PROBY, John (c.1698-1762), of Elton Hall, Hunts.
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Family and Education
b. c.1698, 1st s. of William Proby of Elton and Ranes, Bucks., sometime of Fort St. George, India, by Henrietta, da. of Robert Cornewall of Berrington, Herefs. educ. Jesus, Camb. 1715. m. 5 Jan. 1720, Jane, da. of John Leveson Gower, M.P., 1st Baron Gower, sis. of John, 1st Earl Gower, 5s. 1da. suc. fa. 1739.
Proby was descended from Sir Peter Proby, M.P., of Ranes, lord mayor of London 1622-3 and bailiff of Elton, whose grandson, Sir Thomas Proby, 1st Bt., M.P., acquired the manor of Elton by marriage c.1664.1 In nine Parliaments between 1679 and 1710 his family represented Huntingdonshire, for which he himself was returned on his own interest as a Tory at a by-election in 1722. He did not stand again till 1734, when he was brought in for Stamford, ten miles from Elton, by Lord Exeter at a stormy election, during which Proby and William Noel, the other Tory candidate, were said to have ‘led their riotous mobs in person’.2 He was one of the Tories who withdrew on the motion for the removal of Walpole in February 1741 but acted with the Opposition till 1745, when he was induced by his brother-in-law, Lord Gower, who had recently gone over to the Government, to support William Montagu, the brother and candidate of Lord Sandwich, one of the heads of the Huntingdonshire Whigs, at a by-election for that county.3 Next year, though once again voting with the Opposition on the Hanoverians, he was classed by the Administration as ‘doubtful’, i.e. as a possible supporter. At the general election of 1747 he stood down in favour of his son, John, to whom he handed over Elton in 1749,4 thereafter taking no further part in public life. He died 15 Mar. 1762.