Page:Dictionary of National Biography volume 07.djvu/59

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Browne
Browne
53

Browne was an enthusiastic angler, and in 1750, at the suggestion of Dr. Johnson, brought out an edition of Walton and Cotton's 'Compleat Angler,' adding to it 'a number of occasional notes.' These were of value, but unfortunately the original text was altered to suit the taste of the age. Other editions appeared in 1759 and 1772, the former giving rise to a controversy with Sir John Hawkins, who was also an editor of that work. Browne's volume, 'Works and Rest of the Creation, containing (1) an Essay on the Universe, (2) Sunday Thoughts,' was published in 1752, and was several times reprinted, the last edition being in 1806. Through the encouragement of the Rev. James Hervey he took orders in the English church and became curate to Hervey at Collingtree in 1753. The small living of Olney was given to Browne by Lord Dartmouth in the same year, but as the poet had a large family—Cowper says 'ten or a dozen' children, Hervey with greater precision 'thirteen'-he was forced to accept in 1763 the chaplaincy of Morden College, and to be non-resident at Olney. At a still later date he became the vicar of Sutton in Lincolnshire. Browne died at Morden College 13 Sept. 1787, his wife, Ann, having predeceased him on 24 March 1783, aged 65. A tablet to his memory is in Olney Church. John Newton was his curate there from 1764 to 1780, when Thomas Scott succeeded him.

He was the author of several sermons and the translator of 'The Excellency of the Knowledge of Jesus Christ, by John Liborius Zimmermann,' which passed through three editions (1772, 1773, and 1801). At the command of the Duke and Duchess of Somerset he wrote in 1749 a poem on their seat of 'Percy Lodge,' but it was not given to the world until 1755. Had they lived, this poor poet would have been better provided for.

[Gent. Mag. 1736, pp. 69-60, 1787 pp. 286, 840, 932; Biog. Dram. (1812), i. 75; Westwood's Bibl. Piscatoria (1883), pp. 43-4, 221-2; Nichols's Lit. Anecd. ii. 21, 436, v. 36-7, 51-3; Hawkins's Johnson, p. 46; Hervey's Letters, i. and ii.; Southey's Cowper, i. 243-4, iv. 154; Abbey and Overton's English Church, ii. 331.]

W. P. C.

BROWNE, PATRICK (1720?–1790), author of the 'Civil and Natural History of Jamaica,' was the fourth son of Edward Browne of Woodstock, co. Mayo, Ireland, and was born about 1720. In 1737 he was sent to reside with a relative in Antigua, but ill-health compelling him to return to Europe he went to Paris, where he commenced the study of physical science, especially botany. Afterwards he removed to Leyden, where he continued his studies, obtaining the degree of M.D. 21 Feb. 1743 (Peacock, English Students at Leyden, p. 14). At Leyden he made the acquaintance of Gronovius, and began a correspondence with Linnæus, which continued till his death. After practising his profession for two years in London he returned to the West Indies, spending some months in Antigua and other sugar islands, and thence proceeding to Jamaica. Here he occupied himself with the study of the geology, botany, and natural history of the island. In 1765 he published a new map of Jamaica, and in 1750 'Civil and Natural History of Jamaica' in folio, ornamented with forty-nine engravings, a map of the island, and a map of the harbour of Port Royal, Kingston, &c. All the copperplates as well as the original drawings used in the work were consumed in the great fire in Cornhill 7 Nov. 1765, and consequently the second edition of the book published in 1709, with four new Linn{{ae}an indexes, is without illustrations. In June 1774 he published in 'Exshaw's London Magazine' a 'Catalogue of the Birds of Ireland, whether natives, casual visitors, or birds of passage, taken from observation, classed and disposed according to Linnæus;' and in August of the same year a 'Catalogue of Fishes observed on our coasts, and in our lakes and rivers.' He left in manuscript a 'Catalogue of the Plants now crowing in the Sugar Islands,' and a 'Catalogue of such Irish Plants as have been observed by the author, chiefly those of the counties of Mayo and Galway.' He died at Rushbrook, co. Mayo, 29 Aug. 1790, and was interred in the family burying-place at Crossboyne, where there is a monument to his memory with an inscription written by himself.

[Walker's Hibernian Mag. 1795, pt. ii. pp. 196-7.]

T. F. H.

BROWNE, PETER (d. 1735), divine, was born in co. Dublin soon after the Restoration; entered Trinity College in 1682; became fellow in 1692, and provost in August 1699. He was made bishop of Cork and Ross in January 1710. He became first known as a writer by an attack upon Toland, who had published in 1690 his 'Christianity not Mysterious.' Browne made one of the best known replies to this work; and Toland was in the habit of boasting that he had thus made Browne a bishop (Toland, Life prefixed to Collection of several Pieces, 1720, p. xx). Browne held that Toland was beyond the pale of toleration (Amory, Memoirs, &c., i. 85). He afterwards published a full elaboration of his argument in the 'Procedure, Extent, and Limits of Human Understanding,' 1728;