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Peter Duncan Esquire

Well-known figure and much respected by a large circle of friends, he was a substantial merchant in Dundee with extensive business in Manchester.

Subscription value in 1865:

£100

Relative to inflation up to 2018:

£10000

Relative to income compared to 2018:

£80000

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Personal details and history

Full name

Peter Duncan

Date of birth

14-06-1798[1]

Place of birth

Dundee[1]

Gender

Male

Marital status

Single[2]

Name of spouse

Children

Home address

Burnhead, Seagate, Dundee, c.1824-1830.[3]
Terrace, north side of Nethergate, Dundee, c.1834.[4]
Small's Wynd, Dundee, c.1837-1843.[5]
Terrace, Perth Road/west end of Nethergate, Dundee, c.1844-1847.[6]
The Hermitage, Queen Street, Broughty Ferry, c.1850-1872.[7]

Age at death:

73[8]

Place of death:

The Hermitage, Broughty Ferry[8]

Date of death:

30-03-1872[8]

Buried:

not known

Affiliations, clubs, offices and related subscribers

Religious affiliation

Unknown

Political affiliation

Unknown

Clubs / societies

Member, Guildry Incorporation of Dundee, 1823-1872.[9] Harbour trustee for the Guildry Incorporation, 1834.[10] Director, Dundee Sea Insurance Co., 1850.[11] Ordinary director, Forfarshire and Perthshire Fire Insurance Co., c.1853-1857.[12] Director, Dundee Chamber of Commerce, 1856-1859,[13] serving as president in 1857.[14] Member of Dundee board of directors, Northern Assurance Co. united with Forfarshire and Perthshire Fire Insurance Co., c.1859-1872. Director, Dundee Gas Light Co., c.1861-1868.[15] Member of Exchange Coffee Room committee, c.1864-1865.[16] Ordinary director, Dundee Eye Institution, 1861-1872.[17] Elected member. Local Marine Board, 1869-1872.[18] Shareholder, Ward Chapel, Dundee.[19] Shareholder, Trades Lane Calendering Co., Dundee.[19] Shareholder, Dundee, Perth & London Shipping Co., Dundee.[19]

Public offices

Police Commissioner, c.1829-1830.[20] Justice of the Peace for the Dundee district, c.1858-1872.[21]

Related subscribers

Subscriber no.41 – Dr. Cocks – was an executor of Peter Duncan’s will.

Subscriber no.177 – David Pitcairn – Peter Duncan was an executor of Pitcairn’s will.

 

Career and worklife

Occupation

Linen merchant[22]

Employment

Owner

Place of work

Cowgate

Work address

10 Peter Street, Dundee, c.1829-1850.[23]
8 Cowgate, Dundee, c.1853-1868.[24]
12 Cowgate, Dundee, c.1869-1872.[25]

Career to date:

Peter Duncan was the son of James Duncan, linen manufacturer and Jean Watt.[26] He spent a short period of time as a sugar refiner in the Seagate, Dundee,[27] but as a young man he also worked in the flax trade in Germany and Russia before becoming a linen merchant in Dundee. He had a branch in Manchester "doing a considerable business in England."[28] Peter was a long-term member of the Guildry Incorporation of Dundee and also served as a police commissioner for the second ward of Dundee July 1829 until July 1830.[29] Peter did not marry, but shared his home in Small's Wynd with eight relations who were probably three sisters (of independent means), four nieces and a nephew[30] and when he moved to The Hermitage in Broughty Ferry his household continued to be home to two sisters and two nieces, all annuitants.[31] Later he was living with one sister as his housekeeper and three nieces all in their forties.[32] It is possible that Peter's nephew, James Duncan Young, merchant, High Broughton, Manchester was involved in the English side of the business.[33]

More information

Peter died in 1872 and was a “well known figure on the market, and was much respected by a large circle of friends.”[34] He left a substantial estate of £56,571 7s. 11d., most of which was divided among his various nieces and nephews, the sons and daughters of the late James Young, merchant in Glasgow and the late John Duncan, merchant in Manchester. His nieces Isabella Young, Christina Burney Young and Margaret Young were left the liferent use of the Hermitage along with all the contents. He took care to specify that this included his spirits, liquors and the contents of his wine cellar. His various stocks and shares were mainly in Scottish, English and Canadian railway companies and banking and insurance both in the UK and the colonies. The monies owed to his considerable business in Manchester were also itemised. The values of his estate in England and Scotland were almost identical. Interestingly, by 1872 his ten £10 shares in the Albert Institute Co. were deemed to be of no value at all.[35]

Sources

  1. Old Parish Records. Dundee. Birth and baptism. 14 June 1798 and 20 June 1798. 282/80 258. Ancestry website.
  2. Statutory Registers. Monifieth. Death. 30 March 1872. 310/45. ScotlandsPeople website.
  3. Dundee Directories, 1824-1830. Local Studies, Central Library, Dundee.
  4. Dundee Directory, 1834. Local Studies, Central Library, Dundee.
  5. Dundee Directories, 1837-1843. Local Studies, Central Library, Dundee.
  6. Dundee Directories, 1844-1847. Local Studies, Central Library, Dundee.
  7. Dundee Directories, 1850-1872. Local Studies, Central Library, Dundee.
  8. Statutory Registers. Monifieth. Death. 30 March 1872. 310/45. ScotlandsPeople website.
  9. Guildry index cards. Local Studies, Central Library, Dundee.
  10. Dundee Directory, 1834. Local Studies, Central Library, Dundee.
  11. Dundee Directory, 1850. Local Studies, Central Library, Dundee.
  12. Dundee Directories, 1853-1859. Local Studies, Central Library, Dundee.
  13. Dundee Directories, 1856-1859. Local Studies, Central Library, Dundee.
  14. Dundee Chamber of Commerce Centenary Souvenir 1936. Local Studies, Central Library, Dundee.
  15. Dundee Directories, 1861-1868. Local Studies, Central Library, Dundee.
  16. Dundee Directory, 1864-65. Local Studies, Central Library, Dundee.
  17. Dundee Directories, 1861-1872 Local Studies, Central Library, Dundee.
  18. Dundee Directories, 1869-1872 Local Studies, Central Library, Dundee.
  19. Testamentary Records. Wills and Testaments. Dundee. 5 June 1872. SC45/31/23 and 30 August 1872. SC45/31/24. ScotlandsPeople website.
  20. Dundee Directory, 1829-30. Local Studies, Central Library and Dundee and Dundee Police Board/Commission. Minute Book, 1824-1832. Dundee City Archives.
  21. Dundee Directories, 1858-1872. Local Studies, Central Library, Dundee.
  22. 1861 Census Scotland. Monifieth. 310 ED5 p.15. Ancestry website.
  23. Dundee Directories, 1829-1850. Local Studies, Central Library, Dundee.
  24. Dundee Directories, 1853-1868. Local Studies, Central Library, Dundee.
  25. Dundee Directories, 1869-1872. Local Studies, Central Library, Dundee.
  26. Statutory Registers. Monifieth. Death. 30 March 1872. 310/45. ScotlandsPeople website.
  27. Dundee Directory, 1824-25. Local Studies, Central Library, Dundee.
  28. Dundee Chamber of Commerce Centenary Souvenir 1936. Local Studies, Central Library, Dundee.
  29. Dundee and Dundee Police Board/Commission. Minute Book, 1824-1832. Dundee City Archives.
  30. 1841 Census Scotland. Dundee. 282 ED115 p.22. Ancestry website.
  31. 1851 Census Scotland. Monifieth. 310 ED3 p.14. Ancestry website.
  32. 1861 Census Scotland. Monifieth. 310 ED5 p.15. Ancestry website.
  33. Statutory Registers. Monifieth. Death. 30 March 1872. 310/45. ScotlandsPeople website.
  34. Dundee Chamber of Commerce Centenary Souvenir 1936. Local Studies, Central Library, Dundee.
  35. Testamentary Records. Wills and Testaments. Dundee. 5 June 1872. SC45/31/23 and 30 August 1872. SC45/31/24. ScotlandsPeople website.

Credits

Thanks to the ever-helpful staffs of Local Studies, Central Library, Dundee; Dundee City Archives; Local & Family History, A K Bell Library, Perth and Perth & Kinross Archives.

The information above about Peter Duncan has been collated from a range of digital and hard copy sources. To the best of our knowledge it is correct but if you are relying on any information from our website for the purpose of your own research we would advise you to follow up the sources to your own satisfaction. If you are aware of an inaccuracy in our text please do not hesitate to notify us through our Contact page.