Robert Browne

Browne, Robert, c.1550–1633, English clergyman and leader of a group of early separatists popularly known as Brownists. Browne conceived of the church as a self-governing local body of experiential believers in Jesus. Preaching without a license, Browne attacked the forms of government and the discipline of the Established Church; he gathered a congregation at Norwich c.1580. In 1581 he and his followers sought refuge in Holland. There he published (1582) several treatises that are generally regarded as the first expression of the principles of Congregationalism. Circulation in England of these tracts was punishable by death. Upon his return to England in 1584, Browne was imprisoned and later excommunicated. But by 1586 he was sufficiently reconciled with the Church of England to be made master of the Stamford grammar school, and in 1591 he submitted to episcopal ordination and became rector of Adchurch, Northamptonshire.

The Columbia Electronic Encyclopedia, 6th ed. Copyright © 2012, Columbia University Press. All rights reserved.

More on Robert Browne from Fact Monster:

  • Robert Brown - Brown, Robert Brown, Robert, 1773–1858, Scottish botanist and botanical explorer. In 1801 he ...
  • Robert Browning - Browning, Robert Browning, Robert, 1812–89, English poet. His remarkably broad and sound ...
  • Robert Brown Parker - Robert Brown Parker writer Born: 9/17/1932 Birthplace: Springfield, Massachusetts While teaching at ...
  • Robert BROWN - BROWN, Robert (1744—1823) BROWN, Robert, a Representative from Pennsylvania; born in ...
  • Robert Brown ELLIOTT - ELLIOTT, Robert Brown (1842—1884) ELLIOTT, Robert Brown, a Representative from South ...

See more Encyclopedia articles on: Protestant Christianity: Biographies