PROWSE, Conrad (d.1613), of Cleeve, Som.; later of Southwark, Surr.

Published in The History of Parliament: the House of Commons 1558-1603, ed. P.W. Hasler, 1981
Available from Boydell and Brewer



Family and Education

2nd s. of William Prowse of Cleeve by Joan, da. of John Michell of Cliffe. educ. Staple Inn; G. Inn 1579.

Offices Held


Prowse was an attorney ‘of ability and livelihood of no value at all; in every way very mean, generally evil thought of and noted for a common quarreller’.

Among his many lawsuits were one against Sir Walter Mildmay at Hertford and several connected with Cleeve. In 1581 he and George Luttrell jointly bought a chamber at Gray’s Inn, and thenceforth they were enemies not only in London but in Somerset, where they quarrelled with so much violence that a j.p. declared he had not heard of such disorder for 20 years. Thus it is curious that on the one occasion Prowse sat in Parliament he should have been returned for what is always regarded as a Luttrell pocket borough. The explanation may be that Prowse somehow contrived his return especially to score a point against Luttrell. This base motive would also account for Prowse’s intervention in 1601 when he was not, as far as is known, himself a candidate. There is no record of any activities by Prowse in the 1597 Parliament, but, as a burgess for a Somerset borough, he could have attended the committee concerned with rebuilding Langport Eastover (10 Nov.).

When he died intestate in 1613, Prowse was living in St. George’s parish, Southwark. Administration of his goods was granted to his next of kin, Robert Prowse.

PRO Index 6800, f. 409v; Vis. Som. ed. Weaver, 64; St. Ch. 5/L12/22, P31/30, P48/17, P60/2, P65/3; DKR, xxxviii, 265-7, 522; Townshend, Hist. Colls. 103; Som. Wills, ed. Brown, iii. 23; see also MINEHEAD.

Ref Volumes: 1558-1603

Author: P. W. Hasler