Return to Subscriber listings and search...

Peter Miln Duncan Esquire

A successful coal merchant and shipowner, who had a substantial fleet of ships engaged in coal coasting and trading with the Baltic. A much-respected member of the Guildry Incorporation and the Nine Trades and long-serving Harbour Trustee.

Subscription value in 1863:

£10

Relative to inflation up to 2020:

£1000

Relative to income compared to 2020:

£8000

Click Image to Enlarge

Personal details and history

Full name

Peter Miln Duncan

Date of birth

28-11-1826[1]

Place of birth

Dundee[1]

Gender

Male

Marital status

Married[2]

Name of spouse

Euphemia Ireland in 1852[2]

Children

Euphemia R. (c.1854),[3][4][5] Elizabeth (c.1856),[3][4] James I. (c.1858),[3][4][5] Peter M. (c.1859),[3][4][5] Mary B. (c.1861),[3][4][5][6] Jane I. (c.1863),[4][5][6] Christina I. (c.1864)[4][5][6] and William K. (c.1865).[4][6] Survived by wife, 2 sons and 4 daughters

Home address

Meadow Entry, Dundee, c.1841.[7]
Hilltown / McKenzie's Land, Hilltown / 26 Hilltown, Dundee, c.1850-1857.[8]
Union Place, Perth Road, Dundee, c.1858-1859.[9]
1 Wellington Street, Dundee, c.1861-1865.[10][3]
1 Constitution Terrace, Dundee, c.1867-1893. (sometimes recorded as 2 Constitution Terrace)[11][4][5][6]

Age at death:

Place of death:

1 Constitution Terrace Dundee[12]

Date of death:

16-12-1893[12]

Buried:

Western Cemetery Dundee Lairs19b,c,d,h,j,k.[13]

Affiliations, clubs, offices and related subscribers

Religious affiliation

Unknown

Political affiliation

Unknown

Clubs / societies

Assessor, Guildry Incorporation, c.1864-1881;[14] Deacon, Bonnetmakers, c.1864-1865;[15] Committee, Dundee Mutual Marine Insurance Association, c.1864-1865;[15] Convener, Nine United Trades, c.1867-1868;[16] Commissioner, Dundee Shipping and Dundee Shipping Freight Insurance Association, c.1869-1870;[17] Committee Member, Pilotage of River Tay and Harbour of Dundee, c.1869-1870;[17] Commissioner, Union Steamship Mutual Insurance Association/Union Iron Steamship Mutual Insurance Association of Dundee, c.1874-1887;[18] Director, East Coast Salvage Co. Ltd., c.1884-1886;[19]

Public offices

Harbour Trustee (Nine Trades), c.1864-1870;[20] Harbour Trustee (Ratepayers),c.1874-1875;[21] Harbour Trustee (Guildry Incorporation), c.1884-1891;[22] Harbour Trustee (Nine Trades), c.1892-1893;[23] Dundee Gas Commissioner, c.1869-1877.[24]

Related subscribers

Career and worklife

Occupation

Coal Merchant and Shipowner[10]

Employment

Owner

Place of work

Coal merchant and shipping agent's office.

Work address

13 Dock Street, Dundee, c.1850-1868.[25]
27 Dock Street, Dundee, c.1869-1881.[24]
59 Dock Street, Dundee, c.1884-1893.[26]

Career to date:

Peter Miln Duncan was the son of James Duncan and Elizabeth Mill and was born in Dundee in 1826.[1] As a 14 year old he was living in Meadow Entry, Dundee with his mother and grandmother.[7] He served his apprenticeship as a clerk with John Brown, coal merchant and shipowner.[27] He married Euphemia Ireland in 1852.[2] She came from Ferry Port on Craig (Tayport).[28] On the retirement of his employer in 1853, Duncan took over the concern and under his control the business prospered.[27] P.M. Duncan first appeared in the local directories as a ship agent[29] before being listed as a shipowner[30] and then having the occupation of coal agent[31]/coal merchant[10] added. He built up a considerable fleet of sailing ships[27]: Isa (1856-1857), Judith (1856-1870), Liverpool (1856-1862), William Thrift (1856-1870), Vistula (1858-1862), William (1858-1870) and Britannia (1864-1870).[32] These ships were mainly involved in the coal coasting and Baltic trades.[27]

More information

In the early 1870s P.M. Duncan went into partnership with John A. Mitchell, coal merchant, 5 Craigie Terrace, Ferry Road, Dundee,[33] Duncan, Mitchell & Co. were owners of  the steamship Harvest Queen.[33] The partnership did not endure and by 1876 P.M. Duncan, steamship owner, had Harvest Queen, another steamship, Duncan, and the brigantine, Margaret Littlejohn, under his personal ownership.[34] By 1884 he had taken his son, James, into the business to form the firm of P.M. Duncan & Son. The firm became managers of the Dundee Gem Line Steam Shipping Co. Ltd., which had its office at Duncan’s premises at 59 Dock Street, Dundee. This was Duncan’s business converted into a limited liability company.[27] Peter Miln Duncan was one of the directors and James Duncan was the company secretary. The business was ably run by Duncan and his son, James.[27] A fleet of ships bearing appropriate names appeared in the directories under the ownership of P.M. Duncan: Diamond (1878), Emerald (1878), Sapphire (1878), Amethyst (1880), Garnet (1880), Jasper (1884), Opal (1884), Ruby (1884) and Beryl(1884).[35] Duncan spent 30 years as a harbour trustee and was the finance convener for much of the time, having the ability to understand the intricacies of the management of funds and the setting of budgets.[27]

Peter Miln Duncan died in Dundee on 16 December 1893, aged 67.[36] The firm of P.M. Duncan & Son continued and remained managers of the Dundee Gem Line Steam Shipping Co. Ltd., although James Duncan was no longer its secretary.[37] He was said to have been good natured and humorous with many stories of old Dundee. He was survived by his wife, two sons and four daughters.

 

Sources

  1. Old Parish Records. Dundee. Baptism. 28 November 1826. 282/160 321. ScotlandsPeople website.
  2. Old Parish Records. Dundee. Marriage. 7 June 1852. 282/230 412. ScotlandsPeople website.
  3. 1861 Census Scotland. Dundee First District. 282/1 ED24 p.21. Ancestry website.
  4. 1871 Census Scotland. St. Clement, Dundee. 282/3 ED17 p.20. Ancestry website.
  5. 1881 Census Scotland. St. Clement, Dundee. 282/3 ED16 p.13. Ancestry website.
  6. 1891 Census Scotland. St. Clement, Dundee. 282/3 ED11A p.43. Ancestry website.
  7. 1841 Census Scotland. Dundee. 282 ED107 p.3. Ancestry website.
  8. Dundee Directories, 1850-1857. Local Studies, Central Library, Dundee.
  9. Dundee Directory, 1858-59. Local Studies, Central Library, Dundee.
  10. Dundee Directories, 1861-1865. Local Studies, Central Library, Dundee.
  11. Dundee Directories, 1867-1893. Local Studies, Central Library, Dundee.
  12. Statutory Registers. St. Clement, Dundee. Death. 16 December 1893. 282/3 595. ScotlandsPeople website.
  13. Index to lair owners, Western Cemetery. Friends of Dundee City Archives website.
  14. Dundee Directories, 1864-1881. Local Studies, Central Library, Dundee.
  15. Dundee Directory, 1864-65. Local Studies, Central Library, Dundee.
  16. Dundee Directory, 1867-68. Local Studies, Central Library, Dundee.
  17. Dundee Directory, 1869-70. Local Studies, Central Library, Dundee.
  18. Dundee Directories, 1874-1887. Local Studies, Central Library, Dundee.
  19. Dundee Directories, 1884-1886. Local Studies, Central Library, Dundee.
  20. Dundee Directories, 1864-1870. Local Studies, Central Library, Dundee.
  21. Dundee Directory, 1874-75. Local Studies, Central Library, Dundee.
  22. Dundee Directories, 1884-1891. Local Studies, Central Library, Dundee.
  23. Dundee Directories, 1892-1894. Local Studies, Central Library, Dundee.
  24. Dundee Directories, 1869-1881. Local Studies, Central Library, Dundee.
  25. Dundee Directories, 1850-1868. Local Studies, Central Library, Dundee.
  26. Dundee Directories, 1884-1893. Local Studies, Central Library, Dundee.
  27. Leng, John, & Co. (1894) Dundee Year Book, 1893. Dundee: John Leng & Co. Local Studies, Central Library, Dundee.
  28. 1881 Census Scotland. St. Clement, Dundee. 282/3 ED16 p.13. Ancestry website.
  29. Dundee Directories, 1850-1854. Local Studies, Central Library, Dundee.
  30. Dundee Directories, 1856-1865. Local Studies, Central Library, Dundee.
  31. Dundee Directory, 1858-59. Local Studies, Central Library, Dundee.
  32. Dundee Directories, 1856-1870. Local Studies, Central Library, Dundee.
  33. Dundee Directory, 1871-72. Local Studies, Central Library, Dundee.
  34. Dundee Directory, 1876-77. Local Studies, Central Library, Dundee.
  35. Dundee Directories, 1878-1885. Local Studies, Central Library, Dundee.
  36. Wills & Testaments. Dundee Sheriff Court. SC45/31/46. ScotlandsPeople website.
  37. Dundee Directory, 1894-95. Local Studies, Central Library, Dundee.

The information above about Peter Miln 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.