Oil Portrait of Adam Proctor, date unknown.
Adam Proctor was a plumber in Edinburgh during the early 19th Century. He was born in Newton, a village just beyond the south east edge of the city, in 1797. His father was a carter. Adam married Elizabeth Roger in the centre of Edinburgh in 1828. He built a profitable plumbing business in the city, and died in 1869. Of his three surviving sons, I am descended from William, who became a Free Presbyterian minister in Dublin. Of the other sons John was a cartoonist in London, James went to Canada, and Thomas ran the plumbing business after his father's death.
1797 Adam Proctor, the son of Adam Proctor & Margaret Forrest was born 19 Dec 1797 at Millerhill, Newton, Midlothian. His father was a carter.
"Newton, a parish of North East Edinburghshire, containing the post-office village of Millerhill, with a station on the Waverley section of the North British railway, 2 miles North North West of the post-town Dalkeith, and 6¼ miles South East of Edinburgh. Since the Reformation it has comprehended the ancient parishes of Newton (to the South East) and Wymet or Woolmet (to the North West). Bounded South West and North West by Liberton, North East by Inveresk, and South East by Dalkeith."
1828 marries on 21 November 1828 in St Cuthbert's Parish Church, Edinburgh to Elizabeth Roger daughter of Thomas Roger & Janet Blair. There is no record of his father or mother going to Edinburgh, so one could conjecture that Adam went to Edinburgh when his parents died. At the time of his marriage he is a plumber living at Dean, Water of Leith
Winding its way through the heart of the city, the Water of Leith is one of Edinburgh's most attractive and important assets. In the 1800s it was the river which drove much of Edinburgh's early economy. Its flow powered 36 flour, paper and snuff mills, bringing great prosperity and, in turn, dictating where bridges were built and where magnificent riverside cityscapes like the Dean Village developed.
Dean Village (from dene, meaning 'deep valley') was known as the "Water of Leith Village" and was a successful grain milling hamlet for more than 800 years.In 1832, the four-arched Dean Bridge, designed by Thomas Telford and 106 feet above the water level, was built to carry the Queensferry Road over the Dean Gorge.
Later the port of Leith began to be very successful, and Dean Village's trade diminished. For many years, the village became associated with decay and poverty. Now the workers' cottages, warehouses and mill buildings have been restored and the area has once more become a desirable residential area. The Water of Leith has become a local amenity, with a waymarked trail, the Water of Leith Walkway, running from Balerno via Dean Village to Leith.
1841 census Adam Proctor. Age: 40, born: Midlothian, Scotland, living at 7 Windmill St, Edinburgh, Occupation: Plumber J(ourneyman), with his wife Elizabeth Proctor 30, and children Mary Proctor 11, John Proctor 5, Elizabeth Proctor 3, Thomas Proctor 5 Mo
1851 census Adam Procter, Age: 53. born: Newton, Midlothian. Living at 55 India Place, Edinburgh St Stephen. Occupation: Plumber employing 1 Man & 3 Apprentices. Living there with him are are wife: Eliza Procter 43, and family Mary Procter 21, John Procter 14, Elizabeth Procter 12, Thomas Procter 10, James Procter 7, William Procter 1. There is also a lodger, Philip E Dunsford, employed on the Bridge Survey. The copy of the census is particularly bad.
T Rodger & Sons of 97 George Street, Edinburgh only operated 1879 to 1881, which dates the photo.
As far as I can work out, this T Rodger is not related.
James H Proctor emigrated to Canada in 1882. John was living in London and William in Oban at this time.
1861 census Adam Proctor, age 63, a plumber and wife Eliza Proctor, age 53. Living at 7 Dean St, Edinburgh St Bernard with Mary Proctor 30, Thomas Proctor 20, James Proctor 17, William Proctor 11 . He is listed as a plumber employing 2 men and 2 boys. The house has 7 rooms
1869 died 19 January 1869 at 11 Dean Street, Edinburgh (death cert) . Age 71, a master plumber, son of Adam Proctor (deceased, carter) and Margaret Proctor (nee Forrest) . The death is reported by Thomas Roger Proctor, his son, of 7 St Fincent St. Adam Proctor died of carcinoma of the abdomen.
His will details land he owns, plus £200 of Scottish Fire Insurance Company Shares, plus his plumbers business at Church Lane, Edinburgh. Everything goes to his widow in her lifetime (she did not die until 1892). After her death his eldest daughter Mary gets the plumbers business (Mary died in 1888 so never got this as she pre-deceased her mother). His youngest daughter Elizabeth Proctor gets the £200 shares, his second son Thomas gets a complicated share in the plumbing business. Anything left is to be divided equally between all his children, viz: John Proctor, Thomas Proctor, James Proctor, William Proctor, Mary Proctor, Elizabeth. He gives an explanation that the three other sons got a better education, and that his will would ensure that in the end each child got an equal amount. Thomas was still a plumber in the 1901 census so the business lived on for some time.
St Cuthberts, Edinburgh
It would appear that Adam Proctors widow Elizabeth Roger, erected the memorial on his death, and also included her parents and brother and sister.
Adam Proctor b1797 on fan chart