Grace's Guide

British Industrial History

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William Browning

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William Browning (1785-1862), optician

1785 Born in Eaton Socon, Bedford, son of Samuel Browning, optician, and his wife Catherine nee Spencer.

1810 Married Sophia Bryant in Bedford[1]

William Browning conducted an instrument-making business at 111 Minories, London, which his son John later claimed had been established as early as 1765. It has been suggested that this was the shop Charles Dickens had in mind in describing that of Solomon Gills in Dombey and Son.

1840 Admitted to the Company of Grocers (of which his father had been a member)

1842 Dissolution of the partnership Spencer, Browning and Rust

1845 Married Susan Hane in Stepney[2]

1851 William Browning 66, optician employing 3 (?) men, lived in St Botolph Aldgate with Susan Browning 39, Lucy Browning 26, Susan Browning 15, John Browning 18, Richard Browning 13, Harry Browning 4, Maria Browning 17[3]

1862 William Browning died and was buried in Tower Hamlets[4]


See Also

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Sources of Information

  1. BMD
  2. Parish records
  3. 1851 census
  4. Cemetery records