BROWNE, Robert III (by 1504-68/69), of Colchester, Essex.

Published in The History of Parliament: the House of Commons 1509-1558, ed. S.T. Bindoff, 1982
Available from Boydell and Brewer



Nov. 1554

Family and Education

b. by 1504, s. of Robert Browne of Colchester by Joan. m. Agnes, at least 1da.1

Offices Held

Serjeant-at-mace, Colchester 1525, alderman 1537, bailiff 1546-7, 1548-9, Mar. 1551, 1556-7, 1560-1.2


Robert Browne followed both his father’s trade of grocer and his career in the service of the town. The two were conjoined as bailiffs in 1548 but the father probably died in the following year. The Robert Browne who had served on the jury of presentment for the trial of the abbot of Colchester in 1539 was probably the father.3

Browne is known to have been Catholic in religion. Under Mary he played a leading part in the persecution of the Colchester Protestants, and his zeal may have contributed to his election to her third Parliament. He continued to hold office in the borough under Elizabeth, when his by then dissident sympathies help to explain why he did not reappear in Parliament. He probably died in 1568 or 1569.4

Ref Volumes: 1509-1558

Author: D. F. Coros


  • 1. Date of birth estimated from first reference. Colchester Oath Bk. ed. Benham, 166, 168, 172; Colchester town hall, Benham ms 24, p. 9.
  • 2. Colchester town hall, Benham mss 22-24; Colchester Oath Bk. 165, 174, 181.
  • 3. Colchester Red. Ppr. Bk. ed. Benham, 135; LP Hen. VIII, xiv.
  • 4. J. E. Oxley, Ref. in Essex, 233; Essex Review, c.147 seq.; Trans. Essex Arch. Soc. n.s. vi. 241.