Retired businessman. Arrived in South Australia in 1850; schooled in Liverpool. Went to sea for two years; returned to Australia in 1866. Entered office of Robert Harper & Co; merchants in Melbourne. As managing partner opened the Sydney branch in 1877; retired in 1892. With J.P Garvan (also a member of the Legislative Assembly) established the North Shore Steam Ferry Company in the late 1870s. Australian representative at Merchant Shipping Conference in London in 1907. Founder of the Greythwaite Convalescent Home (for soldiers). Chairman of North Sydney War Memorial Committee and of King Edward Memorial Fund. Member of Highland Society for 35 years. Vice President.
Member of the Parliament of the Commonwealth of Australia. Member of the House of Representatives for North Sydney 1901 - 1910. Minister for Home Affairs 1904 - 1905.
Son of John and his wife Jane Duncan. Unmarried. Presbyterian. His name is sometimes spelt "Thompson".