James Thomson (B.V.) was born in Port Glasgow, Scotland on November 23, 1834. His father James, the son of a Scottish weaver, was a sailor in the merchant service until he was paralyzed by a stroke in 1840. His mother, Sarah Kennedy Thomson, was an Irvingite. When she died in 1842, James was sent to the Royal Caledonian Asylum, a school for the children of poor sailors and soldiers. In 1850 he became a monitor at the Royal Military Asylum, Chelsea, where he excelled in his studies as well as his sportsmanship.
Thomson spent the next ten years of his life as an Army schoolmaster. In 1851 he worked for eighteen months as an assistant-teacher at Ballincolig, Ireland. In 1855 he completed his training at the Royal Military Asylum in Chelsea and went on to serve in Plymouth, Aldershot, Dublin,
Citation: Hawley, Michelle. "James Thomson". The Literary Encyclopedia. First published 10 January 2005; last revised 18 April 2006. [https://www.litencyc.com/php/speople.php?rec=true&UID=4387, accessed 10 December 2023.]