Browning, Michael (d. 1689), captain of the Mountjoy, whose Christian name occurs in various forms, including Micah, Micaiah, Micaill, and Mihal, is said to have been a native of Derry city, although the family is not mentioned in the city's hearth-money rolls. He was a ship's captain, and is said to have requested on several occasions that he might be allowed to attempt to bring supplies to the besieged city, where presumably some of his family were sharing in the worsening conditions. At length, on 28 July 1689, permission was granted by Gen. Percy Kirke (qv); Browning's ship, the Mountjoy, tried to breach the heavily defended boom across the River Foyle. Browning was on the deck, his sword drawn, encouraging his crew. The boom gave way, but the Mountjoy ran aground under cannon fire from the besiegers. She got off on the rising tide, and followed the Phoenix up-river to relieve the city. Browning, however, had been killed by a single shot to the head at the moment of triumph.
He married (a.1675), by licence in Derry cathedral, Jane (or Jean), who had children by her first marriage to David (?) Rankin. After Browning's death King William III (qv) awarded her a pension, and himself placed a diamond necklace round her neck.