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Probyn, Sir Edmundlocked

  • J. M. Rigg
  • , revised by Anne Pimlott Baker

Sir Edmund Probyn (1678–1742)

by John Faber junior

Probyn, Sir Edmund (1678–1742), judge, was born at Newland, in the Forest of Dean, Gloucestershire, and was baptized there on 16 July 1678. He was the elder of the two sons of William Probyn of Newland and his wife, Elizabeth, eldest daughter of Edmund Bond of Walford, Herefordshire, and widow of William Hopton of Huntley, Gloucestershire. He matriculated at Christ Church, Oxford, on 23 April 1695, entered the Middle Temple on 27 November 1695, and was called to the bar on 15 May 1702. In 1720 he married Elizabeth (d. 1749), daughter of Sir John Blencowe, justice of the common pleas. They had no children.

Probyn was appointed second justice of the Brecon, Glamorgan, and Radnor circuit in 1721, and became a serjeant-at-law on 27 January 1724. It was he who defended the lord chancellor, Thomas Parker, first earl of Macclesfield, when he was impeached for embezzling chancery funds, but despite his able defence, Macclesfield was found guilty and sent to the Tower until he paid his £30,000 fine. Probyn succeeded Sir Littleton Powys as judge of the king's bench on 3 November 1726, was knighted on 8 November, and succeeded Sir John Comyns as lord chief baron of the exchequer on 24 November 1740.

Probyn died on 17 May 1742, and was buried in Newland church. He left his estates in Gloucestershire to his nephew, John Hopkins, of Lincoln's Inn, provided that he took the name of Probyn.



  • NL Wales
  • NL Wales, accounts and memoranda


  • J. Faber junior, mezzotint, BM
  • J. Faber junior, mezzotint, second version, NPG [see illus.]
  • monument with bust, Newland church, Gloucestershire
J. Foster, ed., , 4 vols. (1887–8), later edn (1891); , 4 vols. (1891–2); 8 vol. repr. (1968) and (2000)
, Church of Jesus Christ of the Latterday Saints
J. H. Baker, ; SeldS, suppl. ser., 5 (1984)
Gentleman's Magazine
E. Foss, , 9 vols. (1848–64); repr. (1966)