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Born about 1558 at Great Stukeley, Huntingdonshire; died according to a Wood, 15 Kal. Feb. (i.e. 18 January, 1634); Catholic priest and antiquary, claiming descent form the Broughtons of Lancashire. He was ordained at Reims, 4 May, 1593, and soon after returned to England. John Pitts, a contemporary, says that he "gathered a most abundant harvest of souls into the granary of Christ" and eulogizes his attainments in being "no less familiar with literature than learned in Greek and Hebrew". Broughton became an assistant to the archpriest, a canon of the chapter, and vicar-general to Bishop Smith of Chalcedon. He also claims recognition for his influence on the study of antiquity; having earned, partly by his positive work and partly through controversy, the right to honourable mention with Spelman, Reyner, Dugdale, and other well-known antiquarians.
Broughton's chief works are: (1) "An Apologicall Epistle, serving as preface to a Resolution of Religion", signed R. B. Antwerp, 1601); (2) "The first part of the Resolution of Religion By R. B." (Antwerp, 1603), often mistaken for Persons' "Resolution"; (3) "A New Manuall of old Christian Catholick Meditations" (1617), dedicated to Anne of Denmark; (4) "The Judgment of the Apostles" (Douai, 1632), dedicated to Queen Henrietta Maria and directed against Rogers on the Thirty-nine Articles; (5) "Ecclesiasticall Historie of Great Britaine" (Douai, 1633), dedicated to the Duchess of Buckingham and the Countess of Rutland; (6) "A True Memorial" (London, 1650), published by G. S. P(riest) after Broughton's death. The 1654 edition is entitled "Monasticon Britannicum". (7) Broughton also wrote on the antiquity of the world Sterlingorum (Hearne, II, 318, 381); (8) on the alleged conversion (1621) of John King, Bishop of London; and (9) "A Relation of the Martyrdom of Nicholas Garlick".
Wood, Fasti, ed. Bliss (London, 1815), I, 428; Dodd, Church History, ed. Tierney (Brussels, 1742), III, 87; Pitts, De Rebus Anglicis, 815; Foley, Records (London, 1880), VI, 181; Hurter, Nomenclator (Innsbruck, 1871), I, 657; Gillow, Bibl. Dict. Eng. Cath. (London, 1885), I, 318; Groves in Dict. Nat. Biog., VI, 462.