Will is descended from the Prossors via his paternal grandmother Marie, 1890-1953.
• The wife of Anthony Prossor b1792 was Prudence Max. We have had amazing luck in tracing this family back thanks to the survival of a series of family wills. One person mentioned is Mary Max, Prudence’s cousin, who was the victim of a violent kidnap by her uncle and cousin in 1777.
• The Prossor name may be familiar still to people in Liverpool. For years it was painted on the roof of a retail warehouse selling PPE — personal protection equipment. The company was started by Will’s great uncle Charles and is still in business.
• In the Rebellion of the United Irishmen in 1798, a Thomas Prossor was one of several malcontents who raided the house of the Rev William Stopford in Blarney, Cork. The house was pillaged but no one was killed. Thomas was found guilty of treason and sentenced to transportation. Co-conspirator John Buckley was executed. As yet we cannot tie Thomas into our tree.
• Prossors were in Ireland from at least the mid-1600s — whether it is our family is impossible to say. The first mention is of a Thomas Prossor, an innkeeper in Finglas, northwest Dublin, “at the close of the reign of Charles II” — so the early 1680s. Will has also been told of an Australian “family book” that tells of two Prossor brothers joining William of Orange’s army to fight in the Battle of the Boyne in 1690: this would fit with the Finglas connection as it was a mainly Protestant town and "King Billy" camped there with his army before the battle.
• The first Prossor we know to be “ours” is John, Will’s 3x gt grandfather. He was the father of Anthony b1792 in Cashel, Co Tipperary. John is recorded on his 1778 marriage to Prudence Max in Cashel . . . and that is about it. Earlier, in 1757, the death of “the widow Prossor” of Dirty Lane, Cashel, is recorded in the local paper, so the family could have been in the town for some time.
• Anthony b1792 and his brother Samuel b1796 settled in Portsea, England, in about 1832, probably trading in Irish foodstuff. They married sisters Mary and Harriet Baker and went into business with their father-in-law George Baker. Anthony and Mary had eight children, including Henry b1841, Will’s gt grandfather.
• How to describe Henry b1841? A gentleman, a chancer, a rogue, a charmer, a tyrant? Glimpses support all of these. Henry married twice before settling with Will’s gt grandmother, Louisa Lloyd, in Manchester then Liverpool – it seems that they didn’t marry. He also had a selection of jobs: actor, running a wine company, manager of a fertiliser company, sanitary inspector, jeweller, accountant and, allegedly, lawyer. It was in that last role that in the 1920s he helped in the legal separation of Bridget Hitler (nee Dowling) from her husband Alois, Adolf’s half brother.