National Records of Scotland

Preserving the past, Recording the present, Informing the future

Kenneth Grahame (1859-1932)

Kenneth Grahame (1859-1932)

Writer and secretary of the Bank of England

Kenneth Grahame was born in Scotland but following the death of his mother in 1864 was brought up by his grandmother in England. He joined the Bank of England as a gentleman clerk in 1879 and rose to be its secretary from 1898 to 1908. During that period he had several stories published before achieving international fame with 'The Wind in the Willows' in 1908. The book reflected his love of wild creatures and the countryside. He died on 6 July 1932 at his home in Berkshire.

Birth in 1859

Kenneth Grahame was born on 8 March 1859, the son of James Cunninghame Grahame, advocate and Elizabeth Johnston Ingles. The place of birth was 32 Castle Street in Edinburgh. The entry in the statutory register of births for the district of St Andrew in Edinburgh shows he was registered as James Cunningham Grahame on 19 March but that this was altered to Kenneth Grahame on 4 July 1859. The amendment has been initialled in the margin.

Birth entry for Kenneth Grahame

Birth entry for Kenneth Grahame (26 KB jpeg)
National Records of Scotland, 1859/685-2/182

1861 census

In 1861 Kenneth Grahame, aged 2, was enumerated at Armfield Lodge in the district of Lochgilphead with his parents, brother, uncle, a visitor and five servants. The family surname is Graham without an 'e'. The census return gives his father's occupation as Sheriff Substitute of Argyllshire and his mother's place of birth as Gibraltar.

1861 census record for Kenneth Grahame

1861 census record for Kenneth Grahame (48 KB jpeg)
National Records of Scotland, 1861/526/8, page 23