A photographer and travel writer, he was born on 14 June 1837 at Portland Place, Edinburgh, the third of the four children to survive infancy of William Thomson (1794–c.1870), tobacconist, and his wife, Isabella Newlands (1801–1863).
He contributed a series of illustrated articles on life in China to The Graphic in 1872–3, published privately a magnificent portfolio of carbon prints, Foochow and the River Min (1873), and more importantly a large-scale work, Illustrations of China and its People(1873–4), which was responsible for firmly establishing his reputation as a photographer, traveller, and leading authority on China.
He was decorated by the French Government for his work in Cambodia
(Source Richard Ovenden)
**Please note although the literature states his death as the 29th September the probate register and the grave states 30 September 1921. Resident "Moordown" 51 Woodfield Ave and also 22 Brook Street Hannover Square