Browne, John (d. 1589), mapmaker, sheriff, and (in his words) ‘the first Englishman that in the memory of man settled himself to dwell in the county of Mayo’, was probably of the Anglo-Norman Brownes of Kilpatrick, Co. Westmeath. In August 1583, as servant to Sir Christopher Hatton (vice-chamberlain of the queen's household), he sent town plans of Athenry and Galway to Sir Francis Walsingham, secretary of state. In November 1583 he became the first sheriff of Co. Mayo, and may then have acquired from the MacMeyler Burkes the Neale castle and lands near Ballinrobe, which he held with other lands at the composition of Connacht (1585). In Dublin in the summer of 1584 he prepared at the request of the governor of Connacht, Sir Richard Bingham (qv), whom he admired, a map of Mayo (except the barony of Costello and parts of Gallen and Clanmorris), which he later sent to Walsingham. In 1587 he became sheriff again.
On 13 January 1589 Bingham commissioned him to use force against the Burkes of the Owles district. Browne and his sub-sheriff Donnel O'Daly, with a small force, were killed by Risdeárd ‘mac Deamhain an Chorráin’ and Walter na mBuilleadh Burke near Burrishoole early in February 1589 at the start of a major rebellion. Browne's other maps included Connacht (completed by his nephew John, 1591) and part of Co. Monaghan. He married Ann, daughter of Thomas Kardyff (Cardyffe) of Dunsink, Co. Dublin; from their only son Josias are descended the marquesses of Sligo, the Barons Kilmaine, and other Browne families of Mayo.