John Izzard Pryor
John Izzard Pryor
John Izzard Pryor was born on 30 May 1774 the eldest son of John Pryor, a Baldock maltster and brewer of fairly ample means. The Pryor family, who became Quakers in the 1600s, were well established as maltsters in Baldock by the time John Izzard was born. His mother, Maria Marlborough Fitzjohn, was the widow of another Quaker maltster in Baldock, and when their marriage in 1770 brought more maltings to the Pryor family. John and Maria had four sons, John Izzard, Vikris, Thomas and Robert. Upon his father?s death in 1819, John Izzard took over management of the Baldock High Street brewery, and his brother Vickris took on the malting business. Thomas and Robert leased a brewery in Shoreditch, London and eventually became partners in Truman, Hanbury & Co.
John Izzard married Hannah Morris in 1798: they had three sons (John, Morris & Alfred) and two daughters (Elizabeth & Martha) . Hannah died in 1818 and the 46 year old John Izzard remarried two years later to 24 year old Louisa Bell. They had one son, Frederick, in 1822.
He purchased Clay Hall (now Walkern Hall) in 1827 from John Horsey Waddington, adding a south wing to the building and moving there in 1829 when he retired from managing the brewery which was leased to his sons John and Morris.
John Izzard began writing a diary in 1827, the year that he purchased Clay Hall. Upon his death aged 86 in 1861, there were 33 volumes, extracts of which can be read in the book A Chronicle of Small Beer by Gerald Curtis.
The Pryor Dynasty
Two sons predeceased their father: eldest son John died in 1852, and his youngest son ?darling? Frederick in 1860. At John Izzard?s death in 1861 the property came to his second son Morris. Morris?s whose only child, Louisa Mary, succeeded in 1871 and in the following year she married the Rev John George Cotton Browne, grandson of John, first lord Kilmaine.
John George Cotton Browne added considerably to the house, renamed it Walkern Hall, and dying in 1903, left it to his only remaining child, Georgina Isabella Cotton Browne. Miss Cotton Browne, who remained a spinster, is still remembered by older residents of Walkern. When she died in 1944 the estate went to her distant relative Norman Selwyn Pryor.
John Izzard is the great-great-great-great-uncle of current owner of Walkern Hall, David de Boinville through his mother, Hannah Pryor.