Correspondence of Jane Baillie Welsh Carlyle (1801-1866)

  • This material is held at
  • Reference
      GB 237 Coll-129
  • Dates of Creation
  • Language of Material
  • Physical Description
      circa 18 letters.
  • Location
      Dc.4.94/1-2, 45; Gen. 1730 Carlyle 13, 19-20; 22, 28-29, 33, 42-43, 69-70; 80-81, Mic.M.135; E88.44; E94.100; E2001.15; E2007.18; E2007.22

Scope and Content

The correspondence is composed of: letter to Rev. D. Aitken; letters to Eliza Stodart, 1816-1842, and to David Aitken; copies of letters to Mrs. Warren; letters to S. Aitken, 1840; letters to Charlotte Southam; letter to Miss Lamont; letter to C. T.Ramage; letter to Kate Sterling; letters to W. E. Forster; letter to Mr. Strachey; letter to Miss Wilson; letter to Miss Eliza Miles, 1834; correspondence with Eliza; correspondence with J. Hunter, 1840; and visiting card with note to T. H. Huxley. There is an undated letter - Wednesday - from Carlyle, 5 Cheyne Row, to 'Beloved "Savage"!' and ending 'God bless you my Child' and with a promise to explain herself when her young friend comes to visit (in E2007.18).

Additionally (at E2007.22), there are two autograph letters, signed, to Jane [Donaldson], from Carlyle at 5 Cheyne Row, and an incomplete letter from Carlyle to her godmother Jess Donaldson, undated but after 1857. The Donaldson family were early and close friends of Jane from the years prior to her marriage. The letters contain affectionate family news and reminiscence.

Administrative / Biographical History

Jane Baillie Welsh was born on 14 July 1801. At an early age she learned Latin and had already written a tragedy at the age of fourteen. She was introduced to Thomas Carlyle in 1821, meeting him at the family home in Haddington. Welsh married Thomas Carlyle on 17 October 1826. She was a poet and writer but did not produce in earnest. Mrs. Jane Bailie Welsh Carlyle died on 21 April 1866.

Access Information

Generally open for consultation to bona fide researchers, but please contact repository for details in advance.

Acquisition Information

Letter to Miss Wilson, acquired November 1971, Accession no. E71.35. Letter to Southam, acquired October 1972, Accession no. E72.53. Letter to Ramage, acquired November 1972, Accession no. E72.56. Letter to Lamont, acquired November 1973, Accession no. E73.45. Letter to Sterling, acquired November 1973, Accession no. E73.49. Letter to Strachey, acquired from Sotheby, 1974, Accession no. E74.12. Letter to S. Aitken, acquired December 1974, Accession no. E74.39. Letters to Forster, acquired 1976, Accession no. E76.38. Letter to Miles, acquired Sotheby 1979, Accession no. E79.52. Letter to 'Beloved "Savage"!', acquired 2007, Accession no. E2007.18. Letters to the Donaldsons, acquired 2007, Accession no. E2007.22.


Note that when this record was created any associated photographic/illustrative was unseen.

The biographical/administrative history was compiled using the following material: (1) Stephen Leslie, and Lee, Sidney (eds.). Dictionary of national biography. London: Smith, Elder and Co., 1908.

Compiled by Graeme D Eddie, Edinburgh University Library, Special Collections Division.

Other Finding Aids

Important finding aids generally are: the alphabetical Index to Manuscripts held at Edinburgh University Library, Special Collections and Archives, consisting of typed slips in sheaf binders and to which additions were made until 1987; and the Index to Accessions Since 1987.


Check the local Indexes for details of any additions.

Related Material

The local Indexes show various references to Jane Baillie Welsh Carlyle related material (check the Indexes for more details): letter from Thomas Carlyle, 1849, at Dc.2.76/21; letter from A. Donaldson, 1833, at Dc.2.76/18; mention in a letter of John Aitken Carlyle, 1865, at Gen1730 Lietch; mention in a letter of Froude to Fitzgerald, at Gen. 1733/30; letter from Anna Jameson, at Gen. 1733/120.

In addition, the UK National Register of Archives (NRA), updated by the Historical Manuscripts Commission, notes: correspondence and papers, National Library of Scotland, Manuscripts Division, Ref. MSS 511-34, 546, 551-56, 601-20, 665-66, 787, 1763-77, 1795-1800, 1891-93, 2883-84, letters to Mrs Stirling, 1833-1866, Ref. Adv MS 20 5 25, and letters (27) to Mrs Mary Austin etc, circa 1858-1865; papers, Oxford University, Bodleian Library, Special Collections and Western Manuscripts, Ref. MSS Don c 50, 53; letters (19) to Charlotte Southam, circa 1840s, Chelsea Library, Ref. SR211 NRA 11693; letters, Hornel Library, Ref. NRA(S)0118 NRA 10173 Hornel Library; correspondence and papers, Duke University, William R. Perkins Library; see NUC MS 68-1534; letters (17), 1844-1864, Huntington Library; and, letters to Lord Houghton, 1854-1866, Cambridge University, Trinity College Library, Ref. Houghton 5:39-48 & 228:51.