Birth place Edinburgh
Death place London
Born and educated in Edinburgh, Thomson set up a studio in Singapore in 1863 and travelled to Ceylon, Siam and Cambodia the following year. In 1870 he travelled in Singapore, Vietnam and China and when he returned to Britain two years later, published 'Illustrations of China and Its People' and lectured throughout the country. He established a successful portrait studio in London and took his series 'Street Life' in London in 1876-7. His last important trip was to Cyprus in 1878 and resulted in a publication entitled 'Through Cyprus with a Camera'.