John Browne was born around 1571 in Norwich, Norfolk, England.
John’s occupation was that of a cutler in Norwich, according to his will.
A cutler, was a manufacturer of knives, scissors, razors and other sharp instruments, usually for domestic use.
Cutlers could also make sword blades, daggers, halberds for the military, as well as surgical instruments.
John Browne married twice according to his will. He first married, most likely in St Peter Southgate, Norwich around 1590.
John then had six children baptised at St Peter Southgate.
No mother’s name is given on the parish register for the first three children –
- Alice b 1592 married John Blancher, had son Elias (Alice is named in her fathers will of 1642)
- Simon b 1594
- Marie b 1596
- John b 1599 d 1599 (mother Alice)
- Janne b 1600 (mother Alice)
- James b 1601 (mother Alice)
John’s first wife (name unknown) died and was buried at St George Tombland, Norwich. In his will he asked to be buried near his first wife in this church.
It is possible that John married two women with the name of Alice. There is an Alice Browne, wife of John Brown that was buried in St George Tombland on 1 September 1592. This may be John’s first wife, who perhaps died in childbirth with daughter Alice above.
John remarried again – this time definitely to an Alice, and the following children were baptised at St George Tombland, with the mother’s name given as Alice / Alles on the register.
- Elias b 1605 d 1660
- William b d (baptism unable to be found, but named in father’s will)
- Olive b 1608 marr John Blancher in 1633 St George Tombland
- Thomas b 1611 d 1646 (will 1646)
- Edward 1613-1617
- Margaret 1617-1618
- Titus 1620-1666 (will 1666)
- Charles b 1623
- Edward b 1624 d 1628
Alice Browne died in April 1636 and was buried on 19 April 1636 at St George Tombland. The register states ‘Alice the wife of John Browne was buried on April 19’.
John Browne died in March 1642 was buried at St George Tombland in Norwich in March 1642.
John’s will proved in 1642 mentions that he wants to be buried as near as possible to his first wife’s sepulchre. He also mentions his sons Titus, John, Elias, Thomas, and daughter Alice (wife of John Blancher). Also his grandchildren Oliffe / Olive Browne (William), John (John), Elias Blancher and his brother Robert.
John’s son Thomas Browne’s will of 1646 mentions brothers – John, Elias, Titus, William (deceased), Olive (daughter of William), Elias (son of John Blancher) and Robert Brown (uncle).