Sir William Brown Knight
This is a translated version of, "Sir William Browne and Sir Nathaniel Rich, Knights", by G. D. Scull. The photocopies of the original can be seen at Brown Library, in the John A. Wilkinson Local History and Genealogy Room. It is hoped that this publication of the Browne family history in England will be the means of stimulating some of the memories of this family and to recall the descendants of the sons of Nathaniel Browne, the original progenitor in New England. While Sir Robert Sydney was absent from England, he was kept well informed of passing events at home by his correspondent Rowland Whyte, and when he was absent from his post, on leave in England, Captain William Browne supplied him with information concerning affairs in Holland. From first to last, Captain Browne wrote to the Lord General of Flushing about 130 letters which have been preserved among the family papers of the Sydneys at Penshurst. Besides these, there are extant, 30 addressed to Sir Robert Cecil and 2 to the Earl of Essex, in the possession of the Marquis of Salisbury. Those to the Earl of Essex are dated respectively January 7th and 25th, 1598. The letters addressed to Sir Robert Sydney are mostly filled with descriptions of skirmishes and battles, the movements of troops, the state of the garrison at Flushing and political affairs in the States General, but much can be learned here and there from them, to show what mutual confidence and affection existed between Sir Robert Sydney and the writer's selections will therefore be made from the correspondence, of whatever is of personal and historical interest. The first letter from Captain Browne to Sir Robert Sydney, who had returned to England on leave of absence, is from Flushing, August 14, 1596, and the last (that has been published in the collection of the Sydney papers in 2 volumes, edited by Arthur Collins in 1746) is dated March 12, 1610. Some of the letters of Brown correspondence can be seen here. Many more remain among the family papers at Penshurst Kent, now in the possession of Lord de L'Isle and Dudley, the lineal representatives of Sir Robert Sidney.