Paul Frecker
Fine Photographs

Jemmett Browne
8 December 1860 

Volume 2, page 113, sitting number 1749.

Born at Cheltenham in Gloucestershire on 6 December 1832, Jemmett Browne was the eldest son of Reverend John Browne of Riverstown, County Cork, and Maria Judith née Hamilton. He was educated at Worcester College and at Corpus Christi, Oxford.

When the census was taken in 1861 he was living with an aunt, four sisters and five servants at 80 Westbourne Terrace, Paddington. He described himself as a ‘Student of Lincoln’s Inn, Clerk in Civil Service, Board of Trade.’

On 10 August 1864 at St George’s Hanover Square Jemmett Browne, Esq., ‘of Riverstown, County Cork, and 80 Westbourne-terrace’ married Mary Frances Custance, ‘eldest daughter of Myles Henry Custance, Esq.’ (Bury and Norwich Post, 16 August 1864).

He was called to the bar on 30 April 1867. According to Alumni Oxonienses, he was private secretary to the permanent secretary to the Board of Trade between 1868 and 1884.

In 1871 Jemmett was a ‘Barrister at Law’ living at 6 Onslow Square in South Kensington with wife Mary and their three children: Ethel, aged 5, Charlton, aged 4, and Arthur, aged 1.

His first wife died on 15 March 1875 (Men-at-the-Bar, Joseph Foster, 1885).

In 1877 he published a book of poetry, Songs of Many Seasons. According to one reviewer, ‘Mr Jemmett Browne writes with ease, and although his muse does not aim very high, there is an amount of tender feeling in the sentimental pieces and a piquant wit in those of a more lively character’ (Monmouthshire Beacon, 10 March 1877). The same review gives the following verse as an example of his work:

The crescent moon is sailing through the ether
Convoyed by fleets of stars upon her way,
Whilst wrapt in slumber deep the earth beneath her
Is sleeping off the fever of the day.

The reviewer employed by the Pall Mall Gazette (19 January 1877) was a little more caustic. ‘This handsome-looking volume is illustrated by some well-known artists, and appears to be intended for the drawing-room. The verses it contains, although not of a high order, are sometimes very pretty, and will no doubt be read with considerable pleasure by young ladies who delight in sentiment and pathetic feeling musically uttered. These poems display great imitative power, refined taste, and generous culture. They all rise above mediocrity, but none of them rise high enough above it to entitle the author to a place among the poets.’

On 19 June 1877 at Lydhurst in Hampshire Jemmett married secondly his cousin Frances Caroline Cecil Stephenson, eldest daughter of Major William Walter Stephenson, formerly of the Rifle Brigade (Freeman’s Journal, 21 June 1877).

When the census was taken in 1881 the family were living at 93 Cornwall Gardens, South Kensington.  Jemmett gave ‘Barrister not Practising’ as his profession. His second marriage had produced two more children: Kellerman, aged 2, and Grace, aged 1.

Jemmett Jemmet-Browne, formerly Jemmett Browne, ‘of the Carlton-club Pall-mall Middlesex’ died on 5 May 1897 ‘at Meram Austrian Tyrol.’ He left an estate valued at £285. His executor was his brother Edward Francis Jemmett-Browne, retired Lieutenant-Colonel.

code: cs1584
Jemmett Jemmett Browne, Jemmett Browne, Camille Silvy, Silvy