1893), niece of Colonel Thomson of Aikenshaw, Toronto. He died when residing with his married daughter at Wimbish Vicarage, Saffron Walden, Essex, on 7 Dec. 1894.
To Prout is due the credit of teaching a practical lesson in scientific farming by his thirty-three years' successful cultivation of Blount's farm, and his experience has been of great value to agriculturists in this and other countries. His system was based on his Canadian experience and his study of Sir John Lawes's experimental plots at Rothamstead. He demonstrated that successive crops of cereals could be raised on heavy clay-land if drained well and deeply ploughed, and dressed with properly prepared chemical manures.
In 1881 he published a report of his methods, entitled 'Profitable Clay Farming under a just System of Tenant Right;' this was translated into French and German.
[Cable, August 1893, p. 313, with portrait; Times. 11 Dec. 1894; Field, 15 Dec. 1894; Agricultural Gazette, 10 Dec. 1894; Herts Essex Observer, 15 Dec. 1894; information kindly supplied by his son, W. A. Prout.]
PROUT, JOHN SKINNER (1806–1876), watercolour painter, the nephew of Samuel Prout [q. v.], was born at Plymouth in 1806. He was chiefly self-taught. In 1838 he published 'Antiquities of Chester' and 'Castles and Abbeys of Monmouthshire.' After some time spent in Australia he took up his residence in Bristol, and associated with a little coterie of Bristol artists, which comprised Samuel Jackson. William James Muller, James Baker Pyne, H. Brittan Willis, George and Alfred Fripp, and other. Some of his Bristol drawings were republished in 1893 with letterpress description, under the title, 'Picturesque Antiquities of Bristol.' Prout afterwards came to London, and became a member of the Institute of Painters in Watercolours, and a constant contributor to their exhibitions. He died in London on 29 Aug. 1876. There are several of his drawings at the South Kensington Museum.
Bryan's Dict. (Graves and Armstrong); Roget's 'Old Watercolour' Society; Cat. of Watercolours in South Kensington Museum.]
PROUT, SAMUEL (1783–1852), watercolour painter, was born at Plymouth on 17 Sept. 1783. When about four or five years old he had a sunstroke, which had lasting consequences on his health. Always subject to violent pains in the head, he never passed a week without being confined to his room or bed for one or two days, 'till after thirty years of marriage.' At his first school, and afterwards at Plymouth grammar school, then under the Rev. J. Bidlake, he found masters who encouraged his early proclivities to art, and at the latter he formed acquaintance with Benjamin Robert Haydon [q. v.], two years his junior, with whom he witnessed the wreck of the Button, a large East Indiaman, which was cast ashore under the citadel on 26 Jan. 1796. Both boys were greatly impressed by the scene, and made it the subject of their first pictures; and the effect on Prout is to be traced in his drawings for a great many years, e.g. 'Wreck of an Indiaman in Plymouth Sound' (1811); 'A Man-of-war ashore' (1821); 'An Indiaman dismasted' (1824). When in the reading-room kept by Haydon's father, he became acquainted with John Britton, then in want of drawings to illustrate his 'Beauties of England and Wales.' Britton took him for a walking tour in Cornwall; but the result was failure, as his sketches were not good enough to engrave. They parted good friends, and Prout took lessons in perspective, and worked so sedulously that a portfolio of drawings which he sent to Britton in 1802 secured him attention. He then went to London, and in 1803 he exhibited, at the Royal Academy, a drawing of 'Bennet's Cottage on the Tamar.' His adress is given in the 'Catalogue' as 10 Water Street, Bridewell Precinct; but the next year it is changed to 21 Wilderness Row, Goswell Street, where he lived with Britton for about two years, and was employed in making copies of drawings by Cozens, Turner, Girtin, and others of the best draughtsmen. During this time he also made drawings in Cambridgeshire, Essex, and Wiltshire, some of which were engraved in 'Beauties of England and Wales' and others in 'Architectural Antiquities,' and in 1804 he formed an intimacy with David Cox (1783-1859) [q. v.] He exhibited scenes in Cornwal, Devonshire, Somerset, and Wiltshire in 1804 and 1805; but in the latter year he was obliged to return to Devonshire on account of ill-health. He still contributed to the 'Beauties and other topographical works, and sold his drawings through Palser of Westminster Bridge Road. Palser paid him 5s. a drawing, and he sold others at prices varying from 3s. a piece to 5l. a dozen. He did not exhibit again till 1808, when be was residing at 35 Poland Street. In this and the two following years he sent four drawings in Devonshire and Cornwall to the Royal Academy. In 1810 he became a member of the Associated Artists (or Painters) in Water-colour, and in 1811, and for many years afterwards, his address was 4 Brixton