The following information has been extracted from a number of sources including Alumni Cantabrigienses and Burke's General Armory of England, Scotland, Ireland and Wales.
William Browne was born on 15 April 1738. He was the son of Thomas Browne of Camfield Place, Hertfordshire, who was Garter King of Arms from 1774 until his death in 1780, and his wife Martha, daughter of George Nedham of Wymondley Priory, also in Hertfordshire. Thomas Browne was the most eminent land surveyor of his time, and was known as Sense Browne to distinguish him from his contemporary Lancelot Brown, otherwise known a Capability Brown.
William entered Clare College, Cambridge in 1756 and was awarded the degree of B.A. in 1760 and that of M.A. in 1763. He was instituted Rector of Silverton, a village in Devon, in 1762. Whilst at Silverton he was also installed as Rector of two other Devon benefices, that of Mamhead which he held from 1763 to 1766, and that of of Rewe which he held from 1765 to 1780.
William resigned as Rector of Silverton in 1784, in which year he was instituted as Rector of Thorley. He married Anne, the daughter of Sir Fitzwilliam Barrington, on 18 May 1791. They had one child, a son also named William, who was born on 13 July 1792.
William resigned as Rector of Thorley on 21 November 1797 and died, aged 80, on 6 March 1819.
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