yeovil people

george proctor upton

Yeovil Solicitor and twice Mayor of Lyme Regis


George Proctor Upton was born in 1762 and baptised at St John's church on 12 May 1762. He was the son of Yeovil solicitor James Upton (1730-1784) and his wife, Elizabeth née Everton (d1811). His father was certainly an attorney in 1767 when he was recorded as taking on a clerk by the name of James Upton Tripp, most likely a cousin once removed. George's middle name is interesting since, in law, a proctor is an attorney or solicitor acting in some courts whereas, in fact, Proctor was his paternal great-grandmother's maiden name.

Nevertheless George was articled to his father - his Articles of Clerkship, sworn in Yeovil and dated 10 April 1782 and sworn in London and dated 17 June 1782, are shown below - in which his father is described as "James Upton of Yeovil in the County of Somerset Gentleman one of the Attorneys of his Majesty's Court of Common Pleas and a Solicitor of the High Court of Chancery". George was listed as an Attorney of Lincoln's Inn Fields, London, in Bailey's British Directory of 1784. The Universal British Directory of 1791 listed George as one of the four Yeovil solicitors, the others being Samuel Watts the elder, Edmund Batten and William Lambert White.

He married Eleanor Leach (1761-1848), of Stoke sub Hamdon, in June 1785; the 30 June 1785 edition of the Bath Chronicle & Weekly Gazette reporting "A few days since was married, Mr G Upton, attorney of Yeovil, to Miss Leech, of Stoke, in this county."  Eleanor was the daughter of Robert Leach and his wife Eleanor. George and Eleanor were to have three daughters; two are named in Eleanor's five-page will dated 1847 and proved in 1848, so the third daughter presumably predeceased her mother. The named daughters were Elizabeth, who married Francis Theophilus Robins, Solicitor and Gentleman of Yeovil, and Harriett (b1787) who married John White but was a widow by the time of her mother's will. Harriett lived at "Grove a house in the Parish of Yeovil".

 In 1790 George was listed in the Universal British Directory as one of four Yeovil solicitors but by 1822 Pigot's Directory listed him as an Attorney of Reckleford (at this time Reckleford was the name of today's Market Street), and he was one of seven Yeovil solicitors. The location of his home and law practice is shown below on Edward Bullock Watts' map of 1806.

George was twice elected Mayor of Lyme Regis but, strangely, there are no easily-available mayoral records for that town (they clearly need a website like this one), so I can add no further detail to this tantalising snippet for the time being.

George Proctor Upton died at home in Yeovil on 21 January 1827, aged 64, and was buried on 27 January in St John's church. His wife Eleanor was recorded in the 1841 census living in Rotten Row (as the southern end of today's Market Street was then called) with her granddaughter Marianne Robins, the daughter of Francis Robins and Elizabeth née Upton. Eleanor died 1 May 1848 aged 87. The memorial tablet to George and Eleanor in St John's church is shown below.

These arms appear on a memorial (see Gallery below) on the west wall of the south aisle of St John's church to George Proctor Upton and his wife Eleanor née Leach.

The arms of Upton are sable, a cross moline argent (a black field charged with a silver cross having bifurcated ends).

The Salisbury & Winchester Journal reported his death in a January 1827 edition "Died on the 21st instant, greatly respected, at his residence in Yeovil, George Proctor Upton, Esq., solicitor. Mr Upton was Mayor of Lyme-Regis, Dorset, and steward to the Right Hon the Earl of Westmorland." This was presumably Francis Fane, 12th Earl of Westmorland, and steward meaning the chief servant of a landed estate.

George's law firm was continued by his son-in-law, Francis Theophilus Robins.


See Upton Family Tree

See Solicitors of Yeovil


from a document in my collection

George Proctor Upton's signature of 1793



Edward Bullock Watts' map of Yeovil of 1806 shows the home and law office of George Proctor Upton at centre, on the eastern side of Rackleford (today's Market Street).


The Articles of Clerkship of George Proctor Upton, sworn in Yeovil and dated 10 April 1782.


The Articles of Clerkship of George Proctor Upton, sworn in London and dated 17 June 1782.


The memorial to George Proctor Upton and his wife Eleanor in St John's church.