Dictionary of National Biography, 1885-1900/Browne, Thomas (1604?-1673)

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BROWNE or BROWN, THOMAS (1604?–1673), divine, a native of Middlesex, was elected student of Christ Church, Oxford, in 1620, took the degree of M.A. in 1627, was proctor of the university in 1636, and took the degree of B.D. and was appointed domestic chaplain to Archbishop Laud in 1637. A sermon of his on John xi. 4 was highly offensive to the puritans, and they were indignant at his appointment to a canonry at Windsor in 1639. This sermon was found in manuscript in Laud's study when the archbishop's papers were seized, and appears not to have been printed. Browne held the rectories of St. Mary Aldermary and Oddington in Oxfordshire. Being forced by the puritans to leave his cure in London, he joined the king at Oxford, was made his chaplain, and received the degree of D.D. by letters patent 2 Feb. 1642. On the overthrow of the royal cause he took shelter in Holland, and was appointed chaplain to the Princess of Orange. At the Restoration he recovered his benefices. In 1661 he was recommended for the provostship of Eton, but the king passed him by. He died in 1673 and was buried at Windsor. He published ‘Tomus alter et idem, a History of the Life and Reign of that famous Princess Elizabeth,’ a translation of vol. ii. of Camden's ‘Annals,’ to which he added an ‘Appendix containing animadversions upon several passages,’ 1629; a sermon preached before the University of Oxford, 1634; ‘Concio ad Clerum,’ or ‘A Discourse of the Revenues of the Clergy … in a sermon preached … before the university upon taking a B.D. degree 8 June 1637,’ preserved in ‘The Present State of Letters,’ where it is described as ‘a notable specimen of the learning, wit, and pulpit oratory of that time;’ ‘A Key to the King's Cabinet, or Animadversions upon the three printed Speeches of Mr. L'Isle, Mr. Tate, and Mr. Browne, spoken in London, 3 July 1645,’ Oxford, 1645; ‘A Treatise in defence of Hugo Grotius,’ Hague, 1646; ‘The Royal Charter granted unto Kings by God himself,’ London, 1649 (Hearne); 'Dissertatio de Therapeuticis Philonis,' published with 'The Interpretation of the Two Books of Clement by other writers,' 1689.

[Wood's Athenæ Oxon. (ed. Bliss) iii. 1003; Walker's Sufferings of the Clergy, pt. ii. 93; Present State of Letters (ed. Andrew Reid), vi. art. 21, 199–219; Hearne's Collections (ed. Doble), 102, 363 (Oxford Hist. Soc.)]

W. H.