Writer, historian, philosopher and literary critic. Born in Ecclefechan (Dumfries and Galloway), Carlyle was educated at Annan Academy and the University of Edinburgh. He wrote on a diversity of topics from the French Revolution to Oliver Cromwell. Carlyle married the Haddington-born Jane Welsh near Thornhill in 1826. The couple lived first at Comely Bank in Edinburgh, then at Craigenputtock, a Dumfriesshire farm inherited by Jane, before moving to Chelsea in London. Their home there became the centre of a literary circle which included the poets Tennyson and Robert and Elizabeth Browning, and the authors Dickens, Ruskin and Thackeray.
Carlyle became Rector of the University of Edinburgh in 1866 and after delivering his rectorial address heard that his beloved wife had died of heart failure. He was devastated.
Carlyle died in London. He was variously known as the Prophet of Ecclefechan and the Sage of Chelsea.