William Browne 1692-1774

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Sir William BROWNE 1692-1774

Biographical Note

Born in County Durham, the son of a physician. BA Peterhouse, Cambridge 1711, MA 1714, MD 1725. He began practising as a physician in King's Lynn, but in 1749 he moved to London and continued his practice there. He became a fellow of the Royal College of Physicians in 1726 (President, 1766), and of the Royal Society in 1739; he was knighted in 1748. He had a reputation for eccentricity, but developed a successful practice and accumulated considerable wealth.


Browne used an engraved armorial bookplate, made before 1748 (Franks 4084). The extent of his library is not known, but in his will he bequeathed all his books and papers, other than those his daughter might select, to his grandson. He also directed that his pocket Elzevir edition of Horace, "in its leather case or coffin" be buried with him.