Out of stock
Mary Prothero Portrait Unknown Artist
Watercolour and Bodycolour on Paper Painted in 1800
Frame Size 16.5 ins (419 mm) by 15 ins (381 mm)
Image Size 9.75 ins (247 mm) by 8.25 Ins (208 mm)
Mary 2nd wife of Thomas Prothero of Malpas Court, Newport, Monmouthshire
Husband of Mary the subject of the picture. Mrs Mary Prothero Portrait Unknown Artist
He was the son of Thomas Prothero of Usk, attorney, clerk of the peace for Monmouthshire, recorder of Usk, and steward of the duke of Beaufort. He is believed to have been illegitimate,
Early in life he became an attorney at Newport and became a burgess 9 October 1807; three days later he was appointed town clerk of the closed corporation of Newport.In addition he became agent to Sir Charles Morgan of Tredegar, the owner of most of the land on which the town of Newport was built, as well as of two other local landlords.
This gave him considerable opportunities of adding to his private practice by conveyance of land and by inserting clauses to his private benefit at a time when the upland districts at the head of the Monmouthshire valleys were developing their coal and iron resources, whose natural outlet was Newport.
With Thomas Powell, Powell leased the coal under Plas Bedwellty in 1823, from John Hodder Moggridge. This area was to the west, on the Glamorgan side of the Rhymney Valley. As was the case for the unscrupulous Powell, Prothero trespassed in mining under the Tredegar estate, in his case from the Woodfield colliery. Powell and Prothero were involved together in a long series of deals in partnership, in which shares in pits often changed hands. In the 1830s Prothero was one of a small group trying to achieve a local cartel or “coal ring”, the precise details differing in sources. According to one source, in 1837, with Powell and Joseph Latch, he helped set up the Newport Coal Company, an attempt to control coal prices in Monmouthshire. In another, it was in 1833 (Newport Coal Association), with John Latch.
Woodfield Colliery and Place Level Colliery included in a1842 report for the Children’s Employment Commission by Robert Hugh Franks, detailing evidence of the use of child labour.
Thomas lived at ‘The Friars’ and the moved to ‘Malpas Court’. It remained in the possession of his family. He was high sheriff of the county in 1846. In London on the 24 April 1853, age 73 he died. Married twice. Two of his grandsons, Sir GEORGE WALTER PROTHERO (1848 – 1922), historian, and ROWLAND EDMUND PROTHERO, baron Ernle (1851 – 1937).