Thackeray, an only child, was born in Calcutta, India, where his father, Richmond Thackeray (1 September 1781 – 13 September 1815), was secretary to the board of revenue in the British East India Company. His mother, Anne Becher (1792–1864) was the second daughter of Harriet Becher and John Harman Becher, who was also a secretary (writer) for the East India Company.William's father, Richmond, died in 1815, which caused his mother to send him to England in 1816 (whilst she remained in India). The ship on which he travelled made a short stopover at St. Helena where the imprisoned Napoleon was pointed out to him.
John Leech (29 August 1817 – 29 October 1864 in London) was an English caricaturist and illustrator.
He disliked Charterhouse, parodying it in his later fiction as Slaughterhouse." (Nevertheless Thackeray was honoured in the Charterhouse Chapel with a monument after his death.)
first night at school," writes Thackeray, who entered Charterhouse at the height of its reputation in 1822, "hard bed, hard words, strange boys bullying, and laughing, and jarring you with their hateful merriment — as for the first night at a strange school, we most of us remember what that is. And the first is not the worst, my boys, there's the rub" ("On Two Children in Black" (text outside VW). Homesick, forced to endure spartan conditions and undergo punishments and other impositions without showing his feelings, striving to make his mark among his peers whilst in awe of, often in thrall to, his seniors, a public schoolboy of this period had more to occupy him than his struggle with the Eton Grammar. Read more: victorianweb/publicschool
Website of: Charterhouse
Illness in his last year there (during which he reportedly grew to his full height of 6' 3") postponed his matriculation at Trinity College, Cambridge, until February 1829. Never too keen on academic studies, he left the University in 1830, though some of his earliest writing appeared in university publications The Snob and The Gownsman.
He travelled for some time on the continent, visiting Paris and Weimar, where he met Goethe.
Thackeray's years of semi-idleness ended after he married (20 August 1836) Isabella Gethin Shawe (1816–1893), second daughter of Isabella Creagh Shawe and Matthew Shawe, a colonel, who had died after extraordinary service, primarily in India. They had three children, all girls:
Their first child, Anne Isabella, was born in June of 1837. Her birth was rapidly followed by the collapse of the Constitution. The sketch market had pretty much dried up, so William began writing as many articles as humanly possible and sending them to any newspaper that would print them. This was a precarious sort of existence which would continue for most of the rest of his life. He was fortunate enough to get two popular series going in two different publications. His personal life, however, wasn't going so well. His second daughter Jane (1837) died at 8 months. They had a third daughter, Harriet Marian (1840-1875). He now began "writing for his life," as he put it, turning to journalism in an effort to support his young family.
Photo: Anne Ritchie in May 1870
More information Anne Thackerey
wiki/Anne Isabella Thackeray Ritchie
oxford/ Anne Thackeray
trin.cam.ac (Byron, Thackeray, and Tennyson were Trinity undergraduates in the early part of the 19th century)