Novelist, son of Richmond Thackeray, who held various important appointments in the service of the East India Company, and who belonged to an old and respectable Yorkshire family, was born at Calcutta, and soon after the death of his father, which took place in 1816, sent home to England. After being at a school at Chiswick, he was sent to the Charterhouse School, where he remained from 1822–26, and where he does not appear to have been very happy. Meanwhile in 1818 his mother had married Major H.W.C. Smythe, who is believed to be, in part at any rate, the original of Colonel Newcome. In 1829 he went to Trinity College, Cambridge, where he remained for a year only, and where he did not distinguish himself particularly as a student, but made many life-long friends, including Spedding, Tennyson, Fitzgerald, and Monckton Milnes, and contributed verses and caricatures to two University papers, “The Snob” and “The Gownsman.” The following year, 1831, was spent chiefly in travelling on the Continent, especially Germany, when, at Weimar, he visited Goethe. Returning he entered the Middle Temple, but having no liking for legal studies, he soon abandoned them, and turning his attention to journalism, became proprietor, wholly or in part, of two papers successively, both of which failed. These enterprises, together with some unfortunate investments and also, it would seem, play, stripped him of the comfortable fortune, which he had inherited; and he now found himself dependent on his own exertions for a living. He thought at first of art as a profession, and studied for a time at Paris and Rome.