Cover image for William Henry Browne (Archdeacon)
William Henry Browne (Archdeacon)
Agency Number:
Start Date:
01 Jan 1800
End Date:
18 Jun 1877
William Henry Browne, Church of England clergyman, was born at Mallow, County Cork, Ireland, the eldest son of Henry Browne, barrister of Ballinvoher. In 1824 he was ordained deacon, appointed curate of Whitechurch, and priested. In 1828 he was appointed colonial chaplain and assigned to Van St John's, Launceston, Van Diemens Land. At that time the parish extended from Campbell Town to George Town and from Longford to the east coast. Between the gaol, prisoners' barracks and house of correction he held more than six services weekly and travelled widely on pastoral work. In 1834 Browne published Jail Manual, a simple selection of prayers for use in prisons. He went to England on furlough in 1853-55. By 1866 he had raised funds for repairs and alterations at St John's. At one point he was the president of the Bible Society. He was one of the founders of the Launceston Bank of Savings in 1835, and served on its managing committee.
In 1829 Browne married Caroline Johnston. She died at Launceston in 1845, and in 1846 he married Julia Augusta. There were four children of each marriage, five sons and three daughters. His eldest son Justin McCarty was a merchant based in Tasmania, another was Rev. W. H. Browne, a missionary to Urmi, in Persia; another, Mr. Montagu Browne, was accountant to the Van Diemen's Land Co. at Emu Bay; and another, Mr. Harry Tilly Browne, was a civil engineer in America.
Browne retired in 1868 after forty years active service. In 1870 he was made archdeacon of Launceston and held the office for seven years. In retirement he prepared and published a selection of Sunday Services Adapted to the Use of Country Congregations (Sydney, 1876). He died at his home, Bifrons Court, Launceston, on 18 June 1877.
His journals include records of his work, his faith, and the conditions in Van Diemens Land. They also reflect his interest in education, cross denominational relations, and involvement with the anti-transportation campaign.
Information Sources:
ADB, Vol.1, 1966; Mercury (Hobart), 22 July 1889, p 3.
Functions Performed:
Anglican Parish of St John's, Launceston (NG748)01 Feb 1811

Justin Mccarty Browne (NG60)30 Aug 183021 Jul 1889