Recorded in several spelling forms including Prose, Prouse, Prowse, Prus, Prewse and Prewett, this interesting surname is of medieval English origins. It is job descriptive for a valiant or redoubtable warrior, and was widely recorded, although never in great numbers, across the country from the very earliest times. The derivation is from the pre 10th century Old French "proz or prouz", and these words were almost certainly introduced into England in 1066, the year when Duke William of Normandy, invaded England, and seized the throne. Thereafter for nearly three hundred years, French was the "official" language of England, which helps to explain why so many French words are used in everyday English. The French surname "Preux" and its variants, has the same derivation, being a description for a much admired soldier. The development of the surname has included Adam Pruce of the county of Somerset in the year 1226, William le Prouz of Devonshire in 1275, Roger le Prus of Worcesterhsire, also in 1275, and William Prous of Oxford in 1279. George Prowse was one of the very first settlers in the new American colonies: He is recorded as living at "Hogg Island", Virginia in February 1623. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of Richard le Pruz, which was dated 1207, in the "Curia Rolls" of Hertford. This was during the reign of King John, known as "Lackland", 1199 - 1216. Throughout the centuries, surnames in every country have continued to "develop" often leading to astonishing variants of the original spelling.
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