Return to Subscriber listings and search...

Patrick Hunter Thoms of Aberlemno Esquire

Thoms, merchant and bank and insurance agent, was born in Dundee and lived most of his life there, serving for seven years as the town's provost before becoming a landed proprietor and latterly Chief of the Clan MacThomas.

Subscription value in 1863:

£50 (donation)

Relative to inflation up to 2024:


Relative to income compared to 2024:


Click Image to Enlarge

Personal details and history

Full name

Patrick Hunter Thoms of Aberlemno

Date of birth


Place of birth




Marital status

Married 13-07-1830[2]

Name of spouse

Grace Watt[2]


Grace Scott, c.1834-1917;[3] George Hunter Macthomas, 2nd of Aberlemno, 1831-1903;[4] Thomas Watt, 1833-1897;[5] Eliza 1836-1851.[6]

Home address

Crescent House, Dundee[7];
Tillywhandland Farm, Aberlemno[7].

Age at death:


Place of death:


Date of death:



Possibly Western Cemetery, Dundee, as his family owned several lairs there.

Affiliations, clubs, offices and related subscribers

Religious affiliation

Free Church of Scotland- St Peter's[7]

Political affiliation


Clubs / societies

Burgess of Dundee, 1817-1882;[9] Danish Vice-Consul, c.1858-1865;[9][10] Member of Dundee Kirk Session, c.1834;[11] Agent, Scottish Widows' Fund, c.1834-1882;[12] Junior Director, Dundee Royal Infirmary, c.1842-1843;[13] Manager, Forfarshire & Perthshire Fire Insurance Co./Northern Assurance Co., c.1842-1865;[14] Agent; Forth Marine Insurance Co., c.1842-43;[13] Agent, Mutual Accumulation Insurance Co., c.1850-1854;[15] Director for Subscribers to the Public Seminaries, c.1842-1847;[16] President, Dundee Religious Tract Society, c.1844-1850;[17] Committee of Management, Dundee Association for the Distribution of Religious Tracts, c.1846-1854;[18] Vice-President, Dundee Industrial Schools Society, c.1850;[19] Vice-President, Dundee City Mission Association, c.1850-1854;[15] Committee Member, Dundee Night Asylum for the Houseless, c.1850;[19] Governor elected by the Directors of Dundee High School, Morgan Hospital Board, c.1861-1879;[20] Director, Dundee Indigent Sick Society, c.1861-1882;[21] Director, Dundee and Perth and Aberdeen Railway Junction Co., c.1864-1865;[22] Vice-President, Dundee Bible Society, c.1869-1882;[23] Member of Visiting Committee for Dundee Prison, c.1878-1882.[24]

Public offices

Dundee Town Chamberlain 1819-1833[7], Chairman, Dundee Water Company[7], Dundee Gas Company Director[7], Chairman, Liff and Benvie Parochical Board[7], Dundee Lunatic Asylum Board[7], Dundee Harbour Board[7], Provost of Dundee, 1847[7]-1853[25], Convenor of the Finance Committee for the County of Forfar,[25] Justice of the Peace for the Dundee District of Forfarshire, 1838-1882,[9] Deputy Lieutenant of Forfarshire, 1875-1882.[9]

Related subscribers

Subscriber no.242 – T.W. Thoms – was Patrick’s son.

Career and worklife


Merchant[9]/Bank manager[7]/Town Chamberlain[9]/Mine Agent[7]/Provost[9]



Place of work

Dundee Town Council, c.1819-1833;[26] National Bank 1833-1853;[7] National Assurance Company[7] and Agent of the Earl of Elgin[7]

Work address

St. Andrews Place[27]/Cowgate[7]

Career to date:

Town Chamberlain and Kirk Master, c.1819-1833; Manager of the National Bank 1833-1853;[7] and National Assurance Company;[7] Agent of the Earl of Elgin's coal mines,[7]but also various political roles within the town of Dundee and chief of the Clan MacThomas.

More information

Described in an obituary as “a wiry, muscular man, of great activity of mind and administrative talent”[7] Patrick Hunter Thoms was the son of George Thoms, Baillie of Dundee and his wife, Elizabeth Hunter.[28] He was educated at Dundee Grammar School and the Academy, followed by the University of St Andrews.[7] He was originally destined for a career in the ministry, but delicate health precluded intensive studies.[9]

Shortly after being enrolled as a burgess the offices of kirk master and chamberlain, previously occupied by councillors, were combined for a salary of £100 and Patrick was appointed. The skill with which Thoms “unravelled the maze into which the Town’s accounts had fallen and made them intelligible, fully vindicated his appointment”. He held the office for fourteen years, and when he resigned it on 14 March 1833, in consequence of the increase of his private business, the Council recorded in the minutes “approbation of the manner in which he had fulfilled the duties of the Chamberlainship.”[9]

Thoms was Provost of Dundee from 1847 to 1853 and was selected as a parliamentary candidate in 1857, but stood down to allow John Ogilvy of Inverquharity, who became Liberal MP for Dundee, to stand.[25] During his time as provost, it was he who fought to have the statues of George Kinloch and Sir Robert Peel erected,[7] of which the former now stands at the back of the McManus galleries on Meadowside, although the latter was not brought to fruition.

He was a Justice of the Peace for the Dundee District of Forfarshire and held the office of Deputy Lieutenant for Forfarshire.[7] In 1881 he was recognised by the Lord Lyon King of Arms and matriculated his arms at the Lyons Court,[7] becoming the 15th de jure Chief of the Clan MacThomas.[28]

In Dundee he lived at Crescent House,[29] in the future Windsor Street and late in life he purchased the Estate of Aberlemno, some 500 acres, living at the farmhouse of Tillywhandland.[25] His wife died in 1868[30] and he continued to divide his time between Crescent House and Aberlemno. He shared his Dundee home with his niece, Eliza Jane Walker, and three servants in 1871,[31] but was living there with two servants shortly before his death in 1882.[32] The value of his estate on his death was £101,755 11s. 7d. His sons, George and Thomas, acted as his executors.[33] His surviving daughter, Grace, married John Anderson MD, Professor of Geology at the University of Calcutta and curator of the museum there.[25] A large part of their personal collection of Japanese objects is in the British Museum.[34] His eldest son, George, was an Edinburgh advocate. latterly becoming Vice Admiral of the Islands of Shetland and Orkney and Emeritus Sheriff of the Counties of Caithness, Orkney and Shetland.[35] His other son, Thomas, was a merchant in Dundee and a fellow donor to the Albert Institute.



  1. Old Parish Record. Dundee. Birth. 7 June 1796. 282/80 113. ScotlandsPeople website.
  2. Old Parish Record. Dundee. Marriage. 13 July 1830. 282/220 20. ScotlandsPeople website.
  3. 1851 Census Scotland. Dundee. 282 ED85 p.7. Ancestry website and Smith, William M'Combie (1890) Memoir of the Families of M'Combie and Thoms, pp.173-177. Edinburgh : W. Blackwood & Sons.
  4. Statutory Registers. Morningside, Edinburgh. Death. 1903. 685/6 617. ScotlandsPeople website.
  5. Statutory Registers. St. Peter, Dundee. Death. 1897. 282/1 253. ScotlandsPeople website.
  6. 1851 Census Scotland. Dundee. 282 ED85 p.7. Ancestry website and Smith, William M'Combie (1890) Memoir of the Families of M'Combie and Thoms, pp.173-177. Edinburgh : W. Blackwood & Sons.
  7. Dundee Courier, Tuesday, 20 June 1882, p.3. British Newspaper Archive website.
  8. Statutory Registers. St. Peter, Dundee. Death. 17 June 1882. 282/1 211. ScotlandsPeople website.
  9. Millar, A.H. (1887) Roll of Eminent Burgesses of Dundee, 1513-1886. Dundee: Dundee Town Council. Dundee City Archives.
  10. Dundee Directories, 1858-1865. Local History, Central Library, Dundee.
  11. Dundee Directory, 1834. Local History, Central Library, Dundee.
  12. Dundee Directories, 1834-1882. Local History, Central Library, Dundee.
  13. Dundee Directory, 1842-43. Local History, Central Library, Dundee.
  14. Dundee Directories, 1842-1865. Local History, Central Library, Dundee.
  15. Dundee Directories, 1850-1854. Local History, Central Library, Dundee.
  16. Dundee Directories, 1842-1847. Local History, Central Library, Dundee.
  17. Dundee Directories, 1844-1850. Local History, Central Library, Dundee.
  18. Dundee Directories, 1846-1854. Local History, Central Library, Dundee.
  19. Dundee Directory, 1850. Local History, Central Library, Dundee.
  20. Dundee Directories, 1861-1879. Local History, Central Library, Dundee.
  21. Dundee Directories, 1861-1881. Local History, Central Library, Dundee.
  22. Dundee Directory, 1864-65. Local History, Central Library, Dundee.
  23. Dundee Directories, 1869-1881. Local History, Central Library, Dundee.
  24. Dundee Directories, 1878-1881. Local History, Central Library, Dundee.
  25. Smith, William M'Combie (1890) Memoir of the Families of M'Combie and Thoms, pp.173-177. Edinburgh : W. Blackwood & Sons.
  26. Leng, John, & Co. (1883) Dundee Year Book, 1882. Dundee: John Leng & Co. Local Studies, entral Library, Dundee.
  27. Dundee Directories, 1846-1859. Local History, Central Library, Dundee.
  28. Mosley, Charles, editor. (2003) Burke's Peerage, Baronetage & Knightage, 107th edition, 3 volumes. Wilmington, Delaware, U.S.A.: Burke's Peerage (Genealogical Books) Ltd.
  29. Wills and Testaments. Dundee Sheriff Court. 21 September 1882. SC45/31/32. ScotlandsPeople website.
  30. Statutory Registers. St. Peter, Dundee. 1868. 282/1 10. ScotlandsPeople website.
  31. 1871 Census Scotland. St. Peter, Dundee. 282/1 ED5 p.30. Ancestry website.
  32. 1881 Census Scotland. St. Peter, Dundee. 282/1 ED30 p.1. Ancestry website.
  33. Testamentary Records. Calendar of Confirmations and Inventories. 1882. Ancestry website.
  34. Anderson, John, British Museum catalogue online. British Museum website.
  35. Wills and Testaments. Edinburgh Sheriff Court Inventories. 27 January 1904. SC70/1/431. ScotlandsPeople website.

The information above about Patrick Hunter Thoms of Aberlemno has been collated from a range of digital and hard copy sources. To the best of our knowledge it is correct but if you are relying on any information from our website for the purpose of your own research we would advise you to follow up the sources to your own satisfaction. If you are aware of an inaccuracy in our text please do not hesitate to notify us through our Contact page.