Dictionary of National Biography, 1885-1900/Browne, Samuel (1575?-1632)

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BROWNE, SAMUEL (1575?–1632), divine, born at or near Shrewsbury, became a servitor or clerk of All Souls College, Oxford, in 1594, at the age of nineteen, graduated B.A. 3 Nov. 1601, and M.A. 3 July 1605, took orders, and in 1618 was appointed minister of St. Mary's Church, Shrewsbury, 'where he was much resorted to by precise people for his edifying and frequent preaching' (Wood). In spite, however, of this notice of his ministry in the 'Athenae Oxon.,' Browne can scarcely have been a puritan, for in the curious little book entitled 'The Looking-glasse of Schisme, wherein by a briefe and true Narration of the execrable Murders done by Enoch ap Evan, a downe-right Nonconformist . . . the Disobedience of that Sect . . . is plainly set forth' (1635), the author, Peter Studley, minister of St. Chad's, Shrewsbury speaks of him with great respect, and says that during the thirteen years of his ministry he was 'rudely and unchristianly handlea' by the disloyal and schismatical party in the town, and that finally, 'by an invective and bitter Libell, consisting of fourteene leaves in quarto cast into his garden, they disquieted his painefull and peaceable soule, and shortened the date of his troublesome pilgrimage.' Browne died in 1632, and was buried at St. Mary's on 6 May. He published 'The Sum of Christian Religion by way of Catechism,' 1630, 1037, 8vo, and 'Certain Prayers,' and left at his death several sermons which he wished printed.

[Wood's Athenæ Oxon. (Bliss), ii. 631; Fasti (Bliss), i. 290, 306; Studley's Looking-glasse of Schisme, 180-1; Phillips's History and Antiquities of Shrewsbury, 100; Some Account of the Ancient and Present Stiito of Shrewsbury (ed. 1810), 216, 217.]

W. H.