The Browne Award

THE BROWNE BROTHERS - Soldiers of the Queen


The Browne family were of merchant stock who were elevated to the gentry in the early 19th Century by marriage to heiresses in two generations. Wade Browne, originally of Leeds, gave his sons the benefits of a gentleman’s upbringing and after his death, commissions in the Army by purchase.

Edward Pennefather Wade Browne was born in Ireland in 1835 at the home of his grandfather, Edward Pennefather, Chief Justice of Queen’s Bench in Ireland. In 1853 Edward Pennefather deposited for Edward Browne £450 with Messrs. Cox & Co. for purchase of an Ensigncy in the 71st Foot. Edward was called up and served in The Crimea and the Expedition to Kertch and Yenkale. He was promoted Lieutenant in 1854 and Captain in 1858 by purchase. In 1863 he transferred into the Scots Fusilier Guards, 1st Battalion. He retired in 1866 to live the life of a gentleman until his death in 1904 at Ashburn Place, off the Gloucester Road.

Cornwallis Wade Browne was born in 1837 at the Manor House, Monkton Farleigh, Wilts., home of his father, Wade Browne. In 1855 Edward Pennefather, his guardian, secured for him an Ensigncy in the 48th Foot and promotion to Lieutenant in 1856. The Army List shows him serving most of his time in India: Allahabad, Seetapore, Lucknow. He was ordered home in 1865 and retired by sale of commission in 1866.

He married in Candy, Ceylon, Eudora Mary Anne Braine in 1880

He emigrated to Queensland, the New South Wales, Australia. He was a landowner in the Blue Hills outside Sydney and was engaged in driving sheep across Australia, and wrote a how-to manual entitled “Overlanding in Australia.”

He died in 1922 at his home “Bayview,” in Woodside, in the Blue Hills.

The sons of EPW and CW Browne all died without issue. Five daughters died unmarried. My suspicion that it was not a penetrant “ugly” gene but insufficient dowry to attract a husband of their own class, and insecurity preventing marrying for love.

So I am the last of these Brownes.

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