PROGER, William John, of Wernddu, Mon.
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Family and Education
1st s. of John ap William Proger of Wernddu by Jane, da. of David ap Morgan of Triley. m. Margaret, da. of Thomas Morgan of Arkeston, Herefs., at least 5s. 2da.
J.p. Mon. from c.1573, under-sheriff 1566-7, sheriff 1577-8.
The family which came to be called Proger in the sixteenth century had been settled in Monmouthshire for some time. In the fourteenth century an heiress of Wernddu had married into the senior branch of the Herberts. In the Elizabethan period they were still of standing in the county, but, according to Bradney, the Progers of Wernddu were the ‘least important and the least distinguished’ branch of this family. It may have been Proger’s investigations, ordered by the Privy Council in 1581, into riots in Abergavenny that led him into a dispute with the Herberts. On this occasion the Herberts were ordered to keep the peace, whereupon they used their influence with the council in the marches to obtain an order binding Proger to keep the peace, an action which the Privy Council soon countermanded. Next, in the autumn of 1588, Proger entered a bill in the Star Chamber alleging that on 1 July 1588 he had been attacked in Abergavenny, when accompanied by only four friends and four servants, by a crowd of about 60 supporters of Matthew and Charles Herbert. The first riot having been quelled by the bailiffs and officers of the town, within two hours he was again set upon by the same people. A total of about 20 of his friends, servants and kinsmen were murdered near the town. Matthew Herbert denied the allegations and adopted delaying tactics, pleading that it was impossible for him to leave Monmouthshire at this time as he had been appointed a temporary deputy lieutenant by the Earl of Pembroke.
Proger’s election for Monmouthshire with Thomas Morgan suggests a temporary eclipse of the Herberts, perhaps as the result of action taken over Proger’s complaints. Nothing further has been ascertained about him.
DWB, 800; Bradney, Mon. i. 197, 200, 218, 246; St. Ch. 5/P55/9, J8/40, P48/2, R38/30; Egerton 2345, f. 39; E163/14/8; Hatfield ms 278; Autobiog. of Lord Herbert of Chirbury, ed. Lee, 306; APC, xiii. 115-16; xiv. 6-7; SP12/180/9.