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PROCTER, RICHARD WRIGHT (1816–1881), author, son of Thomas Procter, was born of poor parents in Paradise Vale, Salford, Lancashire, on 19 Dec. 1816. When very young he bought books and sent poetical contributions to the local press. In due time he set up in business for himself as a barber—the trade to which he had been apprenticed—in Long-Millgate, Manchester. Part of the shop was used by him for a cheap circulating library. In this dismal city street he remained to the end of his days. When his shyness was overcome, he was found to be, like his books, full of geniality, curious information, and gentle humour. In 1842 he was associated with Bamford, Prince, Rogerson, and other local poets in some interesting meetings held at an inn, afterwards styled the 'Poet's Corner,' and he contributed to a volume of verse entitled 'Festive Wreath,' which was an outcome of these gatherings. He also had some pieces in the 'City Muse,' edited by William Reid, 1853. He died at 133 Long-Millgate, Manchester, on 11 Sept. 1881, and was buried at St. Luke's, Cheetham Hill. He married, in 1840, Eliza Waddington, who predeceased him, and left five sons.

He published:

  1. 'Gems of Thought and Flowers of Fancy,' 1855, 12mo; a volume of poetical selections, of which the first and last pieces are by himself.
  2. 'The Barber's Shop, with illustrations by William Morton,' 1856, 8vo; containing admirably written sketches of the odd characters he met. A second edition incorporated much lore relating to hairdressing and to notable barbers, published, with a memoir by W. E. A. Axon, 1883.
  3. 'Literary Reminiscences and Gleaning with Illustrations,' 1860, 8vo; devoted chiefly to Lancashire poets.
  4. 'Our Turf, our Stage, and our Ring,' 1862, 8vo; being historical sketches of racing and sporting life in Manchester.
  5. 'Manchester in Holiday Dress,' 1866, 8vo; notices of theatres and other amusements in Manchester, prior to 1810.
  6. 'Memorials of Manchester Streets,' 1874, 8vo and 4to.
  7. 'Memorials of Bygone Manchester, with Glimpses of the Environs,' 1880, 4to.

[Axon's Memoir, above mentioned; Palatine Note-Book, i. 166 (with portrait); Papers of the Manchester Literary Club (article by B. A. Redfern), 1884, p. 184; personal knowledge.]

C. W. S.

PROCTOR, JOHN (1521?–1584), divine and historian, a native of Somerset, was elected scholar of Corpus Christi, Oxford, in January 1536-7, and fellow of All Souls' in 1540, graduating B.A. on 20 Oct. 1540, and M.A. on 25 June 1544. He was a strong Roman catholic. From 1553 to 1559 he was master of the school of Tunbridge, Kent, where Francis Thynne was among his pupils. Under Elizabeth his religious views seem to have changed, and on 13 March 1578 he was presented to the rectory of St. Andrew, Holborn. He died in the autumn of 1584 (Newcourt, Repert. i. 275, and n.) His son Thomas is noticed separately.

Proctor wrote:

  1. 'The Fall of the late Arrian [Arian],' London, 1549, 8vo, dedicated to 'the most virtuous lady [i.e. Princess] Marie.'
  2. 'The Historie of Wyates Rebellion, with the order and manner of resisting the same … ,' London, 1554, black letter, 8vo, dedicated to Queen Mary (this is one of the authorities on which Holinshed bases this part of his history, and it is described by Hearne as 'a book of great authority').
  3. 'The Waie home to Christ and Truth leadinge from Antichrist and Errour,' 1556, dedicated to Queen Mary; reissued, without dedication, 1565; this is a translation of 'Vincentii Lirinensis Liber de Catholicæ fidei antiquitate.'

[Wood's Athenæ Oxon. i. 235, and Fasti, i. 111, 121, ii. 100; Tanner's Bibl. Brit.-Hib.; Lansd. MS. 980, f. 144; Foster's Alumni; Hearne's Collect., ed. Doble,iii. 88; Watt's Bibl. Brit.; Acts of the Privy Council, 1664-6; Strype's Ecel. Mem. III. i. 271; Hughes-Hughes's Register of Tunbridge School, p. 1.]

W. A. S.

PROCTOR, RICHARD ANTHONY (1837–1888), astronomer, was born in Chelsea on 23 March 1837, the fourth and youngest child of William Proctor, a solicitor in easy circumstances. His childhood, marked by frail health and studious tastes, had barely passed when the death of his father, in 1850, left the family burdened with a protracted lawsuit. Placed as clerk in the London and Joint Stock Bank in 1854, he was removed as soon as improved circumstances rendered a university education possible, and entered in 1855 the London University, and a year later St. John's College, Cambridge. Here he took a scholarship, read mathematics and theology, and sufficiently distinguished himself as an athlete to be captain of the college boating club. His mother's death during his second university year was quickly followed by his marriage to an Irish lady, whom he met when travelling with his sister. This event probably explained his comparative failure in his degree examination in 1860, when he disappointed expectation by obtaining only the twenty-third wranglership. He next read for the bar, but, after keeping some terms at the Temple, abandoned law for science, devoting himself in 1863 to the