Thomas De Quincey
De Quincey spent three years of his boyhood in Bath, where he lived with his widowed mother at 6 Green Park. For much of this time he attended the grammar school in Broad Street, but was obliged to leave when a prefect struck him on the head, and caused permanent damage that was to affect him throughout his life. He was sent to Manchester Grammar School in 1801, and eventually went up to Worcester College, Oxford, where he matriculated. His literary output thereafter was chiefly confined to magazines and journals; but he was now taking opium regularly, and in 1821 his masterpiece Confessions of an English Opium Eater was published. It made him famous; but he lived in an unworldly, unorthodox fashion, giving all his money to beggars, ignoring bills and letters he usually changed lodgings rather than deal with them, and indulging his passion for opium and long nocturnal walks. He died peacefully at Edinburgh in 1859. A bronze tablet on 6 Green Park, with the inscription ‘Here lived Thomas de Quincey, 1796-1799’ has been removed.