Harold Browne

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Edward Harold Browne (1811 – 18 December 1891) (usually known as Harold Browne) was a Bishop of the Church of England.


He was born on 6 March 1811 at Aylesbury, Buckinghamshire. He was the second son of Col. Robert Browne of Morton House, in Buckinghamshire, and of Sarah Dorothea Steward. He was educated at Eton and Emmanuel College, Cambridge.[1] After securing his BA in 1832, he won the Crosse theological scholarship in 1833, the Tyrwhitt Hebrew scholarship in 1834, and the Norrisian prize in 1835. He graduated with his M.A. in 1836, was elected fellow of Emmanuel in 1837, and appointed senior tutor in 1838. In 1854 he was elected Norrisian Professor of Divinity at Cambridge. He took the BD in 1855 and the DD in 1864.[2]

He was ordained deacon in 1837 and priest in the following year. In 1841, he accepted a curacy in Exeter (St Sidwell's), but in 1843 moved to Wales as Vice-Principal of St. David's College. In 1849, he took a benefice in Cornwall, to which was attached a prebendal stall in Exeter Cathedral, which he exchanged in 1857 for a canonry in the same and the living of Heavitree. In 1854, he was appointed to the Norrisian chair of divinity at the University of Cambridge but held his livings in the diocese of Exeter concurrently. (The Cornish benefice was the vicarage of Kenwyn and Kea.) On 29 March 1864 he was consecrated Bishop of Ely, and in December 1873, he was translated to the see of Winchester, which he resigned in 1890.[2] He died at Shales near Bitterne on 18 December 1891.[2]

The Bishop was a High Churchman and in 1885, Browne set up the first diocesan organisation of the Mothers' Union, which had previously been a simple parish meeting chaired by Mary Sumner in Old Alresford. He was a moderating influence in the conflict arising from Essays and Reviews and the Pentateuch criticism of J. W. Colenso. His Exposition of the Thirty-Nine Articles (2 vols.) 1850, 1853 held its place as a standard work for many years.[3]


In 1840, he married Elizabeth Carlyon (daughter of Philip Carlyon).[2]


  1. ^ "Browne, Edward Harold (BRWN827EH)". A Cambridge Alumni Database. University of Cambridge. 
  2. ^ a b c d Buckland 1901.
  3. ^ "Browne, Edward Harold" in: Cross, F. L. (ed.) (1957) The Oxford Dictionary of the Christian Church. London: Oxford U. P.; p. 201

 This article incorporates text from a publication now in the public domainBuckland, Augustus Robert (1901). "Browne, Edward Harold". In Sidney Lee. Dictionary of National Biography, 1901 supplement​. London: Smith, Elder & Co. 

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Honorary titles
Preceded by
Alfred Ollivant
Vice-principal of St Davids College, Lampeter
Succeeded by
Rowland Williams
Church of England titles
Preceded by
Samuel Wilberforce
Bishop of Winchester
Succeeded by
Anthony Thorold
Preceded by
Thomas Turton
Bishop of Ely
Succeeded by
James Woodford