November 20, 1752, Bristol, England.
August 25, 1770, London, England.
St. Andrew’s, Holborn, London.
The office of sexton at St. Mary Redcliffe in Bristol had long been held by the Chatterton family. The poet’s father, also named Thomas Chatterton, was a musician, poet, numismatist, and dabbler in the occult. He had been a sub-chanter at Bristol Cathedral and master of the Pyle Street free school, near Redcliffe church. He died four months before his son’s birth.
Thomas the younger received his early education at Edward Colston’s Charity School in Bristol, and was afterward articled to an attorney. He moved to London in 1770, but earned little through his writings. Overcome at last by poverty and stress, he burned his manuscripts and committed suicide by taking arsenic.