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The Ancestry of Oliver Mainwaring: Browne

1 Sir John Browne = Anne Belwood
2 William Browne = Katherine Shaa
3 Julian Browne = Sir John Munday
4 John Munday (Jr.) = Joanne ____
5 Katherine Munday = Lawrence Kendall
6 Mary Kendall = Richard Moyle
7 Loveday Moyle = Henry Esse
8 Prudence Esse = Oliver Mainwaring (II)
9 Oliver Mainwaring (III) = Hannah Raymond

The earlier Browne pedigrees in some of the heralds’ visitations, namely those of 1568 and 1574,[1] each begin with the man who sits at the head of the lineage below, stating nothing of his ancestry; likewise the later one of 1613 and one of those in that of 1619-21.[2] The chronologically impossible statement in another Browne pedigree given in the last of these visitations, p. 218, that he was a son of “Sir Thomas Browne, Knight, Master of the List in the reign of K. E[dward] IV,” by “Mary, daughter of ____ Metcalfe, of Nappa, in com. Yorkshire,” was perhaps concocted in the seventeenth century to suggest an affiliation with the by-then much more prestigious family of Browne, Viscounts Montague.[3] Yeatman is however inclined to accept the statement in a pedigree of the Brownes of Walcot, Northamptonshire, in the Visitation of Rutland (which we have not seen), that he came from “Werke” (i.e. Wark on Tweed, co. Northumberland), and was a son of John Browne, of “Okeham” (i.e. Oakham, Rutland).[4]

The Browne pedigree in Berry, County genealogies: Pedigrees of the families of the County of Kent (1830), 377, is a very weak effort. It confuses Anne Belwood, wife of Sir John Browne, with her daughter-in-law Alice Keble, stating that Anne Belwood married secondly Lord Mountjoy when it was really Alice Keble who did so. It also misses William Browne’s daughter Julian (no. 3 below).

The best account of this family in print still seems to be the brief article by James Roberts Brown published in Notes and Queries in 1888.[5]

1.  Sir John Browne, of London, Mayor of London in 1481-82, apparently of unknown parentage, born say 1440, died 1 January 1497/8 (13 Hen. VII), his inquisition post mortem being dated 8 February following, and buried in the parish church of St. Mary Mary Magdalene, Milkstreet, London.[6] In 1478 he is mentioned as “my trewe lover [i.e. friend] John Browne, Alderman of London” in the will of Sir Ralph Verney, mercer and alderman, and sometime mayor, of London.[7] According to Yeatman, “It is stated in Metcalf’s Knights that Sir John Browne was knighted in 1483 by King Richard III, before his coronation, when the arms assigned to him were azure and chev. between three escallops or with a bordeur engrailed gules. These arms were borne by him and by his descendants, and are carved on the outside of Cubley Church in commemoration of the marriage of his grandson, John Browne, the Master of the Mint, with the coheiress of Montgomery, and most of the Derbyshire families have used these arms; but the date assigned by Metcalf for the knighthood is clearly a mistake, for he was already a Knight in 21 Edward IV.” In a writ dated 9 February 1489 (3 Hen. VII) is given a recitation of a deed, dated 20 May 1476 (15 Edw. IV), which refers — perhaps prematurely so far as his knighthood is concerned — to “John Broun, knt., citizen, mercer, and alderman of London,” who in company with others “demised the … manor of Milton [near Canterbury, in Kent] to George Broun, knt., and … Elizabeth, then his wife, for their lives in survivorship.”[8] This George Browne, who was ancestor of the Brownes of Bechworth Castle, was however probably not a kinsman of John Browne, for Yeatman remarks that the arms of the two men were “quite different.” John Browne’s i.p.m. mentions his son, William Browne senior, and the latter’s wife Catherine.
    He married Anne Belwood, whose will was dated 12 January 1503 and proved 4 March 1504, sister of Thomas Belwood, of Belton, Lincolnshire. She is doubtless the “Dame Anne Browne” mentioned among a group of persons asked to pray for his soul in the 1487 will of her son William’s father-in-law, Edmund Shaa.[9] In the 1501 will of her son Thomas she is called “my singuler good Lady and moder Dame Anne Browne,” and 20 shillings are left to “Sr Henry Beaw my moders chapeleynd, to pray for my soule.”[10] In her own will, in which she refers to herself as “Anne Browne, widow, late the wife of Sr John Brown Knyght, citizen … and alderman of London,” she mentions “the p’sshe church off Belton in the countie of Lincoln wher I was christened,” and refers to her son Thomas Browne, her son William Browne, her “wellbeloved brother Thomas Belwoode,” of Belton, his children Thomas,[11] John, Elizabeth Lounde, and Kateryne Belwood, her “wellbeloved sister Isabell Bellenap,” her “cosyn Margaret Haydok, widowe,” her “cosyn Dame Agneys Haydok, nonne [nun],” and her “cosyn Dame Jane Malet, nonne, of Ormesby in the Countie of Lincoln.”[12]

2.  William Browne, of “Flambard’s Hall,” London, mercer, Mayor of London in 1513-14, born 1468-69 (aged 30 at the inquisition post mortem of his father, taken 8 February 1499) at St. Denis’s Langbourne Ward, died between 27 May 1513 (when he made his will) and 1 July 1514 (when it was proved).[13] In the 1501 will of his brother Thomas he is mentioned as “my … belovyd brother William Browne,” and the will includes a bequest “unto my sister in Lawe the wif of my same brother William Browne a ring of the valew of xx s.[14] In his own will, he calls himself “William Browne, citizen and alderman of the Citie of London and nowe maier of the same,” requests burial in the burial-place of his father-in-law, “in the church of St. Thomas the Marter called Acon of London,” and mentions that he has “remaynyng in my handes … the residue of the goods of Sir John Browne, Knight, and of Dame Anne, late his wife, my fader and moder.” He mentions both his late wife, Catherine, and her father and mother, Sir Edward Shaw and Juliana his wife, and his own second wife, Alice. He also mentions “my daughter Julian nowe wyfe of John Mondy, Citizen and Alderman of London,” his maternal uncle, Thomas Belwood, and various “cousins.”[15] The will of Richard Feldyng, mercer, of London, dated 26 May 1519, directs: “Pursuant to the terms of the will of William Browne, late alderman, dated 27 May, A.D. 1514 he leaves to the Wardens and Commonalty of the Craft or Mistery A.D. of Mercers of London certain tenements and wharf called ‘Corbettes Kay,’ situate in Thamystrete in the parish of S. Dunstan in the East, which he acquired from Sir John Shaa, for the maintenance of a chantry in the church of S. Mary Magdalen in Milkstrete for the souls of William Browne aforesaid, Katherine and Alice, wives of the same, and others.”[16]
    William Browne married (1) by 4 November 1491,[17] Katherine Shaa, born probably in 1473, living 1494 but died by 3 November 1497, daughter (and eventual coheiress) of Sir Edmund Shaa, Mayor of London in 1482, by the latter’s wife Julian ____. Her identity is well attested, as she is called “Katharine now wife of William Broun … of London, mercer … aged 20 and more” in the inquisition post mortem of her mother, dated 29 October 1494,[18] and “Kateryn, daughter of Lady Shaa” in the will of her father-in-law Sir John Browne. William Browne married (2) (as her first husband) by Jan. 1503/4, with further issue, Alice Kebyl, died 8 June 1521, and buried in the Church of the Grey Friars, London, daughter of Henry Kebyl (or Kebyll), of St. Mary Aldermary, Lord Mayor of London in 1510-11, which Alice survived him and married secondly (as his third wife), before 15 February 1514/5, William Blount, 4th Lord Mountjoy, by whom she was ancestress of the subsequent lords Mountjoy. A son of this second marriage, John Browne, of Horton Kirby, sat for Aldborough in co. Lancaster, and was sheriff of London in 1552.[19]

3.  Julian Browne, daughter by first wife. She married Sir John Munday (or Mundy), citizen of London, Sheriff in 1514, alderman of the ward of Aldgate in 1517, and Lord Mayor of London in 1522-23, whom see for the continuation of the line.


1The Visitation of London in the year 1568 (Publications of the Harleian Society, 1, 1869), p. 24; The Visitation of Kent, 1574 (Publications of the Harleian Society, 74, 1923), p. 35.
2The Visitation of the County of Huntingdon … A.D. MDCXIII (Camden Society, 1849), 95; The Visitation of Kent taken in the years 1619-1621 (Publications of the Harleian Society, 42, 1898), p. 164.
3The statement is questioned, though not very forcibly, by the editor. John Browne was, in all likelihood, older than the Robert Browne who is there represented as being his grandfather, yet who in fact had a daughter who lived until 1560; see Faris, Plantagenet Ancestry, 2nd ed., p. 257. The fact that this daughter of Robert Browne is called his heir in the 1530-31 Visitation of Kent (Harleian Society, 74), p. 13, is in any case an impediment to the possibility of his having left patrilineal descendants.
4For the identification of “Werk” see Adrian Channing’s posting to soc.gen.medieval dated 7 August 2001 <http://archiver.rootsweb.com/th/read/GEN-MEDIEVAL/2001-08/ 0997213374>.
5James Roberts Brown, “Jno. and Wm. Browne, Sheriffs and Lord Mayors of London,” Notes and Queries, ser. 7, 5 (1888), 151-3. We are grateful to Nina Green, of Kelowna, British Columbia, for bringing this item to our attention.
6John Pym Yeatman, The Brownes of Bechworth Castle, 64-76, gives a very full discussion of this man, who was probably however not related to the Brownes of his title. See also Beaven, The Aldermen of the City of London, temp. Henry III – 1912, p. __. The 1501 will of his son, Thomas Browne (PRO prob. 11/12), as transcribed by Adrian Channing <http://archiver.rootsweb.com/th/read/GEN-MEDIEVAL/2003-10/1067436249>, desires burial “in the p’rish church of saint mary magdalene in milksteete of London … in the tombe there where the body [of my?] right honorable fader Sir John Browne Knight lieth buried.”
7Nicholas Harris Nicholas, Testamenta Vetusta, 2 vols. (London, 1826), 1:350-51, at p. 351.
8He is so designated in Calendar of Inquisitions Post Mortem, Henry VII, vol. 1, no. 434; cf. nos. 436, 437.
9P.C.C. 12 Milles, modern archival reference PRO prob. 11/8.
10PRO prob. 11/12, transcribed by Adrian Channing, as cited above.
11This is probably the Thomas Belwode, of Belton, etc., son of Thomas Belwode, who died 23 December 1505 [21 Hen. VII], leaving a son Robert, aged 33, his son and heir; see Calendar of Inquisitions Post Mortem … Henry VIII, 3:21-22.
12P.C.C. Holgrave, modern archival reference PRO prob. 11/14, incorrectly calendared as the will of “Sir John Bronn or Bronne.” See also The Visitation of London in the year 1568 (Publications of the Harleian Society, 1, 1869), p. 24, and in The Visitation of Kent, 1574 (Publications of the Harleian Society, 74, 1923), p. 35, The Visitation of Kent taken in the years 1619-1621 (Publications of the Harleian Society, 42, 1898), p. 164; John Pym Yeatman, The Brownes of Bechworth Castle, 66, 69 (where however there are several inaccuracies in the extracts from Anne’s will).
13See generally on this man The Visitation of London in the year 1568 (Publications of the Harleian Society, 1, 1869), p. 24; The Visitation of Kent, 1574 (Publications of the Harleian Society, 74, 1923); The Visitation of Kent, taken in the years 1619-1621 (Publications of the Harleian Society, 42, 1898), p. 164; John Pym Yeatman, The Brownes of Bechworth Castle, 64, 69; Beaven, The Aldermen of the City of London, temp. Henry III – 1912, p. __; CP, 11:340-41 (s.v. Mountjoy). He is not to be confused with the man of this name treated in Sylvia L. Thrupp, The Merchant Class of Medieval London, 1300-1500 (Chicago, 1948), 327. His will is in P.C.C. Fetiplace, modern archival reference PRO prob. 11/17; Adrian Channing posted an abstract of this will to soc.gen.medieval on 15 August 1998 <http://archiver.rootsweb.com/th/read/GEN-MEDIEVAL/1998-08/ 0903232625>.
14PRO prob. 11/12, transcribed by Adrian Channing, as cited above.
15For a modern abstract see Reginald Robinson Sharpe, Calendar of wills proved and enrolled in the Court of Husting, London, A.D. 1258 - A.D. 1688, 2 vols. (London, 1889-1890), 2:640-41.
16Sharpe, Calendar of wills proved and enrolled in the Court of Husting…, 2:638-39.
17When the inquisition post mortem of her brother Hugh calls her “Katharine Broun, aged 18 years and more, wife of William Broun of London, mercer”; see Calendar of Inquisitions Post Mortem, Henry VII, vol. 3, no. 677. Although his mother is probably the “Dame Anne Browne” mentioned in the 1487 will of his father-in-law, Edmund Shaa, this will calls Katharine by her maiden surname, which, coupled with the fact that she cannot then have been more than 14 years of age, suggests the marriage had not yet occurred.
18Calendar of Inquisitions Post Mortem, Henry VII, vol. 1, no. 985.
19Complete Peerage 9:338-42; History of Parliament.

The content of this page first appeared as part of an ancestor table, under the now-defunct URL http://johnblythedobson.org/genealogy/AT/view_AT.cfm?ID=29, on 21 August 2002
This page was last revised 30 June 2013