Fonds 2005-057/001-004 - Pryor family fonds

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Pryor family fonds

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    • 1760-ca.1910s (Creation)
      Pryor (family)

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    Physical description

    • 26 cm of textual records
    • ca. 50 photographs

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    Biographical history

    The Pryor family of Halifax, can be compared to the Ritchies, Almons and Johnstons, prominent loyalist Nova Scotia families, to whom they were related. The Pryors enjoyed much commercial success and held important public offices in Nova Scotia. The progenitor of the Pryor family in Halifax was Edward Pryor, a New York merchant and United Empire Loyalist, who emigrated with his family to Halifax in 1783. Subsequent generations of the Pryor family included Edward Sr. (1746-1831), his son, Edward Jr. (1768-1855), and grandson, Edward the third (1800-1873). In the nineteenth century, The Pryor family owned all the lands fronting on the Northwest Arm from Quinpool Road to South Street and various lots along the waterfront in the "south suburbs”. Especially extensive were the properties acquired by Edward Jr., whose residence was known as the “Priory," located on the north side of Jubilee Road. It was destroyed by fire ca. 1870. Edward Jr.'s brother, William (1775-1859), founded the firm of William Pryor and Sons, which, at its height, carried on the largest mercantile business in Halifax, engaged in the West India trade. Edward the third, who had also engaged in commerce, died a wealthy man, with a house and lot on Hollis Street, a wharf, many stocks and shares, and many acres of land along the Shubenacadie Canal, the Eastern Shore, and in Colchester County.

    Custodial history

    Scope and content

    Fonds consists of textual records and graphic materials created and/or accumulated by four generations of the Pryor family of Halifax, beginning with progenitor Edward Pryor, to Oswald Pryor, a Halifax customs clerk in the late 19th century. The textual records consist mostly of early Pryor family real estate transactions, and estate papers concerning Edward Sr., his son, Edward Jr., and grandson, Edward the third. Most of the land transactions involve the family's acquisition of various lots in Halifax along the waterfront, the "south suburbs," and the North West Arm, especially those acquired by Edward Jr., a merchant and master carpenter. In addition to the textual materials there are approximately 50 glass negatives that are believed to have been the property of Oswald Pryor, son of Edward the third, who had a home in Bedford while he worked as customs clerk in Halifax. The photographer is unidentified and probably an amateur. The images appear to be dated from ca. 1890 to ca. 1910, and are mostly outdoor scenes in the Bedford and Halifax areas.

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    Physical condition

    Includes six b&w 7.5" x 5.5" and 46 b&w 4" X 5" glass negatives.

    Immediate source of acquisition

    Donated to Nova Scotia Archives by Judy Doyle in 2005, in memory of her husband Alexander Weeks Doyle.


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