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Richard Browne



3,877. Richard Browne (Married: Eader ___ (#3,878) sometime prior to 1648. (Source of information in blue on this page is The Wroe and Chancellor Families Compiled by William Clarke Wroe, 1992, pages 8-12, 23).


Born: After 1618 in England of Originall Browne (#7,753) and Unknown Mother (#7,754)

Died: 1684 ("Since Richard's will was submitted for probate on June 25, 1684, it is clear that his death occurred shortly prior to that date. in Westmoreland, Virginia


[His sibling was:

William Browne: Born:? Died: ? Miscellaneous: William's name appears on the passenger list of the Dove, which sailed from England to Maryland, landing on St. Clement's Island on March 25, 1634. The Dove brought the first colonists to Maryland.]


Miscellaneous Information:

In 1634, Richard would have been 17 [or 18] when his father came to America as a laborer on the Cloberry Company ship and his brother came to America on the Dove.

Richard, aged 19, was on a passanger list of the ship Speedwell as it departed from England on May 28, 1635, as is documented below:

"The is under written names are to be transported to Virginea, imbarqued in the Speedwell, of London, Jo. Chappell, M [John Chappell, Master] , being examined by the Minister of Gravesend of their conformitie to the orders and discipline of the Church of England, and have taken the oath of allegeance."

The fact that the ship was bound for Virginia suggests that Richard may first have been transported to the vicinity of the Jamestown colony before moving to Kent Island.

"Richard was caught up in the religious turmoil of the era. William Lewis, evidently a friend of Richard's had been found guilty of violating a procalamation issued by the Governor of Maryland against 'all unreasonable disputations on points of religion, tending to disturbance of the public peace and quiet of the colony'. Lewis was fined 500 pounds of tobacco and 'was to be held in the Sheriff's custody till he should find sufficienct security for his good behavior in time to come.' On July 3, 1638, Richard Browne, along with two others, agreed to a performance bond of 3,000 pounds of tobacco, posted as security for the freedom of Lewis. Since Richard was Protestant, one might suppose that his friend had been criticizing the Catholics; however, such was not the case. Lewis was, in fact a Catholic, who had made derogatory remarks about the Protestant faith and had forbidden his subordinates to read a Protestant book entitled Smith's Sermons, thereby violating a proclamation of the Governor. In light of the religious problems of the time, it is remarkable that Browne, a Protestant, would have come to the aid of Lewis in this way. A good friend indeed."

"The above court action was recorded in the Proceedings of the Provincial Court and does not clearly establish if the court was located in St. Mary's County or on Kent Island."

"The Proceedings of the General Assembly were the official records of the Maryland colonial government, seated in St. Mary's City, whereas the Provincial Court Records pertained to court matters anywhere within the colony. The 'freedom of speech' provisions of the Constitution, still years in the future, were a direct consequence of colonial court actions such as this."

"For all who served in the Assembly, a biographic sketch was published. The following pertained to Richard Browne:

"BROWN, RICHARD (?-?) Immigrated in 1648 as a free adult with his wife. Resided in St. Mary's County; moved to Virginia in 1654. Public service: jury duty 1648/49. Legislative service: Assembly, a Burgess in St. Mary's County, 1649 (Accounts). Religion: Protestant. Education: literate. At first election, owned about 200 acres."

[William Clarke Wroe in his 1992 publication "asserts that the date of his 'immigration' as 1648 in the biographical sketch above probably represents the approximate year in which Richard arrived in St. Mary's County, Maryland from Kent Island]. "It is confirmed that Richard Browne took the 'Oath of ffealty' to Governor Calvert in St. Mary's County on June 2, 1647."

"Another indication of the time of Richard's arrival, as well as of his marriage by that date, is a 1648 deed of 200 acres to "...Richard Brown and his wife...." The 200 acres happened to be the amount of land to which the two of them would be entitled simply by arriving in St. Mary's to become residents. "

"In 1649, Richard Browne's name appeared among those persons who served in the Lower House of the Maryland Legisslature, at which time he was about age 32."

In 1650, he applied for another 100 acres for having transported one Thomas Dynnyard.

"Although Richard Browne's occupation was recorded as planter, he was involved in numerous court litigations between 1648 and 1654 and pleaded in court as an attorney. In 1650, he was commissioned to settle disputes." Records show that he was a witness to the sale of land and cattle, acted as a Court Arbitrator, and was himself the defendant in suits concerning debt obligations.

It was the policy of Virgina to award gifts of 50 acres to each new settler as well as a similar gift for the person who brought him. The title to public land granted to a person by the government is called a patent. "In 1652, Richard Browne was named in a patent in Northumberland County, Virginia, and, in 1654, another patent in Westmoreland County, Virginia. These patents were actually in the same area since Northumberland County was renamed Westmoreland in 1653. Richard Browne (and his family) moved to Virginia in 1654. occupying 200 acres of land patented September 1654. "Richard himself was responsible for the transportation of 13 persons into the Virginia colony and for this, on March 22, 1654, he was given 650 acres of land in Westmoreland County by Governor Bennett."

"Richard continued to accumulate land. On December 21, 1657, he purchased 50 acres of land from Richard Floyd. On September 4, 1661, Richard Browne owned 300 acres of land in Westmoreland County, Virginia. His land holdings had grown another 100 acres by September 28, 1671, at which time he gave his son Originall Brown 200 acres, representing half of the plantation on which he then lived."

The Virginia County Record Publications New Series Volume 1 Westmoreland County, Edited By The Late William Armstrong Crozier, (Editor of the Virginia County Records etc. etc.) and published posthumously by Mrs. Wm. Armstrong Crozier, Published in 1913, page 90:

"Westland County Land Grants a reference is made to Book 1
p. 276 Richard Browne: Date: 1654 200 acres
p. 325 Richard Browne: Date: 1654 650 acres"

Page 91
"Westland County Land Grants a reference is made to Book 4
p. 430 Richard Bowne: Date: 1662 300 acres"

Richard and his wife had at three sons: Original Browne (#1,939), David Browne, and Robert Browne.


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