Tag Archives: Hertfordshire

Marlborough Pryor of England

Every once in a while when I’m looking at UK records I’ll poke around to see if there’s an interesting Pryor. I turned up a Marlborough Pryor and kept poking until I fell down a rabbit hole. To make it of value, I’m passing along what I found.

Marlborough Robert Pryor, born about 1848, died 1920

1851 UK Census, Middlesex County
London, 109 Gloucester Pl, St. Marylebone, Robert PRYOR head 38 barrister b. Hampstead, Middlesex. Elizabeth Caroline wife 31 b. Wrexham, Norfolk. Marlborough Robert PRYOR son 2 b. St. Marylebone, Middlesex. Frederick Robert Pryor son 2 mo b. St. Marylebone, Middlesex. 6 servants — butler, footman, cook, housemaid and 2 nurses.

This Marlborough was baptized December 8, 1848 at St. Mary’s, Westminster. The baptism record states his father was Robert, a barrister. His mother was Elizabeth Caroline. The family lived at 109 Gloucester Place.

You think you’ve got a tough genealogy hurdle? How about a family where all the sons are named Robert! The notice of Robert Pryor’s will names Marlborough Pryor and two brothers also sharing the middle name Robert.

“The will (dated May 27, 1889) of Mr. Robert Pryor, J.P., D.L. formerly Chairman of Quarter Sessions of the St. Albans Division of Hertfordshire, late of High Elms, near Watford, Herts., who died on August 23 last, was proved on Sept. 23 by Marlborough Robert Pryor, Selwyn Robert Pryor, and Francis Robert Pryor, the sons, the executors, the value of the personal estate in England amounting to over 171,000pounds.

The Newcastle Weekly Courant, October 5, 1889.

Marlborough Robert Pryor became the chairman of Sun Fire Insurance.

In fact it is only in the period of office of the present Managing Director, Mr. Marlborough R. Pryor, that the Committee representing the leading Fire Offices ceased to meet under the Chairmanship of the Managing Director of the SUN…In 1890 it became apparent to the representatives of the Offices (including Mr. Pryor) that the time had come when the Chairmanship should cease to vest in the SUN and be placed in neutral and independent hands.

The Times, The Bicentenary of the SUN Fire Office, 1710-1910, June 2, 1910

It’s likely that he was also the Marlborough of the Mexican Railway. A visit to Mexico was announced in a Texas newspaper. It was also noted in the British press that in 1902 Pryor was in the process of selling the railway to the Mexican Government (The Times, December 9, 1902).

Marlborough Pryor president of the Mexican railway, who has just arrived in Mexico for the purpose of making a careful inspection of the property, will make a trip over the entire length of the road in a special train which will leave Buena Vista station at 8:30 o’clock this morning.

El Paso Times, December 4, 1903
62 Great Cumberland – Google Maps

Marlborough Robert Pryor died in 1920.

Recent Wills. Mr. Marlborough Robert Pryor, MA, DL., JP of Weston Park Stevenage, Herts and 62 Gt Cumberland Place London, W. until 1918 chairman of the Sun Insurance Office and of the Sun Life Assurance Society, a partner in Messrs. Henry Kendall and Sons, merchants, 54 Old Broad Street, London E. and an alderman of the Hertfordshire County Council (net personalty 156,563)… 265,926

The Guardian September 28, 1920

Thomas Marlborough Pryor b. 1777, d. 1821

This Marlborough was Thomas Marlborough Pryor. His marriage to Miss Hannah Hoare, daughter of Samuel Hoare was reported at Hampstead Heath in Jackson’s Oxford Journal on December 4, 1802. The same marriage in recorded in Quaker records available on Ancestry.com: Thomas Marlborough Pryor of Baldock, son of John Pryor and wife Martha. It’s also dated 1802. Thomas’ birth is also recorded in Quaker records: February 27, 1777.

Thomas Marlborough Pryor and wife Hannah baptized a son named Marlborough Pryor in 1822 in the Church of England. The son’s marriage to Eleanor Rogers was recorded in 1837 at 30, making him a teen when he was baptized. Thomas Marlborough Pryor was deceased before his son wed. A obituary for Thomas’ appeared in Jackson’s Oxford Journal on March 10, 1821: Thomas Marlborough Pryor, Esq. of Hampstead. No additional information provided.

Marlborough Pryor b. 1807, d. 1869

This Marlborough Pryor is probably the son of Thomas Marlborough. His obituary gives clues to his parents and his birth year matches to the birth of Marlborough Pryor, born in 1807 to Thomas Marlborough and Hannah Hoare.

THE LATE MR. MARLBOROUGH PRYOR.–At the request of relatives of the late Mr. Pryor residing in Oxford we copy the following from the Hertfordshire Express– We have recorded in our obituary of this week the deal of Marlborough Pryor Esq. of Weston , a Magistrate for this county and Beds, and Chairman of the Committee of Visitors of the Three Counties Asylum, at Arlesey. The value of the service which he rendered in this capacity to the county deserves some recognition beyond that of a passing notice. We may state that Mr. Pryor’s father was the second son of John Pryor, Esq., of Baldock, and his mother was the daughter of Samuel Hoare, Esq, of Lombard-street, banker. He was born in 1807, and might we believe, have inherited a share in the great brewery of Truman, Hanbury, and Co., but in preference he became a member of a leading commercial firm in London–Cotesworth, Powell, and Pryor. .. He was for several years an active Magistrate in Middlesex and in that capacity took a prominent part in the erection and organization of the Lunatic Asylum at Coney Hatch…

Jackson’s Oxford Journal. February 27, 1869

I’m wondering why the name Marlborough was popular in this line of Pryors. The earliest use of the name was 1777. My searches led to the Earl of Marlborough. I don’t know if the name points to a connection with the peerage in England. It could even point to a location since the seat of the Marlboroughs was in Oxfordshire.

Any ideas?

Category: UK Pryors | Tags: , ,

Francis Prior of Hertfordshire, England

uk-flagI’m diverting from our US Pryors to UK Pryors for this post… If you’re interested in the Pryor/Prior name from Herfordshire, England I stumbled across an interesting tidbit of information. I’m passing it also because I suspect someone will find it useful.

From The Gentleman’s Magazine, and Historical Chronicle, Volume 82, Part 1, Published 1812.


Over one of the arches a framed board, with arms, and the following inscription: “At the upper ende of this midle ile lyeth intered body of GEORGE CORDELL, esquire, who served QUEEN ELIZABETH, and was sergeant of the Ewry to KING JAMES and the late KING CHARLES, in all sixty yeeres, who married DOROTHY, the only daughter and heyre of FRANCIS PRIOR, of this parish, with whom she lived 52 yeares, and deceased the 26th May, 1653, being aged 84 yeeres.”

One ANN PRIOR lived in this parish to the age of 120.

Such a short inscription but such remarkable lives. Cordell served 3 monarchs in such turbulent times — Elizabeth I was the daughter of Henry VIII and she beheaded her cousin Mary Queen of Scots, James was Mary’s son, and Charles I (James’ son) ascended the throne only to be beheaded in 1649. From 1649 to 1660 England was without a king and functioned as a Republic. I found a definition of his court position:

The ewry was responsible for the provision and storage of linen for the royal tables `and serve up water in the silver ewers after dinner, whence the office has its name.
— from British History Online

Oh, what Mr. Cordell and his Prior wife must have lived through. What he must have heard at queen’s tables and the successive kings. The historical characters he may have seen. It’s remarkable that he kept his position through such turmoil.

Perhaps this inscription may help to take a Prior line into the 16th century.

Category: England | Tags: ,