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Letter from Thomas Dick to a young reader

Identifier: Coll-1300

Scope and Contents

The letter (autograph letter signed) is from Thomas Dick to a young reader of his books. It is dated 1 December 1848 and was written in Broughty Ferry (near Dundee). He writes that he he is ' gratified to find that my writings have afforded you entertainment and instruction'. The letter congratulates him on pursuing his studies and mentions that he has just had two books published by the Religious Tract Society - The solar system and The atmosphere and atmospherical phenomena.


  • Creation: 1848


Language of Materials


Conditions Governing Access

Open to bona fide researchers, but please contact repository for details in advance of visit.

Biographical / Historical

The science writer and philosopher Thomas Dick was born in Hilltown, Dundee, on 24 November 1774. He was the son of a handloom weaver. He was inspired towards science on seeing a bright meteor in 1783. In 1794 he entered Edinburgh University supporting himself by private tutoring, but he did not proceed to taking the MA degree because of the additional fees. From 1801 he pursued a religious career, entering the Theological Hall of the General Associate Synod of the Secession Church. He was ordained in 1803, became married in 1804, but in 1805 was deposed and excommunicated from the presbytery on being found guilty of adultery.

In 1807 Dick turned to teaching, becoming a schoolmaster in Methven and forming a mechanics' institute. In 1817 he left Methven for Perth and a post at Stewart's Free Trades' School. As well as teaching he involved himself in astronomical observations and built a telescope.

He published articles in literary, religious and scientific publications, and these included Christian philosopher, or, The connection of science and philosophy with religion (1832), Philosophy of religion (1826), Philosophy of a future state (1828), Celestial scenery (1837), and Practical astronomer (1845).

Thomas Dick died on 29 July 1857.


1 letter

Physical Location


Immediate Source of Acquisition

Material acquired March 2011. Accession no: E2011.15

Processing Information

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

Letter from Thomas Dick (1774-1857) to a young reader
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Repository Details

Part of the University of Edinburgh Library Heritage Collections Repository

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University of Edinburgh Main Library
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