The surname of PROCTOR was derived from the latin word 'Procurator' a name used of an attorney in a spiritual court, but also of other officials such as collectors of taxes and agents licensed to collect alms on behalf of lepers and enclosed orders of monks. The name was taken to Scotland by settlers. Early records of the name mention Thomas le Procurator, County Lincolnshire in 1273. Willelmus Proktour of Yorkshire, was listed in the Yorkshire Poll Tax of 1379. Gavin Proctor became apprentice in the smithy of the abbey in Angus in 1474. Edward Proctor and Effe Shute were married in London in the year 1579. Ann Procter was baptised at St. James, Clerkenwell, London in the year 1625. James Proctor is recorded in Easter-Whiewreath in the year of 1688. The bulk of European surnames in countries such as England and France were formed in the 13th and 14th centuries. The process started earlier and continued in some places into the 19th century, but the norm is that in the 11th century people did not have surnames, whereas by the 15th century they did. The name has many variant spellings which include Prockter, Procktor and Procter. Surnames as we know them today were first assumed in Europe from the 11th to the 15th century. They were not in used in England or in Scotland, before the Norman Conquest, and were first found in Europe in the Domesday Book of 1086. The employment in the use of a second name was a custom that was first introduced from the Normans. They themselves had not long before adopted them. It became, in course of time, a mark of gentler blood, and was deemed a disgrace for a gentleman to have but one single name, as the meaner sort had. It was not until the reign of Edward II (1307-1327) it became general practice amongst all people. A notable member of the name was Richard Anthony Proctor (1837-88) the English astronomer, born in Chelsea. A graduate of St. John's College, Cambridge, he devoted himself from 1863 to astronomy. His name is associated with the determination of Mars. He founded a popular scientific magazine 'Knowledge' (1881). The associated coat of arms is recorded in Sir Bernard Burkes General Armory. Ulster King of Arms in 1884. Registered at Thorpe-upon-the-Hill and Springfield House, County York.
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