Methodist Personalities P...


Proctor, William, PM LP 1832-1917
William ProctorBorn 1832; in 1881 census living at 29 Castle Street, Douglas - shoemaker employing 7 people. Curry gives following biography:
Another Manksman who must be included as one of the makers of Primitive Methodism on the Island is William Proctor. As a boy he attended Wellington Street, Sunday School, and continued to do so into his teens where he found his companions, one of whom was Murry Wilson. At the age of seventeen he removed to Liverpool, where, through his associates; he wandered into the barren desert of free thought with such guides as Voltaire, Thomas Cooper, and Tom Payne. Returning to the Island, he settled down in life and married a good woman, a Primitive Methodist. Evan Shimmin had also just married. and he and William Proctor agreed to take one house between them. This was the means of bringing the young men together a good deal. Mr. Shimmin was a loyal Primitive Methodist and a good man. So that the Free Thinker, coming into daily contact with earnest upright Christians, convinced him when no arguments could that there was reality in religion. Mr. Proctor began to think differently.. He considered, however, that Primitive Methodism was not sufficiently intelligent for him, so he sought out a Mr. W C. Stallibrass, a chaplain, whose father had been a missionary in Siberia, where he was born. Mr. Stallibrass established a church in Athol Street, where Mr. Proctor often heard him. One night, after the sermon, Mr. Proctor accepted the invitation, and met the preacher in his vestry, and there, after some conversation, surrendered to Christ. After yielding himself utterly to the Christ, truth found its true perspective, and God's people appeared in a new light. The Primitive Methodists were just the people he could work among. He accordingly joined Wellington Street and found his first work in the Sunday school. Soon after he was asked by Mr. Hill, the superintendent minister, to came on the preachers' plan. He complied, and accompanied Mr. James Quiggin to his appointments until in 1854 he came on the full plan, Mr. Proctor went all over the Island preaching the Word of Life, walking as much as thirty miles ire one day, and preaching two or three times. Besides, he has filled all the offices of his own church at Loch Parade, of which he was one of the founders. Especially has he taken a deep interest in the Sunday school. Mr Proctor is one of the most capable Sunday school superintendents it has been our pleasure to know. In this capacity there is just the right blending of strength and tenderness, to which the young so readily respond.

With Mr. Keig, Mr. Proctor has taken a leading part in the government of his town's affairs. He was a Town Commissioner for over twenty years, a strong debater and earnest advocate. He continued in the Council when the town became a borough, and has had the honour conferred upon him of being made Alderman and Mayor. The Governor has recently made him a Justice of the Peace for life.

Mr. Proctor has always been regarded as a strong and fearless man. No opposition could ever move him from a position which, from conviction, he took up. A great reader and hard thinker, with an equal facility of ready, forceful utterance, he has mace the impress of his strong personality on our Church. Although approaching four score years Mr. Proctor is still vigorous, and takes an active part in the affairs of his Church and town. See Memorial Notice




Any comments, errors or omissions gratefully received The Editor
© F.Coakley , 2001