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Thomas Babington Macaulay

Thomas Babington Macaulay

Thomas Babington Macaulay, eldest son of Zachary Macaulay and descendent of the notorious Domhnall Cam, went to Trinity College, Cambridge in October 1818. He took his degree of B.A. in 1822, M.A. in 1825, and in 1826 was called to the Bar at Lincoln's Inn.

By this time he had already made a name for himself with his ballads and numerous contributions to the literature of the day. He had a continuing interest in politics and received publicity for a speech he gave at a meeting of the Anti-Slavery Society.

Under the auspices of the Marquis of Landsdown he was elected M.P. for the pocket borough of Calne in 1830 and took a prominent part in the agitation for reform. In December 1832 he became commisioner of the Board of Control and was elected M.P. for Leeds.

Between 1834 and 1838 he was appointed fifth member of, and legal advisor to, the Supreme Council of India, a lucrative post that earned him 50,000, which enabled him to pay off debts his father had amassed through several bad business deals. In 1839 he was elected to represent Edinburgh and was soon appointed Secretary of War, a post he held until September 1847.

Being out of office gave him more time to write and, as well as producing articles for the Edinburgh Review, he began his great work "History of England", the first two volumes were published in 1848.

Thomas was re-elected to Parliament for Edinburgh in 1852 but he didn't attend as often as previously, preferring to spend more time on his writing. Volumes 3 and 4 of his History of England were published in 1855 which proved so popular that they were translated into twelve languages. He resigned from Parliament the following year. On September 10th 1857 he was granted the title Baron Macaulay of Rothley and, although he attended the House of Lords for debates, he refused the offer of a post in the government. He died unmarried on December 28th 1859 and was buried in Westminster Abbey. In 1862 a tablet containing his name, dates of birth and death and the words "His body is buried in peace, but his name liveth for evermore" was placed over his grave. At his death his title became extinct.


Title: Thomas Babington Macaulay
Record Type: People
Date of Birth: 25-10-1800
Date of Death: 28-12-1859
Occupation: Lawyer; Politician
Sex: Male
Bk Reference: CEBL 2241
Record Maintained By: CEBL
Subject Id: 28253