PROBUS (d. 948?), biographer of St. Patrick, is identified by Colgan with Coenechair, prelector or head master of the school of Slane in the county of Meath, famous as the place in which Dagobert, son of Sigebert, king of Austrasia in the seventh century, was educated. Probus's 'Life of St. Patrick,' which was the first life of the saint to be printed, was published anonymously in the edition of Bede's works brought out at Basle in 1563. It was afterwards republished by Colgan, with the author's name prefixed, and forms the fifth life in his collection. It is addressed to Paulinus, apparently Mael-Poíl (d. 920), abbot of Indedhnen, near Slane, who is described by the 'Four Masters' as 'bishop, anchorite and the best scribe in Leath Chuinn,' i.e.the north of Ireland. It may be regarded as a revised edition of the life by Muirchu Maccu Machcheni [q. v.] in the 'Book of Armagh,' but with the Roman mission added, of which there is no mention in Muirchu. This was apparently taken from Tirechan. Muirchu had attempted to combine the authentic narrative of the 'Confession' with the later legendary matter, but the contradiction between them was obvious. Probus, following in the same path, but with more literary skill, invented a double mission for St. Patrick — a first mission of thirty years, during which he laboured as a priest without success; and a second, when he returned as a bishop with a commission from Rome [see Patrick].
In 948 (Four Masters) or 950 (Ussher) Probus and the chief members of the community took refuge in the Round Tower of Slane from one of the Danish inroads. They carried with them their valuables, including especially the crozier and the bell of St. Erc the founder. The Danes, however, set fire to the building, and all perished.
[Vita S. Patricii, ed. R. P. E. Hogan, S.J. (Analecta Bollandiana), Præfatio, p. 15 : Colgan's Trias Thaumaturga ; Annals of the Four Masters ; Ussher's Works, iv. 378, vi. 373 ; Lanigan's Eccl. History, i. 82. iii. 371.]
PROBY, GRANVILLE LEVESON, third Earl of Carysfort (1781–1868), admiral, born in 1781, was third son of John Joshua Proby, first earl of Carysfort [q. v.] He entered the navy in March 1798 on board the Vanguard, with Captain (afterwards Sir) Edward Berry [q. v.], and Rear-admiral Sir Horatio Nelson. In her he was present at the battle of the Nile, and, following Berry to the Foudroyant, took part in the blockade of Malta, in the capture of the Généreux on 18 Feb. 1800, and of the Guillaume Tell on 31 March 1800. In 1801, still in the Foudroyant, then carrying the flag of Lord Keith, he was present at the operations on the coast of Egypt. He afterwards served in the frigates Santa Teresa and Resistance, and in 1803-4 in the Victory, the flagship of Nelson in the Mediterranean. On 24 Oct. 1804 he was promoted to be lieutenant of the Narcissus frigate, from which in the following May he was appointed to the Neptune, and in her took part in the battle of Trafalgar. On 16 Aug. 1806 he was promoted to the command of the Bergère sloop, and on 28 Nov. 1800 was posted to the Madras, of 54 guns. In 1807 he commanded the Juno frigate in the Mediterranean; in 1808-9 the Iris in the North Sea and Baltic; in 1813-14 the Laurel at the Cape of Good Hope; and in 1815-16 the Amelia in the Mediterranean. He had no further service afloat, but became in due course rear-admiral on 23 Nov. 1841, vice-admiral on 16 June 1851, and admiral on 9 July 1857. Proby succeeded as third earl on the death, on 11 June 1855, of his brother John, second earl of Carysfort. He died on 3 Nov. 1868. He married, in April 1818, Isabella, daughter of Hugh Howard, a younger son of the first Countess of Wicklow, and left issue.
[O'Byrne's Nav. Biogr. Dict.; Barkers Peerage; Times, 6 Nov. 1868; Navy Lists.]
PROBY, JOHN, first Baron Carysfort (1720–1772), born on 25 Nov. 1720, eldest son of John Proby of Elton Hall, Huntingdonshire, M.P., by his wife, the Hon. Jane Leveson-Gower, younger daughter of John, first baron Gower, was educated at Jesus College, Cambridge, where he graduated B.A. in 1741, and M.A. in 1742. At the general election in June 1747 Proby was returned to the House of Commons for Stamford, and on 23 Jan. 1752 was created Baron Carysfort of Carysfort in the county of Wicklow, in the peerage of Ireland. In May 1754 he was elected for Huntingdonshire, and he continued to represent that county until the dissolution in March 1768. He took his sent in the Irish House of Lords on 7 Oct. 1755 (Journals of the Irish House of Lords, iv. 18), and was subsequently admitted to the Irish privy council. He was one of the lords of the admiralty from April to July 1757. In 1758 he was chosen chairman of the two select committees appointed to inquire into 'the original standards of weights and measures in this kingdom, and to consider the laws relating thereto' (Journals of the House of Commons, xxviii. 107, 255, 327, 544 ; see Reports from Committees of the House of Commons, ii. 411-63), He was invested a knight of the Bath on 23 March 1761, and