I am having great difficulties with my email, so I am posting a transcript of my reasearch results here. As my research was officaily undertaken by The College of Arms in England, and I have the original letter with the results, I believe this to be the offical answer to any questions regarding the Prouty Coat of Arms or family crest. I have recieved a few requests for my information and also regarding my family line, I will respond to those questions when I get my email working again. Thanks, Arvid
This is a transcription of a letter dated 14th November 1991. from, Mr. T Woodcock; Somerset Herald, of The College of Arms, Queen Victoria Street, LondonEC4V4BTEngland.
* indicates a manual correction to the typed letter, but I find the correction to be illegible.
Dear Mrs. Prouty
I am writing at the request of your son, Arvid B. Prouty, who visited the College of Arms recently and asked me to make a search to see whether any arms are registered here for families of your name.
I must at once report that no coats of arms are registered here for families named Prouty. Your son mentioned two coats of arms. The first which is blazon* quarterly Sable and Argent a bend Or is attributed in unofficial printed sources such as William Berry’s Encyclopaedia of Heraldry published in 1828 to a family of Prowze of Fosco*in the County of Somerset. I have not found any entryof this coat of arms in the College’s official records for such a family and in medieval rolls of arms it is attributed to a family named de Hoo.
The other coat of arms to which your son referred was Azure a lion passant quadrant between two roses in pale Argent. This is attributed in Burke’s General Armory, an unofficial printed source first published in 1842, to William Prout (not Prouty) MDFRS ofSackville Street, St James’s which is in the West End of London. There is an entry for this William Proutin the Dictionary of National Biography. He was born in 1785 and the Gentleman’s Magazine for part 2 page 442 records his death on 9th April 1850 aged 64. The arms first appear attributed to him in Berry’s Encyclopaedia of Heraldry. There is however, no entry in the College’s official records and it would seem that he assumed these arms himself unofficially.
Between 1530 and 1689 the heralds went round the counties of England and Wales approximately every thirty years recording arms and pedigrees of families of gentry resident in each county. This system was known as the Heralds Visitations. A search of these Visitation records has not produced any pedigree of a family named Prouty. Since 1673 the College has the complete text of every grant of arms. These are recorded in over one hundred and fifty volumes each containing between one and two hundred grants. No grant has been made to anyone named Prouty. Before 1673 the College relies on the notebooks of the Kings of Arms and Heralds which record over ten thousand further grants. Again, none of them are to anyone called Prouty. Between approximately 1550 and 1700 heralds organised funerals. There are no Prouty funerals. Since the end of the Heralds Visitation system it has been for the families to come to the College of Arms to registered their pedigrees. Over twenty thousand have not been recorded, but again there are no entries for Prouty.
Your son mentioned that the pedigree can be traced back to Richard Prouty who was baptised in Rodmarton in Gloucestershire on 30th September 1652. Many parish registers have been printed out but unfortunately if the Rodmarton parish resister has been printed there is not a copy at the College of Arms. The register apparently survives from 1605 and there are some entries from it recorded on the Mormon International genealogical Index of Baptisms and Marriages. What is interesting about these entries which are arranged on a county basis is that there are no entries in Gloucestershire of Prouty but there are some of Proute. For instance, Richard son of William Proute was baptised on 22nd April 1621 at Rodmarton and Richard Prowt married Elizabeth Guest at Rodmarton on 1st August 1647.
If you wished to pursue the matter I think that the first stage would be to have an abstract made of all entries of any obvious variants of your surname made from the baptismal marriage and burial registers of Rodmarton. It may be that the surname is indistinguishable from Prout but at some stage your husband’s ancestors started spelling the surname Prouty. Standardisation of spellings of surnames did not occur until about 1800 and before that date it is quite possible to find one man’s name spelt in more than one way in a single document.
If you would like further genealogical research done and in particular a complete abstract made of all entries of Prouty/Prout or any other obvious variants from the registers of Rodmarton from the beginning to 1660 I consider that £120 worth of work should need to be done and if you would like to let me have a banker’s draft for that amount or a cheque for a dollar equivalent made payable to the College of Arms, I should be very pleased to have this work done locally in Gloucestershire and then send you a report on the findings.
The result of the search which I have undertaken is that both the coats of arms supplied to your son do not relate to families named Prouty and as far as they are connected to families with a reasonably similar surname they are unofficial.