Thomas Stevenson (1818 - 1887)

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Birthplace: Edinburgh, Scotland, United Kingdom
Death: Died in Edinburgh, Scotland, United Kingdom
Occupation: Lighthouse Engineer
Managed by: Charlotte Lumae
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About Thomas Stevenson

Thomas Stevenson was a pioneering Scottish lighthouse designer and meteorologist, who designed over thirty lighthouses in and around Scotland, as well as the Stevenson screen used in meteorology. Wikipedia

  • Born: 1818, Edinburgh
  • Died: 1887
  • Spouse: Margaret Isabella Balfour Stevenson
  • Parents: Robert Stevenson
  • Children: Robert Louis Stevenson
  • Siblings: Alan Stevenson, David Stevenson

Thomas Stevenson (1818-1887) was RLS’s father. Thomas followed in his father Robert Stevenson’s (1772-1850) footsteps, becoming a lighthouse engineer in the family firm. He designed more than thirty lighthouses.

Thomas was a Scottish Calvinist, and a firm believer in the importance of the Christian faith. He married Margaret Isabella Balfour in 1848, and two years later, RLS was born.

Thomas had a strong bond with his son, despite quarrels over religion, RLS’s refusal to become an engineer or to continue law professionally, and RLS’s decision to marry Fanny Van de Grift Osbourne. Despite his initial unhappiness, Thomas developed a good relationship with his daughter-in-law and he and Stevenson remained close throughout his life.

RLS wrote about his father in the essay "Thomas Stevenson, Civil Engineer" for The Contemporary Review in 1887. The essay was later included in Memories and Portaits (1887).

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Thomas Stevenson's Timeline

July 22, 1818
Edinburgh, Scotland, United Kingdom
November 13, 1850
Age 32
Edinburgh, Midlothian, Scotland
May 8, 1887
Age 68
Edinburgh, Scotland, United Kingdom
Edinburgh, Scotland, United Kingdom