Select Brown Miscellany
accounts over the years:
- Brownes in Stamford
- The Anglo-Norman Bruns/Brownes
- The Brownes of Galway
- George Browne in Russia
- The Browns of Fordell
- The Browns of Rowan County, North
Brownes in Stamford
the 13th century
Stamford in Lincolnshire had been one of the ten largest towns in
England. However, the removal of the main
to East Anglia in the 15th century forced the town into decline. The trade that remained was concentrated in
the hands of rich merchants like the Brownes.
Browne the Elder was a Stamford wool merchant
whose wealth had been accumulated at this time as a member of the
company of the Staple of Calais. He and
his wife Margaret have an impressive mural brass at the end of the
of All Saints, Stamford’s central church.
contributed generously towards the enlargement and embellishment of the
where their parents had been laid to rest. The
upper walls, windows, and the roof were
their work. John the Younger
commissioned the tower with its beautiful spire. William
founded Browne’s Hospital (the almshouses
on Broad Street), an institution that is still operating today. Both brothers have a sepulchral brass in the
The Anglo-Norman Bruns/Brownes
early ancestry of these Bruns/Brownes was recounted
Hugh le Brun was one of
the Lords of the Marches of Wales.
son was Sir Stephen and he married Eva, sister of Griffith the Prince
and had three sons named Hugh, Philip and William.
Sir Stephen and his sons supported King Stephen against the
Maud in their conflict.
the eldest son, rendered
important services to Henry II on his invasion of Wales and was
the King to inherit his father’s large estates.
of Mulrankan came to Ireland with
Strongbow and was appointed the Governor of Wexford in 1172.
- while William, the youngest son, was also
obliged to join in the invasion of Ireland at the time his brother was
appointed the Governor of Wexford. William
went to Dublin, then in possession of the Danes, and settled near
Clondalkin. One of his descendants,
Fromond le Brun, was
Chancellor of Ireland in the mid-13th century.
The Brownes of Galway
the name Browne does not appear in the records
of Galway city until the year 1539 when Andrew Browne of Athenry was
as a freeman, the family was soon to reach an eminent position among
merchants. Andrew became a bailiff of the city in 1552 and in 1574 was
Thereafter a number of members
of the family were to attain that office, perhaps the most notable
Browne in 1634 who was later knighted.
His eldest son Geoffrey was a member of the Supreme Council of
Confederation of Kilkenny. In 1651 he
was sent by the Marquis of Clanricarde to negotiate at Brussels a
the Duc de Lorraine in order to raise money for the Royalist army. The
Galway was to be the security.
mid-17th century the Browne family owned a number of very substantial
George Browne in
Browne was one of a
number of Brownes who, to their misfortune, favored the ill-fated
James II. Following his defeat at the
Boyne, the Brownes of Camus in Limerick saw no opportunity for their
to follow the gentlemanly occupation of arms and they sent him abroad.
George joined the Russian imperial army and
began a life of high adventure. He was imprisoned three times after
battles. He was then sold as a slave to the Turks, but was eventually
Having shown exceptional skill and
bravery, he was appointed Field Marshal to Czar Peter of Russia. As Count George Browne, he became Governor of
Livonia. He became a great favorite with the powerful Empress Catherine
would not consider letting him go. So he
remained in Russia, dying there at the age of 94.
The Browns of Fordell
first record of this family occurred in 1261
with Richard Brown who was an Elgin magistrate in Morayshire at that
time. Their connections with the Fordell
Fifeshire occurred shortly afterwards.
Adam Brown held lands there in 1298, the year he was killed at
Battle of Falkirk. The family, however,
remained extensive landowners along the east coast of Scotland for four
had mixed fortunes in
the 14th century. Support for the French
monarchy resulted in one of these Browns being hanged for treason. Another Brown was Sheriff of Aberdeen but lost
half of his lands to the Earl of Douglas.
George Brown in the next century was appointed Bishop of Dunkeld
1494 was head of the Scottish Commissioners which concluded a peace
problems for these Browns by the 18th century.
But one line, the Browns of Golfhall in Edinburgh, prospered as
merchants. David Brown went
to Russia in the late 1700’s and grew rich as a merchant in St.
The Browns of
Rowan County, North Carolina
traces the Brown genealogy back to a Scotsman by
the name of William Brown who
was allied in marriage with a
woman who was a native of
Portugal. Brown had in fact come to New
England from Edinburgh in Scotland in the early 1700’s and settled in
Vermont. Mrs. Brown turned
out to be an Algonquian Abenaki Native American, said
to be of Portuguese ancestry.
son William Brown and his wife Margret
later migrated down through Pennsylvania and
into Rowan County,
North Carolina sometime in the 1760’s. William signed his will there with his
mark, an “X,” in 1772, naming his wife Margret as
executrix and also his nine children.
most comprehensive treatment of the William and Margret
Brown family is to
be found in Erold C. Wiscombe’s 700 page book The Brown
Family: Descendants of Daniel Brown (1804-1875), which
came out in 1986 and then was updated twenty years later.
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