[Life, by R. A. Douglas Lithgow, 1880 (with portrait); Procter's Byegone Manchester, 1880 (with portrait by W. Morton, taken in 1852), and Literary Reminiscences, 1860 (with woodcut of the same portrait); Axon's Cheshire Gleanings, 1884; Evans's Lancashire Authors, 1850; Manchester Weekly Times, Supplement, 7 Jan. 1871 (article by J. Dawson); Ben Brierley's Journal, 1871; Manchester Guardian, 26 May, 2 June, 21 July 1841.]
PRINCE, JOHN HENRY (fl. 1818), author, born on 21 May 1770 in the parish of St. Mary, Whitechapel, was son of George Prince, originally of Dursley, Gloucestershire, by his wife, Dorothy Dixon. He was educated in the charity school of St. Mary's, Whitechapel; he started life as errand boy to a tallow-chandler, and eventually, about 1790, became clerk to an attorney in Carey Street, Lincoln's Inn. Dismissed after three years' service, he entered another office, and a year later became secretary to a retired solicitor, who gave him access to an excellent library. His weekly salary was only half a guinea, but he deemed it sufficient to maintain a wife, and was married on 29 May 1794. One child, a daughter, was the fruit of this union. From 1796, when an essay from his pen ‘On Detraction and Calumny’ appeared in the ‘Lady's Magazine,’ he began to turn out articles and pamphlets on the most varied subjects. He left his patron in 1797, and served with several firms of solicitors. Besides his literary and legal work, he found time to act for a while as minister of Bethesda Chapel—a methodist congregation—and was prominent in debating societies, such as the London and Westminster Forums. A religious organisation of his own, of a methodistical type, had a short-lived existence.
In 1813 he was living at Islington (Gent. Mag. 1813, ii. 18), and in 1818 he published a small legal treatise on conveyancing. The date of his death is unknown.
He wrote, besides ephemeral tracts including three letters (1801–2) attacking Joseph Proud [q. v.]: 1. ‘A Defence of the People denominated Methodists,’ London, 1797, 8vo. 2. ‘Original Letters and Essays on moral and entertaining Subjects,’ 1797, 8vo. 3. ‘Observations on the Act for Incorporating the London Company, including Remarks on the Dearness of Bread, and on Monopoly, Forestalling, and Regrating,’ 4th edit. 1802, 8vo. 4. ‘The Christian's Duty to God and the Constitution at all Times, but especially at this critical Juncture,’ 1804, 8vo, 3rd edit. 5. ‘Remarks on the best Method of barring Dower,’ 1805, 8vo (republished, with additions, 1807). 6. ‘The Life, Pedestrian Excursions, and singular opinions of J. H. P., Bookseller … Written by himself,’ 1806, 8vo. 7. ‘Original Precedents in Conveyancing, with Notes and Directions for drawing or settling Conveyances,’ 1818, 8vo.
[Autobiography, No. 6 above, and other works; Brit. Mus. Cat.]
PRING, MARTIN (1580–1626?), sea captain, son of John Pring of Awliscombe, Devonshire, was, in 1603, captain of the Speedwell, a vessel of fifty tons burden, which, together with a small barque named the Discoverer, was fitted out by some Bristol merchants, and in great part by John Whiston, the mayor, for a voyage to North Virginia, under license from Sir Walter Ralegh. They sailed from Milford Haven on 10 April, and, passing by the Azores, came among a great number of small islands—apparently in Casco Bay—and through them to the mainland in lat. 43° 30′ N. Then, turning to the southward along the coast, treating with the Indians, they came into ‘that great gulf’ which Bartholomew Gosnold [q. v.] had ‘over-shot’ the year before, and named it Whiston Bay. It is now known as Cape Cod Bay. Here they filled up with sassafras, and, carrying away also a bark canoe—the first, it would seem, taken to England—they arrived at Bristol on 2 Oct., where they reported the land they had visited to be ‘full of God's good blessings,’ and the sea ‘replenished with great abundance of excellent fish’ (Purchas, iv. 1654–6). In March 1604 Pring sailed from Woolwich as master of the Olive Plant, otherwise called the Phœnix, with Captain Charles Leigh [q. v.], on a voyage to Guiana, and arrived on 22 May in the Wyapoco (now Oyapok), where Leigh proposed to form a settlement. His men, however, revolted against the hard fare and the labour of felling the trees, and, led on by Pring, insisted on returning home. Eventually they agreed to stay, but Pring was sent on board a Dutch ship in the river, which carried him to England (ib. iv. 1253, 1260). In October 1606 he went out to Virginia in an expedition fitted out by Sir John Popham [q. v.], and ‘brought back with him,’ wrote Sir Ferdinando Gorges, ‘the most exact discovery of that coast that ever came to my hands since, and indeed he was the best able to perform it of any I met withal, to this present’ (The Advancement of Plantations, &c., p. 6).
It appears probable that in 1608 Pring entered the service of the East India Company. In January 1613–4 he was master of the company's ship New Year's Gift, and on the 17th