National Records of Scotland

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James Chalmers (1782-1853)

James Chalmers (1782-1853)

Post Office reformer

James Chalmers was a stationer and bookseller in Dundee. He was also the inventor of the adhesive postage stamp, which made the Penny Post practicable.

Marriage in 1802

James Chalmers married Barbara Dickson on 28 June 1802. The entry in the Old Parish Register (OPR) for Montrose (her parish) for the proclamation of their marriage is dated 27 June, gives his parish as Dundee and notes there were no objections.

Proclamation of marriage entry for James Chalmers - Montrose

Proclamation of marriage entry for James Chalmers (32 KB jpeg)
National Records of Scotland OPR 312/7, page 141

A second entry in the OPR for Dundee (his parish) gives the dates as 26 June for contracting to marry and 28 June for the marriage. His designation was recorded as merchant and her father as James Jackson, merchant in Montrose.

Proclamation and marriage entry for James Chalmers - Glasgow

Proclamation and marriage entry for James Chalmers (13 KB jpeg)
National Records of Scotland, OPR 282/13, page 260

1841 and 1851 censuses

In 1841 James Chalmers, 59, bookseller was living in Constitution Road, Dundee with his family and two servants.

1841 census record for James Chalmers

1841 census record for James Chalmers (61 KB jpeg)
National Records of Scotland, 1841/282/78, page 5

In 1851 he was living at the same address, aged 69, a master bookseller and employer of eight men and boys.

1851 census record for James Chalmers

1851 census record for James Chalmers (37 KB jpeg)
National Records of Scotland, 1851/282/40, page 14

Death in 1853

James Chalmers died on 26 August 1853. The entry in the Old Parish Register (OPR) of burials for Dundee provides the following information: date of interrment (1 September 1853), number in register (1234), name, designation (bookseller), date of death (26 August), age (71 years), place of birth (Arbroath), cause of death (old age), last place of residence (Comely Bank), place of interment (New Burying Ground, 526 B) and dues (1, 10, 6).

Death and burial entry for James Chalmers - part 1

Death and burial entry for James Chalmers - part 2

Death and burial entry for James Chalmers (5 KB jpegs)
National Records of Scotland, OPR 282/28, page 44

Testament of James Chalmers

National Records of Scotland, SC45/31/11, pp117-133

In his will James Chalmers expressed regret that his sons were not carrying on the business, a decision he attributed to the influence of 'the females in the family'.

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