Anne Browne

Anne Browne (c.1495[1] – 10 March 1582),[2] was a Tudor noblewoman.


She was the daughter of Sir William Browne, sometime Lord Mayor of the City of London. Her first marriage was to Richard Fermor[3][4] in 1515. They had one son Sir John Fermor[5] (c. 1516 - December 12, 1571)

Her second marriage was to John Tyrrell (died 1540) of Heron Hall, Essex,[6][7] by whom she had two daughters, Katherine Tyrrell and Anne Tyrrell.

Her third marriage had occurred by March 1542[2] and was to William Petre of Ingatestone Hall, Essex - it was also his second marriage and his first had been to Gertrude Tyrrell, possibly a relation of Anne's first husband. She brought Petre a marriage portion of £280[2] from the lease of an estate at Dunton near East Horndon, and from manors in Cambridgeshire and Hampshire. She and Petre had three sons and two daughters:

Anne survived Petre by many years and (like him in his final years) was a covert Catholic; she lived on at Ingatestone Hall, and there received and sheltered many of the seminary priests, whose presence was strictly forbidden in England by Elizabeth's law at that time. Coming from Douai they were usually missionaries to the persecuted Catholics, but sometimes plotters against the Protestant Queen.

One of these missionaries was John Payne, who lived for some time at Ingatestone Hall under her protection. He was arrested there in 1577, thrown into prison for three weeks, and then released. He returned to France by the end of the year, but it was not long before he was back in England and at Ingatestone Hall, where he passed as Lady Petre's steward and acted as her confessor. In 1581, information was laid against him, and he was arrested at Warwick and tried, not only for saying Mass, which was then a punishable offence, but also for plotting against Elizabeth. After long investigation, trial, and torture, he was executed in 1582 at Chelmsford. John Payne was nephew of Rector Woodward, of Ingatestone who had resigned rather than conform.

Anne herself was on the list of recusants whose addresses were to be sent up in 1582. Payne's trial and execution seems to have been a severe blow to Anne, for she died in April of the same year and was buried with her second husband in the vault adjoining the chancel at St Edmund and St Mary's Church, Ingatestone, and her effigy lies by his on the tomb above. Lady Anne Petre, widow of Sir William Petre made a final will in February of the year in which she died, 1582. The extracts given below chiefly concern her bequests of jewelry, silver etc. to some of her children nephews and nieces, and shed much light on the personal possessions of an Elizabethan lady.



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