Matthew Browne

Last updated

Sir Matthew Browne
Died1 August 1603 (aged 3940)
SpouseJane Vincent
Children Sir Ambrose Browne, 1st Baronet
Edward Browne
Henry Browne
Thomas Browne
Jane Browne
Mabel Browne
Parent(s) Sir Thomas Browne, Mabel Fitzwilliam

Sir Matthew Browne (1563 – 1 August 1603) of Betchworth Castle, Surrey, MP, was the only son of Sir Thomas Browne and Mabel Fitzwilliam. He was involved in legal and financial transactions concerning the Globe Theatre in 1601. [1] He was killed in a duel with his kinsman, Sir John Townshend, on 1 August 1603.



Matthew Browne was the only son of Sir Thomas Browne (d. 9 February 1597) and his first wife, Mabel Fitzwilliam, the eldest daughter and coheiress of the courtier Sir William Fitzwilliam, Gentleman of the Privy Chamber and Lieutenant of Windsor Castle, by Jane Roberts, daughter and coheiress of John Roberts of Cranbrook, Kent, and Mayfield, Sussex. He had two sisters, Jane Browne, who married Sir Oliph Lee, and Elizabeth Browne, who married Robert Honeywood. [2] [3]

After the death of his first wife, Mabel, Sir Thomas Browne married Helen or Ellen Harding, widow of Richard Knyvet, and daughter and heiress of William Harding, by whom he had a son, Richard Browne. [2]


Sketch by Wenceslas Hollar of second Globe Theatre Hollar Globe.gif
Sketch by Wenceslas Hollar of second Globe Theatre

Browne was at Magdalen College, Oxford, in 1576. By a parliament held 11 February 1582 he was granted special admission to the Inner Temple together with Nicholas Brend (d. 12 October 1601), [4] son and heir of Thomas Brend (d.1597), and John Bodley of Streatham, stepson of Thomas Brend, with whom he was later to be associated in connection with the Globe Theatre and other properties. [5]

In 1596 Browne was knighted by Robert Devereux, 2nd Earl of Essex, on the Cadiz expedition. In 1600 he was appointed deputy lieutenant of Surrey to Lord Charles Howard. In 1601 he was elected to Parliament for Gatton. [3]

In October 1601, as Nicholas Brend, with whom Browne had been admitted to the Inner Temple in 1582, lay dying, he entered into complicated legal and financial transactions to ensure payment of his debts by which his stepbrother, John Bodley, John Collet, and Sir Matthew Browne would act as his trustees, [1] and by which:

Bodley would pay the debts and in return take a mortgage on the properties in Bread Street and Southwark, including, now, the Globe...So on October 7, Bodley, Collet, and Browne agreed in writing to pay the debts and Collet to give Nicholas £250 in cash. In return, Nicholas mortgaged his properties in Bread Street and Southwark to Collet and Browne for the supposed amount of the debts, £1478. On October 8 he signed a bond in which he promised to pay Collet and Browne £2500 if he did not perform the requirements of the mortgage. On October 10 he drew his will, providing among other things that Bodley and Browne should have various properties they would sell, including the house in St. Peter's Hill where all this was taking place...And on 12 October 1601, at the age of forty or forty-one, the first owner of the Globe died. [1]

Browne himself died less than two years later. On 1 August 1603 he fought a duel on horseback on Hounslow Heath with a kinsman, Sir John Townshend. Browne was killed on the spot, while Townshend was mortally wounded and died the following day. [3] [6]

Browne was succeeded by his twelve-year-old son, Ambrose. His executors, Sir William Mynne and Browne's cousin, Thomas Browne, did not prove Browne's last will until 1608. [3]

Marriage and issue

Browne married Jane Vincent, the daughter of Sir Thomas Vincent of Stoke d'Abernon, Surrey, by Jane Lyfield, the daughter and heiress of Thomas Lyfield, esquire, by whom he had four sons, Sir Ambrose Browne, 1st Baronet, Edward, Henry and Thomas, and two daughters, Jane, who married Sir Robert Kemp, 2nd Baronet, and Mabel. [7] [8]


  1. 1 2 3 Berry 1987 , pp. 87–8.
  2. 1 2 Richardson I 2011 , p. 342.
  3. 1 2 3 4 Browne, Sir Matthew (1563-1603), History of Parliament. Retrieved 23 March 2013.
  4. Berry 1987 , p. 88.
  5. Inderwick 1896 , p. 318; Honigmann & Brock 1993 , pp. 63–4; Berry 1987 , pp. 87–8.
  6. Burke 1833 , p. 549; Clough 2004; Richardson I 2011 , pp. 342–3.
  7. The Royal Descents of 500 Immigrants to the American Colonies or the United States, by Gary Boyd Roberts, 1993 Page: 231
  8. Plantagenet Ancestry of Seventeenth-Century Colonists, by David Faris, 2nd Edition 1999, NEHGS Page: 50-51

Related Research Articles

Richard Robinson was an actor in English Renaissance theatre and a member of Shakespeare's company the King's Men.

The list of known High Sheriffs of Surrey extends back to 1066. At various times the High Sheriff of Surrey was also High Sheriff of Sussex.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Sir Roger Townshend, 1st Baronet</span>

Sir Roger Townshend, 1st Baronet, was an English landowner and politician who sat in the House of Commons in two parliaments between 1621 and 1629.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Betchworth Castle</span> Castle in Betchworth

Betchworth Castle is a mostly crumbled ruin of a fortified medieval stone house with some tall, two-storey corners strengthened in the 18th century, in the north of the semi-rural parish of Brockham. It is built on a sandstone spur overlooking the western bank of the River Mole in Surrey in England.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Roger Townshend (courtier, died 1590)</span>

Sir Roger Townshend was an English nobleman, politician, soldier, and knight. He was the son of Sir Richard Townshend and Katherine Browne. He spent much of his career in the service of Thomas Howard, 4th Duke of Norfolk, and Norfolk's son and heir, Philip Howard, 20th Earl of Arundel. He was knighted at sea on 26 July 1588 during the battle against the Spanish Armada.

Sir John Townshend MP, of Raynham Hall in Norfolk, was an English nobleman, politician, and knight. He was the son of Sir Roger Townshend and Jane Stanhope. He was also a soldier and Member of Parliament. He was killed in a duel with Sir Matthew Browne in August 1603.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Madeley Old Manor</span>

Madeley Old Manor, was a medieval fortified manor house in the parish of Madeley, Staffordshire. It is now a ruin, with only fragments of its walls remaining. The remnants have Grade II listed building status and the site is a Scheduled Ancient Monument. The Tudor manor house is illustrated by Michael Burghers as it appeared in 1686 in Plot's History of Staffordshire, together with the formal gardens and a later east frontage. It is situated a short distance to the south of Heighley Castle, a mediaeval seat of the Audley family.

Richard Boyle was an English bishop who became Archbishop of Tuam in the Church of Ireland. He was the second son of Michael Boyle, merchant in London, and his wife Jane, daughter and co-heiress of William Peacock. His younger brother was Michael Boyle, bishop of Waterford.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Henry Berkeley, 7th Baron Berkeley</span>

Henry Berkeley, 17th Baron Berkeley was an English peer and politician. He was Lord Lieutenant and Vice-Admiral of Gloucestershire. He was the grandfather of George Berkeley, 18th Baron Berkeley.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Sir Ambrose Browne, 1st Baronet</span>

Sir Ambrose Browne, 1st Baronet was an English politician who sat in the House of Commons of England between 1628 and 1648. He supported the Parliamentary side in the English Civil War.

Thomas Browne, of Betchworth Castle, Surrey, was an English politician.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">George Bromley (politician)</span> Member of the Parliament of England

George Bromley was an English lawyer, landowner, politician and judge of the Mid-Tudor and Elizabethan period, a member of an important Shropshire legal and landed gentry dynasty. Although his career was overshadowed by that of his brother Thomas Bromley, George Bromley was of considerable importance in the affairs of the Welsh marches and the Inner Temple. He was an MP for Liskeard 1563, Much Wenlock in 1558 and 1559 and Shropshire in 1571 and 1572.

William Cooke, was an English politician.

Sir William FitzWilliam, of Windsor, Berkshire, was an Irish courtier and Member of Parliament in England. He was Chief Gentleman of the Privy Chamber to Edward VI of England; Deputy Chancellor of Ireland; Lieutenant of Windsor Castle; Keeper of Windsor Great Park and Lord Lieutenant of Berkshire.

Sir John Leveson was an English politician. He was instrumental in putting down the Essex rebellion of 8 February 1601.

Thomas Brend of West Molesey, Surrey, was a London scrivener, and the owner of the land on which the Globe Theatre was built.

Nicholas Brend was an English landowner who inherited from his father the land on which the Globe Theatre was built, and on 21 February 1599 leased it to Cuthbert Burbage, Richard Burbage, William Shakespeare, Augustine Phillips, Thomas Pope, John Heminges, and William Kempe. He died two years later, leaving the property on which the Globe was built to his infant son, Matthew Brend, who did not come of age until 6 February 1621.

Sir Sigismund ZinzanaliasSir Sigismund Alexander was an equerry to Queen Elizabeth I and a champion in the tiltyard who participated in tournaments during the latter years of Queen Elizabeth's reign and throughout the reign of King James. He was the stepfather of Sir Matthew Brend, owner of the Globe Theatre, and during the years 1624-7 was himself the effective owner of the Globe.

Sir Matthew Brend inherited from his father, Nicholas Brend, the land on which the first and second Globe Theatres were built, and which Nicholas Brend had leased on 21 February 1599 for a 31-year term to Cuthbert Burbage, Richard Burbage, William Shakespeare, Augustine Phillips, Thomas Pope, John Heminges, and William Kempe. During much of the time he was the legal owner of the Globe, Matthew Brend was underage, and his properties were managed for him by Sir Matthew Browne, John Collet, Sir John Bodley, and Sir Sigismund Zinzan. In 1623 Brend conveyed the property on which the Globe was built to his wife, Frances, as part of her jointure. In 1632 he was sued in the Court of Requests by the remaining original lessee, Cuthbert Burbage, and others, for an extension of their original lease.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Edward Bromley</span>

Sir Edward Bromley was an English lawyer, judge, landowner and politician of the Elizabethan and Jacobean periods. A member of a Shropshire legal and landed gentry dynasty, he was prominent at the Inner Temple and became a Baron of the Exchequer. He was elected MP for Bridgnorth on six consecutive occasions.