Harold Browne

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Harold Browne
Bishop of Winchester
EH Browne by Bassano.jpg
Church Church of England
Diocese Diocese of Winchester
In office1873–1890
Predecessor Samuel Wilberforce
Successor Anthony Thorold
Other post(s) Norrisian Professor of Divinity (1854–1864)
Bishop of Ely (1864–1873)
Ordination1836 (deacon); 1837 (priest)
Personal details
Born(1811-03-06)6 March 1811
Died18 December 1891(1891-12-18) (aged 80)
Bitterne, Hampshire, UK
Denomination Anglicanism
ResidenceShales House, Bitterne (at death)
ParentsRobert and Sarah
SpouseElizabeth (m. 1840–1891)
Profession Theologian
Education Eton College
Alma mater Emmanuel College, Cambridge

Edward Harold Browne (usually called Harold Browne; 6 March 1811 – 18 December 1891) was a bishop of the Church of England.


Early life and education

Browne was born on 6 March 1811 at Aylesbury, Buckinghamshire, the second son of Robert Browne of Morton House in Buckinghamshire, and of Sarah Dorothea Steward; and younger brother to Thomas Gore Browne. He was educated at Eton College and Emmanuel College, Cambridge. [1] After securing his BA in 1832, he won the Crosse theological scholarship in 1833, the Tyrwhitt Hebrew scholarship in 1834, and the Norrisian prize in 1835. He graduated with his MA in 1836, was elected fellow of Emmanuel in 1837, and appointed senior tutor in 1838. In 1854 he was elected Norrisian Professor of Divinity at Cambridge. He took the BD in 1855 and the DD in 1864. [2]

Early career

Browne was ordained deacon on 26 November 1836 by Joseph Allen, Bishop of Ely; [3] and priest, again by Allen, on 3 December 1837. In 1841, he accepted a curacy in Exeter (St Sidwell's), but in 1843 moved to Wales as Vice-Principal of St David's College. In 1849, he took a benefice in Cornwall, to which was attached a prebendal stall in Exeter Cathedral, which he exchanged in 1857 for a canonry in the same and the living of Heavitree.

Later career

In 1854, Browne was appointed to the Norrisian chair of divinity at the University of Cambridge but held his livings in the Diocese of Exeter concurrently. (The Cornish benefice was the vicarage of Kenwyn and Kea.) On 29 March 1864 he was consecrated Bishop of Ely by Charles Longley, Archbishop of Canterbury (assisted by Connop Thirlwall, Bishop of St David's and Henry Philpott, Bishop of Worcester) at Westminster Abbey; [4] he was enthroned at Ely Cathedral on 26 April. During his time at Ely he returned to his hometown for the re-opening of a newly refurbished church of St. Mary the Virgin, Aylesbury in 1869. In December 1873, he was translated to the see of Winchester; he was enthroned at Winchester Cathedral on 11 December.

On Sunday 21 May 1885, Browne ordained as deacon of the first deaf-mute Anglican clergyman, Richard Aslatt Pearce. [5]

Browne resigned his See in 1890 and died at Shales House near Bitterne on 18 December 1891. [2]


Browne was a high churchman and in 1885, he set up the first diocesan organisation of the Mothers' Union, which had previously been a simple parish meeting chaired by Mary Sumner in Old Alresford.

Browne was a moderating influence in the conflict arising from Essays and Reviews and the Pentateuch criticism of J. W. Colenso. His work, An Exposition of the Thirty-nine Articles: Historical and Doctrinal. New York: E.P. Dutton. 1874. held its place as a standard work for many years. [6]


Marriage and family

On 18 June 1840, Browne married Elizabeth Carlyon (daughter of Dr Clement Carlyon of Truro, Cornwall). [7]

Styles and titles

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  1. "Browne, Edward Harold (BRWN827EH)". A Cambridge Alumni Database. University of Cambridge.
  2. 1 2 Buckland 1901.
  3. Kitchin 1895, p. 46.
  4. Kitchin 1895, p. 254.
  5. "The Reverend R A Pearce, the Deaf and Dumb Clergyman". Illustrated London News. 25 July 1885.
  6. Cross & Livingstone 2005, p. 244.
  7. Exeter and Plymouth Gazette, 20 June 1840.


Honorary titles
Preceded by Vice-principal of St Davids College, Lampeter
Succeeded by
Academic offices
Preceded by Norrisian Professor of Divinity
Succeeded by
Church of England titles
Preceded by Bishop of Ely
Succeeded by
Preceded by Bishop of Winchester
Succeeded by