JOHN BROWNE was a not inconsiderable figure in English musical art during the closing years of the reign of Henry VII, and yet scanty details are available as to his biography; in fact, Mr. Barclay Squire says that 'nothing is known of him'. Some writers allege that he flourished in the early portion of Henry VIII's reign, while others place him as 'circa 1525'. His works are fairly numerous, and the British Museum can boast of over a dozen of his compositions. He is represented in the famous Eton College Anthem Book1 by a six-part 'Stabat Mater', a five-part 'O Mater venerabilis', an eight-part 'O Maria salvatoris mater', a six-part motet 'O Regina mundi clare', and a five-part 'Salve Regina'. Dr. Ernest Walker, in his admirable History of Music in England ( 1907), quotes with approval John Browne's 'Margaret meeke', which he describes as written 'in a regular rondo form'.2
There has been much confusion over the period of Browne's activity, and this is heightened by the fact that there were two composers of this surname almost contemporaneous. However, their Christian names were not the same, as William Browne of the Chapel Royal was a very different person from John Browne the composer now under notice; and, moreover, John Browne was dead fully ten years before the accession of Henry VIII, whereas William Browne was alive in 1516.
So far I have not been able to locate the early career of John Browne, but he appears to have been Rector of the Parish Church of West Tilbury in 1480. This post he held till the year 1490,____________________