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John Prime

circa 1590s - 1657

John Prime's signature as witness to his neighbour Francis Dawes' will in 1646
John's signature as witness to his neighbour Francis Dawes' will in 1646. His wife Dorothy was also a witness.

Wife Dorothy Senior
Children John, Willam, Edward

John was probably born in the 1590s somewhere to the west of Derby, possibly Weston Underwood (1). The identity of his parents is not known.

He married Dorothy Senior in Darley on 26th June 1614(2) and they settled (perhaps not immediately) in Weston Underwood. They had at least 3 sons - John sometime around 1617, William probably in the 1620s(3) and Edward in about 1632 (4), and even though John was only a husbandman(5) he was able to pay for his son Edward to go to Repton School and then Cambridge University(4).

John died in 1657, and was survived by his wife(5).

Brief details of his children:


  1. No record of John has been found prior to his marriage. However he was living in Weston Underwood from at least the time of his son Edwards birth until his own death, and the Prime surname appears to be clustered around the west of Derby, including Weston Underwood, in the 16th century. His date of birth is simply estimated from the date of his marriage.
  2. Parish Register of St Helen, Darley includes the entry:
    [1614] John Pryme and Dorowthie Senior were marryed the 29 day of June
  3. See his son John's page. William's date of birth is simply estimated based on the date's of his children's baptisms.
  4. A short biography of Edward has appeared in a number of books concerning non-conformist ministers in the 17th century. Many of these appear to have copied the details from each other, but with errors and disagreements being introduced amongst them (for example his place of birth being described as either Weston (Underwood), Weston-on-Trent or Wheston, and he being educated at either Chesterfield or Repton). The earliest of these, written about 5 years after his death, appears to be "An Account of the Ministers, Lecturers, Masters and Fellows of Colleges and Schoolmasters who were Ejected or Silenced after the Restoration in 1660" by Edward Calamy, published 1713. See also "Freedom after Ejection - a review (1690-1692) of Presbyterian and congregational nonconformity in England & Wales" by Alexander Gordon, published 1917; "History of Upper Chapel Sheffield" by J.E. Manning, published 1900, or "Biographical register of Christ's college, 1505-1905" by John Piele, published 1910 amongst many others. The online database of Cambridge Alumni at http://venn.lib.cam.ac.uk/Documents/acad/intro.html includes the entry :
    Edward PRIME
    Adm. sizar (age 17) at CHRIST'S, 01 Jun., 1649.
    S. of John. B. at Weston, Derbyshire .
    Schools, Repton [ Derbyshire ] and Chesterfield [ Derbyshire ].
    Matric. 1649 .
    Minister at Baslow, Derbyshire , and afterwards assistant minister at Sheffield [ West Riding of Yorkshire ], 1656 ; silenced, 1662 .
    Preacher in the neighbourhood for many years.
    Married Rosamund Boote, of Chesterfield, Derbyshire , 1653 .
    Died 26 Apr., 1708; buried at Sheffield [ West Riding of Yorkshire ].
    ( Calamy, II. 574; Peile, I. 527.)
  5. Will of John Prime (PCC) reads:
    John Pryme of Weston
    Underwood in the parish of Muginton & Countie of
    Darbie husbandman being in perfect mind & memorie
    but deseased in his bodie mindeing to settle & dispose of
    his estate did make [offer] and declare his Last will & Testamt
    by word of mouth. To the effect and purpose following upon or
    about the Ninth daie of June in the year of our Lord One
    Thousand Six Hundred fiftie seaven. He gave and bequeathed
    unto Dorothie his wife  All the estate he had  & appointed her to
    be his Executrix in the presence of us whose names are published
    Matthew Pryme his mark, Edward Pryme, Marie Pryme
    Anne Pryme
    The sixth Daie of August in The
    yeare One Thousand Six Hundred Fiftie Seaven
    This will was proved at London Before the Judges for Probat of
    Wills and granting Administracons By the oath of Dorothie yt relict &
    Executrix as also of ye witness afornamed [.....] To who was granted Admn of the goods
    Chattes & debts of the sd dec. She the said Dorothie beinge by [Comiss]
    first sworne trulie to Adminst the same