Thomas Watt Thoms Esquire
Thomas Watt Thoms was the son of Patrick Hunter Thoms. He trained as an accountant although much of his life was taken up in managing the business and estates of his father.
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Personal details and history
Thomas Watt Thoms
Date of birth
02-02-1833 - baptised 13-02-1833
Place of birth
Name of spouse
Rachel Jameson Duncan
Grace Catherine (1870): Alfred Patrick (1871): Harry James (1874): Emily Rachel (1877): Edith Eliza (1880):
Age at death:
Place of death:
Date of death:
Affiliations, clubs, offices and related subscribers
Clubs / societies
Dundee Eye Institution - a Director:
Subscriber 48 – John Colville – a named trustee for the estate of Thomas Watt Thoms
Subscriber 99 – John Henderson – attended the funeral of Thomas Watt Thomas
Subscriber 113 – Mrs Jobson and Misses Jobson – neighbours of Thomas Watt Thoms
Subscriber 126 – Alexander Low – a neighbour of Thomas Watt Thoms
Subscriber 154 – Robert McGavin – attended the funeral of Thomas Watt Thomas
Subscriber 157 – William Myles – a business associate of Thomas Watt Thoms
Subscriber 170 – Andrew Ogilvie – uncle of Rachel Duncan, wife of Thomas Watt Thoms
Subscriber 173 – John Ogilvie – uncle of Rachel Duncan, wife of Thomas Watt Thoms
Subscriber 225 – Scott & Bell – Robert Bell, in association with Thomas Watt Thoms, was instrumental for the reorganisation of the curriculum of the High School
Subscriber 240 – P H Thoms – father of Thomas Watt Thoms
Career and worklife
Place of work
Northern Assurance Company
Educated at the High School, Thomas Thoms, after embarking on a career in accountancy, spent several years employed in a bank in London, before returning to Dundee.
As a young man of 25 years, his first listing in the local Directory appeared in 1858-59. There, he was listed as a ‘merchant and district manager of the Northern Assurance Company,’ operating from 14 St Andrew’s Place (next door to his father’s place of business at 16 St Andrew’s Place).
In 1869, Thomas Watt Thoms married Rachel Jameson Duncan, daughter of James Duncan, a surgeon with the Honourable East India Company Services, and his wife, Rachel Ogilvie. Her mother was a member of a prominent Dundee family, whose brothers, John Ogilvie (writer) and Andrew Ogilvie (stockbroker) were leading figures in Dundee society.
Thomas Thoms took a keen interest in education, particularly within his alma mater [High School] and was the school’s accountant for several years. He was also credited, along with Robert Bell, for the reorganisation of the curriculum offered by that establishment. A report in the local press told of ‘the old anomalous and absurd system, under which it was left to the parents to select each year the classes their children should attend, was at last put aside and the curriculum introduced under which the School has of late years made such wonderful growth.’
Thomas Watt Thomas inherited his father’s estate at Craigsfolds/Craiksfolds and had previously administered this estate along with that at Aberlemno, which was inherited by his older brother. He gradually assumed many of his father’s responsibilities, including management of his estates.
Thomas Watt Thoms owned much property in the West End of Dundee and the effects of the Trust established in his will affected the development of the area up to the 1920s.
Having had many friends and acquaintances among the professional families in Dundee, many of whom had had connections with the Honourable East India Company, Thoms was reported to have been one of the most retiring of men, of a very philanthropic nature, who gave in an unassuming and quiet nature.
- Old Parish Registers. Dundee. (1833). 282/ 170 128. ScotlandsPeople website.
- Statutory Registers. Dundee. Marriages. (1869). 282/1 77. ScotlandsPeople website.
- Census Returns. Dundee. (1861). 282/2 27/ 23. ScotlandsPeople website.
- Scottish Post Office Directories. Dundee, 1861-62. p.217. National Library of Scotland website.
- Scottish Post Office Directories. Dundee, 1864-65. p.194. National Library of Scotland website.
- Census Returns. Dundee. (1881). 282/1 30/ 3. ScotlandsPeople website.
- Statutory Registers. Dundee. Deaths. (1897). 282/1 253. ScotlandsPeople website
- Dundee Courier. 17 June 1897. British Newspaper Archive website.
- Dundee Courier. 14 June 1897. p.4. British Newspaper Archive websit
- Dundee Advertiser. 29 June 1894. p.3. British Newspaper Archive website.
- Dundee Evening Telegraph. 15 June 1897. p.2. British Newspaper Archive website.
- Scottish Post Office Directories. Dundee. 1858-59. p.196. National Library of Scotland website.
- Dundee Advertiser. 14 June 1897. p.5. British Newspaper Archive website.
- Dundee Courier. 30 October 1885. p.2. British Newspaper Archive website.
- Legal Records. Wills and Testaments. Dundee Sheriff Court. SC45/ 31/ 49. ScotlandsPeople website.
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