ORIGIN: Dorking, Surrey [TAG 79:161].

MIGRATION: 1620 on the Mayflower.


FREEMAN: In "1633" Plymouth list of freemen ahead of those made free on 1 January 1632/3 [PCR 1:4].

EDUCATION: Inventory includes one Bible valued at 3s.

ESTATE: In list of "meersteads & garden plots of [those] which came first laid out 1620" on south side of street next to John Goodman [PCR 1:3].

In 1623 Plymouth land division "Peter Browen" received one acre as a passenger on the Mayflower [PCR 12:4]. In 1627 Plymouth cattle division Peter Brown, Martha Brown and Mary Brown were the fourth, fifth and sixth persons in the eighth company [PCR 12:11].

"Peter Browne" was assessed 18s. in Plymouth tax list of 25 March 1633 [PCR 1:10]. "Widow Browne" was assessed 9s. in list of 27 March 1634 [PCR 1 :28].

The inventory of the estate of "Peter Browne of New Plymouth deceased," taken 10 October 1633, was untotalled, and presented at court on 28 October 1633, on which date the widow, Mary Brown, was granted administration [MD 1:79-82, citing PCPR 1:7-8; PCR 1: 17].

On 11 November 1633, a court of assistants at Plymouth ordered that "whereas Peter Browne died without will, having diverse children by diverse wives, his estate amounting to an hundred pounds, or thereabouts, it is ordered, that Mary, his wife, who is allowed the administratrix of the said Peter, forthwith pay down fifteen pounds for the use of Mary Browne, daughter of the said Peter, to Mr. Joh. Done, of Plymoth aforesaid, with whom the said Court have placed the said Mary for nine years; at the end whereof the said John is to make good the said fifteen pounds to her or her heirs, if in case she die. Also it is further ordered, that the said widow Mary Browne pay or cause to be paid into the hands of Mr. Will[iam] Gilson the full sum of fifteen pounds, for the use of Prisilla Browne, another of the daughters of the said Peter, the Court having placed the said Prisilla with the said Will[iam] for 12 years, at the end whereof the said Will[iam] is to make good the same unto her, as her father's legacy as aforesaid; & to that end the said John & Will[iam] either stand bound for other for performance of the several payments, as also for such other performances of meat, drink, clothing, &c., during the said term, as is meet.

"And for the rest of the estate, the widow having two children by the said Peter, together with her own 3d, it is allowed her for bringing up the said children, provided that she discharge whatsoever debts shall be proved to be owing by the said Peter, & the legacies given by the Court. For performance whereof she & Mr. Will[iam] Brewster bound in two hundred pounds" [PCR 1:18-19].

BIRTH: Baptized Dorking, Surrey, 26 January 1594/5, son of William Brown [TAG 79:161].

DEATH: Plymouth between 25 March 1633 (tax list) and 10 October 1633 (inventory).

MARRIAGE: (1) By 1626 widow MARTHA FORD, who died in 1630 or 1631 [TAG 42:35-42;PM 211].

(2) By 1631 Mary __ , who survived her husband by at least one year [PCR 1:28], but was probably dead by 1647 when one of her daughters sold land without referring to the widow's dower rights.


With first wife

  1. MARY BROWN, b. about 1626 (and certainly before the division of cattle on 22 May 1627); m. by 27 October 1647 Ephraim Tinkham [PCLR 1:146; PCR 12:146].
  2. PRISCILLA BROWN, b. about 1628; m. Sandwich 21 March 1649 William Allen [PCR 8:9].

With second wife Mary

  1. REBECCA BROWN, b. about 1631; m. by about 1654 William Snow [PCLR 5:197].
  2. Child BROWN, b. by 1633; d. by 1647.

ASSOCIATIONS: JOHN BROWN of Plymouth by 1632 was brother of PETER BROWN.

COMMENTS: In his list of those who came on the Mayflower, Bradford included Peter Browne in a group of men without families [Bradford 443]. In his accounting of the Mayflower passengers as of 1651, Bradford tells us that "Peter Browne married twice. By his first wife he had two children who are living and both of them married; and the one of them hath two children. By his second wife he had two more. He died about sixteen years since" [Bradford 447].

The evidence for the marriages of Peter Brown's three daughters is largely from deeds in which his land was sold by his sons-in-law, with the consent of his daughters. The earliest and best treatment in print on this point is an article published in 1966 by Florence Barclay [TAG 42:35-42, citing PCLR 1:146, 186, 5:197 (bis)]. The claim has also been made that Peter Brown of Windsor was son of the Plymouth Peter, but these same deeds, showing that each of the three daughters controlled one-third of the real estate, provide the best evidence that there was no such son, and Robert S. Wakefield argued this in greater detail in 1979 [NGSQ 67:253-54]. Barbara Merrick has argued for some estimated dates slightly different from those used here [MQ 53:10-13].

The seventh volume of the Five Generations Project of the General Society of Mayflower Descendants, prepared by Robert S. Wakefield and published in 1992, with a revised second edition published in 2002, covers the descendants of Peter Brown [Robert S. Wakefield, Mayflower Families Through Five Generations: Volume Seven, Peter Brown (Plymouth 2002)].

In 2004 Caleb Johnson published data that establishes with a high degree of certainty that the brothers John and Peter Brown were baptized in Darking, Surrey [TAG 79:161].

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