John Browne
millwright


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John Browne -1782 to 1821+

John Browne was mentioned in connection with Little Cressingham smockmill that was built circa 1780

TO be SOLD, or LETT, and entered upon immediately, a WATER-MILL and WIND-MILL, with six Acres of Land, in Little Cressingham, in Norfolk, within two Miles of Watton, and six of Swaffham.
For further Particulars enquire of Mr. Brown, Millwright, in Ber-street, Norwich, or of Mr. William Trundle, at the mill, in Little Cressingham aforesaid.

Norfolk Chronicle - 16th February 1782

John Browne was listed in Chase's Directory of 1783 as a millwright living at 138 Ber Street.

His wife died on the 18th June 1784

Friday died, in Ber-street, Mrs. Brown, wife of Mr. Brown, mill-wright.
Norfolk Chronicle - 19th June 1784

The freehold of John Browne's premises was for sale in 1785
To be SOLD
AN ESTATE in St. Michaels at Thorn, in Norwich, in the Occupation of John Browne, Millwright, and his undertenants, lett together at 19l. 10s. a Year - All Freehold.
For further Particulars apply to Mr. Hare, at Kimberley; Mr. William Fitt, All Saints, Who will shew the premises; or to Messrs. Foster, Son and Unthank, Attornies in Norwich.

Norfolk Chronicle, 9th April 1785.

John Brown was listed in the Norwich Poll Book of 1786 as a millwright in St. John Timberhill

John Browne remarried on the 2nd May 1792
On Tuesday last was married, Mr. John Brown, Millwright, of St. John's Timberhill, to Miss Spencer, daughter of the late Mr. C. Spencer, in King-Street.
Norfolk Chronicle - 5th May 1792.

WANTED
SIX JOURNEYMAN MILLWRIGHTS, if good hands, may have constant employ, by applying to John Browne, Millwright, St John's Timber-Hill.
N.B. good wages will be given.

Norfolk Chronicle - 26th January 1793

In the autumn of 1793 John Browne went into partnership with a Mr. Munton and set up a new foundry in King Street where the firm did general foundry work as well as millwrights' work.

PHOENIX FOUNDRY
GREEN-MAN-YARD, KING ST.
NORWICH.
BROWNE & MUNTON
BEG leave to inform their Friends and the Public, that they intend to open their Works in the course of three weeks from this date. Every favour conferred on them will be carefully attended and executed on the lowest terms. Norwich Oct 5, 1793.
Norfolk Chronicle - 5th October 1793

TO THE SMITHS
BROWNE and MUNTON
BEG leave to inform the Smiths, that they are enabled, from the erection of their new forge, to face and repair Anvils in the best manner, on low terms, and warranted to stand.
Orders are requested to be directed to Browne and Munton, Phoenix foundry, King-street, Norwich.
A quantity of Bolt-iron to be sold cheap.

Norfolk Chronicle - 5th April 1794

The Phoenix foundry lived up to its name, as there was a fire on the 10th September 1794

Thursday night last, between nine and ten o'clock, a fire broke out at the Phoenix Foundry in King-street, belonging to Mr. J. Browne, Mill wright, which in about an hour entirely consumed the same, with the books of accounts, working tools &c. The night was providentally attended with but little wind, and to this circumstance may be in a great measure attributed with the preservation of the adjoining buildings. The public is much indebted to the activity and intrepidity of a young man (whose name we are unacquainted with), who, at the hazard of his life, climbed up to the top of a house, knocked down the flew-board, and extinguished the fire, which had collected under it, and thereby prevented any further mischief. The premises and stock were fortunately insured in the Norwich Assurance-office.
Norfolk Chronicle - 13th September 1794

John Browne's second marriage did not last long, as his wife died on the 2nd March 1798

Yesterday se'nnight died, Mrs. Mary Browne, aged 25, wife of Mr. John Browne, Millwright, in St. John's Timberhill.
Norfolk Chronicle - 10th March 1798

John Browne also made agricultural machinery

JOHN BROWNE, Millwright,
ST. JOHN's TIMBERHILL, NORWICH
BEGS leave to inform the Farmers and Public in general, that he is making CHAFF-ENGINES on an improved plan, and that he sells them on the most reasonable terms.
Norfolk Chronicle - 28th December 1799

TO BE LET
And Entered upon at Midsummer next
ALL those PREMISES of Mr. JOHN BROWNS MILL RIGHT, in St. Johns Timberhill, Norwich. - for particulars enquire at the Baker's Arms. The premises will suit a Master Bricklayer, as there is not one in the Parish.
Norfolk Chronicle - 8th March 1800

John Brown was listed in Peck's Directory of 1802 as being a millwright and ironfounder in Timberhill-street. A John Browne was recorded as being the President of the Norwich Flour Company, which ran the steam mill that was erected in 1802. This may be the same John Browne, although there were at least two other John Browne's trading in Norwich at the time but not in the millwright or milling trades.

John Browne claimed to have invented a thrashing machine in 1804
THRASHING MACHINE
JOHN BROWNE
MILLWRIGHT & IRON-FOUNDER
WISHES to inform the Farmers and Public in general, the above Machine will be set at work on SATURDAY, in the Golden Ball-yard, on the Castle Ditches, from Twelve to One o'clock.
All orders in the Foundry Business are punctually attended to, and charged at very reasonable prices.

Norfolk Chronicle - 6th October 1804

However, John Browne had a rival, one John Ball from Devonshire, who advertised the following week that he had applied for a patent to protect his invention of a thrashing machine. It was resolved to decide the isue by a contest.

A bet for a small sum, of a very interesting nature, having taken place between Mr. John Ball, the Devonshire engineer, and Mr. John Brown, millwright, of this city, with respect to the merits of their thrashing machines, and arbitrators having been chosen between the parties, it was decided that Mr. Ball's machine, lately erected at Mr. Howlett's of Hetherset, should be tried first, which took place last week. - The bet was made for each machine to thrash one hour with four horses, and Mr. Brown's machine to thrash on the following day. The result of Mr. Ball's machine was, in 59 min. 40 seconds a net produce of 29 coombs, 1 bushel, 3½ pecks of barley, such grain having been previously chosen by Mr. Brown for the experiment. Upon trial of Mr. Brown's on Friday, the machine had gone only a short time when it broke. The decision of the bet is therefore postponed. - It is to be observed, that Mr. Ball had made his bet to thrash more than double the quantity in the hour than Mr. Brown's machine could. The quantity thrashed by Mr. Ball's machine was considered by the company present, which was very respectable, to far exceed any thing of the kind ever seen in this county, both as to its quickness and clean thrashing.
Norfolk Chronicle - 15th December 1804

It would appear that John Ball won the bet, as there was a large advert for his patent thrashing machines "By Royal Appointment" and offering a reward of £20 for information on any infringement on his patent.
However, John Browne continued to advertise his own thrashing machines.

JOHN BROWNE
MILLWRIGHT & IRONFOUNDER,
St. John's Timberhill, Norwich,
WISHES to inform the Public, he is making the following MACHINES on the most improved plans: -
Portable Thrashing Machines, that may be moved to barns, stacks, and put to work in five minutes,
at 75l.
Fixed Thrashing Machines, at 52l. 10s.
Winnowing Machines, at 6l. 16s. 6d.
Chaff Cutters at the usual prices.
Oil Cake Breakers ditto.
Screws for Presses, &c. ditto.
Pumps of every description ditto.
Mill Work per cwt. from 16s. to 18s. 8d.
Plough Irons, ditto, 13s. 6d.
Plough Shares per dozen from 12s. to 14s.
The best prices given for Old Iron.
Norfolk Chronicle - 21st March 1807

TO BRICK MAKERS
TO BE SOLD
A MILL for grinding Brick-earth, nearly new, made by Browne, Millwright at Norwich; cost 120l. and will be sold for 50 Guineas. It may be seen by applying to Mr. Hewitt, at Mr. Henry Wilkins's Office, Bury St. Edmunds.
Norfolk Chronicle - 10th December 1808

To Journeyman Millwrights and Thrashing Machine Makers.
WANTED, THREE MILLWRIGHTS, good workmen, and Four Men used to Thrashing Machines &c. may have constant employ and good wages by applying to JOHN BROWNE, St. John's Timberhill, Norwich.
Norfolk Chronicle - 26th May 1810

FOUND
Near the Star and Crown, St. John's Timber-hill.
A PURSE, containing BANK NOTES and CASH; whoever has lost the same may have them by applying to John Browne, millwright, Norwich.
Norfolk Chronicle - 13th October 1810

JOHN BROWNE,
MILLWRIGHT, BRASS & IRON FOUNDER,
AND AGRICULTURAL MACHINE MANUFACTURER,
St. John's Timberhill, Norwich.
RETURNS his sincere thanks to his Friends and the Public in general for the very liberal support he has met with during eighteen years, and begs to inform them, he has opened a Warehouse, on the Castle Ditches, near the Weighing Machine, where they may be supplied with Agricultural and all other machines, and every article in Brass and Iron executed on the most approved plans, and of the best materials and workmanship.
J.B. particularly recommends his new PATENT MILLS for Grinding Beans, Peas, Barley, Oats, Malt, &c. which are allowed to excel every other invention for the same purpose, and will be found equally as useful to the private family as to the man in the trade.
* All orders will be thankfully received and punctually attended to.

Norfolk Chronicle - 26th September 1812

Monday last, as John Gaze, millwright, in the employ of Mr. Browne, of this city, was repairing the windmill at Keswick, he fell from off the top, and greatly hurt his ribs and broke one of his arms; he has been admitted an out-patient of the Hospital, and is likely to do well.
Norfolk Chronicle - 7th August 1813

To be SOLD by AUCTION
By Mr. ROYAL,
At the Rampant Horse Inn, St. Stephen's, Norwich, on Wednesday, the 22d day of September instant, at three o'clock in the afternoon.
A valuable Freehold ESTATE, in the parish of St. John of Timberhill, in the city of Norwich, in seven lots.
Lot 2. A good Dwelling-house, with various outbuildings and extensive yard, in the occupation of Mr. John Browne, Millwright.
For further particulars apply to Mr. Henry Harmer, Attorney, St. Stephen's, Norwich.

Norfolk Chronicle - 11th September 1813

On Saturday evening a sail was cut off from a boat, the property of Mr. Brown, millwright, lying near Carrow-bridge.
Norfolk Chronicle - 17th September 1814

John Browne was still describing himself as a millwright in 1818 but not in 1821, when his final advert appeared

The Old-Established Machine Manufactory,
HORN'S-LANE, KING STREET,
Or Castle Ditches, near the Weighing Bridge,
Norwich,
JOHN BROWNE,
MILLWRIGHT,
BRASS AND IRON FOUNDER,
AND FILE MANUFACTURER.
Old Files Re-cut at half-price and made Equally Good as new.
IRON & BRASS AT REDUCED PRICES
J. BROWNE
WISHES to inform his Friends and the Public, his PATENT MILLS for Grinding Barley, Oats, Peas, Beans, and Malt, much superior to any Mill yet offered, and not likely to get out of repair, are selling at the usual prices.
Threshing, Drill, and Dressing Machines, Oil Cake Crushers, Chaff Cutters, and all other Machines on the most improved principles, at reduced prices.
The best price given for old Iron, Steel, and Brass.

Norfolk Chronicle - 14th March 1818

GREAT ACCOMODATION
TO COACH-MAKERS, SMITHS, & OTHERS,
OLD VICES REPAIRED, and warranted to be made as good as new; OLD FILES Re cut at Half price, and made equally good as new;
BY JOHN BROWNE,
KING-STREET, NORWICH.
Norfolk Chronicle - 17th March 1821

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