Browne, Sir Anthony

, an English judge, the son of sir Weston Browne of Abhess-roding in Essex, was born in that county, and educated for some time at Oxford, whence he removed to the Middle Temple, where he became eminent in the law, and was chosen summer reader in the first of queen Mary, 1553. The following year he was made serjeant at law, and was the first of the call. Soon after he was appointed serjeant to the king and queen, Philip and Mary. In 1558, he was preferred to be lord chief justice of the common pleas; but removed upon queen Mary’s decease, to make way for sir James Dyer, for though a Roman catholic, and queen Elizabeth might not chuse he should preside in that court, she had such an opinion of his talents that he was permitted to retain the situation of puisne on the bench as long as he lived. It is even said that he refused the place of lord keeper, which was offered to him, when the queen thought of removing sir Nicholas Bacon for being concerned in Hales’s book, written against the Scottish line, in favour of the house of Suffolk. This book sir Anthony privately answered ,*


There seems some mistake here, or at least a want of accuracy in Dodd, or Wood. It is said by the latter that sir Nicholas Bacon got possession of sir A. Browne’s book, and wrote an answer to it.

or made large collections for an answer, which Leslie, bishop of Ross, and Morgan Philips afterwards made use of, in the works they published in defence of the title of Mary queen of Scots. Sir Anthony Browne died at his house in the parish of Southwold in Essex, May 6, 1567. The only works attributed to him were left in ms.: namely, 1. “A Discourse upon certain points touching the Inheritance of the Crown,” mentioned already, and 2. “A book against Robert Dudley, earl of Leicester,” mentioned by Dr. Matthew Paterson, in his “Jerusalem and Babel,1653, p. 587, but the object of which we are unacquainted with. Plowden says of sir Anthony, that he was “a judge of profound genius and great eloquence.2

Wood’s Ath, vol. I.—Dodd’s Ch. Hist, vol. I.