Torrens was born in Ireland in early 1780, exact date unknown, either at the house of his paternal grandfather, the Rev. Robert Torrens, at Hervey Hill in County Derry, or more likely in that of his maternal grandfather, the Rev. Skeffington Bristow, at Resharkin, County Antrim. He died in London on 27 May 1864. He was the first of three children of Robert Torrens and his wife Elizabeth, née Bristow. Torrens received a classical education in his home parish of Tamlaght O’Crilly and, presumably, at Derry Diocesan School. He probably grew up in the house of his paternal grandfather, who died when he was barely ten. In 1796, at age sixteen, he joined the Royal Marines as an ensign. In 1801 he married Charity Chute, of Cork, with whom he had five children. His second marriage (in 1820, after he had somehow nullified his Irish marriage) with Esther Sarah Serle, a minor English heiress, remained childless.
From The Biographical Dictionary of British Economists in Oxford Reference.