1847 - Thomas Snape Tunaley meets Ralph Waldo Emerson, American poet, author and philosopher.


(Intro: It is likely Thomas Snape Tunaley's family relationship to Mary Tunaley and thus the Boott family would have been well-known to Emerson, prior to

the latter's European tour, through his own links with the Boott family of Boston, Massachusetts, Emerson himself coming from that city).


Ralph Waldo Emerson (Boston, Massachusetts May 25, 1803 – April 27, 1882) (click here) American essayist, philosopher and poet: "champion of individualism

and critic of the pressures of society that oppose such individualism. His support for abolitionism late in life created controversy, and at times he was

subject to abuse from crowds while speaking on the topic".

Emerson's work and writings are much used in American schools today. Emerson toured Europe in 1832 and, from 1847 to 1848, toured England, Scotland,

and Ireland.

In 1856 he wrote of his travels in his book "English Traits".

During his tour of Europe in 1847, Emerson made copious notes, since transcribed and kept at the Houghton Library, Harvard University (click here) including

lists of those people he met. These included, most notably from the Tunaley point of view, Thomas S. Tunaley of Full Street, Derby, who on December 10th,

1847 accompanied Emerson, along with one R.W. Birch, on a visit to "Keddleston" Hall (correct spelling Kedleston) seat of George Curzon, later Lord Scarsdale

(title created 1911) Viceroy of India (appointment 1898)and ancestral home of the Curzon family.

The author can find no other record of Thomas S. Tunaley in these notes but the names of other people that Emerson saw in Derby may provide further clues as

to Thomas's status and occupation:

R.W. Birch is given in the notes as resident at "Wardwell", Derby. The name "Wardwell" is shown in italics suggesting a difficulty in transcription.

In fact the R.W. Birch, mentioned, is most likely to have been R.W. Birch, Solicitor, of 20, Wardwick, Derby.

Charles Harding Esq. of "Bale Hall" Tamworth is also given in the notes. According to William West's "The History of Warwickshire" (click here), Charles

Harding was a smallware manufacturer in Tamworth, Warwickshire. Meanwhile, the 1841 census for Tamworth (click here) has Charles, aged 55, and manufacturer

based at Bolehall, Tamworth.

The location and occupation might be significant. Thomas married Catherine Smith 1850, i.e. 3 years after Emerson's visit and records show Catherine hailed

from Tamworth (click here) and Thomas and Catherine's daughter, Kathleen Constantia , was born there 1852.