National Records of Scotland

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Thomas Coutts (1735-1822)

Thomas Coutts (1735-1822)


Thomas Coutts was sent to London, aged 15, to help his brother Patrick run their father's import and export business. Ten years later he joined another brother at a banking house on the Strand founded by John Campbell. James Coutts had married Campbell's grand-daughter and eventually inherited the company. He renamed it James and Thomas Coutts. Thomas ran the bank when James became Member of Parliament for Edinburgh and took over completely after his death in 1778. He built a reputation for discretion and organisational ability. With the help of selected partners, he turned Coutts into a prestigious bank. Clients included King George III, leading figures and artists. Thomas Coutts died in London on 24 February 1822. His fortune was inherited by his grand-daughter, Angela Burdett-Coutts, one of the leading philanthropists of the nineteenth century.

Birth in 1735

Thomas Couts was born on Thursday 4 September 1735, the son of J[oh]n Couts, merchant and Baillie and Jane Stewart. The entry in the Old Parish Register (OPR) for Edinburgh gives the date of baptism as Sabbath 7 September 1735. The two witnesses were Ph[ili]p Gordon and J[oh]n Steven, merchants. The spelling of his surname isn't the standard one - this isn't unusual in the OPRs.

Birth and baptism entry for Thomas Coutts

Birth and baptism entry for Thomas Coutts (33 KB jpeg)
National Records of Scotland, OPR 685-1/20, page 73