Browne, Valentine (1695–1736), 5th baronet and 3rd Viscount Kenmare , was first son of Nicholas Browne (qv), 2nd viscount, and his wife Helen, daughter of Thomas Browne of Hospital, Co. Limerick. The inheritance to which he succeeded when his father died in exile (1720) was engulfed in debt through its mismanagement by his brother-in-law John Asgill (qv). A special act of parliament was passed in 1727 – largely due to Lord Kenmare's aunt, Catherine da Cunha, wife of Don Luis, Portuguese ambassador to Britain – enabling him to sell parts of his estate to pay off his debts. By 1729 Sir Valentine Browne could afford to live at a rate of £1,200 a year without getting into debt.
His marriage (1720) to Honora, daughter of Thomas Butler of Kilcash, grand-niece of the 2nd duke of Ormond (qv), provided the subject of the ‘Epithalamium for Lord Kenmare’ (‘Epitalamium do Thighearna Chinn Mara’) by Aodhagán Ó Rathaille (qv), in which the poet rejoiced that Browne has espoused ‘the star of Munster, near in blood to the duke from Kilkenny’. Honora died from smallpox in 1730. Elsewhere Ó Rathaille eulogised ‘the flawless Browne’ and the Kenmare papers also record that the poet was to be paid £1. 10s. (£1.50) for each song composed for Master Thomas, later 4th Viscount Kenmare (qv), and the rest of his lordship's children. However, Sir Valentine is probably best remembered as the subject of Ó Rathaille's bitter invective ‘Valentine Browne’ (‘Bhailintín Brún’), in which he laments that as the 4th earl of Clancarty languished in exile in Hamburg, Valentine had usurped the rights of the MacCarthys.
Kenmare married secondly (October 1735) Mary, daughter of Maurice Fitzgerald, esq., of Castle Ishin, Co. Cork, widow of Justin, 5th earl of Fingall. When he died on 30 June 1736 he left three children by his first marriage: Valentine, who died young; Thomas, 4th viscount, who succeeded him as an infant of six years; and a daughter, Helen, who married John, son and heir of Nicholas Wogan of Rathcoffey, Co. Kildare. He also had a daughter, Mary Frances, by his second marriage.
MacLysaght's The Kenmare manuscripts (1942) provide a vivid insight into the workings of a forfeited estate, the ongoing litigation, and difficulties facing the young Valentine as he grappled with his financial problems. It also contains correspondence with his attainted father in Brussels and a selection of correspondence with his influential great-aunt Catherine, Madame da Cunha, wife of the Portuguese ambassador.