J.B. Paige-Browne, M.A., J.P. [Obituary]

Trans. Devon. Assoc., 1894, Vol XXVI, pp.43-44.


Rev. W. Harpley

Prepared by Michael Steer

The obituary was read at the Association’s July 1894 South Molton meeting. The Totnes Guardian newspaper for Saturday 21 March 1891 carries an article featuring Mr J B Paige-Browne as Chairman of the Totnes Union (the town’s Workhouse). Kelly’s Directory for 1889 presents Mr John Browne Paige-Browne Esq. as one of the several principal landowners in Harberton. IRELAND HOUSE in Ashburton, was given to Ashburton Grammar School by John Ireland (1761-1841) Dean of Westminster as residence for the Grammar School’s  headmaster. A wall plaque on the building states that it was “later extended by Brown Paige for boarding pupils”. The article, from a copy of a rare and much sought-after journal can be downloaded from the Internet Archive. Google has sponsored the digitisation of books from several libraries. These books, on which copyright has expired, are available for free educational and research use, both as individual books and as full collections to aid researchers.

J. B. Paige-Browne, M.A., J.P., was a native of Totnes. He was educated at the Totnes and Bruton Grammar Schools, and at Oxford, where he took his degree and honours. For a number of years Mr. Paige was the Head Master of Ashburton Grammar School, where he won the respect of his pupils and of the public. On the death of his father in 1859 he removed to Englebourne, near Totnes, and subsequently took the family name of Browne in addition to that of Paige. For upwards of a quarter of a century he represented his parish of Harberton on the Totnes Board of Guardians, where he filled the important position of Chairman, with great credit to himself and satisfaction to the members generally. On his retirement a few years since, he was placed on the Commission of the Peace for the county of Devon, but failing health prevented his taking an active part on the Bench.

Mr. Paige-Browne joined this Association in 1872, and was a Vice-President on the occasion of the Ashburton Meeting in 1876. He was also a member of the Teign Naturalists' Field Club, having been elected a member in 1869, and filled the office of President in 1879; he read several valuable local papers at the Field meetings. Some time since he was affected by a paralytic stroke, from which he never completely recovered, and a chill hastened his death, which occurred at his residence, Great Englebourne, on 8th November, 1893, at the age of 77 years.

Mr. Paige-Browne, who was never married, leaves two sisters, his brother, Mr. Richard Paige, J.P. for the borough of Totnes, having died early in the same year.