Browne, Sir Valentine (d. 1589), English official and settler in Ireland, was the son of Sir Valentine Browne (d. 1568), of Crofts, Lincolnshire. In a career spanning at least forty years he served three monarchs as an auditor. He audited the accounts of the royal castle at Berwick (1550–53) and returned to Berwick as treasurer (1560–75) during which time he was responsible for the victualling of the garrison. He also served as auditor of the exchequer until 1565, and during the 1550s was often at Dover paying soldiers returning from Calais. He was knighted in 1570 for his service during the rebellion of the northern earls the previous year. Browne was MP for Berwick upon Tweed in 1571 and for Thetford in 1572, and was appointed to the council of the north in 1574. Later that year, however, he was accused of not having paid the garrison at Berwick. He was examined by the privy council on Christmas Eve 1574, stripped of office, and imprisoned in the Fleet between 22 May and 12 July 1575. However, he maintained property in Berwick, and was subsequently returned as MP for Berwick upon Tweed in 1586.
Browne's connection with Ireland began in the 1550s, when he served as auditor-general of Ireland (December 1553 to June 1560). In this capacity he travelled periodically to Dublin to audit the Irish accounts. Browne's second period in the country came as a result of the defeat of the Desmond rebellion of 1579–83: he was appointed to head a commission to survey the lands of attainted rebels that were forfeit to the crown. The instructions for the commission were issued in June 1584, and on 1 September the survey team of six, led jointly by Sir Henry Wallop (qv), vice-treasurer of Ireland, and Browne, entered Munster. The commissioners spent almost three months visiting counties Tipperary, Limerick, Kerry, Cork, and Waterford, before returning to Dublin on 28 November. Their travels through these often wild and inaccessible territories took its toll on Browne, who was described as being over sixty years old and considerably overweight. During this time he (and other commissioners) wrote letters detailing the devastation that the Desmond rebellion had wrought upon Munster, commenting on widespread physical destruction and significant depopulation. In 1585 Browne was elected to the Irish parliament as MP for Co. Sligo and had established a residence at Ross Castle, near Killarney in Co. Kerry.
The commission's report, known as the Peyton survey, was finalised in 1585, and was probably brought to London by Browne, who arrived there on 16 December. In January 1586 he was asked by the English privy council to obtain the opinions of interested parties concerning the proposed conditions of what would become the Munster plantation. In May he was part of a consortium that proposed to plant Kerry and Connello, Co. Limerick, in one large block. The following month he tried to obtain a grant of the county of Desmond (south Kerry). Neither effort succeeded. Browne was then appointed to the commission to survey and measure the lands, which completed its work between September 1586 and September 1587, by which date all the undertakers had been granted their lands. In 1588 he was a member of a commission that inquired into land disputes caused by the plantation scheme.
Browne received the seignory of Molahife, Co. Kerry, estimated at 6,560 acres, but almost immediately he found himself in difficulty, as Donal MacCarthy Mór (qv), earl of Clancare, claimed that the lands of the seignory lay within his lordship and had not been part of the forfeited Desmond lands. The crown recognised Clancare's title to the land, but a deal was done whereby Clancare mortgaged the lands to Browne, who was to inherit the lands upon the death of the earl – the latter being without a legitimate male heir. However, an error in the letters patent designed to legally underscore the agreement meant that Browne would only inherit the lands if Clancare died without any legitimate heirs. This led to a long-running legal dispute over the ownership of the lands between Browne and his son Nicholas, and Florence MacCarthy Reagh (qv), husband of Clancare's daughter Eileen (Ellen). Although the Brownes remained in possession of the seignory, and Nicholas Browne received a new grant to the lands in 1602, the dispute lingered on into the 1630s.
Browne was married twice, first to Alice (or Elizabeth), daughter of Robert Alexander of London, with whom he had a son. His second wife was Thomasine, daughter of Robert Bacon, with whom he had two sons and a daughter. Browne, who had played an important role in the formation of the Munster plantation, died 8 February 1589 in Dublin, and was buried eleven days later in St Katherine's church in the city.