Browne, Joseph

, D.D. provost of Queen’s-college, Oxford, was born at a place called the Tongue, in Watermillock, Cumberland, in 1700, and was baptised Dec. 19, of that year. His father, George Browne, was a reputable yeoman, who was enabled to give his son a classical education at Barton school, and afterwards sent him to Queen’s-college, where he was admitted a member March 22, 1716-17. Here his good behaviour and rapid progress in knowledge, procured him many friends that were of great service to him. In due time he was elected taberdar upon the foundation; and having gone through | that office with honour, he took the degree of M. A. Nov. 4th, 1724, and was chosen one of the chaplains of the college. In 1726 he published, from the university press, a most beautiful edition of cardinal Barberini’s Latin poems, with notes and a life of the author, (who was afterwards pope Urban VIII.) and a dedication to his friend Edward Hassel, esq. of Dalemain* his friend and patron. In April 1731, he was elected fellow, and became an eminent tutor, having several young noblemen of the first rank intrusted to his care. In this useful and important station he continued many years, exercising strict discipline, and assiduously studying to promote the prosperity of the college. He took the degree of D. D. July 9, 1743, and was presented by the provost and society to the rectory of Bramshot, in Hampshire, May 1, 1746, The university also conferred upon him the professorship of natural philosophy in 1747, which he held till his death. At his living at Bramshot, he resided more than ten years, during which time he was collated to the chancellorship of Hereford, and was made a canon-residentiary by the right rev. lord James Beauclerk, bishop of that diocese, who had formerly been his pupil.

Upon the death of Dr. Smith, provost of Queen’s, Nor. 23, 1756, Dr. Browne offered himself a candidate for the headship, and had for his formidable competitor, Dr. George Fothergill, principal of Edmund-hall, who had likewise been fellow of the college, an eminent tutor, and a person universally esteemed. The election lasted three days, and each candidate having upon every day’s scrutiny an equality of votes, both among the senior and junior fellows, Dr. Browne being the senior candidate, was, as the statute directs, declared duly elected. This contest, however, made no disagreement between the two competitors; they lived in the same harmony and friendship as before. In 1759, Dr, Browne was appointed vicechancellor, which arduous office, together with that of his headship, he managed with great prudence and ability, till March 25, 1765, when a stroke of the palsy rendered him utterly incapable of business. Under this calamity he languished till June 17, 1767, when he died, leaving the character of being a well-bred man, a polite as well as a profound scholar, an agreeable companion, and a steady friend. There was a gravity and authority in his looks and deportment, that reflected dignity upon the offices he | sustained. He cbntinued vice-chancellor an unusual length of time, and presided at the memorable Enccenia when the earl of Litchfield was installed. It is said that his death prevented his being advanced to one of the first vacancies Oh the episcopal bench. 1

1 Hutchinson’s HisU of Cumberland, vol. 1. p. 42.