Very long post ahead (and thank you to all who read it!):
Nathaniel Browning, a 17th century immigrant to Rhode Island, may have a descent from, among others, King Henry II of England. The American History Society's Tercentenary of New England Families 1620-1922: A Record of the Achievements of Her People in the Making of Commonwealths and the Founding of a Nation (1922) and Edward Franklin Browning's Genealogy of the Brownings in America from 1621 to 1908 record Nathaniel as the son of Mrs. Elizabeth Palmer. They reference the will of John Palmer, a nonconformist London mercer, which can be seen here:
A few years ago, when I was browsing the UK's National Archives online, I looked up Browning in the wills. There was a Danyell Browning or Browninge, with a 1626 will.
About 3 and a half pounds later, I was reading-Daniel Browning's wife's name was Elizabeth, his father's name was William, his wife's parents were Ralph Furness (Furness-513) and wife Rebecca (Blennerhassett-237). He also named several siblings and his children, one of whom was named Samuel and another was unborn.
Daniel Browning (Browning-3617) and Elizabeth Furnis (Furness-516) were married on February 9, 1612 in Saint Andrew, Norwich, Norfolk, England. The record was abstracted on FamilySearch.org. "England Marriages, 1538–1973 ," database, FamilySearch (https://familysearch.org/ark:/61903/1:1:N271-C4T : 10 February 2018), Danyell Browning and Elizabeth Furnis, 09 Feb 1612; citing Saint Andrew,Norwich,Norfolk,England, reference , index based upon data collected by the Genealogical Society of Utah, Salt Lake City; FHL microfilm 993,970.)
Mr. and Mrs. Browning were the parents of several children, two of whom were named Nathaniel. The first Nathaniel was baptized in 1618 and predeceased his father. The second Nathaniel (probably the Nathaniel who immigrated to Rhode Island) was baptized January 20, 1626 at St. Lawrence Jewry and St. Mary Magdalene Milk Street, London, England. He was the unborn child referenced in Daniel's will. Brothers Samuel and Nathaniel Browning were legatees of their stepfather, John Palmer, and of their grandfather, Ralph Furness, d. 1639. Elizabeth (Furness)(Browning) Palmer made her will and passed away in 1635, the mother of three surviving sons (Samuel and Nathaniel Browning and John Palmer Jr.) She mentioned her children, but not by name. I have misplaced the copy of her will and will try to locate it-I believe she mentioned Cardwell Farrington.
I am not sure what Edward Franklin Browning's source was for Nathaniel as the son of Mrs. Elizabeth Palmer. I searched for any other Nathaniels that would have been Nathaniel son of Daniel Browning and was able to rule the other, a Nathaniel Browning who was a Northamptonshire Chandler. Circumstantially, in light of the long written tradition (which I tend to find believable, since calling someone the son of an unknown Mrs. Elizabeth Palmer is different than someone having an exalted, Gustave Anjou-esque royal pedigree) and religious considerations, this line makes a lot of sense. Nathaniel Browning's wife, Sarah Freeborn, had strong Quaker roots, which would also circumstantially fit Nathaniel's placement as son of Daniel Browning and Elizabeth Furness-the Blennerhassett family and many of its collaterals were involved with Quakerism as well as had ties to Quaker Brownings. (See Daniel Gurney's "The Record of the House of Gournay.") In addition, Sarah (Freeborn) Browning's family almost definitely came from Maldon-"The Great Migration Begins" lists this as fact. It lends definite credence to the Maldon Brownings as opposed to any of the others.
The only other possible parentage I've seen put forth for Nathaniel Browning came from Burke's, making him the son of John Browning and Christian Webb. This seems incredibly unlikely and, if memory serves, no sources were offered. Many pedigrees made it into earlier editions of "Burke's Landed Gentry" and John Browning and Christian have three children assigned them in the Visitations back in England: Mary, wife of John Smith (genealogist/historian of the Berkeley family), John, husband of Joan Tovey, and Ursula, wife of Stephen Fowler. Visitation pedigrees by no means always included all children; however, the names of this family don't mesh with the descendants of Nathaniel Browning. Ursula, for example, was a popular name in John and Christian (Webb) Browning's descendants. This family's ancestry can be seen here. I have not been able to find any evidence that there is any truth to this parentage.
The royal antecedents of the family can easily be traced from Rebecca (Blennerhassett). Bill Jehan has chronicled extremely detailed and well documented research on his "Blennerhassett Family Tree" website. Rebecca's baptism record is on FamilySearch, and her father William's will (he d. 1598) (NCC Will Register Adams 49) mentions (I believe Jehan first chronicled this, but I had a computer crash and lost some research) his son Furness. The Complete Peerage Website also chronicles this family: http://www.thepeerage.com/p27899.htm#i278981.
Finally, before showing the Henry II descent (which was largely found courtesy of a Gen-Medival post "Royal Descent for Francis Foxcroft of Massachusetts" by ravinmaven2001 and Leo van de Pas's website, Genealogics, who sources the individual lines, often to the work of Douglas Richardson and "The Complete Peerage") I have come across the work of two other researchers online that I had not seen before diving headfirst into the Daniel Browning wild guess theory. They had come to the same conclusion I had, so the Browning/Furness lineage was independently deduced by three researchers, for what that's worth. =) I have elaborated on sourcing for post-1500 individuals on WikiTree. If you would like to see them, please search for Browning-7 and you can check the profiles for his ancestors to see what I've added. Thank you all for bearing with this long, meandering post (and I sincerely apologize for any typos!!!) - K
(I'm using '=' in the chart for both marriages and extramarital relationships, e.g. Henry II and Ida de Tosny.)
Henry II, King of England=Ida de Tosny
William Longespee, 3rd Earl of Salisbury=Ela FitzPatrick
William Longespee=Idonea de Camville
Ida Longespee=Walter FitzRobert, Lord of Dunmow
Ela FitzWalter=William de Odingsells
Ida de Odingsells=Roger de Herdeburgh
Ela de Herdeburgh=William Le Botiler
Ankaret Le Botiler=John Le Strange, 2nd Lord Strange
Eleanor Le Strange=Reginald Grey de Ruthyn
Reginald Grey, 3rd Lord Grey de Ruthyn=Joan Astley
Elizabeth Grey=Sir William Calthorpe
Amy Calthorpe=William Gurney
William Gurney=Anne Heydon
Amy Gurney=George Sybsaye
Alice Sybsay=William Blennerhassett
Rebecca Blennerhassett=Rev. Ralph Furness/Furnys
Elizabeth Furness=Daniel Browning
Nathaniel Browning=Sarah Freeborn