PROBERT, Henry (c.1645-by 1719), of the Argoed, Pen-allt, Tryleg, Mon.
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Family and Education
b. c.1645, 2nd s. of Sir George Probert† of Pant-glas, Tryleg by Magdalen, da. of Sir Charles Williams† of Llangibby, Mon., sis. of Sir Trevor Williams, 1st Bt.† educ. Jesus, Oxf. matric. 22 May 1663, aged 18; I. Temple 1664. m. (1) by 1670, Rachel, da. of Thomas Morgan† of Machen and Tredegar, Mon., sis. of William Morgan†, 3s. (1 d.v.p.) 3da. (1 d.v.p.); (2) by 1691, Eleanor, da. of Henry Baker of Abergavenny, Mon., 1s. 1da. suc. bro. 1680.1
Sheriff, Mon. 1689–90.
Despite his father’s Royalism, and the fact that his second wife came of a Catholic family, Probert was an active supporter of the ultra-Protestant faction in Monmouthshire headed in the early 1670s by his uncle Sir Trevor Williams and after 1677 by John Arnold*. Probert was removed from the commission of the peace with Arnold in November 1677 ‘for affronts to the Duke [of York] and misdemeanours in offices’, and, though restored, was purged again in 1680. He had testified in 1678 to the Commons’ committee inquiring into the growth of popery in South Wales and the marches that his original expulsion from the commission had been provoked by his zeal in the Protestant cause. Sheriff in 1689, he may have been the Henry Probert who with one Anne Pierce petitioned the Treasury in 1693 for a share in a ‘concealed’ estate worth £7,000 which they claimed they could discover.2
It would appear that the 1698 general election was the first in which Probert had offered himself as a candidate, and he did so then as part of an agreement between the leading Whig interests in the county, with nearly all of whom he was either connected or on friendly terms. However, some six years before, a local agent of the Harleys in Radnorshire had discussed the nomination of ‘old Harry Probert’ for a by-election for knight of the shire there, adding ‘it will be chargeable, which he cannot bear, though I believe thereby it would secure his interest’. Classed as a likely member of the Court party in a comparative analysis of the old and new Commons about September 1698, but marked as doubtful in a further calculation, he was by no means active as a Member: as early as 30 Mar. 1699 ‘Colonel Probert’ (a militia rank) was granted unlimited leave of absence. In early 1700 an analysis of the House into interests classed Probert as doubtful or, perhaps, opposition. He stood down in January 1701 and no more is heard of him in Monmouthshire politics. Probert’s will, to which a codicil had been added on 17 Jan. 1717, was proved on 26 Oct. 1719.3