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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

Full name

Thomas Watt Thoms

Date of birth

02-02-1833[1] - baptised 13-02-1833

Place of birth




Marital status

Married[2] - wed 22-04-1869[2]

Name of spouse

Rachel Jameson Duncan[2]


Grace Catherine (1870): Alfred Patrick (1871): Harry James (1874): Emily Rachel (1877): Edith Eliza (1880):

Home address

The Crescent (parental home)[3][4]
348 Perth Road

Crescent House[5]
Perth Road


Fort House[6]
366 Perth Road

Age at death:

64 years[7]

Place of death:


Date of death:



Western Cemetery[8]

Affiliations, clubs, offices and related subscribers

Religious affiliation

Free Church[9] - had previously been a member of Free St Paul's[9] - latterly became a member of St Peter's Free Church[9] - T W Thoms also gifted the organ to St Peter's Free Church:[10]

Political affiliation


Clubs / societies

Dundee Eye Institution - a Director:[9]

Public offices

Justice of the Peace - for Dundee and Forfarshire:[9] Dundee High School - a Director[11] and Finance Convenor:[9] Morgan Trust - a Director:[9] University College - a Life Governor:[9] Dundee Gas Commission - Auditor:[9] Consul for Belgium, Denmark and Netherlands

Related subscribers

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


Merchant[12] / Accountant / District Manager[4]


Self Employed

Place of work

Northern Assurance Company[4]

Work address

14[4] / 16[5] St Andrew's Place

Career to date:

Having received his preliminary training as an accountant in Dundee,[9] Thomas Watt Thoms then spent some time in London.[9] While there, he held a position in a bank for some time.[9] On his return to Dundee, be began business on his own account.[9]

More information

Thomas Watt Thoms was the younger son of Patrick Hunter Thoms, a banker and former Provost of Dundee (1847-1853),[13] and his wife, Grace Watt.[7]

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.[9]

As a young man of 25 years, his first listing in the local Directory appeared in 1858-59.[12] There, he was listed as a ‘merchant and district manager of the Northern Assurance Company,’[12] operating from 14 St Andrew’s Place (next door to his father’s place of business at 16 St Andrew’s Place).[12]

In 1869, Thomas Watt Thoms  married Rachel Jameson Duncan,[2] daughter of James Duncan, a surgeon with the Honourable East India Company Services, and his wife, Rachel Ogilvie.[2] 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.[9] 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.’[14]

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[15] 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,[15][8] 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.[13]



  1. Old Parish Registers. Dundee. (1833). 282/ 170 128. ScotlandsPeople website.
  2. Statutory Registers. Dundee. Marriages. (1869).  282/1 77. ScotlandsPeople website.
  3. Census Returns. Dundee. (1861). 282/2 27/ 23. ScotlandsPeople website.
  4. Scottish Post Office Directories. Dundee, 1861-62. p.217. National Library of Scotland website.
  5. Scottish Post Office Directories. Dundee, 1864-65. p.194. National Library of Scotland website.
  6. Census Returns. Dundee. (1881). 282/1 30/ 3. ScotlandsPeople website.
  7. Statutory Registers. Dundee. Deaths. (1897). 282/1 253. ScotlandsPeople website
  8. Dundee Courier. 17 June 1897. British Newspaper Archive website.
  9. Dundee Courier. 14 June 1897. p.4. British Newspaper Archive websit
  10. Dundee Advertiser. 29 June 1894. p.3. British Newspaper Archive website.
  11. Dundee Evening Telegraph. 15 June 1897. p.2. British Newspaper Archive website.
  12. Scottish Post Office Directories. Dundee. 1858-59. p.196. National Library of Scotland website.
  13. Dundee Advertiser. 14 June 1897. p.5. British Newspaper Archive website.
  14. Dundee Courier. 30 October 1885. p.2. British Newspaper Archive website.
  15. Legal Records. Wills and Testaments. Dundee Sheriff Court. SC45/ 31/ 49. ScotlandsPeople website.

The information above about Thomas Watt Thoms 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.