasted; In 1458
comm. re Lubeck quarrel; ?Trustee for Rd Duke YORK (1411-30 Dec 1460); In
1459 attainted at Coventry; His Trustee for Horton and other properties in
Kent was JOHN BROWNE Ld Mayor 1480 also, in 1476 Melton manor was held by
JOHN BROWNE Ld Mayor 1480 a property which in 1461/2 was granted to THOMAS
VAUGHN (see below); A Kent herald shows THOMAS as gg-f of this JOHN but
dates seem wrong; m 1434 Eleanor d&h of Sir THOMAS FITZALAN (Earl of
Arundel family) of Betchworth Castle She m2 THOMAS VAUGHN.

That he m. Eleanor d&h of Sir Thomas Fitzalan has not been disputed by any
sources I have seen. The tree produced by Sir Thomas' g-gs Walter Browne
gives their marriage.

The above give a strong indication that there is a link between these
Brownes and the Lord Mayor of London Brownes, but the exact relationship
has not been satisfactorily found.

Sir Thomas Browne's sons living in 1466 are established by the following
extract from an inquisition dated 22 March 1466 (1465/6?), the property
section of which includs Betchworth Castle:

And after the deaths of the said Thomas and Eleanor [Browne] the said
lands, etc., shall remain to William, Archbishop of York, George, Bishop
of Exeter, Richard, Earl of Warwick, John, Earl of Worcester, Henry, Earl
of Essex, with Humphrey, Lord Cromwell, John Lord Stourton, William, Lord
Hastings, and John, Lord Wenlock, and shall remain at their discretion for
the sons of the said Thomas Browne, namely, William, George, Thomas,
Anthony, Robert, Leonard, and Edward between them, according to the last
will of the said Thomas Browne for that purpose made. If any of them are
deceased, then according as the said feoffees shall determine.

My notes on Sir Thomas' issue are:

A) GEORGE (-3 Dec 1483 bhd London for supporting Dk BUCKINGHAM, Er RICHMOND
& LAMBERT SIMNEL against Rd III, bur Black friers, Ludgate, London) Sir;
In c1461 Ed IV reversed attainer on his father but not all eststes
restored; of Bechworth Cstl & probably London; In 1471/2 knghtd; In 1481
Sheriff of Kent; In 1483 in Kentish rebelion; m 1471 Elizabeth (-1 Feb
1488 bur Black friers) d of Sir WILLIAM PASTON & wdw of ROBERT POYNINGS
(-17 Feb 1460/1 bat of St Albans)

His descendants lived in Betchworth Castle (which was no more than a
fortified house) for many generations. The building was pulled down early
in this century, I think for its building materials. There are still some
remains, trouble is, it is situated in the middle of a private golf course,
and trespasses are most unwelcome, one day I will pluck up enough courage
to go and see it.

I have his issue as 

Mathew (1473-6 Aug 1557); Sir; In 1485 restored in blood; m Fridiswide or
Wilfred d of Sir Richard Guildford of Hempsted, Kent.
Mary m after 1487 to Bradbridge.

The following issue have also been ascribed to Sir George but are not
mentioned in his will and I think are an error

Richard m d of Sands

I understand the last comes from a book on the descendants (or perhaps s/b
ascendantsts) of a Michael Dayton (included in The Browne Papers compiled
by the late Haygate-Browne), and is not mentioned by any other source that
I have seen, frankly I don't belive it.

The Paston family are from Norfolk and are the family whose letters have
been published (including a v. brief one from Sir George Browne)

The Poynings are a well known Sussex family, there is a village named
after them, or perhaps the other way round. It was a distant relative of
his who introduced the so called Poyning Laws in Ireland, in which the Ir
were suppose to follow English language, customs and laws


C) ROBERT; The link with the Lord Mayor of London Brownes has been made
by ascribing him as a knight and marrying him of to Mary d of William
Mallet but this is not shown on Walter Browne's tree. Pym Yateman argues
it is not true. Robert's daughter Eleanor m1 Thomas Fogg (-16 Aug 1512
bur Ashford), of Ashford, Kent and m2 William Kempe (1487-28 Jan 1535 bur
Wye), of Ollantigh, Wye, Kent and sheriff of Kent. She left issue by both. 
Her Will (which I have not seen) is dated 21 Aug 1560 and she is bur in Wye

D) ANTHONY; Sir (-1506 Calais, will 1505 proved 1506 request bur in St
Nicholas Chapel alias Reserection Church, London) In 1486 knighted; In
1485- Standard bearer for Eng; In 1486-1506 Constable of Queenborough
Castle; In 1503- Constable of Calais Castle; Owned property in Calais (As
did the Sir William Browne Lord Mayor of London in 1507 and the Stephen
Browne Lord Mayor in 1438 & 1448); m1 Alice (-bur St Nicholas Chapel) m2
Lucy (-Will 1531 bur 1534 Bisham Abbey) d&ch of JOHN NEVIL (-bur Bisham
Abbey) Mq of MONTAQU and wdw of Sir THOMAS FITZWILLIAM, of Aldwarke co
York. She left Bagshot manor and many other properties in her Will

Sir Anthony's Will is short, and I think made in haste. He left (probably
by m1, or base) Anne one of the wives of Charles Brandon, later Duke of
Suffolk, and by Lucy, with other issue he had Sir Anthony father of Sir
Anthony 1st Viscount Montague. These Brownes residence was at Cowdray,
near Midhurst, Sussex, but also had property at Battle Abbey (hence the
acquisition of the Battle Abbey Rolls which were destroyed in the Cowdray
fire of 1793), Sothwark, Weybridge and many more monastic properties gained
after the reformation, most of which Sir Anthony II received from his half
brother Sir William FitzWilliam, Earl of Southampton.

E) WILLIAM. I think one of the Burke's editions also tries to marry him
off to Mary d of Sir William Mallet , clearly an error.



H) Katherine m HUMPHREY or RICHARD SACKVILE of Buckhurst co Sussex,
said to be connected to Duke of DORSET family

regards Adrain

>James Masters wrote:

> Continuing this discussion on the Browne family, I would be interested in
> confirmation of the children of Sir Thomas Browne married to Eleanor

> I believe that Sir Thomas was the Treasurer of the Household of King
Henry VI and
> Sheriff of Kent in 1444 and 1460. He was born about 1413 and was hanged
by the
> Yorkists at Tyburn on 29 July 1460.

> Sir Thomas married Eleanor Fitzalan about 1431, daughter of Sir Thomas
Fitzalan of
> Beechworth (Bechworth?) Castle, Surrey by which marriage Beechworth
Castle came
> into the Browne family.

> Sir Thomas Browne and Lady Eleanor Fitzalan had at least five children

> 1). Sir George Browne of Beechworth Castle, Surrey born about 1440 and
beheaded at
> Tower Hill on 4 December 1483, Sheriff of Kent 1481, Member of Parliament
> 1473 and 1483 married, about 1471, Elizabeth Paston (1436 - 1 Feb 1488),
> of Sir William Paston and Agnes Berry. Their children included Sir
Matthew Browne
> (d. after 1530) of Beechworth Castle, Surrey, Sheriff of Surrey 1496 and
Member of
> Parliament for Surrey 1495 who married Fridiswide Guildford, daughter of
> Richard Guildford of Hemsted, Kent. Sir George and Elizabeth may have
had another
> son Simon Browne of Browne Hall in Lancashire and I would be interested
in anyone
> who can confirm this.

> 2). Sir Robert Browne who married Mary Malet, daughter of Sir William

> 3). Sir Anthony Browne, died about 1505, Standard Bearer of England and
> of Castle at Calais show married Lucy Neville (d. 25 Mar 1534) daughter
of John
> Neville, 1st Marquess of Montagu and Earl of Northumberland and his wife
Isabel de
> Inglethorpe.

> 4). William Browne who d.s.p.

> 5). Catherine Browne who married Humphrey Sackville.

> Many Thanks!

> Sources for the above include
> a). Burke's Dormant Baronetcies
> b). History of Parliament, Biographies of the Members of the Common
> 1439-1509 by Col. Josiah C. Wedgewood
> c). Plantagenet Ancestry of Seventeenth Century Colonists by David Faris


Betchworth (or Beechworth etc) is just to the east of Dorking, Surrey, but 
very little of it now remains, situated in the grounds of a golf course. It was 
sometimes known as a Castle, but in reality a fortified house.

The first record I have of it is when it was held by John Arundel (-1379) 
baron Maltravers who held it in right of his mother Eleanor (-1372) d of Henry 
(Plantagenets) earl of Lincoln. The next is when it was held by Sir Thomas, 
grandson of the above John Arundel and younger brother of John Arundel/FitzAlan 
earl of Arundel. Sir Thomas, by his wife Joan Moyne left a daughter and 
heiress (or possibly coheir) Eleanor who married firstly Sir Thomas Browne, starting 
the Browne ownership of Betchworth.

Sir Thomas Browne found himself on the wrong side at the wrong time in the 
Wars of the Roses and was executed on 20 July 1460. He left a number of sons 
(including Anthony, later knighted, the ancestor of the Browne Viscount Montague 
family) including an eldest son

George who m 1471 Elizabeth (-1487/8) dau of Sir William Paston of Norfolk 
and widow of Robert Poynings (-1460/1). But he faired no better than his 
father, being executed 1483 for support of the Duke of Buckingham in the Lambert 
Simnel affair. His eldest son was:

Sir Matthew (1473-1557) On the above executions, the Browne's property would 
have been confiscated, but some were restored to Sir Matthew including 
Betchworth. He m Fridiswide (alias Winifred) dau of Sir Richard Guildford of 
Hempsted, Kent. His eldest son

Henry (died before 1577) of Betchworth, married three times, the second to 
Catherine dau of Sir William Shelley of Michaelgrove, Sussex and was suc (after 
the death without issue of his son by his m1) by:

Sir Thomas Browne (died about 1596). He married twice, m1 Mable dau and heir 
of Sir William FitzWilliam of Ireland by who he left (with daughters) Matthew 
who inherited Betchworth and it went to his descendants. Sir Thomas married 
secondly Helen Harding (or possibly surnamed Warner) and had further issue, 
another son:


I suspect this is the Richard who is mentioned in the Hinxhill MI. He m 
Margaret dau and heir of James Astyn of Weterham, Kent, and left with other issue 
Cecilia (-1677). Burke's Extinct Peerage, 1883 gives her marriages as to a 
Francis Knollys and to a Richard Whithead, but Burke's makes frequent errors or 
may not have known of an earlier marriage. Anyway I do not know of anther 
Richard at this time who could call himself of the Browne of Betchworth family, 
and it must have been a close relationship, as the Browne of Betchworth arms are 
quartered on the Hinxhill MI.

For further information on the Brownes of Betchworth castle see the first few 
chapters of: `The Brownes of Bechworth Castle', by John Pym Yeatman, 1903 but 
note this is a difficult book to follow (overworked pronouns) and not without