Browne, Edward

, an eminent physician, son of sir Thomas Browne, hereafter mentioned, was born about 1642. He was instructed in grammar learning at the school of Norwich, and in 1665 took the degree of bachelor of physic at Cambridge. Removing afterwards to Mertori college, Oxford, he was admitted there to the same degree in 1666, and the next year created doctor. In 1668, he visited part of Germany, and the year following made a wider excursion into Austria, Hungary, and Thessaly, where the Turkish sultan then kept his court at Larissa. He afterwards passed through Italy. Upon his return, he practised physic in London; was made physician first to Charl-es II. and afterwards in 1682 to St. Bartholomew’s hospital. About the same time he joined his name to those of many other eminent men, in a translation of Plutarch’s Lives. He was first censor, then elect, and treasurer of the college of physicians; of which in 1705 he was chosen president, and held this office till his death, which happened in August 1708, after a very short illness, at his seat at Northfleet, near Greenhithe in Kent. He was acquainted with Hebrew, was a critic in Greek, and no man of his age wrote better Latin. German, Italian, French, &c. he spoke and wrote with as much ease as his mother tongue. Physic was his business, and to the promotion thereof all his other acquisitions were referred. Botany, pharmacy, and chemistry, he knew and practised. King Charles said of him, that “he was as learned as any of the college, and as well-bred as any at court.” He was married, and left a son and a daughter; the former, Dr. Thomas Browne, F. R. S. and of the royal college of physicians, died in JiJy 17 Jo. The daughter married Owen Brigstock, of Lechdenny, in the county of Carmarthen, esq. to whom the public is indebted for part of the posthumous works of sir Thomas Browne.

Dr. Browne, on his return from his travels, published an account of some part of them, and after his second tour, added another volume, 1677, 4to. In 1685, he published a new edition of the whole, with many corrections and improvements, a work extravagantly and absurdly praised in the Biographia Britannica. His travels yield some information to naturalists, but little to the philosophical or common reader. 1


Biog. Brit.—Johnson’s Life of sir T. Browne.