John Graye Proctor, Ancient Planter

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John Proctor

Also Known As: "Graye"
Birthplace: London, Middlesex, England
Death: Died in Surry County, Virginia Colony
Place of Burial: Jamestown, James City County, Virginia, United States
Immediate Family:

Son of John Nicholas Proctor and Alice Proctor
Husband of Allis Proctor
Father of Robert Proctor; George Proctor (of Bacon's Rebellion); William Proctor; John Proctor, Sr.; Richard Proctor and 1 other
Brother of Thomas Proctor; Anthony Proctor; Joshua Proctor, Sr. and Ambrose Proctor, Sr.

Occupation: Ancient Planter
Managed by: Private User
Last Updated:

About John Graye Proctor, Ancient Planter

Additional Curator's Notes

It is extremely important when working with the Proctor immigrants to Virginia and Massachusetts to trace the line back to England as well as forward to the Colonies. ALL of the immigrants to Virginia were brothers. The Proctors who went to Massachusetts were cousins of some degree to the Virginia family. If you have a Proctor emigre who did not descend from John Nicholas Proctor, look for his destination in Massachusetts. Maria Edmonds-Zediker, Volunteer Curator, 8/18/2011

John Proctor, Ancient Planter, arrived on the "Deliverance" in May 1610. John sailed from Plymouth in 1609 on the "Sea Venture", but was shipwrecked on Bermuda. John paid for his own passage, and established Proctor's Plantation below Falls on the south side of Falling Creek in 1620. After the Easter Massacre of 1622, he resided at or near Pace's Paines, Surry County.

Massacre of 1622.

John Proctor and his wife Alice had settled in the farthest western stretches of the colony. The area was known as Henrico, again, named after the son of James I, Henry. They had their plantation just up river from the town of Henricus, the second settlement of the English, where Proctor’s Creek met the James River. Today this area is in Chesterfield. Proctor was away in England in 1622 gathering more settlers to join them in Virginia. One was granted 50 acres by the King for each settler that was brought to Virginia.

Across the James from Jamestown, in Surry, lived Richard Pace. He had developed an area called Pace’s Paines. The word paine meant field in 17th century English. Paces Paines was 600 acres on the bluff across the James River from Jamestown. Prior to the famous Indian Massacre on March 22, 1622, Chanco, an Indian boy who had been treated like a son with much respect by Richard Pace, informed the latter of the planned massacre. Pace urgently secured Pace’s Paines then rowed across the river with his wife, son George, and Chanco, to warn the governor at Jamestown. At the fort of Jamestown, the Indians struck from two sides. But with stepped up defenses, none were killed there. In all, 347 settlers of the 1200 at the time were murdered. All of the colonists would likely have been murdered by Chief Opechancanough had Chanco, whose own brother took part in the massacre, not informed Richard Pace. Opechancanough took over the empire of his late brother, Chief Powhatan, who died in 1618. Jamestown would likely have ended up similar to Raliegh’s colony at Roanoke.

After hearing the warning, Alice Proctor, living at the plantation in Henrico without her husband, who had journeyed back to England, did not want to vacate the plantation. She told the authorities she would not leave. Only after the authorities threatened to burn down the house did Alice finally leave to join others in Jamestown. The house did burn during the Massacre.

It is interesting to note that upon John Proctor’s return from England, he was granted 200 acres in Surry in the area known as Pace’s Paines. On February 16th , 1623, a census was ordered, which was known as, "The Living and the Dead". This is how it was known that 347 settlers did not survive the massacre. Also from this census, it is known that, at that time, there were 33 colonists residing on the south side of the river from Jamestown, in Surry. Two of these are noted as Mr. John Proctor and his wife Mrs. Proctor. The Proctors remained in Surry for several generations thereafter.

Passenger and Immigration Lists Index, 1500s-1900s about John Proctor

Name: John Proctor

Year: 1607

Place: Virginia

Source Publication Code: 9833.25

Primary Immigrant: Proctor, John

Annotation: Date and place of mention in the New World. Extracted from a series of articles published in The Virginia Magazine of History and Biography titled "Virginia Gleanings in England." Records of wills and other biographical information provided. Source Bibliography: WITHINGTON, LOTHROP. Virginia Gleanings in England: Abstracts of 17th and 18th-Century English Wills and Administrations Relating to Virginia and Virginians: A Consolidation of Articles from The Virginia Magazine of History and Biography. Baltimore: Clearfield Co., 1998. 745p. Page: 72


An Ancient Planter paid for his own passage, that of his wife and children and servants. Joshua Proctor, John Proctor, and Anthony Proctor apparently paid their own passage. However, Thomas Proctor, Ambrose Proctor all served indentures for their passage and head rights were granted for the passage of their families.

Adventurers of Purse and Person Virginia 1607-1624/25

He arrived on the Seaventure 1609


Richard Grove age 30 on the George 1623

Edward Smith age 20 on the George 1621

William Nayle age 15 on the Ann 1623

Phettiplace Close on the Starr 1608

Daniell Wattkins on the Charles 1621

In the Massacre there were 347 persons killed out of a total population of 1,240 in Virginia. This is known because a census of the inhabitants, "The Living and the Dead", was taken afterwards on February 16th, 1623. There were thirthy-three persons shown in the censusof 1623 living on the Surry side of the river at that time. They were as follows: "....John Proctor, Mrs. Proctor,...."

Another general "Muster of the Inhabitants of Virginia" was taken January and February 1624-25 (O.S.) and the data shown therein is very interesting for not only were the names of the persons given but also their ages and the ships on which they came. The muster for the "Surry Side" was taken February 4, 1624-25 as follows: ....

Paces Paines, James City

John Proctor, came in Sea Venture, 1607 (1610)

Allis, his wife, in the George, 1621


Richard Grove age 30 in the George 1623

Edward Smith age 20 in the George 1621

William Nayle age 15 in the Ann 1623

Phettiplace Clause on the Star 1608

Daniell Wattkins on the Charles 1621

John Skinner, in the Marmaduke, 1621

Colonial Surry by John B. Boddie pps.30-31

John Proctor, an "Ancient Planter" who died in Surry, 1628, also came on the Sea Venture with Sir Thomas Gates. His first plantaion was in Henrico but he afterwards settled in Surry. During the Massacre he was in England, but his wife valiantly defended their house located on proctor's Creek.

"Mrs. Alice Proctor, a proper gentlewoman, defended her place with great bravery in 1622 and refused to abandon her house and would not leave till officers threatened to burn it down." Tyler's Narratives That John Proctor was in England at the time of the Massacre is shown by the records of the Virginia Company, for on the 17th of July 1622, while present as a stockholder at a court held on that day, was appointed on a committee to devise the best ways and means for aiding the Colonists in their distress. At a meeting held April 30, 1623, he stated he lived "near 14 years in Virginia." In May 1625 he was granted 200 acres on S. Side of James River in Surry. This grant was eveidently located at Pace's Paines where he was living at the time of the Muster previously shown. Va. Co. Rec., Vol. II, pp. 94, 385, 440, 457, 466.

He was a brother of Thomas Proctor, "Citizen & Haberdasher of London", Mrs. Alice Proctor administered on his estate in Surry July 1627. Minutes of Council and General Court, p. 150 Colonial Surry by John B. Boddie p.51


The Sea Venture

The Third Supply was the "Sea Venture" (also called the Seaventure or Sea Adventure) sailed as part of a flotilla of nine ships commanded by Admiral Sir George Somers. Intended destination was Jamestown, Virginia. The On 2 June 1609, "Sea Venture", flagship of the "Third Supply" and eight other ships departed London. On 23/25 July, A hurricane at sea separated the Sea Venture from the other vessels. After four days, she began taking on water. Land was sited and she wrecked between two reefs off the shores at Discovery Bay of Bermuda on 28 July 1609. All of approximately 150 passengers safely made land. Two pinnances were built during the following nine months, the "Deliverance" and the "Patience" from the timber of the ruined Seaventure. These vessels sailed on to Virginia 10 May 1610, leaving two men behind.

Some reports say the two ship had given up and were headed home when they came across more ships under Thomas West, Lord de la Warr, on his way to the colonies, and were persuaded to return on their voyage to Jamestown.

Some reports say 150 landed and 142 left, leaving behind 8 people, some say three men were left on the islands to hold the claim in Bermuda. Fourteen days later, the two ships reach Virginia where only 60 of the other 140 settlers survived.

Also reported May 23, 1610 for the date of arrival of 140 survivors per Coldham pg 3.

19 June 1610 Sir George Somers volunteered to return to Bermuda aboard the "Patience" for supplies for the struggling colony of Virginia.

George Somers returned to in Bermuda, dying there in November of 1610. Captain Matthew Somers returned to England aboard the "Patience" with his uncle's body.


The loss of the Sea Venture On June 2, 1609, the Sea Venture set sail from Plymouth as the flagship of a seven-ship fleet (towing two additional pinnaces) destined for Jamestown, Virginia as part of the Third Supply, carrying 500 to 600 people.[3] On July 24, the fleet ran into a strong storm, likely a hurricane, and the ships were separated. The Sea Venture fought the storm for three days. Comparably-sized ships had survived such weather, but the Sea Venture had a critical flaw in her newness: her timbers had not set. The caulking was forced from between them, and the ship began to leak rapidly. All hands were applied to bailing, but water continued to rise in the hold. The ship's guns were reportedly jettisoned (though two were salvaged from the wreck in 1612) to raise her buoyancy, but this only delayed the inevitable. The Admiral of the Company, Sir George Somers himself, was at the helm through the storm. When he spied land on the morning of July 25, the water in the hold had risen to nine feet, and crew and passengers had been driven past the point of exhaustion. Somers deliberately drove the ship onto the reefs of what proved to be Bermuda in order to prevent its foundering. This allowed all 150 people aboard, and one dog, to be landed safely ashore.


Virginia Census, 1607-1890 about John Proctor

Name: John Proctor

State: VA

County: Over The River

Township: Virginia Pioneer

Year: 1624

Database: VA Early Census Index

John Proctor, Ancient Planter, arrived on the "Deliverance" in May 1610. John sailed from Plymouth in 1609 on the "Sea Venture", but was shipwrecked on Bermuda. John paid for his own passage, and established Proctor's Plantation below Falls on the south side of Falling Creek in 1620. After the Easter Massacre of 1622, he resided at or near Pace's Paines, Surry County.

Drawn from a twelve-page manuscript, Proctor Family Genealogical Notes at the Library of Virginia at Richmond compiled by Benjamin C. Proctor in 1983, and based on research material collected by the late Dr. Russell B. Proctor. Call # 31905, Genealogical notes collection; # 31905.

By July 3, 1627, John proctor was dead, at which time his widow, Alice, presented the justices of the General Court with an inventory of his estate and was designated his administrator.

Among the debts Alice was authorized to collect on her husband's behalf were sumsowed by a Dutch carpenter and a man who had lost Proctor's small boat ((SR 3112; SH 4; VCR 2:835, 457; 3:611; 4:425-246, 466-467, 552; CBE:40, 59; CJS 2:303; MCGC 12-13, 22-24, 54, 62, 78 150; DOR 1:38)


McCartney, Martha W. Virginia Immigrants and Adventurers, 1607-1635. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing, 2007; Smith, John. Writings. New York: Library of America, 2007; Dabney, Virginius. Virginia: the New Dominion. New York: Doubleday, 1971.


John Proctor, of Proctor's Creek. In the Seaventure. Wife Mrs. Alice Proctor, allowed administration of her husband's estate, July 3, 1627, JCGC, p. 150.

Source: "Cavaliers and pioneers; abstracts of Virginia land patents and grants, 1623-1800" by NELL MARION NUGENT

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John Graye Proctor, Ancient Planter's Timeline

London, Middlesex, England
Age 37
Jamestown, James City, Virginia
May 1621
Age 38
Jamestown, Virginia Colony
Age 39
Jamestown, James City, Virginia
Age 39
Jamestown, James City, Virginia
Age 40
Pace's Paines, Jamestown Colony, Virginia
July 3, 1627
Age 44
Surry County, Virginia Colony
Jamestown, James City, Virginia
Jamestown, James City County, Virginia, United States