Rev. Richard Browne

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Richard Browne

Birthdate: (30)
Birthplace: Sywell Parish, Wellsborough, Northamptonshire, England
Death: August 9, 1662 (30)
Podington, Wellingborough, Bedfordshire, England
Place of Burial: Willingborough, Northhampton, England
Immediate Family:

Son of John Browne and Mary Browne
Husband of Mary Browne
Father of Elizabeth Browne; Mary Brown; James Browne, II; John Browne; William Browne and 5 others
Brother of Mary Pottenger; William Browne and Thomas Browne

Occupation: Reverend
Managed by: Private User
Last Updated:

About Rev. Richard Browne

From "Martha's Extended Family" family tree page on Richard Browne:

Richard Browne[1],[2],[3]

  • M, b. say 1625, d. 9 August 1662
  • Father: John Browne b. 1580
  • Name Variation Richard Browne was also known as Richard Brown.
  • Birth* Richard was born say 1625. He was the son of John Browne.
  • Marriage* He married Mary (?) in 1656 in England.[3]
  • Death* Richard died on 9 August 1662 in England .[2]

Family Mary (?) b. 1632


  • 1. Daniel Brown+ b. s 1654, d. c 1714
  • 2. James Brown+ b. 27 Mar 1656, d. 1715
  • 3. William Brown+ b. 29 Jan 1658, d. 1746
  • 4. Jeremiah Brown b. 19 Aug 1660


1.[S184] James E. Bellarts, The Quaker Yeoman, A Genealogy of Clayton,m Reynolds, Beals, Brown and Descended and Related Lines, p. 42.

2.[S187] Warren E Pickett, John Piggott Sr. (1680 ?- 1738) of Susquehannah Hundred in Cecil County MD. Together with some account of the Browne and Clayton families from whom his wife Margarey Brown Piggott descended, p. 15.

3.[S1047] World Family Tree Volume 57, tree 1712.


From John Marshall's research on Richard Browne:

Rev. Richard Browne (son of John) married Mary;

  • he died 9mo 1662; he was buried at Wellingborough, Northamptonshire, England.
    • (Ben M. Angel notes: 9 month is November.)
  • He resided at Sywell, Northamptonshire, England.
  • He resided at Boarsworth, Northamptonshire, England.

Known children of Rev. Richard Browne and Mary were as follows:

  • i. Daniel3 Browne died 9mo 11 1719 at Puddington, Bedfordshire, England.
  • ii. Joseph Browne died 3mo 9 1731 at Puddington, Bedfordshire, England.
  • iii. Johanna Browne died 5mo 16 1721 at Puddington, Northamptonshire, England.
  • iv. Elizabeth Browne died 3mo 1729 at Puddington, Northamptonshire, England.
  • v. John Browne died 6mo 5 1733 at Puddington, Northamptonshire, England.
  • vi. James Browne, born 3mo 27 1656 at Boarsworth, Northamptonshire, England; married Honour Clayton.
  • vii. William Brown, born 1mo 29 1658 at Northamptonshire, England; married Dorothy Presland; married Anne Mercer; married Catherine Williams; married Mary Matthews.
  • viii. Jeremiah Browne was born 8mo 19 1660.
  • ix. Margery Browne was born 8mo 19 1660.


From Bryan Scott Godfrey's research on Richard Browne:

3752. Richard Brown,

  • born Abt. 1610 in probably Lufton, Bedfordshire, England[1780];
  • died 09 Aug 1662 in Wellingboro, Northamptonshire, England[1780].
  • He was the son of John Brown.
  • He married Margery ? 1656. Margery ?, died Unknown.

Notes for Richard Brown:

According to James E. Bellarts, he affiliated with the Baptists for a while, then joined the Puritans, and finally became a Quaker after being convinced by William Dewsbury. Several of his children moved to Bedfordshire, England.

The Browns of Nottingham (1864.)

  • Author: Cope, Gilbert, 1840-1928
  • Subject: Brown family
  • Publisher: [West Chester, Pa.
  • Possible copyright status: NOT_IN_COPYRIGHT
  • Language: English
  • Call number: b5240781
  • Digitizing sponsor: MSN
  • Book contributor: New York Public Library
  • Collection: americana

Ben M. Angel notes: The page gives the version of the passage, which covers events mostly as seen from the perspective of William Brown, Richard's son. I've found the PDF version of this book online, which maintains the text intact and is readable. Here I will try to reference only those parts that cover Richard in place of Bryan's original transcription:

An account of the convincement, and some remarkable circumstances relating to the father of the above named William Brown senior, in England; whose name is believed to have been William (Ben M. Angel notes: this part is inaccurate - it was Richard), and whose sons William and James came over to live in Pennsylvania in early times, tho' not in the first vessels that arrived.

The latter residence of their said father was supposed to be in Bedfordshire, or Northamptonshire, in a village or parish called Puddington, near Wellingborough; though before, it is said his dwelling was in another part of England, of which we have no clear account.

(Ben M. Angel notes: Puddington, or Podington, exists today in Bedfordshire, but was part of Northamptonshire at the time of the family's residence. Location is at: 52°15'14.75"N, 0°37'17.92"W. It is the village that the Santa Pod Raceway is named after. Boarsworth, the "other part of England", I haven't located either.)

By his son's relation he was some time in communion with the Baptists, afterwards joining with the sect called Puritans, and is said to have been a teacher among both, and a seeking, religious man whose mind was drawn into careful endeavours after the Purity of Life.

About the first going forth of that eminent minister of the Gospel, William Dewsbury, he came to the town where this pious man. dwelt, who observed him as he was passing along, and taking notice of the solidity of his countenance invited him to turn in and break bread with him; who accepted the invitation, and when they sat down the said William (Richard) Brown had a little ceremony or what is called grace before meat. William Dewsbury was invited to help himself but sitting in a grave manner he replied " if thou wilt first partake with me I shall be free to partake with thee." After a short silence he was drawn forth in Testimony beginning with these words, " O Earth! Earth! hear the word of the Lord;" branching out in a powerful manner which effectually reached and convinced this religious man.

After this he accompanied W. Dewsbury on the way towards a neighboring village and recommended hm to a certain man's house, who was likewise religiously inclined and was also effectually convinced.

When William Brown came back his wife asked him wherefore he brought that madman to their house: he answered "why woman he hath brought the Eternal Truth of God to us." She was somewhat affected and did not then know the meaning of it; but becoming more inwardly thoughtful, she was also convinced.

William Dewsbury returning some time afterwards, it is mentioned that William Brown obtained leave for him to attend at the Parish Church, so called, and by his powerful testimony there many people were convinced. But the Priests and others who hard-hearted were much enraged against Friends, becoming cruel both in speech and ill treatment; terming the power which attended their ministry, witchcraft, and endeavouring to stir up prosecution, which greatly increased in those days.

After the said William Brown's convincement his landlord sent him a couple of young hounds to feed and raise for him, being a wild airy man and given to sporting and merriment, but his tenant was not free to give countenance to such vain diversions and therefore did not comply with his desire. — at which his landlord was much displeased, and having generally paid his rent at a set time every half year to a steward appointed to receive the rents, he had not been careful to demand receipts, the steward appearing honest and trusty; but the landlord out of humour with him as above hinted, taking advantage of his neglect, came and demanded the rent. He told him it was paid at the proper day. The landlord then queried if he had a receipt, to whom he answered "No" as he had not been in the way of asking receipts, expecting there would be no occasion: yet the cruel man said "except you will take your oath that it is paid, you shall pay it to me," and being of tender conscience on that account because he believed our Saviour had forbidden all swearing, this Friend had to pay his rent over again.

After this the landlord was bitter and not fond of seeing him, being probably condemned in himself for such usage, yet turned him off the farm, and Friends at that time being viewed in an unfavourable light by many because of their singularity and conscientious scruples in divers matters which differed from the corrupt way.of the world, it occasioned him considerable difficulty

before he found another farm to settle on to his mind.

(Ben M. Angel notes: This is probably the event that caused him to move from Boarsworth to Poddington.)

From his industry and upright conduct on the second farm he was in good repute and much in favor with his new landlord. The Lord prospered him in his worldly affairs and otherwise.

The time of the decease of this valuable man is computed to be about the year 1664, having been an approved minister. On his death bed and near the close of his life he was abundantly favoured with a sense of the Divine presence near him, greatly to his comfort and the encouragement of his children, in a holy conformity to the cross of Christ, whereby the sting of death is removed, and the soul enabled to triumph over Hell and the grave.

For although, be the trial of the faith and patience of his saints, and for the furtherance of his own purpose in spreading Gospel light and glory in the Earth to discover the corruptions of men in their empty forms of religion, and to shake the Kingdom of Antichrist, the Lord may

permit his chosen servants to pass through great tribulations and persecutions, yet he manifesteth himself to be a rich rewarder of those who are diligent to seek and serve him through all that is suffered to come upon them, of which it appears (by the account mentioned by his son William aforesaid) this faithful friend, our predecessor, was a living witness in his latter days; expressing after this manner to his wife before he departed, " although the Lord whom I have sought and served, hath been my staff and comfort through life — he hath often manifested his power to me eminently, yet his divine favor seems now to be more than ever before; and for thy comfort he hath even shewed me that thou shalt live to bring up all our children, and they shall be blessed and he all favoured to keep their habitations in the Truth;" which was fulfilled according to the account given by his said son. who mentioned, "l am a witness that this was a true prophecy, for I am the youngest of his nine children, (he having had six sons beside, and two daughters,) who all lived and were favoured to die in unity with Friends."

William Brown, son of the aforesaid Friend, by the account we have was born about the year 1656, and was perhaps not more than eight years old at his father's death...

  • Gilbert Cope.
  • 2 mo. 6th, 1864
  • West Chester, Pa..


"National Gen. Soc. quarterly Vol 70, Early Settlers of the Nottingham Lots, pg 284" States Brothers William Brown & James Brown are said to have been the earliest settlers in Nottingham, They were sons of Richard and Mary Brown of Wellingborough Monthly Meeting in Northamptonshire.

He was some time in communion with the Baptists, afterwards joining a sect called Puritans, and was convinced as a Quaker by William Dewsbury. He had six sons and two daughters, some of whom remained in England and removed to Bedfordshire, where his great-grandson William, who was in England in 1752 mentioned that the members of the meetings of Friends in the town of Luton, Bedfordshire were many of them of that name, or descendants from, that stock of Browns Lived in later years in the village of Poddington, Northamptonshire, Engl.

More About Richard Brown:

  • Name 2: Richard Brown(e)
  • Date born 2: 1615, Poddington, Bedfordshire, Eng
  • Died 2: 20 Oct 1662, Wellingsborough, Northamptonshire, Eng
  • Burial: 09 Oct 1662, Friends Cem, Wellingsborough
  • Record Change: 17 Nov 2002
  • Residence: Lived his later years in Puddington, 3.5 miles south of Wellingboro in Northamptonshire1780

More About Margery ?:

  • Record Change: 10 Aug 2002

Children of Richard Brown and Margery ? are:

  • i. James Brown, born 27 Mar 1656 in Boarsworth, Sywell Parish, Northamptonshire, England; died 01 Feb 1715/16 in Nottingham Township, Chester County, Pennsylvania USA; married Honour Clayton 08 Jun 1679 in Darlington Friends Meeting, Burlington Monthly Meeting, NJ.
  • ii. Daniel Brown, died 11 Sep 1719 in Puddington, Northamptonshire, England[1780]; married Elizabeth ?; died 15 Oct 1670[1781].
  • iii. William Brown, born 29 Jan 1657/58 in Northamptonshire, England[1782]; died 23 Jun 1746 in Nottingham Township, Chester County, Pennsylvania USA; married (1) Dorothy Presnell Abt. 1682 in New Garden MM, Chester Co., PA; born Abt. 1662; died Abt. 1682 in at sea, recorded at New Garden MM, Chester Co., PA; married (2) Ann Mercer 16841782; born Abt. 1665; died Aft. 1694; married (3) Catherine Williams Aft. 1684[1782]; died 29 Oct 1711; married (4) Mary Matthews 1711[1782]; died Unknown.


The first mention of our Quaker's Browne origin should be attributed to grandsons, George Churchman and William Brown who returned from a visit back to the Olde Country in 1752 and mentioned that they met ‘many members at the meetings of Friends in the town of Luton who were descendants from the stock of Browns... and carried their name.’


The Nottingham area at that time has been described as rich in natural resources, with heavily forested lands and trees that included hickory, chestnut, walnut, and oak. The land was fertile and the streams were said to be clear and vibrant. New economic opportunities were plentiful for new settlers to this area.

It is believed that two pioneer brothers, James and William Brown, both Quaker ministers, were among the first settlers here. They were sons of Richard and Mary Brown, members of Wellingborough Monthly Meeting in Northamptonshire, England, and apparently had become Friends before they came to America. Tradition has it that the Brown brothers were likely accompanied by several other founding members, including Andrew Job, John Churchman, and Henry Reynolds.

It is said that William Penn accompanied the Brown brothers and others to the area in 1701. On their last day, Penn is believed to have set apart and dedicated 40 acres of land, which is the land that we stand on today. Penn is quoted as saying that this land is "to them and their successors forever, for the combined purpose of public worship, the right of burial, and the privilege of education."

Over the next 50 years, all of these purposes were fulfilled with the establishment of the Meetinghouse, the burial yard, and a Quaker grade school which followed.

Several historical sources, however, imply that William Penn may not have been present at the surveying of the Lots. Penn had experienced financial setbacks both in Pennsylvania and England and was busy straightening out his financial affairs. Penn had returned from England in November 1699, after a long absence from the colony. He spent much of his time at his home in Pennsbury on the Delaware River and at his home in Philadelphia. Penn returned to England in October 1701, only to return to America very briefly between 1701 and his death in 1718.

It is possible that Penn left his agent James Logan of Philadelphia in charge of many of the proprietary affairs of Pennsylvania, including the surveying of and founding of the Nottingham Lots. Logan was the Secretary of the Pennsylvania Land Office, which represented William Penn's extensive land holdings. Penn had become overextended in his landholdings and financial obligations in both America and England and no doubt was distracted by these difficulties. It is conceivable that he was preparing to return to England, as he did in October, 1701, and that he never came to Nottingham.

Whether Penn was present or not, however, he undoubtedly approved this location for the settlement. It is believed that his verbal declaration, made in 1701, was for 64 years the only title by which Friends held ownership of the land of the Brick Meetinghouse. In 1765, John and Thomas Penn, heirs of William Penn, made a deed to the Nottingham Quakers that gave them final title of ownership.

Nottingham was a frontier village for its first 30 years, while settlers cleared the land and built roads, shops, dwellings, and the Meetinghouse. The Lots were populated by "simple, frugal, and industrious people" who combined farming with one or more of the occupations of that time including milling, blacksmithing, carpentry, clock making, tanning. They raised extensive crops of wheat, corn, and vegetables. Tobacco was not grown here since the soil would not support it.

The community became highly self-sufficient by the sharing of services, such as home-building, relying very little on outside resources other than perhaps support from the Philadelphia Yearly Meeting of Friends.

The religious and cultural heart of the Nottingham Lots was clearly the East Nottingham Monthly Meeting (or Brick Meetinghouse), which was part of William Penn's original plan. In either 1707 or 1709, a log cabin was built to serve as the first Nottingham Meetinghouse. In 1715, the East Nottingham Monthly Meeting was organizationally affiliated with the Newark Monthly Meeting. In 1718, Brick Meetinghouse was put under the care of New Garden Monthly Meeting after New Garden separated from Newark.

In 1724, the 2 1/2 story structure was built and in 1730, the East Nottingham Monthly Meeting (or Brick Meetinghouse) was organized as a separate Monthly Meeting. There were two separate sides, one of brick and one of stone, one side for the men and the other side for the women. It is thought to have been the largest Quaker meetinghouse south of Philadelphia, within the Philadelphia Yearly Meeting, for the next few decades.


Richard Browne, reputedly the first man to be buried in the Wellingborough Quaker Cemetery in the Northampton shire of England. The year of his burial was 1662.

Back in the 1600's William Dewsbury traveled around to various Quaker Meetings in England, including the one in Northamptonshire where the Browne family resided. Dewsbury argued that "The Lord is about to plant the wilderness of America with a choice vine of noble seed which shall grow and flourish… Under his blessing arising into a state of prosperity". Many members of the Religious Society of Friends believed this prophesied the spreading of Truth in America, and agreed to immigrate to the new colony. (The Browns of Nottingham, East Nottingham Monthly Meeting records, 1786) James, and then William Browne, both young men at the time followed the call and took ship across the Atlantic.

view all 15

Rev. Richard Browne's Timeline

Sywell Parish, Wellsborough, Northamptonshire, England
Sywell Parish, Wellsborough, Northamptonshire, England, UK
Age 19
Age 21
Age 22
Age 22
Northampton, Northamptonshire, England, United Kingdom
March 27, 1656
Age 24
Sywell Parish, Wellsborough, Nottinghamshire, England

Baptism took place on 1mo 27 (March 27), 1656. The actual birth date is unrecorded, but presumed to have taken place in Sywell Parish.

Age 25
March 29, 1658
Age 26
Podington, Wellingborough, Berkshire (Present Northamptonshire), England