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First Reading

David Quidnunc  •  Link

Elizabeth Browne, wife of John Browne

The L&M Index and Companion volumes make it difficult to find Elizabeth Browne -- she rates no entry of her own, so we have to search through all the Brownes on the chance that she'll be mentioned as a family member of one of them.

It turns out she's John Browne's second wife. John was "Clerk of Parliaments," and presumably knew John Crew, Jemimah Mountagu's father. Browne married John Crewe's sister, Temperance, and so was uncle of Jemimah Crew Mountagu. Temperance died in 1634.

Browne married his second wife, Elizabeth Packer, in 1636 when he was 27 and she was 19. Her father, John Packer, was clerk of the Privy Seal (1604-40). By late 1660, when she first appears in the diary, she is about 43 years old.

The couple lived in the Clerk's official residence in Old Palace Yard, according to a note for 14 June 1660, when she makes her first appearance in the diary.

She and Jemima must have been good friends, since they decided to go on an overnight trip together in mid-January 1661.

-- L&M Vol. 1 (1660), Index, Companion volumes

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Chart showing the number of references in each month of the diary’s entries.