Jane Welsh Carlyle House

Interior of Jane Welsh Caryle's House, Haddington
©2022 Gazetteer for Scotland

Interior of Jane Welsh Caryle's House, Haddington

Behind the East Lothian County buildings in Haddington lies a mid-18th Century house, which was home to a local physician Dr. John Welsh. His daughter Jane Baillie Welsh was born here in 1801. Her father died when she was 18 and she became known as the Flower of Haddington, widely known for her beauty, intelligence and wit. In 1821, the then-unknown historian, writer and philosopher Thomas Carlyle (1795 - 1881) visited and met Jane, who later became his wife. She devoted the rest of her life to her husband and his work.

The house, with its pillared portico and enchanting gardens, was purchased by Elizabeth, Dowager Duchess of Hamilton on behalf of the Haddington-based Lamp of Lothian Trust, to mark the centenary of Thomas Carlyle's death. It was restored in 1981 to form the Jane Welsh Carlyle Museum. The restoration returned the drawing room, its small anteroom and the garden-room to the regency style and period furniture was installed. The museum records both Jane's childhood and her life with Carlyle.

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