National Records of Scotland

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Thomas De Quincey (1785-1859)

Thomas De Quincey (1785-1859)

Essayist

Thomas De Quincey was born in Manchester on 15 August 1785. He later lived at Dove Cottage in the Lake District village of Grasmere close to William Wordsworth and his family. In 1826 he moved to Edinburgh where he contributed to 'Blackwood's Edinburgh Magazine' and other periodicals. His wife and family joined him in 1830. His most famous work 'Confessions of an English Opium-Eater' was published in 1822. A new, enlarged edition was produced as part of the preparation of volumes of his collected works during the 1850s.

1841 and 1851 censuses

In 1841 Thomas De Quincey was staying in High Street, Glasgow. His age is given as 50 - in 1841 ages over 15 years were rounded down to the nearest five - and his occupation as 'Ind' or living on independent means. His place of birth is England (E).

1841 census entry for Thomas De Quincey

1841 census entry for Thomas De Quincey (11 KB jpeg)
National Records of Scotland, 1841/644-1/6, page 13

In 1851 Thomas De Quincey, 65, widower, annuitant, was living with his three daughters and two servants at Mavis Bush Cottage in Lasswade, Midlothian.

1851 census entry for Thomas De Quincey

1851 census entry for Thomas De Quincey (28 KB jpeg)
National Records of Scotland, 1851/691/4, page 29

Death in 1859

Thomas De Quincey, aged 74, widower, died on 8 December 1859 at 42 Lothian Street in Edinburgh. The entry in the statutory register of deaths for the district of St Giles in Edinburgh gives his parents as Thomas De Quincey, merchant and Elizabeth Penson and his place of burial as the West Church Burying Ground.

Death entry for Thomas De Quincey

Death entry for Thomas De Quincey (29 KB jpeg)
National Records of Scotland, 1859/685-4/588