- Also known as
primary name: Browne, Christopher
other name: Brown, Christopher
- individual; publisher/printer; British; Male
- Other dates
- 1688-1712 (fl.)
- Globe & Compasses at the west end of St Paul's Churchyard
- Print and map seller, successor to Robert Walton. Browne was apprenticed to Walton for seven years in the Merchant Taylors' Company in June 1683. His father, recently deceased, was given as a gentleman of Chilthorne Domer near Yeovil in Somerset. Walton died in 1688, before Browne's apprenticeship had been completed. Browne then petitioned to be translated to the Stationers' Company, and this was granted. At the same time Browne took over Walton's stock, sign, and presumably shop at the Globe and Compasses at the west end of St Paul's Churchyard (see his advertisement in the Term Catalogue for July 1688). Browne also bought plates from Overton (Term Catalogue, July 1688). Married in 1688 Elizabeth Holton, presumed to be a relative of Walton's sister Anne Holton (see 'The Library', 1979, p.390). In about 1712 retired back to Chilthorne Domer. His shop was taken over by George Willdey (active 1707-d.1737, a map-seller and optical instrument maker, for whom see Tyacke p.146-8). In 1737 Browne wrote to Hans Sloane (Add.Ms.4055 f.46), and this is the last sign of his continued life. His wife Elizabeth had died in 1729. (For all this see Tyacke p.113.)
Browne's address is found on numerous plates apart from those that he took over from Walton. He published a double portrait of William and Mary by VanderGucht. He advertised in the London Gazette for 8 October 1691 a portrait of the Emperor of Germany and six Christian Kings on a copper plate. In April 1694 he was given a passport for Holland (CSP Dom. 1694-5, p.114).
Browne's biggest venture was the purchase of Vandrebanc's plates from his widow after his death in 1697. Vertue recorded that Vandrebanc had died in great want '& the plates he left behind which cost him many years labour were sold for a trifle to Broun a print seller, who afterwards purchas'd a good estate & lives upon it to this day' (VI 183). Browne's edition of the plates has his address added.
- Sarah Tyacke, 'London map-sellers, 1660-1720' London 1978